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Religion and Reason (EC)

An examination of the most influential theoretical, pragmatic, and moral arguments regarding the existence and nature of God (or gods). Along the way, we consider debates about whether and how we can talk or think about such a being, and about whether mystical experience, miracles, and the afterlife are intelligible notions. Finally, we consider whether religious commitment might be rationally acceptable without any proof or evidence, and whether the real-world fact of religious diversity has philosophical implications. Course readings will be taken from both historical and contemporary sources.

Instructors
Andrew Chignell
Daniel K. Rubio
Religion and Reason (EC)

An examination of the most influential theoretical, pragmatic, and moral arguments regarding the existence and nature of God (or gods). Along the way, we consider debates about whether and how we can talk or think about such a being, and about whether mystical experience, miracles, and the afterlife are intelligible notions. Finally, we consider whether religious commitment might be rationally acceptable without any proof or evidence, and whether the real-world fact of religious diversity has philosophical implications. Course readings will be taken from both historical and contemporary sources.

Instructors
Denys A. Turner
Religion and Social Change in Early Latin America (HA)

In this course, we will grapple with the many paradoxes in the historical role of "religion" in people's lives and society in colonial Latin America. Subjects will include: religious change; Native American cosmologies; Indigenous Christianities; women and men's daily encounters with church institutions and their participation in devotional culture; historical dynamics of race, gender, and spiritual status; and the changing relationship between the church and state.

Instructors
Jessica Delgado
Religion and the African American Political Imagination (EM)

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the historically complex relationship between "religion" and "the political" in African American life. For instance, is there a non-political religious identity? And, how does the "religious" identity of an African American atheist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, or naturalist affect their "political" imagination? These questions will guide us as we engage in close readings of texts from a variety of genres (historical, theoretical, and literary) that capture the dynamics of African American experiences, religion, and thought.

Instructors
Kevin A. Wolfe
Religion and the Public Conversation (CD or SA)

This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of religion and its engagement with society and culture. We will identify where and how religion operates in the public conversation, especially in, but not limited to, the United States. Classes will be focused around topics that intersect with religion in the public conversation such as place, media, race, body, art, and ethics. Students will develop recognition of the different ways people use religion to construct meaning, boundaries, and identity and will demonstrate the ability to engage in informed dialogue around issues of religion.

Instructors
Jenny Wiley Legath
Religion and the Public Conversation (CD or SA)

This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of religion and its engagement with society and culture. We will identify where and how religion operates in the public conversation, especially in, but not limited to, the United States. Classes will be focused around topics that intersect with religion in the public conversation such as place, media, race, body, art, and ethics. Students will develop recognition of the different ways people use religion to construct meaning, boundaries, and identity and will demonstrate the ability to engage in informed dialogue around issues of religion.

Instructors
Jenny Wiley Legath
Religion in Colonial America and the New Nation (HA)

This class covers the history of religion in America from European contact through the 1840s or so. Emphasis will be on primary readings, organized chronologically around a few recurrent themes: contact and exchange; authority and dissent; the relationship between theological reasoning and everyday life. We'll pay particular attention to changing conceptions of religion's role in social organization and competing religious views of human nature over time.

Instructors
Seth A. Perry
Religion in Colonial America and the New Nation (HA)

This class covers the history of religion in America from European contact through the 1840s or so. Emphasis will be on primary readings, organized chronologically around a few recurrent themes: contact and exchange; authority and dissent; the relationship between theological reasoning and everyday life. We'll pay particular attention to changing conceptions of religion's role in social organization and competing religious views of human nature over time.

Instructors
Seth A. Perry
Religion in Japanese Culture (HA)

What does religion mean for a culture in which the majority of people identify as nonbelievers but still regularly engage in seemingly religious acts? By looking at practices and teachings that do not easily map onto monotheistic traditions, we will question commonly held assumptions about religion. This course introduces major themes and issues in Japanese religions from ancient to modern times, focusing on the role of religion in culture and history. We will examine aspects of Buddhist, Shinto, Christian and other traditions, as well as topics such as myths, ghosts, the environment, politics, secularism, and violence.

Instructors
Bryan D. Lowe
Religion in Japanese Culture (HA)

This course will provide an introduction to major themes and issues in Japanese religions from ancient to modern times, focusing on the role of religion in culture and history. We will examine representative aspects of Buddhist, Shinto, Kirishitan (Christian) and other religious traditions, as well as such topics as myth, ritual, death, politics, and violence.

Instructors
Bryan D. Lowe
Religion, Ethics and Animals (EM)

How have religious traditions addressed the relationship between human and non-human animals, and between non-human animals and the divine? What is the connection between representations of dominion over animals in religious texts, and the subjugation of women, the "racial" other, and marginalized peoples? Our focus will be on the ways in which non-human animals, real or imagined, have figured in the religious and moral traditions, as well as the cultural practices, of the Middle East and the west, from ancient times to the present. Course includes guest speakers and engagement with animal welfare groups that focus on religion/animal welfare.

Instructors
Andrew Chignell
Shaun E. Marmon
Religions of India (EM)

This course traces the historical development of the major religious traditions of India, with special emphasis on Hindu traditions, but also treating Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. We will investigate how these traditions have shaped their religious practices and worldviews in an ongoing contest for Indian hearts and minds.

Instructors
Karin L. Meyers
Religious Existentialism (EC)

An in-depth study of the existentialist philosophies of, among others, Søren Kierkegaard, Simone Weil, Martin Heidegger, Hans Jonas, and Emmanuel Levinas. Most broadly, we will consider arguments about the relations between philosophy and existence, reason and revelation, divine law and love, religion, ethics and politics, and Judaism and Christianity. More particularly, we will focus on arguments about the meanings of different affective and cognitive states such as anxiety, boredom, and enjoyment as well as about historical and individual suffering and trauma.

Instructors
Leora F. Batnitzky
Religious Existentialism (EC)

An in-depth study of the existentialist philosophies of, among others, Søren Kierkegaard, Simone Weil, Martin Heidegger, Hans Jonas, and Emmanuel Levinas. Most broadly, we will consider arguments about the relations between philosophy and existence, reason and revelation, divine law and love, religion, ethics and politics, and Judaism and Christianity. More particularly, we will focus on arguments about the meanings of different affective and cognitive states such as anxiety, boredom, and enjoyment as well as about historical and individual suffering and trauma.

Instructors
Leora F. Batnitzky
Roman Religion: Sources and Methods (HA)

What was/is Roman religion? Our main focus in this course will be the nature, variety, and geographic range of the source material for religious practice in the Mediterranean world of the Roman Republic and Empire (6th c. BCE-5th c. CE). We'll examine how, and with what repercussions, Roman religion set the terms for and changed in response to Rome's expansion into a Mediterranean empire. Finally, we'll think about the place of "Roman religion" in the global history of religion, and the usefulness of the term "religion" to characterize how the Romans related to their gods.

Instructors
Dan-El Padilla Peralta

Undergraduate

Fall 2022

Spring 2022

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