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771 - 780 of 889 results for: all courses

RELIGST 106: Religion and the Environment: The Moral Meanings of Nature

What does it mean to live in "harmony" with nature? What do humans seek and find in nature and our relationship to it? How have understandings of nature oriented human actions and values and given "place" to humanity in the cosmos? From religious texts to Deep Ecology, American conservationism to Buddhist and Romantic nature poetry, naturalist critics of religion to religious naturalists, and finally debates over the role of religion in dealing with environmental crisis, this course is designed as a general introductory survey of the topic of religion and the environment. It will be guided by the question of how conceptions of nature have been a source of reflection on the goals of life and the ways in which humans are to understand their existential "lot". Readings will include primary texts from major religious traditions, poetry, and scholarly and philosophical texts from figures including, among others, Descartes, Goethe, Nietzsche, J.S. Mill, Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, John Muir, Gary Snyder, and Peter Singer.
Last offered: Autumn 2013 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

RELIGST 107: Hindus and Muslims in South Asia

Hindus and Muslims have lived together in the subcontinent for over 1000 years, joined by Sikhs in the last 500. Contrasting narratives may emphasize composite cultures and interdependent societies, or separation and conflict. In the first half we will introduce these traditions and communities and highlight composite cultures in religion, literature, and music. In the second half we will examine key moments of conflict: the 11th-century invasions of Mahmud of Ghazni and narratives about them in Hindu and Muslim sources; the 1947 Partition of India and Pakistan; the Khalistan movement and the 1984 massacre of Sikhs after Indira Gandhi's assassination; the 2002 Gujarat riots. Learning goals: critically examine the categories `Hindu,' `Muslim,' `Sikh,' `religion'; analyze differing narratives of the same events; clarify the complex factors involved in violent `religious' conflict.
Last offered: Spring 2010 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom

RELIGST 108: Indian Epics: Past and Present (COMPLIT 148B)

The Mahabharata and the Ramayana, the two great epics of India, have been crucial texts in South Asian literatures and cultures for millennia. In this course, we will explore the diverse traditions of both epics from their Sanskrit versions, first composed more than 2,000 years ago, through retellings in newer media forms well into the twenty-first century. Among our primary interests will be comparing versions of each epic that have circulated in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the West at different times. We begin with abridged translations of both the Sanskrit Mahabharata (including the Bhagavadgita) and the Ramayana. We will discuss the major literary, religious, and social themes of each text as well as subsequent translations and transcreations of the stories in Indian and Southeast Asian contexts during the last thousand years. We will also investigate the modern lives of the epics, including their transformations into Indian television serials, film versions of both narratives (from India and America), and invocations of the epic stories in contemporary art, culture, and political disputes. Students will gain exposure to some of the foundational texts for the study of South Asia, both past and present. More broadly, students will cultivate the ability to fruitfully approach texts from different cultures and learn to critically analyze the impacts and roles of stories in various religious, literary, and historical contexts.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
Instructors: Truschke, A. (PI)

RELIGST 109: Emperor, Explorer, and God: Alexander the Great in the Global Imagination (CLASSICS 142)

(Formerly CLASSGEN 109.) This course will survey the changing image of Alexander the Great from the Hellenistic world to the contemporary. We shall study the appropriation of his life and legend in a variety of cultures both East and West and discuss his reception as both a divine and a secular figure by examining a variety of media including texts (primary and secondary) and images (statues, coins, mosaics, illuminated manuscripts, film, and TV) in the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Jewish, Islamic, Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern contexts. In concluding the quarter, students will evaluate contemporary representations in film and popular culture, such as Alexander directed by Oliver Stone and Pop Art in order to better appreciate his enduring legacy.
Last offered: Spring 2015 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

RELIGST 113B: Japanese Religion Through Film

Themes in premodern and modern Japanese religion though animations, movies and documentaries
Last offered: Autumn 2012 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 113C: Asceticism: The Discipline of Desire

Asceticism is an intense negotiation of the self with its desires, usually taking the form of the attempt to repress or curtail desire. Asceticism is often understood as a radical response to the problem of obsessive desire. Excessive attachments to food, money, and sex are among the most common of these concerns¿today we refer to these as addictions¿both in the contemporary world and to those living in a pre-modern context. In this course, we will discuss the experiences of ascetic figures throughout history not as relics of history but as intelligible responses to the problem of obsessive desire common to all ages. We will comparatively examine case studies from the ancient Christian world and the modern Indian world. The first part of the course will be devoted to understanding some of the most notable theoretical approaches to ascetic behavior in the field of religious studies while the second part of the course will be devoted to close readings of the cases in light of these theoretical approaches. Cross-cultural comparison and contrast will also be stressed. In the final part of the course, we will turn to modern philosophical reflections on ascetic behavior, attempting to answer the question, does the ascetic response to obsessive desire make sense in the world we live in today?
Last offered: Spring 2015 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-SI

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 116: Who Speaks for Religion? Scholars Versus Believers

This course introduces students to the Insider /Outsider problem in the study of Religion focusing on questions of location, position, relation and boundaries. Who possesses the authority to decide on which people are inside/outside a religion, religious group or tradition? How do we conceive of the participant observer relationship and the speaking and writing about religion? How should we think about the scientific pretensions of religious studies as a reductionist approach? How do we meaningfully engage with questions of faith, theology, and the beliefs of others as part of a historical narrative of religious studies that both privileges lived experience of believers and extols the need for critical distance on the part of scholars?
Last offered: Spring 2014 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

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 118: Gandhi, Nonviolence, Religion

We will study Gandhi and his era, focusing on sources that relate Gandhi¿s theory and practice of nonviolence to religion and ethics. Topics include Gandhi¿s biography and personal influences; his construction of Hinduism and inclination to asceticism; his encounters with Jainism and Christianity; his attempts to negotiate the increasingly intractable and violent issues between Hindus and Muslims leading up to independence/partition; and the religious arguments involved in his bitter break with the leader of the anti-caste and ¿untouchable¿ liberation movement, B.R. Ambedkar. We will locate discussions of religion within larger political and social circumstances. Readings include The Story of My Experiments with Truth, Hind Swaraj, and other writings by Gandhi; the Bhagavad Gita; Erik Erikson¿s psychoanalytic study, Gandhi¿s Truth; and recent critical works on Gandhi and religion.
Last offered: Autumn 2014 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom
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