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751 - 760 of 889 results for: all courses

RELIGST 14N: Demons, Death, and the Damned: The 'Other' and the Otherwordly in America

This course will examine how beliefs about the "other world" actually shape and are shaped by Americans' this-worldly actions and interactions (i.e. in the demonization of the "other," whether defined religiously, racially, ethnically, or in gendered terms). Students will ask how ideas about demons and death, heaven and hell have reflected the concerns, values, and identities of Americans over time. Students will learn how to read primary sources against secondary literature.
Last offered: Autumn 2013 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 17N: Love, Power, and Justice: Ethics in Christian Perspective

From its inception, the Christian faith has, like all religions, implied an ethos as well as a worldview, a morality and way of life as well as a system of beliefs, an ethics as well as a metaphysics. Throughout history, Christian thinkers have offered reasoned accounts of the moral values, principles, and virtues that ought to animate the adherents of what eventually became the world's largest religion. We will explore a variety of controversial issues, theological orientations, and types of ethical reasoning in the Christian tradition, treating the latter as one 'comprehensive doctrine' (John Rawls) among many; a normative framework (actually a variety of contested religious premises, moral teachings, and philosophical arguments) formally on par with the religious ethics of other major faiths as well as with the various secular moral theories typically discussed in the modern university. We will learn to interpret, reconstruct, criticize, and think intelligently about the coherence and persuasiveness of moral arguments offered by a diverse handful of this religious tradition's best thinkers and critics, past and present.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER
Instructors: Sockness, B. (PI)

RELIGST 18N: Religion and Politics: Comparing Europe to the U.S. (JEWISHST 18N)

Interdisciplinary and comparative. Historical, political, sociological, and religious studies approaches. The relationship between religion and politics as understood in the U.S. and Europe. How this relationship has become tense both because of the rise of Islam as a public religion in Europe and the rising influence of religious groups in public culture. Different understandings and definitions of the separation of church and state in Western democratic cultures, and differing notions of the public sphere. Case studies to investigate the nature of public conflicts, what issues lead to conflict, and why. Why has the head covering of Muslim women become politicized in Europe? What are the arguments surrounding the Cordoba House, known as the Ground Zero Mosque, and how does this conflict compare to controversies about recent constructions of mosques in Europe? Resources include media, documentaries, and scholarly literature.
Last offered: Spring 2014 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-ED

RELIGST 20A: The Sun Also Shines on the Wicked: The Problem of Evil in Religious Thought

The problem of Evil has plagued religious thinkers and philosophers for centuries. If God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, then why is there Evil in the world? We will read and discuss the key thinkers and foundational texts from Plato and the Book of Job to Fyodor Dostoevsky, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud in order to appreciate the diverse responses to this most vexed of questions. We will survey some of the major approaches to the problem of Evil such as skepticism and theodicy in the works of the Classical authors and in those of the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic thinkers like Augustine, Maimonides, and al-Ghazali. We will also engage with dualist traditions such as Zoroastrianism and Manicheism, and with the ethics of the major figures of the Enlightenment such as Leibniz, Hume, and Kant. We will end the quarter by reading the most strident atheistic responses from contemporary scientists and philosophers such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris.
Last offered: Spring 2015 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 21: Religion in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Science fiction and fantasy create alternate worlds that incorporate religious institutions and beliefs that illuminate how we think about religion now and for the future. Texts work off diverse religious traditions: Islam, Buddhism, Catholic and Protestant forms of Christianity, Mayan religion, and Voudou are some that appear. Themes of free will and determinism, immortality, apocalypse and redemption. Myth, ritual, prophecy, the messianic hero, monasticism and mysticism. Texts like Dune, Count Zero, Sandman, Grass and the like explore religion in the contemporary imagination. Main assignment: write a short story.
Last offered: Spring 2015 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-CE

RELIGST 26: 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.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Pitkin, B. (PI)

RELIGST 29: Religion, Violence & Nonviolence (Lecture Series)

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, peace-building, 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. Lectures series with required attendance and written reflections for 2 units; full course for 4 units please sign up for RELIGST 119.
Terms: Win | Units: 2 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum
Instructors: Hess, L. (PI)

RELIGST 31: The Religious Life of Things

Temples, prayer beads, icons, robes, books, relics, candles and incense, scarves and hats, sacred food and holy water; objects of all sorts play a prominent role in all religions, evoking a wide range of emotional responses, from reverence, solace and even ecstasy, to fear, hostility and violence. What is it about these things that makes them so powerful? Is it beliefs and doctrines that inspire particular attitudes towards certain objects, or is it the other way around? Many see a tension or even contradiction between religion and material pursuits and argue that the true religious life is a life without things. But is such a life even possible? This course adopts a comparative approach, drawing on a variety of traditions to examine the place of images, food, clothing, ritual objects, architecture and relics in religious thought and practice. Materials for the course include scholarship, scripture, images and at least one museum visit.
Last offered: Spring 2015 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

RELIGST 36: Philosophy of Religion (PHIL 77S)

(Formerly RELIGST 62S) Explores fundamental questions about the existence of God, free will and determinism, faith and reason, through traditional philosophical texts. Course is divided into four sections: first asks what is religion; second surveys the western philosophical tradition from Boethius through Descartes, Hume, Kant, and Kierkegaard regarding the foundation for theist beliefs; third investigates questions mystical experience raises through both western and Buddhist materials; and fourth takes up the ethics of belief, what we have a right to believe, through the Clifford and James debate and the opposing stances of Camus and Pascal.
Last offered: Autumn 2014 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

RELIGST 50: Exploring Buddhism

From its beginnings to the 21st century. Principal teachings and practices, institutional and social forms, and artistic and iconographical expressions. (Formerly RELIGST 14.)
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-ED
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