Spring 2021 Courses

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An exciting set of courses coming up this spring in Religious Studies, with both online and in-person options to choose from.

Advanced
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RELSTDS 2102.02 | Comparative Sacred Texts

TR 12:45-2:05 | Michael Swartz | 21914

What makes a text sacred in the eyes of a religious community? What do people do with one when they have it in their hands? How do people read a sacred text differently from any other? How is it read differently by priests, theologians, historians, or political leaders?  In this course we will not only read sacred texts of the world to discover their meaning, we will also ask what a sacred text is.  At the same time, we will explore key themes in religion: creation and cosmology, myth and ritual, law and spirit, philosophy and ethics.

RELSTDS 3972 | Theory and Method in the Study of Religion

WF 2:20-3:40 | Spencer Dew | 17952

Survey of contemporary theories and methods used in the academic study of religion. Prereq: 2370 (270) or 2370H (270H) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for RelStds 4972 or CompStd 4972 (520).

COMPSTD 4990 | Senior Seminar (Required for Majors Only)

WF 12:45-2:05 | Maurice Stevens | 17976

Writing seminar based on students' independent research. Prereq: 3990 (398), and 500 or a 4000-level course in CompStd, and Sr standing; or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 598.

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RELSTDS 3666 | Magic in the Modern World: From the Golden Dawn to Harry Potter

TR 2:20-3:40 | Hugh Bayard Urban | 28474

This course traces the modern revival of magic and neo-paganism, both in new religious movements and in popular culture, novels, music and film, from 1870 to the present. The course examines the intersections between emergent magical groups and various social and political movements. GE cultures and ideas and diversity global studies course.

ENGLISH 2280 | The English Bible

TR 9:35-10:55 | James Anthony Fredal | 34336

The Bible in English translation, with special attention to its literary qualities, conceptual content, and development within history. Prereq: 1110.01 (110.01) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for 2280H (280H) or 280. GE lit course.

HEBREW 2700 | The Hebrew Bible in Translation

TR 9:35-10:55 | Daniel Frank | 15814

Reading and analysis of selected chapters from the Hebrew scriptures and post-biblical Hebrew writings representative of major historical, cultural, and literary trends. Prereq: English 1110. Not open to students with credit for 2700H, JewshSt 2700, or 2700H. GE lit and diversity global studies course. Cross-listed in JEWSHST.

HISTART 4421 | Medieval Art

WF 9:35-10:55 | Karl Peter Whittington | 34251

Art and architecture of Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean from the 5th to the 15th centuries; focuses on visual culture of monasteries, cathedrals, and castles. Prereq: Soph standing. Not open to students with credit for 603, 625, 651, 525. GE VPA and diversity global studies course.

HISTORY 2221/E | Introduction to the New Testament

MWF 10:20-11:15 | James Albert Harrill | 29698 / 33157

Introductory survey of the New Testament writings in translation, including non-canonical sources of the early Christian movement. Prereq or concur: English 1110.xx, or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for Clas 2221, 2221E, 2401, or 2401E. GE for lit and historical study course. Cross-listed in CLAS.

HISTORY 2351 | Early Islamic Society, 610–1258

ONLINE | Colin Murtha | 29700

Origins and early development of selected fundamental Islamic institutions in their historical and cultural context. Prereq or concur: English 1110.xx. Not open to students with credit for 540.01. GE historical study course.

HISTORY 2450 | Ancient and Medieval Jewish History, 300 BCE-1100 CE

TR 12:45-2:05 | Daniel Frank | 33097

Introduction to the history of Jewish communities, religion, and culture in the Near East from the Greco-Roman period to the First Crusade. Prereq or concur: English 1110.xx, or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 330.01 or JewshSt 2450. GE cultures and ideas and historical study and diversity global studies course. Cross-listed in JEWSHST.

JEWSHST 2201 | Introduction to Jewish Culture, Thought, and Practice

MW 11:10-12:30 | Adena V. Tanenbaum | 29275

An introduction to the historical, ideological, and cultural growth of Judaism examined from a variety of methodological perspectives. Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 201. GE cultures and ideas and diversity global studies course.

MEDREN 2666 | Magic and Witchcraft in the Middle Ages and Renaissance

ONLINE | Kristin M. Figg | 29210

A study of the history of witchcraft and magic from 400 to 1700 C.E. within sociological, religious and intellectual contexts. Prereq: Not open to students with credit for Medieval 240. GE culture and ideas and diversity global studies course.

PHILOS 2120 | Asian Philosophies

MWF 11:10-12:30 | Multiple Online Sections | 23559

A survey including at least three of the following philosophical systems of Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 215. GE lit and diversity global studies course.

PHILOS 3111 | Introduction to Jewish Philosophy

TR 2:20-3:40 | Stewart David Shapiro | 33400

A general introduction to major figures and trends in medieval, modern, and contemporary Jewish philosophy; emphasis on Philo, Saadia, Maimonides, Spinoza, Mendelssohn, and Buber. Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 321 and JewshSt 3111. GE cultures and ideas course. Cross-listed in JEWSHST.

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RELSTDS 2102.01 | Literature and Religion

WF 12:45-2:05 | Spencer Dew | 29777

Study of relationships between religion and secular literature; analysis of religious and spiritual elements of literature and film of diverse cultures and historical periods. Prereq: English 1110 (110) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for 2102.01H, CompStd 2102.01 (202.01), or 2102.01H (202.01H). GE lit and diversity global studies course.

RELSTDS 4873 | Contemporary Religious Movements in a Global Context

TR 11:10-12:30 | Hugh Bayard Urban | 33015

This course traces the modern revival of magic and neo-paganism, both in new religious movements and in popular culture, novels, music and film, from 1870 to the present. The course examines the intersections between emergent magical groups and various social and political movements. GE cultures and ideas and diversity global studies course. Cross-listed with INTST.

AFAMAST 4342 | Religion, Meaning, and Knowledge in Africa

WF 3:55-5:15 | Dawn Michelle Chisebe | 29173

While the practice of religion in Africa is as diverse as its people, three major belief systems define the practice: African Traditional Religion, Islam, and Christianity. This course will examine classical and contemporary definitions of African Traditional Religion/s and the introduction and adaptations of Islam and Christianity in Africa. GE cultures and ideas and diversity global studies course.

CLAS 3401 | Ancient Greek Religions

TR 11:10-12:30 | TBD | 33020

Study of ancient Greek religions, including the beginnings of Christianity. Prereq: Not open to students with credit for Classics 323. GE historical study course.

HEBREW 3704 | Women in the Bible and Beyond

TR 11:10-12:30 | Naomi Brenner | 33221

An examination of the social, legal, and religious position of women as they appear in the Hebrew Bible and the ways in which they have been represented and interpreted in later textual, visual, and audio sources. Prereq: English 1110. Not open to students with credit for 2704, JewshSt 2704, or 3704. GE lit and diversity global studies course. Cross-listed in JEWSHST.

HISTORY 3214 | Women, Gender, and Sexuality in the History of Christianity

TR 2:20-3:40 | David Brakke | 33104

Explores the ways in which women were portrayed in early Christian literature, and the functions of gender (femininity and, to a lesser extent, masculinity) in Christian discourse. Students will consider the roles women played in the early Christian churches and the significance of gender and femininity in early Christian thought and practice. Prereq or concur: English 1110.xx, or permission of instructor. GE historical study and diversity global studies course.

SOCIOL 3467 | Sociology of Religion

ONLINE | Adam Layton Long | 28188

The social role of religious institutions and beliefs, with particular reference to the United States; the relation between religion and other aspects of society. Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 467. GE diversity soc div in the US course.