Fall 2017

Course Code Title/Instructor Meets
RELG 101-01 What is Religion?
Instructor: Mara Donaldson, Peter Schadler
Course Description:
The course introduces students to methods in the study of religion and to major world religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The approach in the course is comparative and interdisciplinary.
1130:MWF   DENNY 110
RELG 121-01 Hinduism
Instructor: Daniel Cozort
Course Description:
A study of the dominant religion of south Asia that focuses on the contemporary "embodiment" of religion in culture. This course will explore ways in which religion permeates the Hindu cycle of life, shapes choices such as occupation and marriage partner, and infuses Indian arts. It will ask whether the variation in these patterns over time, among regions of India, in city and country, and among different groups, are diverse "Hinduisms" that nevertheless contain a vital unity.
1230:MWF   ALTHSE 201
RELG 211-01 Religion and Fantasy
Instructor: Mara Donaldson
Course Description:
An exploration of the religious and mythological dimensions of traditional and modern fantasy literature. Our explorations will be guided by three interdependent themes: the nature of the divine, the nature of the human, and the nature of the moral life.
1030:MWF   EASTC 301
RELG 212-01 History of Christianity: From Margin to Center
Instructor: Mara Donaldson, Peter Schadler
Course Description:
The course traces the emergence of Christianity from its beginnings as a minority sect in the first century to the height of its influence in the 14th century. Special attention will be given to cultural and aesthetic influences on the emerging Church.
1030:TR   DENNY 104
RELG 235-01 New American Religious Diversity
Instructor: Beth Graybill
Course Description:
Until relatively recently, religious diversity in the U.S. meant Protestant, Catholic and Jewish. With changing immigration patterns since the latter half of the 20th century, religious diversity in the American context has to take into account other world religious traditions, such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and others. Furthermore, new immigrants from Asia, Africa and Latin America have brought their own distinctive Christian practices, whether joining existing American congregations or forming ethnically distinct congregations. This course will examine the experience of these emergent religious communities within the nexus of social and cultural processes-examining the dynamic interplay of religion and communities in the context of immigration and defining a place within the American experience. Offered every two years.
1330:TF   EASTC 301
RELG 248-01 Religion and Non-Violence
Instructor: Mara Donaldson
Course Description:
Although religion in our world today is often associated with violence, this course examines the lives and work of important religious figures who advocated non-violence for social change. What are the ethical debates about non-violence as a response to injustice? We will read works by Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bishop Tutu, Dorothy Day, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, and others. Offered every two years.
1330:MR   EASTC 405
RELG 250-01 Religion and the Internet
Instructor: Andrea Lieber
Course Description:
(e.g., Goddess and Devotee; Women & Religion; Sexuality and Spirituality; Women's Ways of Believing)
1030:TR   DENNY 103
RELG 250-02 Women, Gender and Judaism
Instructor: Andrea Lieber
Course Description:
Cross-listed with JDST 240-01 and WGSS 201-01. This course examines issues of gender in Jewish religion and culture. Starting with the representation of women in the Bible and other classical Jewish texts, we study the highly differentiated gender roles maintained by traditional Jewish culture, and examine the role American feminism has played in challenging those traditional roles. We will also study gender issues in contemporary Israeli society, such as the politics of marriage and divorce, public prayer and gender in the military. Some knowledge of Judaism and Jewish history is helpful, but not required as a prerequisite for this course.
0900:TR   DENNY 103
RELG 259-01 Islam
Instructor: David Commins
Course Description:
Cross-listed with HIST 259-01 and MEST 259-01. An introduction to Islamic beliefs and practices in their classical forms: rituals, law, mysticism, and other topics. The course will consider aspects of Islamic cultures and societies in medieval and modern times. This course is cross-listed as HIST 259 and MEST 259.
1500:TF   DENNY 203
RELG 260-01 Varieties of Christian Spirtuality
Instructor: Theodore Pulcini
Course Description:
Christianity expresses itself not only in a range of doctrines but also in a wide variety of spiritualities. This course will introduce students to the spiritual practices of different Christian denominations by which individuals and communities have cultivated and intensified an experience of the divine. Practices to be examined will include liturgy, mysticism, music, art, and reform movements.
0930:MWF   EASTC 300
RELG 311-01 Buddhism and the Environment
Instructor: Daniel Cozort
Course Description:
Although protection of the environment is not a Buddhist goal per se, it is involved in the quest for enlightenment. The course will apply the Buddhist perspective to questions about the relations between humans and the rest of nature, to specific environmental problems, to the tradeoffs between human good and protection of other species, and to consumption and consumerism. Prerequisites: 122 or ENST 111, or permission of instructor. Offered every two years
1500:TF   ALTHSE 206
RELG 314-01 Seminar on Buddhist Ethics
Instructor: Daniel Cozort
Course Description:
Buddhism is a non-theistic religion whose ideal is human perfection, described as a state of contentment, happiness, wisdom, love, and compassion. Because this ideal involves the perfection of virtue as well as the attainment of insight, ethics in Buddhism are particularly important. This course will examine ethics in various Buddhist traditions, compare Buddhist ethics to those of other religions, consider Buddhist ethics in the light of the psychology of moral judgments and the findings of cognitive sciences, and reflect on how Buddhists might approach income inequality, environmental degradation and climate change, war and violence, discrimination against women, and contested social issues such as reproductive rights, euthanasia, suicide, and animal rights.
1500:MR   ALTHSE 206
RELG 390-01 Interpreting Religion
Instructor: Theodore Pulcini
Course Description:
An advanced introduction to some fundamental issues of theory and method in the academic study of religion. Selected religious phenomena will be examined using the perspectives such as those of the history of religions, psychology, sociology, anthropology, philology, philosophy, and theology. Emphasis will be placed upon methods of research and styles of writing in the study of religion.
0900:TR   EASTC 300
RELG 550-01 Thomas Merton and Thich Nhat Hanh: Spirituality and Activism
Instructor: Daniel Cozort, Mara Donaldson
Course Description: