Religion and modernity are considered by many to be inimical to each other. Yet Fundamentalists, New Agers, international Swamis, and religious nationalists are nothing if not modern. In this course we'll begin with a consideration of what constitutes modernity and the modern world. Then we'll discuss the roots of modern religion. The rest of the course will be case-studies of modern religious movements. Assignments will include one case study for students to write up. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV or INT.
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.
An introductory course that covers the formative period that saw the rise of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism. Questions to be covered include: What is Jewish election or chosenness, and how can that concept be tenable in this post-modern, multicultural society? Are sacrifice and impurity obsolete religious ideas? Was Jesus a Christian or a Jew? What was 'the Bible' like in the time of Rabbi Hillel and Paul the apostle? When did the belief in a blessed everlasting life first emerge? Course includes a field trip to the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science with a world leading expert. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV.
Last Updated: 5/14/13