Courses in Religion (Division 457)

201/GNE 201. Introduction to World Religions: Near Eastern. (4). (HU).

An introduction to the major religious traditions of the Near East, with emphasis on the development of Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This course will first survey the political, social, economic and religious aspects of the Ancient Near East, including Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, Iranian religious developments, Ancient Israel and the historical background of the Bible. The second half of the course will deal with the emergence of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, including hellenistic civilization and the emergence of Rabbinic Judaism, the ministry of Jesus and the development of the Church, the development of Islamic civilization and the art of the Near East. Emphasis will be on origins, major personalities and sacred texts, as well as on the development of major theological issues in these traditions up to the modern period. This is an introductory course for students who have had no previous course in religion. Students have the option of writing a paper or taking a midterm exam (or the option of doing both and keeping the best grade). There is a short quiz on the reading every two weeks and a comprehensive final exam, the questions of which will be announced during the first week of class. Section 002 is an Honors section open to any student prepared to do more work in return for a lot more personal attention. This course is offered Fall term every year. For further information please contact The Program on Studies in Religion, 468 Lorch Hall. (Freedman)

312. Church and American Society. (3). (HU).

One of the most important features of American society is the impact which religion has had upon the society. The emergence of a powerful religiously based right makes the question of what happens when religion and society clash more important. This course is a survey of the ways in which religion and society are influenced by each other in America. The course is divided into three sections. Section one explores the religious underpinnings of American society. Section two explores the changing nature of American society as a result of urbanization, secularization, and changing ethics. Section three looks at how religious groups have tried to come to grips with the contemporary American society. It will cover a number of different responses, from the positive thinking of Norman Vincent Peale to the evangelical revivals of Oral Roberts and Billy Graham, to the social and political activism of Martin Luther King and Jerry Falwell. The role of newer personality cults will also be explored. The course will be conducted in a lecture format with large blocks for discussion. Films and research projects will round out the offering. Class meets once per week. (Miles)

320/Asian Studies 320/Buddhist Studies 320/Phil. 335. Introduction to Buddhism. Religion 202 or equivalent. (3). (HU).

See Buddhist Studies 320. (Gomez, Staff)

324/History 324. The Biblical and Patristic Roots of Christian Mysticism. (3). (HU).

This course will present the biblical sources for mystical theology and the most influential of the patristic mystics, concentrating on Augustine, Gregory the Great, and Barnard of Clairaux. The writings of these guides to the contemplative life will be read in English. Brief essays in response to each of the readings will be required, as well as a long paper tracing the influence of one of the Fathers on later Western mystical thought and an annotated bibliography and class presentation on the topic of that paper. The course will combine lecture and recitation. This course is the first half of a sequence which concludes with Religion 325, Mysticism and the Early English Mystics. No special background is required. (Dutton)

350/ABS 350. History of Christian Thought, I: Paul to Augustus (4). (HU).

An exploration of the beginnings and development of Christian thought from the first through the sixteenth century, with special reference to the seminal ideas of Paul, Origen, Tertullian, Augustine, Anselm of Canterbury, and the early church reformers. No previous work in history, philosophy, or religious studies is assumed. Students will be evaluated on the basis of a midterm examination and a final, and may, if they wish, write a term paper on a subject of special interest. (Hoffman)

354/Women's Studies 354. Women and Religion. (3). (HU).

This course considers the issues of women in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, focusing on the formative period. The course content is divided into four periods: (1) Background in the ancient Near East: the role of goddesses in religion, goddesses as archetypical female images, the mother goddess and the virgin goddess. (2) Women and the Hebrew Bible: the role of women in the Biblical world, their legal position in theory and actuality, their religious roles; the conception and images of women in the Bible; female divine metaphores, the use of gender in divine-human imagery, the "feminization" of God. (3) New Currents in Religious Thought: the intertestamental period, changing view of sexuality, the mind-body split and its implication for the image of women. (4) Women in the New Testament: view of women, the figure of Mary, early Christianity. This course is the first of a two-semester sequence, to be followed by "Women and Religion: Judaism, Christianity and Beyond". Each course can be taken separately, and no special background or prerequisites are required. The course is designed as a lecture class with some time devoted to class discussions. There will be a quiz after each unit, and a small written paper is required. (Frymer-Kensky)

369/Psych. 370. Psychology and Religion. Introductory psychology or senior standing. (4). (SS).

See Psychology 370. (R. Mann)

387. Independent Study. (1-3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit. Only one course from Religion 380, 387, and 487 may be elected in the same term.

This course is designed to accommodate students who may be unable to take listed offerings or have special reasons for undertaking directed readings. Course content and requirements are worked out individually between the student and the instructor.

425. Great Mystics of India of the 19th and 20th Centuries. (3). (HU).

India has long had a tradition of men and women who have developed their spiritual power to the ultimate. Our study will include the lives and teachings of Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi, Yogananda Paramahamsa, Sri Aurobindo, Ramana Maharshi, Sai Baba, Mahatma Ghandi, Swami Muktananda and Anandamayi Ma. What is the nature of the spiritual journey of these great mystics? What are their states of awareness, and what may be gained by those who follow them? What commonalities and differences are there among their paths and practices? What aspects of their experience derive from the religious and cultural tradition of Hinduism, in what ways are they related to other religions such as Christianity, Jainism and Islam, and what do their lives imply about the universal spiritual potential of human beings? These are some of the questions we'll pursue through brief lectures, much discussion, and short oral and written reports. Students will become familiar with several lives and some cultural background before selecting one life to explore in a final paper. No prerequisites. (J. Mann)

455/Soc. 455. Religion and Society. (3). (SS).

See Sociology 455. (Heirich)

468/Class. Civ 466. Greek Religion. (3). (HU).

See Classical Civilization 466. (Koenen)

485/GNE 485. Islam and the Muslims: An Introduction. (3). (HU).

See General Near East 485. (Mir)

487. Independent Study. (1-3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit. Only one course from Religion 380, 387, and 487 may be elected in the same term.

This course is designed to accommodate students who may be unable to take listed offerings or have special reasons for undertaking directed readings. Course content and requirements are worked out individually between the student and the instructor. This course is also approved for graduate students.

489/ABS 484. Introduction to the New Testament. (4). (HU).

See Ancient and Biblical Studies 484. (Hoffmann)


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