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RELIGST 130: Sex and Gender in Judaism and Christianity (FEMGEN 130, JEWISHST 120)

What role do Jewish and Christian traditions play in shaping understandings of gender differences? Is gender always imagined as dual, male and female? This course explores the variety of ways in which Jewish and Christian traditions - often in conversation with and against each other - have shaped gender identities and sexual politics. We will explore the central role that issues around marriage and reproduction played in this conversation. Perhaps surprisingly, early Jews and Christian also espoused deep interest in writing about 'eunuchs' and 'androgynes,' as they thought about Jewish and Christian ways of being a man or a woman. We will examine the variety of these early conversations, and the contemporary Jewish and Christian discussions of feminist, queer, trans- and intersex based on them.
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-Gender, WAY-ED

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 179: Doing the Sacred: Religion and Performance

This course investigates religion as practice and performance, rather than as belief and doctrine. A performance-centered emphasis helps us understand how domination and authority, as well as creativity and individual resistance, underlie culture. From initiatory rites to cyber sermons, human action offers raw, physical data that unveils the mechanisms of social control, ideology, and individual resistance. Reorienting religion from the perspective of religious acts / actors -- those who are doing something they consider sacred -- evokes many interpretive possibilities: How do these performances create and maintain communities? How do they resolve conflicts that arise within everyday affairs? In what ways do they generate meaning and shape identity? What can these enactments reveal about the constructions of power, gender, and race? This course explores such issues, probing the complicated relationship between human intention and social reality. Ultimately, a study of religion and performance seeks to understand how performance and transcendence interact to make participants into who they are.nnThe readings cover an array of religious traditions -- medieval and evangelical Christian, Hindu, Native American, Jewish, Buddhist, African and Haitian Vodou -- all of which present a rich repertoire of sacred drama, dance, and music. We will discuss performances that make modern readers uncomfortable, such as sacrifice and flagellation, and examine why they are meaningful within their specific cultural context. Finally, we will consider how secular practices and the internet mimic religious behavior. However divergent, all of these examples demonstrate how religious performance is no mere artifice, but a vehicle for the practitioner's own pious posturing -- one that is spiritually innovative and self-affirming -- yet shaped by hierarchical regimes.
Last offered: Spring 2015 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

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 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)

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

RELIGST 281: Asian Religions in America; Asian American Religions (AMSTUD 281, ASNAMST 281, RELIGST 381)

This course will analyze both the reception in America of Asian religions (i.e. of Buddhism in the 19th century), and the development in America of Asian American religious traditions.
Last offered: Winter 2014 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED

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: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-ED, WAY-SI
Instructors: McAdam, D. (PI)

SIW 107: Civil Rights Law

Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-ED
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