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1 - 10 of 260 results for: RELIGST

RELIGST 1: Religion Around the Globe

A survey of significant religious traditions of the world with emphasis on contemporary manifestations. We will address aspects of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism. In addition, we will discuss interaction between individuals and communities in diverse and complex religious settings such as East Asia, the Middle East, and North America.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-ED, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 2: Is Stanford a Religion?

This course seeks to introduce students to the study of religion by posing a two-part question: What is a religion, and does Stanford qualify as one? Scientific, pragmatic, seemingly secular, Stanford may not seem at all similar to religions like Christianity, Judaism or Buddhism, but a deeper look reveals that it has many of the qualities of religion--origin stories, rituals and ceremonies, sacred spaces and times, visions of the future, even some spirits. By learning some of the theories and methods of the field of religious studies, students will gain a better understanding not just of Stanford culture but of what motivates people to be religious, the roles religion plays in people's lives, and the similarities and differences between religious and secular culture.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 11N: The Meaning of Life: Philosophical, Aesthetic, and Religious Perspectives

Raise ultimate questions about life. Yes, the unexamined life is not worth living, but also the unlived life is not worth examining. Students and professor examine their own lives in the light of questions that the readings and lectures bring up: 1. The big picture: Is there such a thing as "the" meaning of life? 2. What is entailed in making personal-existential sense of one's own life? 3. What constitutes the good life, lived in society? 4. How can a university education bear upon the search for a meaningful life? 5. What "methods" for or approches to life can one learn from studies in the humanities? After introductory lectures, the seminar studies a series of artworks, poems, diverse texts, and a film, all of which bear on the questions mentioned above -- works such: 1. Plato's Allegory of the Cave, from "The Republic" 2. Manet's "A bar at the Folies Bergere" 3. A comparison/contrast of Monet's early (1862) "Still Life" and van Gogh's late (1889) "Irises" 4. Lyric poetry T.S. Eliot: "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," "The Waste Land," and "East Coker"; Edwin Muir: "The Heart Could Never Speak"; Philip Larkin: "Days" 5. Martin Heidegger's "What Is Metaphysics?" 6. Jean-Paul Sartre's novel "Nausea" 7. Marx's Paris Manuscripts of 1844 8. Bergman's "The Seventh Seal"
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Sheehan, T. (PI)

RELIGST 12N: Perspectives on the Good Life

The question is how to approach and evaluate different perspectives on the good life, especially when those perspectives are beautifully, and elusively, presented to us as texts. We will consider both classic and modern writers, from the West and from China; some are explicitly religious, some explicitly secular; some literary, some philosophical. Most of the class will revolve around our talk with each other, interpreting and questioning relatively short texts. The works we will read - by Dante, Dickenson, Zhuangzi, Shklar, and others - are not intended to be representative of traditions, of eras, or of disciplines. They do, however, present a range of viewpoint and of style that will help frame and re-frame our views on the good life. They will illustrate and question the role that great texts can play in a modern 'art of living.' Perhaps most important, they will develop and reward the skills of careful reading, attentive listening, and thoughtful discussion. (Note: preparation and participation in discussion are the primary course requirement. Enrollment at 3 units requires a short final paper; a more substantial paper is required for the 4-unit option.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Yearley, L. (PI)

RELIGST 13Q: Mystical Journeys: Beyond Knowing and Reason

What makes a mystic a mystic? This question has many sides. Why do we call someone a mystic? Is there such a thing as mystical experience? Do experiences make a mystic? Do beliefs? Practices? Many religious traditions have records of visionaries whose lives and writings open windows on the more hidden and aspirational aspects of belief and practice. These writings also take many forms: poems, letters, teachings, and accounts of visions, which we will encounter in the course of the quarter. Readings for the course will cover a cross-section of texts taken from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and Native American sources.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED, Writing 2 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

RELIGST 14N: Demons, Death, and the Damned: The 'Other' and the Otherwordly in America

This course will examine how beliefs about the "other world" actually shape and are shaped by Americans' this-worldly actions and interactions (i.e. in the demonization of the "other," whether defined religiously, racially, ethnically, or in gendered terms). Students will ask how ideas about demons and death, heaven and hell have reflected the concerns, values, and identities of Americans over time. Students will learn how to read primary sources against secondary literature.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

RELIGST 17N: Love, Power, and Justice: Ethics in Christian Perspective

From its inception, the Christian faith has, like all religions, implied an ethos as well as a worldview, a morality and way of life as well as a system of beliefs, an ethics as well as a metaphysics. Throughout history, Christian thinkers have offered reasoned accounts of the moral values, principles, and virtues that ought to animate the adherents of what eventually became the world's largest religion. We will explore a variety of controversial issues, theological orientations, and types of ethical reasoning in the Christian tradition, treating the latter as one 'comprehensive doctrine' (John Rawls) among many; a normative framework (actually a variety of contested religious premises, moral teachings, and philosophical arguments) formally on par with the religious ethics of other major faiths as well as with the various secular moral theories typically discussed in the modern university. We will learn to interpret, reconstruct, criticize, and think intelligently about the coherence and persuasiveness of moral arguments offered by a diverse handful of this religious tradition's best thinkers and critics, past and present.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Sockness, B. (PI)

RELIGST 18N: Religion and Politics: Comparing Europe to the U.S. (JEWISHST 18N)

Interdisciplinary and comparative. Historical, political, sociological, and religious studies approaches. The relationship between religion and politics as understood in the U.S. and Europe. How this relationship has become tense both because of the rise of Islam as a public religion in Europe and the rising influence of religious groups in public culture. Different understandings and definitions of the separation of church and state in Western democratic cultures, and differing notions of the public sphere. Case studies to investigate the nature of public conflicts, what issues lead to conflict, and why. Why has the head covering of Muslim women become politicized in Europe? What are the arguments surrounding the Cordoba House, known as the Ground Zero Mosque, and how does this conflict compare to controversies about recent constructions of mosques in Europe? Resources include media, documentaries, and scholarly literature.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

RELIGST 19N: "Land of Milk and Honey": Food, Justice, and Ethnic Identity in Jewish Culture (CSRE 19N, JEWISHST 19N)

Food is an essential aspect of the human experience. The decisions and choices we make about food define who we have been, who we are now, and who we want to become. nnThis seminar examines Jewish culture and the food practices and traditions that have shaped and continue to shape it. Why has Jewish culture been centered around food practices? How have religious laws and rituals about food and food production shaped Jewish culture and vice versa? Dietary laws prescribe which animals are and are not "kosher" and what can be eaten with them, holidays are celebrated with traditional foods, and regional foods contribute to the formation of distinct Jewish ethnic identities. More recently, American Jews have begun to organize around issues of food justice, and joined the sustainability movement, adapting Jewish traditions about food production into their cause. What is the significance of animal welfare, environmental issues, and labor practices in Jewish culture?nnThis multi-disciplinary seminar explores the connection between food practices and ethnic and religious identity(ies), the history of the dietary laws and their multiple interpretations, the cultural significance of the phenomenal success of kosher certification in the U.S. food market, and the rise of the Jewish food justice movement. These issues raise a multitude of comparative questions, and you are encouraged to engage in research into other religious and ethnic food cultures. Course materials include: biblical and later religious, legal, and philosophical texts; cook-books (as cultural and historical sources); literature (both fiction and academic); films; news media, and food experts. We will visit an urban farming community (Urban Adamah) to learn from those involved in the Jewish sustainability movement.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

RELIGST 20A: The Sun Also Shines on the Wicked: The Problem of Evil in Religious Thought

The problem of Evil has plagued religious thinkers and philosophers for centuries. If God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, then why is there Evil in the world? We will read and discuss the key thinkers and foundational texts from Plato and the Book of Job to Fyodor Dostoevsky, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud in order to appreciate the diverse responses to this most vexed of questions. We will survey some of the major approaches to the problem of Evil such as skepticism and theodicy in the works of the Classical authors and in those of the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic thinkers like Augustine, Maimonides, and al-Ghazali. We will also engage with dualist traditions such as Zoroastrianism and Manicheism, and with the ethics of the major figures of the Enlightenment such as Leibniz, Hume, and Kant. We will end the quarter by reading the most strident atheistic responses from contemporary scientists and philosophers such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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