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RELIGST 201A: Gender in Classical Islamic Law (RELIGST 301A)

The course examines classical Islamic society and law. It covers historical development, the unity and diversity of Muslim legal traditions, and the relationship between laws and values. Constructions of gender in law are examined through rituals, marriage, divorce, birth control, child custody, and sexuality.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Spring 2013 | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 205: Religious Poetry

Religious poetry drawn from the Islamic, Christian, Confucian and Daoist traditions. Limited enrollment or consent of the instructor required.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2014 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

RELIGST 208A: Ex Oriente Lux: Orientalism and the Study of Religion (RELIGST 308A)

This seminar is designed to expose students to issues relating to discourse and subjectivity within the textual constructions of Oriental religions in the colonial era. We will begin with Edward W. Said¿s provocative work on notions of representation and power embedded in the discourse on the Orient that established, produced, and, ultimately, perpetuated western knowledge about the Other. We will then discuss the impact of the Oriental Renaissance and the vital role that Eastern wisdom played in constructing the field of Comparative Religious Studies. In addition, students will also read ethnographies, fables, and travelogues that both support and undermine Said¿s thesis of an active West constructing a largely passive East.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2015 | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 209: Priests, Prophets, and Kings: Religion and Society in Late Antique Iran (CLASSICS 147, CLASSICS 247, RELIGST 309)

This course is designed as a broad introduction to the religious and social history of the Sasanian Empire, encompassing the period from 224-651 CE as well as the early years of Islamic rule in Iran. Among the topics we will discuss are: the lives and deeds of the powerful Iranian emperors such as Shapur I and II in relation to the the Roman emperors Diocletian and Constantine; the transformation of Zoroastrianism into a powerful official religion of the state and its subsequent orthodoxy; the emergence of the prophet Mani and the confrontation of Manicheism with the Zoroastrian priesthood; the conversion of Constantine to Christianity and its political and social ramifications in Iran; the establishment of an independent Iranian Christian church; the importance of Armenia in the Sasanian- Roman conflict; and a brief discussion of the history of the Jewish community under the Sasanians. We will end the quarter by examining the Arab¿Islamic¿conquests of Iran and the profound social changes experienced by the Zoroastrian communities in the early centuries of Islam in Iran.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2015 | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 209A: Sugar in the Milk: Modern Zoroastrianism as Race, Religion, and Ethnicity (RELIGST 309A)

Modern Zoroastrian experience¿as race, religion, and ethnic identity. Some 60,000 Zoroastrians now live in India and have resided there for a millennium. In the 19th century, these peoples from Persia¿Parsis¿became colonial elites yet were acutely aware that they were not quite Indian, British, or Persian. Diverse ways this experience of dislocation has served as a defining characteristic in Parsi communal identity and contrast these South Asian experiences with the minority socio-politics of those who remained in Iran. Survey the colonial and post-colonial communities in England, East Africa, Hong Kong, Australia, and North America and examine the expression of these global diasporic experiences in literature and the arts.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2012 | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 209D: `Crow Eaters' & `Fire Worshippers': Exploring Contemporary Zoroastrianism Thru Reading Parsi Lit (RELIGST 309D)

In the past three decades Parsi fiction has rapidly emerged as a unique and creative voice in modern Anglophone literature from South Asia. From Bapsi Sidhwa to Thrity Umrigar to Rohinton Mistry, Parsi novelists address the most poignant concerns of Zoroastrians living in an era of rapid social, political, and religious transformation. The erosion of tradition; the breakdown of the Parsi family; the demise of religion among the young; and the cultural losses and gains of living in diaspora are common themes in their works. The unique vantage point of the Parsis; neither Hindu nor Muslim, neither quite Indian nor quite British; will serve as a lens for examining the inherent tensions in multicultural societies both East and West.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2013 | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 209E: Imperishable Heroes and Unblemished Goddesses: Myth, Ritual, and Epic in Ancient Iran (CLASSICS 148, CLASSICS 248, RELIGST 309E)

Designed as a broad introduction to the world of ancient Iran, students will be introduced to the Indo-European inheritance in ancient Iranian culture; the shared world of ritual, religion, and mythology between Zoroastrianism in Iran and Vedic Hinduism in India; and to the contours of early Zoroastrian religious thought. We will also survey mythoepic literature in translation from the archaic Avesta through the late antique Zoroastrian Middle Persian corpus to the early medieval national epic of Iran, the Book of Kings of Ferdowsi.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 212: Chuang Tzu

The Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi) in its original setting and as understood by its spiritual progeny. Limited enrollment.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Yearley, L. (PI)

RELIGST 216: Japanese Buddhism

Focus on the religious lives of lay people in medieval Japan, as evidenced in collections of Buddhist stories (setsuwashu), narrative picture scrolls (emaki), and related historical materials. All readings are in English, but the instructor will also work with students interested in reading the original Japanese.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2011 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 221B: What is Talmud? (RELIGST 321B)

In what sense can Talmud be studied as literature? Which voices can be identified? Concepts of author, editor, or redactor. The basic textual units of Talmud: sugya, chapter, and tractate. The sugya as literary genre. The aesthetic of talmudic dialectics.nnPrerequisite: reading Hebrew with some understanding of biblical Hebrew
Terms: not given this year, last offered Spring 2013 | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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