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'Cult' Controversies in America (HA)

In this course we examine a variety of new religious movements that tested the boundaries of acceptable religion at various moments in American history. We pay particular attention to government and media constructions of the religious mainstream and margin, to the politics of labels such as "cult" and "sect," to race, gender, and sexuality within new religions, and to the role of American law in constructing categories and shaping religious expressions. We also consider what draws people to new religions and examine the distinctive beliefs, practices, and social organizations of groups labeled by outsiders as "cults."

Instructors
Judith Weisenfeld
Spring 2022
'Cult' Controversies in America (HA)

In this course we examine a variety of new religious movements that tested the boundaries of acceptable religion at various moments in American history. We pay particular attention to government and media constructions of the religious mainstream and margin, to the politics of labels such as "cult" and "sect," to race, gender, and sexuality within new religions, and to the role of American law in constructing categories and shaping religious expressions. We also consider what draws people to new religions and examine the distinctive beliefs, practices, and social organizations of groups labeled by outsiders as "cults."

Instructors
Judith Weisenfeld
Spring 2020
792

No Description Available

Instructors
Staff
Fall 2022
A Survey of some theologies in the Middle Ages (EC)

A survey of themes central to theologies in the period from Augustine to the end of the Middle Ages, issues of theological method, genre, and linguistic medium; doctrines of God, the Trinity, Incarnation and grace; the place of the Bible and its interpretation in medieval theology. Throughout all of these, it will be necessary to bear in mind in general terms, and explore in each of these texts in some detail, a series of overarching, and governing, connections: between the theological and the 'mystical', contemplation and action, intellectual enquiry and holiness, knowledge and love.

Instructors
Denys A. Turner
Spring 2019
Advanced Biblical Hebrew: Violence and the State in the Hebrew Bible (LA)

In this class, we will explore how the Hebrew Bible imagines the interactions of the state with military and other extreme violence. We will focus on three biblical books--Joshua, Kings, and Nahum--and look at how Israelite violence becomes a shifting signifier, enfolding aspects of ritualization, ethnic and gendered consolidation, and theological fantasizing about enemies' deserved downfalls. The highly marked nature of textualized violence will facilitate study of intermediate Biblical Hebrew linguistic topics, including nominal and verbal syntax in prose and poetry, pragmatics, and lexical and other semantics.

Instructors
Madadh Richey
Fall 2020
African Immigrant Religions in America

No description available

Instructors
Staff
Spring 2022
American Scriptures (EC)

What is a scripture? How does a text become one? In this class we'll study several American scriptures, relatively recent texts that allow important perspective on these questions. We'll read parts of The Book of Mormon, Science and Health, The Circle Seven Koran, and Dianetics, along with several other new-world scriptures and American iterations of some old-world ones. Emphasis will be on thinking through how these texts know what they know, and how they make that claim of knowledge to readers. We'll investigate their discursive influences, internal logic, and rhetorical effects to think about how scriptures function in the world.

Instructors
Seth A. Perry
Spring 2018
American Scriptures (EC)

What is a scripture? How does a text become one? In this class we'll study several American scriptures, relatively recent texts that allow important perspective on these questions. We'll read parts of The Book of Mormon, Science and Health, The Circle Seven Koran, and Dianetics, along with several other new-world scriptures and American iterations of some old-world ones. Emphasis will be on thinking through how these texts know what they know, and how they make that claim of knowledge to readers. We'll investigate their discursive influences, internal logic, and rhetorical effects to think about how scriptures function in the world.

Instructors
Seth A. Perry
Fall 2020
An Introduction to Indian Philosophy and Religion (EC or EM)

This course introduces some of India's most important traditions, covering topics in metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics from a non-Western philosophical perspective. We will examine some of India's most significant contributions to debates on personal identity, free will, spiritual liberation, and the nature of truth itself. We will also explore the implications of religious doctrines for contemporary moral philosophy. For example, how might belief in inter-dependence shape attitudes towards the environment? And what explains the misogyny of some Indian philosophers given their commitment to non-violence and inclusivity?

Instructors
Katie Javanaud
Spring 2021
Ancient Egyptian Manuscripts: Writing, Materiality, Technology (HA)

In this course the different types of manuscripts, languages and texts from Ancient Egypt will be discussed. Papyrus is a prominent material from Ancient Egypt and we will study several examples in Princeton Collections. We will also discuss the use of modern techniques in manuscript studies like databases, ink analysis, x-ray and computer tomography. An overview will be given of the different materials including those from Elephantine Island. At the end, the students will curate a small exhibition demonstrating the specialties of ancient Egyptian manuscripts.

Instructors
Verena Maria Franziska Lepper
Fall 2019
Ancient Judaism from Alexander to the Rise of Islam (HA)

This course offers an introduction to the development of ancient Judaism during the eventful millennium from the establishment of the Torah as the constitution of the Jewish people in the fifth century BCE--an event that some have seen as marking the transition from biblical religion to Judaism--to the completion of the other great canonical Jewish document, the Babylonian Talmud, in perhaps the sixth century CE.

Instructors
Martha Himmelfarb
Fall 2021
Ancient Judaism from Alexander to the Rise of Islam (HA)

This course offers an introduction to ancient Judaism during the fascinating and eventful long millennium that gave rise to both Judaism and Christianity as we know them today. It traces the development of competing visions of Judaism from the establishment of the Torah as a sort of constitution for the Jewish people in the fifth century BCE to the completion of the Babylonian Talmud, the work that more than any other shapes later Jewish culture, in perhaps the sixth century CE. Classes will center on the discussion of primary texts, and the development of the skills of close reading will be a major focus.

Instructors
Martha Himmelfarb
Fall 2020
Ancient Judaism from Alexander to the Rise of Islam (HA)

This course offers an introduction to the development of ancient Judaism during the eventful millennium from the establishment of the Torah as the constitution of the Jewish people in the fifth century BCE--an event that some have seen as marking the transition from biblical religion to Judaism--to the completion of the other great canonical Jewish document, the Babylonian Talmud, in perhaps the sixth century CE.

Instructors
Martha Himmelfarb
Fall 2019
Apocalypse: The End of the World and the Secrets of Heaven in Ancient Judaism and Christianity (HA)

This course studies the rich corpus of revelations about end of the world, the fate of souls after death, the secrets of the cosmos, and God's heavenly abode in ancient Judaism and Christianity by placing them in their historical contexts and considering them in relation the development of Judaism and Christianity from the Hebrew Bible through late antiquity. Among the works to be considered are 1 Enoch (an anthology of ancient Jewish apocalypses about the antediluvian patriarch), Daniel (Hebrew Bible), Revelation (New Testament), early Christian tours of hell and paradise, and the early Jewish mystical work 3 Enoch (Sefer Hekhalot).

Instructors
Martha Himmelfarb
Fall 2018
Apocalypse: The End of the World and the Secrets of Heaven in Ancient Judaism and Christianity (HA)

This course studies the rich corpus of revelations composed by ancient Jews and Christians about the end of the world, the fate of souls after death, the secrets of the cosmos, and God's heavenly abode, placing them in their historical contexts and considering them in relation to the development of Judaism and Christianity from the Hebrew Bible through late antiquity. Among the works to be considered are Enoch (an anthology of ancient Jewish apocalypses about the antediluvian patriarch), Daniel (Hebrew Bible), Revelation (New Testament), and Ezra (Apocrypha).

Instructors
Martha Himmelfarb
Spring 2021