Religion

View courses in

  • 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. Topic for Fall 2014: Lived Islam. South Asian religions can be studied as textual traditions or as contextual ones. This seminar explores how Islam is lived on a daily basis by Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent. Emphasis on orthopraxy over orthodoxy.
  • CAS RN 427: Topics in American Religion
    Topic for Fall 2016: Religion and Politics in the United States. Exploration of the influence of religion on politics (and vice versa) in the United States with a focus on the 2016 election and some attention to earlier historical moments, including the founding, the civil rights movement, and the culture wars.
  • CAS RN 430: Topics in East Asian Religions
    Three topics are offered 2014/2015. Students may take one, two, or three for credit. Topic for Fall 2014: Buddhism, the State, and Politics in East Asia. Analyzes models of the ideal Buddhist ruler in China, Korea, and Japan and their behaviors both historically and in the present. Topics include state patronage and persecution of Buddhism as well as Buddhist rebellions and resistance to state control. Topics for Spring 2015. Section A1: Confucian Religious Ethics. Explores the ethical ideas that emerge from Confucianism's understanding of the human person in terms of his/her relationships rather than as an independent entity. Discussion topics include social roles, personal agency, and the cardinal virtue of ritual propriety. Section B1: Shamanism in East Asia. Approaches to shamanism in East Asia (China, Japan, Korea). Reading of original texts in translation and secondary scholarly studies. Topics include shamanism and state and local religion; myth and poetry; gender and mediumship; ancient and modern religion.
  • 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. Topic for Fall 2016: Mysticism: East and West. What is mysticism? In this interactive seminar, we engage in close reading and analysis of texts describing direct communion with a divine or absolute reality. Texts drawn from Chinese, Indian, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and Neoplatonic traditions. Also offered as CAS PH 485.
  • CAS RN 453: Topics in Religion and Sexuality
    Topic for Spring 2015: 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, Müller-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 460: Seminar on the Holocaust
    Seminar examining ethical and religious issues raised by the Holocaust, including anti-Semitism; treatment of Jewish women; nature of the perpetrators; actions of different countries; importance of ideology; the nature and degree of Jewish resistance; post-Holocaust theology.
  • 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 471: Topics in Ancient Christianity
    Topic for Spring 2016: Saints and Their Cults. The cult of living and dead saints was central to the development and spread of Christianity (as also Islam and Buddhism). This seminar addresses the interpretation of saints' lives, pilgrimage and ritual action at shrines, and the saint's festival.
  • CAS RN 490: Topics in the Materiality of Ancient Mediterranean Religions
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: prior coursework in archaeology or ancient religions, or consent of instructor.
    Investigates material traces and contexts of religion in the Graeco-Roman world, including iconic, architectural, votive, magical, and other archaeological remains; and draws on theories of space, image, and ritual performance. Topics vary. Also offered as CAS AR 435.
  • CAS RN 504: Topics in Religion and the Visual Arts
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or consent of instructor.
    In-depth discussion of special issues in the study of religion and art. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Topic for Fall 2015: Religious Architecture in Islam: Mosques, Shrines, and Tombs. Examines a select group of buildings from the Islamic world in terms of architecture and religious practice. Topics include monuments such as the Ka'ba, the Dome of the Rock, or the Taj Mahal. Also offered as CAS AH 504.
  • CAS RN 524: Topics in Religion and Literature
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing and one course in literature or religion, or consent of instructor.
    Three topics are offered 2014/2015. Students may register for one, two, or three for credit. Topic for Fall 2014: Apocalypse and Literature. Literary responses to the biblical book of Revelation, from ancient to modern times. Systematic analysis of the biblical text. Readings from Dante, Langland, Rabelais, Blake, Hölderlin, Dostoevsky, García Lorca, Samuel Beckett, and Flannery O'Connor. Reference to artistic and musical representations of apocalypse. Also offered as CAS XL 560 A1. Topics for Spring 2015. Section A1: Russian Literature and Spirituality. Explores literary experimentation with religious ideas (e.g., spirit, soul, heaven, hell, crucifixion, gnosis, resurrection, sin, immortality) in the increasingly anti-religious environment of late imperial and Soviet Russia. Authors include Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Bely, Akhmatova, Mandelstam, Platonov, Tarkovsky. Supplemental readings from philosophy/theory. Also offered as CAS XL 560 A1. Section B1: The Unique Individual in Literature (narrative fiction) and in Religious Thought. Readings from the fiction of Goethe, Melville, Dostoevsky, Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy, poetry and short stories of Poe. Comparison between the discursive (religious thought) and non-discursive forms (literature) for apprehending and expressing the mystery, paradox, and fragility of human life. Also offered as CAS XL 560 B1.
  • CAS RN 526: Topics in Religion and Literature in East Asia
    Topic for Fall 2015: The Story of the Stone. A masterpiece of world literature, depicts the interworkings of love, tragedy, honor, and drama within a Buddho-Daoist cosmos set in the everyday life of Chinese Confucianism. This course emphasizes the religious traditions of Chinese culture. Also offered as CAS LC 470 B1 and CAS XL 470 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.