Spring 2017

Course Code Title/Instructor Meets
RELG 105-01 Judaism in the Time of Jesus
Instructor: Andrea Lieber
Course Description:
Cross-listed with JDST 105-01. This course is an introduction to the Hellenistic period of Jewish history, also known as the period of the "second temple". The course will analyze the cultural interaction between Jews and Greeks at this pivotal moment in Jewish history. The course will examine the impact of classical Greek thought and culture on the development of Judaism at its formative stage. We will focus on the phenomenon of sectarian movements and the emergence of rabbinic Judaism and Christianity as two dominant religions of the West. This course is cross-listed as JDST 105.
0900:TR   STERN 103
RELG 107-01 New Testament in Context
Instructor: Theodore Pulcini
Course Description:
Cross-listed with JDST 107-01. A critical examination and attempt to understand the New Testament as the written traditions which articulated the faith, expectations, and actions of the early Christians as they responded within Jewish and Greek culture to the historical events of their day, and especially as they responded to the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth. This course is cross-listed as JDST 107.
0930:MWF   STERN 103
RELG 110-01 Religion and Modern Culture
Instructor: Mara Donaldson
Course Description:
Drawing upon popular examples from film, drama, and narrative, as well as critical essays, the course explores both the religious dimensions of modern culture myth, sacred space and time, nature spirituality and the cultural contexts of contemporary theologies gender, race, economics.
1030:MWF   EASTC 405
RELG 227-01 Spiritual Dimensions of Healing
Instructor: Daniel Cozort
Course Description:
The effect of the mind on the body, long a principle of systems of healing around the globe, is again being recognized in modern medicine. This course will be concerned with "integrative medicine" and related topics, such as ancient systems of healing, shamanism in contemporary cultures, the relationship between religious faith and recovery from illness, the appropriation of traditional healing methods by medical professionals and New Age alternative healing practitioners, yoga, meditation and health, the Holistic Medicine movement in the West, and the Positive Psychology movement in the West. Offered every two years.
1330:MR   EASTC 405
RELG 241-01 Love, Sex & Hebrew Texts (In Translation)
Instructor: Nitsa Kann
Course Description:
Cross-listed with JDST 216-04 and MEST 200-02. This course is a comprehensive study of masterpieces of Jewish Literature in translation about love and sex from different periods, origins, and genres. The literary survey includes: Biblical love stories, the concept of love and sexuality in Jewish mysticism, Midrash, i.e., homiletic stories, folk tales, literature of the Middle Ages, and modern Hebrew literature of the early 20th century to the present.
1130:MWF   EASTC 301
RELG 247-01 Saints and Demons
Instructor: Shalom Staub
Course Description:
Cross-listed with JDST 247-01, MEST 250-01 and WGSS 201-02. This course will examine the complex relationship of Jews and Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa, from the dawn of Islam through the 20th century, drawing upon religious studies, cultural historical, ethnographic and gender studies perspectives. We will examine sources from the "high" traditions of both religious community, but spend the bulk of the semester closely examining "popular" traditions--such as the veneration of (male) saints and the world of (largely female) demons and spirits, including strategies to protect oneself from these demons and the experience of demonic possession generally among women. These are topics which will invite us to look at the social construction of male and female categories, and which will challenge the idea that Jewish and Muslim ritual and practice are wholly separate and distinct. This course is cross-listed as MEST 250 and JDST 247. Offered every two years.
1500:MR   EASTC 301
RELG 250-01 Pilgrimage and Religious Tourism
Instructor: Beth Graybill
Course Description:
Today religious tourism and pilgrimage is a dynamic $18 billion global industry with 800 million travelers. Whether visiting Lancaster County, PA, Amish country or Ground Zero in NYC, many people embark on travel in order to deepen faith or have a religious experience associated with a place they deem to be spiritual. We will study the Stonewall National Monument in New York City commemorating gay rights, the newest National Park Service site, as well as the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the new Smithsonian museum in Washington, DC, as pilgrimage locations. We will consider Crater Lake in Oregon as a sacred Native American site and the Lower East Side Tenement museum as a site of religious pilgrimage for American Jews. Using narrative and social science literature, we will touch on environmental or Eco-tourism; Romance tourism (a la Eat, Pray, Love) and its darker side, Sex Tourism; Nostalgia or historical tourism (e.g. Colonial Williamsburg); and Dark Tourism (sites of commemoration of tragedy such as the 9-11 memorial in Somerset, PA). In so doing we will seek to understand the power of place, and how particular locations come to embody or be associated with religious culture(s) and spiritual traditions.
1030:TR   DENNY 104
RELG 250-02 Mother Earth: Religion and Sustainability
Instructor: Mara Donaldson
Course Description:
This course explores the following: the ways religious traditions both contribute to the environmental crisis and provide resources for addressing that crisis; the emergence of sustainability as a defining value in colleges and universities; the roles that Bill McKibben as a writer and climate change activist continues to play in promoting conversations and policy decisions related to values grounded in religious, spiritual, and scientific values.
1230:MWF   EASTC 300
RELG 250-04 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.
1030:TR   STERN 103
RELG 260-01 Comparative BioMedical Ethics
Instructor: Eric Cytryn
Course Description:
Advances in medical research have opened a new world of ethical questions dealing with the boundaries of life, reproduction, the allocation of scarce health care resources, and the right to refuse medical care for religious or cultural reasons. How does religion inform and respond to questions of bioethical concerns? In this course, which is comparative in perspective, we will explore how a variety of religious traditions approach the most critical issues in bioethics today.
1330:MR   DANA 202
RELG 260-02 Kabbalah: Healing the Soul, Repairing the Cosmos
Instructor: Nitsa Kann
Course Description:
Cross-listed with JDST 216-01. Tracing the history of Jewish mysticism, the course introduces major trends in Jewish mysticism, focusing special attention on Kabbalistic meditation and its practice, food and sustainability, interpretation of dreams and white magic, spiritual music, death and reincarnation, feminism and gender issues. We will also explore Hasidic tales that have been attributed the power to reveal and to heal, alongside contemporary expressions of Kabbalistic topics in literature and in movies. The course includes guest lectures and other activities and special events.
0900:TR   EASTC 107
RELG 260-03 Sunni and Shia Islam
Instructor: David Commins
Course Description:
Cross-listed with HIST 215-01 and MEST 200-01. The first part of the course will examine the historical formation of Sunni and Shiite traditions during the early centuries of Islam. Topics will include political doctrine, theology, ritual, and law. The second part of the course will focus on modern sectarian conflict and initiatives to foster intra-Muslim ecumenism. Topics will include sectarian relations within countries, the role of regional rivalry in stoking sectarian strife, and pan-Islamic projects to overcome sectarian division.
1330:TF   DENNY 311
RELG 260-04 Beyond Belief: Jewish Secular Culture from Spinoza to Seinfeld
Instructor: Edward Merwin
Course Description:
Cross-listed with JDST 250-01.Many Jews nowadays define themselves in secular or cultural terms rather than religious ones. But how did the tradition of secular Judaism come to be? This course will survey the development of secular Jewish identity through an examination of key thinkers over the last three and a half centuries, including Spinoza, Freud, Marx and Einstein. The course will conclude with an examination of secular Judaism in American culture - the drama of Clifford Odets and Arthur Miller, the films of Mel Brooks and Sidney Lumet, and the television shows Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
1330:MR   ASBELL SEM
RELG 260-05 The Problem of God
Instructor: Giacomo Leoni
Course Description:
This course explores the problematic notion of God through different theoretical and historical lenses. At the beginning of the course we will study and read from two masters of Christian thought (Augustine and Aquinas); then, we will move to the analysis of a fundamental philosophical work on God (Descartes' Third and Fifth Meditation) and finally, we will turn to literary approaches in selections from Dostoevsky, Milton, Blake, and others.
1130:MWF   EASTC 300
RELG 490-01 Senior Seminar
Instructor: Daniel Cozort
Course Description:
Advanced investigation of methods and critical perspectives for the study of religion with a focus to be determined by the instructor. Writing enriched. Prerequisite: 390 or permission of the instructor.
1500:MR   EASTC 312
RELG 550-01 Faith-Based Peace Building in Israel/Palestine (II)
Instructor: Shalom Staub
Course Description: