Fall 2004

Undergraduate Courses

RELG 101 Introduction to Western Religions

Heather Warren

An historical survey of the origins and development of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Subjects include the origins of monotheism, the rise of Israel as a nation, early Christianity, the rise of Islam in the Middle Ages, the Protestant Reformation, Christianity during the Enlightenment, and the influence of modern science and industrialism on 19th and 20th century religious life. Requirements: Weekly readings, a mid-term, and a final.

RELJ 111 Introduction to Biblical Hebrew

Martien Halvorson-Taylor

This course and its sequel (RELJ 112) will introduce students to the basics of Biblical Hebrew vocabulary and grammar, for the express purpose of reading the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament in its original language. An inductive approach, employing biblical verses to illustrate grammatical points, will allow exposure to the canonical writings themselves from the start. Midway through the semester, we will begin reading longer prose passages directly from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. There will also be discussion of important Hebrew terms and concepts from the biblical readings.

RELC 121/ RELJ 121 Old Testament/ Hebrew Scriptures

Martien Halvorson-Taylor

This course will examine a particular body of literature, known to Jews as Tanakh and to Christians as the Old Testament. These texts are the main source of information on the life, history and religion of ancient Israel. These texts are also authoritative (in varying and complicated ways) for present-day Christians and Jews. In this course we will attempt to put the Hebrew Scriptures in historical context, thinking critically about their witness to ancient ideas and events. We will also consider the continuing life of this literature, how it has been read, how it has left its mark on diverse communities and cultures, including that of present-day America.

INST 200 Ethics and Integrity in Contemporary Life

Jim Childress

RELJ 203 Judaic Tradition

Vanessa Ochs

An introduction to Judaism as it is practiced as a living tradition. We will survey the central Jewish beliefs that undergird the Jewish tradition and examine the ritual context in which these beliefs are manifest: sacred text study, prayer, holy day practices and life cycle passages (e.g. birth, marriage, death). We will explore the ancient sources from which so much of the Jewish tradition derives and observe the ever-changing ways tradition is manifest in contemporary Jewish life. We will draw on film, sacred text study and anthropological observation of Jewish life in Charlottesville today.

RELC 205 History of Christianity I

Robert Wilken

How did Christianity evolve from a small Jewish sect in Palestine into a church that embraced the Mediterranean world, Europe, the middle East, Byzantium and the Slavic peoples? How did the teachings of Jesus and the events of his life become the foundation for a complex system of belief (e.g. Trinity), ethics (e.g. marriage), worship? What was the origin and development of Christian institutions and practices, e.g. bishops and clergy, the papacy, monasticism, Baptism, Communion, et al. How did the Bible take its present form? How was this faith understood and explained in rational terms? These are the broader questions addressed in a survey of the first thousand years of Christian history.

RELI 207 Classical Islam

Aziz Sachedina

A historical and topical survey of the origins and development of Islamic religion. Special attention will be given to the life and career of the Prophet Muhammad, the teachings of the Qur'an, the development of the Muslim community and its principal institutions, theological and legal schools, philosophical and mystical developments, to about 1300 A.D. Readings will include the following: M. G. S. Hodgson, Venture of Islam, Volume I; Fazlur Rahman, Major Themes of the Qur'an; John Renard, Seven Doors to Islam Course Requirements: Hour Test and Final Examination. Two short papers on selected topics (4-5 pages). Participation in a field trip to the Islamic Center in Washington DC and the Freer Gallery of Art. No prerequisite.

RELH 209 Introducition to Hinduism

John Nemec

RELB 210 Introduction to Buddhism

Karen Lang

This course is an introduction to Buddhism, beginning with its origins in India, its spread throughout Asia to the West. The course will examine the historical and cultural contexts in which Buddhist beliefs and practices developed and are still developing. We will explore a wide variety of sources to understand the many ways in which Buddhists have attempted to understand who the Buddha is, what he and his followers have to say about karma and rebirth, the practice of meditation and the pursuit of enlightenment. We will also examine the views of contemporary Buddhist teachers on these issues and on the challenges Buddhism faces in the modern world. Two hourly examinations and a final.

RELJ 222 Jewish Nationalism

Asher Biemann

This course will examine Jewish nationalism and Zionism as cultural, intellectual, and political movements within the context of modern Jewish and European history. Focusing on primary sources, we will try to understand the religious and secular origins of the Jewish national idea and discuss its contemporary significance.

GREE 223 New Testament Greek (Intermediate Greek)

Judith Kovacs

The aims of this course are to solidify your knowledge of Hellenistic Greek grammar and vocabulary and to gain speed and proficiency in reading and translating the Greek New Testament. We will read passages from I Corinthians and Romans, as well as some passages from the Acts of the Apostles. We will also consider some of the principles of New Testament textual criticism. Prerequisite: Greek 101-102 or permission of the instructor. Graduate students should consult instructor about registration.(Course may count toward the Religious Studies major)

RELC 233 History of Christian Ethics

Margaret Mohrmann

This course will survey the development of Christian ethical thought and teaching from its beginnings through the Reformation era. Major ethical themes will be traced through the centuries, as the church's scripture, evolving doctrine, and emerging tradition interact - in thought, word, and deed - with secular society, politics, and philosophy. Readings will be taken mostly from primary texts, such as the Bible and the writings of selected Christian thinkers, but will also include relevant historical and ethical analyses of the developing church and its social milieu. Each class session will include lecture and discussion.

RELC 236 Elements of Christian Thought

Eugene Rogers

Everything you always wanted to know about Christianity but were afraid to ask. This course investigates the overall coherence of Christianity considering such critical questions as the following: How do we study Christianity in Religious Studies? How do human beings search for God? How do Christians say God searches for human beings? Does God make choices (predestination)? Who is in control of salvation (grace and free will)? What is the trinity about? How do Christians explain how Jesus saves? How does Christianity relate to Judaism? Why does a good and almighty God permit evil? What is the body for? What is salvation, anyway? Readings are arranged topically and come from the greatest hits of the Christian tradition and present rival views on most questions. Authors include Protestant, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, and secular thinkers, such as Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Thomas Jefferson, C.S. Lewis, and Karl Barth. Requirements: There are two options, both of which require regular participation in a class newsgroup. The exam version requires two non-cumulative tests. The writing version, which fulfills the Second Writing Requirement, requires two papers and no tests.

RELG 238 Faith and Doubt in the Modern Age

Jamie Ferreira

Is belief in God based on wishful thinking; is it a neurotic response to lie? How are fear and guilt related to it? Is it a primitive stage in human intellectual development? Is it inherently immoral? Can one be rational and a believer at the same time? In this course we will consider questions like these by looking at historically important examples of such criticisms. We will study both the 'faith' which inspired these critiques and the implications of such critiques for believers. The class is a once-weekly seminar, by instructor permission only.

RELC 240 History of American Catholicism (cross listed with HIEU 240)

Gerald Fogarty

The election of John Kennedy signified, on one level, the acceptance of Catholics as Americans. The document of religious liberty of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) seemed to ratify what had long been a cherished American Catholic tradition. Proving to be loyal to the Catholicism of Rome and the democracy of the United States had been the dilemma of American Catholics. To understand this dilemma, the course will treat the following themes: the early Spanish and French settlements; the beginning of English-speaking Catholicism in Maryland; the establishment of the hierarchy under John Carroll and its early development; immigration and nativism; American Catholic support of religious liberty and conflict with the Vatican at the end of the 19th century; and the American Catholic contribution to Vatican II (1962-1965).

RELB 245 Zen

Paul Groner

This course is a study of the development and history of the thought, practices, goals, and institutions of Zen Buddhism as it has evolved in India, China, Japan, and America. Among the topics discussed are meditation, enlightenment, the role of Zen in the arts, life in a Zen monastery, and the rhetoric used in Zen. The course focuses on Zen, but developments in other forms of Buddhism are also considered and contrasted with Zen.

RELB 254 Tibetan Buddhist Culture

Douglas Duckworth

This course surveys Tibetan Buddhist religious culture in terms of its history, biographical traditions, religious communities, cultural patterns, ritual life, contemplative traditions, and philosophical discourses. The focus will be on how tantric Buddhism has historically functioned in Tibet to relate these different dimensions together as an identifiable cultural zone of vast geographical terrain, despite never achieving any form of political unity. These range from controversies over antinomian practices pertaining to sexuality and violence, to Tibet¹s religo-political solution to tantra¹s decentralized paradigm of religious leaders understood to be Buddhas with local mandalas of absolute authority. We will look into the rise of the institution of reincarnate lamas that culminated in the Dalai Lama, and address the theory that Tibet¹s lack of centralization led to the importance of so-called "shamanic" trends of Buddhism. Finally we will also examine at great depth Tibetan innovations in Buddhist philosophy, ritual and yoga.

RELG 265 Theology Ethics & Medicine

Jim Childress

An analysis of the ethical principles that should undergird decisions in science, medicine, and health care. The lectures readings, and discussions will focus on ethical principles developed within different ethical traditions (such as Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, and Humanism) and on their implications for cases in abortion, death and dying, research involving human subjects, artificial reproduction, genetic engineering, cloning, and allocating resources. Several films, videotapes, and cases will be used. Requirements: Midterm, final examination, 4 brief papers (2 pages) and participation in discussion.

RELA 275 African Religions

Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton

An introductory survey of African religions. The course concentrates on African traditional religions but Islam and Christianity are also discussed. Topics include indigenous mythologies and cosmologies, sacrifice, initiation, witchcraft, artistic traditions and African religions in the New World. Readings include: Ray, African Religions; Stoller & Olkes, In Sorcery's Shadow; Soyinka, Death and the King's Horseman; Ijimere, The Imprisonment of Obatala; Salih, The Wedding of Zein; and a packet of readings. Requirements: regular attendance and participation in discussion, two in-class exams, and a cumulative final exam.

RELC 303 / RELJ 303 Jesus As An Historical Figure

Harry Gamble

This course focuses on Jesus of Nazereth as an historical figure, that is, as he is accessible to the historian by means of historical methods applied to historical evidence. Careful attention will be given to all the potentially useful sources including the canonical Gospels, apocryphal Gospels, and Jewish and Graeco-Roman sources, as well as to the problems of dealing with them. A reconstruction of the activity and teaching of Jesus will be attempted, with a view to determining Jesus' place within ancient Judaism and the relation of Jesus to the emergence of Christianity.

RELC 305 Theologies of Liberation

Corey Walker

Who is God to the oppressed? What does it mean to do Christian theology from the underside? This course will critically examine the ideas, methodologies, and orientations of different theological orientations within the field of Liberation Theology, including African-American, Gay/Lesbian, Latin American, Minjung, Mujerista, and Womanist theologies of liberation. The course will focus on theological method, modes of social and economic analysis particularly those perspectives inspired by varieties of critical theory and philosophies of liberation, and challenges to traditional Christian theologies.

RELJ 307 Jewish Theology and Beliefs after the Holocaust

Peter Ochs

This is not a course about the Holocaust, but about efforts to restore and renew Judaism after the Holocaust. It is about what it means, after such unimaginable destruction, to have faith in God, to retain the Covenant between Israel and God, to remain a Jew, to retain or to rebuild relations with Christians and with Europeans, to have children, to look with any hope to the future. Students should have studied some history or literature about the Holocaust before taking the class, so that they are prepared to ask "what now?" Students should also have taken Introduction to Judaism, or other basic courses in Judaism, before taking this course. The course will include readings in theology, philosophy, rabbinic and scriptural text study, and literature. There will be regular writing.

RELB 308 Buddhist Saints

Amy Miller

This seminar examines Buddhist saintly figures from both literary and historical perspectives. Beginning with the life-narratives of the Buddha, we will consider the nature and development of hagiographical writing within the Buddhist literature of a variety of cultures. We will also discuss cults of living saints in Buddhist history and in the modern-day Buddhist cultural context.

RELG 313 Idolatry

Asher Biemann

To the monotheistic traditions, including Judaism, idolatry represents one of the most abhorrent moral transgressions. Permeating both the religious and the secular, the prohibition against idol worship has become deeply ingrained in Western culture delineating the boundaries between "true" and "strange." Yet, while the religious significance of idolatry seems to have vanished, the idol continues to remain in the vocabulary of our everyday language. Beginning with Biblical sources, covering a range from Mishnah to Marx, and concluding with contemporary texts, this course will examine the philosophical framework of casting idolatry as an unspeakable sin: What is an idol, and why is idolatry so objectionable? With an emphasis on Judaism, though not exclusively, we will discuss idolatry in the context of representation, election, otherness, emancipation, nationalism, secularism, religious innovation, and messianism.

RELC 324 Medieval Christian Mystics

Augustine Thompson

The students of this seminar will read and discuss representative Christian mystics from the period 1000–1600. Each meeting will focus on a particular group of mystics. Students will prepare individual oral reports on their particular readings and give them during each session. After the reports the rest of the time will be devoted to general discussion and comparison of the texts. All students will also write a research paper (15 to 20 pages—50% of grade) on the writings of a mystic chosen by them.

RELC 342 The Christian Vision of Hell

Charles Mathewes

This class will investigate the various ways in which Christians have imagined Hell: the idea of the place (or condition) of final and possibly endless torment meted out to those who were not redeemed by God from their sin. We will investigate the idea of Hell from a variety of positions (including those who argue for and against the idea of Hell, and those who argue for an empty Hell) and using a variety of genres (including biblical texts, philosophical and theological treatments, and literary works). The ultimate aim of the course will be to see what such a study illuminates for us concerning the meaning of (1) punishment, (2) time, and (3) the nature of--and relation between--divine love and divine justice in Christian thought.

RELG 343 Ethics and Fiction

Jennifer Geddes

In this course we will consider the many facets of the relationship between ethics and fiction, including: narrative as a consitutive element of ethics, ethical questions as raised by novels and short stories, and fiction reading as a means of ethical development. Readings will include novels, short stories, scriptures, and ethical theory.

RELC 347 Religion and Science

John Portmann

Christian Europe gave rise to modern sciece, yet Christianity and science have enjoyed reputations as mutual enemies. Does science undermine religious belief? Exploration of the encounter between these two powerful cultural forces. Study of the intellectual struggle to locate and anchor God in the modern world (specifically Giordano Bruno, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Freud, Einstein, and Feynman). Focus on the 20th century: the discovery of radio waves, x-rays, use of the first skyscraper, automobiles, vaccine, psychoanalysis, rise of the quantum theory of the atom, birth control pill, "morning after pill," human genome, and stem cell research. Final ten-page paper, regular class participation, and three-hour final examination

RELJ 349 Jewish Culture and History in Eastern Europe

Jeffrey Grossman

This course is a comprehensive examination of the culture and history of East European Jewry from 1750 to 1939 and is intended to acquaint students with the study of East European Jewish culture and history and assumes no prior training in the subject. Class meetings will combine lecture and discussion. Most of the reading assignments will come from primary sources -novels, short stories, folktales, diaries, memoirs, and interviews. In class we will also examine East European Jewish music and visual arts. Course requirements will include two 5-page essays and a 10-page term paper as well as conscientious participation in class discussion. This course will fulfill the second writing assignment.

RELC 350 American Feminist Theology

Pam Cochran

This course analyzes contemporary theological models for American feminists. Christianity is not new to feminism; however, with few exceptions, feminist attempts to reinterpret and recover theology by and for women have arisen only with the advent of contemporary feminism. The primary goal of the course is to understand the various types of Christian feminism that exist in America today and how these theologies contribute to or challenge American feminism. In order to come to this understanding, we will begin by looking at the history of the women's movement and an overview of contemporary feminism in its various manifestations. Questions we will consider include: How does each theological model account for women's situation? How does each model account for and construct traditional theological concepts such as: sin, salvation, the nature of God, anthropology, and biblical authority? How does each read the biblical text? What are their strengths and limitations in making these accountings?

RELC 353 End of the World in Christian Thought

Augustine Thompson

This course will examine Christian speculation on the End of the World from the first century to the present. Special emphasis will be paid to Biblical and apocryphal sources for such speculation, ancient Christian millenarianism, medieval and Reformation apocalypticism, nineteenth- and twentieth-century dispensationalism, and contemporary images of the End in literature and film. Required readings will be taken from original sources. Written requirements include a book report, mid-term, final exam, and term paper (ca. 15 pages).

RELC 356 In Defense of Sin

John Portmann

Exploration of transgression in Judaism and Christianity with a focus on the Ten Commandments and the seven deadly sins. Reflection on who determines what is sinful and why. Close reading of texts challenging the wrongfulness of acts and attitudes long considered sinful, with critical attention to the persuasiveness of religious rules. Does religious life remain focused on pleasing God, or is it now principally a matter of familial / ethnic obligation? Or has it perhaps become simply a personal quest with indeterminate goals? What does sin have to do with the modern world? Final ten-page paper, regular class participation, and three-hour final examination

RELC 369 The Gospel of John/Revelation

Judith Kovacs

This course focuses on two New Testament books attributed by Christian tradition to the apostle John and considers literary, historical, and theological questions through a close reading of the texts. Our study of Revelation will also emphasize reception history, that is how this book has been interpreted through the ages and how it has influenced theology, literature, politics, and art. Some specific issues to be addressed are: What is distinctive about the portrayal of Jesus in the Gospel of John, and why was this gospel so important in the development of Christian theology? How does this gospel use irony and other literary techniques? What clues can we find in the text that help us imagine the specific historical situation in which the gospel was written? What are the reasons for, and implications of its portrayal of "the Jews"? How do ancient Jewish works called "apocalypses" help us understand the Revelation to John? How are we to make sense of the bewildering array of symbols and images this book contains? What is its primary message--does it advocate vengeance, social justice, or a worldwide Christian mission? Why has Revelation been particularly beloved by artists, poets, and prophets? No prerequisite. Requirements: midterm, final and one paper.

RELG 388 Environmental Ethics

Willis Jenkins

RELA 390 Islam in Africa / RELI 390 Islam in Africa

Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton

This course offers an historical and topical introduction to Islam in Africa. After a brief overview of the central features of the Muslim faith, our chronological survey begins with the introduction of Islam to North Africa in the 7th century. We will trace the transmission of Islam via traders, clerics, and jihads to West Africa. We shall consider the medieval Muslim kingdoms; the development of Islamic scholarship and the reform tradition; the growth of Sufi brotherhoods; and the impact of colonization and de-colonization upon Islam. Our overview of the history of Islam in East Africa will cover: the early Arab and Asian mercantile settlements; the flowering of classical Swahili courtly culture; the Omani sultanates and present-day Swahili society as well as recent "Islamist" movements in the Sudan and other parts of the East African interior. Readings and classroom discussions provide a more in-depth exploration of topics encountered in our historical survey. Through the use of ethnographical and literary materials, we will explore questions such as the translation and transmission of the Qur'an, indigenization and religious pluralism; the role of women in African Islam; and African Islamic spirituality. Midterm, final, short paper, participation in discussion.

RELG 400a Majors Seminar: Death and the Afterlife

Ben Ray

Restricted to 3rd and 4th year Religious Studies Majors ONLY
The goal of this seminar is to develop an informed and critical perspective on the study of religion through the study of myths, rituals, and literature concerning death and afterlife. The seminar does not intend to make the case for any single definition of religion or to take a particular theological perspective on death, but rather to have participants develop critical skills necessary for evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of a number of scholarly approaches to the subject. Requirements: Six short papers, approximately one every other week. No mid-term and no final exam.

RELG 400b Majors Seminar: Religion and Drama

Larry Bouchard

Restricted to 3rd and 4th year Religious Studies Majors, and five 3rd or 4th year non-majors by permission of the instructor
This edition of the Majors Seminar will look at several ways of understanding (or interpreting) how theatrical drama is linked with religious communities and some perspectives on religion. We will be concerned with how theatre and drama have been understood as elements within religion, and with how views of religion have also provided perspectives on drama As always, part of our time in the seminar will be devoted to several definitions or approaches to the study of religion. What meanings does the term "religion" acquire? Can we speak of religion "in general," given that religion is with us through particular traditions of belief, practice, and experience? We will and pay special to how ideas about society and psychology, culture and identity, symbol and ritual, and ethics and theology figure in some academic approaches to religion. At other times we will examine a small selection of plays, performances, and interpretations of theatre, asking how they might further our understanding of religious practice and thought. Reading and perhaps "performing" aloud in class-on a voluntary basis-will probably figure in some of our sessions, as may attendance at some locally available plays or performances. Assignments: one or two short reaction papers, presentation of these in class, an essay-style mid-term exam, and a final paper on a course related topic.

RELG 415 Salem Witch Trials in History and Literature

Ben Ray

Restricted to Majors in Religious Studies, History, and English
This seminar will explore the rich range of historical scholarship, literary fiction, and primary source materials relating to the infamous witch trials of Salem Village in 1692. How and why did the accusations begin? How and why did they stop? Serious theories and wild speculations abound, both then and now. Who were the heroes and villains of this tragic episode? Some of the most gripping personal stories may be found in the primary sources and literary treatments. Explore the impact of this small-scale, 300 year-old event on the American cultural heritage -- why has "Salem witchcraft" become part of the American cultural imagination? In addition to two major historical studies, Boyer & Nissenbaum, SALEM POSSESSED and Norton, IN THE DEVIL'S SNARE, and a seminmal article by Rosenthal on Tituba, we will read literary works by Hawthorne, "Young Goodman Brown," Longfellow, GILES CORY OF SALEM FARMS, and Miller's THE CRUCIBLE. The course will also make extensive use of the Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive http://etext.virginia.edu/salem/witchcraft which contains all the original court documents and contemporary accounts. Using these resouces, students will write original research essays on important people and events related to the witch trials.

RELG 422 American Religious Autobiography

Heather Warren

A multidisciplinary examination of religious self-perception in relation to the dominant values of American life. Readings represent a variety of spiritual traditions and autobiographical forms, among them Thomas Merton's The Sign of Jonas; The Autobiography of Malcolm X; Charles Colson's Born Again; and Kathleen Norris' Dakota: A Spiritual Geography. Fulfills the majors seminar requirement. Prerequisites: Courses in religious studies, American history, or American literature. Requirements: Two short papers (5-7 pp. each) and an autobiography (20 pp.). (Note to Religious Studies Majors: This course fulfills the Majors Seminar requirement. )

RELG 423 Bioethics Internship Seminar

Margaret Mohrmann

This course is designed to provide students with experience in discerning and analyzing ethical issues as they arise in particular clinical settings. Each student will spend one half-day each week in a clinic or other health-care-related setting (the same setting throughout the semester) under the mentorship of a health care professional engaged in that setting. Seminar time will focus both on the role of the ethicist/observer and on the particular issues that commonly arise in clinical medicine. During the second half of the semester, students will give presentations related to their specific areas of observation. Students are expected to have some background knowledge of bioethics methods and common questions. Admittance to the course is by application; for details, see the Undergraduate Bioethics Program Website at http://www.uva.edu/~bioethic/intern.htm

RELS 495 Independent Research

Instructor: Student's choice

Systematic readings in a selected topic under detailed supervision. Prerequisite: Permission of departmental advisor and instructor

RELS 496 Distinguished Major Thesis

Instructor: Student's choice

Thesis, directed by a member of the department, focusing on a specific problem in the theoretical, historical or philosophical study of religion or a specific religious tradition. The thesis is based in part on at least three hours of directred reading in the field of the thesis. Prerequisite: Selection by faculty for Distinguished Major Program.

RELS 497 Fourth Year Essay

Instructor: Student's choice

Studies selected topic in religious studies under detailed supervision. The writing of an essay constitutes a major portion of the work. Prerequisite: permission of deparmental advisor and instructor.

Graduate Courses

RELG 507 Interpretation Theory

Larry Bouchard

We will explore various approaches to interpretation theory, with emphasis on the nature and problems of interpretive activity in aesthetics, religion, and ethics. We will take up hermeneutical considerations of figuralism (e.g. Erich Auerbach), truth and understanding in encounters with texts and others (e.g., Schleiermacher, Gadamer, Ricoeur, Adam Zachary Newton), and reconsiderations of the hermeneutical model in such figures as Bahktin and Martha Nussbaum. Special attention may be given this time to postmodern views of religious discourse (e.g., in Derrida and some of his sympathizers and critics). Requirements: Class participation of assigned materials, a midterm take-home examination, and either a paper or an essay final.

RELB 533 Colloquial Tibetan III

Sonam Yangki Wang

A continuation of the colloquial portion of Literary and Spoken Tibetan II, this course uses multimedia programs in Colloquial Tibetan to develop verbal fluency, acquire vocabulary, and master advanced topics in spoken Tibetan. Prerequisites: Tibetan II. Requirements: Class attendance, participation, preparation of programs outside of class, multiple exams and quizzes. This is a 2 credit course.

RELB 535 Literary Tibetan III

Douglas Duckworth

A continuation of the literary portion of Literary and Spoken Tibetan II, this course is designed to expose students to a variety of styles/genres in Tibetan literature and advanced Tibetan grammar. Prerequisites: Tibetan II. Requirements: Class attendance and participation, three exams, four translation assignments.

RELI 540 Islamic Theology: Islamic Biomedical Ethics

Aziz Sachedina

The seminar will undertake to discuss the development of a new subfield in Islamic legal and ethical studies. Although there is a long history of legal theoretical studies among Muslim legal scholars, the study of social ethics and its various applications in research and biomedical ethics is searching to define its methodology as well as application in the growing awareness of the ethical issues that confront both medical and legal professionals in the Muslim world. The emergence of specifically Islamic approach to the resolution of ethical problems in the health care ethics indicates both casuistry and principle-based ethical deliberations and rulings. The seminar will outline the moral reasoning that Muslims have developed to provide ethical guidelines in various areas of ethical problematic in research as well as clinical settings. Selected readings in theological ethics, legal methodology and application, and a growing literature about the new rulings in bioethics will provide students of Islam and comparative ethics an opportunity to understand the underpinnings of Islamic theology and legal-ethical methodology that guide public health and medical research in Muslim countries around the world. Readings will include: Abdel Rahim Omran: Family Planning in the Legacy of Islam Munawar Ahmad Anees, Islam and Biological Futures: Ethics, Gender and Technology Aziz Sheikh and Abul Rashid Gatard, Caring for Muslim Patients Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Principles of Islamic Jursiprudence.
Prerequisite: RELI 207 or RELI 208

RELB 542 Colloquial Tibetan V

Sonam Yangki Wang

A continuation of the Colloquial Tibetan IV, this course uses multimedia programs in Colloquial Tibetan to develop verbal fluency, acquire vocabulary, anhd master advanced topics in spoken Tibetan. This is a 2 credit course. Prerequisites: Tibetan IV. Requirements: Class attendance, participation, preparation of programs outside of class, multiple exams and quizzes.

RELC 542 The Christian Vision of Hell

Charles Mathewes

This class will investigate the various ways in which Christians have imagined Hell: the idea of the place (or condition) of final and possibly endless torment meted out to those who were not redeemed by God from their sin. We will investigate the idea of Hell from a variety of positions (including those who argue for and against the idea of Hell, and those who argue for an empty Hell) and using a variety of genres (including biblical texts, philosophical and theological treatments, and literary works). The ultimate aim of the course will be to see what such a study illuminates for us concerning the meaning of (1) punishment, (2) time, and (3) the nature of--and relation between--divine love and divine justice in Christian thought.

RELH 545 Social Vision in Hinduism

John Nemec

Much of Hinduism, and the study of Hinduism, is concerned with the ways in which individuals, who usually have renounced the world, acquire religious merit, magical powers, and spiritual, liberating insight. These subjects are crucial to our understanding of the religion and religion in general, but the public dimensions of Hinduism are often ignored in favor of looking at these topics. This course will study just such public and social dimensions of Hinduism. Topics will include the relationship between religion and politics, the role of religion in shaping social structures and hierarchies (e.g.: caste), and the role of religiion in shaping attitudes towards sexual and other personal relationships. Question to be explored include: How does religion affect and effect social order and social hierarchy (e.g. caste)? What is the relationship between political structures and religion? How does religion support Empire? What kind of social movements has Hinduism inspired? What is the relationship between personal religious commitment negotiated in public space? We will read primary texts in translation as well as relevant secondary sources.

RELB 547 Literary Tibetan V

David Germano

A continuation of the literary portion of Literary Tibetan IV, this course is designed for training in the literary forms of the Tibetan language. Emphasis is on exposure to a wide variety of styles/genres in Tibetan literature and in-depth knowledge of Tibetan grammar. Prerequisites: RELB 534 or equivalent. Requirements: Class attendance and participation, four exams, midterm, final, translation assignments.

RELC 552 Themes in American Catholic History

Gerald Fogarty

RELB 560 Intro to Pali

Karen Lang

The course is an introduction to the reading of Pali Buddhist texts. No prerequisites, though some knowledge of Sanskrit could be helpful.

RELB 561 Hybrid Buddhist Sanskrit

Karen Lang

Readings in Sanskrit Buddhist sutras. Prerequisite: Two years of Sanskrit or permission.

RELB 566 Indian Buddhism

Karen Lang

The focus of this seminar is on Indian Buddhism from the time of Sakyamuni Buddha (6th cent. BCE) until its decline in the twelfth century CE. We will explore how divergent ideas on the nature of Buddhas and their teachings developed through reading translations of Indian Buddhist texts and the works of modern scholars. We will explore various approaches to interpretation of Indian Buddhism, including those of art history, archeology, and ethics. Prerequisites: One 300 level course in Buddhism. Undergraduates welcome. Requirements: Active participation in class discussions, four short interpretative essays (ca. 7 pgs) or, with instructor's persmission, a final term paper (20-25 pgs).

RELB 568 Pure Land Buddhism

Paul Groner

This course focuses on religious doctrines and practices that surround the Buddha Amitabha and the bodhisattvas associated with him, particularly Avalokiteshvara. The course is divided into three parts. We begin with a consideration of a set of Indian texts that would serve as the authoritative source for the East Asian Pure Land tradition and attempt to determine how these works might have fit into the Indian Buddhist tradition. During the second third of the course, developments in China are covered. Various issues that arose as the Chinese interpreted these texts are considered, including debates concerning the balance between meditation and recitation of the Buddha$B!G(Bs name, the balance between faith and works, whether Pure Land refers to a mental state or a place, attempts to turn this world into a Pure Land, and the influence of modern Japanese scholarship on our interpretations of Chinese Buddhism. In addition, Buddhist teachings concerning the end of Buddhism and the effect they had on Pure Land beliefs are considered. During the last third, the course moves to Japan where some of the more extreme interpretations of Pure Land are considered. Among the topics considered will be differences in the response to Pure Land teachings by different social groups and the use of Pure Land ideology in rebellions. If staffing allows, the course will conclude with a section on Tibet and the use of Pure Land as an element in Esoteric Buddhism.

RELG 571 Western Christianity

Robert Wilken

Formation of a distinctively western Christian tradition during the years after Augustine of Hippo. Will read two recent works, Peter Brown's The Rise of Western Christendom and Robert Fletcher's The Barbarian Conversion and examine sources used in these works. Will also read Henri Pirenne's Mohammad and Charlemagne, and Christopher Dawson's Religion and the Rise of Western Culture. Requirements: seminar paper.

RELG 573 Making and Unmaking of Modern Identity

Bill May

This course will deal with crises in human identity. It will begin with medical crises that impose upon patients a break in their self-perception, but then widen to examine the struggles not only physicians but other professionals-lawyers, engineers, business executives, politicians, teachers, and religious leaders-face in coping with their double identity as careerists earning a livelihood and as wielders, cumulatively, of great power. Readings from Charles Taylor and others will broaden the canvas still further, throwing into relief the identity crisis which political, educational, and ecclesiastical institutions face today. Theological reflection on these widening circles of inquiry will need to attend to those recurrent myths (Flannery O'Connor once observed that you know a people by the stories they tell) that give people their perceptions of their world and themselves and that supply them with their cues for behavior.

RELG 589 Readings in Critical Theology

Corey Walker

This graduate seminar is dedicated to exploring the intersections between contemporary theology and various theoretical orientations including critical theory, cultural studies, feminist theory, postcolonial theory, and psychoanalysis.

RELB 702 Readings in Chinese Buddhist Texts

Paul Groner

The title says it all.

RELC 704 History of American Catholicism

Gerald Fogarty

The title says it all.

RELG 728 Modern Religious Thought: Self and Neighbor-Love

Jamie Ferreira

We will examine some classic texts addressing the status of neighbor-love, or the relation between self and other. Among them will be selections from Aquinas, Kant, Sartre, Levinas, Badiou, and Kierkegaard.

RELC 740 John/Revelation

Judith Kovacs

Graduate component of this course

RELC 742 Augustine and Aquinas

Charles Mathewes / Gene Rogers

RELG 743 Semiotics and Theology

Peter Ochs

A three-part study of semiotics, ancient and contemporary. A) First, an introduction to semiotics as a critical response to the modern project of epistemology, from Descartes to Kant. B) Then a history of semiotic theory, from Augustine to Poinsot to Locke to de Saussure and Peirce. C)Finally, a study of the place of scriptural reading in the theory of signs and of the place of sign theory in theology. The course will include some technical work on signs and graphs and the logic of relations as well as broader reflections on the divine word and its logics.

RELG 815: Religion, Culture, and Public Life.

Charles Mathewes

RELB 820 Spoken Tibetan VII

TBA

RELB 823 Advanced Topics in Tibetan Literature

David Germano

RELB 826 Topics in Literary Tibetan

David Germano

RELB 827 Colloquial Tibetan VII

Sonam Yangki Wang

A continuation of Colloquial Tibetan VI, this course uses multimedia programs in Colloquial Tibetan to develop verbal fluency, acquire vocabulary, and master advanced topics in spoken Tibetan. Prerequisites: Tibetan VI. Requirements: Class attendance, participation, preparation of programs outside of class, multiple exams and quizzes. This is a 2 credit course.

RELG 837 Environmental Ethics

James Childress / Jonathan Cannon

Environmental policy is rooted in concepts of the value of nature and our responsibility to protect it. In public debates on the environment and in our individual decisions, environmental values may compete with other values, such as economic well-being or social justice. This seminar focuses on the ethical dimensions of the choices we make, individually and collectively, affecting the environment. Jointly led by an ethicist and an environmental lawyer, it will examine a range of theories and views about the right relationship between us humans and the world in which we find ourselves. These include utilitarian theories (including economic approaches); religious and cultural perspectives; environmental justice; ecocentric and biocentric theories; theories of the rights of animals and nature; deep ecology, ecofeminism, and place-based environmental ethics; and obligations to future generations. We will not only seek to come to terms philosophically with these theories and concepts but also explore how they might apply in actual policy settings. Written Requirement: A substantial research paper.

RELS 895 Research Selected Topics

Instructor: Student's choice

Systematic reding in a select topic under detailed supervision.

RELS 897 Non-Topical Research, Peparation for Research

Instructor: Student's choice

For master's research, taken before a thesis director has been selected.

RELS 898 Non Topical Research

Instructor: Student's choice

For master's research, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.

RELG 899 Pedagogy

TBA

RELS 997 Non-Topical Research, Peparation for Doctoral Research

Instructor: Student's choice

For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.

RELS 999 Non Topical Research

Instructor: Student's choice

For dissertation research, taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.