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RELIGST 3: The Religious Life of Things

Temples, prayer beads, icons, robes, books, relics, candles and incense, scarves and hats, sacred food and holy water; objects of all sorts play a prominent role in all religions, evoking a wide range of emotional responses, from reverence, solace and even ecstasy, to fear, hostility and violence. What is it about these things that makes them so powerful? Is it beliefs and doctrines that inspire particular attitudes towards certain objects, or is it the other way around? Many see a tension or even contradiction between religion and material pursuits and argue that the true religious life is a life without things. But is such a life even possible? This course adopts a comparative approach, drawing on a variety of traditions to examine the place of images, food, clothing, ritual objects, architecture and relics in religious thought and practice. Materials for the course include scholarship, scripture, images and at least one museum visit.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
Instructors: ; Kieschnick, J. (PI)

RELIGST 56: Exploring Chinese Religions

An overview of major themes and historical developments in 5000 years of Chinese religion from early evidence of religious belief in Neolithic burial sites to religion in China today. In this course, we will try as much as possible to appreciate Chinese religion from the Chinese perspective, paying particular attention to original texts in translation in an attempt to discern the logic of Chinese religion and the role it has played in the course of Chinese history. To a greater extent perhaps than any other civilization, the Chinese have left behind a continuous body of written documents and other artifacts relating to religion stretching over thousands of years, providing a wealth of material for studying the place of religion in history and society. We will cover a range of traditions, from Buddhism and Daoism to Falun Gong, practices such as divination, fengshui and ancestor worship, and historical events from the formation of the first Chinese empire to the fall of the Qing dynasty and the Cultural Revolution. Each class will include a short lecture and discussion. Together we will read a variety of philosophical, literary, and historical pieces in translation, supplemented by ethnographic videos, archaeology and maps.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

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: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
Instructors: ; Bigelow, A. (PI)

RELIGST 115X: Europe in the Middle Ages, 300-1500 (HISTORY 15D, HISTORY 115D)

(HISTORY 15D is 3 units; HISTORY 115D is 5 units.) This course provides an introduction to Medieval Europe from the fall of Rome to the Renaissance. While the framework of the course is chronological, we'll concentrate particularly on the structure of medieval society. Rural and urban life, kingship and papal government, wars and plagues provide the context for our examination of the lives of medieval people, what they believed, and how they interacted with other, both within Christendom and beyond it. This course may count as DLCL 123, a course requirement for the Medieval Studies Minor.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI

RELIGST 116: Buddhist Philosophy

What do Buddhists mean when they argue that there is "no self?" What about their claim that everything is "empty?" Is their theory of karma a type of "fatalism" (that everything is just a matter of predetermined fate)? Does Buddhism really teach that we are all connected with one another? This course aims to answer these questions, and many others related to Buddhist philosophy. We will begin by exploring the central philosophical arguments attributed to the historical Buddha, and study the major philosophical traditions of Buddhism and the debates between them over the issues of metaphysics (what is really real?), ethics (what should we do?), and epistemology (what and how do we know?). We will also learn about the problems and significance of the modern interpretations of Buddhist philosophy. Through these discussions, we will attempt to critically appreciate both the universality and the particularity of the Buddhist ways of thinking.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: ; Gentry, J. (PI)

RELIGST 162X: Spirituality and Nonviolent Urban and Social Transformation (CSRE 162A, URBANST 126)

A life of engagement in social transformation is often built on a foundation of spiritual and religious commitments. Case studies of nonviolent social change agents including Rosa Parks in the civil rights movement, César Chávez in the labor movement, and WIlliam Sloane Coffin in the peace movement; the religious and spiritual underpinnings of their commitments. Theory and principles of nonviolence. Films and readings. Service learning component includes placements in organizations engaged in social transformation. Service Learning Course (certified by Haas Center).
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-ED, WAY-SI

RELIGST 199: Individual Work

Prerequisite: consent of instructor and department. May be repeated for credit.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 1-15 | Repeatable for credit (up to 99 units total)

RELIGST 212: Zhuangzi

The Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu) in its original setting and as understood by its spiritual progeny. Limited enrollment; consent of instructor required.
Terms: Win, Sum | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum
Instructors: ; Yearley, L. (PI)

RELIGST 226: The Bible in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (RELIGST 326)

This seminar investigates the central role of the Christian Bible in European religion, culture, and society from ca. 1000-1700 CE. In the medieval and early modern periods, the Bible not only shaped religious attitudes, practices, and institutions, but also exercised profound influence over learning and education, politics, law, social relations, art, literature, and music. Students will obtain an overview of the role of the scripture as both a religious text and a cultural artifact, exploring the history of biblical interpretation in commentaries and sermons; textual criticism, study of biblical languages, and the translation of scripture; manufacturing of Bibles in manuscript and in print; the commercial dimensions of Bible production; illustrated Bibles, biblical maps, and biblically-inspired artwork; religious uses of scripture in monastic houses, public worship, and domestic settings; biblical foundations for political and legal traditions. Students will also have the opportunity to suggest topics consonant with their own fields of interest and use the seminar to workshop on-going projects related to the Bible in this period. All of the readings will be in English, though students with the ability to read German, French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Greek, or Hebrew will be encouraged to pursue projects that utilize their linguistic skills. Students in residence will have the opportunity to utilize materials in Special Collections; abundant digital resources will be available to students not on campus. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Send an email to pitkin@stanford.edu explaining your interests and background. Undergraduates register for 200-level for 5 units. Graduate students register for 300-level for 3-5 units.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5
Instructors: ; Pitkin, B. (PI)

RELIGST 232: Buddhist Meditation: Ancient and Modern (RELIGST 332)

An exploration of the theory and practice of Buddhist meditation from the time of the Buddha to the modern mindfulness boom, with attention to the wide range of techniques developed and their diverse interpretation. Undergraduates register for 200-level for 5 units. Graduate students register for 300-level for 3-5 units.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: ; Harrison, P. (PI)

RELIGST 290: Majors' Seminar: Theories of Religion

Required of all majors and combined majors. The study of religion reflects upon itself. Representative modern and contemporary attempts to "theorize," and thereby understand, the phenomena of religion in anthropology, psychology, sociology, cultural studies, and philosophy. WIM.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: ; Fisher, E. (PI); Lai, E. (SI)

RELIGST 297: Senior Essay/Honors Thesis Research

Guided by faculty adviser. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor and department.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 3-5 | Repeatable for credit

RELIGST 304A: Theories and Methods

Required of graduate students in Religious Studies. Approaches to the study of religion. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | Repeatable 2 times (up to 8 units total)

RELIGST 319: Readings in Hindu Texts

Readings in Hindu texts in Sanskrit. Texts will be selected based on student interest. Prerequisite: Sanskrit.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | Repeatable 3 times (up to 15 units total)
Instructors: ; Fisher, E. (PI)

RELIGST 326: The Bible in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (RELIGST 226)

This seminar investigates the central role of the Christian Bible in European religion, culture, and society from ca. 1000-1700 CE. In the medieval and early modern periods, the Bible not only shaped religious attitudes, practices, and institutions, but also exercised profound influence over learning and education, politics, law, social relations, art, literature, and music. Students will obtain an overview of the role of the scripture as both a religious text and a cultural artifact, exploring the history of biblical interpretation in commentaries and sermons; textual criticism, study of biblical languages, and the translation of scripture; manufacturing of Bibles in manuscript and in print; the commercial dimensions of Bible production; illustrated Bibles, biblical maps, and biblically-inspired artwork; religious uses of scripture in monastic houses, public worship, and domestic settings; biblical foundations for political and legal traditions. Students will also have the opportunity to suggest topics consonant with their own fields of interest and use the seminar to workshop on-going projects related to the Bible in this period. All of the readings will be in English, though students with the ability to read German, French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Greek, or Hebrew will be encouraged to pursue projects that utilize their linguistic skills. Students in residence will have the opportunity to utilize materials in Special Collections; abundant digital resources will be available to students not on campus. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Send an email to pitkin@stanford.edu explaining your interests and background. Undergraduates register for 200-level for 5 units. Graduate students register for 300-level for 3-5 units.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5
Instructors: ; Pitkin, B. (PI)

RELIGST 332: Buddhist Meditation: Ancient and Modern (RELIGST 232)

An exploration of the theory and practice of Buddhist meditation from the time of the Buddha to the modern mindfulness boom, with attention to the wide range of techniques developed and their diverse interpretation. Undergraduates register for 200-level for 5 units. Graduate students register for 300-level for 3-5 units.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5
Instructors: ; Harrison, P. (PI)

RELIGST 359A: American Religions in a Global Context: Proseminar

This 1-unit proseminar is open to graduate students interested in American Religions in a Global Context. We will meet once a month to discuss student and faculty work-in-progress and important books in the field. Enrollment in the proseminar is required for students pursuing the Graduate Certificate in American Religions.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 1 | Repeatable 10 times (up to 10 units total)
Instructors: ; Lum, K. (PI)

RELIGST 371: Writing Religious History

This course offers graduate students a sustained opportunity to think about the craft of writing religious history. We will work together on issues ranging from structuring sentences, to revising an article, to conceptualizing a dissertation. Students will be encouraged to establish a daily writing habit and to formulate clear and searchable research strategies. Readings will include exemplars of different kinds of writing in the field. Students will write and workshop several brief (3-5 page) papers applying different approaches. The final project will be a revision of an article-length paper.
Terms: Win | Units: 5
Instructors: ; Lum, K. (PI)

RELIGST 384: Research in Christian Studies

Independent study in Christianity. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 1-15 | Repeatable for credit

RELIGST 385: Research in Buddhist Studies

Independent study in Buddhism. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 1-15 | Repeatable for credit

RELIGST 387: Research in Jewish Studies

Independent study in Jewish Studies. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 1-15 | Repeatable for credit

RELIGST 388: Research in Modern Religious Thought, Ethics, and Philosophy

Independent study in Modern Religious Thought, Ethics, and Philosophy. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 1-15 | Repeatable for credit

RELIGST 389: Individual Work for Graduate Students

May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 1-15 | Repeatable for credit

RELIGST 390: Teaching Internship

Required supervised internship for PhDs.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 3-5 | Repeatable for credit

RELIGST 392: Paper in the Field

Prerequisite: consent of graduate director. May be repeated for credit.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 1-15 | Repeatable for credit

RELIGST 395: Master of Arts Thesis

Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 2-9 | Repeatable 9 times

RELIGST 399: Readings in Theories and Methods

Directed readings in secondary literature for Religious Studies doctoral students. May be repeated for credit.
Terms: Win | Units: 1-5 | Repeatable for credit
Instructors: ; Sockness, B. (PI)

RELIGST 801: TGR Project

(Staff)
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 0 | Repeatable for credit
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