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Courses - Spring 2017


Undergraduate / Graduate

UNDERGRADUATE COURSES


HBR1103 Beginning Hebrew II / Prof. Levenson
A continuation of HBR 1102 or 1120, completing the study of Biblical Hebrew grammar and reading closely four or five chapters from the Hebrew Bible(for example, Ruth, Jonah, or Genesis 1-4. Prerequisite: One semester of either Biblical or Modern Hebrew or permission of the instructor. Note that students may take both HBR 1103 and HBR 1121 (Modern Hebrew II). Meets the foreign language requirement for the BA degree. No language laboratory required.

IFS3113 Responses to the Holocaust / Prof. Kavka
This course examines various responses -- literary, theological, and cinematic -- to the attempted destruction of the Jews of Europe during World War II. Meets Liberal Studies E-Series/Honors E-Series (LS-E/HLS-E), LS-CUL Cultural Practice.

REL1300 Introduction to World Religions / Multiple
This course is an introduction to the academic study of the major religions of the world. The course will cover the religious traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In the process of comparing the religions of the world, it will be the responsibility of each student to think critically about the historical evolution, systems of belief, ritual practices, institutional developments and cultural expressions of each religious tradition. A range of reading materials and writing assignments have been chosen to provide a framework within which to engage a variety of religious issues and to understand the significance and relevance of religion in world history. Meets LS Cultural Practice (LS-CUL), and Diversity: Cross Cultural Studies (DIV-XCC). This course is also offered online.

REL2121 Religion in the United States / Multiple
This course is designed to introduce students to the major themes, figures, and directions of religion in American history, with an eye toward ways that social and cultural contexts have shaped the religious experience of Americans in different places and times. Since it is impossible to cover all religious traditions in one semester, this course will consist of both a general survey of religion in the U.S. and a series of case studies designed to provide a closer look into some of the religious groups and ideas that have shaped this country. Meets LS History requirements as well as Diversity in Western Experience (DIV-YWE).

REL2210 Introduction to the Old Testament / Multiple
The word “Bible” is derived from the Greek word “biblia” which means “books”. While revered as a single book, the Bible is a collection of many texts that were composed by different authors at different times for different reasons. This course is an introduction to the critical study of this assorted literature and the world in which it was produced. We will examine individual texts of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament within their historical contexts while taking into consideration other methodological approaches such as literary criticism and theology. Meets LS Cultural Practice (LS-CUL) and Diversity in western Experience (DIV-YWE).

REL2240 Introduction to the New Testament / Multiple
This course introduces students to the writings of the New Testament in the context of the historical development of early Christianity. Meets LS Cultural Practice (LS-CUL) and Diversity in western Experience (DIV-YWE).

REL2315 Religions of S. Asia / Multiple
This course studies the history and culture of the religious traditions of South Asia. A study of the manifestations of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Sikhism, and Christianity in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Meets LS Cultural Practice (LS-CUL) and Diversity in cross cultural studies (DIV-XCC).

REL2350 Religions of E. Asia / Prof. Yu
This course combines thematic and historical approaches to religions of East Asia, focusing primarily on China and Japan. It examines interactions among Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, and popular and new religious movements. Students will approach the histories of East Asian religions as processes of change, border-crossing, and mutual-influence. Readings have been drawn from secondary scholarship as well as a variety of primary sources in translation, including myths, canonical scriptures, polemical tracts, hagiography, and narrative tales. Assigned readings will be augmented by occasional in-class films.

REL3112 Religion and Fantasy / Sonya Cronin & Staff
This course offers an overview of theological and anti-theological elements in twentieth and twenty-first century fantasy literature from authors Lewis, Tolkien, Rowling, and Pullman. Meets LS Cultural Practice (LS-CUL).

REL3128-1 Topics: African American Religious Exp / Prof. Drake
This course is a survey of African-American religious cultures from the antebellum period to the Present. Students will examine a range of theologies, practices, and institutions in order to assess the place of religion in African-American experience. Students will reflect on primary and secondary sources in order to understand the importance of history and sociopolitical context(s) in shaping the meaning and function of African American religious experience. Meets Liberal Studies: History (LS-HIS).

REL3128-2 Topics: Religious Intolerance in US / Prof. Corrigan
Begins with the roots of intolerant religious rhetoric in early modern England and tracks that rhetoric to America where it has provided biblically-grounded arguments to perpetrators of acts of intolerance since the early colonial period. We will examine a wide range of cases of intolerance, from genocidal campaigns against Native Americans, armed Catholic-Protestant conflicts in urban settings, the Mormon Wars, antisemitism, anti-Muslim acts, Waco, and numerous other incidences. We will consider how and why that history has been screened from American memory (why have we forgotten it?) and how contemporary American domestic and foreign policy has suffered from that forgetting. Meets Liberal Studies: History (LS-HIS).

REL3128-3 Topics: Violence & New Religious Movements / Prof. McVicar
This class investigates the role of new religious movement (NRMs) in American culture and history. The course will introduce students to the critical assessment of the category of new religious movement and consider its relationship to other conceptual categories such as cult, emergent religion, or alternative religious movement. The course will explore scholarly studies that examine specific traditions within the NRM paradigm. Traditions covered in this section of the course will include pagan revivals, revolutionary millenarian movements, UFO “cults,” and racialist movements.  Meets Liberal Studies: History (LS-HIS).

REL3128-4 Topics: Religion & US Presidency / Mr. Hicks
This course serves as an exploration of the role of religious people, ideas, and frameworks in the American nation-state, through a sweeping overview of a number of United States presidents. Rather than focusing exclusively on individual presidents’ religious beliefs, the goal of this course is instead to use presidents as lenses through which to view America. It assumes that presidents, as highly visible, influential, and symbolic figures, provide insights into the state of the union during their short terms. Meets Liberal Studies: History (LS-HIS).

REL3128-5 Topics: Native American Religions / Mr. McKee
This course is an exploration of Native North American religious myths and rituals. The course highlights religious contacts and engagements between various indigenous peoples, settler-colonialists, and American empire. Attention will also be given to the religious response given by American Indian communities in the face of forced migration and displacement as well as resistance and rejuvenation. Finally, the course will explore contemporary Indian issues related to urbanization, reservation life, and the continued legacy of colonialism. Meets Liberal Studies: History (LS-HIS).

REL3145 Gender and Religion / Prof. McVicar & Staff
This course considers the impact of gender on religion. Includes cross-cultural studies, theoretical works, and gender issues within religious traditions. Meets LS Cultural Practice (LS-CUL) and Diversity in cross cultural studies (DIV-XCC).

REL3160 Religion and Science / Prof. Day
This course provides an historical and philosophical analysis of major questions in the relationship between religion and science. Meets Liberal Studies: History (LS-HIS).

REL3170 Religious Ethics / Multiple
This course discusses contemporary moral problems such as deception, sexual activities and relations, war, and the economy from the standpoints of major religious traditions. Meets Liberal Studies: Ethics and Social Responsibility (ETH/SR) and Diversity in cross cultural studies (DIV-XCC).

REL3171 Courage in Ethics and Film / Ms. Marks
This course considers themes and problems in modern ethics. The class format will include lecture, discussion, and film. Meets Liberal Studies: Ethics and Social Responsibility (ETH/SR).

REL3180 Religion & Bioethics / Prof. Kalbian
The course offers an introduction to theoretical and practical issues in bioethics from the perspective of a variety of religious and secular positions. Meets Liberal Studies: Scholarship in Practice (LS-SIP) and Ethics & Social Responsibility (ETH/SR).

REL 3224 The Hebrew Prophets / Prof. Goff
This course analyzes the prophetic books of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekel, and the twelve minor prophets. The course examines the role of prophecy elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible (as in the Elijah stories) and situates the biblical prophets within the broader context of prophecy, as a religious and social phenomenon in the ancient Near East. Meets Liberal Studies: Cultural Practice (LS-CUL).

REL 3293 Jesus in History & Tradition / Prof. Kelley
This course focuses on selected topics dealing with biblical writings in their ancient historical contexts and/or their interpretation in later period. Meets Liberal Studies: Cultural Practice (LS-CUL).

REL3337 Hindu Goddess, Women / Prof. Erndl
This course studies female power in Hindu cosmology, mythology, and society. A study of Hindu goddesses, women, and female symbolism and the multifaceted relationship among them. Meets Liberal Studies: Cultural Practice (LS-CUL) and Diversity: Cross Cultural Studies (DIV-XCC).

REL3340 The Buddhist Tradition / Prof. Buhrman
This course surveys the Buddhist tradition from its beginnings through the modern period. Some attention to its contemporary forms. Meets Liberal Studies: Cultural Practice (LS-CUL) and Diversity in cross cultural studies (DIV-XCC) requirements.

REL3358 Tibetan & Himalayan Religions / Dr. Cuevas
A historical and thematic survey of the religions of Tibet and the Himalayas, including Buddhism, Bon, and popular indigenous traditions. This course examines significant facets of the rich cultural heritage of the Tibetan and Himalayan region, religion, literature, society, and poli­tics, in order to investigate the ways in which Tibetan-speaking peoples from a variety of historical periods, local traditions, and social backgrounds have attempted to make sense of their world and their place within it. Topics will include the ritual cosmos, shamans and saintly madmen, the evolution of monastic power, demons, death and afterlife, and the Dalai Lamas. Meets Liberal Studies: Cultural Practice (LS-CUL) and Diversity in cross cultural studies (DIV-XCC) requirements.

REL3367 Islam to Modern World / Prof. Gaiser
REL 3367, Islam up to the Modern World examines Islam and its adherents from 1300 CE to the present, concentrating on the last two centuries of Islamic history: the period of reform, renewal and revolution in the wake of Western political and cultural domination. The course will investigate a basic question: What happened to different Muslim communities and intellectuals (specifically those in the Arab world, Iran, Turkey, and West Africa) as they responded to the challenges posed by “Westernization” and “modernization?” Moreover, it will explore the relatively new phenomenon of Islam in America. The class concludes with an investigation of various contemporary debates in the Islamic world, including Sufism, and American/Western responses to Islam and Muslims. Meets Liberal Studies: Cultural Practice (LS-CUL) and Diversity in Western Experience (DIV-YWE).

REL3505 Christian Tradition / Prof. Kirkpatrick & Staff
This course explores Christianity from its origins and growth in the Mediterranean world, through the Reformations, and into the present day. Students will gain a panoramic view of global Christianities and the ability to apply a range of approaches in studying its growth and diversification. This will facilitate a wide discussion of its contents, context, and contemporary implications. Meets Liberal Studies: Cultural Practice (LS-CUL).

REL3607 The Jewish Tradition / Prof. Gonzalez
This course explores the Jewish tradition in its many pluralities from the biblical period to the present. Central debates and developments within the tradition will be examined as they emerge in biblical texts, midrash, rabbinic responsa, as well as in a variety of historical and philosophical texts from the medieval, early modern, and modern periods. Meets Liberal Studies: Cultural Practice (LS-CUL) and Diversity in Western Experience (DIV-YWE).

REL3936 Special Topics: Ecstatic Religion / Prof. Hellweg
Beyond mainstream ritual practices, a range of emotional, embodied, mystical activities proliferates—from spirit possession, trance, and shamanism to ecstatic healing and prophecy. While public opinion and popular media may deride these practices, they incarnate the deepest longings for and grandest visions of the divine and often anchor the same theologies that condemn them. This course explores such forms of mysticism around the world—in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Our aim is to understand the logics behind these practices that make them sources of power for practitioners. Because women, the poor, marginal men, sexual minorities, and transgendered persons often play key roles in such movements, issues of politics, economics, gender, and sexuality take center stage. Due to the many ways of explaining mystical experiences, we will compare neurological, psychological, psychiatric, sociological, and theological approaches. The course will take an ethnographic approach, one that sees transcendent experience as immanent in cultural practice.

REL3936-02 Special Topics: Syriac / Prof. Levenson
An introduction to Syriac (leshono suryoyo), the Aramaic language of many Near Eastern Christian communities from late antiquity to the present. This course on the basic grammar of the language will prepare students to read the ancient Syriac translations of the Bible, Jewish and Christian texts written in other languages but now only preserved in Syriac, and the vast corpus of theological, liturgical, and historical texts originally composed in the language beginning in the third century CE. Syriac is also an excellent way to begin the study of Aramaic because its grammar is the most fully developed and well understood of all the Aramaic dialects.

REL4044 What is Religion? / Prof. Hellweg
What is “religion”? How and why do we study “religion”? Is “religion” a manifestation of some sacred, sui generis reality that human beings can only dimly apprehend? Or is “religion” a rickety ideological superstructure built on the foundation of colonial, economic, and gendered oppression?
Perhaps it’s a psychological projection, a delusion from which humanity must free itself. Or maybe “religion” is simply the creation of the scholar who studies it. This course provides a survey of classical and contemporary theories and methods that have tried to answer these questions along with many others. Through close readings of a sampling of theoretical and critical works, this course will provide students with a basic introduction to the various disciplinary frameworks that underlie the academic study of religion. We will cover a wide array of approaches for studying “religion” ranging from anthropology to psychology, from feminist theory to cognitive science. Along the way we will ask, “what is ‘religion’?” and “and how should it be studied?” We will end the course with two recent books that build on the various methods covered in the first ten weeks of the course. These works--on Scientology, a new religious movement, and popular spirituality in contemporary American culture--offer challenging reassessments of the scholarly and popular category of “religion.” Students should expect a reading-, writing-, and speaking-intensive course that surveys a complex and evolving field of study. Students will be asked to read carefully, offer written reflections on the material covered in class, and present material to their peers. Finally, students will write a final reflective paper assessing the status of “religious studies” in the university. Meets Upper-Division Scholarship in Practice (UD-SIP) and Oral Communication Competency (OCC).

REL4190 SEM: Race & US Rel History / Prof. Drake
This course will consider the problem of race in the study of American religious history. Students will grapple with how race and religion mutually inform one another in U.S. history. We will examine how race informs religious identification and difference and vice versa. In the end, race is an important scientific and political myth necessary to comprehending American religion.

REL4190-02 SEM: Latin American Christianity / Prof. Kirkpatrick
The election of Pope Francis to the papacy reflects the growing influence of Latin America upon world Christianity. This course will provide an historical and thematic overview of the changes in the history of Latin American Christianity.  It moves chronologically and geographically—from colonial Latin America to Hispanic immigrant communities in the United States.  Topics covered include race and colonialism, the Cuban Revolution, the Second Vatican Council, social justice and Christianity (liberation theology/evangelical misión integral), the rise of Pentecostalism, labor movements and inequality, and U.S. Hispanic political influence.

REL4290 SEM: Gospel of Matthew / Prof. Levenson
A close reading of the Gospel of Matthew using the methods of contemporary Gospel studies, which seek to understand the literary, historical, and sociological dimensions of the gospel text and the community from which it arose. Special attention will be given to the relationship of the gospel writer's community to the wide variety of first-century Jewish and Christian communities. The course will be organized as a seminar and will require regular student presentations and a research paper.

REL4304-1 SEM: Reformation of the Bible / Prof. Dupuigrenet
This course provides an introduction to the interactions between text cultures and the media technologies that shaped the way we produce, transmit, transform, receive and interpret creative representations of human experience. Because it is taught by a historian of medieval and early modern Christianity it focuses on representations of religious, mostly Christian, experience, from catacomb art and first Bibles to religious uses of the internet.
For graduate students it is a unique opportunity to be confronted with the material production and transformation of texts that they have thus far only known in the “two dimensional”, abstract space of modern editions and reproductions – be them illuminated medieval manuscripts of the lives of the saints, John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs or Milton’s Paradise Lost.

REL4304-2 SEM: Buddhist Monasticism / Prof. Gildow
This course examines the tradition of Buddhist monasticism, arguably the central institution of Buddhism throughout history, from its origins to its contemporary forms. Also to be analyzed are monasticism as a general category in religious studies and related social theory on institutions.

REL4304-3 SEM: Qur’anic Studies / Prof. Gaiser
This seminar examines scholarship on the Qur’an, the sacred scripture of the Muslims. It combines readings in primary sources in conjunction with source critical secondary literature to explore contemporary scholarly debates surrounding traditional and revisionist approaches to Qur’anic studies, as well as Qur’anic interpretation, recitation and education.

REL4304-4 SEM: Jews of Spain 1492-Present / Prof. Gonzalez
The expulsion from Spain in 1492 transformed Jewish life and culture. This course explores the religious and cultural transformations of the Sephardim (Spanish Jews) in the Ottoman and Dutch Empires, Europe, and the Americas. Some of the topics to be discussed include the following: ethnic boundary formation, crypto-Judaism, new forms of Jewish mysticism, literature and the changing role of the rabbinate, gender and slavery, and the impact of the Holocaust. There are no prerequisites for this course.

REL4335 Modern Hinduism / Prof. Erndl
This course studies selected topics on the Hindu tradition in 19th and 20th century India. Includes modern Hindu thinkers, reform movements, popular religion, Hindu nationalism, and pluralism. Attention also to Hindu-inspired religious movements outside India. Upper-Division: Scholarship in Practice (UD-SIP) and Upper-Division Writing Competency (UD-WRIT).

REL4359-1 SP Topics Asian Rel: Buddhist Tantra / Prof. Cuevas

This seminar examines the historical development of Tantra and Tantric Buddhism in early medieval India (c. 500-1200 C.E.) with some attention to the spread and practice of these traditions in Nepal, Tibet, China, and Japan. Topics covered include origins and history of the Tantric movement, esoteric literature, sacred biography, magic and ritual, yoga and meditation, and Tantra and politics. The course will also assess the varied scholarly interpretations and popular representations of Buddhist Tantra over the last century in Europe, the United States, and Asia. Instructor permission and previous coursework in Asian Religions, REL 3340, REL 3358. Contact Dr. Cuevas at bcuevas@fsu.edu.

REL4359-2 SP Topics Asian Rel: Divination / Prof. Buhrman
In this course, Chinese and Japanese systems of divination are examined in a comparative context. We will read studies of divination from East Asia, Africa and the Classical World, among others, to learn how divination methods reveal information about how a culture views the spiritual, natural, and social worlds. Students will write a research paper for their final project.

REL4491-1 SEM: Modern Muslim/Xtian Pol Thought / Prof. Kelsay
The topic for this combined undergraduate/graduate seminar will be God and Politics in the 20th and 21st centuries. In the first part of the course, we will read and discuss the work of several examples of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim thinking about the topic: for Judaism, and especially religious Zionism, Rav Abraham Kook; for Christianity, Reinhold Niebuhr and John Courtney Murray, S.J.; for Islam, a selection of authors from Princeton Readings in Islamist Political Thought.
In the second part of the course, we turn to some contemporary issues. A book entitled Our Separate Ways considers the past, present, and future of the U.S.-Israel alliance, while William McCants’ The ISIS Apocalypse will serve as a springboard for discussions related to the Islamic State group.

REL4491-2 SEM: Confucian Ethics / Prof. Twiss
An exploration of how the Confucian moral-political-philosophical tradition relates to contemporary inquiry into:
Moral psychology, self-cultivation, and virtue ethics;
Human dignity and human rights;
Priority of the people, political reform, and democratic thinking;
Representative readings (in translation) from both classical Confucian and neo-Confucian sources, coordinated with recent scholarship on both the tradition and the issues.

REL4491-3 SEM: Domination & its Discontents: State Violence and the Genres of Resistance / Prof. Day
Marx and Engels famously described the modern state as little more than “a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.”  Max Weber, in his own relentlessly garrulous way, identified the modern state as a system of administration and law which guides the collective actions of an executive staff while claiming authority over the members of the association within a territory over which it exercises domination (that, for the record, is just a paraphrase).  Ever since, most contemporary political theories have agreed that the modern state is an instrument of coercive and disciplinary violence designed to achieve socio-economically specific outcomes.  
As a result, the evasion of, resistance to and revolutionary confrontation with state violence by subordinate communities have all been persistent themes of engaged reflection.  This seminar surveys some of the subaltern discontents with and alternatives to state domination since the nineteenth century.  Figures discussed will include: Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Bakunin, Sorel, and Clastres.

REL4905 Directed Individual Study

REL4932 Honors Work Religion

 

GRADUATE COURSES

RLG5195-1    SEM:  Race & U.S. Religious History / Prof. Drake
This course is a survey of African-American religious cultures from the antebellum period to the Present. Students will examine a range of theologies, practices, and institutions in order to assess the place of religion in African-American experience. Students will reflect on primary and secondary sources in order to understand the importance of history and sociopolitical context(s) in shaping the meaning and function of African American religious experience.

RLG5195-2    SEM:  Latin American Christianity / Prof. Kirkpatrick
The election of Pope Francis to the papacy reflects the growing influence of Latin America upon world Christianity. This course will provide an historical and thematic overview of the changes in the history of Latin American Christianity.  It moves chronologically and geographically—from colonial Latin America to Hispanic immigrant communities in the United States.  Topics covered include race and colonialism, the Cuban Revolution, the Second Vatican Council, social justice and Christianity (liberation theology/evangelical misión integral), the rise of Pentecostalism, labor movements and inequality, and U.S. Hispanic political influence.

RLG5292        Tutorial in Near Eastern Languages & Literature / Prof. Levenson
An introduction to Syriac (leshono suryoyo), the Aramaic language of many Near Eastern Christian communities from late antiquity to the present. This course on the basic grammar of the language will prepare students to read the ancient Syriac translations of the Bible, Jewish and Christian texts written in other languages but now only preserved in Syriac, and the vast corpus of theological, liturgical, and historical texts originally composed in the language beginning in the third century CE. Syriac is also an excellent way to begin the study of Aramaic because its grammar is the most fully developed and well understood of all the Aramaic dialects.

RLG5297        SEM: Biblical Studies:  Prophets/Prophecy 2nd Temple / Prof. Goff   
This class will examine prophets and prophecy in ancient Judaism.  Significant attention will be devoted to how the Dead Sea Scrolls contribute and revise our understanding of prophecy and the interpretation of prophetic books in this period.  This relates to how major issues in ancient Judaism should be understood, such as the status of scripture, the theologization of history, and sectarianism.  We will also consider prophecy in ancient Judaism in its wider Hellenistic milieu.

RLG5305-1    SEM: History of Rel: Reformation of the Bible /  Prof. Dupuigrenet
This course provides an introduction to the interactions between text cultures and the media technologies that shaped the way we produce, transmit, transform, receive and interpret creative representations of human experience. Because it is taught by a historian of medieval and early modern Christianity it focuses on representations of religious, mostly Christian, experience, from catacomb art and first Bibles to religious uses of the internet.
For graduate students it is a unique opportunity to be confronted with the material production and transformation of texts that they have thus far only known in the “two dimensional”, abstract space of modern editions and reproductions – be them illuminated medieval manuscripts of the lives of the saints, John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs or Milton’s Paradise Lost.

RLG5305-2    SEM:  Buddhist Monasticism / Prof. Gildow
This course examines the tradition of Buddhist monasticism, arguably the central institution of Buddhism throughout history, from its origins to its contemporary forms. Also to be analyzed are monasticism as a general category in religious studies and related social theory on institutions.

RLG5305-3    SEM:  Qur’anic Studies / Prof. Gaiser
This seminar examines scholarship on the Qur’an, the sacred scripture of the Muslims.  It combines readings in primary sources in conjunction with source critical secondary literature to explore contemporary scholarly debates surrounding traditional and revisionist approaches to Qur’anic studies, as well as Qur’anic interpretation, recitation and education.

RLG5305-4    SEM: History of Rel:  HOTT Gateway Course / Prof. Dupuigrenet

RLG5305-05 SEM: His of Religions: Jews of Spain 1492-present / Prof. Gonzalez
The expulsion from Spain in 1492 transformed Jewish life and culture. This course explores the religious and cultural transformations of the Sephardim (Spanish Jews) in the Ottoman and Dutch Empires, Europe, and the Americas. Some of the topics to be discussed include the following: ethnic boundary formation, crypto-Judaism, new forms of Jewish mysticism, literature and the changing role of the rabbinate, gender and slavery, and the impact of the Holocaust. There are no prerequisites for this course.

RLG5332      Modern Hinduism / Prof. Erndl
This course studies selected topics on the Hindu tradition in 19th and 20th century India. Includes modern Hindu thinkers, reform movements, popular religion, Hindu nationalism, and pluralism. Attention also to Hindu-inspired religious movements outside India and to other topics of student interest.

RLG5354-1    SP Topics Asian Rel: Buddhist Tantra / Prof. Cuevas
This seminar examines the historical development of Tantra and Tantric Buddhism in early medieval India (c. 500-1200 C.E.) with some attention to the spread and practice of these traditions in Nepal, Tibet, China, and Japan. Topics covered include origins and history of the Tantric movement, esoteric literature, sacred biography, magic and ritual, yoga and meditation, and Tantra and politics. The course will also assess the varied scholarly interpretations and popular representations of Buddhist Tantra over the last century in Europe, the United States, and Asia.

RLG5354-2    SP Topics Asian Rel: Divination / Prof. Buhrman
In this course, Chinese and Japanese systems of divination are examined in a comparative context. We will read studies of divination from East Asia, Africa and the Classical World, among others, to learn how divination methods reveal information about how a culture views the spiritual, natural, and social worlds. Students will write a research paper for their final project.

RLG5356        Readings in Tibetan / Prof. Cuevas
This course is a seminar that covers selected primary-source readings in Tibetan language about the religious history of Tibet.  Readings are drawn from a variety of historical periods and genres, including history, biography, Buddhist canonical texts, philosophical treatises, ritual manuals, poetry, and epic narrative.  The course also introduces students to various tools and methods for the study of classical and modern Tibetan literature.

RLG5497-1    SEM:  Modern Muslim/Xtian Pol Thought / Prof. Kelsay
The topic for this combined undergraduate/graduate seminar will be God and Politics in the 20th and 21st centuries.   In the first part of the course, we will read and discuss the work of several examples of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim thinking about the topic:  for Judaism, and especially religious Zionism, Rav Abraham Kook; for Christianity, Reinhold Niebuhr and John Courtney Murray, S.J.; for Islam, a selection of authors from Princeton Readings in Islamist Political Thought.
In the second part of the course, we turn to some contemporary issues.  A book entitled Our Separate Ways considers the past, present, and future of the U.S.-Israel alliance, while William McCants’ The ISIS Apocalypse will serve as a springboard for discussions related to the Islamic State group.

RLG5497-2    SEM:  Confucian Ethics / Prof. Twiss
An exploration of how the Confucian moral-political-philosophical tradition relates to contemporary inquiry into:
      Moral psychology, self-cultivation, and virtue ethics;
      Human dignity and human rights;
       Priority of the people, political reform, and democratic thinking;
Representative readings (in translation) from both classical Confucian and neo-Confucian sources, coordinated with recent scholarship on both the tradition and the issues. 

RLG5906        Directed Individual Study

RLG5915        Sanskrit Texts / Prof. Erndl
This course studies readings in Sanskrit of selected religious texts.  Topics vary by semester.
 
RLG5937-1    Special Topics: ARH Colloquium / Prof. Corrigan

RLG5937-2    Special Topics: REP Colloquium / Prof. Kelsay

RLG5937-3    Special Topics: Elementary Sanskrit / Prof. Erndl

RLG5940        Supervised Teaching

RLG5971        Master’s Thesis

RLG6176        SEM Ethics/Politics: John Brown’s Body / Prof. Kelsay
The topic for this graduate seminar will be the “reception history” of the life and career of the abolitionist John Brown.  From the time of his death by hanging Dec. 2, 1859, the stories of Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, along with his earlier exploits in Kansas Territory, have been debated by generations of Americans (and to some extent, residents of Europe and the British Isles).  Our material will be a number of standard biographies of Brown, each of which tells the story with a normative point of view.  (We’ll also read S. Oates’ biography, which may be the only dispassionate study of these matters).  Along the way, we’ll consider the question:  how do societies deal with instances in which individuals and small groups claim the right to take up arms without authorization by a government or other formal political institution?

RLG6298-1    SEM Scriptures/Inte: New Testament Proseminar / Prof. Kelley

RLG6298-2    SEM Translating and Interpreting Chinese Buddhist Scriptures / Prof. Yu
This course is designed for translating Buddhist texts from Chinese to English and interpreting them in the larger context of Chinese religious and cultural landscape. A sampling of different genres of texts are chosen based on the students' interests. Students are to first propose a topic with my approval, compile a bibliography, select a primary Buddhist text, and begin their translation and annotation of it.

RLG6498-1    SEM Relig. Thought: Historiography of Amer. Rel. / Prof. Porterfield

RLG6498-2    SEM Relig. Thought: Pragmatism / Prof. Kavka 

RLG6596-1    SEM Mvmnts Inst:  The Nineteenth Century / Prof. Corrigan
Study of a wide-ranging set of issues and themes in nineteenth century American religion including: gender, race, psychology, healing, science, law, Native American religion, religious intolerance, material culture, immigration, war, empire, and historiography. Critical engagement of recent scholarship about religion in the nineteenth century and discussion about how to write about the period and what sources can inform that writing.

RLG6904        Readings for Exams /  Multiple

RLG6980        Dissertation /   Multiple

RLG8964        Doctoral Exams /  Multiple

SPK4103         Elementary Sanskrit II / Prof. Erndl

 

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