Courses

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  • 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 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 in Europe from antiquity through the Enlightenment. Explores global cultural exchange, distinctions across social, educational, gender, and religious lines, the rise of modern science, and changing assumptions about God, Nature, and humanity. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings, Critical Thinking.
    • Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Critical Thinking
  • 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
    An interactive seminar, investigating 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. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy.
    • Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
  • 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 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 314: Religious Thought in America
    Surveys many of the strategies that American religious thinkers have adopted for interpreting the cosmos, the social order and human experience, and the interaction of those strategies with broader currents of American culture. Also offered as CAS HI 308.
  • 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. Cannot be taken for credit in addition to CAS CL 317. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Critical Thinking
  • 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.
  • CAS RN 350: Comparative Religious Ethics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120).
    This course invites students to consider what organized religion has to offer those seeking to live a good life by looking at the ethical teachings of two Western (Judaism and Christianity) and two Eastern (Confucianism and Buddhism) traditions. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Ethical Reasoning, Writing-Intensive Course.
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS RN 365: Art, Media, and Buddhism
    Examines how textual, visual, and material forms of religious expressions have been conceptualized by Buddhists as well as how Buddhist objects are understood and re- contextualized in the West. Topics include: self- immolation; museums; war propaganda, and pop culture. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Historical Consciousness, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • CAS RN 379: Religion and Politics
    Introduction to the comparative study of the political role of religious institutions and beliefs. Covers issues such as religion's relationship to violence and terrorism, democracy and human rights, group identity, gender and sexuality, and modernity and secularism. Also offered as CAS IR 337 and CAS PO 379.
  • CAS RN 400: Writng Religion
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120).
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS RN 406: Biblical Fakes and Forgeries
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: Religion majors or minors with junior or senior standing, or consent of instructor.
    Examines issues relating forged documents and artifacts relating to the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. Examples of forgeries (alleged and certain) include: book of Daniel, Letter of Aristeas, Gnostic Gospels, Secret Gospel of Mark; forged Scrolls in museum collections.
  • CAS RN 524: Topics in Religion and Literature
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing and one course in literature or religion, or consent of instructor.
    May be repeated for credit as topics change. Two topics are offered Spring 2018. Section A1: Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov. Close, careful study of Dostoevsky's masterpiece, with eye to philosophical, theological, cultural, literary significance; explores Dostoevsky's reinvention of the novel alongside questions of morality, justice, selfhood, modernity, the meaning of life. In English. Also offered as CAS LR 456 A1 and CAS XL 560 A1. Section B1: Gender and Religion in the Graphic Novel. Examines the aesthetics of comic art and the graphic novel as they emphasize gendered, religious, and cultural identities. Focus on Judaism and Islam, two storytelling traditions that use graphic novels to transport readers in time and space. Also offered as CAS WS 300 C1 and CAS XL 560 B1.
  • CAS RN 555: Dante's Hell
    A close reading of one text, Dante Aligheri's Inferno, with attention to its medieval contexts: philosophical, theological, and historical. Analysis of the poetic means by which Dante represents both human evil and human hope. Bi-lingual text. Lectures and discussion in English. Also offered as CAS LI 555 and CAS XL 383.
  • CAS RN 556: Dante: The Divine Comedy II: Purgatorio and Paradiso
    Focus on the literary, philosophical, and theological ideas Dante uses to represent his experience of himself and of human nature. Bi-lingual texts. Lectures and discussions in English. Also offered as CAS LI 556 and CAS XL 385.