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Religious Studies Courses (REL)

Spring 2014 Religious Studies Courses

101 World Religions: Asian Traditions (4)

Introduction to related religious traditions of Asia, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism and Shinto. Readings in sacred texts and scholarly literature. Lecture, discussion. Unno.

102 World Religions: Near Eastern Traditions (4)

Introduction to the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and to related traditions such as the Zoroastrian, Manichaean, Mandean, Baha’i. Lecture, discussion. Colby, Shoemaker.

199 Special Studies: [Topic] (15R)

211 Early Judaism (4)

Development of the Jewish religion from its earliest existence until the Christian era. Baskin, Falk.

222, 223 Introduction to the Bible I,II (4,4):

222: Content and organization of the Hebrew scriptures (Old Testament); examination of scholarly methods and research tools used in biblical studies. Falk, Green. 223: examination of the written traditions of early Christianity with an emphasis on the New Testament.

233 Introduction to Islam (4)

Islamic religious tradition, beginnings to present. Pre-Islamic Arabia, Prophet Muhammed, pillars of Islam, ethics and piety, Sunni-Shiite divide, reform and renewal movements. Colby.

302 Chinese Religions (4)

Prehistoric roots of Chinese religion, Confucius and his followers, philosophical Daoism, Han Confucianism, religious Daoism, Chinese Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism, religion in China today. Unno.

303 Japanese Religions (4)

Early Shinto and its developments, Japanese Buddhism, transformation of Daoism and Confucianism, medieval Shinto, religion in the Tokugawa period, Nationalistic Shinto, folk religion, new religions. Unno.

304 Religions of India (4)

An introduction to the major religious traditions of the Indian subcontinent: Hinduism and Buddhism, and more briefly Sikhism and Jainism. Howard.

305 Hinduism: Myth and Tradition (4)

A survey of Hinduism, examining its complex system of doctrines, myths, rituals and spiritual practices, and their historical development. Howard.

317 Jesus and the Gospels (4)

Considers early evidence for Jesus, including canonical and noncanonical gospels, in light of critical scholarship and historical reconstructions. Falk.

318 Women in Judaism (4)

Women and their roles in Judaism; emphasis on early modern and contemporary eras. Texts read include historical, literary, and theoretical documents. Baskin.

321, 322, 323 History of Christianity (4,4,4)

Course of Christian history in East and West; relations between spirituality, doctrine, and institutional forms. 321: the ancient period, from the Apostolic Fathers to the Islamic conquests (90-650). 322: medieval Western Christianity, from the Germanic invasions to the Reformation (400-500). 323: modern Western Christianity, from the Reformation to the present (1500 to the present). Shoemaker.

324, 325 History of Eastern Christianity (4,4) 324:

Byzantine Christianity from the founding of the Christian Roman Empire to the Fall of Constantinople in the 15th century. 325: The Eastern churches from the 15th century to the present. Prereq: REL 321 or equivalent. Shoemaker.

335 Introduction to the Qur'an (4)

An introduction to the nature of the Qur'an and the various ways it has been interpreted throughout history by both Muslims and non-Muslims. Prereq: REL 233 Introduction to Islam. Colby.

353 Dark Self, East and West (4)

Comparative examination of selfhood in Eastern and Western religious thought and cultural contexts. Focus on dark side or problematic dimensions of Buddhist, Christian, Daoist, Jewish, and other thought. Unno.

355 Mysticism (4)

The experiential or mystical dimensions of the three major Abrahamic faiths. Exploration of the original writings of men and women from each spiritual tradition.

399 Special Studies: [Topic] (1-5R)

401 Research: [Topic] (1-4R)

403 Thesis (1-4R)

405 Reading and Conference: [Topic] (1-4R)

407/507 Seminar: [Topic] (1-4R)

408/508 Colloquium: [Topic] (1-4R)

409 Supervised Tutoring (1-4R)

410/510 Experimental Course: [Topic] (1-4R)

412/512 Dead Sea Scrolls: [Topic] (4R)

Exploration of the Dead Sea Scrolls literature. Focus on either biblical texts and the development of the Hebrew Bible or nonbiblical texts and sectarian Judaism. Prereq: REL 211. R once when topic changes for a maximum of 8 credits. Falk.

414/514 Biblical Book: [Topic] (4R)

Close reading of one or more books of the Judeo-Christian Bible in literary, historical, and cultural contexts; history of interpretation; and critical scholarship. Prereq: REL 211. R twice when topic changes for a maximum of 12 credits. Falk.

418/518 Martyrdom (4)

Exploration of themes of sacrifice and martyrdom in ancient and medieval literatures of the Abrahamic traditions. Comparative approach to development of concepts within and across religious boundaries. Green.

420/520 Jewish and Christian Spiritual Autobiographies (4)

Explores autobiographies written by Christians and Jews from late antiquity to the present. Emphasis on history of western spirituality and focus on Jewish and Christian religious commonalities and differences. Baskin.

424/524 Early and Medieval Christian Heresy (4)

Survey of various heretical beliefs from early medieval Christian history; examines alternative visions of Christian Truth, and the formation from heterodoxy of orthodoxy. Shoemaker.

426/526 Sex and Gender in Early Christianity (4)

Study of how and why certain early Christians sought, successfully, to normalize certain interrelated cultural constructions of gender, the body, and sexuality. Shoemaker.

432/532 Islamic Mystical Thought (4)

Inner dimensions of Islamic piety and righteousness, from the Koranic and prophetic foundations to principal thinkers in the medieval Arabic and Persian Sufi traditions. Colby.

435/535 Advanced Topics in Qur'an and Interpretation (4R)

Close reading of a section (sura) of the Qur'an in terms of its literary, historical, and cultural contexts, history of interpretation, and critical scholarship. Prereq: REL 335  R Different content. Colby.

440/540 Readings in Buddhist Scriptures (4)

Readings in representative scriptures in English translation. Selection based on their import in development of Indian Buddhist philosophy and their impact on evolution of East Asian forms of Buddhism. Unno.

444/544 Medieval Japanese Buddhism (4)

Medieval Japanese Buddhism of the 12th and 13th centuries. Examination of religious thought and cultural history including Zen and Pure Land. Unno.

450/550 Readings in Daoism: [Topic] (4R)

Close reading of one or more Daoist texts in English. Emphasis on religious, philosophical, historical contexts; history of interpretation; critical scholarship. R when topic changes.

454/554 Readings in Confucianism: [Topic] (4R)

Close reading of one or more Confucian texts in English translation with attention to religious, philosophical, historical contexts, history of interpretation, critical scholarship. R when topic changes.

605 Reading and Conference: [Topic] (1-16R)

608 Colloquium: [Topic] (1-16R)

609 Supervised Tutoring (1-16R)