Detailed course offerings (Time Schedule) are available for
RELIG 120 Yoga: Past and Present (5) VLPA/I&S, DIV
Studies yoga and its history, practice, literature, and politics. From the ancient past to modern yoga, studies essential texts and ideas, as well as the effects of class, religion, gender, nationalism, development, Marxism, colonialism, and physical culture on yoga. Offered: jointly with CHID 120; A.
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RELIG 145 Introduction to Judaism (5) I&S
Explores Judaism's sacred texts, holidays, and beliefs. Addresses Judaism's impact on society, culture, and politics. Through the lens of the Jewish experience, grapples with fundamental questions about the role of individuals and members of larger communities in an increasingly multicultural, religious, and interconnected world.
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RELIG 155 Heroes, Heretics, and Radicals: The Origins of Judaism and Christianity (5) I&S
Investigates the heroes, heretics, and radical pioneers of religious movements around the beginning of the Common Era (150 BCE-150 CE). Students learn to analyze primary sources, engage critically with secondary sources, and author their own historical narrative. Offered: W.
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RELIG 199 Study Abroad: Comparative Religion (1-5, max. 15) I&S
For participants in study abroad program. Specific course content varies. Courses do not automatically apply to major/minor requirements.
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RELIG 201 Introduction to World Religions: Western Traditions (5) I&S Wellman
History of religions, concentrating on religious traditions that have developed west of the Indus. Primary attention to the Semitic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and to their ancient world background with emphasis on basic conceptual and symbolic structures.
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RELIG 202 Introduction to World Religions: Eastern Traditions (5) I&S Novetzke, Pauwels
History of religions, concentrating on religions that have developed in South Asia and East Asia. Primary attention to Hinduism and Buddhism; other important Asian religions are discussed in relation to them, with emphasis on basic conceptual and symbolic structures.
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RELIG 205 Religion, Violence, and Peace: Patterns Across Time and Tradition (5) I&S
Investigates the complex relationship between violence and peace in a variety of religious traditions. Examines case studies from the ancient Near East, medieval East Asia, and the contemporary West from the standpoint of lived experiences and contemporary theories derived from several academic disciplines. Offered: jointly with HUM 205/NEAR E 285; W.
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RELIG 211 Introduction to Muslim Beliefs and Practices (5) VLPA/I&S
Examines the origins and development of central beliefs in various Muslim traditions; such as monotheism, prophecy, divine judgment, and predestination. Looks at ritual and socio-cultural practices in Muslim societies in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Offered: jointly with NEAR E 230.
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RELIG 212 Introduction to the Quran (5) VLPA/I&S
A literary, historical, and theological introduction to the Quran. Looks at the historical circumstances of the text's compilation; its collection and redaction; its narrative structure; its rhetorical strategies; its major themes; it connections to and departures from the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament; commentary and exegesis; translation; and its impact on political and religious thought. Offered: jointly with NEAR E 231.
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RELIG 220 Introduction to the New Testament (5) VLPA/I&S
Introduction to the writings in the New Testament, their nature and origins as explored in modern scholarly research, and the first decades of the Christian religion.
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RELIG 240 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible: Old Testament (5) VLPA/I&S
Examines the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) in translation and its relationship with literatures of ancient Near East. Comparisons drawn between Biblical text and literary works of Canaan, Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia. Emphasis on the sophisticated literary techniques employed by Biblical writers. Cannot be taken for credit if credit earned in NEAR E 240. Offered: jointly with NEAR E 202.
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RELIG 254 American Religions (5) I&S, DIV Wellman
Seeks to understand religious diversity in the American context and the varieties of religions in the American historical horizon including religious minorities, American Protestants, public religious expressions, and new American religions.
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RELIG 264 Sacred Music in the European Tradition (5) VLPA
Surveys European and American sacred music from the twelvth to twentieth centuries, examining the important role of music in religious worship. Considers the means composers used to make musical works sound the way they do to convey the messages of the texts through music. Offered: jointly with MUSIC 264.
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RELIG 305 Religious Thought Since the Middle Ages (5) I&S
Development of religious thought in the West from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. History of focal ideas: God, man, knowledge, and authority during this period and the relation of changes in these ideas to the ways in which basic issues in religious thought have been conceived.
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RELIG 306 The History of Biblical Interpretation (3) VLPA/I&S
Traces Biblical interpretation and translation technique from the earliest translations of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) to the various historical literary, deconstructionist, and holistic strategies of more recent times. Adopts a "hands-on" approach to the material and explores various hermeneutics by applying them in class. Offered: jointly with NEAR E 306.
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RELIG 307 Religion and World Politics (5) I&S A. GILL
Explores the intersection of religion and politics in various regions of the world, including the United States, Europe, Middle East, Latin America, and other regions. Presents an historical perspective on religion alongside contemporary issues in religion, politics, and church-state relations. Offered: jointly with POL S 307.
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RELIG 315 The Biblical Prophets (3) VLPA/I&S
Explores the Biblical prophets (in translation) within their Near Eastern contexts. Historicity, literary and rhetorical sophistication, and ideological agendas. Seeks to uncover the meaning and distinctiveness of Israelite prophecy within the context of the larger Near East. No knowledge of the Bible required. Offered: jointly with NEAR E 305.
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RELIG 320 Comparative Study of Death (5) I&S
Death analyzed from a cross-cultural perspective. Topics include funerary practices, concepts of the soul and afterlife, cultural variations in grief, cemeteries as folk art, and medical and ethical issues in comparative context. American death practices compared to those of other cultures. Offered: jointly with ANTH 322.
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RELIG 321 Comparative Religion (3/5) I&S
Anthropological approaches to religious experience and belief with emphasis on conceptual issues such as ritual, symbolism, identity, ecstatic experience, and revitalization movements in the context of globalization. Also addresses the diversity of religious expression in American culture and how that compares with other societies. Offered: jointly with ANTH 321.
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RELIG 322 The Gospels and Jesus of Nazareth (5) I&S Williams
Gospel material from early Christianity, including both canonical and noncanonical gospels. Relation of gospels to analogous literature from the Hellenistic-Roman period.
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RELIG 329 Religion, Identity, and Cultural Pluralism (5) I&S, DIV
The role of religion in shaping personal and communal identity in a pluralistic society. Themes include current dimensions of American pluralism, effects of ethnicity, immigration, and electronic communication on building religious communities, and issues of conflict, violence, and reconciliation. Offered: jointly with ANTH 330.
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RELIG 334 Gender, Sex, and Religion (5) I&S, DIV M. AHUVIA
The Bible and its interpreters invented the gender categories and hierarchies that readers take for granted. Employs academic approaches that illuminate the construction of those categories and explores the debates within Judaism and Christianity as well as within academia today about gender, sex, sexuality, and religion. Offered: jointly with GWSS 334; Sp.
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RELIG 352 Hinduism (5) I&S Novetzke, Pauwels
Varieties of Hindu religious practice; the diverse patterns of religious thought and action among contemporary Hindus. Includes ritual behavior, village Hinduism, tantrism, sadhus, yoga, sects, the major gods and their mythologies, religious art, and the adjustments of Hinduism to modernity.
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RELIG 354 Buddhism (5) I&S Cox, Tokuno
Buddhism as a religious way and as a way of thinking; the forms of Buddhism known in South Asia (India, Sri Lanka) and those introduced from there to Tibet and other parts of Central Asia. Includes the "Three Jewels" (i.e., the Buddha or Awakened Person, the Teaching [Dharma], and Community [Sangha]) around which Buddhism is traditionally articulated.
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RELIG 356 Buddhism and Society: The Theravada Buddhist Tradition in South and Southeast Asia (5) I&S
Religious tradition of Theravada Buddhism (as practiced in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia). Variations in ethical orientations developed through Theravada Buddhist ideas. Offered: jointly with ANTH 352.
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RELIG 380 Theories In the Study of Religion (5) I&S C. NOVETZKE, J. WELLMAN
Provides a variety of approaches to the study of religion centered on examining the relationship between religion and modernity in the tradition of post-enlightenment, Euro-American scholarship. Examines theories of religion across disciplines: history, anthropology, sociology, Marxism, feminism, postmodernism, political theology, and Freudian psycho-analytical theory. Offered: jointly with CHID 380.
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RELIG 399 Study Abroad - Comparative Religion (1-5, max. 15) I&S
For participants in study abroad program. Specific course content varies. Courses do not automatically apply to major/minor requirements.
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RELIG 408 The World of the Early Church (5) I&S Williams
Early Christian church within the context of the Greco-Roman sociopolitical, philosophical, and religious environment. Covers the period from about AD 100 to 300. Christian thinkers and documents studied include both the classical "orthodox" and the "heretical."
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RELIG 409 The Age of St. Augustine (5) I&S
Christian church in the fourth and fifth centuries as a major institution in the Roman Empire. Great figures of patristic theology, such as Athanasius, Gregory Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, and Augustine.
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RELIG 412 Gnosticism and Early Christianity (5) I&S Williams
Impact of Gnosticism on the development of Christianity and several other religious groups of that period. Readings dating from the first through the third centuries AD.
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RELIG 413 Modern Christian Theology (5) I&S
Modern Protestant and Catholic thought since the nineteenth century: Kierkegaard, Barth, Bultmann, Rahner, Lonergan, and other major figures.
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RELIG 430 Muslim Scripture, Historiography, and Exegesis (3) VLPA/I&S
Examines the origins and development of early and classical Muslim thought. Provides an in-depth survey of the three key genres of early and classical Muslim writing: scripture (Quran), historiography (Maghazi, Sira, and Tabaqat), and exegesis (Tafsir and Ta'wil). Offered: jointly with NEAR E 430.
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RELIG 445 Greek and Roman Religion (5) VLPA/I&S Hollmann, Levaniouk
Religion in the social life of the Greeks and Romans, with emphasis placed on their public rituals and festivals. Attention is given to the priesthoods, personal piety, rituals of purification and healing, and the conflict of religions in the early Roman Empire. Many lectures illustrated by slides. Offered: jointly with CLAS 445.
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RELIG 452 Art, Religion, and Politics in the Early Christian Period, 300-700 AD (3) VLPA/I&S Kartsonis
Evolution of the art of the early Christian period (300-700 AD) in the context of contemporary religious, political, and cultural developments. Offered: jointly with ART H 452.
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RELIG 456 Perceptions of the Feminine Divine in Hinduism (5) VLPA, DIV Pauwels
Explores implications of the perception of a feminine divine for gender issues in South Asia. Includes historical overview of goddess worship in South Asia, mythologies, philosophical systems, cults, and rituals associated with the major goddesses, the phenomena of suttee, goddess possession, and women's goddess rituals at the village level.
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RELIG 459 Topics in the Buddhism of Tibet (3) I&S
Topics in the development of Buddhism of Tibet. Includes the relationship between reasoning and religious thought; the concept of a person; the formation of the different schools of Tibetan Buddhism; the notion of lineage; the master-disciple relationship in the tantric tradition.
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RELIG 472 Seminar: Topics in Early Christianity (5) I&S Williams
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RELIG 490 Special Topics in Comparative Religion (1-5, max. 15) I&S
Topics vary with each offering.
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RELIG 491 Seminar: Topics and Issues in Judaism (5) I&S
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RELIG 493 Honors Thesis (5) I&S
Required course for Comparative Religion honors students.
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RELIG 497 Field Archaeology (1-10, max. 20)
Professionally-guided archaeological fieldwork at a recognized archeological dig in the United States or abroad. Offered: S.
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RELIG 501 Religion Theorized: Approaches to the Study of Religion (5)
Covers the major approaches to modern scholarship in the study of religion, which includes multiple approaches from history, phenomenology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, gender and sexuality studies, Marxism, and political theory. Class discusses which theories are most helpful in describing, understanding and explaining religion, enabling students to prepare their own research. Prerequisite: admission to the comparative religion MAIS program or permission of instructor. Offered: A.
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RELIG 502 Religion in Comparative Perspective (5, max. 15)
Analysis of selected theme or symbols in relation to several different religious traditions. Topics vary. Prerequisite: admission to the comparative religion MAIS program or permission of instructor. Offered: W.
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RELIG 504 Religion and Culture (5)
Study of the relations between religion and culture, with attention to the role of religion in defining conceptions of order and grounding socio-political and artistic traditions.
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RELIG 520 Seminar On Early Christianity (5) Williams
Problems in the history and literature of early Christianity.
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RELIG 528 Christian Theology (5)
Study of exemplary figures in the history of Christian religious thought. Prerequisite: JSIS B 413.
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RELIG 534 Gender, Sex, and Religion (5) M. AHUVIA
Delves more deeply into foundational texts of the Bible, Judaism, and Christianity, while paying closer attention to historiographic trends in the field of gender and feminist studies of religion. With JSIS C 334/GWSS 334. Offered: jointly with GWSS 534; Sp.
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RELIG 580 Seminar in Hinduism Studies (5) Pauwels
Introduction to the academic study of Hinduism for graduate students. Examines major problems currently addressed in the academic study of Hinduism and the methods used. Provides a historical perspective on past scholarship. Offered: jointly with ASIAN 580.
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RELIG 590 Special Topics (2-5, max. 15)
Offered occasionally by visitors or resident faculty. Course content varies.
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RELIG 598 Colloquium in Comparative Religion (1, max. 6)
Required colloquium for graduate students in comparative religion program. Introduction to faculty research and to major methods and disciplines in the study of religion. Credit/no-credit only.
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