Fall 2023 Course Offerings

Course Offerings PDF – Spring-2024-Course-Offerings-2

HUB Units PDF – Hub Units Fall 2023

SPRING 2024 COURSE OFFERINGS DEPARTMENT OF RELIGION

SPRING 2024 COURSE OFFERINGS DEPARTMENT OF RELIGION

CAS RN 100

Introduction to Religion

Anthony Petro | TR, 11:00AM-12:15PM

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. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills asingle unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Philosophical Inquiry and Life’s Meanings, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Creativity/Innovation

CAS RN 101

The Bible

Andrew Jacobs | MWF, 10:10AM-11:00PM

Introduction to the great canonical anthologies of Jews and Christians. Students will learn to read for historical context and genre conventions; study classical and modern strategies of interpretation; and create a collaborative commentary or piece of “fan-fiction.” Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of thefollowing BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Historical Consciousness, Creativity/Innovation.

CAS RN 103

Religions of Asia

Yair Lior | MWF, 10:10AM-11:00AM

Study of Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, and Shinto. Focus on the world view of each tradition and thehistorical development of that world view. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Aesthetic Exploration, Teamwork/Collaboration.

CAS RN 104

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Jonathan Klawans | TR, 11:00AM-12:15PM

Islam, Christianity, and Judaism in historical and cultural context, origins to the present. Examines diversity ofpractices, belief systems, and social structures within these religions. Also addresses debates within and between communities as well as contemporary controversies and concerns. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Aesthetic Exploration, Creativity/Innovation.

 

CAS RN 105

Introduction to the World’s Religions

Kira Ganga Kieffer | TR, 12:30PM-1:45PM

Explores the symbols, beliefs, stories, and practices of the world’s religions with attention to both historical development and contemporary practices. Possible traditions include: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and African/African diaspora religions. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Digital/Multimedia Expression, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Creativity/Innovation, and Historical Consciousness.

CAS RN 106 A1

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? What to do with a corpse? Other topics include mourning, burial, cremation, martyrdom, resurrection, near-death experiences. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Philosophical Inquiry and Life’s Meanings, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Creativity/Innovation.

CAS RN 106 C1

Death and Immortality

David Frankfurter | MWF, 11:00AM-12:15PM

Why is death such a central preoccupation of religious traditions around the world and through history? Why do werecoil from corpses, and why are funerals constructed the way they are (and how do they fail)? Where do souls end up after they leave their bodies, and why do they sometimes haunt us or visit us? Drawing on ancient religious texts and journalistic reports on modern funerary practices, as well as anthropological and religious-studies analysis, this course will confront the major traditions, concerns, fears, and practices around death – all as one area of the study of religion. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Philosophical Inquiry and Life’s Meanings, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Creativity/Innovation.

CAS RN 203/CI 268/XL 270

Religion and Film

Laura Harrington | MWF, 1:25PM-2:15PM

Religions and films are world-building engines. They create — and re-create — a visioning of society as a world ofjustice, of lived myth, of fantasy, of ideology: a world we may long to live in or a world we wish to avoid at all costs. This course explores such worlds by examining the ways in which religious beliefs, practices and people are portrayed in popular film from the 1960s to the present. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Social Inquiry I, Teamwork/Collaboration.

 

CAS RN 205/AA 225

Topics in Religion and Music

James Hill | MWF, 12:20 PM-1:10PM

May be repeated for credit as topics change. Topic for Spring 2024: Religion and Black Popular Music examines the interplay between colonialism, politics, religion, and popular music in shaping contemporary society. Through an in-depth exploration of the intersections between religion, music, colonialism, and politics, students gain a comprehensive understanding of the underlying structures that shape Black religion and Black popular music. They are encouraged to engage in nuanced discussions, challenging traditional interpretations, and critically analyzing the implications of power in these realms. This course fosters a deeper appreciation of the complexities of race and its impact on music, religion, and politics in our society, while empowering students to actively attend to the most pressing political, cultural, religious, and ecological concerns texturing the 21st century.

CAS RN 206

World Scriptures

Diana Lobel | MWF, 1:25PM-1:45PM

Introduction to scriptures in world religions, investigating the ways sacred books express, interpret, and make possible religious experience and ethical reflection. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. This coursefulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Ethical Reasoning, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy.

CAS RN 209

Religion, Health, and Medicine

Kira Ganga Kieffer | TR, 11:00AM-12:15PM

How religious and moral narratives inform approaches to biomedicine from the nineteenth century to the present, including understandings of disease, illness, health, sexuality, and the body. Topics include medicine and prayer, alternative medicine, and boundaries between medicine and religion. This course fulfills a single unit in each of thefollowing BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Ethical Reasoning, Critical Thinking.

CAS RN 248

Food and Religion

Deeana Klepper | MWF, 11:15AM-12:05PM

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. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: The Individual in Community, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy.

 

CAS RN 249/JS 379

Islamophobia and Antisemitism

Adam Seligman | MWF, 11:15AM-12:05PM

Explores historical and contemporary manifestations of Islamophobia and antisemitism. Students are exposed to wide range of relevant written and visual texts as well as theoretical approaches. Includes active learning component and collaborative presentations by students. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: EthicalReasoning, The Individual in Community, Teamwork/Collaboration.

CAS RN 326/JS 246/STH TX 818/GRS RN 626

Jewish Mysticism

Yair Lior | MWF, 12:20PM-1:10PM

This course explores the rich world of Jewish Mysticism from its earliest roots to its contemporary expressions in the21st 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. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Aesthetic Exploration, Teamwork/Collaboration.

CAS RN 345/GRS RN 645/STH TX 845

Shariah Law

Kecia Ali | TR, 12:30PM-1:45PM

Shariah Law looks behind the stereotypes and headlines–despotic rulers, barbaric punishments, women’s oppression–tounderstand the origins, history, and structure of Islamic law. Explores its implementation in various times and places, modern transformations, and contemporary debates over legal reform. 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.

CAS RN 356/GRS AA 356/GRS AA 656/GRS RN 656

Digital Religion

Margarita Guillory | TR, 9:30AM-10:45AM

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. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Digital/Multimedia Expression, Writing-Intensive Course,Creativity/Innovation. Pre-req: First-Year Writing Seminar

 

CAS RN 365/AH 325/GRS RN 665

Art, Media, and Buddhism

April Hughes | TR, 12:30PM-1:45PM

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.

CAS RN 375/GRS RN 675/GRS AN 775/CAS AN 375/STH TX 875

Culture, Society, and Religion in South Asia

Frank Korom | TR, 2:00PM-3:15PM

Ethnographic and historical introduction to the Indian subcontinent with a focus on the impact of religion on cultural practices and social institutions. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Aesthetic Exploration.

CAS RN 382/HI 349/AA 382/GRS AA 882/GRS RN 682

History of Religion in Pre-Colonial Africa

Thornton | TR, 9:30AM-10:45AM

The study of the development of religious traditions in Africa during the period prior to European colonialism. Anemphasis on both indigenous religions and the growth and spread of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in the continent as a whole. Also offered as CAS AA 382 and CAS HI 349. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Historical Consciousness.

CAS RN 387/AN 384/GRS RN 687/GRS AN 784/STH TX 887

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 ofreligious knowledge to science, magic, and ideology. Also offered as CAS AN 384. This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry I.

CAS RN 409/GRS RN 709

Cults and Charisma

David Frankfurter | M, 2:30PM-5:15PM

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. This course fulfills asingle unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry I. Pre-req: undergraduates who have taken RN 200 and/or RN 355, and with consent of instructor.

 

RN 427/GRS RN 727/STH TX 827

Topics in American Religion

James Hill | M, 2:30PM-5:15PM

Topic for Spring 2024: “Black Religion and Black Politics” delves into the intricate and interconnected relationship between politics and religion within the Black experience. This course challenges the conventional notions of “politics,” “religion,” and “blackness,” and instead encourages students to critically engage with these concepts through a diverse range of multimedia sources, including literature, film, performances, and modes of discourse. By exploring the complexities, controversies, and nuances of the relationship between religion and politics, this seminar invites students to grapple with the indeterminate and contested nature of this connection in the modern world. By examining historical and contemporary examples, students will gain insights into the challenges, conflicts, and possibilities that arise from the interplay between religion and politics within Black populations throughout the African diaspora. This critical examination will shed light on how blackness disrupts and reshapes traditional academic approaches, creating new avenues for understanding and engaging with the complexities of religion and politics.

CAS RN 435/GRS RN 735/STH TX 836

Women, Gender, and Islam

Kecia Ali | T, 3:30PM-6:15PM

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. This coursefulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, The Individual in Community, Research and Information Literacy. Pre-req: First-Year Writing Seminar (e.g., CAS WR 100 or 120).

CAS RN 452/PH 496/GRS RN 752/STH TT 838

Topics in Religious Thought

Diana Lobel | TR, 2:00PM-3:15PM

Topic for Fall Spring 2024: What is happiness? How can we achieve a balanced, healthy, fulfilling life? Classical thinkers such as Aristotle, Plato, Chuang Tzu; Stoic, Epicurean, Confucian, Buddhist paths; comparison with contemporary studies on happiness and mindfulness. 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. Pre-req: CAS WR 120 or equivalent and one course from among the following: Religion, Philosophy, Core Curriculum (CC 101 and/or CC 102).

 

CAS RN453 A1/WS453/GRS RN753

Topics in Religion and Sexuality

Najwa Meyer | W, 2:30PM-5:15PM

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 2024:“Muslim Movements in the US: Race, Gender, and American Islam.” In this seminar, we analyze race, gender, and sexuality as instrumental sites of religious politics, focusing on Muslim historical experiences and social movements inthe United States. We take a two-part approach to “Muslim movements:” First, we historicize the migratory movements of Muslims and Islam in the Americas—from enslaved Black Muslims to multiracial Muslim immigrants and refugees as well as anti-Muslim exclusions—placing migration scholarship on lived Islam, race, gender, and sexuality in conversation. Topics include slavery, labor, empire, displacement, policing, law, and family.

Second, we take intersectional and transnational approaches to Muslim American social and cultural movements. We explore how Muslims and Islamic ethics have influenced US-based anticolonial, Civil Rights, Afro-Asian, antiwar, feminist, queer, and prison/police abolition movements. This interdisciplinary course bridges scholarship on Muslimsfrom Islamic Studies, Ethnic Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Anthropology alongside the work of Muslim activists, cultural producers, and artists. Hub Units: Historical Consciousness, Ethical Reasoning, Creativity/Innovation.

CAS RN453 B1/WS453/GRS RN753

Topics in Religion and Sexuality

Anthony Petro | T, 3:30PM-6:15PM

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 2024: HIV/AIDS, Art, and Religion. Examines the history of the AIDS crisis in the US, including religious, racial, and moralconstructions. Special attention to feminist/queer activists and artists who have fostered alternative moral and political visions of health, sexuality, and citizenship through film and video. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Ethical Reasoning, Historical Consciousness, Creativity/Innovation.