Class Schedules

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Fall 2014 Class Schedule - updated March 27, 2015 at 11:56 am

Number/Section  Title
Days Time Room Instructor
RELI 100-01  Introduction to Islam: Formation and Expansion
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am CARN 105 Gregory Lipton
RELI 111-01  Introduction to Buddhism
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am MAIN 111 Erik Davis
*Open only to First Year students, rising sophomores, and rising juniors*

RELI 121-01  New Testament
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm NEILL 216 Susanna Drake
RELI 135-01  India and Rome
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm MAIN 001 Laine, Overman
*Cross-listed with CLAS 135-01*

RELI 194-01  After the Holocaust
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am ARTCOM 202 Barry Cytron
The systematic murder of millions during World War II has challenged most every relationship – between neighbors, faiths, peoples. The language of genocide and ghetto has come to inform how one speaks of faith, morality, even our common humanity. After an introductory study of the events, we turn to a study of the Holocaust’s impact on religious life, and on interreligious and intergroup relations. We will examine questions of collective memory and the search for justice, interrogate the meaning of this event in the “age of decolonization,” and explore the problems raised to personal and communal life by the call to forgiveness and the command to “never forget.” Class meets Mondays and Wednesdays during the week, and Sunday evenings for special events, guest speakers and films.

RELI 232-01  Religion and Food
W 07:00 pm-10:00 pm MAIN 111 Peter Harle
RELI 235-01  Theory and Method in the Study of Religion
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm MAIN 111 Erik Davis
RELI 245-01  Arabic Reading and Translation
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm Gregory Lipton
*Course meets in Old Main 410; cross-listed with CLAS 345-01* This course aims to improve your Arabic reading and translation skills while introducing you to selected genres of Arabic and Islamic literature. The course will proceed in a workshop format and focus on the comprehension and translation of texts in question. Students will learn to use an Arabic dictionary, expand their vocabulary, deepen their understanding of grammar and syntax, and develop skills in reading manuscripts, navigating Arabic texts, and producing English translations. Prerequisite: 3 previous semesters of Arabic language.

RELI 294-01  Literary Bible
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm ARTCOM 102 Theresa Krier
*Cross-listed with ENGL 294-01*

RELI 311-01  Ritual
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm MAIN 003 Erik Davis
*Priority given to declared Major/Minors of Religious Studies and Critical Theory Concentration, permission of the instructor required for all others*

RELI 394-01  The Veil: Christianity, Judaism, Islam
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am MAIN 001 Susanna Drake
*Cross-listed with WGSS 394-01* In this course, we will examine the role of the veil in societies from the ancient Near East to the present. We will pay special attention to veiling as a cultural and religious practice that reflects ideas about piety, gender, and status. Along with learning about the history of the veil and its use in some of the major religious traditions, we will consider the function of the veil in contemporary political debates, and we will explore women's veiling, in particular, as a topic in feminist discourse.

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Spring 2015 Class Schedule - updated March 27, 2015 at 11:56 am

Number/Section  Title
Days Time Room Instructor
RELI 102-01  Modern Islam
MWF 12:00 pm-01:00 pm MAIN 111 Gregory Lipton
In the modern period, Muslim-majority societies have faced daunting social, political, and intellectual challenges. Muslims have sought to find solutions to such challenges by rejecting Islam, transforming Islam, or returning to Islam. Through surveying a broad spectrum of Muslim voices in diverse socio-historical contexts—including traditional religious scholars, modernist intellectuals, Islamist ideologues, and progressive activists and feminists—this class explores some key ways Muslims have defined (and re-defined) themselves in response to the changes wrought by the colonial and post-colonial eras.

RELI 111-01  Introduction to Buddhism
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am MAIN 009 Erik Davis
RELI 130-01  Folklore and Religion
W 07:00 pm-10:00 pm MAIN 111 Peter Harle
RELI 194-02  Jews and Christians: The First Two Thousand Years
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am CARN 06A Cytron, Drake
*This class is part of a Spring 2015 cluster in the department focusing on the theme of religion and conflict. Classes will meet at the assigned time, but there will also be a few joint meetings for outside speakers and dinners.* For twenty centuries, Jews and Christians have mostly argued with one another, as each community formed its respective identity in relation to the other. In the aftermath of World War II, academics and interfaith activists attempted to understand and overturn this history of hostility and set the relationship onto a new path. More recently, however, political events, newer church teachings, and media events have threatened to upend these attempts at harmony and interfaith understanding. In this course we will examine the diverse relations between Jews and Christians from the ancient world to today, and we will explore the complex theological and social history between the two "religions," tracing the repercussions into this new century

RELI 194-03  World Religions and World Religions Discourse
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm MAIN 010 James Laine
Our goal will be to make an effort to comprehend just what cultural literacy would mean when studying the major religious traditions of the world, while at the same time developing an appreciation of some of the blind spots and problems in this enterprise. To a large extent, we will do some serious construction before we feel ready for de-construction. Ever couple of weeks, we will cover one of five major areas (South Asia, East Asia, Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and each student will read a different author's treatment of this material.

RELI 194-04  Sufism: The Islamic Quest for Intimacy with the Beloved
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm CARN 06A Gregory Lipton
With attention to both classical texts and contemporary contexts, this course examines the formative development of Islamic mysticism, or Sufism, and its rich legacy of embodied piety and mystical intimacy. Drawing on the teachings of key Muslim mystics, we will explore the sacred sources, unitive doctrines, and metaphysical cosmology of Sufism, as well as its devotional practices, celebrated poetry, and contested tradition of ecstatic discourse.

RELI 200-01  The Qur'an (Koran)
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am OLRI 170 Gregory Lipton
This course is an introduction to the Qur’an as the textual crystallization of the Prophet Muhammad’s religio-historical legacy and the principal source of divine guidance for Muslims since the inception of Islam. Students will read the Qur'an in translation, explore traditions of Qur'anic interpretation, and engage recent academic approaches to understanding the text in terms of its history, structure, main themes, and prophetology.

RELI 294-01  Buddhist Fascists
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm MAIN 111 Erik Davis
*Cross-listed with ASIA 294-01; this class is part of a Spring 2015 cluster in the department focusing on the theme of religion and conflict. Classes will meet at the assigned time, but there will also be a few joint meetings for outside speakers and dinners.* This mid-level seminar explores modern expressions of what might be called "Buddhist Fascism:" a form of social activism and organization which explicitly places Buddhist and national institutions together, and opposes them - usually violently - to non-nationals and non-Buddhists. This course will examine the development of Fascism as a broad set of modernist ideologies, usually from the point of view of sociological studies of fascist movements.

Beginning with the early Orientalist and race-theories emerging from Europe and South Asia in the Nineteenth Century, this class proceeds to mid-Twentieth Century Imperial Japan, and then to examples in Southeast and South Asian Buddhist countries, including contemporary Buddhist Fascism Movements in Burma/Myanmar and Sri Lanka

RELI 294-02  Banned Books in South Asia
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am MAIN 001 James Laine
*This class is part of a Spring 2015 cluster in the department focusing on the theme of religion and conflict. Classes will meet at the assigned time, but there will also be a few joint meetings for outside speakers and dinners.* Since Salman Rushdie’s novel, The Satanic Verses, was banned in India and Pakistan as blasphemous in 1989, the banning of books in South Asia has become a regular part of politics and the discourses of tolerance, respect, post-colonialism, and freedom of expression. In this course, we will read several such books, first to understand what their opponents saw as threatening and misguided in them, and then to understand what the authors themselves were attempting to communicate. Among the primary books under review will be: Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses; Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus; James Laine’s Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India; and Harjot Oberoi’s The Construction of Religious Boundaries. We will also look at the question of censorship and view some censored or banned films.

RELI 294-03  Making Sacred: Religious Images and Spaces in Asia
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm ARTCOM 102 Kari Shepherdson-Scott
*Cross-listed with ART 270-01 and ASIA 294-02; counts as fine arts distribution*

RELI 325-01  Conquering the Flesh: Renunciation of Food/Sex in the Christian Tradition
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am NEILL 111 Susanna Drake
RELI 394-01  Metaphysics in Secular Thought
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm NEILL 214 Kiarina Kordela
*Cross-listed with GERM 394-01 and POLI 294-03; for description see German Studies listing*

RELI 469-01  Approaches to the Study of Religion
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm MAIN 003 Susanna Drake

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