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RELIGST 129: Modern Jewish Thought (JEWISHST 129)

From 1870 to the late twentieth century, Jewish thought and philosophy attempted to understand Judaism in response to the developments and crises of Jewish life in the modern world. In this course we shall explore the responses of figures such as Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, Hermann Cohen, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Joseph Soloveitchik, Emil Fackenheim, and Emmanuel Levinas. Central topics will concern ethics and politics, faith and revelation, redemption and messianism, and the religious responses to catastrophe and atrocity. We shall discuss Judaism in European culture before and after World War I and in North America in the postwar period and after the Six Day War. A central theme will be the ways in which attempts to understand Jewish experience are related to history.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 132D: Early Christian Gospels (CLASSICS 145)

An exploration of Christian gospels of the first and second century. Emphasis on the variety of images and interpretations of Jesus and the good news, the broader Hellenistic and Jewish contexts of the gospels, the processes of developing and transmitting gospels, and the creation of the canon. Readings include the Gospel of John, the Gospel of Mark, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary and other canonical and non-canonical gospels.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Copeland, K. (PI)

RELIGST 144: John Calvin and Christian Faith

Close reading and analysis of Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion as a classic expression of Christian belief.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

RELIGST 174: Religious Existentialism-Kierkegaard

Existentialism is often understood to be a secular or anti-religious philosophy of life, a substitute for Christian ethics in a post-theistic world come of age. Yet this twentieth-century philosophical movement owes many of its concerns and much of its vocabulary to the hyper-Protestant Danish thinker Soren Kierkegaard, and much of the best Christian and Jewish thought in the 20th-century (Bultmann, Buber, Tillich) adopted existentialism as the ¿best philosophy¿ for making sense of these traditions in a secular age. This course will examine the origins of existentialist thought in the writings of Kierkegaard and its appropriation by a handful of influential 20th- century religious thinkers.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 179: Doing the Sacred: Religion and Performance

This course investigates religion as practice and performance, rather than as belief and doctrine. A performance-centered emphasis helps us understand how domination and authority, as well as creativity and individual resistance, underlie culture. From initiatory rites to cyber sermons, human action offers raw, physical data that unveils the mechanisms of social control, ideology, and individual resistance. Reorienting religion from the perspective of religious acts / actors -- those who are doing something they consider sacred -- evokes many interpretive possibilities: How do these performances create and maintain communities? How do they resolve conflicts that arise within everyday affairs? In what ways do they generate meaning and shape identity? What can these enactments reveal about the constructions of power, gender, and race? This course explores such issues, probing the complicated relationship between human intention and social reality. Ultimately, a study of religion and performance seeks to understand how performance and transcendence interact to make participants into who they are.nThe readings cover an array of religious traditions -- medieval and evangelical Christian, Hindu, Native American, Jewish, Buddhist, African and Haitian Vodou -- all of which present a rich repertoire of sacred drama, dance, and music. We will discuss performances that make modern readers uncomfortable, such as sacrifice and flagellation, and examine why they are meaningful within their specific cultural context. Finally, we will consider how secular practices and the internet mimic religious behavior. However divergent, all of these examples demonstrate how religious performance is no mere artifice, but a vehicle for the practitioner's own pious posturing -- one that is spiritually innovative and self-affirming -- yet shaped by hierarchical regimes.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Dickason, K. (PI)

RELIGST 201: Islamic Law (RELIGST 301)

(This course is combined with LAW 586) Topics include marriage, divorce, inheritance, ritual, war, rebellion, abortion, and relations with non-Muslims. The course begins with the premodern period, in which jurists were organized in legal traditions called ¿schools of law.¿ After examining the nature and functions of these institutions, we turn to the present era to study the relationship between customary law, state law, and the Islamic legal heritage in Egypt and Indonesia. The course explores Muslim laws and legal institutions and the factors that have shaped them, including social values and customs, politics, legal precedents, and textual interpretation.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Sadeghi, B. (PI)

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 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

RELIGST 208C: Architecture, Acoustics and Ritual in Byzantium (ARTHIST 208C, ARTHIST 408C, CLASSICS 175, MUSIC 208C, MUSIC 408C, REES 208C, REES 408C, RELIGST 308C)

Onassis Seminar "Icons of Sound: Architecture, Acoustics and Ritual in Byzantium". This year-long seminar explores the creation and operations of sacred space in Byzantium by focusing on the intersection of architecture, acoustics, music, and ritual. Through the support of the Onassis Foundation (USA), nine leading scholars in the field share their research and conduct the discussion of their pre-circulated papers. The goal is to develop a new interpretive framework for the study of religious experience and assemble the research tools needed for work in this interdisciplinary field.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 1-3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Repeatable for credit | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

RELIGST 224: Classical Islamic Texts (RELIGST 324)

The course is based on readings in primary Arabic sources in the key fields of pre-modern Islamic scholarship. The list of readings and topics will depend on the interests of the students. In addition to focusing on the language, contents, and context of the texts covered, the course introduces genre-specific historical research methods. The reading selections may be derived from Qur¿anic interpretation (tafsir), the hadith literature, adab, biographical dictionaries, fiqh, ta'rikh, kalam, or Sufism. Reading knowledge of Arabic is required.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Repeatable for credit | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Sadeghi, B. (PI)

RELIGST 233: The Ethics of Religious Politics (ETHICSOC 233R)

Is it possible for a deeply committed religious person to be a good citizen in a liberal, pluralistic democracy? Is it morally inappropriate for religious citizens to appeal to the teachings of their tradition when they support and vote for laws that coerce fellow citizens? Must the religiously committed be prepared to defend their arguments by appealing to 'secular reasons' ostensibly accessible to all 'reasonable' citizens? What is so special about religious claims of conscience and expression that they warrant special protection in the constitution of most liberal democracies? Is freedom of religion an illusion when it is left to ostensibly secular courts to decide what counts as religion? Exploration of the debates surrounding the public role of religion in a religiously pluralistic American democracy through the writings of scholars on all sides of the issue from the fields of law, political science, philosophy, and religious studies.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Sockness, B. (PI)
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