COURSES TAUGHT BY RELIGIOUS STUDIES FACULTY
Theories & Methods in the Study of Religion RELST-UA.1, Reed
Tuesday, Thursday 11:00am-12:15 pm. Class #10064. 4pts. Location TBD.
Fundamental theoretical and methodological issues pertaining to the academic study of religion. Theories of the origin, character, and function of religion as a human phenomenon. Understanding and interpretation of religious phenomena through psychological, sociological, anthropological, historical, and hermeneutical perspectives.
Seminar: St. Augustine's City of God RELST-UA.270 (Same as CLASS-UA.650)
Wednesday 11:00am-1:45pm. Class #___. 4pts. 726 BW, Rm. 542, Becker
This seminar will focus on St. Augustine’s City of God. Brief lectures will set out the historical, literary, and intellectual context. However, a work such as this allows for questions and conversation that go well beyond its original setting. Our focus will be the text itself and the dialogue it provokes. Topics addressed include: Augustine’s critique of Roman religion, his relationship to Virgil and other Classical authors, his engagement with Greek philosophy, Christian political theology, the Christian understanding of history, the problem of suffering, demonology, the origin of evil, the creation of the human being, Original Sin, war and peace, judgment and punishment, eschatology (the end time), envisioning God, and Augustine’s doctrine of the two cities.
American Religion RELST-UA.480 (Same as HIST-UA.117)
Monday, Wednesday 9:30am-10:45am. Class #9748. 4pts. Location TBD.
Religious formations from the national founding to the late twentieth century that influenced American culture, society, national identity, and politics. Topics: disestablishment and church-state relations; revivalism and social activism; race and religion; women’s religious leadership; atheism, freethought, and skepticism; pluralism and religious liberalism; religion and science; immigration and nativism; and religious conservatism and politics.
Intro to Buddhism RELST-UA.832 (Same as EAST-UA.832)
Tuesday, Thursday 3:30pm-4:45pm. Class #9244. 4pts. Location TBD.
An introduction to this complex religion, emphasizing its history, teachings, and practices. Discusses its doctrinal development in India, then emphasizes certain local practices such as Buddhism and the family in China; Buddhism, language, and hierarchy in Japan; the politics of Buddhist Tibet; Buddhist art; and Buddhism in the United States.
Permission required. Class #8707. 1-4pts. Staff.
Independent Study RELST-UA.997
Permission required. Class #8708. 1-4pts. Staff.
CROSS-LISTED COURSES TAUGHT BY FACULTY IN OTHER DEPARTMENTS
Intro to Ancient Indian Literature RELST-UA.335 (Same as MEIS-UA.718), Illieva
Tuesday 4:55pm-7:35pm. Class #9949. 4pts. Location TBD.
An introductory course designed to acquaint students with the great works of the ancient Indian literary tradition, a major part of which was written in Sanskrit. The earliest form of that language, called Vedic Sanskrit, is the language of the Vedit hymns, especially those of the Rig Veda. Sanskrit has had an unbroken literary tradition for over 3,000 years. This rich and vast literary, religious, and philosophical heritage is introduced in this course. In addition, students work with excerpts from the Jain and Buddhist canons written in Prakrits and examples of Tamil poetry. Selections from the Vedic literature, classical drama, epics, story literature, and lyric poetry are studied in English translation.
Living a Good Life: Greek and Jewish Perspectives HBRJD-UA.422, Gottlieb
Monday, Wednesday 11:00am-12:15pm. Class #9624. 4pts.
Permission required from HBRJD.
Does living well require acquiring knowledge and wisdom? What is the place of moral responsibility in the good life? Is the good life a happy life, or does it require sacrificing happiness? Does religion lead to living well or does it hinder this? Study of primary texts by Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Avot, Maimonides, Spinoza, and Hermann Cohen.
Modern Jewish History RELST-UA.681 (Same as HBRJD-UA.103), Engel
Monday, Wednesday 12:30pm-1:45pm. Class #___. 4pts. Location TBD.
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.
Sufis: Mystics of Islam RELST-UA.863 (Same as MEIS-UA.863), Alatas
Monday 2:00pm-4:45pm. Class #___. 4pts. Location TBD.
Since the emergence of Sufism in the ninth century, the shrines, brotherhoods, and doctrines of the Sufis have had vast influence in almost every corner of the Muslim world. This course offers a general, interpretive narrative tracing of Sufism from its perio of origin until recent times. It observes the development and spread of the so-callded "Islamic mysticism" through the Middle East, Asia, Africa and ultimately Europe and the United States. Moving beyond a focus on doctrines and practices, however, this course situates Sufism in its social, cultural and historical contexts. Over the course of the semester, we will learn how Sufi holy personages gained followers, not only among tribesmen and pessants, but also emperors, merhcants, and bureaucrats. We will then look at how such alliances made leading Sufis powerful even at the zenith of the European imperialism and in today's globalized world.
What is Islam? RELST-UA.9085 (Same as MEIS-UA.9691, ANTH-UA.9072)
Monday 1:00pm-4:00pm. Class #19832. 4pts. NYU London.
Introduction to the life of the Prophet Muhammad and the origins of Islam; the beliefs and practices of the Islamic community; differences between Sunni and Shi’ite Islam; Sufism; the spiritual, intellectual, and artistic life of the Islamic commonwealth; and modern Islamic revival.