Religion

  • 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. Topics covered include martyrs, apocalypticism, Hell, Gnostics, prophecy, magical texts, angels and demons, and the various meanings of Christ. Effective Fall 2022, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Critical Thinking
  • GRS RN 616: Modern Islam
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First-Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR120)
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing.
    Challenges students to sociologically evaluate the concept of meritocracy, its origins, its societal implications, and contemporary adoption as an ideal worth striving for. Reviews empirical research on perceptions around and explanations of social inequality. Explores how beliefs about inequality are mobilized in class and racial conflict and in what ways people's beliefs are or aren't likely to change. Effective Fall 2022, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Social Inquiry I, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Research and Information Literacy
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • GRS RN 622: History of Judaism
    This class surveys Jewish history from the classical period to modern times. It covers: the destruction of the 1st Temple; the encounter with Hellenism; the Roman period; the destruction of the 2nd Temple; the rise and influence of rabbinic Judaism; the medieval era under Muslim and Christian rule; medieval antisemitism; Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah); and philosophy (Maimonides). For the modern era we will discuss: the Renaissance; the Reformation; the complex issue of Emancipation; coming to America; the growth of American Judaism; religious reform; modern antisemitism; and Zionism. Effective Spring 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Critical Thinking.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Critical Thinking
  • GRS RN 626: Jewish Mysticism
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First-Year Writing Seminar (CAS WR 120 or equivalent)
    This course explores the rich world of Jewish Mysticism from its earliest roots to its contemporary expressions in the 21st century. We look at the interaction between Jewish mystics and major western schools of thought such as Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, Aristotelianism, and Sufism. The course also introduces students to the Kabbalistic tradition and its various historical manifestations. No prior knowledge of Hebrew or other themes in Jewish studies required. Effective Spring 2022, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Aesthetic Exploration, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • GRS RN 628: Modern Judaism
    Encounters between Judaism and modernity from the Renaissance and Reformation; the Spanish expulsion and creation of Jewish centers in the New World; emancipation and its consequences; assimilation, Reform Judaism, Zionism, the American Jewish community, non-European communities, Jewish global migration, and modern antisemitism. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Historical Consciousness, Critical Thinking.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking
  • GRS RN 634: Dead Sea Scrolls
    Examination of the ancient Hebrew documents discovered in the Judean desert. Their authorship; the religious significance of the Scrolls; their relations to Ancient Judaism and early Christianity; the controversy over their release and publication. Effective Fall 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Historical Consciousness, Critical Thinking.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking
  • GRS RN 637: Gender, Sexuality, and Judaism
    Explores the role of gender and sexuality in Judaism and Jewish experience, historically and in the present. Subjects include constructions of masculinity and femininity, attitudes toward (and uses of) the body and sexuality, gendered nature of religious practice and authority.
  • GRS RN 638: Philosophy and Mysticism: Jewish and Islamic Perspectives
    A thematic introduction to mysticism and philosophy, with a focus on the dynamics of religious experience. Readings will be drawn from medieval Jewish and Islamic philosophy; Sufi mysticism and philosophy; Kabbalah, Sufi poetry, Hebrew poetry from the Golden Age of Muslim Spain. Effective Fall 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings, Critical Thinking.
    • Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking
  • GRS RN 645: Shariah Law
    Shariah Law looks behind the stereotypes and headlines--despotic rulers, barbaric punishments, women's oppression--to understand the origins, history, and structure of Islamic law. Explores its implementation in various times and places, modern transformations, and contemporary debates over legal reform. Effective Spring 2022, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Oral and/or Signed Communication, Ethical Reasoning, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Oral and/or Signed Communication
    • Research and Information Literacy
  • GRS RN 656: Religion in the Digital Age
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First-Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR120)
    How has technology impacted religion? This hands-on course explores how digital technologies like the Internet, social media, gaming, and artificial intelligence have changed the way that people think about religion. Effective Spring 2022, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Digital/Multimedia Expression, Writing-Intensive Course, Creativity/Innovation.
    • Digital/Multimedia Expression
    • Creativity/Innovation
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • GRS RN 664: Buddhist Literature
    What do Buddhist texts seek to do, and how do they do it? How are Buddhist texts deployed to engender personal and social transformation? Focusing on works from Indian, Tibetan, and Euro-American Buddhist traditions, we will explore these questions through varied literary genre, including Pāli folktales, Sanskrit poetry. canonical discourses, autobiography and contemporary socially engaged Buddhist writings. Particular attention will be given to the shifting valuation of embodiment in varied Buddhist works. Effective Fall 2022, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • GRS RN 665: Art, Media, and Buddhism
    Examines 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. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Historical Consciousness, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • GRS RN 675: Culture, Society and Religion in South Asia
    Ethnographic and historical introduction to the Indian subcontinent with a focus on the impact of religion on cultural practices and social institutions. Effective Spring 2023, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Aesthetic Exploration.
  • GRS RN 683: African Diaspora Religions
    This course introduces students to religions of the African Diaspora, with a specific focus on the Caribbean and the Americas. Religious traditions such as Africanized Christianity, Cuban Santer?a, Haitian Vodou, Brazilian Candombl? and African American Spiritualism will be explored. Effective Fall 2022, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: The Individual in Community, Historical Consciousness, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • The Individual in Community
    • Research and Information Literacy
  • GRS RN 684: The Holocaust
    Rise of German (and European) antisemitism; rise of Nazism; 1935 Nuremberg Laws; the initial Jewish reaction; racial theory; organizing mass murder including ghettos, concentration camps, killing squads, and gas chambers; bystanders and collaborators (countries, organizations, and individuals); Jewish resistance; post-Holocaust religious responses; moral and ethical issues. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Ethical Reasoning, Historical Consciousness, Critical Thinking.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Critical Thinking
  • 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. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Ethical Reasoning.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Ethical Reasoning
  • 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. This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry I.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Social Inquiry I
  • GRS RN 688: Oral Tradition as Verbal Art
    Graduate Prerequisites: CAS AN 101; consent of instructor.
    Exploration of religious and secular poetry worldwide with emphasis on the ethnography of communication. A focus on performance in oral tradition and its consequences for literary form, as well as the impact of mass media and literacy on orality.
  • 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. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Digital/Multimedia Expression, Ethical Reasoning, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Digital/Multimedia Expression
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • GRS RN 696: Philosophy of Religion
    Critical investigation of the limits of human knowledge and the theoretical and practical demands for meaning attached to notions of God, providence, immortality, and other metaphysical conditions of human thriving, from Plato to modern philosophies of religion. Effective Spring 2022 this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings, Social Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.