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Mind and Meditation (EC)

This course examines the philosophy, history, and methods of Buddhist meditation. Primary readings will be Buddhist works on the nature of the mind and the role of meditation on the path to liberation (nirvana). We will ask how traditional Buddhist views have been reshaped by modern teachers, and we will interrogate the significance of current research on meditation in the fields of neuroscience, psychology and the philosophy of mind. In addition to other coursework, students will be practicing meditation and keeping a log and journal.

Instructors
Jonathan C. Gold
Fall 2022
Mind and Meditation (EC)

This course examines the philosophy, history, and methods of Buddhist meditation. Primary readings will be Buddhist works on the nature of the mind and the role of meditation on the path to liberation (nirvana). We will ask how traditional Buddhist views have been reshaped by modern teachers, and we will interrogate the significance of current research on meditation in the fields of neuroscience, psychology and the philosophy of mind. In addition to other coursework, students will be practicing meditation and keeping a log and journal.

Instructors
Jonathan C. Gold
Fall 2020
Modern Christian Ethics

No Description Available

Instructors
Staff
Fall 2022
Modern Evangelicalism in the U.S.

No description available

Instructors
Staff
Spring 2019
Modern Evangelicalism in the United States (HA)

This course will trace the history of American Evangelicalism from its roots in the early nineteenth century to rise of the Religious Right in the 1980s and birth of "right wing politics" of the twenty-first century. We will note key figures, events, and institutional expressions of evangelicalism, as well as its large impact on American politics and popular culture.

Instructors
Wallace D. Best
Fall 2021
Muslim America (SA)

The course begins with the intertwined history of Muslims in America and America itself. We will then apply that foundation to topics in contemporary Muslim American life - for example, authority in mosques, fashion and coolness, and representation in movies. Students will encounter primary as well as secondary sources. For example, students will read an 1831 autobiography of an enslaved Muslim named Omar ibn Said and analyze a Chicago-based Ahmadi newspaper from the 1920s. We will use a range of media, including film and material culture, to emphasize the varieties of Muslim experience in America.

Instructors
Rebecca L. Faulkner
Spring 2022
Muslim South Asia

This graduate course seeks to provide the participants with a broad introduction to major intellectual trends in the history of Islam in South Asia from the early nineteenth century to the present. We focus on the work of select individuals and discuss their writings in the context of their intellectual, social, cultural, and political milieu. Translations and exegeses of the Qur'an, Islamic law, politics, and social thought are among the themes on which we focus.

Instructors
Muhammad Q. Zaman
Fall 2022
Muslims and the Qur'an (EM)

A broad-ranging introduction to pre-modern, modern, and contemporary Islam in light of how Muslims have approached their foundational religious text, the Qur'an. Topics include: Muhammad and the emergence of Islam; theology, law and ethics; war and peace; mysticism; women and gender; and modern debates on Islamic reform. We shall examine the varied contexts in which Muslims have interpreted their sacred text, their agreements and disagreements on what it means and, more broadly, their often competing understandings of Islam and of what it is to be a Muslim.

Instructors
Muhammad Q. Zaman
Fall 2022
Muslims and the Qur'an (EM)

A broad-ranging introduction to pre-modern, modern, and contemporary Islam in light of how Muslims have approached their foundational religious text, the Qur'an. Topics include: Muhammad and the emergence of Islam; theology, law and ethics; war and peace; mysticism; women and gender; and modern debates on Islamic reform. We shall examine the varied contexts in which Muslims have interpreted their sacred text, their agreements and disagreements on what it means and, more broadly, their often competing understandings of Islam and of what it is to be a Muslim.

Instructors
Muhammad Q. Zaman
Fall 2020
Muslims and the Qur'an (EM)

A broad-ranging introduction to pre-modern, modern, and contemporary Islam in light of how Muslims have approached their foundational religious text, the Qur'an. Topics include: Muhammad and the emergence of Islam; theology, law and ethics; war and peace; mysticism; women and gender; and modern debates on Islamic reform. We shall examine the varied contexts in which Muslims have interpreted their sacred text, their agreements and disagreements on what it means and, more broadly, their often competing understandings of Islam and of what it is to be a Muslim.

Instructors
Muhammad Q. Zaman
Fall 2019
Mystical Theologies in the Western Christian Traditions (EC)

The noun "mysticism" is of recent invention, the most common traditions of theorizing about it today derive from William James' Varieties of Religious Experience. Older vocabularies go back to the very beginnings of Christian reflection, see Andrew Louth's Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition. In this course we will be reading from selected texts in the Christian mystical traditions, from Gregory of Nyssa in the fourth century to Elisabeth of the Trinity in the nineteenth, women and men in equal numbers, leaving theoretical issues about the nature of "mysticism" to the end.

Instructors
Denys A. Turner
Fall 2019
Pagans, Jews, and Christians in the Ancient World (CD or HA)

This course considers the social and cultural encounters between religious/ethnic groups in the ancient Mediterranean world. It aims to challenge the idea that these groups (for example, Greeks, Jews, Romans, Christians) had stable boundaries or that they spoke with a unified and authoritative voice. The dynamic and even fluid relationships among these groups had a deep impact on the nature of religious life during the formative period of Late Antiquity and beyond. The course will thus explore religious contact and conflict, proximity and separation, dialogue and prejudice-both ancient and modern.

Instructors
Ra'anan S. Boustan
Spring 2022
Perfect Being Theology: Problems and Prospects (EM)

This course will be a critical examination of a method known as Perfect Being Theology. Most associated with Anselm of Canterbury, Perfect Being Theology attempts to determine the attributes of a divine being from the supposition of its absolute perfection. Common in all of the Abrahamic faiths, it is increasingly popular among philosophers of religion. The course asks questions: what kinds of inference do practitioners of perfect being theology make? What presuppositions underlie the method, and do they face challenges from the facts of religious diversity? Are there alternative theological methods that have been overlooked or ignored?

Instructors
Daniel K. Rubio
Spring 2021
Philology and History of Jewish Sources (HA)

This course offers to students with significant background in Jewish Studies orientation to the critical tools for studying the Jewish tradition and its development in multiple geographical and historical contexts. We begin with the Hebrew Bible, go through Rabbinic Literature, continue through Kabbalah and the Early Modern period. Knowledge of Hebrew and Aramaic and background in Bible and Talmud is necessary.

Instructors
Yaacob Dweck
Moulie Vidas
Spring 2023
Philosophical Debates between Buddhists and Jains (EC)

This course introduces two of India's most sophisticated religious-philosophical traditions: Jainism and Buddhism. We will cover familiar topics - e.g. the free will problem, the possibility of omniscience, and the nature of reality - but will use less familiar, non-Western, concepts to shed light on seemingly perennial problems. Our initial focus is on metaphysics and epistemology but we will explore the ramifications of these theories for ethics. For example, how does the idea of inter-dependence shape Buddhist views on the environment? And why do Buddhists and Jains share commitment to non-violence yet disagree over strict vegetarianism?

Instructors
Katie Javanaud
Spring 2020