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REL-R 102: RELIGION AND POPULAR CULTURE (32917)

arts/humanities

Instructor: Selka, Stephen
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: F 4:40 PM — 5:30 PM
Location: Ballantine Hall 142
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

REL-R 102: RELIGION AND POPULAR CULTURE (32915)

arts/humanities

Instructor: Selka, Stephen
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: F 2:30 PM — 3:20 PM
Location: Ballantine Hall 142
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

REL-R 102: RELIGION AND POPULAR CULTURE (32916)

arts/humanities

Instructor: Selka, Stephen
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: F 3:35 PM — 4:25 PM
Location: Ballantine Hall 142
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

This course explores the relationship between religion and popular culture. We begin by discussing ideas about what religion is and is not, what popular culture is and is not, and the often blurry line between the two. During the rest of the course we examine religion in popular culture (e.g., representations of religious figures and practices in film and television) and the roles that popular culture and popular media (e.g., social media or best-selling novels) play in people's religious practices. Questions we will explore include: Why do many see a basic tension between religion and popular culture? How has the advent of mass media shaped religious communities and practices? What do we make of claims that popular culture itself (e.g., baseball) can be a religion?

REL-R 102: RELIGION AND POPULAR CULTURE (14066)

arts/humanities

Instructor: Selka, Stephen
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: TR 5:45 PM — 6:35 PM
Location: Ballantine Hall 109
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

REL-R 133: INTRODUCTION TO RELIGION (12686)

arts/humanities

Instructor: Michelson, Patrick Lally
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: TR 1:00 PM — 2:15 PM
Location: Ballantine Hall 310
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

What is this thing that we call religion? And how should we study it? This course introduces students to the many different ways in which modern scholars of religion have tried to answer these questions. In examining the history of religious studies, students will discover that much of our current knowledge about religion is founded upon competing claims about the existence of God, the value of religion in shaping individual and collective psychology, the origins of religious practice and consciousness, and the role that religion plays in structuring culture and society. In other words, students will come out of this class not so much with a better understanding of their own religious tradition. Rather, they will acquire an informed, sophisticated, and ultimately meaningful way to talk about religion.

REL-R 153: RELIGIONS OF ASIA (31434)

arts/humanities global civ/cultures

Instructor: Haberman, David L.
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: R 11:15 AM — 12:05 PM
Location: Ballantine Hall 231
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H GCC

Please Note: This is an Honors Discussion. Students must also enroll in the Lecture: MW 11:15am-12:05pm. IUB GENED A&H CREDIT IUB GENED WORLD CULTURE CREDIT Why does the god Ganesh have the head of an elephant? Why did the Buddha leave the luxury of the palace? What did Confucius really say? What¿s so good about a worthless tree? Come find the answers to these and many other questions. This course is designed as an introduction to the major religious traditions of Asia, with special attention to Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. After examining the historical context of each tradition we will explore through primary texts the wide range of world views and the variety of ways of being religious that comprise Asian religions. No prerequisite.

REL-R 153: RELIGIONS OF ASIA (8980)

arts/humanities global civ/cultures

Instructor: Haberman, David L.
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: F 4:40 PM — 5:30 PM
Location: Sycamore Hall 108
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H GCC

REL-R 153: RELIGIONS OF ASIA (6086)

arts/humanities global civ/cultures

Instructor: Haberman, David L.
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: MW 11:15 AM — 12:05 PM
Location: Chemistry 122
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H GCC

Why does the god Ganesh have the head of an elephant? Why did the Buddha leave the luxury of the palace? What did Confucius really say? What's so good about a worthless tree? Come find the answers to these and many other questions. This course is designed as an introduction to the major religious traditions of Asia, with special attention to Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. After examining the historical context of each tradition we will explore through primary texts the wide range of world views and the variety of ways of being religious that comprise Asian religions. No prerequisite.

REL-R 153: RELIGIONS OF ASIA (8978)

arts/humanities global civ/cultures

Instructor: Haberman, David L.
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: F 1:25 PM — 2:15 PM
Location: Sycamore Hall 108
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H GCC

REL-R 153: RELIGIONS OF ASIA (8979)

arts/humanities global civ/cultures

Instructor: Haberman, David L.
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: F 3:35 PM — 4:25 PM
Location: Sycamore Hall 108
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H GCC

REL-R 153: RELIGIONS OF ASIA (6087)

arts/humanities global civ/cultures

Instructor: Haberman, David L.
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: F 11:15 AM — 12:05 PM
Location: Sycamore Hall 108
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H GCC

REL-R 153: RELIGIONS OF ASIA (6088)

arts/humanities global civ/cultures

Instructor: Haberman, David L.
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: F 12:20 PM — 1:10 PM
Location: Sycamore Hall 108
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H GCC

REL-R 153: RELIGIONS OF ASIA (6089)

arts/humanities global civ/cultures

Instructor: Haberman, David L.
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: F 2:30 PM — 3:20 PM
Location: Sycamore Hall 108
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H GCC

REL-R 160: INTRO TO RELIGION IN AMERICA (31436)

arts/humanities

Instructor: Harriss, Mathew Cooper
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: F 2:30 PM — 3:20 PM
Location: Ballantine Hall 135
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H DUS

REL-R 160: INTRO TO RELIGION IN AMERICA (31437)

arts/humanities

Instructor: Harriss, Mathew Cooper
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: F 3:35 PM — 4:25 PM
Location: Ballantine Hall 135
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H DUS

REL-R 160: INTRO TO RELIGION IN AMERICA (13595)

arts/humanities

Instructor: Harriss, Mathew Cooper
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: MW 12:20 PM — 1:10 PM
Location: Student Building 150
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H DUS

REL-R 160: INTRO TO RELIGION IN AMERICA (31435)

arts/humanities

Instructor: Harriss, Mathew Cooper
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: F 1:25 PM — 2:15 PM
Location: Ballantine Hall 135
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H DUS

Paradoxically, the United States -a nation whose founding documents specifically and deliberately forbid official religious establishment-is distinguished by its status as arguably the most "religious" of Western nations. This course introduces students to the impact of religion as an idea and the ways that diverse religious systems, beliefs, and practices in American society and culture have both influenced and problematized a sense of national identity. Along the way students will master a broad historical trajectory while, at the same time, exploring specific movements, periods, events, and actors in close detail, illustrating practical implications of this broader scope. What is religion? What is "America"? Ideally this class offers a broad appreciation of the trajectory of American religious history (whatever these terms mean), specific literacy and insight into a variety of religious groups and their beliefs and practices, and tools for future study-either in an academic context or, more likely, as a university-educated citizen with a strong baseline of knowledge, the capacity for learning, and the ability to apply it critically to emerging situations and scenarios.

REL-R 170: RELIGION, ETHICS & PUBLIC LIFE (14753)

arts/humanities

Instructor: Swan Tuite, James Elliott
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: F 10:10 AM — 11:00 AM
Location: Woodburn Hall 119
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

This is an introductory course in religion and ethics, focusing on social responsibility, moral reasoning, and the history of religion's role in public life in the West. We will begin by examining basic methods and tools in ethics, after which we will examine several topics: war; death and dying in medicine; abortion; equality and difference in gender, race, and sexual orientation; and global hunger and environmental ethics. The chief goal of the course is to explore the complexity of these topics and to understand how religious thought, belief, and practice inform moral discussion in American public life today. A secondary goal is to understand how American understandings of religion's place in public life have taken their current shape. During the semester we will ask whether individuals or groups have a responsibility to protect the interests of vulnerable, or "at-risk" populations: fetuses, political communities under attack, starving people, women-or men-in the economic and cultural marketplace, sick and dying patients, and members of minority groups. These various vulnerable groups, and the issues that surround their needs, stand at the center of many debates in public culture today--debates online, in newspaper articles, religious gatherings, political elections, professional meetings, talk shows, shop floor conversations, and family dinners. With each topic we will examine different arguments and points of view. Sources draw primarily from Judaism, Christianity, and contemporary social thought.

REL-R 170: RELIGION, ETHICS & PUBLIC LIFE (14756)

arts/humanities

Instructor: Swan Tuite, James Elliott
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: F 1:25 PM — 2:15 PM
Location: Woodburn Hall 119
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

REL-R 170: RELIGION, ETHICS & PUBLIC LIFE (14755)

arts/humanities

Instructor: Swan Tuite, James Elliott
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: F 12:20 PM — 1:10 PM
Location: Woodburn Hall 119
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

REL-R 170: RELIGION, ETHICS & PUBLIC LIFE (10932)

arts/humanities

Instructor: Swan Tuite, James Elliott
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: MW 2:30 PM — 3:20 PM
Location: Wendell W. Wright 1120
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

REL-R 170: RELIGION, ETHICS & PUBLIC LIFE (14754)

arts/humanities

Instructor: Swan Tuite, James Elliott
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: F 11:15 AM — 12:05 PM
Location: Woodburn Hall 119
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

REL-R 170: RELIGION, ETHICS & PUBLIC LIFE (14757)

arts/humanities

Instructor: Swan Tuite, James Elliott
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: F 2:30 PM — 3:20 PM
Location: Woodburn Hall 119
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

This is an introductory course in religion and ethics, focusing on social responsibility, moral reasoning, and the history of religion's role in public life in the West. We will begin by examining basic methods and tools in ethics, after which we will examine several topics: war; death and dying in medicine; abortion; equality and difference in gender, race, and sexual orientation; and global hunger and environmental ethics. The chief goal of the course is to explore the complexity of these topics and to understand how religious thought, belief, and practice inform moral discussion in American public life today. A secondary goal is to understand how American understandings of religion's place in public life have taken their current shape. During the semester we will ask whether individuals or groups have a responsibility to protect the interests of vulnerable, or "at-risk" populations: fetuses, political communities under attack, starving people, women-or men-in the economic and cultural marketplace, sick and dying patients, and members of minority groups. These various vulnerable groups, and the issues that surround their needs, stand at the center of many debates in public culture today--debates online, in newspaper articles, religious gatherings, political elections, professional meetings, talk shows, shop floor conversations, and family dinners. With each topic we will examine different arguments and points of view. Sources draw primarily from Judaism, Christianity, and contemporary social thought.

REL-R 170: RELIGION, ETHICS & PUBLIC LIFE (14758)

arts/humanities

Instructor: Swan Tuite, James Elliott
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: F 3:35 PM — 4:25 PM
Location: Woodburn Hall 119
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

REL-B 210: INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM (10694)

arts/humanities global civ/cultures

Instructor: Nance, Richard F.
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: TR 1:00 PM — 2:15 PM
Location: Wendell W. Wright 1120
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H GCC

This course is intended to serve as an introduction to Buddhism, broadly conceived. We will survey the development of Buddhist thought and practice, from its origins in India to its subsequent expansions into other parts of the world. The course has two main aims: to familiarize you with basic Buddhist ideas and practices as these have taken shape in various historical and cultural settings, and to invite you to think critically and carefully about these ideas and practices and what they imply for those who espouse and engage in them. In pursuit of these aims, we will be reading a number of primary sources in translation, together with several additional texts that will help you to contextualize this material. We will be screening several films as well. No previous knowledge of Buddhism is necessary, nor will any be presumed.

REL-A 210: INTR OLD TESTAMNT/HEBREW BIBLE (30415)

arts/humanities global civ/cultures

Instructor: Mokhtarian, Jason Sion
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: MW 11:15 AM — 12:30 PM
Location: Ballantine Hall 310
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H GCC

The Hebrew Bible is a foundational text of Western civilization. The goal of this course is to familiarize you with this collection and to understand its development over time in an ancient culture that was radically different from our own. Besides the texts that make up the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, we will also consider non-biblical texts that were written and read in the same period, including writings from the Dead Sea Scrolls, placing them in a broader historical and cultural context of Jewish Antiquity. How were these writings created, interpreted, used, and collected by ancient communities in the formative period that gave birth to Judaism and Christianity? Throughout the course, we will discuss how the texts of the Hebrew Bible have been read and interpreted in very different ways by ancient religious communities and by modern biblical scholars. This approach is meant to encourage reflection on our own reading practices, and to understand how the assumptions we bring to a text, and the context in which we read it, affect the meanings that it comes to make.

REL-B 220: INTRODUCTION TO HINDUISM (10408)

arts/humanities global civ/cultures

Instructor: Haberman, David L.
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: MW 2:30 PM — 3:45 PM
Location: Swain West 218
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H GCC

Approximately one out of every five people on our diverse planet identifies themselves as Hindus. This course is a historical survey of the major movements within the Hindu religious tradition. While tracing the history we will explore the creative tension between the ascetic's quest for freedom and the householder's search for enjoyment. This provides an opportunity to examine such religious issues as differing views of the self, the nature of the world and the ultimate goal of life. We'll examine the classical texts of the Hindu traditions, such as the Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gita, and Gitagovinda, and also view films and slides to gain access to the rich visual dimension of contemporary Hindu culture.

REL-A 220: INTRO TO THE NEW TESTAMENT (33644)

arts/humanities global civ/cultures

Instructor: Bartzel, Joe
Course Duration: 10/19/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: MW 5:45 PM — 7:45 PM
Location: Sycamore Hall 103
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H GCC

REL-A 250: INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTIANITY (11622)

arts/humanities global civ/cultures

Instructor: Brown, Candy Gunther
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: MW 9:30 AM — 10:45 AM
Location: Fine Arts 015
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H GCC

This course will teach you new things about a familiar religion. Nearly two billion people around the world today describe themselves as Christians, including a majority of people in the U.S. So most people believe they have at least a basic knowledge of Christianity. But Christianity is in fact bewilderingly diverse. We may be able to agree on a simple definition: Christianity is the religion of people who believe in the gospel that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world. But what does it mean to "believe in"? What is the gospel? How is salvation achieved? Does God care only about "saving souls" or also about healing bodies from diseases? What is the kingdom of heaven? What should believers do in this world? Over two thousand years of history, in diverse cultures, Christians have answered these questions in an amazing variety of ways. Christianity, in other words, is not really a single, unchanging religion but instead an ever-changing network of related practices and beliefs. We will trace the fascinating, often controversial, history of Christianity from Jesus and his followers' healings and exorcisms in the first century up through the global expansion of Christianity in the modern world. More broadly, we will gain an understanding of the diversity of world cultures, both within the U.S. and around the globe, and we will gain skills in interacting with human diversity in culturally informed and sensitive ways.

REL-R 300: STUDIES IN RELIGION (11951)

arts/humanities

Topic Title: Interpretations Of Asceticism
Instructor: Michelson, Patrick Lally
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: TR 9:30 AM — 10:45 AM
Location: Ballantine Hall 214
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

One of the most common features of religious practice around the world is asceticism, a way of life premised on abstinence from physical pleasure. But why do people do this, even if only on designated holy days? Why do they fast from food, refrain from sex, punish their bodies, and deny their biological impulses? Is it to draw closer to God? To prepare for the transition into death? To belong to a community that requires self-sacrifice? And what motivates this behavior? Is it a command from God? Is it a psychological response to our impending physical annihilation? Or is it a demand placed upon all of us by the needs of society and culture for uniformity? This course examines the ways in which modern scholars have tried to answer these questions through a close reading of texts that seek to understand the meaning of asceticism.

REL-R 300: STUDIES IN RELIGION (33641)

arts/humanities

Topic Title: Religionatheismspirituality
Instructor: Selka, Stephen
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: TR 4:00 PM — 5:15 PM
Location: Ballantine Hall 242
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

In recent decades, the number of Americans who identify either as non-religious or "spiritual, not religious" has grown considerably. This is evident, for example, in the increasing popularity of spiritual retreats and atheist conventions around the country. How do these developments affect our understanding of the American religious landscape and our understanding of what "religion" is more generally? How do these changes reflect wider trends and patterns in American religious history, and in what ways do they represent something new and novel? To the extent that they are new, what broader social, cultural and political changes are these developments related to? In order to address these questions, this course explores the complex and shifting relationship between the religious, the secular and the spiritual. It focuses in particular on the emergence of spirituality as a category of belief and practice and on the growing visibility of atheism in American public life. Students will learn about theory and methods and religious studies, become familiar with American religious history, and explore some of the most pressing issues in the interdisciplinary study of religion today.

REL-R 300: STUDIES IN RELIGION (30540)

arts/humanities

Topic Title: Nuns And Guns
Instructor: Velazquez, Sonia
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: MW 2:30 PM — 3:45 PM
Location: Jordan Hall A105
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

The image of a nun breaking into a high security nuclear arms plant to protest the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction-and its opposite, the image of a nun herself holding a rifle-are both disturbing. The purpose of this class is to make sense of our fascination and unease regarding these celibate women who under the guise of obedience also proclaim their right to resist. We shall consider historical cases of nuns in times of war, other forms of nun-ly resistance, as well as explore the appeal of nuns with guns in popular culture.

REL-A 318: RABBINIC JUD: LIT AND BELIEFS (30433)

intensive writing arts/humanities global civ/cultures

Instructor: Mokhtarian, Jason Sion
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: MW 1:00 PM — 2:15 PM
Location: Teter Quad F260
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): IW A&H GCC

The Jewish sages of late antiquity known as rabbis were masters of the Bible who produced a complex corpus of writings in which they interpret their holy scriptures. This vast collection of law and narrative, known as rabbinic literature, remains to this day the foundation of normative Jewish behavior and traditions. What did these interpreters of the Bible believe? And how was the Bible interpreted over the course of late antiquity? In seeking answers to these questions, this course introduces students to the literature and beliefs of the rabbis who lived in Palestine and Babylonia circa the second through sixth centuries C.E. and thus witnessed the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire and the presence of Zoroastrianism in the Persian Sasanian Empire. Themes covered throughout the semester include some major concepts expressed in rabbinic literature such as covenant, exile, good and evil, the election of Israel, redemption, revelation, and existence of demons and angels. Students are exposed to a wide range of primary texts from the Mishnah, Midrash, and Talmuds, though emphasis is placed on their narrative portions known as aggadah. Secondary readings include introductory textbooks as well as research articles or books that engage some of the major problems in the field of rabbinics. This course is a natural sequel to any course on the Hebrew Bible, though no background in biblical studies or ancient Judaism is necessary. This class fulfills intensive writing requirements.

REL-A 351: CHRISTIANITY AND MODERNITY (30451)

arts/humanities

Instructor: Velazquez, Sonia
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: MW 5:45 PM — 7:00 PM
Location: Sycamore Hall 006
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

No one, not even God, is free from the tolls of labor. And yet, from the Christian Garden of Eden to the Greco-Roman ideal of the Golden Age, human imaginings of perfect happiness emphasize a utopic world where human survival is assured and not dependent on our toils and troubles. Indeed, having to work for one's sustenance ("to eat by the sweat of our brow" Gen 3:19) and to reproduce through painful labor are depicted as divine punishments for human disobedience. And yet, parallel to this punitive vision of work, Christianity also developed an ethos of liberating labor through the institution of monastic orders that exalted manual crafts and meditative practices as means of salvation. In this class we will examine this twin legacy of labor as punishment and as salvation as it appears in artistic, religious, political and philosophical texts and contexts. We will consider questions such as: to what extent is our humanity linked to our capacity for work: are we homo sapiens (knowing men) or homo laborans (working men)? And is labor gendered? Must labor be productive and produce a profit or can there be leisurely labor? Can labor heal? Why do we call artistic creations "works of art"? How do ideas of labor as punishment and labor as creation affect the social acceptance of art and artists?

REL-D 375: RELIGION & LITERATURE IN ASIA (36572)

Instructor: Manring, Rebecca
Course Duration: 10/19/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: TR 1:00 PM — 3:00 PM
Location: Ballantine Hall 244
Credit Hours: 3.0

REL-D 380: COMPARATIVE STY REL PHENOMENA (30514)

arts/humanities

Topic Title: Sacred Sites
Instructor: Schott, Jeremy M
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: TR 5:45 PM — 7:00 PM
Location: Ballantine Hall 219
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

What is a sacred place? What's the difference between a pilgrim and a tourist? How are sacred places made, un-made, and transformed? How do they fit into the ways we conceptualize heritage, leisure, and travel? Students will explore these and related questions in this co-taught discussion course. Course materials will be drawn from a wide range of genres, such as pilgrimage diaries, fiction, film, and academic essays. During the semester, students will make several site visits, in which they will describe and analyze local religious sites. Other course requirements include short weekly written assignments and a final paper.

REL-R 389: MAJORS SEMINAR IN RELIGION (30558)

intensive writing

Topic Title: Religious Relationships
Instructor: Furey, Constance
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: TR 4:00 PM — 5:15 PM
Location: Sycamore Hall 224
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): IW

People who study religion rarely focus on intimate relationships. This is surprising for a couple of reasons. First, religious relationships are central to most religious practices and beliefs. Believers pray to god as a father or a sacred mother; pilgrims solicit the aid of heavenly friends or patrons; mystics and religious poets envision themselves married to a deity or erotically entwined with divine beings. And second, relationships between people are often deeply influenced by religious beliefs and practices. As a result, religiously-informed assumptions about relationships affect everything from self-understanding to law and religion. In this course, we will take up the question of how to study religious relationships by focusing on three ways of enacting a devotional relationship: prayer, poetry, and mysticism. Work will include active participation and in-class presentations, regular blogs about the reading, and a final paper (8-10 pages).

REL-C 401: TOPICS IN AMERICAN REL HISTORY (30487)

arts/humanities

Topic Title: Zora Neale Hurston
Instructor: Harriss, Mathew Cooper
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: MW 9:30 AM — 10:45 AM
Location: Ballantine Hall 221
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

This course considers the religious and literary legacies of the iconoclastic twentieth-century novelist, anthropologist, and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston. Following some biographical and contextual considerations we'll read closely in her anthropological fieldwork and collections of folklore (including The Sanctified Church, Mules and Men, Tell My Horse) before turning to selected dramatic and literary work (including Jonah's Gourd Vine, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Moses, Man of the Mountain) and a concluding assessment of her complicated legacies. We'll pay special attention to the religious dynamics of Hurston's writing, including work on black churches and preaching, voodoo, Moses and conjure, and her influence on the origins of womanist theology and ethics in the Christian tradition.

REL-C 402: RELIGION, ILLNESS, AND HEALING (15406)

intensive writing arts/humanities

Instructor: Brown, Candy Gunther
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: MW 11:15 AM — 12:30 PM
Location: Ballantine Hall 149
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): IW A&H DUS

Is illness good or evil? Can religion be good or bad for your health? How should healthcare providers and administrators respond to the religious beliefs of patients and their families? What ethical and legal questions arise when spiritual healing is integrated with (or replaces) conventional healthcare? Does inclusion of spiritual healing in public schools violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution? Does commercialization of spiritual healing make the practices less authentic or less religious? This course will explore these and other questions surrounding religion, illness, and healing in America. We will emphasize Christian beliefs and practices (e.g. valorization of suffering or prayer for divine healing) and forms of complementary and alternative medicine connected with religious traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, or Western metaphysical spirituality (e.g. yoga, martial arts, mindfulness meditation, acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, and anticancer diets).

REL-D 430: PROBLEMS IN SOCIAL ETHICS (30531)

arts/humanities

Topic Title: God Species
Instructor: Sideris, Lisa H
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: T 1:25 PM — 3:40 PM
Location: Sycamore Hall 224
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

"We are as gods, and we'd better get good at it," writes American environmentalist Stewart Brand. For many, this godlike portrait of humans captures the essence of the Anthropocene, or the Age of the Human. The term Anthropocene was first used by chemist Paul Crutzen in 2000 to suggest a new geological epoch in which humans have acquired geophysical agency to reshape the planet on an unprecedented scale. Proponents of the "good" Anthropocene are optimistic that human ingenuity, smart technology, and new forms of conservation will bring skillful management of nature and reduced human impacts. Others worry about the hubris and techno-optimism that attends these visions of the future. This course will examine arguments from religious thinkers, philosophers, scientists, environmentalists, and bioethicists about the way in which Anthropocene transformations impact our frameworks of meaning and value, and alter humans' relationship with nature and with divinity. We will consider how acquiring god-like agency changes our understanding of ethical decision-making and our perception of human limits and moral boundaries. Anthropocene debates have great relevance for ethics and religion, and specifically for questions of human dominion or stewardship of other beings. Course topics will likely include Anthropocene perspectives on: climate change and geoengineering, "de-extinction" and "re-wilding" programs, social justice, wilderness preservation, animal studies, bioethics, and biopolitics. We will also consider the relationship of Anthropocene discourse to ethical and affective dispositions such as hope, humility, restraint and prudence, and wonder and awe.

REL-D 430: PROBLEMS IN SOCIAL ETHICS (33642)

arts/humanities

Topic Title: Religion Virtue Good Life
Instructor: Swan Tuite, James Elliott
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: MW 11:15 AM — 12:30 PM
Location: Swain West 218
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H

What is the relevance of ancient discussions of character and the good life to contemporary ethical and political reflection? Starting with the publication of Alasdair MacIntyre's After Virtue, an influential movement in philosophical and religious ethics has developed that advocates making the study of character, virtue, culture, and tradition central in ethics, and arguably politics as well. While originally focused on "retrieving" pre-modern notions of virtue from ancient Western philosophy, later proponents of this movement have attended to similar concerns in Christian and Confucian traditions, modern Western figures such as Hume, Kant, Nietszche, and Dewey, democratic writers such as Walt Whitman, and contemporary versions of a feminist ethics of care. Part of what makes virtue ethics fascinating is the way its champions range across personal and historical narrative, philosophical argument, cultural criticism, religious polemic, and political debate. This course will partially survey this varied landscape, noting both high and low points. Main topics of debate will include: divergent assessments of the moral resources of the modern West; the relations of human nature, tradition, and ethics; whether or not there might be a single, universal list of the most important virtues and vices; advantages and disadvantages for ethics of focusing on character and virtue rather than rights, duties, and consequences; whether aristocratic and patriarchal accounts of the good life can be made congruent with modern commitments to democracy and the equal dignity of women and men. As a seminar the course will emphasize discussion. Writing assignments will range from short response papers to a longer final paper on a topic of each student's choice.

REL-B 433: EMBODYING NIRVANA (30478)

arts/humanities global civ/cultures

Instructor: Nance, Richard F.
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: TR 4:00 PM — 5:15 PM
Location: Ballantine Hall 221
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H GCC

When beings become Buddhas, what happens? What does it mean to be a Buddha? What is lost in attaining awakening, and what is gained? How is nirvana embodied? The nature of the end point of the Buddhist path as attainable and attained by sentient beings has long been an object of controversy among Buddhists. Some representatives of the tradition hold that Buddhas are simply human beings who are no longer afflicted by lust, hatred, and delusion; others portray Buddhas in non-human (or super-human) terms, as beings who simultaneously possess multiple embodiments, are omniscient, can disappear and reappear at will, speak multiple languages at the same time, and emanate whole universes without breaking a sweat. This course addresses the divergent ways in which Buddhists have understood the figure of the Buddha and the nature of Buddhahood. We will read a number of primary texts in translation (together with several secondary studies), and will explore a number of interrelated topics: Buddhas as human and/or superhuman; Buddhas as moral exemplars and/or moral exceptions; the notion of a Buddha's "skill in means" and its range of applicability; the vexed question of whether a Buddha can have thoughts and intentions; a Buddha's multiple bodies and their characteristics; the controversy over "Buddha nature" as metaphysical and/or soteriological postulate; the occasionally divergent emphases of narrative and doctrinal texts; and the question of whether -- and what -- historical conclusions regarding Buddhist traditions might justifiably be drawn from the extant data. We'll be concentrating principally (although not exclusively) on Indian Buddhist materials, though I will welcome course contributions that draw from other Buddhist traditions of reflection and practice.

REL-B 460: TOPICS IN EAST ASIAN RELIGIONS (14044)

arts/humanities global civ/cultures

Topic Title: Readings In Confucianism
Instructor: Ing, Michael Kaulana
Course Duration: 8/24/15 — 12/18/15
Day & Time: MW 1:00 PM — 2:15 PM
Location: Ballantine Hall 149
Credit Hours: 3.0
CASE Requirement(s): A&H GCC

This course will engage in a close reading of several early Chinese texts for the sake of thinking through questions such as: From the perspectives of these texts, what kinds of meaningful things are beyond our power to control? To what degree are we able to determine our own longevity, fortune, social status, and happiness? To what degree are these things susceptible to forces beyond our control? Who or what controls our life span and our contentment in life? Is it forces beyond the human realm; and if so, to what degree are these forces knowable, mutable, and moral? We will explore these questions and more from the perspectives of several Chinese texts including the Kongzi Jiayu, the Yantielun, and more. This course is discussion oriented. Previous coursework on Chinese philosophy, history, or religion is strongly recommended. All readings are in English, with the possibility of an extra session for those who read classical Chinese.