RELG 1040 Introduction to Eastern Religious Traditions
Hudson, William Clarke
This course serves as a general introduction to Indian, Chinese, and Japanese religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Shinto, and popular religions. By emphasizing the reading of primary texts in translation, we will explore the major ideas and practices of these traditions, making special note of the cultural, historical, political and material contexts in which they were conceived and expressed. There are no prerequisites for students who wish to take this course.
RELC 1210 /RELJ 1210 Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
This course provides an introduction to the Hebrew Bible, known to Jews as the Tanakh and to Christians as the Old Testament. Using methods of modern biblical scholarship, we will examine the Hebrew Bible in its original ancient Near Eastern context to learn about the major phases in the history and religion of ancient Israel. We will consider the diverse genres and theological themes found in the Hebrew Bible and the literary artistry of its whole. Finally, we will read Jewish and Christian interpretations of the text in order to understand the complex process by which the text was formulated, transmitted and interpreted by subsequent religious communities. Requirements: A midterm test, a final examination, and brief writing assignments for section discussion.
RELJ 1420 Elementary Classical Hebrew II
In this sequel to HEBR/RELJ 1410, students will learn the derived stems and weak verbs, cardinal and ordinal numbers, Masoretic accents, oath formulas, and parsing. Thus students will complete the study of the verbal system and of basic Hebrew grammar as a whole. In addition, students will learn to use a Hebrew lexicon and read prose passages directly from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. At the completion of the two semester sequence, students will have learned the basic tools required to read longer prose passages from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament in the original language.
RELB 2054 Tibetan Buddhism Introduction
RELC 2060 History of Christianity II
This course introduces students to the study of Christian thought from the Middle Ages up to the Counter-Reformation. It has two main concerns: Christian spirituality and Christian theology. In the modern period we tend to divide these into two distinct areas, but in the Middle Ages they were regarded as one. How does Christian thought look and feel when it regards prayer and theology as deeply unified? How do the great theologians of the Middle Ages understand the Bible? What are we to make of the Medieval mystics and visionaries? These are some of the questions that we shall consider in this course.
RELI 2080 Islam in the Modern Age
RELI 2080 deals with the Muslim communities in the contemporary world. That which characterizes these communities is their devotion to the classical faith, Islam, with its legacy of rich past. The course is primarily concerned with the study of Islamic tradition and its peoples in the last two centuries - the period of Islamic reform in the wake of Western hegemony and the efforts of the community to readjust under the challenges of the liberal and technical age. The course will attempt to answer a basic question: What is happening to the Muslim community in the technical age and how has it responded to the challenges posed by "Westernization" through "modernization” through “secularization”? Moreover, it will explore ways of evaluating the relatively new phenomenon in the Muslim world in the aftermath of the Islamic revolution in Iran: "Political Islam" in the context of global religious fundamentalism in the world's religions.
RELB 2100 Buddhism
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 speak about the Buddha, what he and his followers say about karma and rebirth, the practice of meditation and the pursuit of enlightenment. We will also examine the views of contemporary Buddhist teachers and on the challenges Buddhism faces in the modern world
RELG 2160 Religion in America since 1865
This course explores religious life in the United States, beginning in the aftermath of the Civil War and continuing until the present. Because it will be impossible to offer a comprehensive view of every religious tradition that existed during this time period, the course will instead tackle the material through a collection of themes. We will, for example, consider the way in which various groups attempted to cope with changes in their society (such as immigration, technology, the changing roles of women, and suburbanization, etc.). Additionally, we will consider America’s long tension between religious freedom and religious intolerance. And, we will also be sure to consider evolving ideas about Asian religions. Together, these inquiries will help us consider what various groups and individuals have meant when they define what it means to be “religious” or “American.” The requirements for the course will include three short (3-5) page papers and a take home final. If you have any questions about the course, please do not hesitate to email the instructor, Eliza Barstow, at email@example.com.
RELG 2190 Religion and Modern Fiction
Modern fiction often asks questions that are intrinsically religious in character, concerning: the human spirit and human nature, faith and doubt, evil and suffering, personal and communal wholeness, and identity and transformations of identity. We will explore these questions through novels and stories. We will explore how some modern writers attempt to discern the divine at the limits of language and experience. A number of the authors we will consider (such as Elie Wiesel, Flannery O'Connor, or Marilynne Robinson) write fictions intend to reflect explicitly their religious traditions. Others (like E. M. Forster, Cormack McCarthy, or Toni Morrison) create apparently secular narratives with ethical and religious implications. And others (N. Scott Momaday, E. R. Doctorow, or Yann Martel) employ a variety of religious and cultural traditions to create more idiosyncratic religious interpretations. (The authors mentioned here may change.) In addition, there will be readings from modern interpreters of religion.
Requirements: Regular attendance and active participation at lectures and discussion sections; experience in writing essays; two exams (essay exams, but with short objective sections), one third and two thirds through the course; and a short paper in lieu of a final exam.
RELG 2300 Religious Ethics & Moral Problems
This course examines several contemporary moral issues from the standpoint of major Western religious traditions (Protestant and Catholic Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) as well as from several broadly secularistic perspectives. We will consider moral issues such as marriage, friendship, truthfulness, capital punishment, warfare, and the meaning of work, career, and vocation. 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 judgments (and vice-versa).
RELG 2380 Faith & Doubt in Modern Age
RELJ 2420 Intermediate Classical Hebrew II
In this course, which continues and builds upon HEBR/RELJ 2410, students will develop facility in the reading and translation of biblical Hebrew. Students will review basic grammar, learn to analyze syntax, and build their working vocabulary. As a secondary objective of the course, students will learn to interpret biblical poetry. To this end, students will learn repetition, acrostic, inclusio, refrain, metaphor, correspondence, elision, compensation, and other poetic devices. By the end of the course, students will grasp the complex phenomenon of poetic parallelism.
RELG 2455 Christian America?
This general religious studies course (RELG) tackles the large and multifaceted question of American religious identity, understood both in terms of the religious significance of the nation and the religious identities of the American people. To do this, we will move between the realms of politics, culture, and everyday social interaction. Topics of particular concern will include: debates about religion during the drafting of the Constitution, and the subsequent history of religion and public life; the historical development of religious diversity in the United States; the history of religious intolerance in America; and contemporary social, political, legal, cultural, and spiritual implications of pluralism. The unifying theme will be the ongoing debates over the religious identity of the United States, a country at once profoundly Christian, on the one hand, and both officially secular and demographically diverse, on the other.
RELG 2475 New Course in Religion God in the Abrahamic Traditions
An introduction to the personality of God as portrayed in the sacred literatures, histories, and practices of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Part I of the course asks: What are the major personality traits of God as displayed in the three Abrahamic scriptures? Creator or destroyer? Loving guide or angry ruler? Infinite and distant or right here, as close as a touch? The first or the last? Never to be seen or that face that sees you? Part II of the course asks: how have prophets, sages, mystics and scoundrels experienced God as recounted in the literatures of these religions? Do they experience the “death of the ego?” or “unity with God?” or “God’s emptiness and absence?” Part III of the course asks: What paths of relationship with God do these three traditions recommend? And with what results? (You have to take the course to hear about these!)… The course no prerequisities. There will be at least 2 films. There is a midterm and a final; and students write 2pp. papers to conclude each Part of the course.
RELC 2460 Aspects of the Catholic Tradition
With the key documents of Vatican II (1962-1965) as starting points, the course will trace the doctrines of the Catholic Church from the formation of the canon of Scripture, through the principal creeds of the early Church, to the Reformation. Topics to be treated will include: Original Sin and Grace, Sacraments, the nature of the Church and authority, and Social Teaching.
RELG 2370 Religion after Jefferson
Schaeffer, Kurtis, et. al.
RELJ 2559 New Course in Judaism Modern Jewish Thought
RELJ 2559 New Course in Judaism Ancient Jewish Revolts
RELG 2559 Religion and Race in Film
This course will explore themes of religion, race, and relationship to the religious or racial "other" in films from the silent era to the present. It will consider film as a medium and engage students in analysis and discussion of cinematic images, with the goal of developing hermeneutic lenses through which these images can be interpreted. The films selected all deal with issues of race, religion, gender, and relationship, and ask the ultimate question, "How should we treat one another?"
RELG 2630 Business Ethics and Society
Williams, Samuel Free
This course aims to acquaint students with a variety of philosophical and religious frameworks for interpreting and evaluating human activity in the marketplace. The first half of the semester will focus on Adam Smith, Max Weber, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, and Ayn Rand. The second half of the semester will examine some contemporary issues within the marketplace that deserve additional scrutiny, such as private property, freedom of contract, and the distribution of goods. In addition, we will attend to specific issues in corporate ethics. Requirements will include both a midterm and final exam, as well as writing requirements to be determined
RELG 2800 African American Religious History
Why are churches still segregated when every other American institution has made relatively successful efforts at integration? RELG 2800, “African American Religious History” will explain the history of the color line that still separates US churches. This course explores African American religious traditions by combining an examination of current scholarship and contemporary worship. While the course will emphasize the growth and spread of Evangelical Christianity among African Americans, it will also consider non-Christian influences like Islam and African traditional religions upon black churches and black communities. In considering the wide variety, popularity, economic strength, political leadership, and ubiquity of religious institutions in the African American community, what role does religion play for black people? Why, after hundreds of years, is 11 am on Sunday morning still the most segregated hour of the week in the US?
RELA 3000 Women and Religion in Africa
This seminar examines women’s religious activities, traditions and spirituality in a number of different African contexts. Drawing on ethnographic, historical, literary, and religious studies scholarship, we will explore a variety of themes and debates that have emerged in the study of gender and religion in Africa. Topics will include gendered images of sacred power; the construction of gender through ritual; sexuality and fertility; and women’s agency in indigenous religious movements, Muslim communities and Christian congregations in Africa.
RELC 3040 Paul: Letters and Thought
RELJ 3085 The Passover Haggadah
This is a comprehensive study of the most beloved of Jewish texts, the Haggadah, the often illustrated text read and performed at home by families during the Passover seder, a meal of symbolic foods and storytelling fulfilling the biblical directive to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt. Over 4000 versions of the Haggadah have been published: the most recent reflect the Holocaust, the establishment of the State of Israel, social justice concerns, ecology and feminism. We will study the Haggadah as a sacred text, script, art object and reflection of religious adaptabilty.
RELI 3110 Muhammad and the Qur'an
RELI 3110 will be a detailed study of Prophet Muhammad's biography in the light of the Qur'anic revelation. Students will study the life of the Prophet and relate it to his spiritual as well as temporal experience. At one level, our approach will be that of History of Religions (phenomenology), that is, aiming at a fuller understanding of the meaning of the concepts like "Apostle of God," "Seal of the Prophets," "The Mother of the Book," and so on, for individual Muslims and for Muslim peoples over the centuries. At another level, we will be searching for fundamental approaches and principles of Scriptural Interpretation and Practice in Islam. In order to accomplish both these objectives we will study the Qur'an, in conjunction with the biography of the Prophet and other interpretive materials to appreciate the development of interpretive strategies in Muslim scriptures as they relate to the biography of the founder of Islam.
Readings will include:
i. A. Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad
ii. A. J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted
iii. A. Schimmel, And Muhammad Is His Messenger
iv. N. Robinson, Discovering the Qur’an
RELB 3160 Religions of Japan
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, the emergence of Pure Land Buddhism, the use of Shinto as a nationalistic ideology, and the role of Christianity. Because the course emphasizes texts that are readily accessible to students, there are no necessary prerequisites; but a basic knowledge of Buddhism or Japanese history is very useful.
RELB 3190 Buddhist Nirvana
This seminar will examine what Buddhists mean when they talk about Nirvana. We'll begin with how the concept of Nirvana develops in the culture in which Sakyamuni Buddha lived and taught, explore how different forms of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Tibet, China, Japan, and in the west developed new ideas about what Nirvana is and how it can be experienced. We'll read classic sutras on the topic, as well as books and essays by Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, other contemporary Zen masters, and western Buddhist pratitioners and scholars.
RELC 3231 Reformation Europe
GETR3372/HIEU3372/RELJ3372 German Jewish History and Culture
Jeffrey Grossman and Gabriel Finder
This course provides a wide-ranging exploration of the culture and history of German Jewry from 1750 to 1939. It focuses especially on the Jewish response to modernity in Central Europe, a response that proved highly productive, giving rise to a range of lasting transformations in Jewish life in Europe and later North America, in particular, and in European culture and society, more generally.
Until the mid-eighteenth century, Jewish self-definition was relatively stable. From that point on, it became increasingly contingent and open-ended. Before the rise of Nazism in 1933, German Jewish life was characterized by a plethora of emerging possibilities. This course explores this vibrant and dynamic process of change and self-definition. It traces the emergence of new forms of Jewish experience, and it shows their unfolding in a series of lively and poignant dramas of tradition and transformation, division and integration, dreams and nightmares. The course seeks to grasp this world through the lenses of culture and history, and to explore the different ways in which these disciplines illuminate the past. We will discuss processes of change that began with Jewish emancipation, the entry of Jews into European culture and society, and the acculturation (vs. assimilation) that ensued. Releasing new energies, this process led to the invention of the “Wissenschaft des Judentums” (the “science” or “academic study” of Judaism), to various attempts to re-form traditional Jewish life for a modern world, and to transform German and European society, giving ris to the female-led literary salons in Berlin and Vienna and new approaches in literature and the press, politics, philosophy, the natural and the social sciences. We will consider contributions by such figures as Marx, Freud, Walter Benjamin, Adorno, Kafka, Heine, Wittgenstein, Rosa Luxembourg, among others, and explore what, if any, relationship their works had to do with their Jewish background. We will also consider Jewish responses to modern politics of the left and right in Germany, to socialism, liberalism, the völkisch movements, political anti-Semitism and Zionism.
RELB 3408 Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy
RELC 3470 Christianity and Science
Christian Europe gave rise to modern science, yet various scholars have described Christianity and science as mutual enemies. Does science undermine religious belief? Can human life and striving really be explained in terms of physics, biology, and chemistry? Do scientific accounts of the environment and the human body supersede religious ones? Can Christianity or Judaism benefit humanity as much as science and technology do?
In this upper-level seminar, we will explore the encounter between two extraordinary cultural forces. Specifically, we will study the intellectual struggle to locate and anchor God in the modern world. We will focus on Galileo, Newton, Darwin, and Freud. We will also pay close attention to stem cell research and the implications for Protestants and Catholics of President Obama's reversal of the Bush administration's policy on stem cell research.
We will ask how different is contemporary American culture --with its occasional opposition to Darwin and to stem cell research -- from the culture that punished Galileo.
REL 3559 New Course in Religion Faulkner and the Bible
Go Down Moses; Absalom Absalom!; If I Forget Thee Jerusalem. These and many other novels by William Faulkner indicate that this author was deeply influenced by biblical narrative and verse, and perhaps more so than any other American author. This course will investigate this influence. The primary goal is simply to see how a thorough knowledge of biblical verse and story can help us better understand Faulkner's fiction. However, the course will also be deeply concerned to understand how the Bible became a vital tradition in the development of American letters, and how Biblical themes were employed in the South's struggle with race relations, war, and regional identity.
RELB 3559 New Course in Buddhism Buddhism in America
This course is a seminar that examines the development of Buddhism in America going from its earliest appearance to contemporary developments. We will begin with a consideration of how some American and British thinkers, particularly the Transcendentalists and Theosophists, used Buddhism to push agendas that had little to do with Buddhism’s original teachings. As more Buddhist texts were translated and Asian Buddhists came to America, a split developed between what Asian-Americans and Caucasians wanted from the tradition. In recent decades, American Buddhists developed new approaches to the tradition that have sometimes influenced Asia. Among the topics we will look at are Buddhism’s encounter with environmental movements, feminism, prison outreach and contemporary poetry, fiction, and movies. There are no prerequisites, but a previous course in Buddhism is very useful.
RELB 3559 Chinese Religions
This course serves as a general introduction to the religions of China, including Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism, and popular religion. By emphasizing the reading of primary texts in translation, we will explore the major ideas and practices of these traditions, making special note of the cultural, historical, political and material contexts in which they were conceived and expressed.This course satisfies the Non-Western Perspectives Requirement, and there are no prerequisites.
RELC 3559 New Course in Christianity Themes in Eastern Orthodoxy
Rather than a broad historical overview of Orthodox Christianity, this course is an introduction to the thematic core of the Orthodox Christian tradition. We will first review the major elements of the Orthodox faith that developed over the course of the Byzantine era. Then we will examine some themes to which Orthodox theologians have given considerable thought. These include: scripture and tradition, liturgy and sacrament, the meaning and role of icons, faith and spirituality, the nature of the church, Christian ecumenism, and Christianity and culture.
RELG 3559 New Course in Religion: God is Dead
This course considers the complex history of secularization in order to discern when and how God died. Was it a long and painful death, a slow act of forgetting, the atrophy of a metaphysical desire, a turn to science, or a modern effort to redefine the place of religion? After reading contemporary reports of this death from Hitchens and Dawkins, and twentieth century classics such as Russell, we will consider the long history of secularity and ‘the secular’ from Erasmus and Hobbes to Habermas and Ratzinger -- drawing from Luther, Montainge, Pascal, Locke, Diderot, Kant, Goethe, Schiller, Hölderlin, Feuerbach, Marx, Hegel, Freud, Comte, Durkheim, Kafka, Nietzsche, and Weber. We will consider the meaning of the death of God for philosophy and religion, literature and sociology. Secondary sources will include: Taylor, Asad, Mahmood, Connolly, Berlinerblau, Bonhoeffer, and Altizer.
RELJ 3559 New Course in Judaism German Jewish History and Culture
RELJ 3559 New Course in RELJ Political philosophy, religion and law: An Introduction to Maimonides and his Predecessors
RELJ 3559 New Course in Judaism Rabbinic Texts as Sources
RELC 3804 American Catholic Social and Political Thought
One of the few areas in which the American Catholic Church has been consistently progressive has been social thought. Beginning with care for immigrants and support of labor unions in the nineteenth century, American Catholicism became virtually synonymous with the laboring class. The course will trace the interaction between American Catholic thought and papal encyclicals. The first social encyclical, Rerum Novarum, for example was due largely to American influence. Other encyclicals influenced American movements. The course will also treat political thought, particularly after 1960.
RELG 4023 Bioethics Internship Seminar
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://bioethics.virginia.edu/internships.html
RELG 4220 American Religious Autobiography
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.).
This IS a majors seminar, but it is not restricted to RELS majors only.
RELG 4500 Majors Seminar Religion and Violence
In today’s world, religion is associated with aggression as often as with peace, with political action rather than spiritual contemplation. In the twenty-first century, religiously justified violence is perceived as perhaps the most important issue to face the global community. This course will examine the phenomenon of religiously motivated violence, asking the following, and other, questions. What inspires religious violence? When is a cause a religious one, as opposed to a political one? Is violence native to religion, or is it antithetical to the very nature of religion? How and when is violence justified? How may religious violence be dealt with in contemporary politics and policy? And what does religious violence tell us about religion more generally?
RELG 4500 Majors Seminar Religion and the Modern State
RELJ 4559 New Course in Judaism The Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-135 C.E.)
RELC 4610 Sex and Morality
Advanced survey of how Jewish and Christian theologians have shaped the sexual mores of the West through analysis of: women's liberation, abortion, adoption, marital rape, pornography, teaching sex ed in public schools, and "family values." Geographic focus on the United States, particularly since 1960. We will consider pivotal the 1957 Wolfenden Report in the UK and its effects in the US, leading up to Lawrence v. Texas (which legalized sodomy in 2003 and prepared the way for same-sex marriage). Specific attention to the power of art and the media to challenge and undermine religious values.
RELB 5009 Bonhoeffer and King: Resistance and Reconciliation
The course has four goals: (1) to understand the theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King Jr.; (2) to explore the themes of resistance and reconciliation in their writings and actions; (3) to examine their ambivalent relationship with academic theology; and (4) to consider the promise of lived theology for contemporary religious thought.
RELB 5012 Readings Chin Buddhist Texts II
RELG 5170 Seminar in History of Religions
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.
RELB 5480 Literary and Spoken Tibetan VI
RELB 5490 Religious History of Tibet
RELI 5540 Seminar in Islamic Theology The Sunnite Creed
RELI 5440 will concentrate on the development of Muslim Theology in general and the Sunnite creed in particular. It will primarily be a Mu`tazili-Ash`ari theological study, and secondarily Sunni-Shi`i doctrinal analysis. The course is basically concerned with the development of creeds in Islam, the gradual process of formulating Principles of Religion (usul al-din), and their crystallization in the form of dogmas, with theological complexities. The essential difference between the Mu`tazili and Ash`ari theology lies in their emphasis on the fundamentality of `reason' versus `revelation'. This difference also leads to their classification of the founding principles of Islam. While the Mu`tazilites have insisted on the fundamentality of the religious institution of guidance such as prophethood and Imamate on rational grounds, the Ash`arites have rejected its necessity on rational grounds. This attitude towards the fundamentality of revelation in Ash`arite theology marks all their dogmatic formulations, including the nature of ethical judgement and the relation of divine will to human volition.
Readings will include:
(a) A. J. Wensinck, The Muslim Creed
(b) W. M. Watt, The Formative Period of Islamic Thought
(c) H. A. Wolfson, The Philosophy of Kalam
(d) G. F. Hourani, Islamic Rationalism
(e) Wilferd Madelung, Succession to Muhammad
(f) E. L. Ormsby, Theodicy in Islamic Thought
RELG 5541 Seminar in Social and Political Thought Public Health Ethics
RELC 5551 Seminar in Early Christian Thought
Gamble, Harry Y
RELC 5559 New Course in Christianity Modern Russian Religious Thinkers
In this seminar, we will focus on two Russian religious thinkers whose lives were closely intertwined, especially during their early years within Russia and as émigrés compelled to leave their homeland in the 1920s. The intellectual stature and brilliance of Fr. Sergius Bulgakov (1871-1944) and Nicholas Berdyaev (1874-1948 cannot be understated despite the fact that neither has yet entered the Religious Studies canon. Both began as Marxists but by the first decade of the twentieth century had made a turn toward philosophical idealism and strove to articulate a radical Christianity. In his mature work, each expounded a profound Christian philosophy and theology. We begin our study with several selections from Bulgakov’s and Berdyaev’s early writings, but quickly move to some of their most valuable mature works. From Bulgakov’s massive corpus, we will concentrate on his two masterpieces: his Christology, The Lamb of God and his ecclesiology, The Bride of the Lamb. From Berdyaev’s prolific output, we will consider three titles that rank among his most profound and influential works: his Christian theosophy, Freedom and Spirit, his ethics, The Destiny of Man, and his existentialist defense of personality and freedom, Slavery and Freedom.
RELC 5559 New Course in Christianity Roman Catholic Moral Tradition
This class will study the Roman Catholic moral tradition, giving attention to historical matters, to recent debates and current concerns, and especially to the tradition of encyclicals on broadly moral matters promulgated since Leo XIII. A persistent question throughout the class will be the several strategies whereby the Roman Catholic church has attempted to speak to "all persons of good will," while remaining faithful to the particularities of its history and distinct character.
RELI 5559 New Course in Islam People of the Book: Jews, Christians and Others under Islam
RELJ 5559 New Course in Judaism Martin Buber
RELJ 5559 New Course in Judaism Text and Interpretation
This year’s seminar focuses on the book of Job and its related texts—ancient, medieval, and modern—which allow us to establish the literary, theological and philosophical traditions in which Job was composed and the literary, theological, and philosophical legacy it has engendered. Our study will begin with a grounding in ancient compositions from Mesopotamia and biblical Wisdom Literature; proceed through the book of Job itself (with accompanying critical scholarship); and then finally turn to interpretations of the book. (These interpretations may include, for example, early Jewish and Christian retellings of Job, Kafka’s The Trial, J.B. by MacLeish, the writings of liberation theologian Gustavo Gutierrez, or the etchings of William Blake; students will select and present on these materials based on their research interests.) We will pay particular attention to the ways in which interpretations of Job play off one another in literary form and expression and in their treatment of such themes as divine justice, human piety, the limits of human knowledge, and the nature of the divine-human encounter.
**RelC/J 1210 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible or its equivalent is a required pre-requisite; one year of either classical Hebrew or Greek is preferred.**
RELB 5715 Seminar on Chinese Religon and Society
This is the graduate student section for RELB 3559. Students registering for RELB 5715 will participate in RELB 3559 class sessions, but will also have additional biweekly meetings, with extra readings, and a longer paper. The place and time for the additional meetings will be decided by consensus. The extra readings will be on the subject of “scripture and commentary.” We will read Confucian, Daoist, and Buddhist commentaries (in English translation) from early to late medieval periods. No prior knowledge of Chinese religions is presupposed. Advanced undergraduate students may also choose to register for RELB 5715 instead of RELG 3559.
RELC 5830 Love and Justice
An examination of various conceptions of neighbor-love (agape) and justice and their relations (e.g., identity and opposition) in selected Protestant (and some Catholic) literature (mainly from the 20th and early 21st centuries). The principles of agape and justice will be considered in the context of interpretations of human nature (e.g., the locus and power of sin), theological convictions (e.g., God as creator, preserver, and redeemer), and perspectives on moral reasoning. In addition, attention will be devoted to the distinction and relations between agape and other modes of love, such as philia and eros. Finally, in passing, the seminar will also examine the implications of different interpretations of agape (and its relations to justice) for selected practical areas, such as punishment, war, allocation of resources, and friendship
This course aims to acquaint students with German Jewish culture and history and assumes no prior knowledge. Classes will combine lecture and discussion. Reading assignments draw largely on primary sources – novels, short stories, poems, folktales, diaries, and memoirs as well as music and visual arts. Course requirements: two short essays (5 pages), one 10-page term paper and active participation in class. Readings may include: Moses Mendelssohn, Heinrich Heine, Rahel Varnhagen, Franz Kafka, Gershom Scholem, Martin Buber, Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. Critical readings to draw from among: Amos Elon, The Pity of It All, Jacob Katz, Out of the Ghetto; Michael Meyer, ed., German-Jewish History in Modern Times and Michael Brenner, The Jewish Renaissance in Weimer Germany. This course fulfills the Second Writing Requirement.
RELG 7559 New Course in Religion Ethnographic Religious
This course familiarizes students with a range of ways of studying religious experience as it is evidenced in sacred texts, religious artifacts and images; as it is chronicled in historical documents; as it is reflected in literary and artistic creations; and as it revealed in contemporary practice. Readings will include a wide range of ethnographies of religions and reflections on methodology. Students will be expected to analyze religious practice in its various guises and to engage in a well-defined, ethnographic fieldwork project. Guest speakers will include young scholars who will report on their own fieldwork in religions and talk about their recently published work.
RELG 7559 New Course in Religion Charles Peirce
A study of Charles Peirce's semiotics in relation to his logic of scripture. Comparisons will be drawn between Peirce and Paul Ricoeur's approaches to signs, texts, scripture, and meaning. Secondary readings
on literary theory, semiotics and pragmatism; and on logic, scripture, and theology's practice
RELG 7559 New Course in Religion Paul Ricouer
A study of Paul Ricoeur's hermeneutics in relation to his practices of interpreting scripture, texts, critical methods, and narratives. Comparisons will be drawn between Ricoeur's and Charles Peirce's approaches to such matters as signs, discourse, symbols, metaphors, and interpretation. There will be secondary readings on literary theory, philosophy of history, and theological hermeneutics. Note that this course meets at the same time and same place as Peter Och's Peirce seminar and will have a similar syllabus.
RELC 8315 Trinity
This seminar seeks to examine the doctrine of God as triune from the period of the early Church through to the period of high scholasticism. We shall focus on Gregory of Nyssa in his engagement with Eunomius, pass to Augustine’s theology of the Trinity, and conclude with Aquinas’s theology of the Trinity. Other theologians — ancient, medieval and modern — shall be referred to in the seminar, and participants are required to read widely in patristic, medieval and modern theology of the Trinity. Assessment will be by one term paper, the topic of which will be discussed individually with Professor Hart.
RELB 8200 Literary and Spoken Tibetan VII, VIII
RELB 8210 Literary and Spoken Tibetan VII, VIII
RELB 8230 Adv Literary & Spoken Tibetan
RELG 8350 Proseminar in SIP
RELH 8559 New Course in Hinduism Panini & Sanskrit Grammarians
In this course, we will study the most famous and influential of all traditional Sanskrit grammars, the Astadyayi of Panini. The purpose of this course is to teach students to read and interpret these materials on their own. Readings of primary texts in the original Sanskrit will occupy the majority of our time in this course. A very strong knowledge of Sanskrit is assumed. The Instructor's permission is required of any student who wishes to enroll in this class.
RELS 8995 Research Selected Topics
Instructor: Student's choice
Systematic reading in a select topic under detailed supervision. Contact the graduate secretary for details regarding his course.
RELS 8998 Non Topical Research
Instructor: Student's choice
For master's research, taken under the supervision of a thesis director. Contact the graduate secretary for details regarding this course.
RELS 9998 Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research
Instructor: Student's choice
For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.
Contact the graduate secretary for details regarding this course.
RELS 9999 Non-Topical Research
Instructor: Student's choice
For dissertation research, taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.
Contact the graduate secretary for details regarding this course.