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RELIGST 114: Yoga Ancient and Modern

Originating in ancient India, yoga went through many developments over more than 4000 years in India and other parts of Asia. Having migrated to Euro-America in the late nineteenth century, today yoga is everywhere--studios, schools, gyms, malls, resorts, ashrams, retreat centers. It comes in many flavors¿austere, with meditative instructors and Sanskrit chants; stylish, in 105-degree heat, with portable-miked instructors loudly motivating students to go through poses with speed and intensity; niche-crafted to meet the needs of busy professionals, pregnant women, senior citizens, or people with back problems. It may appear as a spiritual path or as a heavily marketed commodity. It generates lawsuits as teachers dispute ownership of certain styles, or as some Americans oppose its teaching yoga in public schools. In the first half of the course we will study the history of yoga in India, reading primary texts composed between about 500 BCE and 1600 CE. In the second half we will learn about yoga's globalization in the last century. 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: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
Instructors: Hess, L. (PI)

RELIGST 115B: Buddhism and Death

Death both transcends cultures and is intimately enmeshed in them. Dying, death, and the afterlife, from a certain perspective, are what the disparate varieties of Buddhist religion would all seem to be about. How does death influence the living? Is there an afterlife? How should one die? What should be done with the body? As we explore these and other issues, we will move between theories and practices, and betweennhistory and current events. Using primary sources, including images, videos, and stories, we will practiceninterpretation of . By studying Buddhism and death both within distinct cultural contexts and as crossculturalnphenomena, students are invited to attend to their own assumptions about death, dying, and thenafterlife.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
Instructors: Protass, J. (PI)

RELIGST 117: Christianity in 21st-century America

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: Winter 2015 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

RELIGST 119: Religion, Violence, and Nonviolence

College courses and public events often address "religion and violence"--an important topic, but one-sided. We will study ways in which religious leaders, movements, and discourses have (1) promoted violent conflict, aggression, and oppression; and (2) contributed to nonviolence, peacebuilding, and liberation of the oppressed. An overarching theme will be a view of religions as fields of interpretation. No religion is essentially violent or peaceful; intricately connected to the world around them, religions become what they become through interpretation and action. Each week will have two meetings: one featuring an outstanding guest lecturer and one to discuss the lecture topic, with assigned readings and films. Topics under consideration include: Buddhism and Violence; Dorothy Day and Catholic Nonviolent Resistance to Nuclear Weapons; Just War and Jihad; The Contribution of Negro Spirituals to Liberation; The Quakers: Pacifist Convictions and Activism; Violence/Nonviolence in Jainism; The Role of Christian Faith in M.L. King's Political Work; Spirituality and Religious Peacebuilding. For lecture series with required attendance and written reflections for 2 units, take RELIGST 29.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, 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.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
Instructors: Chen, J. (PI)

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 2014 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

RELIGST 129: Modern Jewish Thought (JEWISHST 129)

From 1870 to the late twentieth century, Jewish thought and philosophy attempted to understand Judaism in response to the developments and crises of Jewish life in the modern world. In this course we shall explore the responses of figures such as Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, Hermann Cohen, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Joseph Soloveitchik, Emil Fackenheim, and Emmanuel Levinas. Central topics will concern ethics and politics, faith and revelation, redemption and messianism, and the religious responses to catastrophe and atrocity. We shall discuss Judaism in European culture before and after World War I and in North America in the postwar period and after the Six Day War. A central theme will be the ways in which attempts to understand Jewish experience are related to history.
Last offered: Autumn 2013 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

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 144: John Calvin and Christian Faith

Close reading and analysis of Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion as a classic expression of Christian belief.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Pitkin, B. (PI)

RELIGST 174: Religious Existentialism-Kierkegaard

Existentialism is often understood to be a secular or anti-religious philosophy of life, a substitute for Christian ethics in a post-theistic world come of age. Yet this twentieth-century philosophical movement owes many of its concerns and much of its vocabulary to the hyper-Protestant Danish thinker Soren Kierkegaard, and much of the best Christian and Jewish thought in the 20th-century (Bultmann, Buber, Tillich) adopted existentialism as the ¿best philosophy¿ for making sense of these traditions in a secular age. This course will examine the origins of existentialist thought in the writings of Kierkegaard and its appropriation by a handful of influential 20th- century religious thinkers.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
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