REL 21

Religion and Western Thought

To what extent has religion been a shaping factor in the West’s development and can it be clearly distinguished from wider philosophical, sociological, and political trends? Students will begin to develop expertise in the study of religion and in theoretical literature addressing various questions and concerns raised by thinkers in the West in various historical periods. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV.

REL 21.01

Religion and Social Capital

Why are relationships important? Why does reputation matter? Why is community crucial? How does trust emerge? Is there something sacred about social bonds? This class explores the idea of social capital and its significance for analyzing culture and society. We first seek to grasp the idea of “capital” as applied to the social and relational world, examining why social theorists have found this a useful lens of analysis. What does it mean to have social and cultural capital? We then explore how and why human communal bonds are formed and whether such interactions might justifiable be called “sacred” or “religious.” We consider gifts and reciprocity as ways we forge human connection, exploring philosophical and anthropological reflection on these practices. We examine changes in how community bonds are formed in light of globalization and new technology. We review concerns about the loss of community and connection, and about the barriers to access and advancement faced by those with less social capital. We also consider religious and ethical reflection on social capital as applied to human and divine beings. Readings include Bourdieu, Durkheim, Grewal, Mauss, Putnam, Sunstein, and Volf. Dist: TMV.

REL 21.02

Religion and Politics in the Ancient and Medieval World

This course provides an advanced introduction to the relationship between religion and politics in the ancient and medieval worlds, with particular attention to the Western tradition. We focus on Christianity, most centrally, while considering its relation to Ancient Near Eastern and Greco-Roman religions at specific moments. The course offers students with a basic historical and theoretical framework for thinking about the tensions and possibilities that emerge in the encounter between religious and political thought, institutions, and communities in these periods. This course challenges the assumption that religion and politics are self-evident and clearly distinct realms. Instead, we examine the ways that the boundaries between religion and politics have been continually blurred throughout history and across communities and traditions, and consider how “religion” and “politics” are interdependent and mutually reinforcing categories of thought and practice. Dist: TMV.

REL 22 (Identical to JWST 61)

Modern Judaism

This course will concentrate on modern Jewish thought in the period beginning with Spinoza's challenge to the Bible. In turn, a figure of the Enlightenment (Moses Mendelssohn), then founder of neo-Orthodoxy (S. R. Hirsch), then the central figure of Reform (Abraham Geiger), and such later figures as Martin Buber, Ahad H'Am, and Franz Rosenzweig will be read and discussed. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

REL 23 (Identical to JWST 62)

Jewish Mysticism

The course examines the nature of claims to mystical experience or knowledge that appear in various aspects of the Jewish tradition, with primary focus on the enchanted and demonic worlds of the Kabbala. Forms of ecstasy and magic will be studied, along with their theoretical and social backgrounds and their impact on elitist and popular Jewish practice. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

REL 24 (Identical to JWST 63)

Infinity and Ethics: Modern Jewish Mysticism and Philosophy

The course is conducted through close reading and discussion of works by Spinoza, Buber, and Levinas that translate insights from the Jewish experience to the idiom of modern European culture and, in so doing, make unique contributions to such subjects of modern religious thought as: God and infinity; religion, morality, and politics; autonomy and transcendence; and the role of Jewish intellectuals in the modern era.  Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

REL 25

Islamic Mysticism (Sufism)

An introduction to Sufism, using primary texts, films, and recordings. The course will first trace the development of Sufism, including its Christian and Hindu heritage. Then, using a Sufi manual of instruction, students will work their way through one influential approach to Sufi metaphysics. Finally, using films and recordings, the class will consider the rituals, practices, and role of the Sufi orders of Islam in Islamic history. Desirable background: Religion 1, 8, or another College course on Islam or Islamicate culture, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

REL 26

Islam in America

This course will consider North American Islam as a particular instance of Islam. The Islam of slaves, nineteenth-century converts to Islam, varieties of Black Islam, New Age Islam and Sufism, and immigrant Islam – including contemporary social and political developments – will all be topics of this course. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

REL 27

The Qur’an and the Prophet

The Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad are the source and center of Islam. In this course we will consider the form and content of the Qur’an and the form and content of various accounts of the Prophet’s life: the hadith or anecdotes of the Prophet’s life, the sirah, or biography of Muhammad, and the maghazi, or accounts of the Prophet’s battles and campaigns. Topics covered include the aural Qur’an, the dating of the Qur’an and the hadith, diverse images of the Prophet, and “what can we know about the life of Muhammad?” Desirable background: A College course on Islamic history, culture, or society, including Religion 8 and Religion 16. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

REL 28

Topics in the Study of Islam

This course will focus on a particular topic in Islamic studies, with an emphasis on the most recent research in that field. The topic will vary with each offering, so the course may be taken more than once. Sample topics include: “The Islam of Morocco,” “Shi’ism,” and “Problems in Popular Islam.” Desirable background: A previous course on Islamic Religion or Islamicate history and culture, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

28.02 The Islam of Morocco (AMES Foreign Study Program in Fez, Morocco)
This course is designed to introduce you to Islam as it occurs in the Moroccan environment. Each unit will include either visits from Moroccan scholars or practitioners of the aspect of Islam under consideration, or a visit to a scholar/practitioner or a religiously significant site. Topics will include sharīʿah and sharīʿah-reform, the King as Commander of the Faithful, Dialect Islam in Morocco, Gender and Sex in Moroccan Islam, the History of Islam in Morocco, and other topics as they present themselves. Dist:: TMV; WCult: NW.

28.03 Transnational Muslim Feminisms: History, Religion, Praxis (Identical to WGSS 41.04 and AMES 40.05)
This course introduces students to the diversity of feminist approaches on a transnational scale, by examining the movements, activism, media, literature, and Islamic debates produced in predominantly Muslim countries and beyond. We will interrogate concepts of transnationalism, feminism and modernity in terms of historical developments, theoretical usage, the context of colonialism, Islamic theologies, and the modern Muslim nation states. We will explore similarities and differences in women's experiences and feminist methodologies across global Muslim contexts. Course materials will be made up of several primary sources in translation that deal with intersectional issues such as religious and cultural practices, educational systems, politics, race and racism, socioeconomic class, legal rights for men and women, and marriage and the family. Open to all classes. Dist: INT, SOC; WCult: NW.

28.04 Gender in Islam (Identical to WGSS 43.06)
"Is Islam sexist?" "What does Islam really say about women?" This course seeks to dismantle the premises of these questions by asking who speaks for Islam, what makes something Islamic, and how are gender and gender roles constructed in Islamic texts and Muslim thought. We will make critical study of the constructions of gender, femininity, masculinity, sexuality, gender relations, marriage and divorce in classical and modern Islamic texts. In asking how Islamic notions of gender are constructed, we will examine both the roles religious texts have played in shaping Muslim life and how Muslim life in its cultural diversity affects readings of religious texts. We will read works of Muslim thought on gender relations in their historical contexts and in relation to one another. Through in-class discussions, critical reading exercises, and short essay assignments, students will strengthen their literacy on global gender issues, study religio-historical ideas on gender, analyze the role of texts in shaping gender in society, and vice versa. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

REL 29.01

Religion in the Modern World (Formerly REL 2)

As late as the 1970s, academics were convinced that religion was dying, and that it was less and less relevant to the contemporary world. Then came the Iranian Revolution, the Rise of the Religious Conservatives in the US, the settler movement in Israel, the appearance of militant Buddhists in Sri Lanka, and then of course 9/11. In this introductory, reading and discussion-based course we will first try to understand what we mean by the term “modernity” and what features are characteristic of it. Then we will consider and discuss a series of topics related to modernity and religion. Readings are designed to include both topical cases and classic works in the study of religion and modernity. Open to all. Dist: INT/TMV.

REL 29.02 Religion in Modern Europe
The course covers a broad range of theoretical and empirical issues related to religion and religiosity in modern Europe. Drawing on a diverse body of social scientific literature, it explores various facets of religion’s role in European societies. It does so by placing religion in the context of key historical and socio-political developments, including: dominant political ideologies (socialism, fascism, neoliberalism), the birth of nation-states and supranational structures (EU), imperialism and colonialism, the two world wars and Cold war politics, advances in the domain of human rights. Particular attention will be paid to such issues as the dynamics of secularization over the last two centuries, church-state relations and the politics of religious accommodation, the religious landscape in postsocialist Eastern European societies in relation to the developments in Western Europe, “old” and “new” religious minorities, and the role of immigration in shaping debates and legislation on religion. Likewise, the course will put a strong emphasis on situating Europe in the broader global religious context. Open to all. Dist: TMV.

REL 30

Sacred Cities

This course will explore the ways in which different religious traditions shaped and have been shaped by the sacred cities in which they are established.  We will explore the way in which local topography, communities, and tradition shaped the sacred urban landscape, and how the local holy places of the city influence the larger religious tradition of which it is a part. Dist: TMV (unless otherwise indicated); WCult: Varies.

30.01 Sacred Cities: Rome
A visit to the “eternal city” today is a visit to several cities at once; classical, medieval, and Renaissance versions of Rome are layered on top of each other and squeezed into the same space.  This course seeks to explore the many Romes of the past through the city’s religious topography.  How did the capital city of the Roman Empire become one of Christianity’s holiest cities?  We will examine the history of Rome as revealed in the lives of emperors, popes, holy women, and aristocratic families as well as through the changing landscape of the city itself and its main religious monuments. Open to all.

30.02 Sacred Cities: Jerusalem
According to G.A. Smith in his Historical Geography of the Holy Land, Jerusalem “stands aloof, waterless, [and] on the road to nowhere.” Yet, despite its geographic, agricultural, and economic limitations, Jerusalem has been transformed into a city of tremendous religious significance. This course will examine the cultural history of Jerusalem over three millennia, primarily as the symbolic focus of three faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The course content will focus on the transformation of sacred space as reflected by literary and archaeological evidence by examining the artifacts, architectural monuments, and iconography in relation to written sources. In addition, this course will examine the creation of mythic Jerusalem through event and experience. Open to all. Dist: INT/TMV.

REL 31 (Identical to WGST 43.2 and CLST 11)

Sex, Celibacy, and the Problem of Purity: Asceticism and the Human Body in Late Antiquity

Late Antiquity (c. 300-500 C.E.) was a time when Christians struggled to understand how gender, family life, and religion could intermesh. Did virgins get to heaven faster than those who marry? Can a chaste man and woman live together without succumbing to lust? Were men holier than women? What about women who behaved like men? This course examines the changing understanding of the body, marriage, sexuality, and gender within Christianity through reading saints’ lives, letters, polemical essays, and legal texts. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

REL 32

Topics in the Christian Tradition

In this course we will engage in an in-depth study of a particular issue in Christian history or Christian ideology. The topic will change with each offering, and students may therefore take this course more than once. Sample topics include “Intellectuals and Superstition: The Creation of the Witch in Medieval Europe” and “Heretics and Inquisitors: The Cathar Religion in Medieval Europe.” Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

32.06 Jewish Views of Christianity (Identical to JWST 36.02 and HIST 94.11)
What do Jews think of Christianity? The two religions took shape under each other’s influence as well as in repudiation of one another’s claims, but while we often hear about Christian anti-Judaism, we rarely learn about the other side of the story. This course will examine the impact of Christianity on Judaism through the ages, including on Jewish holidays such as Passover and Hanukkah. We will study an ancient Jewish version of the Gospels, medieval Jewish polemics regarding Christian dogma, Christian influences on Jewish mysticism, modern Jewish scholarship on Christian origins, Jewish artistic representations of Christian symbols, and post-WWII Jewish efforts to create new and positive relations with Christians. Dist: INT or TMV; WCult: CI.

32.07 Medieval Practices of Ascension
This course considers medieval western Christianity through the lens of practices related to “ascending towards” or “becoming like” God.  A central feature of western religiosity prior to the Reformation, men and women, secular and religious, sought to transcend the shackles of base matter in order to become new, spiritual creatures.  In this course, we investigate their journeys, and we question why the Reformation sought to curb practices of ascent and whether or not it succeeded. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV

32.08 Catholicism & Orthodoxy in the Americas
A survey of Orthodox and Catholic expressions of faith in the New World, beginning with New Spain in Latin America, New France in Québec, and Russian Orthodoxy in Alaska to the present. Discussions will include treatment of Native Americans, immigration and nativism, debates about cultural assimilation, the role of women, liberation theology, the impact of Vatican II and Humanae Vitae, and clergy sex scandals. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

REL 33

Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Age of the Crusades

This course will focus on the interactions of the three major religious communities of the medieval Mediterranean—Christians, Jewish, and Muslim—beginning with the First Crusade in 1096 and ending with the arrival of the Black Death in 1347. By examining topics such as pilgrimage, crusade, and jihad, the status of minority communities, and intellectual life, we will explore how Christians, Jews, and Muslims clashed, cooperated, influenced, and misunderstood each other. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

REL 34

Christianity and Conversion in the Northern World: Vikings, Celts, and Anglo-Saxons

This course explores the transformation of Christianity in the early medieval period. The conversion of ‘barbarian’ peoples in the northwest Europe between 400-1000 meant Christianity had to adapt to a new environment—one without the Roman Empire, without cities, with different languages, cultures, and notions of relations between the human and divine worlds. By exploring the impact the conversion of the people of Ireland, England, and Iceland had on Christianity, we will understand how ancient Christianity was transformed into medieval Christianity. We will also explore the appeal this Mediterranean religion had for communities that surrounded the much colder North Sea. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV.

REL 35

Religion and Science

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of current developments in the natural sciences and religious or theological interpretations of them. Emphasis is given to understanding an emerging consonance between religion and science in contrast to models of dissonance and conflict, or independence and dialogue. Particular attention is given to (1) evolutionary biology, (2) relativity physics, (3) cosmology, and (4) process theology and philosophy. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Dist: TMV.

REL 36

Sin and Story

This course explores through creative discussion, close reading, and texts that parallel theological perspective with literary exemplification, the fruitful interplay between religion and fiction. Students are encouraged to draw on other—and not necessarily Christian—religious traditions, if they so choose. The format is that of a book club. Lectures will provide significant biographical, contextual, and stylistic information. The professor will also assist students in elucidating the theological elements informing the literary works. The students will be responsible for coming to class with questions, comments, and quotations to support their assertions. Open to all classes. Dist: LIT.

REL 37

Animal Rights in Religion, Film, and Literature

This interdisciplinary, interfaith course looks at issues of ethics and religion in our environment as they are illustrated through the circumstances of flora and fauna today.  Animal rights are discussed; animal advocacy is encouraged as part of the enduring heritage of the great teachings of many religions. This course will satisfies one of the three electives required for the Ethics Institute minor requirement. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

REL 38

Spiritual Autobiography

This course begins with the first spiritual autobiography in the West, Augustine's Confessions, as a standpoint from which to compare and contrast other spiritual journeys.  Topics subsequently to be studied include excerpts of personal accounts about experiential faith; a panoramic overview of conversion narratives, among them African American, Native American and Muslim; and contextual information about the historical development of these various religious perspectives. Students will engage in journaling. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV.

REL 39

Magic, Madwomen, and Mystics: an alternative Christian spirituality

This course compares and contrasts magical practices and mysticism in (primarily) Western Europe from pre-Christian Judaism to the present day. An alternative voice to institutionalized piety emerges, one that is often (although not always) associated with those culturally marginalized, including women. The focus is interdisciplinary:  we examine spiritual literature, poetry, artwork (including the engravings of William Blake), early modern music, and some hymns. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

REL 40

Topics in the Religions of India

This course will focus in some depth on a particular aspect of religion in India—for example, a particular religion, sect, time period, body of literature, type of religion, or religious movement. The topic will change with each offering, and students may take the course more than once. Sample topics include: “Gods, Demons, and Monkeys: The Ramayana Epic of India,” “Women In Indian Religions,” and “Modern Hinduism.” Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

40.01 Gods, Demons, and Monkeys: The Ramayana Epic of India
The ancient Indian epic known as the Ramayana is a stirring, martial tale of gods, demons, and monkeys.  Beginning with the classical Sanskrit version composed as early as 200 B.C.E., India has produced hundreds of different versions of the Ramayana, in different languages and media, with different agendas and for different audiences.  We will examine this epic tradition in all of its complexity, making ample use of different forms of media. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

40.07 Hindus and Muslims in India
Hindu nationalist rhetoric in India today claims that India has always been an inherently “Hindu state,” and that “Hindu” and “Muslim” are two distinct, mutually exclusive, and oppositional identities locked in a relationship of eternal conflict. These claims raise a host of difficult questions: Was there any such thing as a collective “Hindu” identity prior to the arrival of Islam? What was the relationship between “Hinduism” and “Islam” during the medieval period? To what extent was British colonialism responsible for creating “Hindu” and “Muslim” identities in the modern period and then projecting them into the past? This course will examine “Hindu” and “Muslim” identities in both medieval and modern India. Open to all. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

REL 41

Readings in Buddhist Literature

This course will focus in some depth on a particular body of Buddhist literature from a specific region of the Buddhist world, such as sacred scriptures, philosophical treatises, narrative texts, ritual texts, and sacred biographies. Special attention will be paid to a close and careful reading of the texts, as well as to placing them within their proper historical, social, and cultural contexts. The topic will change with each offering, and students may take the course more than once. Sample topics include: “Indian Buddhist Narratives,” “Mahayana Buddhist Texts,” “Chan/Zen Tradition,” and “Tantra in East Asia.” Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

41.01 Mahayana Buddhist Texts
An in-depth, discussion-based exploration of the rich, imaginative world of Mahayana Buddhist literature, including both philosophical treatises and religious scriptures (including the Heart, Diamond, Lotus, and Vimalakirti Sutras). Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

41.02 Buddhism & Film (Identical to FILM 47.22)
After an introductory survey of central topics in Buddhism, this course will explore the cinematic presentation of Buddhist religion, philosophy, practices, saints, and institutions. By deconstructing these multi-layer texts composed of sights and sounds, students will gain insight into Buddhist ways of seeing, but also use Buddhist perspectives to unpack the way narrative films produce conceptual, emotional, perceptual, and visceral responses in the minds of the audience. Open to all. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

REL 42 (Identical to WGST 43.4)

Goddesses of India

This course will use both elite and popular Hindu religious texts in conjunction with contemporary sociological and anthropological accounts, scholarly analyses, visual art, and film to explore the diverse identities and roles of India’s many goddesses, both ancient and modern. Special emphasis will also be given to the relationship between goddesses and women. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

REL 43

Buddhism in America

This course will focus on the transmission, growth, and transformation of Buddhism in America—treating American Buddhism not as an Asian tradition transplanted onto American soil, but rather as a distinctive regional variety of Buddhism that has its own distinguishing characteristics. We will focus on the history of Buddhism in America, major varieties of American Buddhism (including Zen, Tibetan Vajrayana, Theravada, and Soka Gakkai), and contemporary issues in American Buddhism. Dist: INT, TMV; WCult: W.

REL 46

Daoism: Transformations of Tradition

In this course we will explore the historical developments and transformations of Daoism from its ancient roots to present-day practices. We will begin by looking at early traditions of immortality seekers and self-cultivation and at the religious and philosophical ideas in the ancient Chinese texts of the Laozi, Zhuangzi, and Guanzi. We will also examine recent archaeological findings, imperial religious practices, and the complex interaction of Daoism with Buddhism. We will in addition look at contemporary Daoist practices in China and Taiwan. Along the way we will devote special attention to meditation and divination techniques; alchemy and sexual techniques for transcendence; the place of women and the feminine in Daoism. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

REL 47

Buddhism in China

A study of the advent of Buddhism in China, its accommodating yet transforming response to Chinese traditions and values, the emergence of the authentically Chinese schools of T’ien-T’ai, Hua-yen, Ch’an, and Pure Land Buddhism, and the enduring Buddhist heritage of China. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

REL 48

Body and Sex in Chinese Religions

In this course we will explore how different traditions in China conceptualized the relationship between the human body and the universe, and how individuals can attain immortality and transcendence. After examining different conceptions of the human body in traditional China, we will focus on sexual practices advocated by the traditions of immortality seekers, Daoism, and esoteric Buddhism as ways to enlightenment and transcendence. In our explorations we will look at the earliest records of sexual practices found in tombs of the 3rd century B.C.E. and examine Daoist sexual initiation rites and secret rites practiced by emperors. We will consider how notions of cosmic powers and forces are expressed in sexual rituals and how society views such practices. We will also compare Chinese notions of the body and of sexual practices with those found in West. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

REL 49

Topics in East Asian Religions

In this course students will read and discuss the latest research on one of the religions of East Asia, or a particular sect, movement, or time period in the history of East Asian religions. The topic will change with each offering. Thus, students may take this course more than once. Sample topics include: “Literature and Religion in China,” “Politics and Religion in China,” and “The Body in Japanese Religion.” Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

49.01 Apocalyptic Thought
In this class we will examine ideas about the cataclysmic end of the world, possible ways to survive such calamities, or to bring them forth appear in several religious traditions in East Asia. This course examines a variety of such eschatological and salvific ideas, beginning with Daoist and Buddhist scriptures in medieval China, proceeding through various religious rebel movements to modern cults such as Aum Shinrikyo in Japan and Falun Gong in China. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

REL 53

Religion, Healing, and Medicine

This class explores a range of religious approaches and traditional therapeutic responses to bodily suffering, with an eye towards examining the way medical cultures reflect and construct religious identity. Most examples of healing practices tobe discussed are drawn from religious communities and ethnic groups active in the contemporary United States. While addressing such topical issues as reproduction, sexuality, substance abuse, and dieting, the course also analyzes the taboos,values, and rituals of Western biomedicine. Open to all classes. Dist: INT, SOC; WCult: CI.

REL 54

African American Religion and Culture in Jim Crow America (Identical to AAAS 80.08)

Jim Crow segregation in the United States compelled many African American men and women to use their bodies—their hands, feet, and voices—to create sacred scenes, sounds, and spaces to articulate their existence in America. This seminar focuses on religious production to explore African American culture in the post-Civil War era. Students will analyze a variety of sources, including music, visual art, film, religious architecture, sermons, food, theater, photography, and news media. DIST: ART; WCult: CI.

REL 55

Ancient Egyptian Religion

The great civilization of ancient Egypt, which spanned a period of almost 3000 years, has left us a wealth of literary, artistic, architectural, and funerary religious remains. This course will focus on three major aspects of Egypt’s religious heritage: (1) the pantheon and the myths and stories about Egypt’s gods; (2) temple complexes; and (3) tombs, especially the tombs of royalty and other nobles. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

REL 56 (Identical to WGST 43.3)

Women and the Bible

As contemporary Jewish and Christian communities of faith face the question of the role of women within their traditions, many turn to the Bible for answers. Yet the biblical materials are multivalent, and their position on the role of women unclear. This course intends to take a close look at the biblical tradition, both the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the New Testament, to ask what the Bible does – and does not say – about women. Yet the course is called “Women and the Bible,” not “Women in the Bible,” and implicit in this title is a second goal of the course: not only to look at the Bible to see what it actually says about women but also to look at differing ways that modern feminist biblical scholars have engaged in the enterprise of interpreting the biblical text. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: CI.

REL 57

Readings in the Biblical Tradition

In this course we will engage in an in-depth study of a particular biblical book or of a particular biblical motif. The topic will change with each offering, and students may therefore take this course more than once. Sample topics include “The Exodus Tradition,” “Job and the Joban Tradition,” and “The End of the World.” Open to all classes. Dist: TMV.

57.06 History of Heaven (Identical to JWST 72)
This course presents an examination of the origins and early evolution of images of the afterlife among the ancient peoples of the Mediterranean basin and Near East. The course will focus on ancient Israelite, biblical, and early Jewish and Christian images. Later developments of these images within Western religious will also be discussed. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV.

REL 58

Topics in the Bible and Archaeology

In this course we will study the relationship between various biblical texts and archeological discoveries from the ancient Near East, including ancient Israel, and from the Roman Empire during the period of Christian origins. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which archeological data can be used and abused in attempts to understand the Bible better. The specific topic of the course will change with each offering, and students may therefore take this class more than once. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV.

REL 60

Reformations: Protestant and Catholic

This course examines the theological, social, psychological, and cultural motors driving change within the institutional church during the 16 and early 17th centuries, the Protestant challenge to Catholicism, and the Catholic response. Manifestations of the need for change are found in great literature of the era and also exemplified in art and film. Scope spans Europe and the Colonies. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

REL 61 (Identical to AAAS 22)

Religion and the Civil Rights Movement

An examination of the importance of religion in the drive for civil rights during the 1950s and 1960s. The course will look at the role of activists, clergy, sermons, and music in forging the consensus in favor of civil rights. Open to all classes. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.

REL 62

Religion, Politics, and the Presidency

This course examines the intricate relationship between church and state, religion and politics, throughout American history, beginning with the founders and how they have been interpreted — perhaps misinterpreted — throughout history.  We'll look at the contentious election of 1800, examine the faith of several presidents, and then explore the rise and the influence of the Religious Right in recent years, concluding with a retrospective on religion and presidential politics over the past half century. Open to all. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

REL 63


A survey of the history and theology of Mormonism, one of America's indigenous religions.  We'll read selections from the Book of Mormon and chart the history of the movement, including its contentious relationship with the federal government.  We'll look, finally, at some of the cultural expressions of Mormonism and examine the ways that Mormonism has transformed itself from what was essentially an outlaw religion in the nineteenth century to the embodiment of American ideals. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

REL 64


A survey of the history and theology of evangelicalism, America's folk religion, from its origins in the confluence of the "three P's" - Puritanism, Presbyterianism, and Pietism - in the Great Awakening to the construction of the evangelical subculture following the Scopes Trial to the present.  We'll examine evangelical millennial ideas as well as attitudes toward women, minorities, society, and politics. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: CI.

REL 65

Sports, Ethics & Religion

A survey of the origins and development of the culture of athletic competition in America, with roots in the "Muscular Christianity" movement of nineteenth-century England. We'll examine the peculiar (religious?) passion that Americans invest in sports as well as the role that sports has played as an engine for social change. We look, finally, at some of the ethical issues surrounding organized sports. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

REL 66 (Identical to AAAS 42)

Women, Religion, and Social Change in Africa

This introductory, interdisciplinary course focuses on women's religious ideas, concerns, actions, rituals, and experiences in African societies from a comparative, historical, and gendered perspective. We will look at women's experiences of social change in indigenous African religions, the impact of the new religions of Christianity and Islam, colonialism, and the experience of post-colonial societies. Topics include women's prophetic movements, religious critiques of underdevelopment, women's initiation, conversion and reconversion. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

REL 67

Religion and Imperialism

An examination of the impact of imperial expansion on the religious systems of the conquered. The course will focus primarily on the religious consequences of European expansion in North America and Africa but will also examine Jewish responses to Roman imperialism at the time of Jesus. We shall examine the attempts of traditional religious leaders to explain and control the imperial presence as well as the development of new religious movements that grew out of spiritual crises of conquest. This course will examine various types of prophetic movements and revitalization movements that developed in response to conquest as people sought to preserve their cultural identities in the face of their forced integration into imperial systems.  Issues of conversion to religions associated with the conquerors as well as the challenges of secular culture will be discussed. Open to all. Dist: SOC or INT; WCult: CI.

REL 69 (Identical to GOV 20.07)

Religion and World Politics

This course examines the relationship between religious and political change, focusing on Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and Ireland.  Within Africa, we will examine the development of a theology of racial separation, known as apartheid, and its opponents; as well as religious tensions in Nigeria, most notably the challenge of Boko Haram to the cohesion of the Nigerian state.  Topics will include theories concerning the clash of civilizations, the rise of fundamentalist political movements, liberation theologies, religion and violence, the relationship of religions to the State, and the religious dimensions of political movements.  We will also examine the way in which religious and political perspectives on such issues as gender, sexuality, race, and war reinforce or clash with one another in the public arena of national and/or regional debates.

REL 70

Foreign Study in Religion I

Credit for this course is awarded to students who have successfully completed a religion course at the University of Edinburgh while a member of the Dartmouth Foreign Study Program in Religion. Prerequisite: one course in Religion. Dist: TMV.

REL 71

Foreign Study in Religion II

Credit for this course is awarded to students who have successfully completed a religion course at the University of Edinburgh while a member of the Dartmouth Foreign Study Program in Religion. Prerequisite: one course in Religion. Dist: TMV.

REL 74

Special Topics in Religion—Intermediate Level

The contents of this course will vary from term to term. When offered as the Dartmouth Foreign Study Program (D.F.S.P.) course, it is taught by the Dartmouth Faculty Director of the annual Religion Department Foreign Study Program at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. See Off Campus Programs for applications and more information. Dist: TMV (unless otherwise indicated). WCult: Varies.

74.11 The English Bible
In this course, we will study first the earliest Bibles produced in southern Scotland and northern England, focusing in depth on the most beautiful and most important: the Lindisfarne Gospels, the Codex Amiatinus, and the Book of Kells. Second, we will study the history of the rendering of these and other early Latin Bibles into English, culminating with the famous King James Version, commissioned in 1611 by King James VI of Scotland/James I of England. Fields trips to the island of Iona, the Holy Isle of Lindisfarne, Melrose Abbey, Durham Cathedral, and Edinburgh and Stirling Castles are integrated into our study. Dist: TMV.

74.13 Religion and the Rise of Capitalism
One of the most influential theorists of early capitalism, Adam Smith, hailed from Scotland and even delivered a series of important early lectures at Edinburgh. Smith was just one of a cadre of thinkers, many associated with the Scottish Enlightenment, who formulated new ideas of a market society. Smith and these other thinkers often wrote in explicit conversation with theological debates about divine providence and God's management of the cosmos. Religion, it appears, was a major factor motivating such new thought. This class delves into early philosophical, theological, and religious conversations that were central to the new theories of commercial society that became the seedbed of capitalism. We consider thinkers such as Smith, Mandeville, Hume, Hobbes, and Nicole, among others. Dist: TMV.