Spring 2005

Undergraduate Courses

RELG 104 Intro to Eastern Religions

Amy Miller

This course provides an historical and thematic overview of some of the major religious traditions of Asia (Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism) focusing upon the forms they have taken in India, Sri Lanka, Tibet, and China. Through a careful consideration of primary and secondary sources, we will explore how these traditions have attempted to understand the nature of the world, human society, and the individual person's place therein. In examining religious traditions that for many may seem wholly foreign, our emphasis will be on the internal logic of each, on the resources that each provides for the construction of meaning, value, and moral vision. Students will also be introduced indirectly to the methods and issues that characterize contemporary academic study of religion.

RELJ 112 Introduction to Biblical Hebrew

Martien Halvorson-Taylor

This course continues RELJ111 by providing an introduction to Hebrew grammar and syntax in preparation for the translation of biblical prose.

RELC 122 Early Christianity & the New Testament

Harry Gamble

This course surveys the origins and early history of Christianity on the basis of a historical and analytical study of early Christian writings belonging to the "New Testament." Topics covered include the origins of Christianity in Judaism; the activity and significance of Jesus; the formation, beliefs and practices of early Christian communities; the varieties of Christianity in the first century; and the progressive distinction of Christianity from Judaism. Requirements: Two quizzes and a final examination, and occasional short papers in connection with discussion sections. Regular attendance at discussion sections is mandatory.

RELC 206 History of Christianity II 1054-1800

Augustine Thompson

Survey of Western Christianity from the 12th to the 19th century. Attention will be given to spirituality and forms of piety, worship, development of theology, and the institutional history of the Christian Church. Special focus will be placed on the High Medieval Church, the Crisis of the Protestant Reformation, and the early modern background of contemporary Christianity, including Eastern Orthodoxy. Readings from original sources. Three short papers, in-class mid-term and final.

RELI 208 Islam in the Modern Age

Adam Gaiser

RELI 208 will study the Muslim societies in the modern times to assess their success/failure in remolding their political/religious culture in order to become fully integrated in the international order that is founded upon secularism and modernism. The course will undertake to explore a public role for religion in general, and Islam in particular, in fostering democratic values that can accommodate a pluralistic nature of the religious and political societies in the Islamic world. That which characterizes the Muslim community is their devotion to the classical faith, Islam, with its legacy of rich past. The call for reformation of this classical heritage has been in the air for over a century. Yet, the beginning or the end of reformation is singularly difficult to observe in terms of a "new" political theology or a "fresh" pluralistic interpretation of Islam to have capacity for the changes that are sweeping Muslim societies. Islam and its people continue to grapple with the fact of Western hegemony through economic globalization and the support the West lends to their autocratic governments in suppressing their political and human rights. The course will evaluate political goals of Muslim governments in countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iran, and whether these goals are congruent with the development of democratic institutions to further basic human rights.

RELG 216 Religion in America Since 1865

Heather Warren

An historical survey of religion in America from the Civil War to the present. The course includes study of theological change in Protestantism, the emergence of three kinds of Judaism, controversy and change in American Catholicism, the origins of fundamentalism and Pentecostalism, and various expressions of African-American faith. It attends to the effects of immigration, urbanization, politics, and other social and cultural changes on American religious life. This course fulfills the Second Writing Requirement. Requirements: Three papers (6-7 pages each), a mid-term exam, and a final exam.

RELJ 217 Modern Jewish Thought

Asher Biemann

This course attempts to be a critical survey of the most significant Jewish responses to the experience of the modern era. Beginning with Spinoza's political and hermeneutic thought, we will explore how Jewish thinkers met the social, cultural, and religious challenges of modernity and, in turn, influenced the transformation of modern Jewry. Jewish Thought is understood in a broader sense to include philosophers, religious reformers, and political leaders. Changing and conflicting perspectives on tradition, education, culture, and religion will be in the center of our interest.

RELG 219 Religion & Modern Fiction

Larry Bouchard

We will explore ways that modern fiction persists in asking questions that are intrinsically religious in character: questions concerning the relation between human spirit and human nature, of faith and doubt, of evil and suffering, of personal and communal wholeness, identity, and transformation. We will also ask about symbolic orders of meaning in which writers may discern the divine at the limits of language and experience. Some authors we will consider (such as Elie Wiesel, Flannery O'Connor, or Susaku Endo) write fictions that are intended to reflect explicitly their religious traditions. Others (such as E. M. Forster, Arundhati Roy, or Tony Morrison) create secular narratives that nonetheless raise philosophical and moral questions that carry religious implications. And others (such as N. Scott Momaday, Seamus Heaney, or Yann Martel) employ a variety of religious and cultural traditions to create more idiosyncratic religious interpretations. The authors mentioned may change and, in addition, the course will consider a number of interpreters of religion. Requirements: Attendance at lectures and active participation in discussion sections. Two essay exams before and after the Spring break and a short final paper

GREE 224 New Testament Greek (Intermediate Greek

This course is not offered by the department, but may be of interest to religious studies students

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. This course is offered by the Department of Classics.

RELJ 226 Israeli Cinema

Asher Biemann

This course will look at Israeli film-making from the beginning of the State to the present. We will examine how Israeli culture, secular and religious identity, and the encounter of the other are reflected on the screen. The course will offer a brief survey of Israeli history and of Jewish contributions to early European and American cinema. We will then look at the changing images and self-representations of Israel from the pre-State Yishuv to the so called "post-Zionist" era. The course will focus on readings, discussion, and actual film showings (with English subtitles). Requirements: Midterm, written term paper, and final exam.

RELG 229 Business Ethics

Ethics is embedded in the everyday activities and responsibilities of business. These responsibilities often appear as dilemmas for individuals, organizations, or in the interchanges between an organization and its competition, consumers, environment, or society. These challenges and responsibilities and the issues they generate will be the subject for this course. We shall begin with an examination of some classical texts in ethics, then examine the question of relativism and issues in truth-telling. The justification of free-enterprise in light of its harshest critics, focusing on the concepts of profit, private ownership, and justice will also be explored. Turning to business itself, using stakeholder theory we shall study the nature and moral responsibilities of corporations, the question of employment, affirmative action, and employee rights. If time permits we shall also discuss some specific issues, such as the question of the environment. To give a practical thrust to these theoretical issues, specific case studies in business that deal with each issue will be analyzed in class each week. Understanding these cases will be essential to grasping the philosophical questions we raise.

RELG 230 Religious Ethics and Moral Problems

Charles Mathewes

This course examines several contemporary moral issues from the standpoint of the ethical insights of Western religious traditions (especially Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish, but with some attention to Islamic positions) as well as from a broadly humanistic perspective. We will consider a variety of moral issues including (but not limited to) marriage, friendship, truthfulness, capital punishment, warfare, and the meaning of work, career, and vocation. We will also examine the relationship between religious convictions, morality, and the law. Particular attention will be paid to what selected authorities and thinkers in the above traditions say about these issues, how they reach their conclusions, and how their theological or philosophical convictions influence their moral judgements.

RELC 246 Aspects of the Catholic Tradition

Gerald Fogarty

This course serves as an introduction into Catholic doctrine as it has developed from post-Apostolic times. The principal texts for the course are the Documents of Vatican II, supplemented by documents from earlier councils and readings from some more recent theologians and biblical scholars.

RELJ 301 Genesis and Its Interpreters

Steven Kepnes

This course begins with a close reading of the text of Genesis and then explores the vast and multiple traditions of interpretation that the narratives of Genesis have given rise to. The first part of the course includes readings from traditional Jewish exegetes in the Midrash and Rashi and selections from the Church Fathers. The second part explores modern philosophical, psychological, and feminsit readings. The approach to the text may broadly be considered "literary"--as we search in and through the "literal meaning" of the text for additional levels of meaning that are relevant to the spirtual and moral quest. Note to undergraduates: This seminar is being cross-listed on the graduate level. Graduate students will be included in the enrollment.

RELI 311 Qu'ran and Mohammad

This course has been canceled

RELB 315 Seminar on Buddhism and Gender

Amy Miller

This seminar takes as its point of departure Carolyn Bynum's statement: "No scholar studying religion, no participant in ritual, is ever neuter. Religious experience is the experience of men and women, and in no known society is this experience the same." The unifying theme of this seminar is gender and Buddhism. We will explore historical, textual and social questions relevant to the status of women in the Buddhist world of India, Tibet, China, and Japan from the time of Buddhism's origins to the present day. We will consider the issue of gender in relation to Buddhist views on sexuality, celibacy, and the formation of ideas about compassion, wisdom, selflessness, and non-duality. Materials will be interdisciplinary, drawing from the history of religion, anthropology, and gender studies, and the seminar will endeavor to draw out the connections between these often divergent discourses.

RELB 316 Religions of Japan

Paul Groner

This course is a survey of issues in the study of Shinto and Japanese Buddhism, as well as their roles in Japanese culture and society. Among the topics discussed are syncretism between Buddhism and Shinto, the relationship between folk religion and the monastic traditions, the development of uniquely Japanese forms of Zen and Pure Land Buddhism, the development of Nichiren Buddhism, the use of Shinto as a nationalistic ideology, and the survival of magic and exorcism in a modern society. Because the course emphasizes texts that are readily accessible to students, there are no prerequisites; but a basic knowledge of Buddhism or Japanese history is useful.

RELJ 338 Judaism in America: Topics in Cultural History

Lauren Winner

This course explores the cultural history of Jews in America, will an emphasis on the experience of Jews in the American South. After surveying patterns is Jewish immigration to America, we will examine an array of topics, from Jewish food to the memory of the Holocaust, from Jewish attitudes toward sex and the body to Jewish fiction. Readings include Eli Evans’s The Provincials, the biography of the first Jewish Miss America, Art Spiegleman’s Maus, and, of course, The Kosher Southern-Style Cookbook.

RELH 344 From Gandhi to Terrorism: Religion and Violence in Modern India.

John Nemec

This course will examine the roles of religion and violence in Indian political life from the British period until contemporary times. Through the Indian example, we will explore current questions regarding the relationship between religion and politics: What is the connection between religion and the nation-state, between tradition and modernity?; What are the religious and political motivations for violent action?; When is aggression justifiable? Special attention will be paid to current manifestations of religious politics, including terrorism. Topics will include Gandhian non-violence and the Indian Independence movement, Hindu-Muslim violence, the Kashmir conflict, the rise of Hindu nationalism, and contemporary South Asian geo-politics. Readings include primary texts in translation and related theoretical writings. There are no prerequisites for students who wish to take this course.

RELA 345 African Art

Ben Ray

Each student will design an exhibition catalogue of African art (using MS Word) that will incorporate the results of the student's study of African art. The exhibitions will contain an introductory explanation of the exhibit's theme, selected images of African art objects, relevant field-context images, descriptive labels, and other explanatory textual materials. The images of African art will be taken from excellent collections at the Bayly Museum of the University of Virginia, the Fowler Museum of Cultural History, the Hampton University Museum, National Museum of African Art, and The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The course includes the following curricular components: a brief history of African art studies; African ritual and cosmology; analysis of African art exhibition catalogues; library research on selected art objects; the exhibition of African art in museum contexts; and the commercial treatment of African art. The aim of the course is to create exhibitions of African art that are true to the objects in their own setting while communicating effectively to a Western audience unfamiliar with African art.

RELC 358 The Christian Vision in Literature

William Wilson

A study of selected classics in Christian imaginative literature. Readings will come from the Bible, Dante's Divine Comedy, and several modern authors such as Andrew Lytle, William Faulkner and Flannery O'Conner. Requirements: Three one-hour tests.

RELC 361 Female Saints in the Western Tradition

Nicole Farmer Hurd

In this course, we will explore the types of women who have become saints in the various major periods of church history. Do female saints reveal significant features of the experience of women in various historical periods, or are saints fundamentally different? How would a history of Christianity, viewed from the standpoint of female saints, be both like and unlike a history of Christianity viewed from the more usual, that is, largely male, perspective? The course will explore the lives and writings of female saints such as Mary, Perpetua and Felicity, Hildegard of Bingen, Bridget of Sweden, Catherine of Siena, Catherine of Genoa, Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, and the most recent female American saint, Katharine Drexel. Several short papers required. Previous courses in religious studies strongly recommended.

RELG 365 Contemporary Issues in Bioethics: Stem Cell Research and Genetic Enhancement

Bill May

This course, taught by a former member of the President\'s Council on bioethics (2002-04), will explore some of the documents produced by the Council, such as On Human Cloning and Human Dignity; Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness; Monitoring Stem Cell Research; and Being Human: Readings. The council intended to serve as an aid to policy makers but also recognized that it would need to stand back from the immediate tactical struggles over federal policies and reflect on the human condition, the whence and whither of being human, the mysteries of mating and parenting, and the human drives that underlie scientific inquiry and medical practice. Students considering these matters will examine the roles of religion and the humanities in contributing to public policy and public culture. Students will be responsible for a comprehensive examination on the course readings and will write a paper as part of a coordinated team project shared with the class on a selected major issue.Prerequisite: one prior course in ethics or political philosophy from any department, or petition John Arras at jda3a@virginia.edu or Jim Childress at jfc7c@virginia.edu for permission to enroll. Please include a list of your relevant courses.

RELI 367 Religion and Politics in Islam

Adam Gaiser

This course will examine the question of religion and politics from the perspective of Islamic sectarian movements. We will focus on the themes of authority and identity across a range of Islamic sectarian movements: from the early Kharijites, Shi'ites, Mu'tazilites and Ash'arites to the Nation of Islam, Hizbullah and al-Qa'ada. Students should be prepared for intensive discussion, short analytical papers, and a final research paper.

RELC 368 Cultural Catholicism

John Portmann

Exploration of Roman Catholic experience outside the official structures of the Holy See (for example, devotions, pilgrimages, shrines, art, fiction, cinema, television), particularly as committed Catholics argue over how to honor their spiritual tradition in day-to-day life. Study of current challenges wrought by women, Jews, and gays. Special attention paid to contemporary intellectuals and artists who criticize John Paul II while fiercely guarding their own Catholic identities (for example, John Kerry, Garry Wills and Mel Gibson). This course has been offered under another rubric, namely, RELC 381. You cannot take this course if you have already taken RELC 381.

RELC 381 Spirituality in the Christian Intellectual Tradition

Gene Rogers

Note to Undergrads: In the past, another course has been offered under this same mnemonic and number. If you have taken the other course (Cultural Catholicism with John Portman) you may still take this course, however, your VISTAA report will get confused because it will read two instances of RELC 381. You don't have to worry about this until your fourty year degree audit.

RELC 388 Environmental Theologies

Willis Jenkins

By a survey of contemporary environmental theologies, this course investigates how major themes in Christian theology come to bear upon environmental issues. What does biodiversity have to do with salvation? Christian spirituality with nature? Divine creation and an evolving cosmos? In search of answers, we will read works from Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant theologians and consider theological strategies such as eco-justice, stewardship, liberation theology, ecofeminism, and creation spirituality. A previous course in theology is helpful but not required.

RELC/ RELJ 391 Women and the Bible

Judith Kovacs

This course provides a forum for exploring the intersection of gender issues and biblical studies. It focuses on the close interpretation of particular texts from the Bible. We will survey passages from the Hebrew Bible (=Torah=Old Testament) and the New Testament that focus on women or use feminine imagery and consider various readings of them, including traditional Jewish and Christian, historical-critical, and feminist interpretations. We will examine the position of women in Israel and in the early church and consider how biblical authors use feminine imagery to express their theology. Attention will also given to how later Jewish and Christian communities employ Scripture to shape and define women's social and religious roles. Topics treated will include: the stories of creation and fall in Genesis 1-3, narratives with female protagonists (Sarah, Deborah, Hannah, Esther, Ruth, Judith, the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, the Samaritan woman, Priscilla), the prophetic images of Israel as prostitute, wife, and pure daughter of Zion, the figures of Lady Wisdom and the seductive Foreign Woman in Proverbs, the erotic imagery of the Song of Songs, women in the circle of Jesus, Paul's views on women, and the use of feminine images to portray judgment and redemption in the Revelation to John. No prerequisite. May be used to fulfill the second writing requirement. Not for women only (men are especially encouraged to enroll). Note that students can enroll for this course either as RELJ 391 or RELC 391.

RELG 400a Majors Seminar: Theological and Religious Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement

Charles Marsh

Restricted to Religious Studies Majors

In this course, we explore the methodologies with which scholars have analyzed and interpreted the American civil rights movement. We are especially interested in the recent emergence of religious and theological interpretations. Readings are based on primary and critical sources, and class sessions include lectures, discussions and student presentations on research. Seminar requirements include a one- page written response to the weekly readings completed before class; consistent participation in seminar discussions; a mid-term exam; and a 30-minute presentation based on the final research paper. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Note to majors: This seminar is being cross listed with RELC 508. Graduate students will be included in the enrollment.

RELG 400b Majors Seminar: Religious Experience

Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton

Restricted to Religious Studies Majors
What is religious experience? How do we interpret and analyze something many consider ineffable? Divine inspiration, conversion, mystical knowledge, miracles, epiphanies and revelations are integral to many religious traditions, yet prove difficult to explain. In attempting to come to terms with religious experience in a variety of cultures and traditions from around the world, we will analyze some classic works in the sociology and psychology of religion. We will also consider anthropological, historical and philosophical approaches to this fundamental, but illusive feature of religion. Seminar requirements include active participation in class discussion; four short critiques of the readings; a mid-term and a final exam

RELG 400c Majors Seminar: Suffering

John Portmann

Restricted to Religious Studies Majors
Moral assessment of bodies in pain and spirits in turmoil. Philosophical, religious, biomedical, psychoanalytic, literary, sociological, dramatic, and artistic exploration of suffering. Analysis of ongoing debate over the meaning of suffering. Study of religion as both cure for, and source of, human suffering. Particular attention to the Crucifixion as a cultural paradigm of suffering and social wellspring of anti-Semitism, as exemplified by criticism of actor Mel Gibson’s controversial film of 2004 The Passion.

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.
This is not a Majors Seminar.

RELC 440 Marx, Politics and Theology

Corey Walker

This is not a Majors Seminar.
Why Marx? Why Now? In light of the massive geopolitical upheavals of 1989 and the economic hegemony of global capitalism in the 1990s, these two questions are particularly resonant for a seminar that seeks to radically rethink Marx and the Marxian legacy for the intellectual project of Critical Religious and Theological Studies. To this end, Marx, Politics, and Theology will interrogate some of the germinal texts by Marx - The German Ideology, Grundrisse, and Capital - in recasting the contemporary problematic of the relation between politics and theology. We will also consider selected texts by a number of theorists who work within the wake of Marx, most notably Theodor W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida, Enrique Dussel, and C.L.R. James.

RELG 461 Sex and Morality

John Portmann

This is not a Majors Seminar.
What does sexual activity have to do with religious practice? And how did sex come to be the overriding personal goal of modern Westerners (as Foucault laments, with only a little irony, in The History of Sexuality)? This seminar will survey how Western moralists have understood: a woman’s body; a man’s body; celibacy; masturbation; pornography; sexual reproduction; contraception; adultery; homosexuality; marriage and divorce; transsexuals; sex education in public schools; political sex scandals; senior sex, and the relation between sexual conduct and admission to heaven. Focus on the United States.

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 498 Senior 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.(Technically speaking, there is not much difference between this course and RELS 495 Independent Research. Prerequisite: permission of deparmental advisor and instructor.

Graduate Courses

RELJ 501 Genesis and Its Interpreters

Steven Kepnes

This course begins with a close reading of the text of Genesis and then explores the vast and multiple traditions of interpretation that the narratives of Genesis have given rise to. The first part of the course includes readings from traditional Jewish exegetes in the Midrash and Rashi and selections from the Church Fathers. The second part explores modern philosophical, psychological, and feminsit readings. The approach to the text may broadly be considered "literary"--as we search in and through the "literal meaning" of the text for additional levels of meaning that are relevant to the spirtual and moral quest. Note to graduates: This seminar is being cross-listed on undergraduate level. Undergraduate students will be included in the enrollment.

RELC 508 Theological and Religious Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement

Charles Marsh

In this course, we explore the methodologies with which scholars have analyzed and interpreted the American civil rights movement. We are especially interested in the recent emergence of religious and theological interpretations. Readings are based on primary and critical sources, and class sessions include lectures, discussions and student presentations on research. Seminar requirements include a one- page written response to the weekly readings completed before class; consistent participation in seminar discussions; a mid-term exam; and a 30-minute presentation based on the final research paper. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Graduate Students only.

RELC 512 History of 19th and 20th Century Catholic Theology

Gerald Fogarty

The course will trace the evolution of Catholic theology from its encounter with the Enlightenment up to Vatican II. Topics to be treated will be: the response to the French Revolution, the development of neo-Thomism, Vatican I and papal infallibility, Leo XIII's Thomistic revival, the response to biblical scholarship and Modernism, the development of transcendental Thomism, and topics treated at Vatican II with particular emphasis on the documents on the Church, Revelation, and relations with other Christian denominations and other religions.

RELC 514 Calvin and Calvinism

Augustine Thompson

This course is an introduction to Calvin, Classical Calvinism and modern Calvin studies intended for doctoral students in Religious Studies or history. The focus is principally bibliographical, but reading will include selections from Calvin and Classical Calvinists. Knowledge of Latin, German, and French is useful but not required. Requires weekly individual oral book reports and a substantial (ca. 20-page) bibliographical essay. Graduate Students only.

RELG 517 Methodology

Ben Ray

An introduction to the basic thinkers in the field of History of Religions and Anthropology (Otto, van der Leeuw, Eliade, Durkheim, Bellah, Berger, Levi-Strauss, Geertz, Turner) and to fundamental problems in the study of religious sociology, anthropology, mythology, and ritual.. Such authors as Edith Turner, Wendy Doniger, Jonathan Z. Smith, and Katherine Bell. Also a critical examination of postmodernism and the comparative study of religion. One or two reading critiquse (4-5 pages), a ritual analysis paper (5-6 pages), a myth analysis paper (5-6 pages), and a postmodernism paper (5-6 pages). Guidelines for all papers will be provided; as many papers as possible will be presented in class. Restricted to Graduate students and 4th year Religious Studies majors.

RELC 520 Contemporary Theology: The Making of Modern Theology

Brian Gerrish

A critical look at some leading themes that shaped the enterprise of Christian, especially Protestant, theology from the Enlightenment to the dawn of the twentieth century; the meaning of religious language, the accommodation of Christian beliefs to the modern world, the quest for the historical Jesus, and the place of Christianity among the world religions. The approach will be mainly through analysis of seminal texts, including Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Kant's Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, and Schleiermacher's Christian Faith. Lectures, discussion of assigned readings, and a term paper.

RELB 534 Colloquial Tibetan IV

S. Yangkyi Wang

RELB 536 Literary Tibetan IV

Douglas Duckworth

RELB 543 Colloquial Tibetan VI

S. Yangkyi Wang

RELH 545 Hindu-Buddhist Debates

John Nemec

This course will survey the history of Hindu-Buddhist debates as they appear in classical Indian religious texts. Reading (in English translation) from the canon of Sanskrit religious and philosophical texts, we will examine and evaluate the ways in which and the degree to which the debates shaped classical Hinduism. Particular attention will be given to the arguments over the existence and nature of the self (atman). A solid grounding in Indian religions/thought is required for those interested in taking this class, but no knowledge of Sanskrit is required. Advanced undergraduates with the required background knowledge are welcome in the class.

RELB 548 Literary Tibetan VI

David Germano

RELC 564 Modern Religious Thought: Barth, Balthasar, Bulgakov

Gene Rogers

RELB 588 History of American Buddhism

Paul Groner / Heather Warren

RELC 591 The Apostolic Fathers

Harry Gamble

Close examination of selected literature of the (so-called) Apostolic Fathers, with emphasis on 1 Clement, Ignatius of Antioch, the Epistle of Barnabas and the Didache. Principal issues to be explored will include emerging church orders and issues of legitimacy and authority, liturgical ideas and practices, the use of scripture (mainly Jewish scripture), the relation of Christianity to Judaism, and generally the ethos of Christianity in the early second century. Working knowledge of hellenistic Greek desirable. Written requirements will include seminar reports and/or a research paper.

RELJ 734 Liturgical Reasoning

Steven Kepnes

The premise of this course is that liturgy includes an implicit form of theological and ethical reasoning. We will attempt to trace out the outlines of this implicit reasoning to make it more explicit and potentially productive for pragmatic forms of theology and ethics. We will look at modern German Jewish philosphers--Moses Mendelssohn, Hermann Cohen, and Franz Rosenzweig. Students will then extend our discuassions on Jewish liturgy through research on Christian and Islamic liturgical reasoning.

RELG 800 Negativity and the Religious Imagination

Jennifer Geddes / Charles Mathewes / Larry Bouchard

RELG 815 Religion, Culture and Public Life

Charles Mathewes

RELB 821 Literary and Spoken Tibetan VIII

David Germano

RELB 827 Colloquial Tibetan VII

S. Yangkyi Wang

RELG 833 Comparative Ethics

Charles Mathewes

This course studies the various attempts to offer workable models of comparative religious ethics, focusing on the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions, in order to offer a relatively useful comparative framework. Work for the course will focus both on developing our understanding on issues of material import for the various traditions (both in terms of general "themes" and particular "moral topics") and on developing a model for comparative ethics that can accommodate those issues in conversation with one another, in a way that is recognizably "organic" to members of those traditions. This seminar is meant to help in the development of a workable framework for a new textbook in comparative religious ethics to be written by the instructor, and so issues of pedagogical import will also inevitably arise. While some competence in one or more of the traditions is necessary, the only restriction is to religious studies graduate students.

RELG 840 Proseminar in Ethics

Margaret Mohrman

In this seminar, we will read and discuss several of the classic non-theological works, ancient and modern, that have proven to be essential for the field of religious ethics. Students interested in the course can participate in the selection of the particular works to be read by contacting the instructor (mem7e@virginia.edu). Writing requirements will consist of several short papers that focus on the works themselves

RELS 895 Directed Research

Instructor: Student's choice

Systematic reading in a select topic under detailed supervision.

RELS 896 Thesis Research

Instructor: Student's choice

Research on problems leading to a master's thesis.

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

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.