Courses

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  • CAS RN 208: Sacred and Secular Power in Christianity and Islam
    Explores the relationship between sacred and secular power within the Christian and Islamic traditions, with a focus on how their foundational texts and earliest communities established models for negotiating the porous boundary between the sacred and the secular. Also offered as CAS HI 213.
  • CAS RN 209: Religion, Health, and Medicine
    How religious and moral narratives inform approaches to biomedicine from the nineteenth century to the present, including understandings of disease, illness, health, sexuality, and the body. Topics include medicine and prayer, alternative medicine, and boundaries between medicine and religion.
  • CAS RN 210: Buddhism
    A historical introduction to the major themes of Indian Buddhist thought and practice with special attention to the development of Buddhism in Tibet.
  • CAS RN 212: Christianity
    Introduction to Christian thought and practice in a world context, origins to present. Topics include sin, salvation, sacramnent, sacred text, bodies and souls, community, authority and the individual, Christians and non-Christians, and the challenge of modernity.
  • CAS RN 213: Hinduism
    Introduction to the Hindu tradition. Ritual and philosophy of the Vedas and Upanishads, yoga in the Bhagavad Gita, gods and goddesses in Hindu mythology, "popular" aspects of village and temple ritual, and problems of modernization and communalism in postcolonial India.
  • CAS RN 214: Islam
    The rise and spread of Islam from the seventh century to the present; introduction to its central beliefs, institutions, and practices, and its impact on the religious and cultural history of Asia and Africa. Continuity and change in the modern period.
  • CAS RN 215: Japanese Religion
    Introduction to Japanese religions, including Shintoism and Zen, Pure Land, and Tantric Buddhism. Focus on Zen Buddhism and its cultural expression in both geido (way of the arts) and bushdo (way of the warrior). Brief examination of the modern Japanese philosophy of religion.
  • CAS RN 216: Judaism
    Systematic and historical introduction to doctrines, customs, literature, and movements of Judaism; biblical religion and literature; rabbinic life and thought; medieval mysticism and philosophy; modern movement and developments.
  • CAS RN 220: Holy City: Jerusalem in Time, Space, and Imagination
    Transformation of an ordinary ancient city into the holy city of Jews, Christians, and Muslims; and development of modern Jerusalem, as shaped by British rule, Zionism, and Palestinian nationalism. Jerusalem's past, present, and meanings considered through analyses of religious and secular rhetoric.
  • CAS RN 224: Women and Religion
    Explores the roles, images, and experiences of women across a range of religious traditions. Topics key to the study of religion and gender are considered, including religious experience, the gendering of the body, and sources of religious authority.
  • CAS RN 241: Topics in Religion & Evil
    Topics vary; may be repeated for credit. Topic for Fall 2014: Evil and Suffering in World Literature. Explores the philosophical, theological, and ethical issues raised by suffering and evil in Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian literature. Topics include the perils of perfection and the problem of original sin.
  • CAS RN 242: Magic, Science, and Religion
    Boundaries and relationships between magic, science, and religion from late antiquity through the European Enlightenment. Topics include transformation of pagan traditions, distinctions between learned and popular traditions, Scientific Revolution, and changing assumptions about God and Nature. Also offered as CAS HI 203. CAS RN 242 carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS RN 243: Shamans and Shamanism
    Shamans in global and theoretical perspectives. The origins and construction of the category of shamanism. Modern theories and debates about the category and the appropriateness of applying it cross-culturally. Also offered as CAS AN 243.
  • CAS RN 245: Religious Thought: The Quest for God and the Good
    Introduction to religious thought, exploring the aims of human life, the place of God in the good life, and the role of contemplation and action in the spiritual quest. Readings from Plato, Aristotle, Bible, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Augustine, Maimonides, Ghazzali.
  • CAS RN 301: Varieties of Early Christianity
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing. At least one prior course in biblical or New Testament literature recommended.
    Surveys the many different and often competing forms of Christianity that arose and flourished in the second to the seventh century, from the "apostolic period" to the Arab conquest in the Middle East.
  • CAS RN 308: The Open Heaven: Apocalyptic Literature in Early Judaism and Christianity
    Examines literary and historical roots of "apocalypticism" in early Judaism and Christianity. Attention to literary genre, symbolism, metaphor, heaven, hell, angelology, demonology, attitudes toward the end of the world. Examines relationship of apocalypticism to shamanism, mysticism, magic, gnosticism, liturgy.
  • CAS RN 309: Theology and Piety in Catholic Christianity
    Roman Catholic Theology, tradition and piety, with additional reference to the Orthodox Churches and to the Anglican Communion. Dogmas, a sacramental view of reality, a vision of human nature, forms of devout life. Catholic inspiration in art and music.
  • CAS RN 310: The Reformation: Religious Conflict in Early Modern Europe
    Examines religious change in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe, particularly the origins and causes of the Protestant Reformation, the parallel Catholic Reformation, and the consequent military conflicts in Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Also offered as CAS HI 209.
  • CAS RN 312: Buddhism in America
    The transplantation and transformation of Buddhism in the United States. Time period ranges from the eighteenth century to the present, but the emphasis is on contemporary developments, including the new Asian immigration, Jewish Buddhism, feminization, and engaged Buddhism.
  • CAS RN 316: Modern Islam
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: one course in RN or PH, or CC101/102, or consent of instructor.
    Focuses on formations of Islam in colonial and postcolonial periods. How modernist and Islamist thinkers have negotiated the encounter between tradition and modernity.