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RELI0121A-F20

CRN: 91964

Buddhist Traditions in India
Buddhist Traditions in India
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.

RELI0121Y-F20

CRN: 92769

Buddhist Traditions in India
Discussion
Buddhist Traditions in India
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.

RELI0121Z-F20

CRN: 92765

Buddhist Traditions in India
Discussion
Buddhist Traditions in India
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.

RELI0130A-F20

CRN: 92397

The Global Christian Tradition
The Global Christian Tradition
In this course we will study the historical development and current presence of Christianity in various regions of the world. Beginning with its origins in the Middle East, we will trace the growth and evolution of this complex tradition in the Mediterranean, Africa, western Europe, the Americas, and East Asia. Along the way, we will encounter important Christian thinkers, discover different schools of belief and practice, and focus on foundational theological themes, like the divinity of Christ, the function and authority of the church, Christian-Jewish relations, and religious perspectives on gender, race, politics, and modernity. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

RELI0140A-F20

CRN: 91567

Hindu Traditions of India
Hindu Traditions of India
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. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

RELI0140Z-F20

CRN: 91786

Hindu Traditions of India
Discussion
Hindu Traditions of India
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. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

RELI0150A-F20

CRN: 91602

The Islamic Traditions
The Islamic Traditions
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. 3 hrs. lect./disc

RELI0150Y-F20

CRN: 91635

The Islamic Traditions
Discussion
The Islamic Traditions
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. 3 hrs. lect./disc

RELI0150Z-F20

CRN: 92398

The Islamic Traditions
Discussion
The Islamic Traditions
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. 3 hrs. lect./disc

RELI0180A-F20

CRN: 92792

Intro to Biblical Literature
An Introduction to Biblical Literature
This course is a general introduction to biblical history, literature, and interpretation. It is designed for students who seek a basic understanding of the Bible on its own or as a foundation for further study in religion, art, literature, film, and other disciplines. It aims to acquaint students with the major characters, narratives, poetry, and compositional features of biblical literature and how these writings became Jewish and Christian scriptures. The course will also explore various approaches to reading the Bible, both religious and secular. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

RELI0225A-F20

CRN: 92399

Chinese Religions
Chinese Religions
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.

RELI0225Y-F20

CRN: 92789

Chinese Religions
Discussion
Chinese Religions
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.

RELI0225Z-F20

CRN: 92791

Chinese Religions
Discussion
Chinese Religions
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.

RELI0238A-F20

Cross-Listed As:
CMLT0238A-F20

CRN: 92400

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.

RELI0238Y-F20

Cross-Listed As:
CMLT0238Y-F20

CRN: 92516

Literature Mystical Experience
Discussion
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.

RELI0238Z-F20

Cross-Listed As:
CMLT0238Z-F20

CRN: 92518

Literature Mystical Experience
Discussion
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.

RELI0273A-F20

CRN: 92402

Religion and Capitalism
Religion and Capitalism
Joseph Schumpeter described capitalism as animated by a perennial gale of creative destruction. While he was referring to its capacity to create and destroy industries, capitalism has had the same effect on social worlds. From those tumultuous worlds, a diverse array of religious practices, beliefs, and sentiments have likewise flourished and decayed. This course explores the relationship between global capitalism and religion in the modern period. Anchored in a comparison between Brazil and the United States, we will explore how religious traditions have encountered the world transformed by capitalism as well as the religious dimensions of capitalism itself. 3 hours lect./disc.

RELI0322A-F20

CRN: 92910

Who Owns Religion
Who Owns Religion? Controversies in the Study of Religion and Being a Public Intellectual
This course is a study in public scholarship in the humanities--focused on the study of religion but relevant to other humanistic disciplines. Its primary text will be the work: Who Owns Religion? Scholars and Their Publics in the Late 20th Century. The work focuses on case studies where scholars of religion offended the very communities they had imagined themselves honoring through their work. While controversies involving scholarly claims about religion are nothing new, this period saw an increase in public disputes that continues today. At its best, the situation involves constructive dialogue; at its worst, authors and their institutions are the targets of hate mail and book-banning campaigns, and communities are mistrustful of academics and the systems in which they work. These controversies raise important questions that we will deliberate on throughout the class: what does it mean to represent religion? What are the roles of sexuality, gender, racial, disability, historical, colonial and postcolonial realities in this representation? How do academic institutions both contribute to and undermine that representation? Most importantly, what does it mean to create sustained reflection about the public sphere in any project in the study of religion, or the humanities in general? What is the work of a public intellectual? The course will work through the case study method. Each week we will examine a new case in the book, and related materials. At the beginning of the class, students will choose a case study of their own to examine. Their own cases can be drawn from the study of religion or another field of the humanities. Each week, they will be asked to think through the questions raised by the case studies in the book as they might apply to their own case studies. In this way they will develop skills in reading, assessing, and even engaging themselves in controversies where there are no perfect answers. Prerequisite: One course in the study of religion or advanced work in a related field; a willingness to and experience in critically thinking through different sides of a problem; and a deep commitment to the public sphere.

RELI0332A-F20

CRN: 92586

The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments
After a grounding in the narratives of Genesis and Exodus (and an examination of those books’ understanding of the Law) we will move on to study the two versions of the Commandments—one in Exodus and one in Deuteronomy. We will then proceed to the history of interpretation of the Commandments, both as a unit unto themselves and as part of the general system of biblical law. Special attention will be paid to the differences between Rabbinic Judaism's understanding of the Decalogue (as the commandments are also known) and the various Christian understandings of the Ten Commandments. We will also look at expressions of the Decalogue in Islamic scripture and tradition. (formerly RELI 0132) 3 hrs. lect.

RELI0384A-F20

Cross-Listed As:
GSFS0384A-F20

CRN: 92072

Women, Religion, & Ethnograpy
Women, Religion, and Ethnography
In this course we will focus on ethnographic scholarship regarding women in various religious traditions. We will begin with questions of feminist ethnography as proposed by Lila Abu-Lughod and then read a range of ethnographies focusing on women in different contexts, including a female Muslim healer in South India, Kalasha women in Pakistan, Bedouin Muslim women in Egypt, and Catholic nuns in Mexico. We will focus on how gendered and religious identities are constructed and intertwined, and what ethnography contributes to the study of both religion and gender. A prior course in Religion, Anthropology, or Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies is recommended. 3 hrs. sem. (National/Transnational Feminisms)

RELI0400A-F20

CRN: 91403

Seminar: Study of Religion
Understanding Religion: Foundational Theories and Methods
In this seminar we will examine the genesis of the academic study of religion in the modern world by reading seminal texts of such founding thinkers as: Durkheim, Weber, James, Freud, Jung, and Eliade. We will analyze these and more recent theories and methods in the sociological, psychological, and comparative study of religion, discerning their assumptions and implications, strengths and weaknesses, and utilizing them in focused written assignments. We end with the study of text-critical methods, interpreting the Garden of Eden story from multiple perspectives. Open to juniors and seniors who have had two religion courses or by waiver. 3 hrs. sem.

RELI0500A-F20

CRN: 90174

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500D-F20

CRN: 90177

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500E-F20

CRN: 90187

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500F-F20

CRN: 90766

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500G-F20

CRN: 90316

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500I-F20

CRN: 90317

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500K-F20

CRN: 90768

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500L-F20

CRN: 90769

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500N-F20

CRN: 91212

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500P-F20

CRN: 91456

Independent Research
Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0700A-F20

CRN: 90319

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700D-F20

CRN: 90322

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700E-F20

CRN: 90323

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700F-F20

CRN: 90324

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700G-F20

CRN: 90325

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700H-F20

CRN: 90326

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700I-F20

CRN: 90327

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700K-F20

CRN: 90486

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700L-F20

CRN: 90782

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700N-F20

CRN: 91214

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700P-F20

CRN: 91457

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700Q-F20

CRN: 91812

Senior Project in Religion
Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0701A-F20

CRN: 91127

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701D-F20

CRN: 91130

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701E-F20

CRN: 91131

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701F-F20

CRN: 91132

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701G-F20

CRN: 91133

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701I-F20

CRN: 91135

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701K-F20

CRN: 91137

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701L-F20

CRN: 91138

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701N-F20

CRN: 91215

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701P-F20

CRN: 91458

Senior Thesis in Religion
Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

Department of Religion

Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753