Undergraduate Courses

See the CAS online bulletin for all the courses offered by the Religion Department.

Fall 2018

CAS RN100
Introduction to Religion

Anthony Petro           MWF 10:10AM-11:00AM
Religion matters. It makes meaning and provides structure to life, addressing fundamental questions about body, spirit, community, and time. But what is it? How does it work in our world? This course explores religion in ritual, philosophical, experiential, and ethical dimensions.

CAS RN101
The Bible
Michael Zank             MWF 11:15AM-12:05PM
Introductory study of Jewish and Christian scriptures; connections between biblical and related ancient cultures; biblical genres (epic narrative, law, prophecy, poetry, historiography, gospels, letters, apocalypse) and their literary character, major classical and modern strategies of reading.

CAS RN102
Sacred Journeys
Laura Harrington      TR 2:00PM-3:15PM
An introduction to the comparative study of religion through the theme of the sacred journey/religious quest in Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, and popular literature. Topics include heroic, romantic, and/or mystical quests; voyages to the underworld; apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic journeys.

CAS RN103
Asian Religions
David Eckel                MWF 11:15AM-12:05PM
Study of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shinto. Focus on the world view of each tradition and the historical development of that world view.

CAS RN104
Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Jonathan Klawans     MWF 12:20PM-1:10PM
Islam, Christianity, and Judaism in historical and cultural context, origins to the present. Examines diversity of practices, belief systems, and social structures within these religions. Also addresses debates within and between communities as well as contemporary concerns.

CAS RN106
Death and Immortality

Laura Harrington      TR 11:00AM-12:15PM
Examines death as religious traditions have attempted to accept, defeat, deny, or transcend it. Do we have souls? Do they reincarnate? Other topics include cremation, ancestor worship, apocalypse, alchemy, AIDS, near-death experiences, otherworld cosmologies.

CAS RN121
Religion in America
Stephen Prothero   MWF 12:20PM-1:10PM
Religion in American history from early European encounters with indigenous peoples to the pluralistic present. Focus on interrelationship of religious beliefs and practices with intellectual, social, political, and cultural life in America. Readings may include Jefferson, Vivekananda, Heschel, King, Daly.

CAS RN200
Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Religion
David Frankfurter     TR 12:30PM-1:45PM
Origins and history of the academic study of religion. Different constructions of religion as an object of study and the methods that arise from them. The role of the humanities and social sciences in understanding religion’s place in history and contemporary experience.
Prereq: CAS Religion major or minor, or consent of instructor.

CAS RN202
From Jesus to Christ: The Origins of Christianity
Jennifer Knust           TR 9:30AM-10:45AM
Places Jesus of Nazareth in his contemporary religious and social context of Second Temple Judaism; and accounts for the origins and growth of Christian life, belief, and spirituality up to the second century, as reflected in the writings of that period.

CAS RN211
Chinese Religion

Yair Lior         MWF 10:10AM-11:00AM
A historical survey of Chinese religions from the ancient period to modern times. Covers cosmology, divination, philosophy, divine kingship, ancestors, art, the Silk Road, death and afterlives, popular deities, Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism.

CAS RN239
Religion and Science
Yair Lior         MWF 1:25PM-2:15PM
Examines the complex relationship between science and religion, focusing on historical episodes (e.g., the “Galileo Affair”) and current controversies (e.g., “Intelligent Design” movement’s influence on school curricula, “Spirituality and Health” research, and “Ecology and Religion.”)

CAS RN242/HI203
Magic, Science, and Religion
Deeana Klepper        TR 11:00AM-12:15PM
Boundaries and relationships between magic, science, and religion from late antiquity through the European Enlightenment. Topics include transformation of pagan traditions, distinctions between learned and popular traditions, Scientific Revolution, and changing assumptions about God and Nature.

CAS RN243/AN243
Shamans and Shamanism
Frank Korom             MWF 11:15AM-12:05PM
Shamans in global and theoretical perspectives. The origins and construction of the category of shamanism. Modern theories and debates about the category and the appropriateness of applying it cross-culturally.

CAS RN245/PH245
Religious Thought: The Quest for God and the Good
Diana Lobel                MWF 2:30PM-3:20PM
Investigates the meaning and purpose of human life, the significance of God or an Absolute, the role of contemplation and action in the spiritual quest, relationships between philosophy and religious thought, East and West.

CAS RN316/GRS RN616/STH TX856
Modern Islam
Teena Purohit           TR 9:30AM-10:45AM
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.

CAS RN317/CL216/CL717
Greek and Roman Religion
Zsuzsanna Varhelyi   TR 11:00AM-12:15PM
Survey of ancient Greek and Roman religions and their development from earliest beginnings to the eclipse of paganism. Theories and practices of these religions, comparisons with other religions, and relationships to Judaism and Christianity.
Cannot be taken for credit in addition to CAS CL 317.

CAS RN328/GRS RN628/STH TX828
Judaism in the Modern Period
Steven Katz                TR 12:30PM-1:45PM
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.

CAS RN338/PH408/GRS RN638/STH TT811
Mysticism and Philosophy: Jewish and Islamic Perspectives
Diana Lobel                TR 2:00PM-3:15PM
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.

CAS RN375/AN375/GRS RN675/AN775/STH TX875
Culture, Society, and Religion in South Asia
Frank Korom             MWF 1:25-2:15PM
Ethnographic and historical introduction to the Indian subcontinent with a focus on the impact of religion on cultural practices and social institutions.

CAS RN384/GRS RN684/STH TX884
The Holocaust
Steven Katz                TR 3:30PM-4:45PM
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 RN385/XL281/CI269/COM CI269/GRS RN685/STH TX899
Representations of the Holocaust in Literature and Film
Nancy Harrowitz       TR 2:00PM-3:15PM
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.

CAS RN390/AR342/GRS RN690/AR742/STH TX815
Archaeology in the Holy Land

Andrea Berlin
TR 9:30AM-11:00AM
In Israel, archaeology is part of current events. The study of remains from the Israelite to the Muslim conquests (c. 1200 BCE — 640 CE) to learn how material evidence created and still plays a role in a larger historical drama.
Prereq: sophomore, junior, or senior standing.

CAS RN397/PH456/GRS RN697/PH656/STH TT821
Topics in Philosophy and Religion
David Eckel                W 5:45PM-8:30PM
This course is designed to run side by side with the Institute for Philosophy and Religion’s fall lecture series on the topic of

CAS RN410/HI410/GRS RN710/STH TX871
Religion, Community, and Culture in Medieval Spain

Deeana Klepper
R 3:30PM-6:15PM
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.

CAS RN427/GRS RN727/STH TX827
God, the Bestseller
Topics in American Religion
Stephen Prothero     M 2:30PM-5:15PM
Close reading of twentieth-century American religion books, with an eye on the shift from Protestantism to pluralism and the emergence of today’s “spiritual but not religious” mindset. Possible authors: Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, Huston Smith, Jiddu Krishnamurti.

CAS RN453/WS305 C1/GRS RN753/STH TX893
Sex, Art, and the Sacred in Modern America
Topics in Religion and Sexuality
Anthony Petro           T 3:30PM-6:15PM
Traces heated debates over sex, art, and religion to reveal competing genealogies of the sacred and profane in the modern US. Looks at feminist and queer visual and performance art, literature, and memoir in the context of culture wars conservatism.

CAS RN556/Xl385/LI556/STH TX866
Dante: The Divine Comedy II: Purgatorio and Paradiso

Dennis Costa              TR 9:30AM-10:45AM
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.


Spring 2018

CAS RN100
Introduction to Religion

Yair Lior   TR 2:00PM-3:15PM
Religion matters. It makes meaning and provides structure to life, addressing fundamental questions about body, spirit, community, and time. But what is it? How does it work in our world? This course explores religion in ritual, philosophical, experiential, and ethical dimensions.

CAS RN103
Religions of Asia
April Hughes   TR 12:30PM-1:45PM
Study of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shinto. Focus on the world view of each tradition and the historical development of that world view.

CAS RN104
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Jennifer Knust   MWF 11:15AM-12:05PM
Islam, Christianity, and Judaism in historical and cultural context, origins to the present. Examines diversity of practices, belief systems, and social structures within these religions. Also addresses debates within and between communities as well as contemporary concerns.

CAS RN106
Death and Immortality
Laura Harrington TR 11:00AM-12:15PM
Examines death as religious traditions have attempted to accept, defeat, deny, or transcend it. Do we have souls? Do they reincarnate? Other topics include cremation, ancestor worship, apocalypse, alchemy, AIDS, near-death experiences, otherworld cosmologies.

CAS RN206
Scriptures in World Religions
Diana Lobel   MWF 1:25PM-2:15PM
Introduction to scriptures in world religions, investigating the ways sacred books express, interpret, and make possible religious experience.

CAS RN210
Buddhism
David Eckel    MWF 12:20PM-1:10PM
A historical introduction to the major themes of Indian Buddhist thought and practice with special attention to the development of Buddhism in Tibet.

CAS RN212
Christianity
Anthony Petro   TR 9:30AM-10:45AM
Introduction to Christian thought and practice in a world context, origins to present. Topics include sin, salvation, sacramnent, sacred text, bodies and souls, community, authority and the individual, Christians and non-Christians, and the challenge of modernity.

CAS RN213
Hinduism
Frank Korom   TR 2:00PM-3:15PM
Introduction to the Hindu tradition. Ritual and philosophy of the Vedas and Upanishads, yoga in the Bhagavad Gita, gods and goddesses in Hindu mythology, “popular” aspects of village and temple ritual, and problems of modernization and communalism in postcolonial India.

CAS RN216
Judaism
Steven Katz   TR 3:30PM-4:45PM
Systematic and historical introduction to doctrines, customs, literature, and movements of Judaism; biblical religion and literature; rabbinic life and thought; medieval mysticism and philosophy; modern movement and developments.

CAS RN239
Religion and Science
Yair Lior   TR 11:00AM-12:15PM
Examines the complex relationship between science and religion, focusing on historical episodes (e.g., the “Galileo Affair”) and current controversies (e.g., “Intelligent Design” movement’s influence on school curricula, “Spirituality and Health” research, and “Ecology and Religion.”)

CAS RN248
Food and Religion
Deeana Klepper   MWF 1:25PM-2:15PM
Explores the intersection of religion and food, using food to learn about religion and religion to study the role of food in human societies. Topics include feasting; fasting; feeding God(s), spirits, ancestors; eating/not eating animals; ingesting alcohol and psychoactive plants.

CAS RN249
Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism
Kecia Ali & Adam Seligman   TR 9:30AM-10:45AM
Exploration of historical and contemporary manifestations of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. Students use various theoretical approaches to examine a wide range of relevant texts (written and visual) from late antiquity to modern America. Includes active learning and fieldwork.

CAS RN301/GRS RN601/STH TH817
Varieties of Early Christianity
David Frankfurter   TR 12:30PM-1:45PM
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. Junior standing. At least one prior course in biblical or New Testament literature recommended.

CAS RN310/HI310/GRS HI610
The Reformation: Religious Conflict in Early Modern Europe
Phillip Haberkern   TR12:30PM-1:45PM
Examines religious change in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe, particularly the origins and causes of the Protestant Reformation, the parallel Catholic Reformation, and the consequent military conflicts in Germany, France, and the Netherlands.

CAS RN312/GRS RN612/STH TX802
Buddhism in America
Laura Harrington   R 3:30PM-6:15PM

The transplantation and transformation of Buddhism in the United States. Time period ranges from the eighteenth century to the present, but the emphasis is on contemporary developments, including the new Asian immigration, Jewish Buddhism, feminization, and engaged Buddhism.

CAS RN337/WS305 C1/GRS RN637/STH TX837
Gender and Judaism

Alexandra Herzog W 2:30PM-5:15PM
In this course, we will explore the role of gender and sexuality in Judaism and Jewish experience, historically and in the present. Subjects will include constructions of masculinity and femininity, attitudes toward (and uses of) the body and sexuality, textual traditions, and the gendered nature of religious practice and religious authority.

CAS RN348/LZ381/GRS RN648/STH TX881
Rumi and Persian Sufi Poetry
Sunil Sharma   TR 11:00AM-12:15PM
Introduction to the Persian Sufi poet Rumi’s narrative and lyric writings. Focus on Islamic mysticism, the innovative aspects of Rumi’s poetry, and the problem of profane vs. sacred love. All readings in English translation. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.

NEW COURSE
CAS RN365/AH325/GRS RN665/STH TX

Art, Media, and Buddha
April Hughes   TR 3:30PM-4:45PM
We will examine how textual, visual, and material forms of religious expressions have been conceptualized by Buddhists as well as how Buddhist objects are understood and re-contextualized in the West. Topics include: self-immolation; museums; war propaganda, and pop culture.

CAS RN369/HI304/GRS RN669/HI704/STH TX869
Science and Religion: Dialogue and Debate
Jon Roberts   MWF 11:15-12:05
Challenges conventional wisdom that science and religion have always been at war in Europe and North America. Explores their interactions, mutual existence, and conflict from Copernicus’ claim that the earth revolved around the sun to contemporary debates about evolution.

CAS RN387/AN384/GRS RN687/AN784/STH TX887
Anthropology of Religion
Frank Korom   TR 11:00AM-12:15PM
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.

CAS RN420/PH409/GRS RN720/PH609/STH TX879
Maimonides
Michael Zank   M 6:30PM-9:15PM
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.

CAS RN424/GRS RN724/PH647/STH TT902
Core Texts and Motifs of World Religions: East
Diana Lobel   TR 2:00PM-3:15PMAn 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. Prereq: (CASCC101 & CASCC102) or two courses in religion or philosophy.

CAS RN439/GRS RN739/STH TX859/SPH LW739
Jewish Bioethics
Michael Grodin   R 3:30PM-6:15PM
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. Prereq: junior standing or consent of instructor.

NEW COURSE
CAS RN454/WS454/GRS RN754/STH TX
Sexuality and Religion in the U.S.
Anthony Petro TR 2:00PM-3:15PM
Religion and sexuality in the U.S., including theoretical and historical approaches to religious and sexual desire, identity, ritual, and regulation. Possible topics include religious and sexual freedom, plural marriage, the Sexual Revolution, reproductive justice, sex and secularism, and LGBTQ rights.

CAS RN460/GRS RN760/STH TX805
Holocaust Studies
Steven Katz   TR 12:30PM-1:45PM
This seminar will examine ethical and religious issues raised by the Holocaust, including: anti-Semitism; treatment of Jewish women; nature of the perpetrators; actions of different countries; importance of ideology; the nature and degree of Jewish resistance; post-Holocaust theology.

CAS RN524 A1/XL560 A1/LR456 A1/STH TX510A1
Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov
Topics in Religion and Literature
Yuri Corrigan   TR 3:30PM-4:45PM
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. No prerequisites.

CAS RN524 B1/WS300 C1/STH TX510 B1
Gender and Religion in the Graphic Novel
Topics in Religion and Literature
Alexandra Herzog TR 2:00PM-3:15PM
Examines the aesthetics of comic art and the graphic novel as they emphasize gendered, religious, and cultural identities. We focus on Judaism and Islam, two storytelling traditions that use graphic novels to transport readers in time and space.

CAS RN561/IR561/PO589/STH TX874
Religion and International Relations
Timothy Longman T 3:30PM-6:15PM
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.


Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

MicrosoftInternetExplorer4



<!–[endif]–>

CAS RN100
Introduction to Religion
Faculty: Stephen Prothero
MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM
Religion matters. It makes meaning and provides structure to life, addressing
fundamental questions about body, spirit, community, and time. But what is it? How does it work in our world? This course
explores religion in ritual, philosophical, experiential, and ethical
dimensions.

CAS RN101
The Bible
Faculty: Michael Zank
MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM
Designed for the student who will take only one or two courses in religious
studies, this course introduces the Bible as a foundational source of Western
culture. In addition to basic knowledge of Hebrew and Christian scriptures, the
student may expect to gain an appreciation of biblical themes in Western
literature and art.

CAS RN102
Sacred Journeys
Faculty: Emily Hudson
MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM
An introduction to the comparative study of religion through the theme of the
sacred journey/religious quest in Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, and popular
literature. Topics include heroic, romantic, and/or mystical quests; voyages to
the underworld; apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic journeys.

CAS RN103
Religions of the
World: Eastern

Faculty: David Eckel
MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM
Study of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shinto. Focus on the
world view of each tradition and the historical development of that world view.