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Course Schedule for RELIGIOUS STUDIES - Spring 2018
Course ID Title Credits Type Instructor(s) Days:Times Location Permission
Dist Qtr
5207 RELG-101-01 Intro to Religious Studies 1.00 LEC Fifield, Justin TR: 10:50AM-12:05PM TBA  
  Enrollment limited to 25
  This course introduces students to the academic study of religion by focusing on those major themes that connect religious experiences from around the world. We will explore the complex ways in which issues in religion relate to topics such as spiritual beings, birth, death, ritual, the afterlife, ethics, and the good-life. Through a range of classical, modern, and ethnographic sources, students will gain an understanding of the ways in which scholars have sought to understand the social, political, economic, and cultural contexts in which various religious traditions are embedded.
5199 RELG-151-01 Religions of Asia 1.00 LEC Fifield, Justin MWF: 10:00AM-10:50AM TBA GLB2  
  Enrollment limited to 30
  An introduction to the major religions of Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism, with special emphasis on how each of these modes of thought gives rise to a special vision of man in the universe, a complex of myth and practice, and a pattern of ethical behavior. (May be counted toward international studies/Asian studies.)
5257 RELG-210-01 Magic in Ancient Rome 1.00 LEC Ramgopal, Sailakshmi MW: 1:15PM-2:30PM TBA GLB2  
  Enrollment limited to 25
  Love potions, prayers, and curses-magic suffused daily life in ancient Rome, forming a vital aspect of how the Romans attempted to exercise agency in their lives. In this course, we will examine amulets, magical papyri, and textual records for supernatural beings like werewolves to assess how the Romans conceptualized magic-particularly in contradistinction to religious, scientific, and philosophical thought-and the physical spaces in which they used it. Along the way, we will ask what evidence for Roman magical practice reveals about gender, class, and foreigners in antiquity. By the end of the semester, students will be able to raise the dead, curse their enemies, and call upon Hecate to do their bidding.
4784 RELG-212-01 New Testament 1.00 LEC Hornung, Gabriel MW: 1:15PM-2:30PM TBA HUM  
  Enrollment limited to 40
  An examination of the New Testament in the context of the first century C.E. to study the formation and themes of these early Christian writings. The course will stress the analysis of texts and discussion of their possible interpretations. How did the earliest writings about Jesus present him? Who was Paul? Is it more accurate to call him the founder of Christianity instead of Jesus? How do we understand Gospels that are not in the New Testament? We will attend to these and other social, political, and historical issues for studying the New Testament and Early Christianity.
4962 RELG-213-01 The David Story 1.00 LEC Hornung, Gabriel TR: 10:50AM-12:05PM TBA  
  Enrollment limited to 25
  Although David is often lauded as ancient Israel’s greatest king, his character is one of deep flaws. By exploring the many and often conflicting depictions of the founder of the ancient Israelite monarch, this course will probe this most important moment in biblical history: What are the theological implications of David’s divine election? How do the king’s painful missteps ricochet forward and influence later events? By focusing mainly on the Old Testament story, we will examine the historical institution David initiated and the religious problems it engendered.
4963 RELG-214-01 Jews in America 1.00 LEC Kiener, Ronald TR: 1:30PM-2:45PM TBA HUM  
  Enrollment limited to 25
  A social and religious history of American Judaism from pre-revolutionary to contemporary times. After examining the era of immigration and “Americanization,” the course will focus on the ethnic, religious, and social structures of American Judaism: the community center, the synagogue, and the federation. (May be counted toward American studies and Jewish studies.)
4881 RELG-223-01 Maj Relgious Thinkers of West 1.00 LEC Jones, Tamsin TR: 9:25AM-10:40AM TBA HUM  
  Enrollment limited to 19
  This course is only open to Religion majors or Guided Studies students.
  A study of the shared (and contested) sites of ancient and medieval Jewish, Christian, and Muslim thought. The course will focus on various topics including the construction of religious identity through the identification of the “other” as well as debates over proper interpretation of scripture, the name and the nature of God, and the relationship between reason and revelation. Readings include the Babylonian Talmud, Philo, Origen, Augustine, Maimonides, Avicenna, Averroes, Aquinas, and Luther.
4964 RELG-231-01 Christianity in the Making 1.00 LEC Jones, Tamsin TR: 2:55PM-4:10PM TBA HUM  
  Enrollment limited to 40
  This course will examine the philosophical, cultural, religious and political contexts out of which Christianity emerged from the time of Jesus through the 5th century. Emphasis will be placed on the complexity and diversity of early Christian movements, as well as the process that occurred to establish Christianity as a religion that would dominate the Roman Empire. Topics to be covered will include the writings of the New Testament, Gnostics, martyrdom, desert monasticism and asceticism, the construction of orthodoxy and heresy, women in the early Church, the formation of the biblical canon, and the identity and role of Jesus of Nazareth.
4966 RELG-256-01 Buddhist Thought 1.00 LEC Fifield, Justin TR: 9:25AM-10:40AM TBA GLB2  
  Enrollment limited to 30
  An examination of fundamental concepts in Buddhist philosophy as they reflect an ongoing conflict between faith and reason: the non-self, dependent origination, karma, and nirvana. Special emphasis will be placed on the meaning of these concepts for the Buddhist way of life. Readings from classical Theravada and Mahayana texts. (May be counted toward international studies/Asian studies.)
5245 RELG-260-01 Meditation, Medicine, & Mind 1.00 SEM Fifield, Justin M: 1:15PM-3:55PM TBA HUM  
  Enrollment limited to 19
  This course examines the relationship between traditional meditation practices and their contemporary applications in therapeutic, clinical, and neuropsychological settings. We will question to what extent contemporary practices remain true to the historical traditions, and to what extent such a question even matters. If a meditative practice works in a clinical setting, without recourse to traditional understanding, is such an application valid? In what ways do modern institutions - the marketplace, the clinic, the laboratory - alter the way meditation is translated into the contemporary world? Readings will range across classic Asian texts, modern meditation manuals, and research from the fields of medicine and neuroscience.
4967 RELG-265-01 Religion and American Politics 1.00 LEC Silk, Mark MW: 1:15PM-2:30PM TBA HUM  
  Enrollment limited to 40
  Since the earliest days of the American republic, religion has played a significant role in the country’s politics. This course will trace that role, beginning with the Constitution’s proscription of religious tests for office to the current “God Gap” between the Democratic and Republican parties. Subjects to be covered include ethno-religious voting patterns, social movements, American civil religion, and religion in wartime.
4968 RELG-280-01 Muhammad and the Qur’an 1.00 LEC Koertner, Mareike MW: 11:30AM-12:45PM TBA HUM  
  Enrollment limited to 19
  What is the Qur'an? Which role did Muhammad play for the development of Islam's sacred text? This course introduces the historical and social context, thematic and literary features, and major doctrines of the Qur'an. We will focus on the history of the text through a close reading of English translations of the Qur'an and the life of the Prophet Muhammad, and explore methods of interpretation through various exegetical texts. Topics will also include the relation to pre-Islamic biblical figures and other faith traditions, questions of Islamic law and ethics including sexuality, gender roles, notions of justice, peace, and war, the use of violence, and the role of the Qur'an as a living text in Muslim devotional life.
4977 RELG-281-01 Anthropology of Religion 1.00 LEC Landry, Timothy TR: 1:30PM-2:45PM TBA GLB5  
  Enrollment limited to 30
  Introduction to the foundations of religion through an examination of religious phenomena prevalent in traditional cultures. Some of the topics covered in this course include a critical examination of the idea of primitivity, the concepts of space and time, myths, symbols, ideas related to God, man, death, and rituals such as rites of passage, magic, sorcery, witchcraft, and divination. (May be counted toward anthropology and international studies/comparative development.)
4969 RELG-282-01 Modern Islamic Movements 1.00 LEC Koertner, Mareike MWF: 10:00AM-10:50AM TBA HUM  
  Enrollment limited to 30
  This course examines the rise and ideological foundation of modern Islamic movements, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizbollah, Hamas, al-Qa’ida, and ISIS. We will study the emergence of Islamic fundamentalism in its historical and political context as well as major intellectual figures of these movements, and take a close look at the notion of jihad in classical and modern legal contexts.
4883 RELG-285-01 Religions of Africa 1.00 SEM Landry, Timothy TR: 2:55PM-4:10PM TBA GLB2  
  Enrollment limited to 15
  This course is an exploration of the ways in which Africans make sense of their worlds through religion. By reading a wide range of ethnographic and historical texts, students will consider the challenges that post-colonial politics present to understanding religion in Africa and in the diaspora Students will examine a variety of African religious traditions ranging from indigenous practices to the ways in which Christianity and Islam have developed uniquely African beliefs. In so doing, students will frame African religions as global phenomena while considering the historical and contemporary salience of the many canonical themes found in African religion such as spirit possession, divination, healing, magic, witchcraft, sorcery, and animal sacrifice.
4975 RELG-307-01 Jewish Philosophy 1.00 SEM Kiener, Ronald TR: 2:55PM-4:10PM TBA GLB2  
  Enrollment limited to 19
  Prerequisite: C- or better in Religion 109.
  This course provides an introduction to the major themes and thinkers of medieval and modern Jewish philosophy. We will study how Plato, Aristotle, and other non-Jewish philosophers found their Jewish voice in the likes of Philo, Saadia Gaon, Judah Halevi, Maimonides, and Mendelssohn. Issues to be considered are the relationship between reason and revelation, the concept of monotheism, the nature of prophecy and the Jewish tradition, and the problem of evil. Extensive use of original sources in translation will be complemented by interpretive studies. (May be counted toward Philosophy.)
4970 RELG-324-01 Suffering Religion 1.00 SEM Jones, Tamsin TR: 1:30PM-2:45PM TBA HUM  
  Enrollment limited to 19
  What does religion have to say about suffering and its function in the spiritual life – is it a “natural” part of human existence, divine gift or punishment, or a preventable tragedy? What does it mean when religion is experienced as suffering or as trauma? This course explores these questions within the Greco-Roman, Jewish and Christian traditions. After introducing some of the classic texts on suffering, the course examines suffering as both a logical and a moral problem for religious thought. It then considers some of the resources that religious traditions have brought to bear on different kinds of suffering – physical pain, trauma, grief or loss, and mental suffering or depression.
4291 RELG-399-01 Independent Study 0.50 - 2.00 IND TBA TBA TBA Y  
  Enrollment limited to 15
  Advanced work on an approved project under the guidance of a faculty member. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment.
4292 RELG-466-01 Teaching Assistant 0.50 - 1.00 IND TBA TBA TBA Y  
  Enrollment limited to 15
  A teaching assistant works with a faculty member in the preparation and teaching of a course and receives academic credit for his or her work. See the Student Handbook for the specific guidelines. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment.
4293 RELG-497-01 Senior Thesis 1.00 - 2.00 IND TBA TBA TBA Y WEB  
  Enrollment limited to 15
  Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment in this single-semester thesis.
4294 RELG-499-01 Senior Thesis Part 2 2.00 IND TBA TBA TBA Y WEB  
  Enrollment limited to 15
  Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for each semester of this yearlong thesis. (two course credits are considered pending in the first semester;two course credits will be awarded for completion in the second semester.)