See the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Bulletin for all courses offered by the Program.

Fall 2022 Graduate Courses

Judaism in the Modern Period/The Modern Jew
Steve Katz                                             T/THR 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. 

Philosophy and Mysticism: Jewish and Islamic Perspectives

Diana Lobel                                           T, THR 2:00PM-3:15PM
A 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.

Buddhist Literature

Laura Harrington                                                     T, THR 2:00PM-3:15PM
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.

Art, Media, and Buddhism

April Hughes                                               T, THR 11:00AM-12:15PM
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.

GRS RN683/AA683
African Diaspora Religions

Margarita Guillory                                                  MWF 12:20PM-1:10PM
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 Santería, Haitian Vodou, Brazilian Candomblé and African American Spiritualism will be explored.

The Holocaust
Steven Katz                                                                     T/THR 3:30PM-4:45PM
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.

Biblical Fakes and Forgeries

Jonathan Klawans                                                   M 1:25PM-3:05PM, W 1:25-2:15
Examines forged documents and artifacts relating to Hebrew Bible and New Testament, probing historical and ethical questions they raise. Examples (alleged and certain forgeries) include book of Daniel, Gnostic Gospels, Secret Gospel of Mark, and forged Dead Sea Scroll fragments. 

GRS RN720/PH609/STH TX879
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.

Topics in Religion, Health, and Medicine
April Hughes                                                             T/THR 2:00PM-3:15PMTopic for Fall 2022: Health and Medicine in Asian Religions. This seminar investigates how religious and moral narratives in Asian religions have informed understandings of the body in premodern and modern times.  We will pay specific attention to how notions of embodiment and health surface in debates over gender differences. Our readings will focus on various traditions and geographic areas in Asia, with particular attention to East Asia.

Religion and the Problem of Tolerance

Adam Seligman                                        T/THR 11:00AM-12:15PM
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.

Approaches to Religion II: Religion and Contemporary Theory

David Frankfurter                      T 3:30PM-6:15PM
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.