Middlebury

 

Courses

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

RELI 0120 - Asian Religious Classics      

Asian Religious Classics AT
An introduction to the classics of the major religious traditions of Asia: Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Central themes from these traditions will be studied through the selected scriptures and texts of each tradition. 3 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

AAL CMP PHL

Fall 2010, Fall 2014

More Information »

RELI 0121 - Buddhist Traditions in India      

Buddhist Traditions in India AT
An introduction to the development of Indian Buddhist thought, practice, and institutions. The course will begin with an examination of the life of the Buddha and the formation of the early tradition. It will then explore developments from early Nikaya Buddhism, through the rise of the Mahayana, and culminating in Tantric Buddhism. Attention will be given throughout to parallel evolutions of doctrine, practice, and the path to Nirvana. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AAL PHL

Fall 2012, Spring 2014

More Information »

RELI 0123 - Buddhist Tradition in EastAsia      

The Buddhist Tradition in East Asia AT
An introduction to the development of Buddhism within the East Asian cultural sphere of China, Korea, and Japan. We will consider continuities of thought, institution, and practice with the Indian Buddhist tradition as well as East Asian innovations, particularly the rise of the Chan/Zen and Pure Land schools. (Follows RELI 0121 but may be taken independently) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AAL PHL

Spring 2013

More Information »

RELI 0130 - The Christian Tradition      

The Christian Tradition WT
An introduction to the ecclesiastical and theological development of Christianity. The course will begin with the formation of doctrine in the first five centuries. Attention will then be given to the development of Roman Catholicism, the Reformation, and the rise of Protestantism. The latter part of the course will deal with the changes that have occurred in the post-Enlightenment period and end with some contemporary issues. 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

EUR PHL

Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Fall 2014

More Information »

RELI 0140 - Hindu Traditions of India      

Hindu Traditions of India AT
In this course we will identify and examine key themes and issues in the study of Hindu religious traditions in India, beginning with the defining of the terms Hinduism, religions, and religious. We will primarily focus on the ways Hindu religious traditions—texts, narratives, and practices—are performed, received, and experienced in India. Essential aspects of Hindu religious traditions will be examined, including: key concepts (darsan, dharma, karma and caste), key texts (the Bhagavad Gita and the Ramayana), and major religious deities (Shiva, Devi and Vishnu). The course will also cover contemporary Hindu-Muslim encounters, and the emerging shape of Hinduism in the American diaspora. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

AAL PHL

Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Fall 2014

More Information »

RELI 0150 - The Islamic Tradition      

Introduction to Islam WT
What is Islam? Is it a religion, a way of life, a civilization, or a political ideology? Was Muhammad a political leader, a warrior, or an ascetic? What is the Qur’an? How did it develop as a sacred text and how does it compare to the Bible? This course is designed to provide a platform for us to explore such questions by focusing on historical, social, and intellectual developments in the wide swath of land known as the Muslim world. Special attention will be given to early developments of the Islamic community as well as the later response of different Muslim communities to modernity. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc

AAL PHL

Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014

More Information »

RELI 0160 - The Jewish Tradition      

The Jewish Tradition WT
An introductory course on central themes and problems in Judaism and the life of "the People of the Book," with the goal of understanding contemporary ideas, institutions, and problems of Jewish life and thought in historical perspective. Topics will include: the formative ideas in Jewish thought monotheism, commandment, Torah; liturgy, ritual, and rhythm of Jewish life; theory and practice of the commandments; the tension between textual tradition and innovation; the origins and contemporary denominations of Judaism (Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Orthodox); Zionism and the meaning of Israel. 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

EUR PHL

Spring 2011, Fall 2012

More Information »

RELI 0161 - Making of Modern Jewish Life      

The Making of Modern Jewish Life
Jewish life in the 21st century is radically transformed from a century ago. We will explore these transformations through the thinkers, movements, and events that have shaped Jewish life in our day: the emergence of religious denominations in Europe and North America (Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist), the revival of Kabbalah in our times, the Holocaust as a crisis in religious thought, the eruption of Zionism and founding of the State of Israel, the transformations brought about by the changing role of women, and finally, post-denominationalism and "the un-Jewish Jew." 3 hrs. lect.

PHL

Fall 2013, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0165 - Cultures of the Jews      

Cultures of the Jews
Judaism is more than a religion, but how? We will seek to answer this question by studying Jewish life as a global phenomenon encompassing varieties in custom, gender roles, family and communal structure, language, music, literature, and art. We will range across the major divisions of Jewish culture in Europe (Ashkenazic and Sephardic), to Jewish life in the Middle East, and follow the diffusion of these cultures as far as China and India. Readings include translations from a variety of languages (Hebrew, Yiddish, and Ladino), and genres including memoir, ethnography, poetry, philosophy, and scripture. 3 hrs. lect/disc.

CMP PHL

Fall 2014

More Information »

RELI 0170 - Religion in America      

Religion in America AR
America often has been defined paradoxically as both the "most religious" and "least religious" of nations. This course, a historical survey of American religious life, will trace the unique story of American religion from colonial times to the present. Guiding our exploration will be the ideas of "contact," "conflict," and "combination." Along the way, we will examine the varieties of religious experiences and traditions that have shaped and been shaped by American culture such as, Native American traditions, Puritan life and thought, evangelicalism, immigration, African-American religious experience, women's movements, and the on-going challenges of religious diversity. Readings include sermons, essays, diaries and fiction, as well as secondary source material. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

HIS NOR PHL

Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014

More Information »

RELI 0180 - Intro to Biblical Literature      

An Introduction to Biblical Literature ST, WT
This course is a general introduction to biblical history, literature, and interpretation. It aims to acquaint students with the major characters, narratives, and poetry of the Jewish and Christian scriptures, with special emphasis on the ways scripture has been used and interpreted in Western culture. Students interested in more detailed analysis of the material should enroll in RELI 0280 and RELI 0281. 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

LIT PHL

Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0190 - Intro to Religious Ethics      

Ethics and Abrahamic Religion ET, WT
Ethics is the study of the values and convictions by which individuals and communities determine what is right, wrong, good, and bad. For many, religion is a lens through which to understand those moral values. In this course we will explore the varied contributions that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have made to debates over issues like violence, sex, the environment, human rights, and social justice. In the process of understanding these traditions and their impact on global moral discourse, students also will develop skills in ethical reasoning through class discussion and from the perspective of their own worldviews. 3 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

PHL

Fall 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0208 - Sociology of American Religion      

The Sociology of American Religion AR
The course focuses on classical and contemporary issues in the sociology of religion. We begin with definitional debates about what religion is and the strengths and limitations of a social science of religion. We then consider issues of religious commitment and conversion; the changing role and influence of religion in contemporary society (i.e., secularization theory); change in religious communities; American religious history; women, family, and religious life; and the emergence of new religious movements. Throughout the course we read ethnographic and historical studies of various religious organizations and communities (e.g., American Protestantism, the Amish, Catholicism, Hare Krishna, Shakers, Oneida, Mormons). 3 hrs. lect./disc.

NOR PHL SOC

Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014

More Information »

RELI 0209 - Mindfulness and Psychology      

Religion and Science: Mindfulness and Modern Psychology
Mindfulness meditation is now widely embraced as a way to enhance personal wellbeing. To better understand this ancient practice, we will explore its traditional Buddhist background alongside its application and study in modern psychology and neuroscience. We will first study mindfulness in its historical context and examine how a traditionally religious practice was adapted for modern individualistic and therapeutic purposes. We will learn basic neural and psychological foundations of emotion, cognition, social behavior, and psychological disorders and raise theoretical and methodological issues in the scientific study of mindfulness. As an experiential component, students will also receive meditation training throughout the semester. 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

AAL CMP PHL

Spring 2012, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0220 - Buddhist Tradition in India      

Buddhist Traditions in India AT
An introduction to the development of Indian Buddhist thought, practice, and institutions. The course will begin with an examination of the life of the Buddha and the formation of the early tradition. It will then explore developments from early Nikaya Buddhism, through the rise of the Mahayana, and culminating in Tantric Buddhism. Attention will be given throughout to parallel evolutions of doctrine, practice, and the path to Nirvana. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AAL PHL

Fall 2010, Fall 2011

More Information »

RELI 0223 - Buddhist Tradition in EastAsia      

The Buddhist Tradition in East Asia AT
An introduction to the development of Buddhism within the East Asian cultural sphere of China, Korea, and Japan. We will consider continuities of thought, institution, and practice with the Indian Buddhist tradition as well as East Asian innovations, particularly the rise of the Chan/Zen and Pure Land schools. (Follows RELI 0220 but may be taken independently). 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AAL PHL

Spring 2011, Spring 2012

More Information »

RELI 0225 - Chinese Religions      

Chinese Religions AT
An introduction to the rich religious history of China, with an emphasis on primary sources. Topics will include: the ideas and practices of ancient China, the teachings of Confucius and early Taoist (Daoist) thinkers, the introduction of Buddhism to China and its adaptation to Chinese culture, the complex interaction of Buddhism with the Confucian and Taoist traditions, the role of the state in religion, the "popular" Chinese religion of local gods and festivals, and the religious scene in modern Taiwan and mainland China. 3 hrs. lect.

AAL PHL

Fall 2011, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0228 - Japanese Religions      

Japanese Religions AT
We will begin our study of Japanese religions with the ancient mythology that forms the basis of Shinto (the way of the kami, or gods). We will then consider the introduction of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism to Japan and examine how these traditions were accepted, absorbed, and adapted. We will also investigate Japanese reactions to Christianity in the 16th century and the appearance of "new" Japanese religions starting in the 19th century. Throughout, we will ask how and why Japanese have both adhered to tradition and been open to new religions. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AAL PHL

Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0232 - Philosophy of Religion      

Philosophy of Religion WT
In the first part of this course we will focus on philosophical reflections on the existence of God, the relation between religion and morality, the existence of evil, arguments for and against religious belief, and religious experience. We will read texts by Pascal, Hume, Kant, Kierkegaard, William James, and Freud. In the second part we will focus on the place of religion in society, considering what it means to live in a secular society, the relation between secularism and modernity, and the resulting modern forms of religious experience and practice. 3 hrs. lect.

PHL

Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0236 - Byzantium & Orthodox Church      

Byzantium & the Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church ST, WT
This course is an introduction to Orthodox Christianity as reflected in the Greek, Slavic, and Near Eastern churches. We will examine the origins of the Orthodox tradition in the early Church, its centrality in the Byzantine empire, and the division between East and West. We will study key doctrinal and theological issues such as Christology and Incarnation, the Holy Trinity and the Theotokos (Mother of God), and the divine potential of human nature. We will also look at the liturgical experience that defines Orthodoxy as a living tradition, including the veneration of icons, the role of saints and monasticism, the significance of prayer and the sacraments. Readings include both church Fathers and mystics, as well as modern theologians and philosophers. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

EUR PHL

Fall 2011, Spring 2014

More Information »

RELI 0237 - Christians/Early Modern Europe      

Christianity in Early Modern Europe WT
In this course we will examine the theological ideas and social conditions that transformed European life and thought in the 16th and 17th centuries. Particular attention will be paid to the Protestant Reformation in Germany and England, as well as the Catholic Counter-Reformation and changes within the Roman Catholic Church. We will study major theologians like Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ignatius of Loyola, but we also will consider popular religious practices of the period. Finally, we will ask how cultural evolution and religious revolution influenced one another, especially in the rise of vernacular translations of the Bible and in the European colonization of the New World. 3 hrs lect.

EUR HIS PHL

Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0238 - Literature Mystical Experience      

Literature and the Mystical Experience
In this course we will explore how narrative art articulates spiritual perception by examining selected works of 20th century writers such as Miguel De Unamuno, Nikos Kazantzakis, J. D. Salinger, Charles Williams, Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Merton, Alice Munroe, Marilynne Robinson, and Annie Dillard. Drawing on theology and philosophy as an interpretative mode, we will consider the following questions: How does literature illuminate selfhood and interiority? How do contemplation and ascetic practice guide the self to divine knowledge and cosmic unification? How do language, imagery and symbols shape the unitive experience as a tool for empathy and understanding of the other? 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

LIT NOR PHL

Fall 2013

More Information »

RELI 0239 - Pentecostalism & Lib. Theology      

Pentecostalism and Liberation Theology
In this course we will compare Pentecostalism and Liberation Theology, two movements of considerable popularity and influence in 20th and 21st century global Christianity. We will begin with an exploration of the central beliefs and practices in Pentecostalism, its origins in the Azuza Street Revival, and the reasons for its success around the world. Then we will turn our attention to Liberation Theology, beginning with the work of prominent Latin American theologians and extending in different forms to North America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. Finally, we will consider how these movements represent different responses to the intellectual, cultural, and economic challenges of postmodern society.

PHL

Spring 2011

More Information »

RELI 0242 - Dance & Knowledge India      

Dance & Embodied Knowledge in the Indian Context
In this theory-practice course in religion, dance, and South Asian studies we will analyze the nature of embodied knowledge and the creative power of performance in the Indian context. During two class sessions per week we will contextualize embodied movement with discussions of Hindu mythology, Hindu devotionalism (bhakti), Sanskrit aesthetic theory (rasa), western performance theories, and Indian classical dance history. One class session per week will be devoted to learning basic movements in south Indian classical dance, culminating in an informal performance of one dance piece. We will highlight the difference ways in which the body and dance are perceived in religious mythology, aesthetic theory, historical context, and dance movement. No dance experience required. 2 hrs. lect./disc., 1 hr. dance

AAL ART PHL

Fall 2013

More Information »

RELI 0243 - Hindu Ethics      

Hindu Ethics AT, ET *
While "ethics" never emerged as a distinct branch of knowledge in its intellectual history, moral considerations are embedded in the various traditions that comprise Hinduism. In this course we will explore diverse forms of moral discourse in the Hindu context. We will focus on the concept of dharma as it emerged in the prescriptive literature of the Dharmashastras, as well as epic narratives like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. We will then trace the evolution of ethical discourse in relation to other South Asian traditions such as Buddhism. Using caste, gender, vegetarianism, and non-violence as focal points, we will ask whether there even is such a thing as Hindu ethics. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AAL PHL

Fall 2010

More Information »

RELI 0253 - The Prophet Muhammad      

The Prophet Muhammad
In this course, we will study Muslim and non-Muslim conceptions of the Prophet Muhammad. We will investigate the historical Prophet with emphasis not only on how the Prophet has been imagined, portrayed, and venerated by Muslims, but also on how he is conceived in the medieval through contemporary Jewish, Christian, and Orientalist imaginations. The aim is to study literature such as sira (biographies of the Prophet), rituals such as mawlid al-nabi (Prophet's birthday), theological approaches to the life of the Prophet to cover Muslim conceptions, and texts spanning the medieval through the contemporary era for better understanding of non-Muslim perceptions. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AAL PHL

Spring 2012

More Information »

RELI 0254 - Islam in South Asia      

Islam in South Asia AT
Islam has played a significant role in shaping the culture and politics of South Asia, from the seventh century to the present. In this course we will consider the historical, socio-cultural, religious, and political impact of Islam in South Asia. We will begin with the introduction of Islam into the South Asian landscape, covering a range of historical moments, including the Delhi Sultanate, the rise of Mughal rule, colonial interactions, and the development of new nation states. We will then examine Islam as it is lived, practiced, and experienced in contemporary South Asia, focusing on themes such as mysticism and sainthood; issues of gender; and Hindu-Muslim encounters. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AAL HIS PHL

Fall 2010, Spring 2014, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0257 - Shi'a Islam      

Shi'i Islam
What is Shi'i Islam? How is it different from Sunni Islam? Is Shi'ism an ideology of revolt or an esoteric cult? What does it even mean to ask such a question? We will delve into the early history of the Muslim community to understand the contested ways in which religious authority, knowledge, and charisma were interpreted by different parties. We will read from classical primary sources about the Shi'i creed and compare and contrast it to the Sunni perspective. Finally, we will explore the many ways in which Shi’ite communities across the Muslim world have responded to the challenge of modernities, nationalisms, and their persecution as minorities. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AAL PHL

Spring 2013, Spring 2014

More Information »

RELI 0258 - The Qur'an      

The Qur’an and the Feminist Subject WT
How was the Qur’an compiled, and who was involved in that process? What does the Qur’an say about Muhammad and the early community of believers? Why is it so difficult to approach? While considering the answers to these questions, we will explore the socio-cultural context in which the Qur’an was revealed and its similarities and differences with the Bible. We will also discuss major themes and concepts of the Qur’an and the various ways they have been interpreted by different Muslim communities throughout history. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AAL PHL

Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014

More Information »

RELI 0262 - The Formation of Judaism      

The Formation of Judaism in Antiquity ST, WT
In 586 BCE, Judah fell to Babylonia; in 638 CE, Byzantine Jerusalem surrendered to the Muslims. Between these two dates Israelite culture transformed into “Judaism.” In this introductory course we will examine the major factors in this transformation, looking first at the Second Temple Period (515 BCE to 70 CE) and then the early Rabbinic Period (70 CE-638). We will read selections from the Bible, Jewish literature from the diaspora, the Mishnah, the Talmuds, and other early Rabbinic literature, as well as secondary literature interpreting these primary texts. The Temple, synagogue, priests, teachers, liturgy and prayers, ethics, women and gender, varieties of Judaism, and relations with “others” are among the topics to be treated. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AAL HIS PHL

Fall 2011, Fall 2013

More Information »

RELI 0270 - Thoreau/Lib Relig/Soc Change      

Thoreau, Liberal Religion and Social Change AR, WT
Thoreau is best known as a “nature writer,” but his contribution to American religion and culture is much broader. In this course, we will examine Thoreau’s work within the broader context of his deepest concerns, including challenges to Christian orthodoxies, the early study of “world religions,” abolitionism, non-violence, and the critique of capitalism. We will focus on Thoreau’s life and thought including Walden and beyond, reading widely among thinkers who most influenced him. In the second half of the seminar, we will explore Thoreau’s many modern legacies: liberal religion, religious pluralism, non-violent resistance, anti-consumption, environmentalism, and civil rights campaigns. 3 hrs. sem.

NOR PHL

Spring 2012

More Information »

RELI 0272 - African Amer Religious History      

African American Religious History AR
This course offers an introduction to African American religious experiences in the United States. We will look at religious practices "imported" from Africa, slave religion, the growth of independent black denominations, the Back to Africa movement, black “new religious movements” (such as Garveyism and the Nation of Islam), and the religious dimensions of the Civil Rights Movement. As we explore the influence of forced immigration, slavery, gender, segregation and freedom movements on the shape of African Americans' religious experiences, three questions will inform our discussion. What is "African" about African American religions? As a group excluded from many of the freedoms of American society, what is "American" in African American religious experiences? How are notions of religion and religious practice nuanced when applied to these particular cultural contexts? 3 hrs. lect.

HIS NOR PHL

Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2013

More Information »

RELI 0274 - The Simple Life in America      

The Simple Life in American Culture AR
The pursuit of the simple life is rarely simple. Nevertheless, it has been a longstanding impulse in American culture. This course will explore the history and sociology of the American quest for the simple life, paying particular attention to the religious and spiritual contexts and dimensions of this pursuit. In the first half of the course, our approach will be historical, examining the emphasis on simplicity from Puritan beginnings to Progressive Era reformers. The second half of the course will examine more recent efforts, including those thinkers whose emphasis on simplicity includes religious, environmentalist and anti-consumerist visions of social change. (formerly RELI/AMCV 0274) 3 hrs. lect.

NOR PHL

Spring 2012

More Information »

RELI 0275 - Separation of Church and State      

Separation of Church and State: Religious Foundations for an American Ide AR, ET
This course will consider the meaning of the religion clauses of the First Amendment, with special attention given to the ways in which different definitions of "religion" and "politics" can affect the interpretation of their relationship. Our study of this American doctrine will begin with its historical foundations in the thought of Roger Williams, William Penn, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. We then will trace the evolution of interpretation through Supreme Court jurisprudence on church/state relations, primarily from the twentieth century. Finally, we will pay specific attention to the consequences of our interpretation on current debates over issues like school vouchers, faith-based initiatives, and the tax-status of religious organizations. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

NOR PHL SOC

Spring 2012

More Information »

RELI 0276 - Religion in the Borderlands      

Religion in the Borderlands AT
In this course we will survey the religious and cultural history of the U.S./Mexico borderlands. Themes and issues to be covered include: the definition of place, the history of religious iconography, ritual performance and community, transformations in forms of belief, and the effects of linguistic pluralism on cultural and religious creativity. Readings will include: Gloria Anzaldua's Borderlands/La Frontera, Alberto Pulido's The Sacred World of the Penitentes, and other historical and literary works. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

CMP NOR PHL SOC

Spring 2012

More Information »

RELI 0278 - Protestant or Puritan      

Protestant or Puritan? AR
What is in a name? The community of English Reformers known as "Puritans," some of whom emigrated to New England, were part of the larger Reformation group called "Protestants." The connotations of the two terms are quite different. We will begin by assessing their quest for reform by reading the New Testament, Calvin, and Milton. We will then explore "Puritanism" in America. We will study writings by John Winthrop, Edward Taylor, and Jonathan Edwards, as well as the image of American Puritanism in literature by Hawthorne, Arthur Miller, and Robert Lowell. We will conclude by considering the transformation of "Puritan" ideas in the social thought of Reinhold Niebuhr. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

CMP LIT NOR PHL

Spring 2013

More Information »

RELI 0279 - Bible and American Literature      

The Bible and American Literature AR, WT
In this course we will study American literary responses to the spiritual and social demands of Christianity as expressed in select Biblical passages and narratives. We will examine how writers of different times and regions responded to this tradition, raising and exploring such questions as: How is Christian conduct to be defined in a political democracy? In an increasingly secular society, can a life lived “in imitation of Christ” result in more than victimization? How can a minister, serving a worldly congregation, know the degree to which his words are sacred or profane? Writers will include Stowe, Melville, Eliot, West, Baldwin, and Robinson. 3 hrs. lect.

LIT NOR PHL

Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014

More Information »

RELI 0280 - Hebrew Bible /Old Testament      

Studies in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament WT
Studies in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament is an introductory course that focuses on a major religious text in the Western tradition. We will closely read diverse selections from the Pentateuch, the Prophets, and the Writings in English translation; no familiarity with the Bible or background is presumed. Special attention will be paid to matters of genre and methods of modern biblical scholarship, as well as Jewish and Christian traditions of interpretation. 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

Note: Students with sufficient knowledge of Hebrew who would like to study selections from relevant texts in the original should register for RELI 0280B. (HEBR 0102, HEBM 0103, or waiver)/

HIS PHL

Fall 2010, Fall 2012

More Information »

RELI 0281 - Studies in the New Testament      

Studies in the New Testament ST, WT
In this introductory course we will examine the early Christian writings that were eventually collected and canonized as “The New Testament.” In studying these works, we will also read representative books that were not included in the canon, with a view to seeing how the New Testament is situated in the diversity and complexity of the early Christian movement. Among the topics we will explore are the uses of Jewish scriptures in early Christian literature, the formation of early Christian groups (including the roles of women), early Christian beliefs and practices related to Jesus, and relations between Christian groups and the larger Greco-Roman world. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

HIS PHL

Fall 2013

More Information »

RELI 0290 - Women's Religious Life/Thought      

Women's Religious Life and Thought: The Female Pursuit of God in Late Antiquity and Byzantium WT
This course will explore the female religious experience in Greco-Roman antiquity and Early Christianity. We shall trace the transition from the mystery religions of Demeter and Isis in the Eastern Mediterranean to the cult of Mary the Mother of God (Theotokos) and the worship of female saints. Drawing on a wide range of sources (hymns, saints' Lives, Apocryphal Gospels, Patristic texts, and icons), we shall study the varieties of female devotion and examine the roles available to women in the early Church: deaconesses and desert mothers, monastics and martyrs, poets and rulers. Different theoretical approaches will enable us to ask a series of questions: were women in the early Church considered capable of holiness? To what extent did the female 'gifts of the spirit' challenge church authority? What is distinct about the feminine experience of the divine? Finally, we shall consider the vision and poetics of female spirituality in select modern poets. 3 hrs. lect.

EUR HIS PHL

Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

More Information »

RELI 0293 - Religion and Bioethics      

Religion and Bioethics ET*
This course is an introduction to bioethics, or the principles, virtues, and other moral norms that guide decision-making in the health sciences. We will focus on moral norms accepted by Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and humanistic traditions and embedded in a liberal, pluralistic society. We will consider the implications for euthanasia and assisted suicide, abortion, assisted reproduction, genetics, research on human subjects, and other health care issues that occupy public debate. Popular films and numerous actual and hypothetical cases that raise important issues in bioethics will be used throughout the course. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

NOR PHL

Fall 2010, Fall 2013

More Information »

RELI 0298 - Privilege and Poverty      

Privilege and Poverty: The Ethics of Economic Inequality
In this course we will study the ethical implications of domestic and global economic inequality. Drawing from history, economics, sociology, philosophy, theology, and other disciplines, we will examine the causes and consequences of inequality, critically evaluate our usage of the terms “privilege” and “poverty,” and consider the range of moral responses individuals and society might have to inequality. We will ask whether it is unfair, unfortunate, or necessary that some citizens live with significantly less material wealth than others, and whether those who experience “privilege” have any moral responsibility to those who exist in “poverty.”

PHL SOC

Spring 2013

More Information »

RELI 0303 - Cults and New Religions      

Cults and New Religions AR, AT
Religious outsiders have been persistent yet controversial. Mystics and messiahs preaching a variety of radical beliefs and ways of life have provoked strong responses from mainline traditions as well as from publics concerned about the "cult" menace. Yet new religions have also been a source of religious experimentation and revival. In this course we will explore the unique characteristics of new religions, the historical circumstances that give rise to them, who join and why, the societal reaction they generate, questions of authority and leadership, violence, and the factors that influence their success, decline and failure. A variety of new religions from North America and the West, as well as from Japan and China, will be considered. These may include the Shakers, the People's Temple, Hare Krishna, Soka Gakkai, the Children of God/Family, Solar Temple, Aum Shinrikyo, Falun Gong, the Branch Davidians, and the Raelians. 3 hrs sem.

CMP PHL SOC

Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0310 - Issue in Mod Religious Thought      

American Religion and Mass Media
Are mass media “tools of Satan” that will corrupt morals? Are they part of the divine plan to cultivate a moral community? Focusing on the 20th century, we will explore the interplay of religious individuals and groups and developing media technologies. What were the historical contexts evoking varied responses and uses of print and electronic media? Does the consumption of religious media privatize religion, or does it require new ways of envisioning community? In discussing these and other questions we will discover the ways in which American religion was shaped by media and how media was shaped by religion.

PHL

Winter 2011

More Information »

RELI 0320 - Seminar in Buddhist Philosophy      

Seminar in Buddhist Philosophy: Yogacara Depth Psychology and Philosophy of Mind AT
In this seminar we will survey the basic ideas of Yogacara Buddhism (4-6th c. CE), one of two major schools of Indian Buddhism, in relation to cognitive science and philosophy of mind. We will examine these ideas historically, philosophically and comparatively. We focus on the Yogacara analyses of the largely unconscious ‘construction of reality’ and its systematic deconstruction through forms of analytic meditation. We will read primary and secondary texts on Indian Buddhism and texts espousing similar ideas in modern philosophy and the social and cognitive sciences. (one course on philosophy or RELI 0120, RELI 0220, RELI 0223, RELI 0224, RELI 0225, RELI 0226, RELI 0227or RELI 0228.) 3 hrs. sem.

AAL CMP PHL

Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0321 - Tibetan Buddhist Art      

The Art of Tibetan Buddhism
In this course we will explore the fascinating imagery of Tibetan Buddhist art, with special attention paid to the rich visual language of tangkas—devotional paintings on cloth of Buddhas, Buddhist deities, spiritual teachers (lamas), and cosmic diagrams (mandalas)— which were used as aids for visualization and meditation. Topics will include the history of Tibet, the growth of Tibetan Buddhist sects, and the development of distinctive stylistic and iconographic characteristics as seen in tangkas, religious sculpture, ritual implements, and monastic architecture. This course will be offered in conjunction with a visiting exhibition of Tibetan tangkas at the Middlebury College Art Museum. 3 hrs. sem./3 hrs. screening.

AAL ART HIS

Fall 2014

More Information »

RELI 0329 - Religion in Modern China      

Persecution and Revival of Religion in Modern China AT
In this study of the dramatic recent religious history of China, we will begin with "modern" critics and reformers at the end of the imperial era and then consider the communist suppression of religion and the "cult of Mao." Our focus, however, will be the remarkable revival of religion since Mao's death in 1976. We will investigate the activity itself-ranging from traditional practices to new religious movements to various forms of Christianity - and the complex cultural and political dynamics involved in this "return" to religion. (HIST 0232, RELI 0225, or waiver) 3 hrs. sem.

AAL PHL

Fall 2010, Spring 2013, Fall 2014

More Information »

RELI 0331 - History of the Bible      

History of the Bible ST, WT *
The Christian Bible is the best-selling book of all time, but also a text with complicated history. Beginning with an overview of book production in the ancient world, we will chart the historical development of the Bible as a physical text and a sacred object. We will explore the origins of the Bible's texts, including apocryphal works and non-western variations on the canon. We will examine different frameworks employed in the history of biblical interpretation, from allegorical and typological readings to the Reformation doctrine of sola scriptura. Finally, we will consider the rise of the King James Bible and its influence on Anglo-American culture and Christian missions. (RELI 0130, RELI 0180, or waiver) 3 hrs. sem.

EUR PHL

Fall 2010, Fall 2011

More Information »

RELI 0335 - Roman Catholicism      

Roman Catholicism WT
Topic is determined by the instructor - refer to section for the course description.

EUR HIS PHL

Fall 2012, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0341 - Gender Sexuality S. Asian Rel      

Gender and Sexuality in South Asian Religions
In this course we will focus on historical and ethnographic scholarship on Hinduism and Islam in South Asia. We will initially draw on the theories of Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, and third world feminists to examine issues of gender and sexuality. Then we will examine a range of case studies—including colonial interpretations of the Hindu practices of sati, the experiences of devadasis in Telugu south India, an account of a female Muslim healer in Hyderabad, and the religious practices of third-gendered hijras—to address how gender and sexuality are constructed in the religious landscape of South Asian Hinduism and Islam. Prior study of religion or women’s and gender studies is required. 3 hrs. sem.

AAL PHL

Spring 2013, Spring 2014

More Information »

RELI 0345 - Modern Hinduism      

Modern Hinduism AT *
Topic is determined by the instructor - refer to section for the course description.

AAL PHL

Spring 2011

More Information »

RELI 0350 - Mystical Tradition of Islam      

Sufism: The Mystical Tradition of Islam
In this seminar, we will start our adventure in the Sufi world by focusing on the historical and religious contexts in which the mystical tradition of Islam developed during the early Islamic centuries. We will then turn to the so-called classical period focusing on the institutionalization of Sufism, major themes of the classical Sufi literature; fundamental teachings and practices of Sufis; and important figures like Rumi, Ibn Arabi, and Hafez. Finally, we will move to the modern period to discuss the ways in which the Sufi tradition has been re-interpreted, contested, or transformed throughout the Muslim world in response to the challenges of modernity. In all this, our main concern will be to develop an understanding of the mystical perspective that has influenced the outlook of much of the world's diverse Muslim population. Requires familiarity with the Islamic tradition. 3 hrs. sem.

AAL PHL

Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0353 - Anthropology Muslim Cultures      

Islam in Practice: Anthropology of Muslim Cultures WT
In this course, we will explore Muslim cultures across the world. We will approach Islam from an anthropological, as opposed to a text-based or theological, perspective. We will take a global view, focusing not only on the Middle East but on Muslim societies in North America, Europe, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and South-East Asia. Topics we will cover include: (1) the diversity of Muslim identity and practice; (2) the impact of colonialism and empire on Muslim societies; (3) women's experiences of Islam; and (4) the politics of religious practice. (Prior coursework in anthropology, sociology, or religion recommended) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AAL CMP PHL SOC

Spring 2012

More Information »

RELI 0362 - Zionism: Ideas and Realities      

Zionism: Ideas and Realities WT
In this course, we study the emergence of Zionism as a Jewish national movement in the 19th century, and follow its proponents and critics into the present debate on the nature of the modern State of Israel. Topics will include: Zionism as a secular rebellion against tradition; Zionism as a messianic movement; the vision of a "bi-national state"; the Palestinian critique of Zionism; "Postzionism" and the controversy over the "New Historians." Materials include readings from the major voices in the history of Zionism and their critics, as well as modern scholarship, and Israeli and Palestinian literature. (Approval Required) 3 hrs. sem.

AAL HIS PHL

Spring 2013

More Information »

RELI 0370 - Seminar in American Religion      

Seminar in American Religion: AR, WT
Topic is determined by the instructor - refer to section for the course description.

Fall 2010

More Information »

RELI 0374 - Immigrant Religions in America      

Immigrant Religions in America AR
In this seminar we will consider religions of Asians, Latin Americans, and others, who immigrated to United States after 1965 changes to the Immigration and Nationality Act. Immigrants from Asia brought Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other religions, while those from Latin America, as well as from some Asian countries, imported distinctive styles of Catholicism and Protestantism. Transplantation thus brought transformation and "a new religious America." Major topics include: religion and ethnicity, assimilation and resistance, transnationalism, pan-ethnic formation, new forms of worship and ritual, gender, and the second-generation. We will read a variety of case studies with an eye toward comparative analysis and understanding.

CMP NOR PHL SOC

Spring 2012

More Information »

RELI 0376 - Religion and American Politics      

Religion and American Politics AR, ET
Does religion belong in politics? Should religious reasons be permitted in public political debate? Should candidates for office publicly declare their religious beliefs? Are orthodox Christianity, Judaism, and Islam fundamentally incompatible with democratic principles? This course examines these and similar questions regarding the relationship between religion and American democracy. We will study the role religion does in fact play in American politics, but primarily we will ask what role, if any, religion should play in politics. We will consider this last question by consulting a number of important contemporary political philosophers and theologians. (One of the following courses: RELI 0190, RELI 0275, RELI 0293, PSCI 0101, PSCI 0102, PSCI 0104, PSCI 0107, or any course in Philosophy) 3 hrs. sem.

NOR PHL SOC

Spring 2011, Fall 2012

More Information »

RELI 0379 - Indigenous Religions      

Indigenous Religions of the Americas WT
This course focuses on the religious traditions of the Americas, from native North America to the Andes, with the focus being on the practices of ancient urban societies like the Mississippians of the American Southeast, the Maya of Mesoamerica, or the Inka of the Andes. In this course we will look at the types of religious ideas and practices common in the Americas prior to the Colonial Period, including concepts of ancestors, sacrifice, and cyclical time. We will also examine how those traditions have changed, particularly following the introduction of Christianity in the 16th century. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AAL CMP PHL SOC

Fall 2011

More Information »

RELI 0381 - Seminar in the New Testament      

Seminar in the New Testament: Jesus and the Ethics of the Kingdom
In this course we will examine the ethical dimensions of Jesus’ teaching as presented in the gospels and other early Christian writings, setting them in the context of Second Temple Judaism and the Greco-Roman moralists of his day—both of which are treated in modern biblical scholarship. We will look at specific topics (wealth, family, and nonviolence, for example) and broader themes (such as the Kingdom of God); and we will ask about the silence regarding so many other ethical questions. In addition to biblical scholarship related to the study of Jesus and the gospels, we will consider representative explorations of Jesus’ teaching by later writers, such as Augustine, Calvin, Tolstoy, Schweitzer, King, and Niebuhr. 3 hrs. sem.

PHL

Spring 2012, Spring 2014

More Information »

RELI 0383 - Storied Women      

Storied Women
In this course we will read and analyze stories about women in the Jewish Bible, its Greek translations, and the New Testament, using various historical, literary, and gendered approaches to the study of ancient texts. Though student interests will help determine the final list of the characters we will consider, contenders include Eve, Hagar, Rebekah, Tamar, Deborah, Ruth, Judith, Mary, the women of Paul’s letters, and Revelation’s great whore of Babylon. In addition to recent academic treatments of the stories, we will also consider some of the ways they have been retold through time and in contemporary literature and film. 3 hrs. sem.

LIT PHL

Fall 2014

More Information »

RELI 0387 - Religions of Rome: Good Life      

Religions of Rome: The Good Life WT, ET
In this course we will examine “the good life” as Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian philosophers and moralists wrote about it. Commonly treated in terms of set themes (for example, justice, self-control, civic responsibilities, detachment, and pleasure), definitions of the good life had many common themes but still varied greatly with regard to both what the good life comprised and on what it was based. Primary readings will draw on such writers and works as Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Epictetus, Musonius Rufus, Plutarch, wisdom literature in the Hebrew Bible, Philo of Alexandria, Sirach, Tobit, 4 Maccabees, Paul of Tarsus, the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the Didache and Clement of Alexandria. Secondary literature will put these works in context and provide models for comparing and contrasting the views they discuss. 3 hrs. sem.

CMP PHL

Fall 2012

More Information »

RELI 0390 - Seminar in Religious Ethics      

Seminar in Religious Ethics: ET, WT
Topic is determined by the instructor - refer to section for the course description.

HIS NOR PHL

Spring 2012, Spring 2014

More Information »

RELI 0391 - Seminar on Women and Religion      

Seminar on Women and Religion ST, WT
Topic is determined by the instructor - refer to section for the course description.

EUR HIS PHL

Fall 2014

More Information »

RELI 0395 - Religion, Ethics + Environment      

Religion, Ethics, and the Environment ET
We will explore the relationship between religion and ecology through two general approaches. Firstly, we will examine what religious traditions (especially, Jewish and Christian, but also Hindu and Buddhist) have had to say about the human-nature relationship by studying such dominant themes as: doctrines of creation and stewardship, restraints on human impact, concepts of interdependence, and ideas of sacred space. Secondly, we will turn our attention to contemporary religiously-based environmental activism, examining the possibilities and problems that emerge when religious traditions are mobilized on behalf of the environment. Students may write research papers using one or both of these approaches. (RELI 0110 or RELI 0130 or RELI 0160 or RELI 0190 or RELI 0295 or ENVS 0215) 3 hrs. sem.

PHL

Fall 2011, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0396 - War and Peace and Christianity      

War and Peace in Christian Thought ET, WT
Both pacifism and just war thinking have deep roots in the Christian tradition. Important figures in Christian history have argued that in certain circumstances war may be a regrettable but justifiable engagement, while others have maintained that killing of any kind, even in the name of the state, is wrong. This seminar will look at the historical development of both approaches to war and peace in Christian thought, from the early church to the present day. Figures and movements we will encounter will include Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, the Quakers, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Martin Luther King. 3 hrs. sem. (RELI 0130, RELI 0190, or by approval)

HIS PHL

Fall 2013

More Information »

RELI 0398 - Amer Religion & Social Justice      

American Religion and Social Justice
Religious communities and organizations have contributed significantly to moral and social reform movements throughout U.S. history. From the colonial period to the present, religion has helped shape the discourse around issues like economic justice, racial equality, women’s rights, immigration, environmentalism, and LGBTQ rights. In this course we will study religious involvement in these social justice movements, critically examining the theologies that inspired both reform and resistance to social change. Throughout the course, we will consider the impact religion may have had—positive and negative—on struggles for social justice in the United States. 3 hrs. sem.

HIS NOR PHL

Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0400 - Seminar: Study of Religion      

Seminar on the Study of Religion
This seminar for advanced religion majors examines important and influential theories and methods in the study of religion. (Open to junior and senior religion majors or by waiver.) 3 hrs. sem.

Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014

More Information »

RELI 0472 - Buddhist/Christian Monasticism      

“The Religious Life”: Buddhist and Christian Monastic Traditions Compared AT WT*
Both Buddhism and Christianity include traditions of monasticism, of men and women leaving home for “the religious life.” In this course, we will study and compare Buddhist and Christian monasticism from historical and religious perspectives. We will read primary sources, from the Life of St. Anthony and the Rule of St. Benedict to the verses attributed to the first Buddhist nuns and a Zen monastic code. We will examine monastic vocation, the integration of monasteries into society, and the adaptation of monasticism to different cultures. Throughout, we will highlight the role of gender. We will conclude with attention to contemporary manifestations of monastic culture. This course is equivalent to HIST 0472 and INTL 0472. 3 hr sem.

CMP HIS PHL

Spring 2012

More Information »

RELI 0500 - Independent Research      

Independent Research
(Approval Required)

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0601 - Senior Project in Religion      

Senior Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012

More Information »

RELI 0700 - Senior Project in Religion      

Senior Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 0701 - Senior Thesis in Religion      

Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

More Information »

RELI 1020 - Meaning in Ordinary Time      

Giving Meaning to Ordinary Time: Exploring the Cycles of our Lives and our Year from a Jewish and Christian Perspective
Beginning with an overview of historical developments within both Judaism and Christianity, we will examine selected holy days, holidays, and life-cycle rituals of these traditions. Selected celebrations will be studied in terms of their development and practice, and their role in expressing a theology and a system of values. We will explore themes such as: the human condition and its challenges; forgiveness, repentance and atonement; salvation; the tension between historical memory and spiritual reinterpretation; and the function of ritual in society will be explored. These will include contemporary issues around gender, emerging practices, and the portrayal of religious celebrations in pop culture.

PHL WTR

Winter 2011, Winter 2012, Winter 2014

More Information »

RELI 1022 - Buddhism and Psychology      

Buddhism and Modern Psychology
Ernest Becker famously characterized human character as a “vital lie,” a futile attempt to forestall dissatisfaction and mortality. How might this be so and what, if anything, can be done about it? We will discuss such challenging questions by examining traditional Buddhist theories of mind and meditation in dialogue with modern neuroscience, psychology, and psychotherapy. We will investigate early Buddhist practices of mindfulness and their modern medical applications, neuroscience and meditative practice, depth psychology in Buddhism and Freud, and current attempts to integrate all of these theoretically and therapeutically.

AAL CMP PHL WTR

Winter 2011

More Information »

RELI 1023 - Early Taoist Texts      

Early Taoist Texts
In this course we will concentrate on the two great early Taoist (Daoist) texts, the Tao te ching (Daode jing) and the Chuang–tzu (Zhuangzi), both of which date from the Warring States period (475 -221 b.c.e.) of China and yet remain widely read and studied. We will read them closely, in multiple translations, and consider questions of authorship, audience, and philosophical and religious content. We will wrestle at length with these wonderful and difficult texts, with attention first to their original context and then to their reception and interpretation in later East Asian religion, philosophy, and literature. (This course is not open to students who have taken RELI 0227).

AAL PHL WTR

Winter 2011

More Information »

RELI 1024 - Jewish Thinkers/Big Questions      

Jewish Thinkers on Big Questions
What is atonement? How do we human beings confront our own flaws and mistakes? How do we respond to suffering? What is compassion for the “Other”? If there is revelation, can we know what it is? What is divine law? What is commandment? How do Jewish answers to these questions differ from Christian ones? These are perennial, looming questions in Jewish thought, and we will probe them with the help of texts from Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, Hermann Cohen, and Emmanuel Levinas, as well as the great medieval thinker Maimonides.

PHL WTR

Winter 2011

More Information »

RELI 1025 - Buddhist/Western Phil of Mind      

Buddhist and Western Philosophies of Mind
In this course we will examine traditional and contemporary Buddhist and Western philosophies of mind, comparing Cartesian mind-body dualism and contemporary materialism with Buddhist conceptions of mind, which seek a middle path between the two. Other topics include Buddhist and contemporary Western views of self; notions of the unconscious construction of reality; and recent scientific studies on meditation. We will read works by traditional authors such as Descartes and Vasubandhu, recent authors (e.g., the Dalai Lama and Owen Flanagan) who combine Buddhist and Western views, and articles on contemporary philosophy of mind, neuroscience, and phenomenology. The course will also include a practicum on meditation as a method for investigating consciousness directly. This course counts as elective credit towards the Religion major or as elective credit towards the Philosophy major.

CMP NOR PHL WTR

Winter 2012

More Information »

RELI 1027 - Iran through Film & Literature      

Iran through Film & Literature
In this course we will examine modern Iran through film and literature. We will investigate the distinct characteristics of pre- and post-revolutionary Iranian society through film, novellas, short stories, and poetry. Discussions for the pre-revolutionary period will revolve around social justice; political and religious corruption; poverty and political dissent - a prologue to the forthcoming Iranian revolution. Post-revolutionary topics include themes such as class, representations of Islam and the clerical establishment; gender politics; women's social, economic, and political roles; and the symbolic language of modern Iranian cinema. We will study films such as Bashu by Bahram Beyza'i, Brick and Mirror by Ebrahim Golestan, and The Lizard by Kamal Tabrizi; and such literary pieces as Dash Akol by Sadeq Hedayat, Trial Offers by Shahrnush Parsipur, and Sour Cherry Pits by Zoya Pirzad.

AAL ART WTR

Winter 2012

More Information »

RELI 1028 - Religion and Environ Ethics      

Religion and Environmental Ethics
What is the relationship between religion and ecology? We will examine how religious traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism) have characterized the human-nature relationship by studying such themes as: dominion vs. stewardship, restraints on human impact, concepts of interdependence, and ideas of sacred space. Later in the course, we will study contemporary religiously-based environmental activism, examining the possibilities and problems that emerge when religion is mobilized on behalf of the environment. We will read works by Sallie McFague, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Thomas Berry, and Rabbis Arthur Waskow and David Haberman. We will also take a field trip to an "eco-Catholic" monastery in Vermont. (Not open to students who have taken RELI 0395).

PHL WTR

Winter 2013

More Information »

RELI 1029 - Global Pentecostalism      

Global Pentecostalism
In this course we will explore developments in contemporary Pentecostal and charismatic movements, rapidly growing forms of global Christianity that emphasize direct personal experience with God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit and “speaking in tongues.” We will begin with an exploration of the central beliefs and practices in Pentecostalism, its modern origins in the Azuza Street Revival, and racial tensions among the early “classical denominations” of North America. Then we will turn our attention to the global spread of Pentecostalism in the 20th century, examining its cultural and ethnic variations in South America, Africa, and China. Finally, we will consider how these diverse global movements and neo-charismatic mega churches (especially their use of the media and endorsement of prosperity theology) are re-shaping the face of traditional Christianity.

CMP NOR PHL WTR

Winter 2013

More Information »

RELI 1030 - Jews & Rus Empire in Crisis      

Jews and the Russian Empire in Crisis
S. An-sky (1863-1920) was a Russian-Jewish writer, ethnographer, and social activist. A prolific author, he wrote in two languages in every imaginable genre: articles, novels, plays, and songs. His best known work, The Dybbuk, immortalizes the legendary figure of a dead soul that takes possession of a living body to right an injustice suffered during its lifetime. We will study An-sky’s collected “works”: his fiction, play, memoirs, photographs, artifacts, and folk music. Our goal is a greater understanding of the cultural borderland between the two worlds, Russian and Jewish, which An-sky inhabited and portrayed at a time of crisis. (This class counts toward a concentration in Judaism within the religion major or as an elective credit towards the religion major).

CMP EUR WTR

Winter 2013

More Information »

RELI 1031 - The 1960s      

The 1960s
In this course we will study the major social movements of the 1960s: the Civil Rights movement and Black Power, the New Left and New Right, the Anti-Vietnam War movement, and new religious movements. Beyond tracing the history and development of these movements, we also consider how activists of the period shaped the emergent Sixties counterculture. Finally, we follow activists into adulthood and consider how the Sixties experience influenced the course of their lives. This course counts as elective credit towards the Sociology/Anthropology major.

NOR SOC WTR

Winter 2012

More Information »

RELI 1032 - Islam in America      

Islam in America
Islam has a long history in America. However, beginning in the 1960s, large numbers of Muslims from across the globe began relocating to America after restrictive immigration laws eased. Today, Islam is reportedly America’s fastest growing religion. In this course we will consider the faith and teachings of Islam, Islam in the African American community, immigrant Muslim communities in the United States, issues of cultural and religious identity, Muslim women in America, and the ways that second generation Muslims are reshaping Islam in the American context. Throughout the course, our focus will be on the making of an American Islam.

CMP HIS NOR PHL WTR

Winter 2014

More Information »

RELI 1033 - Three Hundred Ramayanas      

Three Hundred Ramayanas: The Life of a Hindu Epic
In a well-known essay, scholar A.K. Ramanujan asks: “How many Ramayanas? Three hundred? Three thousand?” Featuring prince Rama, his wife Sita, and brother Laksmana, the Ramayana is a complex narrative that has been told and retold in numerous contexts for the past twenty-five hundred years. Beginning with Valmiki’s Sanskrit text, we will examine various retellings of the Ramayana in South Asia. We will then shift to discussing the performative life of the text, including dramatic Ramlila performances, Ramanand Sagar’s well-known television serial, and the popular comic book Amar Chitra Katha. We will conclude by examining the political significance of the Ramayana in contemporary Hindu-Muslim interactions. (Not open to students who have taken FYSE 1399)

AAL PHL WTR

Winter 2014

More Information »

RELI 1071 - Voices of Nonviolence      

Voices of Nonviolence
We begin this course with an overview of the teachings of various world religions relating to the theme of nonviolence. We then proceed to examine the religious inspiration, activism, and writings of Tolstoy, Gandhi, Ghaffar Khan, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King, Jr., César Chavez, and Thich Nhat Hanh. We will test the adequacy of nonviolence as a response to conflict by exploring themes such as the humanity of the opponent, the challenge of despair and cynicism in the face of great obstacles, the place of spiritual practices in individual and community life, and the value (or problem) of redemptive suffering. This course counts as elective credit towards the Religion major. (Students who have taken INTD 1071 will not be eligible to register).

PHL WTR

Winter 2011, Winter 2012

More Information »

RELI 1072 - Contemp Practice/Social Change      

Contemplative Practice and Social Change
This course is a scholarly endeavor that includes an invitation into experiential education. We will examine the lives of those who have dedicated themselves to various kinds of social change (such as peace work, civil rights, and environmental protection). Many individuals who have taken up the call for social change have also maintained some kind of contemplative practice. We will examine the relationship between contemplative practice and transformational work with attention to such figures as King, Gandhi, Pema Chödron, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Thomas Merton. Students also will be asked to participate regularly in some forms of (non-religious) meditation practice. (Pass/Fail)

PHL WTR

Winter 2011

More Information »