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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
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/and America: Race, Religion, and Gender in the United States (CD or SA)

What is American Islam and who are U.S. Muslims? This seminar employs lectures, discussions, and a diverse array of texts, including novels, scholarly works, films, arts, music, and much more, to respond to this question, revealing how a focus on Islam and Muslims in the U.S. produces critical counter-narratives of race, religion, and gender in the United States from the colonial era to the present.

Instructors
Sylvia Chan-Malik
Islamic Political Thought (EM)

This seminar provides a survey of Islamic political thought from its beginnings in the 7th century to the present. What are the key debates in the history of Islamic political thought - on conceptions of government, on religion and politics, on power, on non-Muslims? How did political thought develop in various Arab, Iranian, and Indian contexts? What transformations has it undergone since the late 19th century? How does the legacy of political thought inform political and religious contestations among Muslims today? These are among the questions we will address in this seminar.

Instructors
Muhammad Q. Zaman
Japanese Mythology (CD or HA)

Myths are powerful. The stories we will read were first recorded around 1,300 years ago and continue to be told in the present day. We will ask why people -- both in Japan and humans more generally -- tell these types of tales. To answer this question, we will explore comparative approaches that search for universal patterns, myths as "ideology in narrative form" used as tools of legitimization, and appropriation of myths for new purposes in original contexts including feminist critiques.

Instructors
Bryan D. Lowe
Japanese Mythology (CD or HA)

Myths are powerful. The stories we will read were first recorded around 1,300 years ago and continue to be told in the present day. We will ask why people -- both in Japan and humans more generally -- tell these types of tales. To answer this question, we will explore comparative approaches that search for universal patterns, myths as "ideology in narrative form" used as tools of legitimization, and appropriation of myths for new purposes in original contexts including feminist critiques.

Instructors
Bryan D. Lowe
Jerusalem Contested: A City's History from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives (HA)

Jerusalem is considered a holy city to three faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In this course, students will learn the history of Jerusalem from its founding in pre-biblical times until the present. Over the course of the semester, we will ask: What makes space sacred and how does a city become holy? What has been at stake - religiously, theologically, politically, nationally - in the many battles over Jerusalem? Is a city that is so deeply contested doomed to endless tension or does history offer more hopeful precedents?

Instructors
Jonathan M. Gribetz
Jesus and Buddha (EM)

This course introduces the study of religion by juxtaposing the narratives, teachings, careers and legacies of the founders of Christianity and Buddhism. While respecting each tradition's unique and distinctive texts, rituals, philosophies, and histories, the course invites us to deepen our understanding of each tradition by looking through the lens of the other. Course readings will include accounts of the lives of Jesus and Buddha, what each taught about how to live and create society, and how each understood the meaning of life and death, suffering and salvation.

Instructors
Jonathan C. Gold
Elaine H. Pagels
Jesus and Buddha (EM)

This course invites us to compare the stories, teachings, lives, deaths, and communities associated with Jesus and Buddha. While respecting each tradition's unique and distinctive sources, cultures, ideas and legacies, it invites us to deepen our understanding of each tradition by looking through the lens of the other. Course readings include accounts of the lives of Jesus and Buddha, what each taught about how to live and create society, and how they articulate the meaning of life and death, suffering and salvation.

Instructors
Jonathan C. Gold
Elaine H. Pagels
Jesus: How Christianity Began (EC)

Who was Jesus of Nazareth, and how do we know about him? Why did some interpretations of truth -- and his message -- win out over others? How have these particular ways of thinking influenced western culture, shaping our views of politics, race and ethnicity, sexuality and gender, civil and human rights even now? To answer questions like these, we'll investigate the earliest gospels, letters, Jewish and Roman sources, prison diaries and martyr accounts -- as well as how artists, filmmakers, musicians and theologians interpret them. Regardless of religious background, or none, you will learn a lot, and be able to contribute.

Instructors
Elaine H. Pagels
Jesus: How Christianity Began (EC)

Who was Jesus of Nazareth? What do we know and how do we know it? This course takes up these questions and surveys the diverse history of interpretation of the life and teachings of Jesus and how this history shaped and continues to shape contemporary views of and debates about politics, race and ethnicity, sexuality and gender, and civil rights. Throughout the course, we will consider both historical material such as early gospels, letters, and Jewish and Roman sources as well as modern contexts of interpretation in theology, film, art, and music. This course is designed and open to all regardless of (or no) religious background.

Instructors
Lydia C. Bremer-McCollum
Jesus: How Christianity Began (EC)

Who was Jesus of Nazareth, and how do we know about him? Why did some interpretations of truth -- and his message -- win out over others? How have these particular ways of thinking influenced western culture, shaping our views of politics, race and ethnicity, sexuality and gender, civil and human rights even now? To answer questions like these, we'll investigate the earliest gospels, letters, Jewish and Roman sources, prison diaries and martyr accounts -- as well as how artists, filmmakers, musicians and theologians interpret them. Regardless of religious background, or none, you will learn a lot, and be able to contribute.

Instructors
Elaine H. Pagels
Jewish Mysticism, Magic, and Kabbalah from Antiquity to Middle Ages (HA)

This course traces the history of Jewish mysticism and magic from the Hebrew Bible to the flourishing of the Kabbalah in medieval Europe. We will consider such historical problems as: the roots of the Jewish mystical tradition in Israelite prophecy; rabbinic attitudes toward secret knowledge and ecstatic practice; and the emergence of the Kabbalah against the background of Jewish rationalist philosophy. The course also considers such thematic questions as: the relationship between literary expression and mystical experience; the power of speech and language in Jewish magic; and gender, sexuality, and the body in Jewish mysticism.

Instructors
Ra'anan S. Boustan
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Their Emergence in Antiquity (HA)

The period studied in this course saw wide-ranging transformations that inform religion and culture to this day, such as the emergence of the traditions now called Judaism, Christianity and Islam, a spread in allegiance to a single God, and a decline in public animal sacrifice. The course will introduce students to a critical examination of these changes. We will learn to identify patterns across different traditions, uncover the ways these traditions shaped one another, trace the development of beliefs from their earliest forms, and analyze the social and political context of these changes.

Instructors
Moulie Vidas

Undergraduate

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