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1 - 10 of 31 results for: RELIGST

RELIGST 14N: Buddha's Brain and the New Science of Mind

How has the modern fascination with the Buddha, who lived nearly 2,500 years ago, come to influence scientific research on the nature of mind and its potential role in human flourishing? Do "mindfulness apps" have anything to do with ancient Buddhist theories of mind and techniques for training and transforming it? This class explores these and related questions through studying the history, nature, and implications of the diverse encounters and exchanges between Buddhists and psychologists, neuroscientists, and philosophers of mind.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI
Instructors: Gentry, J. (PI)

RELIGST 15N: Magic and Marvel: Theorizing Religion Through Popular Culture (AMSTUD 15N)

Though marginalized through terms like 'superstition' and 'witchcraft,' magic remained a ubiquitous feature of the United States sociocultural and religious landscape well beyond the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. From dream books to horseshoes to conjure, phenomena once termed black or white magic in Western European and early Anglophone American cultures became a part of an expansive collection of ritual and material practices that occupied the margins of American 'religion' serving as a foil to more mainstream manifestations of the category. Racialized visions of magical creatures and capabilities from faraway places solidified understandings of magic as the province of non-Whites and non-Americans, contributing further to the category's marginalization, even as interest in spiritualism, mesmerism, and other metaphysical movements heightened in the nineteenth-century. The result was a religious milieu in which practices previously deemed 'magic' became entrenched within some mainstream in more »
Though marginalized through terms like 'superstition' and 'witchcraft,' magic remained a ubiquitous feature of the United States sociocultural and religious landscape well beyond the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. From dream books to horseshoes to conjure, phenomena once termed black or white magic in Western European and early Anglophone American cultures became a part of an expansive collection of ritual and material practices that occupied the margins of American 'religion' serving as a foil to more mainstream manifestations of the category. Racialized visions of magical creatures and capabilities from faraway places solidified understandings of magic as the province of non-Whites and non-Americans, contributing further to the category's marginalization, even as interest in spiritualism, mesmerism, and other metaphysical movements heightened in the nineteenth-century. The result was a religious milieu in which practices previously deemed 'magic' became entrenched within some mainstream institutional religions and the categorical lines between magic and religion became increasingly blurred in popular culture. Beginning with the religious history of American magic and moving towards the twentieth century, this course explores the American fascination with magic as expressed through the Marvel cinematic universe. Together, we will ask questions of how magic appears in the popular imagination, its role in the success of the Marvel franchise, and the terms on which we define the category.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

RELIGST 106: Religion and Body Modification

From circumcision and branding to tattooing and hair removal, acts of body modification are central to many religious traditions and communities. These acts of cutting, burning, plucking, and puncturing operate on the level of individual bodies, but they also entail larger issues of community, politics, law, and power. Join us as we examine the modified religious body across traditions and time periods, from circumcision in early Judaism and Christianity to tattooing in the modern Church of Body Modification. We approach the modified body as a way to grapple with larger questions about body and community, scripture and law, gender and power, and being and belonging. Taking the body as a point of critical inquiry not only provides an opportunity to learn about different religious traditions and their practices; it also pushes us to examine some of the foundational categories and assumptions that structure the world today. No prerequisites are necessary.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI
Instructors: Peterson, J. (PI)

RELIGST 107: Buddhism in the Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to some of the oldest and most racially and linguistically diverse Buddhist communities in the United States. This course engages differences in power and representation in Buddhist temples and centers across the Bay Area, focusing on Asian American institutions and other communities of color. We will also explore the entanglement of race, religion, and the appropriation of mindfulness-based practices in Silicon Valley. In addition to reading works by anthropologists and sociologists of religion, we will conduct fieldwork with local communities to build a more representative picture of Buddhist life in the Bay Area from the nineteenth century to the present.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-EDP
Instructors: Walker, T. (PI)

RELIGST 111: Queering Buddhism: Gender, Sexuality, and Liberatory Praxis (FEMGEN 111)

Is the body we identify as a 'self' a given? How does a body that is gendered, raced, or marked as deviant become free? Like Queer studies, Buddhism has long ago recognized the constructedness of identity, and developed an impressive array of contemplative practices, ritual performances, and philosophical systems that aim to transcend binary constructions. At the same time however, Buddhist institutions continue to be steeped in patriarchal societies that derive their power from creating various categories of bodily exclusion. How do we reconcile this seeming contradiction between the ultimate goal of liberation and the relative reality of identity markers of difference?
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-EDP
Instructors: Lai, E. (PI)

RELIGST 141X: Ancient Greek Religion (CLASSICS 141, CLASSICS 241)

Survey of the religious practices of the ancient Greeks. Readings will be both from original sources and from modern scholarship. There are no prerequisites. Knowledge of ancient Greek will be useful, but not required. Undergrads should give one short oral presentation and write one short paper. Grad students should give two presentations and write a longer paper.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3
Instructors: Porta, F. (PI)

RELIGST 150: Texts that Changed the World from the Ancient Middle East (COMPLIT 31, HUMCORE 111, JEWISHST 150)

This course traces the story of the cradle of human civilization. We will begin with the earliest human stories, the Gilgamesh Epic and biblical literature, and follow the path of the development of law, religion, philosophy and literature in the ancient Mediterranean or Middle Eastern world, to the emergence of Jewish and Christian thinking. We will pose questions about how this past continues to inform our present: What stories, myths, and ideas remain foundational to us? How did the stories and myths shape civilizations and form larger communities? How did the earliest stories conceive of human life and the divine? What are the ideas about the order of nature, and the place of human life within that order? How is the relationship between the individual and society constituted? This course is part of the Humanities Core: https://humanitiescore.stanford.edu/
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

RELIGST 158: Spiritualism and the Occult

This course will examine the popular mystical practices of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when millions of people in Europe and America described themselves as spiritualists and shared a recognizable set of practices. These served as a platform for spiritual immediacy guided by the central questions: What is the relationship between seen and unseen? How can the living communicate with the dead? What technologies apply to our inner lives? This course considers the historical emergence of spiritualism, spiritualism and art, spiritualism and technology, and mysticism and women to explore how the invisible became a central metaphor for the ambition to expand and remake the real.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI
Instructors: Willburn, S. (PI)

RELIGST 170D: Readings in Talmudic Literature (JEWISHST 127D, JEWISHST 227D)

Readings of Talmudic texts. Some knowledge of Hebrew is preferred, but not necessary. The goal of the ongoing workshop is to provide Stanford students with the opportunity to engage in regular Talmud study, and to be introduced to a variety of approaches to studying Talmudic texts and thought.
Terms: Aut | Units: 1 | Repeatable 6 times (up to 6 units total)

RELIGST 199: Individual Work

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