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461 - 470 of 542 results for: all courses

RELIGST 2: Is Stanford a Religion?

This course seeks to introduce students to the study of religion by posing a two-part question: What is a religion, and does Stanford qualify as one? Scientific, pragmatic, seemingly secular, Stanford may not seem at all similar to religions like Christianity, Judaism or Buddhism, but a deeper look reveals that it has many of the qualities of religion--origin stories, rituals and ceremonies, sacred spaces and times, visions of the future, even some spirits. By learning some of the theories and methods of the field of religious studies, students will gain a better understanding not just of Stanford culture but of what motivates people to be religious, the roles religion plays in people's lives, and the similarities and differences between religious and secular culture.
Last offered: Spring 2018 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

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

RELIGST 11N: The Meaning of Life: Philosophical, Aesthetic, and Religious Perspectives

What is involved in making personal/existential sense of one's own life? We study artworks and texts by Manet, T.S. Eliot, Plato, Plotinus, Augustine, Marx, Nietzsche, and Heidegger, as well as Ingmar Bergman's classic film, "The Seventh Seal."
Last offered: Winter 2020 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 12N: Perspectives on the Good Life

The question is how to approach and evaluate different perspectives on the good life, especially when those perspectives are beautifully, and elusively, presented to us as texts. We will consider both classic and modern writers, from the West and from China; some are explicitly religious, some explicitly secular; some literary, some philosophical. Most of the class will revolve around our talk with each other, interpreting and questioning relatively short texts. The works we will read - by Dante, Dickenson, Zhuangzi, Shklar, and others - are not intended to be representative of traditions, of eras, or of disciplines. They do, however, present a range of viewpoint and of style that will help frame and re-frame our views on the good life. They will illustrate and question the role that great texts can play in a modern 'art of living.' Perhaps most important, they will develop and reward the skills of careful reading, attentive listening, and thoughtful discussion. (Note: preparation and participation in discussion are the primary course requirement. Enrollment at 3 units requires a short final paper; a more substantial paper is required for the 4-unit option.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum
Instructors: Yearley, L. (PI)

RELIGST 14N: Demons, Death, and the Damned: The 'Other' and the Otherwordly in America

This course will examine how beliefs about the "other world" actually shape and are shaped by Americans' this-worldly actions and interactions (i.e. in the demonization of the "other," whether defined religiously, racially, ethnically, or in gendered terms). Students will ask how ideas about demons and death, heaven and hell have reflected the concerns, values, and identities of Americans over time. Students will learn how to read primary sources against secondary literature.
Last offered: Autumn 2013 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 17N: Love, Power, and Justice: Ethics in Christian Perspective

From its inception, the Christian faith has, like all religions, implied an ethos as well as a worldview, a morality and way of life as well as a system of beliefs, an ethics as well as a metaphysics. Throughout history, Christian thinkers have offered reasoned accounts of the moral values, principles, and virtues that ought to animate the adherents of what eventually became the world's largest religion. We will explore a variety of controversial issues, theological orientations, and types of ethical reasoning in the Christian tradition, treating the latter as one 'comprehensive doctrine' (John Rawls) among many; a normative framework (actually a variety of contested religious premises, moral teachings, and philosophical arguments) formally on par with the religious ethics of other major faiths as well as with the various secular moral theories typically discussed in the modern university. We will learn to interpret, reconstruct, criticize, and think intelligently about the coherence and persuasiveness of moral arguments offered by a diverse handful of this religious tradition's best thinkers and critics, past and present.
Last offered: Spring 2016 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

RELIGST 18N: Religion and Politics: Comparing Europe to the U.S. (JEWISHST 18N)

Interdisciplinary and comparative. Historical, political, sociological, and religious studies approaches. The relationship between religion and politics as understood in the U.S. and Europe. How this relationship has become tense both because of the rise of Islam as a public religion in Europe and the rising influence of religious groups in public culture. Different understandings and definitions of the separation of church and state in Western democratic cultures, and differing notions of the public sphere. Case studies to investigate the nature of public conflicts, what issues lead to conflict, and why. Why has the head covering of Muslim women become politicized in Europe? What are the arguments surrounding the Cordoba House, known as the Ground Zero Mosque, and how does this conflict compare to controversies about recent constructions of mosques in Europe? Resources include media, documentaries, and scholarly literature.
Last offered: Spring 2014 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-ED

RELIGST 37X: Contemporary Religion in Japan's Ancient Capital: Sustaining and Recasting Tradition

This course is being offered in collaboration with the Stanford Program in Kyoto, Bing Overseas Studies Program. Taught online, students will receive real-time instruction from Prof. Ludvik based in Kyoto on contemporary Japanese attitudes to religion and popular forms of religiosity in the context of the ancient capital of Kyoto, center of Japanese tradition and culture. Intersecting past and present, the city offers fascinating perspectives on time-honoured syncretic religious traditions in symbiosis with modern developments and the challenges they present. The course will examine various aspects and expressions of contemporary Japanese religion, including the pursuit of worldly benefits, religion and healing, fortune-telling, the popularity of ascetic practices and practitioners, pilgrimage, the enormous appeal of festivals (matsuri), the impact of tourism on religious sites, and the response of religion in times of crisis, such as natural disasters or COVID-19.
The course is offered remotely (online - synchronous) and enrollment is limited to 20 undergraduate students. A permission code will be given to admitted students to register in the class.
Interested students can apply by going to this Google form link by April 4: https://forms.gle/jDciz6YNKC3fvKNe9
Terms: Spr | Units: 2 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 50: Exploring Buddhism

A comprehensive historical survey of the Buddhist tradition, from its beginnings to the 21st century, covering principal teachings and practices, institutional and social forms, and artistic and iconographical expressions. (Formerly RELIGST 14.)
Last offered: Spring 2020 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-ED, WAY-SI

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)
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