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RELIGST 180: Gender Relations in Islam

This course investigates the ways in which gender identities and relationships between men and women have been articulated, constructed, and refashioned throughout the Muslim world. Starting with problematizing the fixed notions of gender and sexuality, we map the attitudes toward these notions through visiting a diverse array of sources from the Qur¿an, Sunna, and legal documents to historical and anthropological case studies, literature, and film from South East Asia to Europe and North America. We examine the notions of femininity and masculinity in the Qur¿an, family laws, and attitudes toward homosexuality and transgendered populations. We read examples of ambiguous use of language with regards to gender and sexuality in Persian poetry and mystical traditions. We study the dynamic relationship between Islam and Feminism in the Muslim world. Finally, we witness the implications of these attitudes in our case studies and stories, from a divorce court in Iran to a wedding in Sudan.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI

RELIGST 181: Heidegger and Daoism: Differences and Dialogue (PHIL 133S)

The new paradigm for understanding Heidegger makes possible a fresh look at his long-standing interest in Daoism. Part One: a radical recasting of Heidegger's thought, including his readings of the Presocratics (6th century BCE). In light of that, Part Two: a reading of Laozi's Dao De Jing / Tao Te Ching (6th century BCE). Permission of instructor required.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Sheehan, T. (PI)

RELIGST 201: Islamic Law (RELIGST 301)

(This course is combined with LAW 586) Topics include marriage, divorce, inheritance, ritual, war, rebellion, abortion, and relations with non-Muslims. The course begins with the premodern period, in which jurists were organized in legal traditions called ¿schools of law.¿ After examining the nature and functions of these institutions, we turn to the present era to study the relationship between customary law, state law, and the Islamic legal heritage in Egypt and Indonesia. The course explores Muslim laws and legal institutions and the factors that have shaped them, including social values and customs, politics, legal precedents, and textual interpretation.
Last offered: Spring 2016 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

RELIGST 205: Religious Poetry

Religious poetry drawn from the Islamic, Christian, Confucian and Daoist traditions. Limited enrollment or consent of the instructor required.
Last offered: Winter 2014 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

RELIGST 208C: Architecture, Acoustics and Ritual in Byzantium (ARTHIST 208C, ARTHIST 408C, CLASSICS 175, MUSIC 208C, MUSIC 408C, REES 208C, REES 408C, RELIGST 308C)

Onassis Seminar "Icons of Sound: Architecture, Acoustics and Ritual in Byzantium". This year-long seminar explores the creation and operations of sacred space in Byzantium by focusing on the intersection of architecture, acoustics, music, and ritual. Through the support of the Onassis Foundation (USA), nine leading scholars in the field share their research and conduct the discussion of their pre-circulated papers. The goal is to develop a new interpretive framework for the study of religious experience and assemble the research tools needed for work in this interdisciplinary field.
Last offered: Spring 2014 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Repeatable 3 times (up to 9 units total)

RELIGST 224: Classical Islamic Texts (RELIGST 324)

The course is based on readings in primary Arabic sources in the key fields of pre-modern Islamic scholarship. The list of readings and topics will depend on the interests of the students. In addition to focusing on the language, contents, and context of the texts covered, the course introduces genre-specific historical research methods. The reading selections may be derived from Qur¿anic interpretation (tafsir), the hadith literature, adab, biographical dictionaries, fiqh, ta'rikh, kalam, or Sufism. Reading knowledge of Arabic is required.
Last offered: Autumn 2014 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Repeatable 3 times (up to 9 units total)

RELIGST 231: European Reformations (HISTORY 231G, HISTORY 331G, RELIGST 331)

Readings in and discussion of theological and social aspects of sixteenth century reformations: Luther, Radical Reform, Calvin, and Council of Trent, missionary expansion, religious conflict, creative and artistic expressions. Texts include primary sources and secondary scholarly essays and monographs.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, 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 271A: Dante's Spiritual Vision

Poetry, ethics, and theology in Dante's Divine Comedy. Supplementary readings from classical authors such as St. Thomas Aquinas, and from modern writers, such as Jorge Borges. Fulfills capstone seminar requirement for the Philosophy and Literature tracks. Students may take 271A without taking 271B. Consent of the instructor required.
Last offered: Autumn 2015 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

RELIGST 273: Historicism and Its Problems: Ernst Troeltsch, the Study of Religion, and the Crisis of Historicism (RELIGST 373)

Examination of the early twentieth-century historian of religion, philosopher of culture, sociologist of religion, Christian theologian, and philosopher of history, Ernst Troeltsch, within the context of the late nineteenth-century "crisis of historicism," i.e., the historicization and relativization of religious, ethical, social, and political norms. Attention to seminal theorists of history (Herder, Kant, Ranke, Hegel, Nietzsche) in the post-Enlightenment German intellectual tradition and the attempts of Christian and Jewish thinkers in the Weimar era (Barth, Gogarten, Rosenzweig, L. Strauss) to "overcome" the crisis wrought by a radically historical approach to human culture.
Last offered: Autumn 2013 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
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