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.
A survey of religion in North America from the Civil War to the present. We'll examine the plight of immigrants in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, discuss how urbanization and industrialization recast social norms, gender roles, and religious ideology, and chart the emergence of evangelicalism as a political movement late in the twentieth century. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.
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.
description forthcoming. Dist: TMV; WCult: CI.
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.
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.
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.
This course examines Korean Christians' beliefs and practices, which have shaped and brought tensions to current socio-religious phenomena. Topics include the Korean origins of Christianity, the encounter between Catholicism and Neo-Confucianism in the eighteenth century, Protestant missionaries' role in medicine and education, the rise of nationalism and Christianity under Japanese colonialism, churches in North Korea, Pentecostalism under South Korea's rapid industrialization and democratization, Korean missionaries around the world, and Christian musicians and entertainers in Korea, as well as the interface between gender and Korean Christian culture. Dist: TMV, WCult: NW, Major Dist: AALAC
This course compares and contrasts magical practices and mysticism in (primarily) Western Europe from pre-Christian Judaism to the present day. An alternative voice to institutionalized piety emerges, one that is often (although not always) associated with those culturally marginalized, including women. The focus is interdisciplinary: we examine spiritual literature, poetry, artwork (including the engravings of William Blake), early modern music, and some hymns. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV.
Last Updated: 5/14/13