Courses in Religion (Division 457)

The Studies in Religion Program provides students with a basic knowledge of the history, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology of religion; promotes an understanding of diverse religious traditions; and examines religious questions which arise in all cultures. The concern of the program is not to inculcate a particular doctrine or faith but rather to broaden and deepen a student's knowledge and understanding of religious traditions.

122(121)/ACABS 122. Introduction to the New Testament. (4). (HU).
See ACABS 122.
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202/Buddhist Studies 220/Asian Studies 220. Introduction to World Religions: South and East Asia. (4). (HU).
See Buddhist Studies 220. (Sharf)
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204/APTIS 262. Introduction to Islam. (4). (HU).
See APTIS 262. (Jackson)
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309/Hist. 309. The Christian Tradition in the West from Luther and Calvin to the Present. (3). (Excl).
The Christian Tradition from the Reformation to the Present.
This course is the continuation of Religion/History 308, "The Christian Tradition from the New Testament to 1521." A survey of Christian teaching, institutions, and culture. Among the topics studied will be varieties of Protestant Reformations (Lutheranism, Anabaptism, Calvin and the Reformed tradition, Anglicanism); the scientific revolution; Deism and the Enlightenment; 17th and 18th-century revivals; Christianity and the modern state; Higher (Biblical) Criticism; Modernism; Christianity and modern science; Fundamentalism; the modern Papacy; the Christian churches and Nazi Germany; and contemporary theological, moral, and scholarly controversies. Students will be graded on two short essays on the assigned reading; a midterm, and a final. There are no prerequisites and students will be constantly encouraged to ask for clarification of material they do not understand. Since our orientation is academic, students need not believe "in" anything to take this course. Cost:3 WL:4 (Tentler)
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310/CAAS 335. Religion in the Afro-American Experience. (3). (HU).
This course will provide students with a general survey of the religious experience of Afro-Americans, concentrating on developments in the religious life of Black people in America. Various religious impulses within the Black community will be studied, including traditional Christianity, Islam, Judaism, cultic Christianity (as expressed in the various Pentecostal movements which have been described as "personality cults" such as those led by Father Divine, Daddy Grace Prophet Jones, and Rev. Oke). A brief survey of the traditional African approach to religion is given in the background for a proper understanding of the ways in which the introduction of Christianity affected African people, followed by a study of the development of religion among Black people in ante-bellum America. The study of Black religion since 1900 will explore the social and political cross-currents which led to the rise of separatist religious groups in the twentieth century. The role of mainline churches and their success or failure in translating the needs and aspirations of the Black community to the larger society will be studied in relation to the civil rights struggle of the 1960s and the development of new social-action oriented religious movements. The course will conclude with an exploration of Black religious moods in contemporary society. Cost:1 WL:1 (Miles)
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358/ACABS 321/Hist. 306. History and Religion of Ancient Israel. (3). (HU).
See ACABS 321. (Schmidt)
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369/Psych. 313. Psychology and Religion. Introductory psychology or senior standing. (4). (Excl).
An exploration of the historical and thematic connections between psychology and religion, with a special emphasis on the scientific study of religious behavior and experience. Religion and psychology are presented as competing or overlapping explanations of behavior, as legislations of mental health and "disease," and as techniques for the "cure of souls." These issues are explored through two guiding questions: (a) Why is it common to assume a connection between religion and psychological well-being (or disorder, as the case may be)? (b) What do we mean when we speak of religious experiences? What is the nature of such experiences, and to what extent are they autonomous with respect to other types of human experiences? Course materials: films, textbook, and course pack with selections from the literature of psychology, anthropology, and history of religions. Requirements include: attendance to lectures; leading and participating in discussions; two exams during the term, and a final exam. Cost:3 WL:3 (Gómez)
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380. Selected Topics. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits. Only one course from Religion 380, 387, and 487 may be elected in the same term.
Section 001 Religious Encounters in the New World.
The European discovery of the Americas set in motion one of the largest encounters in the Atlantic World. Although it would take close to a century to fully understand the scale and magnitude of their discovery, the European encounter with the other in the New World produced entirely new people, societies, and cultures. Along with new foods, new languages, and new ways of speaking, this encounter resulted in the creation or invention of new religions, world-views, and belief-systems. This course will explore the European encounter with other forms of religious expression as it unfolded in the New World. Initially praised as an Eden populated by child-like others, the New World was reinvented as an uncivilized land and native peoples as savages. This course will examine the formation of syncretic or hybrid cosmologies that have combined various aspects of New and Old World beliefs as well as alternate and oppositional world-views that have contested traditional interpretations of ritual, divinity, and Scripture, be they Native, European, or African. Our approach will be multidisciplinary. Drawing on an array of recent anthropological, literary, and socio-historical studies, we will read, discuss, and critique both old and new work in the field in an attempt to move beyond approaches to religion, world-view, and attendant notions as mirrors or reflections of secular activities. This course assumes no prior knowledge of the topic and will be based on lectures, films, and class discussions. Grades will be based on class participation, essay-type exams, a 10-20 page critique of two ethnographies, and a 20-30 minute oral presentation. Cost:2 WL:4 (Pulis)
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393/ACABS 393/APTIS 393. The Religion of Zoroaster. (3). (HU).
See ACABS 393. (Windfuhr)
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402. Topics in Religion. Religion concentrators with junior or senior standing. (1-3). (Excl).
Section 001 Holy Woman, Holy Man: The Charismatic and Social Power. (3 credits).
This course will examine the figure of the "holy" person in a wide number of cultures "holy" in the sense that they are characterized by possessing and exerting a power which seems compelling, personal, and uncanny: they are charismatic. We will discuss these figures and their relations to other social sorts of power, referring to Native American cultures, European cultures, and Asian/Pacific cultures. The range of reference will include the contemporary as well as the historical. Why are these figures characteristically female in some cultures, male in others? How does their power relate to institutional channels of authority? What of the secular charismatic the charisma of some politicians, and of celebrities? We will note the special role of the media in the operation of charisma now of the way in which a billion people can feel themselves in the presence of the charismatic person or community simultaneously. The course will meet on Monday evenings for lectures by major figures from the University and elsewhere in the country who study these phenomena. There will be discussions sections, including one for Honors students, and one in the evening for people whose schedules make daytime classes difficult. Students will read from a course pack and two or three books, view films, and write two essays and a final examination. Cost:2 WL:4 (Williams)
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447/Poli. Sci. 447. Comparative Studies in Religion and Politics. (3). (Excl).
See Political Science 447. (Levine)
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448/Psych. 418. Psychology and Spiritual Development. (3). (Excl).
See Psychology 418. (Mann)
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452/Anthro. 448. Anthropology of Religion: Ritual, Sanctity and Adaptation. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).
See Cultural Anthropology 448. (Pulis)
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455/Soc. 455. Religion and Society. (3). (Excl).
See Sociology 455. (McGinn)
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469/HJCS 478/Judaic Studies 468. Jewish Mysticism. (3). (Excl).
See HJCS 478. (Ginsberg)
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471/HJCS 577/Judaic Studies 467. Seminar: Topics in the Study of Judaism. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of nine credits.
See HJCS 577. (Ginsberg)
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481/Engl. 401. The English Bible: Its Literary Aspects and Influences, I. (4). (HU).
See English 401. (Williams)
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