Sections

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RELI0100A-S16

CRN: 22356

Introduction to Religion
Introduction to Religion
Religion has always been a significant element in human life and history. Why is this? What roles does religion play in peoples’ lives and societies? Are there deeper commonalities underlying various religious traditions, despite their external differences? And what is religion anyway? We will examine these questions by introducing the basic vocabulary and analytic tools of the academic study of religion—a modern discipline stemming from the ideals of the Enlightenment—and by examining multiple case studies, both Western and Asian. We will also discuss multiple ways, sympathetic or critical, that influential thinkers make sense of religion in modern times. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

RELI0100W-S16

CRN: 22465

Introduction to Religion
Discussion
Introduction to Religion
Religion has always been a significant element in human life and history. Why is this? What roles does religion play in peoples’ lives and societies? Are there deeper commonalities underlying various religious traditions, despite their external differences? And what is religion anyway? We will examine these questions by introducing the basic vocabulary and analytic tools of the academic study of religion—a modern discipline stemming from the ideals of the Enlightenment—and by examining multiple case studies, both Western and Asian. We will also discuss multiple ways, sympathetic or critical, that influential thinkers make sense of religion in modern times. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

RELI0100X-S16

CRN: 22466

Introduction to Religion
Discussion
Introduction to Religion
Religion has always been a significant element in human life and history. Why is this? What roles does religion play in peoples’ lives and societies? Are there deeper commonalities underlying various religious traditions, despite their external differences? And what is religion anyway? We will examine these questions by introducing the basic vocabulary and analytic tools of the academic study of religion—a modern discipline stemming from the ideals of the Enlightenment—and by examining multiple case studies, both Western and Asian. We will also discuss multiple ways, sympathetic or critical, that influential thinkers make sense of religion in modern times. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

RELI0100Y-S16

CRN: 22467

Introduction to Religion
Discussion
Introduction to Religion
Religion has always been a significant element in human life and history. Why is this? What roles does religion play in peoples’ lives and societies? Are there deeper commonalities underlying various religious traditions, despite their external differences? And what is religion anyway? We will examine these questions by introducing the basic vocabulary and analytic tools of the academic study of religion—a modern discipline stemming from the ideals of the Enlightenment—and by examining multiple case studies, both Western and Asian. We will also discuss multiple ways, sympathetic or critical, that influential thinkers make sense of religion in modern times. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

RELI0100Z-S16

CRN: 22468

Introduction to Religion
Discussion
Introduction to Religion
Religion has always been a significant element in human life and history. Why is this? What roles does religion play in peoples’ lives and societies? Are there deeper commonalities underlying various religious traditions, despite their external differences? And what is religion anyway? We will examine these questions by introducing the basic vocabulary and analytic tools of the academic study of religion—a modern discipline stemming from the ideals of the Enlightenment—and by examining multiple case studies, both Western and Asian. We will also discuss multiple ways, sympathetic or critical, that influential thinkers make sense of religion in modern times. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

RELI0123A-S16

CRN: 22300

Buddhist Tradition in EastAsia
Buddhist Tradition East Asia
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.

RELI0123Y-S16

CRN: 22301

Buddhist Tradition in EastAsia
Discussion
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.

RELI0123Z-S16

CRN: 22302

Buddhist Tradition in EastAsia
Discussion
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.

RELI0190A-S16

CRN: 21823

Ethics & Abrahamic Religion
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.

RELI0190Y-S16

CRN: 21825

Ethics & Abrahamic Religion
Discussion
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.

RELI0190Z-S16

CRN: 21826

Ethics & Abrahamic Religion
Discussion
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.

RELI0208A-S16

Cross-Listed As:
SOAN0208A-S16

CRN: 22303

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.

RELI0228A-S16

Cross-Listed As:
JAPN0228A-S16

CRN: 21829

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.

RELI0237A-S16

CRN: 21830

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.

RELI0264A-S16

Cross-Listed As:
JWST0264A-S16

CRN: 22389

Jewish-Christian Interactions
Conflict and Identity: Jewish-Christian Interactions
“Urging a Jew to convert to Christianity is like advising a person to move upstairs while demolishing the ground floor.” This quip by Moses Mendelssohn epitomizes Christianity’s conflicted attitude to its Jewish origin, affirming it while rejecting it. Yet the relationship is not symmetrical, for the very reason that Judaism precedes Christianity. In this course we will examine the troubled history of the relationship between Christians and Jews from antiquity to the present. Readings include Church Fathers, rabbinic texts, medieval polemics, law codes regulating Jewish-Christian interactions (particularly governing food and table fellowship) and modern interfaith dialogue. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

RELI0280A-S16

Cross-Listed As:
JWST0280A-S16

CRN: 22335

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.

RELI0320A-S16

Cross-Listed As:
PHIL0320A-S16

CRN: 21832

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.

RELI0350A-S16

CRN: 21189

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.

RELI0396A-S16

CRN: 22306

War/Peace/Christian America
War, Peace, and Christian America ET, WT
Many Christians have argued that war is morally justifiable in certain circumstances, while others have maintained that killing of any kind, even in the name of the state, is wrong. In this seminar we will examine the theological roots of pacifist, just-war, and crusader perspectives, and then consider how Christian interpretations of political violence have been used to support or dissent from American armed conflicts, from the Revolutionary War to the War in Iraq. Throughout the course, we will ask how American views on war have been shaped by the persistent interpretation of the U.S. as a “Christian nation.” 3 hrs. sem.

RELI0500A-S16

CRN: 20104

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500B-S16

CRN: 20106

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500C-S16

CRN: 20645

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500D-S16

CRN: 20107

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500F-S16

CRN: 20871

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500G-S16

CRN: 20646

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500J-S16

CRN: 20235

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500K-S16

CRN: 20647

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500L-S16

CRN: 20746

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500N-S16

CRN: 21847

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500O-S16

CRN: 22403

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0700A-S16

CRN: 20236

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700B-S16

CRN: 20237

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700C-S16

CRN: 20648

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700D-S16

CRN: 20238

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700F-S16

CRN: 20872

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700G-S16

CRN: 20649

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700J-S16

CRN: 20242

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700K-S16

CRN: 20650

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700L-S16

CRN: 20747

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700N-S16

CRN: 21848

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700O-S16

CRN: 22404

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0701A-S16

CRN: 21317

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701B-S16

CRN: 21318

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701C-S16

CRN: 21319

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701D-S16

CRN: 21320

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701F-S16

CRN: 21322

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701G-S16

CRN: 21323

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701J-S16

CRN: 21326

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701K-S16

CRN: 21327

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701L-S16

CRN: 21328

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701N-S16

CRN: 21849

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701O-S16

CRN: 22405

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

Department of Religion

Munroe Hall
427 College Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753