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Religion

ELEMENTARY COURSE

1. Patterns of Religious Experience

11W, 11F, 12W: 11

A comparative study of some of the basic patterns of religion. The course will focus upon such themes as religious experience, myths of creation, stories of religious founders and heroes, the origin and resolution of human suffering, and the structure and meaning of religious community and ritual. Source material for these themes will be taken from the literary and artistic resources of the following religious traditions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV or INT. The staff.

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

3. Modern Religious and Anti-Religious Thinkers

11W: 10A 12W: 12

Critical examination of some of the most influential modern proponents and opponents of religious faith, with special emphasis on the question: what is involved in belief in God?

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Godlove.

For courses at the Intermediate level in Philosophy of Religion, see courses numbered 20.3, 23, 24, 25, 29, 32, 35, 36.

4. Religion of Israel: The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) (Identical to Jewish Studies 4)

11S: 10 12W: 2

An introduction to the religion of ancient Israel through an examination of a number of the books of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible), including Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, Samuel, the Psalms, Job, and the prophets. Attention will also be given to the religion of Israel’s Phoenician and Mesopotamian neighbors.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Lanfer.

For courses at the Intermediate level in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Religions, see courses numbered 20.4, 55-58.

5. Early Christianity: The New Testament

10F: 11

An examination of primitive Christianity as witnessed by the writings of the New Testament. Emphasis will be given to the literary and historical analysis of the Gospels and Epistles and to an understanding of the pre-Christian and non-Christian religions of the Hellenistic world.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Wright.

For courses at the Intermediate level in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Religions, see courses numbered 20.4, 55-58.

6. Introduction to Judaism (Identical to Jewish Studies 6)

10F: 10 11F: 12

This course offers an introduction to Judaism by examining three of its central spiritual manifestations: (1) development, observance, and study of the Halaka (religious law); (2) philosophical contemplation; and (3) mystical experience and theosophical speculation. Ancient and modern challenges to the tradition will be studied in some detail, and an attempt will be made to determine what might constitute a unity of such a diverse tradition.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Benor.

For courses at the Intermediate level in Judaism, see courses numbered 21-24.

7. First-Year Seminars in Religion

Consult special listings

8. Introduction to Islam (Identical to Asian and Middle Eastern Studies 8)

12S: 12

This course will provide students with useful tools for reading about, thinking about, or otherwise engaging with Islam and Muslims. It is first a survey of important topics in the study of the religion of Islam, including the Qur’an and the Prophet, the role of Islamic mysticism, Islam and the state, Islamic law, and Islamic theories of family and person. We also discuss Orientalism and the western study of Islam, so that we can understand ourselves as students of the Islamic tradition.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW. Reinhart.

For courses at the Intermediate level in Islam, see courses numbered 25-28.

9. Hinduism (Identical to Asian and Middle Eastern Studies 9)

11W: 2

An introductory survey of the Hindu religious tradition of South Asia from 1500 B.C.E. down to the present day. Emphasis will be given to the historical development of elite, Sanskritic Hinduism and its constant interaction with popular and local traditions.
Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW. Ohnuma.

For courses at the Intermediate level in the Religions of India, see courses numbered 40-42.

10. The Religions of China (Identical to Asian and Middle Eastern Studies 10)

12W: 10

An introduction to China’s three major religions—Confucianism, Daoism, and Bud-dhism—through the reading of classic texts. Also, a look at important elements in Chinese folk religion: ancestor worship, temples, heavens and hells, and forms of divination. Special attention will be paid to the importance of government in Chinese religious thought and to continuity and change in the history of Chinese religion.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW. Raz.

For courses at the Intermediate level in East Asian Religions, see courses numbered 46-49.

11. Religion and Morality

11F: 10A

An examination of the process of moral reasoning and its relationship to religious belief. Emphasis will be given to the analysis of issues that have drawn the special attention of religious ethicists; among these are abortion, stem cell research, the treatment of congenitally impaired newborns, same-sex marriage, and physician-assisted suicide.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV. Green.

For courses at the Intermediate level in Ethics, see course numbered 29.

12. Religion and Society in America

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

A study of religious groups and movements in this country, ranging from the major institutional faiths to religious protest groups, cults, and the religions of the ‘counter-culture.’ Special attention is given to the social forces which shape religious expression in America.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

For courses at the Intermediate level in Religion in America, see course numbered 61.

15. The Christian Tradition

11S, 12W: 10

An introduction to the variety of Christian beliefs, institutions, and practices from the first century to the end of the sixteenth century. Attention will be focused on under-standing how Christian communities adapted and developed religious beliefs and practices in the face of changing historical circumstances.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. MacEvitt.

For courses at the Intermediate level in the Christian tradition, see courses numbered 30-34, 60-62.

16. Modern Islam (Identical to Asian and Middle Eastern Studies 15)

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

In all the attention focused on Islam at present, a newspaper reader could be forgiven for supposing that between Muhammad and Usamah bin Laden, there has been no change in Islam. This course surveys developments in Islamic religious history, thought, and practice since 1800, with special emphasis on topics of current controversy, including the status of women, the nature of government, and the place of Islamic law. Readings will be mostly from primary texts written by contemporary Muslims, both modernists and Islamists.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW. Reinhart.

For courses at the Intermediate level in Islam, see courses numbered 25-28.

17. Introduction to Black Religion in the United States (Identical to African and African American Studies 37)

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

This course explores and analyzes the highly diverse religious expressions and postures among persons of African descent in the United States. While the direction of the course is largely chronological, it is not intended as a comprehensive survey of black religion in the United States. This course will, however, situate black religious practice and thought in the larger terrain of American religious history and explore several themes that will help us grapple with how black people have shaped their religious culture and thought since slavery.

For courses at the Intermediate level in Black Religion, see course numbered 61.

18. Indian Buddhism

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

An introductory survey of the Buddhism of South Asia from its beginnings in the 6th century B.C.E. to its eventual demise in the 12th century C.E. Emphasis will be given to the major beliefs, practices, and institutions characteristic of Indian Buddhism, the development of its different varieties (Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana), and its impact upon South Asian civilization at large.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

For courses at the Intermediate level in the Religions of India, see courses numbered 40-42.

19. Special Topics in Religion—Introductory Level

10F: 12 11W: 10A, 2A

The contents of this course will vary from term to term. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV (except when otherwise noted). WCult: Varies.

In 10F at 12, Christianity in Europe, 1400-1700: Reformation and Counter Reformation. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV. Boeve.

In 11W at 10A, Assisted Reproduction in the 21st Century. This course has two basic objectives: (1) to provide students with an understanding of the scientific and technical aspects of infertility and assisted reproduction, and (2) to enable students to understand and contribute to the debate sparked by these technologies. The course will bring together faculty from the humanities, social sciences, the Medical School, facilitating a multidisciplinary approach to address a variety of ethical, social, and legal questions concerning assisted reproduction. Open to all classes. Dist: TAS. Green.

In 11W, 19.2 at 2A, The Problem of Evil. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV. Godlove.

THEORIES IN THE STUDY OF RELIGION COURSES

20.1. Classic Works in the Study of Religion

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

In this course we will read the works of a number of the “greats”—Tylor, Durkheim, Freud, Weber, among others—who shaped the modern, scholarly study of religion. We will also read critical literature on their work. The course is designed to give students a grounding in the methods and approaches taken for granted in the field of the study of religion.

Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Dist: TMV.

20.2. Magic, Science, and Religion

12W: 12

Can significant distinctions be drawn between religious and magical ritual? Do magic and religion thrive in opposition to the science of their time or in congruence with it? The course addresses such theoretical questions in the study of religion from perspectives of history, philosophy of science, anthropology, and cognitive science. The course will suggest a general theory of conditions under which religion tends to be or tends not to be magical. Students will be invited to challenge that theory.

Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Benor.

20.3. Reason and Religious Belief

11S: 12 12S: 11

A study of the principal religious and philosophical arguments for and against religious belief. The first part of the course will consider the question of the justifiability of religious belief through an appeal to religious experience and mysticism, to rational theistic arguments, and to faith, showing the difficulties in each case. The second part of the course will cover alternatives to classical theism and the contemporary challenge of conceptual relativism and religious pluralism.

Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Dist: TMV. Frankenberry.

For courses at the Introductory level in Philosophy of Religion, see courses numbered 2 and 3.

20.4. Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Myth: Interpreting Ancient Near Eastern Mythology

10F: 10A

This course examines various theoretical approaches to the study of mythology that have been developed by scholars in the past century by considering the ways in which these theoretical models have been used in the interpretation of mythologies of two of the great cultures of the ancient Near East, Mesopotamia and Canaan. Readings will include all the major myths of Mesopotamian and Canaanite tradition; major articles by theoreticians of myth such as Bronislaw Malinowski, Clyde Kluckhohn, and Claude Levi-Strauss; and various essays that attempt to apply these theoretical studies to the ancient Near Eastern mythological materials.

Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW. Ackerman.

For courses in the Introductory level in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Religions, see courses numbered 4 and 5.

INTERMEDIATE COURSES

21. Judaism in Late Antiquity: The Rabbinic Revolution (Identical to Jewish Studies 60)

12S: 2

The course begins with a survey of the development of Judaism from a Persian-era temple religion into the religion of the synagogue and the academy in response to Greco-Roman civilization and its eventual Christianization. The course engages the students in careful interrogation of texts from the Mishna and the Talmud to recover the theological and experiential contours and concerns of a religious world in formative transition. Some of these developments are then traced through the Middle Ages to early modernity.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Benor.

For courses at the Introductory level in Judaism, see course numbered 6.

23. Jewish Mysticism (Identical to Jewish Studies 62)

11W: 10

The course examines the nature of claims to mystical experience or knowledge that appear in various aspects of the Jewish tradition, with primary focus on the enchanted and demonic worlds of the Kabbala. Forms of ecstasy and magic will be studied, along with their theoretical and social backgrounds and their impact on elitist and popular Jewish practice. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Benor.

For courses at the Introductory level in Judaism, see course numbered 6. For courses at the Introductory level in Philosophy of Religion, see courses numbered 2 and 3.

24. Jewish Philosophers of Religion (Identical to Jewish Studies 63)

12W: 10

The course is conducted through close reading and discussion of works by Spinoza, Buber, and Levinas that translate insights from the Jewish experience to the idiom of modern European culture and, in so doing, make unique contributions to such subjects of modern religious thought as: God and infinity; religion, morality, and politics; autonomy and transcendence; and the role of Jewish intellectuals in the modern era.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Benor.

For courses at the Introductory level in Judaism, see course numbered 6. For courses at the Introductory level in Philosophy of Religion, see courses numbered 2 and 3.

25. Islamic Mysticism (Sufism)

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

An introduction to Sufism, using primary texts, films, and recordings. The course will first trace the development of Sufism, including its Christian and Hindu heritage. Then, using a Sufi manual of instruction, students will work their way through one influential approach to Sufi metaphysics. Finally, using films and recordings, the class will consider the rituals, practices, and role of the Sufi orders of Islam in Islamic history.

Desirable background: Religion 1, 8, or another College course on Islam or Islamicate culture, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

For courses at the Introductory level in Islam, see courses numbered 8 and 16. For courses at the Introductory level in Philosophy of Religion, see courses numbered 2 and 3.

27. The Qur’an and the Prophet

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

The Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad are the source and center of Islam. In this course we will consider the form and content of the Qur’an and the form and content of various accounts of the Prophet’s life: the hadith or anecdotes of the Prophet’s life, the sirah, or biography of Muhammad, and the maghazi, or accounts of the Prophet’s battles and campaigns. Topics covered include the aural Qur’an, the dating of the Qur’an and the hadith, diverse images of the Prophet, and “what can we know about the life of Muhammad?”

Desirable background: A College course on Islamic history, culture, or society, including Religion 8 and Religion 16. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

For courses at the Introductory level in Islam, see courses numbered 8 and 16.

28. Topics in the Study of Islam

11S: D.F.S.P.

This course will focus on a particular topic in Islamic studies, with an emphasis on the most recent research in that field. The topic will vary with each offering, so the course may be taken more than once. Sample topics include: “The Islam of Morocco,” “Shi’ism,” and “Problems in Popular Islam.”

Desirable background: A previous course on Islamic Religion or Islamicate history and culture, or permission of the instructor.

In 11S, The Islam of Morocco. This course is designed to introduce students to Islam as it occurs in the Moroccan environment. Each unit will include either visits from Moroccan scholars or practitioners of the aspect of Islam under consideration, or a visit to a scholar/practitioner or a religiously significant site. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW. Reinhart.

29. Kierkegaard and Existentialism

11F: 2A

A study of the thought, writings, and influence of Søren Kierkegaard, who is widely acknowledged to be the founding figure of existentialism. The course will examine the development of Kierkegaard’s philosophical and religious thinking and will follow its influence on both religious and non-religious thinkers, including Martin Buber, Reinhold Niebuhr, Jean Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Green.

For courses at the Introductory level in Philosophy of Religion, see courses numbered 2 and 3.

31. Sex, Celibacy, and the Problem of Purity: Asceticism and the Human Body in Late Antiquity (Identical to Women’s and Gender Studies 43.2 and Classical Studies 11)

11S: 12

Late Antiquity (c. 300-500 C.E.) was a time when Christians struggled to understand how gender, family life, and religion could intermesh. Did virgins get to heaven faster than those who marry? Can a chaste man and woman live together without succumbing to lust? Were men holier than women? What about women who behaved like men? This course examines the changing understanding of the body, marriage, sexuality, and gender within Christianity through reading saints’ lives, letters, polemical essays, and legal texts.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. MacEvitt.

For courses at the Introductory level in the Christian tradition, see courses numbered 5 and 15.

32. Topics in the Christian Tradition.

11W: 12 11S: 2A

In this course we will engage in an in-depth study of a particular issue in Christian history or Christian ideology. The topic will change with each offering, and students may therefore take this course more than once. Sample topics include “Intellectuals and Superstition: The Creation of the Witch in Medieval Europe” and “Heretics and Inquisitors: The Cathar Religion in Medieval Europe.”

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV.

For courses at the Introductory level in the Christian tradition, see courses numbered 5 and 15.

In 11W at 12, Intellectuals and Superstition: The Creation of the Witch in Medieval Europe. Open to all classes. Boeve. Pending faculty approval.

In 11S at 2A, Heretics and Inquisitors: The Cathar Religion in Medieval Europe. Open to all classes. Boeve. Pending faculty approval.

33. Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Age of the Crusades

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

This course will focus on the interactions of the three major religious communities of the medieval Mediterranean—Christians, Jewish, and Muslim—beginning with the First Crusade in 1096 and ending with the arrival of the Black Death in 1347. By examining topics such as pilgrimage, crusade, and jihad, the status of minority communities, and intellectual life, we will explore how Christians, Jews, and Muslims clashed, cooperated, influenced, and misunderstood each other.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV.

For courses at the Introductory level in the Christian tradition, see courses numbered 5 and 15.

34. Christianity and Conversion in the Northern World: Vikings, Celts, and Anglo-Saxons

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

This course explores the transformation of Christianity in the early medieval period. The conversion of ‘barbarian’ peoples in the northwest Europe between 400-1000 meant Christianity had to adapt to a new environment—one without the Roman Empire, without cities, with different languages, cultures, and notions of relations between the human and divine worlds. By exploring the impact the conversion of the people of Ireland, England, and Iceland had on Christianity, we will understand how ancient Christianity was transformed into medieval Christianity. We will also explore the appeal this Mediterranean religion had for communities that surrounded the much colder North Sea.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV.

For courses at the Introductory level in the Christian tradition, see courses numbered 5 and 15.

35. Religion and Science

11W: 2

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of current developments in the natural sciences and religious or theological interpretations of them. Emphasis is given to understanding an emerging consonance between religion and science in contrast to models of dissonance and conflict, or independence and dialogue. Particular attention is given to (1) evolutionary biology, (2) relativity physics, (3) cosmology, and (4) process theology and philosophy.

Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Dist: TMV. Frankenberry.

For courses at the Introductory level in Philosophy of Religion, see courses numbered 2 and 3.

36. New Directions in American Religious Thought

12W: 2

This course explores a distinctively American tradition of religious thought that developed outside of the strictly doctrinal or theological thinking of churches, synagogues, and mosques. Readings range from the religious writings of the classical pragmatists, including Peirce, James, Santayana, and Dewey, to neopragmatists, such as Richard Rorty, and prophetic pragmatists, such as Cornel West, and their critics. Topics include the character of religious experience, divinity and nature, the problem of evil, and the meaning of truth.

Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Frankenberry.

For courses at the Introductory level in Philosophy of Religion, see courses numbered 2 and 3.

40. Topics in the Religions of India

11S: 11

This course will focus in some depth on a particular aspect of religion in India—for example, a particular religion, sect, time period, body of literature, type of religion, or reli-gious movement. The topic will change with each offering, and students may take the course more than once. Sample topics include: “Gods, Demons, and Monkeys: The Ramayana Epic of India,” “Women In Indian Religions,” and “Modern Hinduism.”

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

In 11S, Gods, Demons, and Monkeys: The Ramayana Epic of India. The ancient Indian epic known as the Ramayana is a stirring, martial tale of gods, demons, and monkeys. Beginning with the classical Sanskrit version composed as early as 200 B.C.E., India has produced hundreds of different versions of the Ramayana, in different languages and media, with different agendas and for different audiences. We will examine this epic tradition in all of its complexity, making ample use of different forms of media. Ohnuma.

For courses at the Introductory level in the Religions of India, see courses numbered 9 and 18.

41. Readings in Buddhist Literature

11S: 2 12W: 11

This course will focus in some depth on a particular body of Buddhist literature from a specific region of the Buddhist world, such as sacred scriptures, philosophical treatises, narrative texts, ritual texts, and sacred biographies. Special attention will be paid to a close and careful reading of the texts, as well as to placing them within their proper historical, social, and cultural contexts. The topic will change with each offering, and students may take the course more than once. Sample topics include: “Indian Buddhist Narratives,” “Mahayana Buddhist Texts,” “Chan/Zen Tradition,” and “Tantra in East Asia.”

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

In 11S and 12W, Mahayana Buddhist Texts. This course offers an in-depth exploration of a wide variety of Mahayana Buddhist texts from premodern India. The Mahayana (or “Great Vehicle”) was a significant movement that profoundly shaped the nature of Buddhism in its original Indian homeland and later exerted an enormous influence upon the further development of Buddhism as it spread to East Asia and Tibet. The readings will include both Mahayana scriptures and Mahayana philosophical treatises. Ohnuma.

For courses at the Introductory level in the Religions of India, see courses numbered 9 and 18.

42. Goddesses of India (Identical to Women’s and Gender Studies 43.4)

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

This course will use both elite and popular Hindu religious texts in conjunction with contemporary sociological and anthropological accounts, scholarly analyses, visual art, and film to explore the diverse identities and roles of India’s many goddesses, both ancient and modern. Special emphasis will also be given to the relationship between goddesses and women.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

For courses at the Introductory level in the Religions of India, see courses numbered 9 and 18.

46. Daoism: Transformations of Tradition

11S: 10

In this course we will explore the historical developments and transformations of Daoism from its ancient roots to present-day practices. We will begin by looking at early traditions of immortality seekers and self-cultivation and at the religious and philosophical ideas in the ancient Chinese texts of the Laozi, Zhuangzi, and Guanzi. We will also examine recent archaeological findings, imperial religious practices, and the complex interaction of Daoism with Buddhism. We will in addition look at contemporary Daoist practices in China and Taiwan. Along the way we will devote special attention to meditation and divination techniques; alchemy and sexual techniques for transcendence; the place of women and the feminine in Daoism.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW. Raz.

For courses at the Introductory level in Chinese Religions, see course numbered 10.

47. Buddhism in China

11F: 2

A study of the advent of Buddhism in China, its accommodating yet transforming response to Chinese traditions and values, the emergence of the authentically Chinese schools of T’ien-T’ai, Hua-yen, Ch’an, and Pure Land Buddhism, and the enduring Bud-dhist heritage of China.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW. Raz.

For courses at the Introductory level in Chinese Religions, see course numbered 10.

48. Body and Sex in Chinese Religions

11W: 11

In this course we will explore how different traditions in China conceptualized the relationship between the human body and the universe, and how individuals can attain immortality and transcendence. After examining different conceptions of the human body in traditional China, we will focus on sexual practices advocated by the traditions of immortality seekers, Daoism, and esoteric Buddhism as ways to enlightenment and transcendence. In our explorations we will look at the earliest records of sexual practices found in tombs of the 3rd century B.C.E. and examine Daoist sexual initiation rites and secret rites practiced by emperors. We will consider how notions of cosmic powers and forces are expressed in sexual rituals and how society views such practices. We will also compare Chinese notions of the body and of sexual practices with those found in West.
Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW. Raz.

49. Topics in East Asian Religions

11S: 10A 12W: 2

In this course students will read and discuss the latest research on one of the religions of East Asia, or a particular sect, movement, or time period in the history of East Asian religions. The topic will change with each offering. Thus, students may take this course more than once. Sample topics include: “Literature and Religion in China,” “Politics and Religion in China,” and “The Body in Japanese Religion.”

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

In 11S and 12W, Apocalyptic Thought in East Asia. Ideas about the cataclysmic end of the world, possible ways to survive such calamities, or to bring them forth appear in several religious traditions in East Asia. This course examines a variety of such eschatological and salvific ideas, beginning with Daoist and Buddhist scriptures in medieval China, proceeding through various religious rebel movements to modern cults such as Aum Shinrikyo in Japan and Falun Gong in China. Raz.

For courses at the Introductory level in East Asian Religions, see course numbered 10.

55. Ancient Egyptian Religion

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

The great civilization of ancient Egypt, which spanned a period of almost 3000 years, has left us a wealth of literary, artistic, architectural, and funerary religious remains. This course will focus on three major aspects of Egypt’s religious heritage: (1) the pantheon and the myths and stories about Egypt’s gods; (2) temple complexes; and (3) tombs, especially the tombs of royalty and other nobles.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

For courses at the Introductory level in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Religions, see courses numbered 4-5.

56. Women and the Bible

10F: 2A

As contemporary Jewish and Christian communities of faith face the question of the role of women within their traditions, many turn to the Bible for answers. Yet the biblical materials are multivalent, and their position on the role of women unclear. This course intends to take a close look at the biblical tradition, both the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the New Testament, to ask what the Bible does – and does not say – about women. Yet the course is called “Women and the Bible,” not “Women in the Bible,” and implicit in this title is a second goal of the course: not only to look at the Bible to see what it actually says about women but also to look at differing ways that modern feminist biblical scholars have engaged in the enterprise of interpreting the biblical text. 

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: CI. Ackerman.

For courses at the Introductory level in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Religions, see courses numbered 4-5.

57. Readings in the Biblical Tradition

10F: 2 11W: 11S: 12

In this course we will engage in an in-depth study of a particular biblical book or of a particular biblical motif. The topic will change with each offering, and students may therefore take this course more than once. Sample topics include “The Exodus Tradition,” “Job and the Joban Tradition,” and “Apocalyptic Traditions.” 

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV.

In 10F, History of Heaven. This course presents an examination of the origins and early evolution of images of the afterlife among the ancient peoples of the Mediterranean basin and Near East. The course will focus on ancient Israelite, biblical, and early Jewish and Christian images. Later developments of these images within Western religions will also be discussed. Wright.

In 11S, The Dead Sea Scrolls: Their Significance for Early Judaism and Christianity. This course offers an introduction to the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) in the context of Judaism in the Second Temple Period and of first-century Christianity. Readings from the DSS will follow the three major divisions of the texts: 1) non-sectarian and bliblical manuscripts; 2) sectarian works dealing with initiation, community rules, and community origins; and 3) interpretive texts (pesharim). In addition, readings from the Hebrew Bible, Apocrypha, Josephus, New Testament, and archeological reports will be required. Lanfer.

For courses at the Introductory level in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Religions, see courses numbered 4-5.

58. Topics in the Bible and Archaeology

11F: 2A

In this course we will study the relationship between various biblical texts and archeological discoveries from the ancient Near East, including ancient Israel, and from the Roman Empire during the period of Christian origins. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which archeological data can be used and abused in attempts to understand the Bible better. The specific topic of the course will change with each offering, and students may therefore take this class more than once. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV.

In 11F, The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and Ancient Israelite Archaeology. Ackerman.

For courses at the Introductory level in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Religions, see courses numbered 4-5.

61. Martin Luther King, Black Religion, and the Civil Rights Movement (Identical to African and African American Studies 82)

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

With special emphasis on the speeches and public work of Martin King, this course will consider how black religious culture, practices, and institutions helped to shape the black freedom movement of the 1950s and 60s. We will explore other figures including Fannie Lou Hamer, James Baldwin, and Malcolm X and consider how they shaped and challenged the role Afro-Protestant culture had in determining the moral language and political strategies associated with the Civil Rights Movement.

Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors, and to first-year students by permission. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.

For courses at the Introductory level in the Christian tradition, see courses numbered 5 and 15. For courses at the Introductory level in Religion in America and in Black Religion, see course numbered 12 and 17.

62. Contemporary Christianity

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

A survey of Christianity from World War I to the 1980s. The emphasis will be placed on the intellectual and the social developments in the Christian Church as it adjusted itself to the social and cultural effects of the World Wars and the Depression, changes in historical and scientific outlooks, the civil rights struggles of minorities, the end of the colonial era, and the rise of mass urbanism and high technology in Euro-America.

For courses at the Introductory level in the Christian tradition, see courses numbered 5 and 15.

70. Foreign Study in Religion I

10F, 11F: D.F.S.P.

Credit for this course is awarded to students who have successfully completed a religion course at the University of Edinburgh while a member of the Dartmouth Foreign Study Program in Religion.

Prerequisite: two courses in Religion. Dist: TMV.

71. Foreign Study in Religion II

10F, 11F: D.F.S.P.

Credit for this course is awarded to students who have successfully completed a religion course at the University of Edinburgh while a member of the Dartmouth Foreign Study Program in Religion.

Prerequisite: two courses in Religion. Dist: TMV.

72. Foreign Study in Religion III

10F, 11F: D.F.S.P.

Credit for this course is awarded to students who have successfully completed a religion course at the University of Edinburgh while a member of the Dartmouth Foreign Study Program in Religion.

Prerequisite: two courses in Religion. Dist: TMV.

74. Special Topics in Religion—Intermediate Level

10F, 11F: D.F.S.P. 11X: 10A

The contents of this course will vary from term to term.

Dist: TMV (unless otherwise indicated). WCult: Varies.

In 10F, D.F.S.P., Kierkegaard and Existentialism. Green.

In 11X, Topic to be announced. Visiting Edinburgh Professor.

In 11F, D.F.S.P., Topic to be announced. MacEvitt.

ADVANCED COURSES

80-81. Seminars

80. Seminars

10F: 2A 11S: 11 11F:10A 12S: 2A

Dist: TMV; WCult: Varies.

In 10F at 2A, Maimonides: 12th Century Enlightenment. Medieval intellectuals were able to defend religion as both a feature of human nature and not necessarily super-naturalistic, whereas in modern times, such an account has been construed as an attack on religion. Through analysis of the great Jewish scholar Maimonides’ writings on divinity, creation, miracles, prophecy, and virtue, the seminar will analyze the medieval ideal of religious enlightenment and assess its viability as a post-modern ideal. Benor.

In 11S at 11, Darwin, Dawkins, and Religious Belief. The first half of this seminar is devoted to lectures and discussions of common readings; the second half is focused on student presentations in one hour seminar-style sessions. A research paper is required on some aspect of the question of whether evolutionary biology is compatible with belief in God. Frankenberry.

In 11F at 10A, Sacred Time. Raz.

In 12S at 2A, Language, Truth, and the Study of Religion. Frankenberry.

81. Dickinson Distinguished Scholar Seminars

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

Dist: TMV; WCult: Varies.

82. Joint Research in Religious Studies

All terms: Arrange.

Two or more students may enroll in this course to pursue through independent reading and research a topic mutually agreed upon between themselves and the instructor. This course may be used in satisfaction of the seminar requirement.

Permission of the Chair is required.

83. Research in Religious Studies (Independent Study)

All terms: Arrange.

84. Advanced Research in Religious Studies (Independent Study)

All terms: Arrange.

Serves in fulfillment of the Culminating Experience requirement. Open to senior majors only; by permission only. Majors electing this option must submit a research proposal for Departmental approval no later than the end of the Spring term of the Junior year. Students who choose to enroll in Religion 84 as their Culminating Experience are normally expected to participate in the Senior Colloquium but are excused from the writing component of the Colloquium. For more information, consult with the Chair.

85. Senior Colloquium

11W, 12W: 10A

As a culminating activity for senior majors, this colloquium serves as a forum for researching and writing the Senior Essay. Two faculty members convene the colloquium and guide the selection of essay topics. Other faculty and guest speakers may visit during the first five weeks of the term for discussion of common readings. The 25-page Senior Essay is expected (1) to display expertise in at least one cultural area, historical period, methodological approach, or body of literature, (2) to build upon previous course preparation, and (3) to engage with one of several approaches or readings discussed in the colloquium. Students who choose to enroll in Religion 84 or Religion 86 and 87 as their Culminating Experience are normally expected to participate in the Senior Colloquium but are excused from the writing component.

Prerequisite: Religion 1. Open only to senior majors. Dist: TMV.

In 11W, Religion and Moral Clarity. Frankenberry and Heschel.

In 12W, Performing Religion. MacEvitt and Ohnuma.

86. Honors I (Research)

All terms: Arrange

Open to seniors only; by permission only. Students who choose to enroll in Religion 86 and 87 as their Culminating Experience are normally expected to participate in the Senior Colloquium but are excused from the writing component of the Colloquium.

87. Honors II (Writing)

All terms: Arrange

Open to seniors only; by permission only. Students who choose to enroll in Religion 86 and 87 as their Culminating Experience are normally expected to participate in the Senior Colloquium but are excused from the writing component of the Colloquium.