Academics

Course Catalog

UGRD > RELSTY

Study of Religion

  • RELSTY 104  Socrates, Jesus, Buddha

    Description:
    A study of three great paradigmatic figures and the different ways of life and views of reality which they represented. Attention to the social-cultural contexts in which they emerged; critical evaluation of Socrates and Jesus as sources of Western values; and exploration of why the Buddha has recently become an attractive alternative. Please note: Students may not receive credit for both RELSTY 204G and RELSTY 104.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • RELSTY 109  Symbol, Myth and Ritual: Cultural Studies in Religion

    Description:
    This course introduces students to the academic study of religion by examining the social function of religious phenomena in relation to wider sets of human behaviors, beliefs, and institutions. Students will explore the nature and concept of religion as well as the complex relationship between religion and other dimensions of human culture. Students will consider in particular the role of myths, symbols, and rituals in shaping religious identity. Major topics of discussion may include gender and sexuality, science and religion, death and dying, civil religion, religion and the visual arts, religion and entertainment, and religious violence.   More Info

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  • RELSTY 122  Introduction to Critical Studies in Religion

    Description:
    This course introduces students to two or three religious traditions, including at least one "major" religion and one smaller and/or newer tradition. By studying the historical evolution of the category "Religion" as well as the evolution of the specific "religions," students learn to recognize the historical, economic and political forces that shape "Religion" over time.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • RELSTY 125  Jerusalem: Sacred Space, Contested Space

    Description:
    This course traces the history of Jerusalem from the Bronze Age to the present. Using a sampling of relevant primary sources (e.g., literary, archaeological, iconographical), students will study the political, physical, and conceptual development of this urban space through its multiple destructions and reconstructions, considering especially the emergence of Jerusalem as a sacred space for Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Students will also give some attention o the political tensions in modern Jerusalem, using the study of the past to inform reflection on the present.   More Info

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  • RELSTY 204G  Buddha, Jesus, and Plato

    Description:
    This course addresses the world views expressed in the earliest writings associated with Plato, Jesus, and Buddha, focusing on their different answers to the question, "What finally matters?" Participants acquire skills in gaining an appreciative understanding of challenging views different from their own; thinking critically about religion and morality; and developing their own views about what finally matters. This course may count toward the concentration in the Study of Religion. Please note: Students may receive credit either for this course or for RELSTY C104 (Socrates, Jesus, Buddha), but not for both. Capabilities addressed: Critical reading, critical thinking, clear writing, academic self-assessment.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • RELSTY 220  Myth int he Ancient Near East

    Description:
    Students in this course will examine a selection of myths from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Ugarit, and Israel, with particular focus on the original social, political, religious, and cultural contexts that shaped these compositions. Student swill also give a selective consideration to the enduring legacy of some of these myths in subsequent cultural and literary contexts. Theses examined will include the presentation f the life of the gods, the relationship between the human and divine worlds, mortality and immorality, gender and sexuality, and apocalypticism.   More Info

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  • RELSTY 232L  Asian Religions

    Description:
    This course focuses mainly on Taoism and Mahayana Buddhism, briefly touching also on Hinduism, Confucianism, and Shinto. It situates the classical teachings of these traditions in their historical contexts in India and East Asia, compares them to other worldviews more prevalent in the West, and invites students to consider their possible relevance to life in the world today. ASIAN 232L and RELSTY 232L are the same course.   More Info

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  • RELSTY 233  Introduction to Islam

    Description:
    This course acquaints students with the broad outline of the Islamic religion, including its origins and historical development, its sacred scriptures, and the main beliefs and practices of Muslims. It also considers Islam's mystical dimension, its aesthetic expressions, its views of gender relations, and its orientation in the modern world.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • RELSTY 234L  Religion and Culture in Japan

    Description:
    This class explores the relationship between religion and culture in Japan, from premodern times to the more recent eras. Int he first half of the semester, students will be introduced to the two main religions of Japan, Buddhism and Shinto, through various types of cultural texts that range from scriptures and fiction to theatrical performances. Int he second half, the class will look at a range of religious movements and phenomena that are less mainstream, but no less crucial to the culture and society of their times. Such movements include the introduction of Christianity to Japan, religions of "ethnic minorities," and newer religious groups that appeared in the late 19th into the 20th centuries.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • RELSTY 235L  Yoga in History, Philosophy, and Practice

    Description:
    This course examines the history, philosophies, and practices of Yoga in their religious and cultural contexts. In the modern west, Yoga has become popular as a secular form of exercise. However, the diverse Yoga traditions of India have also involved sophisticated analyses of the mind and systems of mediation. Intrinsic to no single religion, Yoga has had roles in most South Asian traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sufism or Islamic mysticism. The course surveys this rich history and the history of the various forms of meditative and physical discipline Yoga has entailed.   More Info

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  • RELSTY 239L  Hindu Myth and Narrative: the Epics and Puranas

    Description:
    This course studies Hinduism through its narrative literature, especially the great epics (the Mahabharata and Ramayana) and mythological texts (Puranas - the "Ancient Books"). Through stories of gods, devotees, villains, and heroes, the course explores the development of significant themes in the Hindu tradition, from ethics and philosophy to asceticism and religious devotion. An important focus of the course is the enduring cultural significance of myth and the epics of South and Southeast Asia, as retold through the ages in a variety of languages, cultural contexts, and media, including classical and vernacular texts, the oral tradition, drama, dance, and cinema.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • RELSTY 241  Myth, History, and Prophecy: Old Testament

    Description:
    Interpretation of the religion and literature of ancient Israel in comparison with the mythic religious forms of the ancient Near East, with some attention to subsequent biblical interpretation, literature, and philosophy. Central themes include myth and history, covenant, charismatic leadership, imperial religion, prophetic protest, and apocalyptic visions.   More Info

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  • RELSTY 242  New Testament, Judaism, and Hellenistic Religion

    Description:
    A study of the religion and the literature of early Christianity in comparison with other, contemporary, Jewish movements-Pharisees, Essenes, others-and with Hellenistic philosophy and mystery religions. Concentration on the career and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, the interpretation of his significance, and the development and diversity of the Christian movement.   More Info

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  • RELSTY 245  The History of Christianity

    Description:
    A study of Christianity in its diverse forms, exploring the development of institutional forms, theology, and Christianity's relation to the world. Materials include a comprehensive text, primary source readings, and cultural resources, such as music and images. Special attention is paid to people who were marginalized or subordinated within Christian history, such as women, non-literate people, non-Europeans and "heretics."   More Info

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  • RELSTY 264  Contemporary Religious Thought

    Description:
    This course acquaints students with several major religious traditions within the U.S. and explores how each religious tradition responds to contemporary questions such as interreligious toleration, violence, sexuality, work, and gender relations. We will not seek any one answer to these questions, but explore the religious options for responding to these central issues of contemporary life.   More Info

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  • RELSTY 271L  Religion and the Arts

    Description:
    This course examines the interplay between religion and aesthetics, as expressed through the literary, visual, and performing arts. Structured thematically rather than by religious tradition, this course covers topics such as religious seeing, visual representation of the divine through icons and iconography, iconoclasm and the power of images, aniconism, calligraphy and geometric design, sacred space and religious architecture, religion and the book arts, religious music, dance, and drama, visual narrativization, and religious ritual as performance. ASIAN 271L and RELSTY 271L are the same course.   More Info

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  • RELSTY 273  Problems in Religion and Ethics

    Description:
    Consideration of certain religious-ethical perspectives on a few key social issues such as medical ethics, racial and sexual oppression, poverty, and violence. Concentration on three or four different positions such as those of Cox, Daly, Heschel, King, Niebuhr, Vatican II, and Third-World Catholic figures.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • RELSTY 274L  Women and Religion in Global Perspective

    Description:
    An introduction to the varieties of ways in which women inhabit, challenge, reject, and/or flourish within major religious traditions in the world today. In Part One of the course, students gain literacy in religious traditions, focusing on dimensions that bear on women. In Part Two, students will choose two issues to research (e.g., womens religious leadership; the sacred feminine; covering/veiling; women and sex; women and sacred scriptures; marriage/polygamy, comparing how women in different religions engage with that issue. RELSTY 274L and WOST 274L are the same course.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • RELSTY 280  Special Topics

    Description:
    This course offers study of selected topics within this subject. Course content and credits vary according to topic and are announced prior to the registration period.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • RELSTY 356L  Feminist Theology and Spirituality

    Description:
    This course explores feminism and theology as resources for each other. Participants study feminist critiques and revisions of Judaism, Christianity, "syncretistic" Christian-indigenous traditions, and Goddess spirituality. Special attention is given to religious experience of women in dominated cultures (e.g., Third World Women, women of color). Students form semester-long working groups around relevant topics of their own choosing. RELSTY 356L and WOST 356L.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • RELSTY 358L  Psychology, Politics, and Philosophy in East Asia

    Description:
    Why do attitudes in China, Korea, and Japan differ from Western attitudes on such issues as human rights; individualism and community; child rearing; moral and psychological development; the role of government; and proper behavior in business organizations? This course explores the roots of these differences in the Confucian tradition. ASIAN 358L and RELSTY 358L are the same course.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • RELSTY 370  Religion and Law

    Description:
    This course teaches students to think critically and knowledgably about church-state relations, with attention to the difficulty of defining religion. Students first study the U.S. Constitution, relevant case law and history, then key concepts and controversies (e.g., separationism vs. accommodationism). In the last section of the course, students apply knowledge and principles to current cases.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • RELSTY 376L  Religion and International Relations

    Description:
    The course seeks to acquaint students with the roles of religion in the interactions of states. These roles include the states' sense of self and "other," the construction and subversion of international norms, the shaping of human consciousness for domination (oppression) and liberation, and in the fashioning of visions and processes by which human communities have sought to journey from local to more universal associations. IR 376L and POLSCI 376L and RELSTY 376L are the same course.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • RELSTY 478  Independent Study

    Description:
    Open only to a very limited number of students in any one semester. A written prospectus must be formulated with the instructor.   More Info

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  • RELSTY 479  Independent Study

    Description:
    Open only to a very limited number of students in any one semester. A written prospectus must be formulated with the instructor.   More Info

    Offered in: