Middlebury

 

Sections

« Fall 2014 Spring 2015

RELI0161A-S15

CRN: 22348

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.

RELI0180A-S15

CRN: 21259

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.

RELI0180Y-S15

CRN: 21260

Intro to Biblical Literature
Discussion

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.

RELI0180Z-S15

CRN: 21269

Intro to Biblical Literature
Discussion

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.

RELI0190A-S15

CRN: 22349

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.

RELI0190B-S15

CRN: 22350

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.

RELI0190Y-S15

CRN: 22351

Intro to Religious Ethics
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-S15

CRN: 22352

Intro to Religious Ethics
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.

RELI0209A-S15

CRN: 22353

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.

RELI0209X-S15

CRN: 22471

Mindfulness and Psychology
Discussion

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.

RELI0209Y-S15

CRN: 22472

Mindfulness and Psychology
Discussion

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.

RELI0209Z-S15

CRN: 22473

Mindfulness and Psychology
Discussion

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.

RELI0225A-S15

CRN: 22354

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.

RELI0228A-S15

CRN: 22355

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.

RELI0232A-S15

CRN: 22415

Philosophy of Religion
Please register via PHIL 0232A

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.

RELI0237A-S15

CRN: 22356

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.

RELI0303A-S15

CRN: 22357

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.

RELI0320A-S15

CRN: 22358

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.

RELI0335A-S15

CRN: 22359

Roman Catholicism

Seminar in Roman Catholicism from Trent to Today
In this course we will examine the rise of Roman Catholicism, focusing on tradition and change from the 16th-century Council of Trent to the present day. Topics will include changing views on vernacular Bibles and lay reading of Scripture, adaptations of Catholicism in global contexts, and Catholic theologies of liberation. We will also examine current controversies over traditional beliefs and practices, such as women's roles in the church, and views of the pope and clergy on contraception, abortion, and gay marriage. We will pay attention to recent waves of disaffiliation stemming from these issues and the appeal of charismatic Protestant Christianity. Some background in the study of religion or European history expected. 3 hrs. sem.

RELI0350A-S15

CRN: 21277

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.

RELI0395A-S15

CRN: 22090

Religion, Ethics + Environment
Please register via ENVS 0395A

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.

RELI0398A-S15

CRN: 22397

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.

RELI0500A-S15

CRN: 20107

Independent Research

Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500B-S15

CRN: 20109

Independent Research

Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500C-S15

CRN: 20690

Independent Research

Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500D-S15

CRN: 20113

Independent Research

Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500G-S15

CRN: 20691

Independent Research

Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500J-S15

CRN: 20255

Independent Research

Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500K-S15

CRN: 20692

Independent Research

Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500L-S15

CRN: 20795

Independent Research

Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500N-S15

CRN: 22374

Independent Research

Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0500P-S15

CRN: 22453

Independent Research

Independent Research
(Approval Required)

RELI0700A-S15

CRN: 20256

Senior Project in Religion

Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700B-S15

CRN: 20257

Senior Project in Religion

Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700C-S15

CRN: 20693

Senior Project in Religion

Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700D-S15

CRN: 20258

Senior Project in Religion

Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700G-S15

CRN: 20694

Senior Project in Religion

Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700J-S15

CRN: 20262

Senior Project in Religion

Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700K-S15

CRN: 20695

Senior Project in Religion

Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700L-S15

CRN: 20796

Senior Project in Religion

Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700N-S15

CRN: 22375

Senior Project in Religion

Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0700P-S15

CRN: 22454

Senior Project in Religion

Senior Project
(Approval Required)

RELI0701A-S15

CRN: 21452

Senior Thesis in Religion

Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701B-S15

CRN: 21453

Senior Thesis in Religion

Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701C-S15

CRN: 21454

Senior Thesis in Religion

Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701D-S15

CRN: 21455

Senior Thesis in Religion

Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701G-S15

CRN: 21458

Senior Thesis in Religion

Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701J-S15

CRN: 21461

Senior Thesis in Religion

Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701K-S15

CRN: 21462

Senior Thesis in Religion

Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701L-S15

CRN: 21463

Senior Thesis in Religion

Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701N-S15

CRN: 22376

Senior Thesis in Religion

Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

RELI0701P-S15

CRN: 22455

Senior Thesis in Religion

Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required