An introduction to the major religious traditions in the cultural areas of South, Southeast, and East Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shinto.
An introduction to the major religious traditions that have shaped Near Eastern and Western culture; especially Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
This course examines emergence and evolution of Islamic Civilizations from the seventh century though the modern era. It covers the birth and spread of Islam, the rise and fall of Muslim Empires, religious and political institutions, scientific and cultural achievements, and the position of women and religious minorities.
A basic introduction to Judaism, this course explores Jewish traditions from their origins in ancient Israelite religion; Rabbinic Judaism; Jewish philosophy and mysticism; contemporary Jewish movements; the primary texts of Judaism; and the religious experience, values, beliefs, practices, and symbols of a variety of "Judaisms" throughout the world.
This course introduces the wide range of Buddhist ideas and practices that have developed in Asia. It considers the social context in which Buddhism developed, the philosophical bases of all Buddhist schools, the development of the Mahayana, Buddhist Tantra, and Buddhist practices in South, Southeast and East Asia.
This course explores the historical development and manifestations of Native American religions from before European contact to the present. The course examines the diverse experiences of Native Americans, analyzes the changing roles of Native American religions, and questions traditional conceptions of Native Americans and Native American religions throughout American history.
This course will survey the Bible and some other related Near Eastern literature, focusing on the development of genres, motifs, and other literary forms that have influenced the form and content of Western literature, including the parable, the proverb, the loss of Eden, exile and return, origin stories, and hero stories. (Offered jointly with English).
India is well-known as the land of Hinduism, but it is also the birthplace of Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, and it is the home to a substantial portion of the world's Muslims. In this class, we will learn about each of these major Indian religions, as well as the way in which they relate to each other historically.
An introduction to selected critical issues relating to contemporary academic concerns. A variety of religion to modern culture and intellectual positions will be analyzed and discussed.
The comparative study of the ethical dilemmas and discourse within religious narratives and traditions. The course presents selected ethical dilemmas and raises questions requiring students to analyze the positions embedded within religious narratives, and develop their own informed ethical positions. Topics include war, human rights, ecology, economic justice, and sexuality.
A study of selected texts and religious thought from India, China, and Japan in relation to their impact on personal spiritual development and cultural integration.
This course will explore - thematically rather than cronologically - major trends in contemporary Islamic thought and practice through a study of key thinkers and a close reading of their works. Such trends include modernism, reformism, fundamentalism, nationalism, centrism, liberalism and feminism.
This course will trace changing conceptions of gender roles and the functions of women in various religious traditions. Feminine and masculine images of divinity will be compared and recent scholarship in feminist theology on questions such as the nature of divinity, immortality, and religious devotion will be examined.
This course examines the role of religion in contemporary American society and in communities around the globe from a geographic perspective. Significant places and spatial patterns associated with religions will be investigated along with the relationship between religion and the political landscape. Students will be expected to identify, visit, and analyze two religious sites in their community.
This course presents a variety of ways of examining the problem of evil in several of the world's religious traditions--as a philosophical and theological problem for understanding the relationship between God and human beings in monotheistic religions, but also in broader comparative perspective through the confrontation of evil in polytheistic and non-theistic religions.
An examination of the significant role played by religious ideas and traditions in American society from colonial times to the present in historical and cultural perspectives.
A study of the function and forms of religious groups in primitive and contemporary societies; a theoretical examination of religion as a basic social institution. (Offered jointly with sociology).
A critical examination of philosophical and religious materials dealing with death and dying. Issues such as the nature of death, the fear of death, the possibility of an afterlife, the concept of immortality, ethical and legal problems raised in the dying process, the ethics of hospice care, and the morality of euthanasia will be considered.
Modern Religious Movements will introduce students to the historical development and contemporary manifestations of various religions or religious traditions throughout the world from the early modern era to the present. It explores both those religious forms born within the modern era and those religious movements that are shaping religious expression today.
This course will examine the origins, implementation, and legacies of the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews. It is intended to help students gain an appreciation of the importance of the Holocaust to the Jewish experience, while understanding that other groups also were victimized. (Offered jointly with Sociology).
Variable topics. Group activity oriented presentations emphasizing `hands on` and participatory instructional techniques. Repeatable