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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, last offered Winter 2017 | 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, last offered Spring 2017 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

RELIGST 118: Gandhi, Nonviolence, Religion

We will study Gandhi and his era, focusing on sources that relate Gandhi¿s theory and practice of nonviolence to religion and ethics. Topics include Gandhi¿s biography and personal influences; his construction of Hinduism and inclination to asceticism; his encounters with Jainism and Christianity; his attempts to negotiate the increasingly intractable and violent issues between Hindus and Muslims leading up to independence/partition; and the religious arguments involved in his bitter break with the leader of the anti-caste and ¿untouchable¿ liberation movement, B.R. Ambedkar. We will locate discussions of religion within larger political and social circumstances. Readings include The Story of My Experiments with Truth, Hind Swaraj, and other writings by Gandhi; the Bhagavad Gita; Erik Erikson¿s psychoanalytic study, Gandhi¿s Truth; and recent critical works on Gandhi and religion.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2014 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

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, last offered Winter 2016 | 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)

RELIGST 130: Sex and Gender in Judaism and Christianity (FEMGEN 130, JEWISHST 120)

What role do Jewish and Christian traditions play in shaping understandings of gender differences? Is gender always imagined as dual, male and female? This course explores the variety of ways in which Jewish and Christian traditions - often in conversation with and against each other - have shaped gender identities and sexual politics. We will explore the central role that issues around marriage and reproduction played in this conversation. Perhaps surprisingly, early Jews and Christian also espoused deep interest in writing about 'eunuchs' and 'androgynes,' as they thought about Jewish and Christian ways of being a man or a woman. We will examine the variety of these early conversations, and the contemporary Jewish and Christian discussions of feminist, queer, trans- and intersex based on them.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2017 | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-Gender, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

RELIGST 132C: How Jesus the Jew became God

Contemporary historical-critical methods in investigating how one might study Jewish and Christian texts of the 1st century CE. Social contexts including economic realities and elite ideological views. What can be known historically about 1st-century Judaism and Jesus' part it in it. How Jewish apocalyptic messianism shaped the birth of Christianity and its trajectory through the 1st century.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2013 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | 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: not given this year, last offered Winter 2015 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

RELIGST 140: RELIGION AND ETHICS: The Limits of Dialogue

How do religious traditions address ethical problems? Although ¿the good¿ seems like a universal goal, religious traditions force us to consider non-universal ways of defining it. From marriage to genetic engineering, from abortion to organ donation, issues of community, faith, and practice continue to complicate our ethical thinking. Exploration of case-studies and concepts, with readings from Kant, Foucault, Butler and others, as well as Jewish and Christian interpretations of the Bible.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Spring 2013 | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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