Religious & Theological Studies (including Religion)

  • GRS RN 730: Topics in East Asian Religion
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing.
    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.
  • GRS RN 735: Women, Gender,and Islam
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing.
    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.
  • GRS RN 739: Jewish Bioethics
    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.
  • GRS RN 752: Topics in Religious Thought
    Topics vary from year to year. Topic for Fall 2014: Happiness, East and West. What is happiness? How can we achieve a balanced, healthy, fulfilling life? Classical thinkers such as Aristotle, Plato, Chuang Tzu; Buddhist, Confucian, Epicurean, and Stoic paths; comparison with contemporary studies of happiness.
  • GRS RN 766: 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.
  • GRS RN 768: 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
  • GRS RN 770: Topics in Medieval Religious Culture
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing.
    Topic for Fall 2013: Christian, Muslim, and Jew: 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 807.
  • GRS RN 794: Magical Texts: Literature & Practice
    An advanced course in the interpretation of ancient magical texts, emphasizing the use of theoretical models (Malinowksi, Tambiah, J.Z. Smith) for understanding a selection of ritual manuals, amulets, binding tablets, and mystical ascent texts from Greco-Roman, Jewish, and Christian antiquity.
  • GRS RN 795: Humanities Approaches to Religion
    Introduces major theoretical questions in the humanistic study of religion. Examines the nature and origin of religion as well as definitions and critiques of religion from comparative, historical, sociological, literary standpoints as well as postmodern and gender studies approaches.
  • GRS RN 796: Social Science Approaches to Religion
    Introduces major theoretical questions in the social scientific study of religion. Examines approaches of Marx, Durkheim, and Freud among others.
  • GRS RN 797: Philosophical and Theological Approaches to Religion
    An introduction to philosophical and theological approaches to the study of religion(s) as distinct from other humanities-based and social-scientific approaches. Provides a common vocabulary for students pursuing historical, constructive, or interdisciplinary projects related to religious thought.