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RELIGST 115X: The Civilization and Culture of the Middle Ages (HISTORY 15D, HISTORY 115D)

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.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI

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).
Last offered: Spring 2016 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-ED, WAY-SI

RELIGST 180: Gender Relations in Islam

This course investigates the ways in which gender identities and relationships between men and women have been articulated, constructed, and refashioned throughout the Muslim world. Starting with problematizing the fixed notions of gender and sexuality, we map the attitudes toward these notions through visiting a diverse array of sources from the Qur¿an, Sunna, and legal documents to historical and anthropological case studies, literature, and film from South East Asia to Europe and North America. We examine the notions of femininity and masculinity in the Qur¿an, family laws, and attitudes toward homosexuality and transgendered populations. We read examples of ambiguous use of language with regards to gender and sexuality in Persian poetry and mystical traditions. We study the dynamic relationship between Islam and Feminism in the Muslim world. Finally, we witness the implications of these attitudes in our case studies and stories, from a divorce court in Iran to a wedding in Sudan.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI

RELIGST 209: Priests, Prophets, and Kings: Religion and Society in Late Antique Iran (CLASSICS 147, CLASSICS 247, RELIGST 309)

This course is designed as a broad introduction to the religious and social history of the Sasanian Empire, encompassing the period from 224-651 CE as well as the early years of Islamic rule in Iran. Among the topics we will discuss are: the lives and deeds of the powerful Iranian emperors such as Shapur I and II in relation to the the Roman emperors Diocletian and Constantine; the transformation of Zoroastrianism into a powerful official religion of the state and its subsequent orthodoxy; the emergence of the prophet Mani and the confrontation of Manicheism with the Zoroastrian priesthood; the conversion of Constantine to Christianity and its political and social ramifications in Iran; the establishment of an independent Iranian Christian church; the importance of Armenia in the Sasanian- Roman conflict; and a brief discussion of the history of the Jewish community under the Sasanians. We will end the quarter by examining the Arab¿Islamic¿conquests of Iran and the profound social changes experienced by the Zoroastrian communities in the early centuries of Islam in Iran.
Last offered: Autumn 2015 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-SI

RELIGST 209E: Imperishable Heroes and Unblemished Goddesses: Myth, Ritual, and Epic in Ancient Iran (CLASSICS 148, CLASSICS 248, RELIGST 309E)

Designed as a broad introduction to the world of ancient Iran, students will be introduced to the Indo-European inheritance in ancient Iranian culture; the shared world of ritual, religion, and mythology between Zoroastrianism in Iran and Vedic Hinduism in India; and to the contours of early Zoroastrian religious thought. We will also survey mythoepic literature in translation from the archaic Avesta through the late antique Zoroastrian Middle Persian corpus to the early medieval national epic of Iran, the Book of Kings of Ferdowsi.
Last offered: Spring 2016 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-SI

RELIGST 212X: Knights, Monks, and Nobles: Masculinity in the Middle Ages (FEMGEN 212X, FEMGEN 312, HISTORY 212, HISTORY 312, RELIGST 312X)

This course considers masculinity as historically and culturally contingent, focusing on the experiences and representations of medieval men as heroes, eunuchs, fathers, priests, husbands, boys, and fighting men. Recognizing that the lives of men, like those of women, were governed by gendered rules and expectations, we will explore a wide range of medieval masculinities, paying close attention to the processes by which manhood could be achieved (e.g. martial, spiritual, sexual), and to competing versions of manliness, from the warrior hero of the early middle ages to the suffering Christ of late medieval religion.
Terms: Win | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI

RELIGST 215X: Saints and Sinners: Women and Religion in the Medieval World (FEMGEN 215, HISTORY 215, HISTORY 315A)

Although the Apostle Paul taught that "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28), men and women experienced medieval Christianity in ways that were often vastly different. In this course we examine the religious experiences of women from the origins of Christianity through to the end of the medieval period, with particular attention paid to female prophets and religious authority, saints and martyrs, sexuality and virginity, literacy and education within the cloister, mysticism, relations between religious women and men, and the relevance of gender in the religious life -- especially as gender intersected with fears of heresy, sin, and embodiment.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI

RELIGST 231: European Reformations (HISTORY 231G, HISTORY 331G, RELIGST 331)

Readings in and discussion of theological and social aspects of sixteenth century reformations: Luther, Radical Reform, Calvin, and Council of Trent, missionary expansion, religious conflict, creative and artistic expressions. Texts include primary sources and secondary scholarly essays and monographs.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-SI

RELIGST 235: Religion in Modern Society: Secularization and the Sacred (RELIGST 335)

What is the status of religion in modern life? Is the modern world "secular" in some fundamental, irreversible way and what does this mean? This course will explore these questions through variety of readings from leading sociologists, philosophers, and anthropologists. Our goal will be to understand in what ways industrialization, political liberalization, the rise of technology, and the success of modern science have been used to support the "secularization" thesis that the modern West rendered religion a thing of the past. A central question to be asked will be: do assessments of the place of religion in modernity necessitate a philosophy of history i.e., a theory not only of historical change, but of the meaning of this change as well?n The course will begin by looking at the origins of the theory of secularization from its beginnings in Enlightenment attempts to understand the meaning of history. We will then turn to contemporary debates over the term "secular" against its counterpart, "religious", and the problems with their application to non-Western societies. We will read works by Talal Asad, Saba Mahmood, Max Weber, Charles Taylor, Jürgen Habermas, and Pope Benedict XVI.
Last offered: Spring 2014 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-SI

RELIGST 246: Constructing Race and Religion in America (CSRE 246, HISTORY 256G, HISTORY 356G, RELIGST 346)

This seminar focuses on the interrelationships between social constructions of race, and social interpretations of religion in America. How have assumptions about race shaped religious worldviews? How have religious beliefs shaped racial attitudes? How have ideas about religion and race contributed to notions of what it means to be "American"? We will look at primary and secondary sources, and at the historical development of ideas and practices over time.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-ED, WAY-SI
Instructors: Lum, K. (PI)
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