Courses

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  • 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 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 239: Religion and Science
    Examines the complex relationship between science and religion, focusing on historical episodes (e.g., the "Galileo Affair") and current controversies (e.g., "Intelligent Design" movement's influence on school curricula, "Spirituality and Health" research, and "Ecology and Religion.")
  • 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 244: Introduction to Chinese Philosophy
    An introduction to the Chinese philosophical tradition, including a study of classical Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Mohism, Legalism, and modern developments. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. Also offered as CAS PH 247.
  • CAS RN 245: Religious Thought: The Quest for God and the Good
    Investigates the meaning and purpose of human life, the significance of God or an Absolute, the role of contemplation and action in the spiritual quest, relationships between philosophy and religious thought, East and West. Also offered as CAS PH 245.
  • CAS RN 248: Food and Religion
    Explores the intersection of religion and food, using food to learn about religion and religion to study the role of food in human societies. Topics include feasting; fasting; feeding God(s), spirits, ancestors; eating/not eating animals; ingesting alcohol and psychoactive plants.
  • CAS RN 249: Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism
    Exploration of historical and contemporary manifestations of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. Students use various theoretical approaches to examine a wide range of relevant texts (written and visual) from late antiquity to modern America. Includes active learning and fieldwork.
  • 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 302: Early Christian Women
    An examination of the lives, concerns, and roles of women during the first four Christian centuries. Engages texts that present women as disciples, missionaries, ascetics, and church leaders, with attention to ancient gender constructions.
  • CAS RN 307: Medieval Christianity
    Explores Christian beliefs and practices in medieval Europe within and outside formal church structures. Topics include accommodation of pagan culture, constructing identity, clerical and lay piety, heterodox practice and institutional response, and encounter with non-Christian traditions.
  • 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 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.
  • CAS RN 317: Greek and Roman Religion
    Survey of ancient Greek and Roman religions and their development from earliest beginnings to the eclipse of paganism. Theories and practices of these religions, comparisons with other religions, and relationships to Judaism and Christianity.
  • CAS RN 318: Religion and American Foreign Policy
    Introduction to the historical roots and contemporary relevance of religion for American foreign policy. Uses conventional chronological approaches to explore key themes that illustrate the role of religion as input and object of American foreign policy. Also offered as CAS IR 318.