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RELIGST 13N: The Fourth "R": Religion and American Schools (AMSTUD 117N, EDUC 117N)

In this seminar, we will engage with historical, legal, and sociological texts, in order to trace the complicated relationship between church and state as it has played out in and around questions of education. Deciding what belongs in schools, what does not, whose interests are served in the process, and what the Constitution will allow are just some of the questions that will guide us. Through close readings of text and critical writing, we will develop alternative narratives about church-state issues that can make sense of everything from prayer in schools to civic education. This course must be taken for a minimum of 3 units and a letter grade to be eligible for Ways credit.
Last offered: Summer 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI

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 24S: Witches, Witchcraft, and Witch-Hunting in Early America

The early modern era witnessed a dramatic surge in the religious and legal persecution of women and men suspected of and executed for witchcraft. While witch-hunting was a global phenomenon, this class shall focus on the early American religious experience. This course will explore the history of witchcraft in early America, with particular focus on Puritan New England. This class will challenge students to consider what was witchcraft? Why did people believe in it, and how did it give meaning to their worlds? What functions did witchcraft have in society? Who were most vulnerable to accusations? What best explains the phenomenon of witch-hunting? Because this class takes a historical approach to the religious world of early America, much of the coursework will center on interpreting and analyzing primary sources related to witchcraft (e.g. sermons, diaries, letters, trial notes) and engaging with secondary sources by witchcraft experts. Our focus shall be both macro and micro, studying small single episodes, as well as large-scale events, such as the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.
Terms: Sum | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

RELIGST 26S: Contemporary Islam & Muslims in America

In this course, we will explore contemporary Islam and Muslims in a post-9/11 and Trump-era America. Following some brief grounding history in Week 1, we will use ethnographic studies and digital media content to understand the American Muslim experience in the 21st century. Each week, we will also address how the lived experience of American Muslims interacts with theoretical and normative conceptions of Islam, and whether these interactions eventually create a distinctive American Islam. Topics covered include: racial & gender dynamics, ideological debates, institutions, social media wars, politics, and specific communities as case studies. Together we will develop a critical perspective on the American Muslim experience, particularly as a case of how one diverse religious community negotiates religion in a complex sociopolitical setting.
Terms: Sum | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

RELIGST 50: Exploring Buddhism

A comprehensive historical survey of the Buddhist tradition, from its beginnings to the 21st century, covering principal teachings and practices, institutional and social forms, and artistic and iconographical expressions. (Formerly RELIGST 14.)
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-ED

RELIGST 55: Exploring Zen Buddhism

This course is an introduction to Chan/Zen Buddhism. We will study the historical and doctrinal development of this tradition in China and Japan and examine various facets of Zen, such as the philosophy, practices, rituals, culture, and institution. For this aim, we will read and discuss classical Zen texts in translation and important secondary literature. This class will further feature a visit of a Zen teacher, who will give an introduction to sitting meditation.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

RELIGST 56: Exploring Chinese Religions

An overview of major themes and historical developments in 5000 years of Chinese religion. In this course, we will try as much as possible to appreciate Chinese religion from the Chinese perspective, paying particular attention to original texts in translation in an attempt to discern the logic of Chinese religion and the role it has played in the course of Chinese history. To a greater extent perhaps than any other civilization, Chinese have left behind a continuous body of written documents and other artifacts relating to religion stretching over thousands of years, providing a wealth of material for studying the place of religion in history and society.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
Instructors: Tuzzeo, D. (PI)

RELIGST 61: Exploring Islam

This course introduces some of the most important features of the Islamic religious tradition. It explores the different ways in which Muslims have interpreted and practiced their religion. The main subjects of discussion --- including the life of the Prophet Muhammad, the Qur'an, law, ritual, mysticism, theology, politics, and art --- will be considered with reference to their proper historical contexts. Some of the topics covered include abortion, gender, rebellion and violence, and the visual vocabulary of paintings. Students will be exposed to important theories and methods in the academic study of religion. No prior knowledge is required.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
Instructors: Bigelow, A. (PI)

RELIGST 65: Exploring Global Christianity

Explore the world¿s largest religion as a multicultural, global faith, with attention to Christianity¿s origins, spread and impact around the world up to the present. Special attention to recent shifting demographics leading to declining numbers in mainline Christian denominations in North America and Europe and the rapid expansion of Christianity in Africa, Asia, and South America; the explosion of international Pentecostalism and other new Christianities; Christianity, global politics, and the global economy; Christian-Muslim relations and conflicts.
Last offered: Winter 2016 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

RELIGST 81: Exploring Indian Religions

This course provides an overview of Indian religious traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, and Sikhism. We will spend approximately half the course on Hindu thought and traditions from the Vedic period until the present day, emphasizing the diverse forms of this religion in different times and places. The second half of the course will be devoted to religions that emerged in South Asia (e.g., Jainism) and those that came to find a home and particular forms of expression on the subcontinent (e.g., Islam). Throughout students will read selections from a range of theological texts, epics, and literature that have permeated many aspects of daily religious life in India. We will also emphasize ritual activities, visual experiences in temples, and networks of pilgrimage places that dot the subcontinent. We will often pair primary sources (in translation) with later interpretations and impacts of those texts in modern South Asia. We will also survey the modern incarnations more »
This course provides an overview of Indian religious traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, and Sikhism. We will spend approximately half the course on Hindu thought and traditions from the Vedic period until the present day, emphasizing the diverse forms of this religion in different times and places. The second half of the course will be devoted to religions that emerged in South Asia (e.g., Jainism) and those that came to find a home and particular forms of expression on the subcontinent (e.g., Islam). Throughout students will read selections from a range of theological texts, epics, and literature that have permeated many aspects of daily religious life in India. We will also emphasize ritual activities, visual experiences in temples, and networks of pilgrimage places that dot the subcontinent. We will often pair primary sources (in translation) with later interpretations and impacts of those texts in modern South Asia. We will also survey the modern incarnations of particular Indian religious traditions throughout South Asia and the diaspora. By the conclusion of this course, students will be conversant with the texts, beliefs, and practices of the major Indian religions in their cultural and historical contexts and also have a working knowledge of basic categories important for the study of religion more broadly.
Last offered: Autumn 2014 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-ED
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