Graduate Level Courses in the Department of Religion
See the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Bulletin for all courses offered by the Division
Fall 2014 Graduate Courses
CAS RN524/XL560/STH TX826
Apocalypse and Literature
Topics in Religion and Literature
Faculty: Dennis Costa
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.
Prereq: junior standing and one course in literature or religion, or consent of instructor.
CAS RN561/IR561/STH TX874
Religion and International Relations
Faculty: Jeremy Menchik
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 religions intellectual and operational diversity in international relations.
CAS RN563/HI596/AH539/AN548/ STH TX847
Muslim Societies: An Interdisciplinary History
Faculty: Betty Anderson
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.
GRS RN616/STH TX856
Faculty: Teena Purohit
Focuses on formations of Islam in colonial and postcolonial periods. How modernist and Islamist thinkers have negotiated the encounter between tradition and modernity.
Prereq: one course in RN or PH, or CC101/102, or consent of instructor.
GRS RN625/STH TX818
Jewish Mysticism I: Formative Traditions
Faculty: Steven Katz
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 RN630/STH TX896
American Jewish Experiences
Faculty: Hillel Levine
Traces the achievements and reputations of Jews, shaped by stereotypes of wealth, power, intellect and sexuality. Students examine film, literature, art, popular music, attitudes towards Israel, religious practices, and intermarriage rates for evidence of changing trends.
GRS RN638/STH TT811
Mysticism and Philosophy: Jewish and Islamic Perspectives
Faculty: Diana Lobel
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 RN661/STH TX801
Faculty: Wiebke Denecke
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 RN664/STH TX878
Faculty: Tom Michael
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 RN668/STH TR840
Faculty: Anthony Petro
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 RN675/GRS AN775/STH TX875
Culture, Society, and Religion in South Asia
Faculty: Frank Korom
Ethnographic and historical introduction to the Indian subcontinent with a focus on the impact of religion on cultural practices and social institutions.
GRS RN684/STH TX884
Faculty: Steven Katz
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.
CAS RN397/PH456/GRS RN697/PH656/STH TT821
Philosophy and the Future of Religion
Topics in Philosophy and Religion
Faculty: David Eckel
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.
GRS RN710 /STH TX 871
Religion, Community, and Culture in Medieval Spain
Faculty: Deeana Klepper
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.
GRS RN723/STH TX 895
Core Texts and Motifs of World Religions: West
Faculty: Jonathan Klawans
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.
Prereq:(CASCC101 & CASCC102) or two courses in religion or philosophy.
GRS RN725 B1/STH TX 825 B1
Topics in South Asian Religions
Faculty: Frank Korom
South Asian religions can be studied as textual traditions or as contextual ones. This seminar will explore how Islam is lived on a daily basis by Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent. Emphasis will be placed on orthopraxy over orthodoxy.
GRS RN727/STH TX827
American Spiritual Autobiography
Topics in American Religion
Faculty: Stephen Prothero
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 RN730/STH TX880
Buddhism, the State, and Politics in East Asia
Topics in East Asian Religions
Faculty: Gina Cogan
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 RN752/STH TT838
Happiness, East and West
Topics in Religious Thought
Faculty: Diana Lobel
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 RN766/STH TX854
Religion and the Problem of Tolerance
Faculty: Adam Seligman
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 RN796/STH TZ802
Social Science Approaches to Religion
Faculty: Nancy Ammerman
Introduces major theoretical questions in the social scientific study of religion. Examines approaches of Marx, Durkheim, and Freud among others.
GRS RN797/GRS PH828/STH TT977
Philosophical and Theological Approaches to Religion
Faculty: Michael Zank
An introduction to the 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 religions thought.