Religious Studies (including Religion)

  • 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.
    Topic for Fall 2017: 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, Holderlin, Dostoevsky, Garcia Lorca, Samuel Beckett, and Flannery O'Connor. Reference to artistic and musical representations of apocalypse. Also offered as CAS XL 560.
  • 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.
  • 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 607: Medieval Christian Spirituality
    Explores Christian beliefs and practices in medieval Europe within and outside formal church structures. Topics include accommodation of pagan culture, constructing identity, clerical and lay piety, heterodox practice and institutional response, and encounter with non-Christian traditions.
  • 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 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 622: History of Judaism
    Major trends in postbiblical Judaism; academy and synagogue; Mishna and Talmud; Babylonian diaspora; medieval poetry, philosophy, and mysticism; codes of law; organization of the Jewish community "in exile"; land of Israel; Judaism and Islamic and Christian civilization.
  • 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 626: The Kabbalah
    Introduction to a major trend in Jewish mysticism that combined cosmic speculation and ecstatic practice, influenced Jewish prayer and Christian Renaissance thought, and remains popular today. Discusses Kabbalah's cultural roots, mystical techniques, major texts (including "Zohar"), and contemporary revival.
  • 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.