Graduate Courses Spring 2023

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Classics, Commentaries, and Contexts in Chinese Intellectual History: Ritual Classics

This course examines classical Chinese texts and their commentary traditions, with commentary selections and additional readings from the earliest periods through the early twentieth century.

Instructors
Trenton W. Wilson
Spring 2023
Culture, Society and Religion Workshop

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
Jonathan C. Gold
Jenny Wiley Legath
Spring 2023
Late Medieval-Early Modern Islam

This seminar focuses on Islamic thought and society during the 17th and the 18th centuries. Our key concerns are two: to understand what Islam, and Islamic thought, looked like in the late medieval and the early modern world; and to think about how we should try to approach the study of Islam in that world. A good deal of our focus is on South Asia, though we also read about other regions, including Iran and the Arab Middle East. The required readings are in English. For those interested, some weeks might have supplementary readings in Arabic as well.

Instructors
Muhammad Q. Zaman
Spring 2023
Problems in Near Eastern Jewish History: Jewish and Islamic Law

An introduction to medieval Near Eastern legal cultures that focuses on the intertwined development of Jewish and Islamic law from late antiquity until the twelfth century. We consider both legal writings such as codes and responsa and evidence for practices in state and communal courts. Geared both to students interested in legal history and to students interested in using legal texts and documents for general historical research.

Instructors
Eve Krakowski
Spring 2023
Reading Coptic Texts

This course will serve as a continuation of REL 555: Intro to Coptic Language and Literature. The focus of this term will be on building Coptic reading competency. The class will focus on reading Coptic Nag Hammadi literature and will serve as a basic introduction to the generic and literary forms of this corpus. We will read texts both in English translation and prepare shorter selections of the Coptic for each session. Students will walk away from the course with stronger reading comprehension as well as a knowledge about the theologies, philosophies, and historical contexts of the ancient codices.

Instructors
Lydia C. Bremer-McCollum
Spring 2023
Religion and Critical Thought Workshop

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
Eric S. Gregory
Spring 2023
Religion in the Americas Workshop

A weekly, year-long workshop focused on the current research of visiting presenters, current students, and faculty in American religious history. 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
Seth A. Perry
Spring 2023
Religions of Late Antiquity Workshop

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
Lydia C. Bremer-McCollum
Spring 2023
Studies in Religion and Philosophy: Politics, History, and Providence

Developments in political philosophy, literature, and critical theory have led to revived interest in political theology, both as intellectual history and as transgressive resistance to "secular" ethics, historiography, and politics. This seminar examines these developments in relation to diverse streams of Jewish and Christian thought. This semester, the primary focus is the philosophy and theology of history. Topics include temporality, periodization, prophecy, covenant, apocalypticism, universal history, international order, political economy, race, climate change, redemption, teleology, hope, and the end of the world.

Instructors
Eric S. Gregory
Spring 2023
Studies in Religion in America: African American Religious History

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
Spring 2023
Studies in the History of Islam: Law and Society

How did Islamic law shape social interactions and social categories in Medieval Muslim societies? The `ulama' were part of their own social/economic contexts. They engaged in commerce, owned property, bought, sold, and manumitted slaves, married and divorced and had children by wives and female slaves. How much influence did the elite `ulama', the jurists who shaped Islamic law, have on the social and economic practices of both elites and of ordinary Muslims and non-Muslims? We make use of documents, legal texts, and some narrative sources. Students also work in Rare Books and Special Collections.

Instructors
Shaun E. Marmon
Spring 2023
Workshop in Islamic Studies

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. Students must take the course both semesters to receive credit/grade.

Instructors
Tehseen Thaver
Spring 2023