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CAS RN 329: Modern Jewish Thought
Reading Jewish thinkers from the radical Enlightenment to twentieth century existentialism and Zionism, this course introduces some of the great philosophical debates on religion and secularism, revelation and scientific reason, and ethnic particularism and universal ethics.
CAS RN 330: American Jewish Experiences
Traces the achievements and reputations of Jews, shaped by stereotypes of wealth, power, intellect and sexuality. Students examine film, literature, art, popular music, attitudes towards Israel, religious practices, and intermarriage rates for evidence of changing trends.
CAS RN 334: Dead Sea Scrolls
Examination of the ancient Hebrew documents discovered in the Judean desert. Their authorship; the theological significance of the Scrolls; their relations to Ancient Judaism and early Christianity; the controversy over their release and publication.
CAS RN 337: Gender and Judaism
Explores the role of gender and sexuality in Judaism and Jewish experience, historically and in the present. Subjects include constructions of masculinity and femininity, attitudes toward (and uses of) the body and sexuality, gendered nature of religious practice and authority.
CAS RN 338: Mysticism and Philosophy: Jewish and Islamic Perspectives
Thematic introduction to mysticism and philosophy, with a focus on dynamics of religious experience. Readings from medieval Jewish and Islamic philosophy; Sufi mysticism and philosophy; Kabbalah, Biblical interpretation, Sufi poetry, Hebrew poetry from the Golden Age of Muslim Spain.
CAS RN 339: The Modern Jew
Explores Jewish modernity through attitudes toward place (migration, diaspora, land of Israel) and history (utopian, pragmatic, secular, religious), as well as individual and collective modes of Jewish self- expression, including literature, art, music, and film. Credit toward minor in Jewish Studies and major/minor in Religion.
CAS RN 340: The Quran
The emergence of the Quran as a major religious text, its structure and literary features, and its principal themes and places within the religious and intellectual life of the Muslim community.
CAS RN 341: Islamic Mysticism: Sufism
Rise and development of the mystical movement in early Islam; analysis of the thought of leading Sufi brotherhoods, their organization, liturgy, and religious life; the impact of Sufism on classical and postclassical Islam.
CAS RN 345: Islamic Law
A survey of major trends in Islamic jurisprudence from the seventh century to the present; the structure of Islamic law, its regulative principles, its place in Islamic society, and the mechanisms by which it is elaborated and applied.
CAS RN 348: Rumi and Persian Sufi Poetry
Introduction to the Persian Sufi poet Rumi's narrative and lyric writings. Beginning with an introduction to Islamic mysticism, studies the innovative aspects of Rumi's poetry and the problem of profane vs. sacred love. All readings in English translation. Also offered as CAS LZ 281.
CAS RN 360: Daoist Religion
A historical survey of the Daoist traditions in China. The philosophy of Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu and Han dynasty religion. Early Daoist movements, as well as the heyday of the religion in the Six Dynasties and the Tang. Modern Daoism as it was first formed in the Tang dynasty is also discussed.
CAS RN 361: Confucian Religion
Religious aspects of Confucianism, with attention to the Analects. Topics include ceremony, song and poetry, morality and sagehood, ancestral sacrifice; establishment of Confucianism as state religion; role of women; and modernity. Also offered as CAS LC 280.
CAS RN 363: Zen Buddhism
A study of Zen teachings and practices as a sect of Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, as a philosophic system, and as a pattern of culture.
CAS RN 364: Buddhist Literature
Focuses on Buddhist sutras and other literature to explore key issues of doctrine, philosophy, and praxis in the Theravada and Mahayana traditions of Buddhism. Topics include the Buddha's life, practicing the path, emptiness, and interdependence.
CAS RN 368: 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. Also offered as CAS HI 294.
CAS RN 375: Culture, Society, and Religion in South Asia
Ethnographic and historical introduction to the Indian subcontinent with a focus on the impact of religion on cultural practices and social institutions.
CAS RN 382: History of Religion in Pre-Colonial Africa
The study of the development of religious traditions in Africa during the period prior to European colonialism. An emphasis on both indigenous religions and the growth and spread of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in the continent as a whole. Also offered as CAS AA 382 and CAS HI 349.
CAS RN 384: The Holocaust
Background of German (and European) anti-Semitism. Rise of Nazism and early oppression, initial Jewish reaction, mechanics of destruction, ghettos, camps, world response and nonresponse, literature of the Holocaust, and religious implications.
CAS RN 385: Representations of the Holocaust in Literature and Film
Questions of representation in literature and film about the Holocaust, including testimonial and fictive works by Wiesel and Levi, Ozick, and others; films include documentaries and feature films. Discussions of the Holocaust as historical reality, metaphor, and generative force in literature. Also offered as CAS XL 281.
CAS RN 387: Anthropology of Religion
Myth, ritual, and religious experience across cultures. Special attention to the problem of religious symbolism and meaning, religious conversion and revitalization, contrasts between traditional and world religions, and the relation of religious knowledge to science, magic, and ideology. Also offered as CAS AN 384.