COURSES TAUGHT BY RELIGIOUS STUDIES FACULTY
Advanced Seminar: Gods and Profits RELST-UA.15, Oliphant
Wednesday 11:00am-1:45pm. Class #20376. 4 pts. 25 W. 4th, Room C19
This course explores the "enchanted" production and reproduction of capitalism and the effects of capitalism on ever-transforming religious practices. Through a combination of classical and contemporary approaches in political economy, religious studies, and anthropology, we will address what makes capitalism a unique mode of exchange and explore examples of the spirits that haunt the market's invisible hand as well as those that resist its powerful reach. Our readings and discussions will cover important debates surrounding the history and origins of capitalism in Europe; classical anthropological writings on "pre-capitalist" economies encountered during European colonial expansion; and current writings that refuse the distinction between the supposedly separate spheres of religion and economy.
The Fall of Nature in Western Religions RELST-UA.244, Mehrgan, Syllabus
Monday, Wednesday 9:30am-10:45am. Class #20377. 4 pts. TISC, Room LC9
If humankind has entered a new geological age, the Anthropocene, shaped and conditioned by human activities since at least two centuries ago, what has been the role of the Abrahamic religions? What will be their fate enduring the anthropogenic transformations in nature and history? This course studies the fundamental notions in Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions of history, nature, and the very idea of human subjectivity and action that have informed or structured longstanding practices devoted to the domination or ‘occupation’ of nature. We will examine key theological positions and assumptions while reflecting on crucial differences between the three main religions in their respective accounts of the transcendence of God, the economy of the divine plan, and the productive activity of human beings. Our goal is to grasp the wide-ranging crises of the present age from a deeper historical and philosophical perspective afforded by the archives and ideas of monotheism.
Religions of India RELST-UA.337, Tackes
Tuesday, Thursday 3:30pm-4:45pm. Class #10203. 4 pts. TISC, Room LC9
Investigates religious developments in India within their historical context. Familiarizes students with the religions of the subcontinent—including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Sikhism, Christianity, and Judaism—through secondary source readings and English translations of primary source materials. Rather than survey religious traditions as closed systems divorced from time or place, students grapple with the central theories and historiographical challenges pertaining to religion in India, especially those that impact our ability to understand everyday religious experience, both past and present.
Monsters and Their Humans RELST-UA.649, Zito
Tuesday, Thursday 11:00am-12:15pm. Class #20380. 4 pts. 25 W. 4th, Room C20
Humanity has long imagined monstrous transformations of ourselves. What do these creatures mean to us, historically and today? What do we think we are becoming? Investigates the supernatural in popular culture through vampires and zombies. Places them in the context of our imagination of the divine through history and ethnography, and also alongside our intimate problems of managing sex, gender, race, and class. The archives of religions, psychologies, philosophy, film, TV, and novels provide rich source material, Requires a short midterm essay and a longer final project, while posting to a forum most weeks.
Tibetan Buddhism RELST-UA.835, McGrath
Tuesday, Thursday 2:00pm-3:15pm. Class #20378. 4 pts. 25 W. 4th, Room C20
Begins with the principles of the tradition, then moves from the 7th-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.
Internship RELST-UA.981, Staff
Class #8533. 1-4 pts.
Independent Study RELST-UA.998, Staff
Class #8534. 1-4 pts.
COURSES TAUGHT BY AFFILIATED FACULTY
Classical Mythology RELST-UA.404 (Same as CLASS-UA.404), Meineck
Tuesday, Thursday 2:00pm-3:15pm. Class #8532. 4 pts. Cant 102
Discusses the myths and legends of Greek and Roman 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, especially Odysseus. Roman myth is also treated, with emphasis on Aeneas and the foundation legends of Rome.
Creating a Good Society: Christian and Jewish Perspectives RELST-UA.428 (Same as HBRJD-UA.428.002), Gottlieb
Wednesday, 11:00am-1:30pm. Class #21552. 4 pts. 25 W4 Room C11
Central questions: What is the best form of government? What economic system is ideal? Should government actively promote a vision of the good life or leave it to individuals to decide the good for themselves? Should government prioritize the freedom, equality, or happiness of its inhabitants? What role should religion and nationhood play in society? What models of education should government promote? Careful analysis of primary texts by Plato, Maimonides, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft, Mendelssohn, Marx, and Hess.
Ancient Egyptian Mythology and Religion RELST-UA.719 (Same as HBRJD-UA.150), Roth
Monday, Wednesday 2:00pm-3:15pm. Class #21545. 4 pts. 60 5th Ave, Room 265
Ancient Egyptian Mythology and Religion will focus on many aspects of Egyptian religion: conceptions of the divine in a polytheistic context, temple ritual, hymns, personal piety, the relationship between religion and magic, mortuary religion and its evolution and material consequences. Questions will be approached through both study of the primary sources in English translation: myths (very broadly conceived), other religious writings (including mortuary texts such as the Book of the Dead and the Underworld books), as well as art and artifacts connected with religious practice, such as amulets and votives. In addition, students will read the standard secondary source analyses by noted historians of Egyptian religion and critique them based on the primary sources.
Women and Gender in Islam RELST-UA.728, Katz
Monday, Wednesday 3:30pm-4:45pm. Class #20824. 4 pts. Kevorkian Center, 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 APPLICABLE TO THE MAJOR OR MINOR IN RELIGIOUS STUDIES
Texts and Ideas: Death and the Afterlife CORE-UA.400.080, Reed
Tuesday, Thursday 3:30pm-4:45pm. See Albert for Recitations. Class #10360. 4 pts. Silver, Room 206
Cultures & Contexts: Global Christianities CORE-UA.500.010, Oliphant
Tuesday, Thursday 12:30pm-1:45pm. See Albert for Recitations. Class #9743. 4 pts. 19UP, Room 102
Examines the ongoing global formation and reformation of Christianity, from its origins in a pluralistic ancient Mediterranean world and spread throughout Europe and the Middle East, to its historical and ever-transforming role in Africa, Asia, and the New World. Explores the problems and possibilities Christian texts, concepts, institutions, and narratives have posed for a diversity of populations over distinct historical periods.
The New Testament and Early Christianities HIST-UA.94, Underwood
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30am-10:45am. Class #20271. 4 pts. Silver, 101A
Explores the formative centuries of the Christian tradition from its roots as a Jewish apocalyptic movement persecuted by the Roman Empire to the institutional “Churches” that crystalized under the aegis of the Roman State in late antiquity. Although the 26 books that became the “New Testament” and later interpretations of them will center our examination of Christian beliefs and practices, we will also engage non-canonical, apocryphal, and ”heretical” texts, which illuminate numerous lost forms of Christianity including Gnosticism, Manichaeism, and Judaizing sects. In this way students will observe how early Christians formulated, debated, and policed “orthodox” modes of worship and life according to their understanding of Jesus’s gospel. Key themes will include theories of salvation and afterlife, requirements of poverty and charity, sexuality and gender roles, and lastly attitudes toward non-Christians and “deviants.”
Religion, Politics & State in Comparative Perspective RELST-UA.9613, Raviv
Monday, Wednesday 3:00pm-4:15pm. Class #9356. 4 pts. NYU TEL AVIV
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/Bellini
Tuesday, Thursday 9am-10:15am. Class #23010. 4 pts. NYU FLORENCE
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”.