Graduate Courses Fall 2024

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Philosophy and the Study of Religion
Subject associations
REL 502

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
Jonathan C. Gold
Fall 2024
Studies in Religion in America: African American Religious History
Subject associations
REL 505 / AAS 505

This course explores how histories of African American religions have produced enduring interpretive frames. Questions that animate this course include: What role have African American religions played in African American life? How have scholars studied the history of African American religions and shaped the discourse about African American religious life? The course considers African American religions and class, gender, racial identity formation, political engagement, cultural exchange and more. Through reading of foundational and newer texts, we will explore the sources and methodologies scholars use to study African American religion.

Instructors
Nicole M. Turner
Fall 2024
Special Topics in the Study of Religion: Papyrology with case studies on Oxyrhynchus Papyri
Subject associations
REL 511

This seminar introduces students to the field of papyrology, the study of ancient texts preserved on papyrus. Papyri have contributed greatly to our understanding of daily life, government, and textual transmission and many other aspects of antiquity. The course teaches students the skills to read and understand ancient documents and literature preserved on papyrus. The papyri found at the garbage heaps of the ancient Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus will serve as case studies in this class. Special attention will be paid to the importance of papyri for religious and social history.

Instructors
AnneMarie Luijendijk
Fall 2024
Studies in Ancient Judaism: Major Trends in the Study of Ancient Judaism
Subject associations
REL 513

We examine the wide array of sources for the study of Ancient Judaism, in Egypt, Palestine, Babylonia, and across the Mediterranean from the 6th century BCE, until the 6th century CE, and the variety of channels by which they were preserved and discovered. Looking back on two centuries of scholarship, we study the emergence of "Ancient Judaism" and its development as a field. We examine ideological and methodological issues alongside major archaeological discoveries, and the way they mutually shaped the field and continue to shape it.

Instructors
Yedidah Koren
Fall 2024
Readings in Religion in the Americas: Religions of Indigenous America
Subject associations
REL 516

This course provides an introduction for graduate students to significant literature on key themes, approaches, shifts, and concerns in the study of religion in the Americas focused on a particular topic across historical periods and locales. Readings may consist of critical reappraisal of primary sources, secondary scholarship that contributed to shaping the field and debates, and recent scholarship that exemplifies current and future trajectories. Examples of such topics may be religions of Indigenous peoples, religion and post-colonialism, migration of religions, religion and fiction literature, etc.

Instructors
Garry Sparks
Fall 2024
Culture, Society and Religion Workshop
Subject associations
REL 517

Presentation and critical discussion of research in progress by participants, dealing with the study of religion in any field within the humanities and social sciences. Note: REL 517 (fall) and REL 517 (spring) constitute this year-long workshop. In order to receive credit, students must take the course both semesters.

Instructors
Jenny Wiley Legath
Lauren K. McCormick
Fall 2024
Religion and Critical Thought Workshop
Subject associations
REL 518

A weekly, year-long workshop focused on current student and faculty research in religion and critical thought, designed primarily for graduate students working on dissertations and general examination essays on the philosophy of religion, religious ethics, and the role of religion in politics. Note: REL 518 (fall) and REL 519 (spring) constitute this year-long workshop. In order to receive credit and/or a grade, students must take the course both semesters.

Instructors
Gabriel M. Citron
Fall 2024
Religion in America Workshop
Subject associations
REL 523

A weekly, year-long workshop focused on the current research of visiting presenters, current students, and faculty in American religious history. The workshop is designed primarily for Ph.D. students in the field, but is open as well to undergraduate concentrators with a strong background in the study of American religion and culture. Note: REL 523 (fall) and REL 524 (spring) constitute this year-long workshop. In order to receive credit and/or a grade, students must take the course both semesters.

Instructors
Garry Sparks
Fall 2024
Religions of Late Antiquity Workshop
Subject associations
REL 525

A weekly, year-long workshop providing students in the Religions of Late Antiquity with the opportunity to present their current research for discussion. Note: REL 525 (fall) and REL 526 (spring) constitute this year-long workshop. In order to receive credit and/or a grade, students must take the course both semesters.

Instructors
Liane M. Feldman
Fall 2024
Asian Religions Workshop
Subject associations
REL 527

A weekly workshop focused on disciplinary questions, professional development, and presentation and discussion of work in progress. Required for all students, pre-generals and post-generals, in Asian Religions. Open to other students with permission of the instructor. REL 527 (fall) and REL 528 (spring) constitute this year-long workshop. Students must complete both semesters to receive credit.

Instructors
Stephen F. Teiser
Fall 2024
Workshop in Islamic Studies
Subject associations
REL 529

A weekly year-long Religion workshop focusing on the research and writing of graduate students, faculty, and visitors in Islamic Studies. This workshop provides a forum for presentation of works in progress: drafts of dissertation chapters, dissertation proposals, seminar papers, conference papers, articles and book chapters. All Islamic Studies graduate students are encouraged to participate as presenters and as commentators. The workshop fosters collegiality and professional development. Note: REL 529 (fall) and REL 530 (spring) constitute this year-long workshop.

Instructors
Tehseen Thaver
Fall 2024
Islamic Law in South Asia
Subject associations
REL 543 / NES 583

This seminar offers a broad-ranging survey of the history of Islamic law in South Asia, from the early sixteenth century to the present. It examines key developments relating to legal thought and practice under the Mughals, during colonial rule, and in postcolonial India and Pakistan. It seeks to put recent scholarship in Islamic Studies in conversation with law in the South Asian context and to look at Islamic law from multiple perspectives, including that of the state and its functionaries, the ulama and, where possible, the ordinary people. Topics include: slavery; marriage and divorce; violence; criminal law; and legal modernism.

Instructors
Muhammad Q. Zaman
Fall 2024
Introduction to Coptic Language and Literature
Subject associations
REL 555

This course offers an introduction to Coptic language and literatures. The class provides the foundational grammatical and linguistic concepts to build elementary Coptic reading competency (with focus on the Sahidic dialect primarily but not exclusively). Through course examples and group reading, students gain exposure to a broad Coptic corpus including Nag Hammadi literature, martyr literature, monastic texts, magic or medical recipes, and other documentary texts. The course also introduces students to the tools and resources of Coptic studies - dictionaries, grammars, as well as digital humanities resources.

Instructors
Staff
Fall 2024