Courses

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  • CAS RN 396: Philosophy of Religion
    Critical survey of the manner in which philosophers over the centuries have evaluated the truth and value claims of various religions. Focus on Hegel and the nineteenth-century emergence of "philosophy of religion" as a subdiscipline of philosophy and theology.
  • CAS RN 397: Topics in Philosophy and Religion
    Topic for Fall 2012: God and the "End" of Art: Aesthetics, Value, and Transcendence in the Modern Age. Examines the relation between aesthetic and other forms of value in the modern world, including the question of whether art has come to an "end." Featuring visiting lecturers in fall Institute for Philosophy and Religion lecture series. Also offered as CAS PH 456.
  • CAS RN 412: Theology of Christian Mysticism
    A concentrated venture in philosophical theology. Lectures, reading, and discussion center on the thought, not the praxis, of selected major mystics in the Christian tradition. Overviews Greek philosophical backgrounds; closely examines Eckhart, Nicholas of Cusa, Boehme, and William Blake.
  • CAS RN 420: Maimonides
    A study of major aspects of the thought of Maimonides. Primary focus on the Guide of the Perplexed, with attention to its modern reception in works by Baruch Spinoza, Hermann Cohen, Leo Strauss, and others. Also offered as CAS PH 409.
  • CAS RN 423: Core Texts and Motifs of World Religions: West
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS CC 101 and CAS CC 102; or two courses in religion or philosophy.
    An intensive seminar in primary texts and key ideas of theology and religious philosophy as developed in representative world religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam. First course in a year-long sequence. Each semester may be taken independently.
  • CAS RN 424: Core Texts and Motifs of World Religions: East
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS CC 101 and CAS CC 102; or two courses in religion or philosophy.
    An intensive seminar in primary texts and key ideas of theology and religious philosophy as developed in representative world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism. Second course in a year-long sequence. Each semester may be taken independently.
  • CAS RN 425: Topics in South Asian Religions
    Specific aspects of South Asian religions within a historical or comparative/ phenomenological framework. Topics vary from year to year.
  • CAS RN 427: Topics in American Religion
    Two topics are offered 2012/2013. Students may take one or both for credit. Topic for Fall 2012: American Evangelicalism. Major trends in American evangelicalism, from the colonial awakenings and religious reform to the contemporary Christian Right. Focus on how evangelicals have negotiated and shaped central tenets of American culture, including understandings of gender, race, performance, nation, sexuality, and economics. Topic for Spring 2013: Atheism and Agnosticism in U.S. History. A historical exploration of skeptics and freethinkers in the United States from figures such as Thomas Paine and "The Great Agnostic" Robert Ingersoll to Christopher Hitchens and other "New Atheists."
  • CAS RN 429: Religion and Politics in South Asia
    Meets with CAS IR 429. Explores the relationship between religion and politics in pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial South Asia through readings of primary texts as well as debates on religious reform/revival, nationalism, caste, and partition.
  • CAS RN 430: Topics in East Asian Religions
    Topic for Spring 2013: TBA.
  • CAS RN 434: Representations of Muhammad
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: at least one course on Islam.
    Explores Muslim and non-Muslim representations of Muhammad over the centuries in prose biographies, poetry, and film. Attention to differences of genre across time and space. Focuses on shifting ideas about holiness, sex, violence, and revelation.
  • CAS RN 435: Women, Gender, and Islam
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS RN 104 or CAS RN 214; or equivalent.
    Investigates the way Muslim religious discourse, norms, and practices create and sustain gender and hierarchy in religious, social, and familial life. Looks at historical and contemporary challenges posed to these structures.
  • CAS RN 439: Jewish Bioethics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or consent of instructor.
    Exploration of Jewish perspectives on life, death and dying, abortion, the new reproductive technologies, organ transplantation and genetic engineering. Examination of the impact of the Nazi doctors, racial hygiene, euthanasia, and genocide on contemporary bioethics.
  • CAS RN 452: Topics in Religious Thought
    Topics vary from year to year. Two topics are offered 2012/2013. Students may take one or both for credit. Topic for Fall 2012: Happiness and the Good Life, East and West. What is happiness? How can we achieve a balanced, healthy, flourishing life? Classical thinkers such as Aristotle, Plato, Chuang Tzu; Stoic, Epicurean, Confucian, Buddhist paths; comparison with contemporary happiness studies. Also offered as CAS PH 485. Topic for Spring 2013: Theology and Literature. Explores the theological relevance of literature through an examination of contemporary fiction and examines the benefits and limitations of writing theology in the form of fiction.
  • CAS RN 453: Topics in Religion and Sexuality
    Topic for Fall 2011: The Body and Sexuality in Classical Religious Texts. Treats foundational primary sources in translation on sex and the body in several world religions. Consideration of differences in sources: genre, gender, modern/classical. Traditions include Greek, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Daoist.
  • CAS RN 459: Primo Levi Within Holocaust Literature
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS LL 281 or CAS RN 384; or junior standing or consent of instructor.
    A study of Primo Levi's writings and scientific, theological, and philosophical approaches to the Holocaust. Other theorists (Arendt, Wiesel, Muller-Hill) and other survivors' testimonies (Delbo, Borowski, Fink) are read in conjunction with Levi's works. Also offered as CAS LI 459 and CAS XL 459.
  • CAS RN 466: Religion and the Problem of Tolerance
    Explores the religious roots of tolerance as an alternative to secular, more liberal foundations for pluralism. Grapples with the challenge of tolerance to the revealed religions and the ways different societies have met or failed to meet this challenge.
  • CAS RN 468: Symbol, Myth, and Rite
    Historical overview of ritual behavior, the role of symbolism in the study of culture, and the narrative quality of worldview and belief. Emphasis on verbal performance and public display events in specific cultural contexts.
  • CAS RN 469: Critique of Religion
    Philosophical critiques of revealed religion from the Enlightenment to the twentieth century, including analysis of criticisms in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Major trends examined include rationalism, historicism, anthropological materialism, and nihilism.
  • CAS RN 470: Topics in Medieval Religious Culture
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or consent of instructor.
    Topic for Fall 2013: Christian, Muslim, and Jew: Religion, Community, and Culture in Medieval Spain. Interactions between Muslims, Christians, and Jews in medieval Europe's most religiously diverse region - from the establishment of an Islamic al-Andalus in 711 CE to the final Christian "reconquest" of the peninsula and expulsion of the Jews in 1492 CE. Also offered as CAS HI 407.