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Hip Hop, Reggae, and Religion (EM)

In this course, we will examine music and the religio-political imagination of the Black Atlantic, focusing on Jamaica and the US. We will examine the ways that the various cultures of hip-hop and reggae offer critique to our contemporary religious and political arrangements. Listening to the perspectives expressed in these cultural formations we will question whether the music provides a prophetic challenge to the status quo. Giving attention to the music, from the Negro Spirituals, to contemporary Hip Hop and Dancehall, we will contextualize it with an interest in understanding the relationship between their religious and political visions.

Instructors
Kevin A. Wolfe
History of Passover: From Moses to Jesus to Harry Potter (HA)

This course explores the history of Passover, from its ancient origins to its modern variations. Students will reflect on Jewish ideas of redemption as represented in art, food, memory, and ritual. Tracing the evolution of the holiday and its meaning, we will consider: sacrifice in its ancient Near Eastern context; Passover's centrality in the development of Christianity; ritual disparity between varying Jewish ethnicities; and non-traditional Haggadahs composed over the last hundred years. In a semester-long project, students have the option to write, create, and/or perform a representation of the main themes of the course.

Instructors
David Sclar
Holy War, Martyrdom and Sacrifice in the Islamic Tradition (EM)

How were just war, holy war, and martyrdom imagined and enacted over the centuries in Islamic societies? How do concepts of the afterlife inform attitudes towards war and martyrdom? We begin in the Late Antique world with a survey of noble death, martyrdom, holy war, and just war, in the Roman, Jewish and Christian traditions. We explore these topics in the Islamic tradition through case studies: the Arab conquests, the Crusades, Spain and the Reconquista, the Iran-Iraq war and contemporary jihadist movements. We use primary sources in translation (including fiction and poetry) and, for modern period, films and internet.

Instructors
Shaun E. Marmon
Holy War, Martyrdom and Sacrifice in the Islamic Tradition (EM)

How were just war, holy war, and martyrdom imagined and enacted over the centuries in Islamic societies? How do concepts of the afterlife inform attitudes towards war and martyrdom? We begin in the Late Antique world with a survey of noble death, martyrdom, holy war, and just war, in the Roman, Jewish and Christian traditions. We explore these topics in the Islamic tradition through case studies: the Arab conquests, the Crusades, Spain and the Reconquista, the Iran-Iraq war and contemporary jihadist movements. We use primary sources in translation (including fiction and poetry) and, for modern period, films and internet.

Instructors
Shaun E. Marmon
In the Shadow of Swords: War, Martyrdom and the Afterlife in Islam (EM)

How were just war, holy war, and martyrdom imagined and enacted over the centuries in Islamic societies? How do concepts of the afterlife inform attitudes towards war and martyrdom? We begin in the Late Antique world with a survey of noble death, martyrdom, holy war, and just war, in the Roman, Jewish and Christian traditions. We explore these topics in the Islamic tradition through case studies: the Arab conquests, the Crusades, Spain and the Reconquista, the Iran-Iraq war and contemporary jihadist movements. We use primary sources in translation (including fiction and poetry) and, for modern period, films and internet.

Instructors
Shaun E. Marmon
Incarceration in Antiquity (HA)

Material and textual data indicate carceral practices were regular features in the ancient Mediterranean. This course begins by discussing select key works in the field of carceral studies, and considers ancient evidence to discuss the challenges of identifying prison spaces, the role of the state in incarceration, and the purpose(s) of incarceration in antiquity. A digital humanities component (mapping carceral sites and producing 3D models) will give students an intricate understanding of ancient carceral geographies and introduce them to digital humanities. The course requires international travel during Fall Break.

Instructors
Caroline Cheung
Matthew Larsen
Indigenous Expressions: Native Christianities in Colonial Mexico (HA)

In this seminar, we will discuss ideas about conversion, authorship, translation, and histories in the context of Indigenous people's engagement with Christianity in colonial Mexico. In particular, we will be looking at the ways that Native Americans shaped Mexican Catholicism and the ways we can think of Indigenous people as authors and creators of their religious traditions rather than merely adopters or receivers of the Christian faith as taught by Spanish colonists.

Instructors
Jessica Delgado
Intermediate Biblical Hebrew (LA)

We will read the selections from the Hebrew Bible in the original Hebrew, considering aspects of translation and Hebrew grammar and syntax, as well as the historical, literary and religious contexts of the books.

Instructors
Laura E. Quick
Intermediate Biblical Hebrew (LA)

We will read the selections from the Hebrew Bible in the original Hebrew, considering aspects of translation and Hebrew grammar and syntax, as well as the historical, literary and religious contexts of the books.

Instructors
Philip Zhakevich
Interpreting the Qur'an: Text, Context, and Materiality (EC)

This course will involve a close reading of the Qur'anic text and its interpretive traditions. The course will also go beyond approaching scripture as a bounded, collected, literary text, by examining the ritual, experiential and material encounters between the Qur'an and Muslim communities. How does the Qur'an operate within societies? What are its multiple functions? How are the controversial verses often associated with the Qur'an interpreted? Through a critical engagement with categories like "scripture," and "interpretation" students will be introduced to larger debates on hermeneutics and material culture within the study of religion.

Instructors
Tehseen Thaver
Interpreting the Qur'an: Text, Context, and Materiality (EC)

This course will involve a close reading of the Qur'anic text and its interpretive traditions. The course will also go beyond approaching scripture as a bounded, collected, literary text, by examining the ritual, experiential and material encounters between the Qur'an and Muslim communities. How does the Qur'an operate within societies? What are its multiple functions? How are the controversial verses often associated with the Qur'an interpreted? Through a critical engagement with categories like "scripture," and "interpretation" students will be introduced to larger debates on hermeneutics and material culture within the study of religion.

Instructors
Tehseen Thaver
Introduction to Islam (SA)

This course is an introduction to Islam survey for undergraduates. The course is framed in terms of Muslims' self-understanding and includes pre-modern, modern, and contemporary sources. It begins in pre-Islamic Arabia and ends with contemporary material. We will use a variety of media, including art, music, and film to emphasize the varieties of Muslim experience and explore the contestations and adaptations of what it means to be Muslim.

Instructors
Rebecca L. Faulkner
Introduction to Islamic Ethics (EM)

This course examines Sufism or what is often called the mystical tradition in Islam. Sufism represents one of the most important intellectual, social, and political traditions in Muslim thought and practice. This course engages multiple aspects of Sufism including its institutional and intellectual history, metaphysics and cosmology, meditation and disciplinary practices, poetry and literature, modern debates over the limits of normative Sufism, and orientalist and neo-imperialist representations of Sufism. A major focus of this course will be on close readings of primary texts, all in translation.

Instructors
Tehseen Thaver
Introduction to Islamic Theology (HA)

This course is a general survey of the main principles of Islamic doctrine. It focuses on the Muslim theological discourse on the concepts of God and His attributes, man and nature, the world to come, revelation and prophethood, diversity of religions, and the possibility and actuality of miracles.

Instructors
Hossein Modarressi
Introduction to Islamic Theology (HA)

This course is a general survey of the main principles of Islamic doctrine. It focuses on the Muslim theological discourse on the concepts of God and His attributes, man and nature, the world to come, revelation and prophethood, diversity of religions, and the possibility and actuality of miracles.

Instructors
Hossein Modarressi
Introduction to Islamic Theology (HA)

This course is a general survey of the main principles of Islamic doctrine. It focuses on the Muslim theological discourse on the concepts of God and His attributes, man and nature, the world to come, revelation and prophethood, diversity of religions, and the possibility and actuality of miracles.

Instructors
Hossein Modarressi
Introduction to Jewish Cultures (EM)

This course explores the relationship between culture, history, religion, and ethics in global Jewish experience from the Bible to the present. Following representations of themes such as sexuality, suffering, and mysticism, we'll debate the boundaries between religion and culture and see how ethical questions play out in cultural forms. How does Jewish law, ritual, and custom inform Jewish culture, and how does culture sometimes push back against religious norms? Topics include Bible and Talmud, kabbalah, sexuality, Yiddish, Arab Jews, Zionism, Jewish music, food, literature, cinema, and comics. No background required; readings in English.

Instructors
Lital Levy
Islam in South Asia through Literature and Film (LA)

This course is a survey of Islam in the Indian subcontinent. We begin with the earliest Muslim descriptions of India and the rise of Persian poetry to understand how Muslims negotiated life at the frontiers of the Islamic world. Next we trace patterns of patronage and production at the Mughal court and the development of Urdu as a vehicle of literary composition including a discussion of the Progressive Writer's Movement and the "Muslim Social" genre of Hindi cinema. The course concludes with an examination of contemporary novels from Bangladesh and Pakistan. Students will gain an informed perspective on Islam beyond the headlines.

Instructors
Sadaf Jaffer
Islam in South Asia through Literature and Film (LA)

This course is a survey of Islam in the Indian subcontinent. We begin with the earliest Muslim descriptions of India and the rise of Persian poetry to understand how Muslims negotiated life at the frontiers of the Islamic world. Next we trace patterns of patronage and production at the Mughal court and the development of Urdu as a vehicle of literary composition including a discussion of the Progressive Writer's Movement and the "Muslim Social" genre of Hindi cinema. The course concludes with an examination of contemporary novels from Bangladesh and Pakistan. Students will gain an informed perspective on Islam beyond the headlines.

Instructors
Sadaf Jaffer
Islam in South Asia through Literature and Film (LA)

This course is a survey of Islam in the Indian subcontinent. We begin with the earliest Muslim descriptions of India and the rise of Persian poetry to understand how Muslims negotiated life at the frontiers of the Islamic world. Next we trace patterns of patronage and production at the Mughal court and the development of Urdu as a vehicle of literary composition including a discussion of the Progressive Writer's Movement and the "Muslim Social" genre of Hindi cinema. The course concludes with an examination of contemporary novels from Bangladesh and Pakistan. Students will gain an informed perspective on Islam beyond the headlines.

Instructors
Sadaf Jaffer

Undergraduate

Fall 2022

Spring 2022

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