COURSES TAUGHT BY RELIGIOUS STUDIES FACULTY
Advanced Seminar: Religion, Medicine, & Disease RELST-UA.15, McGrath
Wednesday, 11am-1:30pm. Class #8375. 4 pts. 7 East 12th St Rm. 325
Complements and develops the methodological and theoretical emphasis encountered in Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion, albeit with a higher level of specificity and sophistication. The focus is on a specific thematic motif with cross-cultural applicability (for example, ritual, the body, sacrifice, religion and the state). Students can explore the import of the motif in question for their own area of specialization, as well as examine its manifestations in other traditions. Students are expected to make formal presentations to the class.
Queer Religion RELST-UA.244, Stell
Monday, Wednesday 9:30am-10:45am. Class #8376. 4 pts. 238 Thompson St (GCASL), Rm 388
In this course, we will encounter religious communities that have disrupted dominant norms of gender and sexuality, exploring a range of geographic, cultural, and historical contexts. As we study queerness in many different forms, we will discover just how often religion and queerness have coincided, even as anti-queerness has been crucial to the maintenance of religious power. The course functions as an introduction to both religious studies and queer studies, equipping students to use a variety of tools from both fields.
Seminar: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion RELST-UA.270, de Vries
Tuesday 2pm-4:30pm. Class #8383. 4 pts. 194 Mercer St. Rm. 306A
This course will examine the arguments, including so-called "proofs," of ancient, modern, and contemporary thinkers who sought to come to terms with religious, and theological concepts such as the existence and essence of God, creation and providence, revelation and prophecy, law and election, the apocalyptic and eschatology, time and eternity. Special attention will be paid to the historical context surrounding the emergence of the philosophy of religion as an academic discipline and the variety of its most notable phenomenological and hermeneutic, analytical and critical methods.
Topics: Religion and the Civil Rights Movement RELST-UA.650, Stell
Monday, Wednesday 2:00pm-3:15pm. Class #8377. 4 pts. Silver Rm. 410
This course will examine the diverse roles that religion played in civil rights activism in the twentieth-century United States. We will witness the work of integrationists, segregationists, and separatists, attending to their calls for peace, their calls for violence, and their conspicuous silences. Throughout the semester, we will discuss not only the past but also the present, examining contemporary invocations of and controversies surrounding religion and the Civil Rights Movement. Along the way, we will glean more broadly applicable lessons about religion and protest, respectability, accommodation, and revolution.
Tibetan Buddhism RELST-UA.835, McGrath
Tuesday, Thursday 11:00am-12:15pm. Class #8378. 4 pts. Silver Rm. 414
An introduction to Tibetan Buddhism doctrine and practice. Approaches the subject from historical and thematic perspectives, beginning with a close study of one of the classic Tibetan guides to Tibetan Buddhism for a solid foundation in the principles of the tradition. Proceeds along a historical track, beginning with the seventh-century arrival of Buddhism in Tibet to the present-day encounter with Western devotees of exiled Tibetan lamas. Topics include doctrinal innovation, ritual, myth, art, sacred geography, revelation, and the role of Buddhism in Tibet’s relationship with its neighbors. Readings consist of primary texts in translation and secondary literature on the study of religion and Tibetan Buddhism.
Seminar: Marx and Philosophy RELST-UA.991 (Same as GERM-UA.220), de Vries
Friday 11am-1:30pm. Class #7911. 4 pts. 181 Mercer St (Paulson Center), Rm. 234
While the publication of a new complete translation into English and accompanying annotation of Karl Marx's magnum opus, entitled Das Kapital (Capital), is imminent, this intellectual and political moment in time is as good as any to revisit the theoretical (metaphysical) and pragmatic (ethical) premises, next to the renewed and still growing influence, of this author's most important work. In addition to proposing an integral rereading of Capital as a founding document of so-called historical materialism and a resounding critique of classical political economy, special attention will be paid to the most original and rigorous among Marx's 20th and 21st century philosophical interpreters.
Internship (Permission Required) RELST-UA.981, Staff
Class #8379. 1-4 pt(s).
Independent Study (Permission Required) RELST-UA.998, Staff
Section 1 Class #8380. 1-4 pt(s).
Section 2 Class #8381. 1-4 pt(s).
Section 3 Class #8382. 1-4 pt(s).
CROSS-LISTED COURSES TAUGHT BY FACULTY IN OTHER DEPARTMENTS
Bible as Literature RELST-UA.23 (Same as HBRJD-UA.23), Daniels
Tuesday, Thursday 2:00pm-3:15pm. Class #7934. 4 pts. KJCC, Rm. B01
The Bible is a complex and fascinating anthology of ancient literature, written by many different people over the course of nearly a thousand years. The focus of this course will be on reading the Bible as literature, and not as a religious or sacred text. In this course, students will be introduced to various strategies for the literary reading and interpretation of biblical texts. The class will engage diverse literary genres from both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, and consider the biblical writers’ creative deployment of poetic forms, plot devices, and narrative styles. With the guidance of secondary literature that will introduce us to a number of diverse ways to think about the literary interpretation of these texts, we will read parts of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Esther, Ruth, Jonah, and the Gospels, as well as selections from the poetic and wisdom traditions. The goals of this course are twofold: 1) to introduce students to literary forms and styles from one corner of the ancient world, and 2) to enable students to engage with these texts from a new perspective and examine the ways in which our assumptions about the origins of a text can and do shape our interpretations of it.
Ancient Near Eastern Mythology RELST-UA.125 (Same as HBRJD-UA.125), Fleming
Monday, Wednesday 2:00pm-3:15pm. Class #7935. 4 pts. Silver, Rm. 407
The myths of the ancient Near East represent the earliest literary expressions of human thought. Students in this class read myths from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Ugarit, Anatolia, and Israel, studying the myths themselves as literary works as well as exploring the ideas and broader issues that shaped them. These myths, including both extensive literary masterpieces such as the Epic of Gilgamesh and shorter work such as the Flight of Etana to Heaven, offer a window into the religious mentality of the ancient Near East, which in turn laid the foundation for many elements of modern Western culture.
Greek and Roman Mythology RELST-UA.404 (Same as CLASS-UA.404), Meineck
Tuesday, Thursday 12:30pm-1:45pm. Class #12590. 4 pts. 19 University Pl., Rm. 102
Discusses the myths and legends of Greek mythology and the gods, demigods, heroes, nymphs, monsters, and everyday mortals who played out their parts in this mythology. Begins with creation, as vividly described by Hesiod in the Theogony, and ends with the great Trojan War and the return of the Greek heroes. Special emphasis on the return of Odysseus, as related by Homer in the Odyssey.
Creating a Good Society: Christian and Jewish Perspectives RELST-UA.428 (Same as HBRJD-UA.428), Gottlieb
Monday 11am-1:45pm. Class #7938. 4 pts. 181 Mercer St (Paulson Center) Rm. 304
This course explores Greek, Christian and Jewish responses to the problem: How does one create a good society? Central questions to be explored include: What is the best form of government? What economic system is ideal? Should the government actively promote a vision of the good life or leave it to individual to decide the good for themselves? Should the government prioritize the freedom, equality, or happiness of its inhabitants? What role should religion and nationhood play in society? What models of education should the government promote? How does gender inform these considerations? The course will focus on careful analysis of primary texts. Thinkers to be studied include: Plato, Maimonides, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft, Mendelssohn, Marx, Hess. Having first taken the course: Living a Good Life: Greek and Jewish Perspectives is highly desirable.
Modern Jewish History RELST-UA.681 (Same as HBRJD-UA.103), Patt
Monday, Wednesday 2:00Pm-3:15pm. Class #7936. 4 pts. 238 Thompson St (GCASL), Room 265
Major developments in the history and culture of the Jews from the 16th to the 20th centuries, emphasizing the meanings of modernity in the Jewish context, differing paths to modern Jewish identity, and internal Jewish debates over the relative merits of modern and traditional Jewish values.
Women and Gender in Islam RELST-UA.728 (Same as MEIS-UA.728), Katz
Monday, Wednesday 3:30pm-4:45pm. Class #20766. 4 pts. 50 Wash Sq S (Kevorkian Ctr), Room LL2
Examines the rights, roles, and the physical appearance of Muslim women. This course investigates the complexity of the messages and models relating to gender in one of the world?s most influential religious traditions. Beginning with the rise of Islam, the class observes how foundational texts and personalities are interpreted and reinterpreted for changing times.
COURSES ABROAD APPLICABLE TO THE MAJOR OR MINOR
What is Islam? RELST-UA.9085, Abid
Monday, Wednesday 1:00pm-2:15pm. Class #5057. 4 pts. 6 Bedford Square. Room 303
This course explores the origins of Islam and the development of its rituals and doctrines to the 21st century. It assumes no previous background in Islamic studies. Students will learn about topics such as the Koran and the Prophet, Islamic law, the encounter of East and West during the Crusades, and Islam in Britain. They will find out how Muslims in different regions have interpreted and lived their religion in past and present. Readings will include not only scholarly works but also material from primary sources, for example the Koran, biographies and chronicles. The course consists of a combination of lectures, seminar discussions, field trips and includes other media, such as film.
Religion, Pol & State in Compartv Perspectv RELST-UA.9613, Raviv
Monday, Wednesday 1:15pm-2:30pm. Class #4222. 4 pts. 17 Brandeis Street. Room 204
Ever since the French Revolution, if not before, some of the best minds in the social sciences have been sure that the primacy of religion in modern society was entering its twilight. This view has only accentuated with the end of the Cold War, the "Third Wave of Democratization," and increasing globalization. In fact, we are still waiting for this twilight to appear; religion continues to shape individual values, social organization, state institutions, and international relations – perhaps more than ever before. As a result, the academic literature has been experiencing a revival of religious studies, but not only as its own field of study within the humanities, rather within the lens of the social sciences as well, whether in comparative politics, international relations, sociology, or even economics. The central aim of this course is to examine different theoretical approaches, analytical concepts, and empirical manifestations in the interaction between religion, state, and politics. The course is comparative in three ways, and thusly divided: In the first part of the course, we seek to understand how different social science disciplines study religion. The second part of the course presents different interactions between religion and politics, such as the secularization debate, the compatibility between religion and different types of government, and the role of religion in shaping identity and different types of political organization. The third part of the course will apply these different approaches and concepts to the study of "real world" empirical developments, both historical and contemporary, particularly within the Middle East.
Magic, Religion & Inquisition RELST-UA.9671, Duni
Tuesday 9:00pm - 11:45am. Class #3881. 4 pts. No Room Required
This course is made up of four sections. The first opens with an analysis of the intellectual foundations of the witch-hunt from late Antiquity to the early Renaissance. The second section concentrates on the most infamous handbook for witch-hunters, Malleus Maleficarum (“The Hammer of the Witches”) and on the roots of medieval misogyny. The third section looks at the mass witch-hunts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries on the backdrop of the break between Protestant and Catholic Europe, and examines the connections linking witch-hunting to the momentous social, political and religious changes of the times. In the fourth part, the course will shift focus to the grassroots level, shedding light on the economic and social mechanisms which lead a community to “make a witch”.