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RELIGST 114: Yoga: Ancient and Modern

In both Western popular culture and the Indian political arena, Yoga has become emblematic of the cultural heritage of India. But how did the phenomenon that is global postural yoga, with its secular wellness ethos and athleticism, come into existence? And how does it relate to the contemplative and ascetic disciplines that were practiced in the premodern Indian past? This course explores the early history of yoga through its philosophy and esoteric practices, concluding with a look at the ramifications of yoga in contemporary culture and politics. Participating in a yoga class is recommended. 2 units of independent study (S-NC) are offered for those who participate in a weekly yoga class and write short reflections on the experience.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

RELIGST 117: Christianity in 21st-century America (AMSTUD 117R)

As the largest religion practiced in the United States, Christianity not only shapes the lives of a large number of its citizens but also impinges on public discourse, policies, and debates. This course investigates the ways in which Christianity in America is changing and what these changes bode for its role in the public and private spheres. Issues include shifting demographics lead to declining numbers in 'mainline' denominations; the polarization of Christian conservatives and religious 'nones'; interfaith toleration and cooperation alongside interreligious conflict; the rise of 'spiritual, not religious' young adults; the effects of immigration; religion and science.
Last offered: Spring 2017 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

RELIGST 119: Religion and Conflict

What is the relationship between religion and conflict? Can religious movements, ideologies, and actors cause conflicts or make them better or worse? This course looks at theories of religion and conflict, religious approaches to conflict resolution or peacebuilding, and examines case studies of conflicts involving religion.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER
Instructors: Bigelow, A. (PI)

RELIGST 123: The Hindu Epics and the Ethics of Dharma (CLASSICS 125)

The two great Hindu Epics, the Mahabharata and Ramayana, offer a sustained reflection on the nature of virtuous living in the face of insoluble ethical dilemmas. Their treatment of the concept of dharma, understood simultaneously as ethical action and the universal order that upholds the cosmos, lies at the heart of both Gandhian non-violent resistance and communalist interreligious conflict. This course will focus on a reading of selections from the Epics in English translation, supplemented with a consideration of how the texts have been interpreted in South Asian literary history and contemporary politics and public life in India.
Last offered: Spring 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

RELIGST 124: Sufi Islam

The complex of Islamic intellectual and social perspectives subsumed under the term Sufism. Sufi mystical philosophies and historical and social evolution. Major examples include: Qushayrî, Râbi'a, Junayd, Hallâj, Sulamî, Ibn al-'Arabî, Rûmî, Nizâm al-Dîn Awliyâ'. Social and political roles of Sufi saints and communities. Readings include original prose and poetry in translation, secondary discussions, and ethnography.
Last offered: Autumn 2015 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

RELIGST 125: The Bible and its Interpreters

Introduction to major stories, figures, and themes of the Christian Bible and their retellings in theological writing, art, literature, film, and music throughout the ages.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

RELIGST 126: Protestant Reformation (HISTORY 126B)

The emergence of Protestant Christianity in 16th-century Europe. Analysis of writings by evangelical reformers (Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Sattler, Hubmeier, Müntzer) and study of reform movements (Lutheran, Reformed, Anabaptist, Spiritualist) in their medieval context and as expressions of new and influential visions of Christian belief, life, social order.
Last offered: Autumn 2017 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

RELIGST 129: Milk and Honey, Wine and Blood: Food, Justice, and Ethnic Identity in Jewish Culture (JEWISHST 129A)

This course examines Jewish culture and the food practices and traditions that have shaped and continue to shape it. Students learn to prepare a variety of meals while studying about the historical and literary traditions associated with them, such as the dietary `laws¿ and the long history of their interpretation, as well as the cultivation of eating as devotional practice in Jewish mystical traditions. We will explore how regional foods the world over contribute to the formation of distinct Jewish ethnic identities, and how these traditions shape contemporary Jewish food ethics. The course includes guest visits by professional chefs and food writers, and field trips to a local winery.
Last offered: Spring 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

RELIGST 132D: Early Christian Gospels (CLASSICS 145)

An exploration of Christian gospels of the first and second century. Emphasis on the variety of images and interpretations of Jesus and the good news, the broader Hellenistic and Jewish contexts of the gospels, the processes of developing and transmitting gospels, and the creation of the canon. Readings include the Gospel of John, the Gospel of Mark, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary and other canonical and non-canonical gospels.
Last offered: Winter 2015 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

RELIGST 133: Muslims, Jews, and Christians: Conflict, Coexistence, and Collaboration (JEWISHST 123)

Relationships between Muslims, Jews, and Christians today are informed by a multitude of complex and often painful histories. These faith traditions emerged out of deep and sustained engagement with one another sharing theological and ethical principles, and revering many of the same figures and there have been many periods of rich and productive interaction. Yet there have also been areas of dissension and conflict, and periods when theological, social, or political disagreement devolved into violence and oppression. In recent times (especially following the Holocaust and the establishment of the modern State of Israel), religious, political, and intellectual leaders of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities, in the U.S. and around the world, have recognized the need to forge deeper and more meaningful relationships with one another. Knowledge and understanding of the perspectives that different communities and individuals bring to bear on their entangled past, present, and future more »
Relationships between Muslims, Jews, and Christians today are informed by a multitude of complex and often painful histories. These faith traditions emerged out of deep and sustained engagement with one another sharing theological and ethical principles, and revering many of the same figures and there have been many periods of rich and productive interaction. Yet there have also been areas of dissension and conflict, and periods when theological, social, or political disagreement devolved into violence and oppression. In recent times (especially following the Holocaust and the establishment of the modern State of Israel), religious, political, and intellectual leaders of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities, in the U.S. and around the world, have recognized the need to forge deeper and more meaningful relationships with one another. Knowledge and understanding of the perspectives that different communities and individuals bring to bear on their entangled past, present, and future are a critical part of efforts to resolve intransigent conflicts and advance mutual interests. This course explores some of the most significant moments of interaction through literature and art, polemic and dialogue that have shaped engagements between Muslims, Jews, and Christians throughout history, and examines both prospects and pitfalls for engagement in the present and future.
Last offered: Summer 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
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