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RELIGST 55: Exploring Zen Buddhism

This course is an introduction to Chan/Zen Buddhism. We will study the historical and doctrinal development of this tradition in China and Japan and examine various facets of Zen, such as the philosophy, practices, rituals, culture, and institution. For this aim, we will read and discuss classical Zen texts in translation and important secondary literature. This course will further feature a fieldtrip to a local Zen center.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Mross, M. (PI)

RELIGST 61: Exploring Islam

This course introduces some of the most important features of the Islamic religious tradition. It explores the different ways in which Muslims have interpreted and practiced their religion. The main subjects of discussion --- including the life of the Prophet Muhammad, the Qur¿an, law, ritual, mysticism, theology, politics, and art --- will be considered with reference to their proper historical contexts. Some of the topics covered include abortion, gender, rebellion and violence, and the visual vocabulary of paintings. Students will be exposed to important theories and methods in the academic study of religion. No prior knowledge is required.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2015 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 65: Exploring Global Christianity

Explore the world¿s largest religion as a multicultural, global faith, with attention to Christianity¿s origins, spread and impact around the world up to the present. Special attention to recent shifting demographics leading to declining numbers in mainline Christian denominations in North America and Europe and the rapid expansion of Christianity in Africa, Asia, and South America; the explosion of international Pentecostalism and other new Christianities; Christianity, global politics, and the global economy; Christian-Muslim relations and conflicts.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

RELIGST 71: Jews and Christians: Conflict and Coexistence (JEWISHST 71)

The relationship between Judaism and Christianity has had a long a controversial history. Christianity originated as a dissident Jewish sect but eventually evolved into an independent religion, with only tenuous ties to its Jewish past and present. Since the Holocaust, Jews and Christians have begun the serious work of forging more meaningful relationships with each other. This course explores the most significant moments that have shaped the relationship between Judaism and Christianity and examines some of the theological complexities imbedded in these traditions, while searching constructive ways of situating oneself amidst such complexities.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

RELIGST 86: Exploring the New Testament (CLASSICS 43, JEWISHST 86)

To explore the historical context of the earliest Christians, students will read most of the New Testament as well as many documents that didn't make the final cut. Non-Christian texts, Roman art, and surviving archeological remains will better situate Christianity within the ancient world. Students will read from the Dead Sea Scrolls, explore Gnostic gospels, hear of a five-year-old Jesus throwing divine temper tantrums while killing (and later resurrecting) his classmates, peruse an ancient marriage guide, and engage with recent scholarship in archeology, literary criticism, and history.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Penn, M. (PI)

RELIGST 114: Yoga Ancient and Modern

Originating in ancient India, yoga went through many developments over more than 4000 years in India and other parts of Asia. Having migrated to Euro-America in the late nineteenth century, today yoga is everywhere--studios, schools, gyms, malls, resorts, ashrams, retreat centers. It comes in many flavors¿austere, with meditative instructors and Sanskrit chants; stylish, in 105-degree heat, with portable-miked instructors loudly motivating students to go through poses with speed and intensity; niche-crafted to meet the needs of busy professionals, pregnant women, senior citizens, or people with back problems. It may appear as a spiritual path or as a heavily marketed commodity. It generates lawsuits as teachers dispute ownership of certain styles, or as some Americans oppose its teaching yoga in public schools. In the first half of the course we will study the history of yoga in India, reading primary texts composed between about 500 BCE and 1600 CE. In the second half we will learn about yoga's globalization in the last century. Participating in a yoga class is recommended. 2 units of independent study (S-NC) are offered for those who participate in a weekly yoga class and write short reflections on the experience.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 117: Christianity in 21st-century America (AMSTUD 117R)

As the largest religion practiced in the United States, Christianity not only shapes the lives of a large number of its citizens but also impinges on public discourse, policies, and debates. This course investigates the ways in which Christianity in America is changing and what these changes bode for its role in the public and private spheres. Issues include shifting demographics lead to declining numbers in 'mainline' denominations; the polarization of Christian conservatives and religious 'nones'; interfaith toleration and cooperation alongside interreligious conflict; the rise of 'spiritual, not religious' young adults; the effects of immigration; religion and science.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

RELIGST 119: Religion, Violence, and Nonviolence

College courses and public events often address "religion and violence"--an important topic, but one-sided. We will study ways in which religious leaders, movements, and discourses have (1) promoted violent conflict, aggression, and oppression; and (2) contributed to nonviolence, peacebuilding, and liberation of the oppressed. An overarching theme will be a view of religions as fields of interpretation. No religion is essentially violent or peaceful; intricately connected to the world around them, religions become what they become through interpretation and action. Each week will have two meetings: one featuring an outstanding guest lecturer and one to discuss the lecture topic, with assigned readings and films. Topics under consideration include: Buddhism and Violence; Dorothy Day and Catholic Nonviolent Resistance to Nuclear Weapons; Just War and Jihad; The Contribution of Negro Spirituals to Liberation; The Quakers: Pacifist Convictions and Activism; Violence/Nonviolence in Jainism; The Role of Christian Faith in M.L. King's Political Work; Spirituality and Religious Peacebuilding. For lecture series with required attendance and written reflections for 2 units, take RELIGST 29.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 124: Sufi Islam

The complex of Islamic intellectual and social perspectives subsumed under the term Sufism. Sufi mystical philosophies and historical and social evolution. Major examples include: Qushayrî, Râbi'a, Junayd, Hallâj, Sulamî, Ibn al-'Arabî, Rûmî, Nizâm al-Dîn Awliyâ'. Social and political roles of Sufi saints and communities. Readings include original prose and poetry in translation, secondary discussions, and ethnography.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2015 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 126: Protestant Reformation (HISTORY 126B)

The emergence of Protestant Christianity in 16th-century Europe. Analysis of writings by evangelical reformers (Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Sattler, Hubmeier, Müntzer) and study of reform movements (Lutheran, Reformed, Anabaptist, Spiritualist) in their medieval context and as expressions of new and influential visions of Christian belief, life, social order.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Pitkin, B. (PI)
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