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RELIGST 201A: Gender in Classical Islamic Law (RELIGST 301A)

The course examines classical Islamic society and law. It covers historical development, the unity and diversity of Muslim legal traditions, and the relationship between laws and values. Constructions of gender in law are examined through rituals, marriage, divorce, birth control, child custody, and sexuality.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 203: Myth, Place, and Ritual in the Study of Religion (RELIGST 303)

Sources include: ethnographic texts and theoretical writings; the approaches of Charles Long, Jonathan Z. Smith, Victor Turner, Michael D. Jackson, and Wendy Doniger; and lived experiences as recounted in Judith Sherman's Say the Name: A Survivor's Tale in Prose and Poetry, Jackson's At Home in the World, Marie Cardinal's The Words to Say It, and John Phillip Santos¿ Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 209A: Sugar in the Milk: Modern Zoroastrianism as Race, Religion, and Ethnicity (RELIGST 309A)

Modern Zoroastrian experience¿as race, religion, and ethnic identity. Some 60,000 Zoroastrians now live in India and have resided there for a millennium. In the 19th century, these peoples from Persia¿Parsis¿became colonial elites yet were acutely aware that they were not quite Indian, British, or Persian. Diverse ways this experience of dislocation has served as a defining characteristic in Parsi communal identity and contrast these South Asian experiences with the minority socio-politics of those who remained in Iran. Survey the colonial and post-colonial communities in England, East Africa, Hong Kong, Australia, and North America and examine the expression of these global diasporic experiences in literature and the arts.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 209D: `Crow Eaters' & `Fire Worshippers': Exploring Contemporary Zoroastrianism Thru Reading Parsi Lit (RELIGST 309D)

In the past three decades Parsi fiction has rapidly emerged as a unique and creative voice in modern Anglophone literature from South Asia. From Bapsi Sidhwa to Thrity Umrigar to Rohinton Mistry, Parsi novelists address the most poignant concerns of Zoroastrians living in an era of rapid social, political, and religious transformation. The erosion of tradition; the breakdown of the Parsi family; the demise of religion among the young; and the cultural losses and gains of living in diaspora are common themes in their works. The unique vantage point of the Parsis; neither Hindu nor Muslim, neither quite Indian nor quite British; will serve as a lens for examining the inherent tensions in multicultural societies both East and West.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 216: Japanese Buddhism

Focus on the religious lives of lay people in medieval Japan, as evidenced in collections of Buddhist stories (setsuwashu), narrative picture scrolls (emaki), and related historical materials. All readings are in English, but the instructor will also work with students interested in reading the original Japanese.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 221B: What is Talmud? (RELIGST 321B)

In what sense can Talmud be studied as literature? Which voices can be identified? Concepts of author, editor, or redactor. The basic textual units of Talmud: sugya, chapter, and tractate. The sugya as literary genre. The aesthetic of talmudic dialectics.nnPrerequisite: reading Hebrew with some understanding of biblical Hebrew
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 222B: Sufism Seminar (RELIGST 322B)

Sufism through original texts and specialized scholarship. Prerequisite: ability to read at least one major language of Islamic religious literature (Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu).
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 223: Studying Islam: History, Methods, Debates

Islam as a subject of academic inquiry since the 19th century. Origins and critiques of major methodological perspectives in Islamic studies such as philology, religious studies, history, art history, and anthropology. Landmarks in the development of the field and the work of major scholars. Academic debates regarding unity versus diversity, orientalism, fundamentalism and Islamism, Sufism, and gender. Current trends in scholarship on medieval and modern Muslim societies. Prerequisite: course work in Islamic studies or methodology in religious studies.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 224B: Unveiling the Sacred: Explorations in Islamic Religious Imagination (RELIGST 324B)

Poetry and prose in translation as well as historical studies. Islamic movements invested in the idea that the sensory world has a hidden or esoteric counterpart that can be understood or experienced through following particular religious programs. Various forms of Shi'ism and Sufism, millenarian and apocalyptic movements, the Nation of Islam and its offshoots. Philosophical propositions, historical contexts, and the role of ritual in the construction of religious systems.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 226A: Judaism and Hellenism (RELIGST 326A)

interactions and conflicts between Jews and Greeks in the centuries following the conquests of Alexander the Great and the cultural/religious repercussions of their encounter. In what ways were Jews influenced by Greek culture? In what ways, and for what reasons, did they resist it? And how the interaction of these cultures shape the subsequent development of Judaism and Christianity? Jewish texts in the Greco-Roman period, including Jewish-Greek writers like Philo of Alexandria, the Apocrypha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, selected writings from the New Testament, and the Passover Haggadah.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum
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