Religious & Theological Studies (including Religion)

  • GRS RN 661: 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.
  • GRS RN 663: 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.
  • 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 668: 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.
  • GRS RN 675: Culture, Society and Religion in South Asia
    An ethographic and historical introduction to the Indian subcontinent with a focus on the impact of religion on cultural practices and social institutions. Topics to be covered include kinship, gender, geography, linguistic diversity, ethnicity, ritual, agriculture, economics and politics, expressive tradition, colonialism and nationalism and communal violence.
  • GRS RN 682: 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 GRS AA 882 and GRS HI 749.
  • GRS RN 684: 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.
  • GRS RN 685: 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.
  • GRS RN 687: 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 GRS AN 784.
  • GRS RN 690: Archaeology in the Holy Land
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing.
    In Israel, archaeology is part of current events. We study material remains from the Israelite to the Muslim conquests (c. 1200 BCE -- 640 CE) to learn how physical evidence is created and still plays a role in a larger historical drama. Also offered as GRS AR 742.
  • GRS RN 696: Philosophy of Religion
    Critical survey of the manner in which philosophers over the centuries have evaluated the truth and value claims of various religions. Focus on Hegel and the nineteenth-century emergence of "philosophy of religion" as a subdiscipline of philosophy and theology.
  • GRS RN 697: Topics in Philosophy and Religion
    Topic for Fall 2014: Philosophy and the Future of Religion. Examines key questions in the contemporary philosophy of religion, including the possibility of religion without God, "naturalized" or scientific views of religion, religious pluralism, and inter-religious tolerance. Featuring visiting lecturers in fall Institute for Philosophy and Religion lecture series. Also offered as GRS PH 656.
  • GRS RN 710: Religion, Community, and Culture in Medieval Spain
    Interactions between Muslims, Christians, and Jews in medieval Europe's most religiously diverse region -- from the establishment of an Islamic al-Andalus in 711 CE to the final Christian "reconquest" of the peninsula and expulsion of the Jews in 1492 CE. Also offered as GRS HI 710.
  • GRS RN 712: Theology of Christian Mysticism
    A concentrated venture in philosophical theology. This lecture, reading, and discussion course centers on the thought, not the praxis, of selected major mystics in the Christian tradition. Overviews Greek philosophical backgrounds then moves to a close examination of Eckhart, Nicolas of Cusa, Boehme, and William Blake.
  • GRS RN 720: Maimonides
    A study of major aspects of the thought of Maimonides. Primary focus on the Guide of the Perplexed, with attention to its modern reception in works by Baruch Spinoza, Hermann Cohen, Leo Strauss, and others.
  • GRS RN 723: Core Texts and Motifs of World Religions: West
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing.
    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. Also offered as STH TT 901.
  • GRS RN 724: Core Texts and Motifs of World Religions: East
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing.
    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. Also offered as STH TT 902.
  • GRS RN 725: Topics in South Asian Religion
    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.
  • GRS RN 727: Topics in American Religion
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing.
    Topic for Fall 2014: American Spiritual Autobiography. Exploration of the art of portraying the self in the light of the divine in U.S. history with an emphasis on contemporary work. Possible authors include: Thomas Merton, Swami Yogananda, Malcolm X, Ann Lamott, Richard Rodriguez, Elie Wiesel, Jarena Lee.
  • GRS RN 729: Religion and Politics in South Asia
    Meets with GRS RN 729. Explores the relationship between religion and politics in pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial South Asia through readings of primary texts as well as debates on religious reform/revival, nationalism, caste, and partition.