Religion

  • GRS RN 709: Cults and Charisma
    Examines religious sects, new religions, and charismatic leadership using case- studies from history and the contemporary world, as well as analytical principles from religious studies and anthropology. Effective Fall 2023, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry I.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Social Inquiry I
  • 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. To enrich exploration of interrelated themes and learning outcomes, student registrants of RN/HI 410/RN 710 will meet with student registrants of LS 410 during scheduled class time on 2/21, 3/13, 3/27, 4/24, and 5/1 during the term.
  • 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. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings, Oral and/or Signed Communication.
    • Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings
    • Oral and/or Signed Communication
  • GRS RN 727: Topics in American Religion
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: WR 120 or equivalent.
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing.
    Topic for Fall 2023: TBA. Effective Spring 2023 this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, The Individual in Community, Research and Information Literacy.
    • The Individual in Community
    • Research and Information Literacy
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • 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 750: Topics in Religion, Science, and Medicine
    May be repeated for credit as topics vary. Topic for Fall 2023: Religion, Race, and Climate Change. Advanced introduction to critical theories of race, religion, and climate change. Interrogates how these terms exist in braided tension and how contemporary debates centered on environmental justice are not divorced from ultimate matters of religious, racial, and political concern. Effective Fall 2021, this course carries a single unit in the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Oral and/or Signed Communication, Critical Thinking.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Oral and/or Signed Communication
    • Critical Thinking
  • GRS RN 752: Topics in Religious Thought
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS WR 120 or equivalent and one course from among the following: Religion, Philosophy, Core Curriculum (CC 101 and/or CC 102).
    Topic for Fall 2023: Buddhism as Philosophy. An exploration of the major problems of Indian Buddhist thought, with special attention to theories of knowledge and rationality, ethics, metaphysics, and the philosophy of mind. The course studies the arguments Buddhist philosophers used to defend their views against their critics. It also considers what we can learn from them philosophically today. Effective Spring 2022, 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. Effective Spring 2023 this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings.
    • Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • GRS RN 753: Topics in Religion and Sexuality
    Exploration of key topics and themes in the study of religion and sexuality, especially as they intersect with gender, race, and politics. Historical periods and religious contexts will vary according to instructor. Topic for Spring 2023: Race, Religion, Sexuality, and the US State. Examines the entwined relationships between race, religion, and sexuality in the histories, laws, and cultures of the US state through the lens of feminist and queer studies. Topics include settler colonialism, imperialism, civil rights, secularism, borders, labor, and reproduction. Effective Spring 2023, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Ethical Reasoning, Historical Consciousness, Creativity/Innovation.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Creativity/Innovation
  • GRS RN 760: Seminar on the Holocaust
    This course will examine historical, ethical and religious issues arising from the Holocaust. We will discuss antisemitism and ideology; what communities were considered "other"; human motivation regarding collaborators, perpetrators and bystanders; the role of individuals, organizations and governments; the treatment of women; the ethics of resistance; the behavior of the Jewish Councils; and attitudes to the existence of God during and after the Holocaust. We will also compare the Holocaust to contemporary crises now occurring around the world. Effective Spring 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Oral and/or Signed Communication, Ethical Reasoning, Historical Consciousness.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Oral and/or Signed Communication
  • 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. Presents multiple case-studies and contemporary connections, explores relevance to students own experiences. Effective Fall 2022, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Ethical Reasoning, The Individual in Community, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • The Individual in Community
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • GRS RN 770: Topics in Medieval Religious Culture
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120).
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing.
    Topic for Spring 2021: Magic, Witchcraft, and the Demonic in Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean. Magic, witchcraft, and the demonic as understood, employed, and feared in medieval Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities. Exploration of religious world views; visual culture; healing and medical practices; matters of gender, power, and social control, including counter- magic, legal prohibitions, and inquisition. Effective Spring 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing- Intensive Course, Historical Consciousness, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Research and Information Literacy
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • GRS RN 790: Topics in the Materiality of Ancient Mediterranean Religions
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: prior coursework in archaeology or ancient religions, or consent of instructor.
    Investigates material traces and contexts of religion in the Greco-Roman world, including iconic, architectural, votive, magical, and other archaeological remains; and draws on theories of space, image, and ritual performance. Topics vary. Also offered as GRS AR 735.
  • GRS RN 791: Approaches to Religion I: Classical Approaches
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: Admission to the GDRS PhD program, or permission of the instructor.
    Surveys in roughly chronological order classic theoretical and methodological works in religious studies. Covers the history of the field, and critically analyzes the ways religion is studied and taught in modern universities.
  • GRS RN 792: Approaches to Religion II: Religion and Contemporary Theory
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: Admission to the GDRS PhD program, or permission of the instructor.
    Surveys contemporary theoretical and methodological works in religious studies. Topics might include the category of experience; ritual; modernism and postmodernism; sexual, racial, and cultural difference; postcolonial theory; historicism; narrative theory; gender and sexuality studies; secularism; and the politics of interpretation.
  • GRS RN 793: Professional Development Seminar for Doctoral Students in Religion
    Graduate Prerequisites: Required course for all first and second year students in the GPR
    Prepares Religion doctoral students for advanced research, writing, and teaching in the field. Topics include: comprehensive exams, conference presentations, syllabus design, fellowship applications, and job markets.
  • GRS RN 794: Magical Texts: Literature & Practice
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: prior coursework in theory of religion (e.g., RN 200 or 242), ancient religions, or anthropology of religion recommended.
    An advanced course in the interpretation of ancient magical texts that emphasizes the use of theoretical models (Malinowski, Levi-Strauss, Tambiah, J.Z. Smith, et al.) for understanding the complementary uses of sound and symbol, myth and nonsense, and forms of verbal/scribal efficacy in magic, all with attention to social context. Texts include a selection of ritual manuals, amulets, binding tablets, and mystical ascent texts from Greco-Roman, Jewish, and Christian antiquity. Effective Spring 2023, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: The Individual in Community, Social Inquiry I.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • The Individual in Community