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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
Philosophy and the Study of Religion

No description available

Instructors
Staff
Fall 2022
Philosophy and the Study of Religion

The impact of twentieth-century philosophical ideas on the academic study of religion: naturalism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, structuralism, Nietzschean genealogy, and American pragmatism, among other philosophical movements.

Instructors
Leora F. Batnitzky
Gabriel M. Citron
Fall 2018
Philosophy and the Study of Religion

The impact of modern philosophical ideas on the academic study of religion: naturalism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, genealogy, ideology, social construction, and epistemic injustice, among other philosophical movements, as well as the complex interplay between constructions of religion, race, and gender.

Instructors
Leora F. Batnitzky
Fall 2022
Philosophy and the Study of Religion

The impact of twentieth-century philosophical ideas on the academic study of religion: naturalism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, structuralism, Nietzschean genealogy, and American pragmatism, among other philosophical movements.

Instructors
Leora F. Batnitzky
Fall 2020
Philosophy of Mind: Conversable Minds

The idea to be explored is that there are many distinctively human capacities that the ability to speak does not presuppose but that the practice of conversing does, mostly, catalyze. These capacities may include the capacity to make up our minds, to reason and follow rules, to make conscious perceptual judgments, to make mutual commitments, and to hold and be held responsible.

Instructors
Sam Berstler
Philip N. Pettit
Fall 2020
Philosophy of Mind: Human Capacities

The idea is to look at some central capacities of the human mind beginning with judgement and reasoning, including reasoning from perception, then moving on to discuss the capacity to make value judgements, ascribe and assume responsibility, and achieve the status of a person.

Instructors
Philip N. Pettit
Fall 2022
Poetry and Transcendence in some Western Christian Mystical Theologies (EM)

The "mystical" as understood in the Western Christian traditions refers to experience of the divine pressing on the limits of language, and poetry is often its natural expression. This course examines some poetic expressions of the mystical from the Hebrew Song of Songs through Dante, John of the Cross, George Herbert, to Hopkins, and TS Eliot.

Instructors
Denys A. Turner
Spring 2021
Politics and Religion (EM)

We revisit some of the basic normative questions to do with religion and democratic politics: how can democratic polities be protected from religion, and how can religion be protected from politics? Might certain forms of democratic politics depend on religious sources? In particular, might liberal democracy actually "live off" religious sentiments in ways that many liberal theorists fail to acknowledge? Does even the religiously neutral state need a "civil religion" of some sort or other to preserve its moral foundations?

Instructors
Jan-Werner Müller
Spring 2023
Politics and Religion (EM)

Is there an affinity between particular religions and particular forms of politics? Is religion a necessary basis for any stable politics, as many canonical authors in the history of political thought asserted, or is it in fact a threat, as religion provokes strife and poses a danger to modern ideals of autonomy - including democracy? The course addresses such broad questions by engaging classic works as well as recent sociological writings, studies in comparative politics, and legal theories on politics and religion.

Instructors
Jan-Werner Müller
Spring 2019
Popular Chinese Religion

No description available

Instructors
Staff
Fall 2019
Popular Chinese Religion

No description available

Instructors
Staff
Spring 2022
Power and History in Japanese Buddhism

No description available

Instructors
Staff
Fall 2020
Pre-Kantian Rationalism: Spinoza: Tractatus Theologico-Politicus

This course is a close reading of Spinoza's "Tractatus Theologico-Politicus." Topics discussed include the relation between philosophy and theology, the status of revelation and prophesy, Spinoza's account of miracles, the relation between religion and politics, and the freedom of religious practice and expression. We are especially interested in the relation of this text to others of Spinoza's writings, and to the writings of other figures, including Descartes, Hobbes, and Maimonides.

Instructors
Daniel Garber
Spring 2021