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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.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-SI
Instructors: Vevaina, Y. (PI)

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.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-SI
Instructors: Vevaina, Y. (PI)

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)

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 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 255: Religion and Power in the Making of Modern South Asia (HISTORY 297F, RELIGST 355)

This course examines the diverse ways that religious traditions have been involved in the brokering of power in South Asia from the late seventeenth century to the present day. We will examine the intersection of religion and power in different arenas, including historical memory, religious festivals, language politics, and violent actions. At the core of our inquiry is how religion is invoked in political contexts (and vice-versa), public displays of religiosity, and the complex dynamics of religion and the state. Among other issues, we will particularly engage with questions of religious identity, knowledge, and violence. Undergraduates must enroll in RELIGST 255 for 5 units. Graduate students must enroll RELIGST 355 for 3-5 units. HISTORY297F must be taken for 4-5 units.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-ED, WAY-SI
Instructors: Truschke, A. (PI)

SIMILE 93: Science in the Making Integrated Learning Environment

SIMILE is a new residentially-based program organized around the question of when something we might call "science" identifiably began, what it became, and what it might become. While we may believe that science, technology and medicine represent some of the powerful tools we have for making a difference in the world, SIMILE challenges students to consider these as dynamic and changing fields of knowledge which must be understood in their historical, cultural and social contexts. Only then can we consider how new ideas, interpretations, technological artifacts and systems respond to societal needs within the limits of what is possible but also, importantly, in light of what might even become plausible.
Last offered: Spring 2015 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ER, WAY-SI

SINY 102: Urbanism and Change: Strategy, Tactics, and the Guerrilla Movement

Explore the range of scales, budgets and bureaucracies that have characterized urban planning, design and intervention. Looking at concrete examples in NYC, students will survey tactical urbanism, ¿guerrilla urbanism,¿ artistic urbanism, and the city as a canvas. Class concludes with a real urban intervention project.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI

SINY 120: Divided America

Explore political and economic division in the U.S. from post¿World War II United States to today¿s deeply divided America. Discover consequences of these divisions, investigate the health and well-being of American democracy.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-ED, WAY-SI
Instructors: McAdam, D. (PI)

SLAVIC 190: Tolstoy's Anna Karenina in Dialogue with Contemporary Philosophical, Social, and Ethical Thought (COMPLIT 190, COMPLIT 390, SLAVIC 390)

Anna Karenina, the novel as a case study in the contest between "modernity" and "tradition," their ethical order, ideology, cultural codes, and philosophies. Images of society, women and men in Tolstoy v. those of his contemporaries: Marx, Mill, Nietzsche, Weber, Durkheim, Freud. Open to juniors, seniors and graduate students. Requirements: three interpretive essays (500-1000 words each). Analysis of a passage from the novel; AK refracted through a "philosophical" prism and vice versa (30% each); class discussion and Forum (10%).
Last offered: Winter 2014 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-SI
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