Religious Studies (including Religion)
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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.
CAS RN 561: Religion and International Relations
Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing and consent of instructor.
(Meets with CAS IR 561 and CAS PO 589.) Explores the role of religion in contemporary international relations in the context of questions about the common core of modernity. Reviews scholarly and policy literature, and case studies, in order to elucidate religion's intellectual and operational diversity in international relations.
CAS RN 563: Muslim Societies: An Interdisciplinary History
Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or consent of instructor.
Examines the states, empires, faiths, and ideologies of the Muslim world over a 1500-year period, including states from North and West Africa, through the Middle East, to Turkey, Iran, and then to Central and Southeast Asia. Also offered as CAS AH 539, AN 548, HI 596, and IR 515.
GRS RN 601: Varieties of Early Christianity
Undergraduate Prerequisites: 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.
GRS RN 602: 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.
GRS RN 612: Buddhism in America
The transplantation and transformation of Buddhism in the United States. Time period ranges from the 18th century to the present, but the emphasis is on contemporary developments, including the new Asian immigration, Jewish Buddhism, feminization, and engaged Buddhism.
GRS RN 614: 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 GRS HI 708. . This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area(s): Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry II.
GRS RN 616: Modern Islam
Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing.
Focuses on formations of Islam in colonial and postcolonial periods. How modernist and Islamist thinkers have negotiated the encounter between tradition and modernity.
GRS RN 625: Seminar: Early Jewish Mysticism
Analysis of the development of Jewish mysticism from the biblical to the early medieval era. Emphasis on the forms of mysticism--and the texts in which they are embedded-- from the rabbinic era. No knowledge of Hebrew is required.
GRS RN 628: Modern Judaism
Exploration of complex encounters between Judaism and modernity from the Renaissance and Reformation to expulsion from Spain and creation of Jewish centers in the New World; emancipation and its consequences; assimilation, conversion, Reform Judaism, Zionism, the American Jewish community, modern anti-Semitism.
GRS RN 629: 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.
GRS RN 638: 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.
GRS RN 640: The Quran
The emergence of the Quran as a major religious text, its structure and literary features, its principle themes and places within the religious and intellectual life of the Muslim community.
GRS RN 641: 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.
GRS RN 645: Islamic Law
A survey of major trends in Islamic jurisprudence from the 7th 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.
GRS RN 648: 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.
GRS RN 664: 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.
GRS RN 675: 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.