Spring 2019

Course Code Title/Instructor Meets
RELG 107-01 New Testament in Context
Instructor: Peter Schadler
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   DENNY 104
RELG 208-01 Religion in the United States
Instructor: Jodie Vann
Course Description:
The course chronicles the relationship between religious ideas and cultural context from the founding of the first colonies through the rise of the Religious Right and New Age movements. Our journey will be guided by several key metaphors that have characterized the religious ethos of America: America as "The Promised Land"; America as the "land of opportunity", as the "melting pot." We will use primary sources, including fiction, poetry, and film.
1030:TR   DENNY 211
RELG 215-01 Jewish Environmental Ethics
Instructor: Andrea Lieber
Course Description:
Cross-listed with JDST 215-01. Since the 1960's many writers on environmental issues have blamed our contemporary environmental crises in part on a so-called "Judeo-Christian" worldview, rooted in the Hebrew Bible. Such writers assert that the biblical heritage shared by these two religious traditions advocates an unhealthy relationship between humanity and nature, one in which human beings are destined to conquer the earth and master it. In this course we will explore Jewish perspectives on nature and the natural world through close readings of biblical and other classical Jewish theology, history and ritual practice, we will also examine the ways in which this motif is re-conceptualized in modern secular contexts (ie, Zionism, and the kibbutz movement). We will conclude by studying contemporary varieties of Jewish environmental advocacy. In addition to texts focused specifically on Judeo-Christian traditions, the syllabus will include other classic works of Environmental ethics foundational to the field of Environmental studies.Offered every three years in rotation with the offering of ENST 111. This course is cross-listed as JDST 215.
1330:M   STERN 103
RELG 235-01 New American Religious Diversity
Instructor: Jodie Vann
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. 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.
1500:TF   ALTHSE 110
RELG 243-01 Dead Sea Scrolls
Instructor: Theodore Pulcini
Course Description:
Cross-listed with JDST 243-01. The discovery of a cache of ancient scrolls in 1947 in caves near the Dead Sea led to a revolution in the study of Second Temple Judaism and Christian origins. This course will focus on these texts, situating them in the context of the history of Judaism from the Hellenistic period through the first century C.E. What do they reveal about beliefs and institutions of the Essenes, the enigmatic community which produced them? What was life like at Qumran, the Essene community's center? How did the sect start, how did it differ from mainstream Judaism, and what was its vision of the future? What possible connections existed between the Essene community and the emergence of Christianity? How have the Dead Sea scrolls contributed to the study of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament? This course is cross-listed as JDST 243.
0900:TR   BOSLER 208
RELG 250-01 Religion and Popular Culture
Instructor: Jodie Vann
Course Description:
(e.g., Goddess and Devotee; Women & Religion; Sexuality and Spirituality; Women's Ways of Believing)
1500:MR   ALTHSE 207
RELG 250-02 Women, Gender and Judaism
Instructor: Andrea Lieber
Course Description:
Cross-listed with JDST 240-01 and WGSS 201-02. 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:MWF   DENNY 104
RELG 260-01 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   ASBELL SEM
RELG 260-02 From Abraham to Al-Qaeda: Jews, Christians, and Muslims From Their Origins to the Present
Instructor: Peter Schadler
Course Description:
Cross-listed with MEST 200-03 and HIST 215-04. This course will survey relations between Christians, Muslims, and Jews from their origins up to the present day, with heavy attention to the premodern period, and to those areas under the political control of Muslims. We will, however, also consider the relations between these three in the modern period, and how the beliefs of these three groups have coincided and collided to generate specific tensions between them.
1330:TF   STERN 11
RELG 260-03 After Genocide and Apartheid: Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation
Instructor: Jean-Pierre Karegeye, Jeremy Ball
Course Description:
Cross-listed with HIST 215-03, AFST 220-07 and SOCI 230-01.Part of the Rwanda Mini-Mosaic.This course examines how two societiesRwanda after the 1994 genocide and South Africa after the end of apartheiduncovered the atrocities of the past, delivered justice to perpetrators, and engendered reconciliation between perpetrator and victim. After learning about the histories of these two societies, we will study institutionsthe International Criminal Court for Rwanda (ICTR), Gacaca, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Finally, we will consider how these two societies commemorate and memorialize victims. Our course will culminate in an optional, two-week Mosaic in Rwanda. In Rwanda, we will meet with genocide survivors and perpetrators and think deeply about how to engender reconciliation in a post-genocide society.
1030:TR   DENNY 313
RELG 260-04 The Problem of Evil
Instructor: Peter Schadler
Course Description:
What is evil? Can people be evil? This course will examine a series of case studies in literature, history, and psychology as a means to considering the problem of evil, and religious responses to it. While Christian stories will feature prominently, we will also look at stories from other religious traditions, and what these have to say about evil and the turning away from it. Part of the goal of the course will be to try and understand why humans radically change their lives and how they respond to apparent instances of evil.
1130:MWF   DENNY 110
RELG 490-01 Senior Seminar
Instructor: Mara Donaldson
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.
1330:T   TOME 227
RELG 550-01 Comparison of South Asian & Byzantine Icons
Instructor: Daniel Cozort
Course Description: