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Spring 2019 Course Offerings

THE BIBLE AS LITERATURE (Frank Eakin)
RELG 201-01/02 01/ TR 3:00– 4:15PM, 02/TR 12:00–1:15PM; (FSLT, IBHU)
A non-confessional study of the diverse genres of Biblical literature, viewing passages in historical context to understand the multiple layers of the intended message: period about which written, the time of the writer, and the time of the recipient. Primary emphasis is given to literary and historical criticism.

SEX & SALVATION IN 19TH —CENTURY AMERICA (Douglas Winiarski)
RELG 210-01/02 TR 10:30-11:45AM; TR 12:00-1:15PM (FSHT, AMER)
Survey of religious beliefs and practices relating to family structures, gender roles, sexual identities, and marital arrangements among nineteenth-century communitarian and sectarian movements in the United States. Topics include the theologies of charismatic leaders, such as the hyper-patriarchal Prophet Matthias and the genderless Public Universal Friend, as well as the sexual and marital practices of the Moravians, Shakers, Mormons, and Oneida Community.

INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT (Stephanie Cobb)
RELG 241-01/02 TR 12:00-1:15PM; TR 1:30-2:45PM (FSHT, CLEL)
In this course, students will primarily study the New Testament—the earliest Christian literature—but they will also be introduced to other (non-canonical) early Christian texts. Introduction to the New Testament utilizes a historical approach to the study of early Christianity and its literature by locating the development of Christianity firmly within its various social, geographical, and religious contexts.

ISLAM IN AMERICA (Mimi Hanaoka)
RELG 294 MW 1:30-2:45PM (AMER)
This introductory course explores the history and life of Muslims and Islam in the USA. We examine the origins of Islam in America, including slavery and different waves of immigration and conversion over five centuries. We pay special attention to the 19th – 21st centuries, focusing on issues of black Muslim religion and Islam in the African American Community; Origins and history of the early American Shi'i Community; Women, Gender, and Sexuality in American Islam; Sufism and American Muslim Spirituality; American Muslim institution building and activism; Racial, Ethnic and Religious Diversities within Islam in America; and Islam in America Post-9/11.

BUDDHIST PHILOSPHY (Miranda Shaw)
RELG 366 M 3:00-5:40PM (ISAH)
A survey of Buddhist intellectual history, early through contemporary, focusing on how Buddhists have sought to chart a “middle course” between objectivist and nihilist absolutisms. Topics include the Buddha’s teachings, early metaphysical debates, schools of Mahayana thought, Chinese Ch’an, and Zen in Japan.

FOUNDATIONS OF SOCIAL ETHICS (Scott Davis)
RELG 369 MW 10:30-11:45AM (PPET)
Begins with Robert Axelrod’s ground-breaking application of the prisoner’s dilemma to illustrate the preference of certain strategies for sustaining cooperation in social situations over time. The course then looks at three approaches to understanding moral arguments in social situations: The utilitarianism of Peter Singer, the natural law theory of John Finnis and Robert George, and the communitarianism of Jeffrey Stout and Molly Farneth. In each case we combine moral theory with practical application to investigate the real world implications of the different positions.

ASIAN ETHICS: DAO OF LIVING (Jane Geaney)
RELG 394 W 3:00-5:40PM (ISAH, ISD2, PPET)
This introduction to traditional East Asian ethics explores moral behavior as embodied in a way (dao 道) of living. These forms of Confucian, Daoist, and Buddhist ethics are rooted in personal growth, bodily cultivation, meditation, and interpersonal relationships. Emphasis on critical reading, analytic skills, and class participation.

A HISTORY OF ANTISEMITISM (Stephanie Cobb)
RELG 394 T 3:00-5:40PM 
In this course, students will investigate the origins of antisemitism in the ancient world and trace its various manifestations through the Crusades, the Inquisition, and into early 20th Century. The course's primary goal, though, is to understand how that history relates to the 21st century and affects the communities—local and global—we live in. This course is explicitly designed as an academic, intellectual response to the Charlottesville rally and the Pittsburgh attack. Any students who have an interest in contextualizing these events within a broader history of antisemitism are welcome in the class. The course does NOT assume prior knowledge of Religious Studies or Judaism.

CULTURAL HISTORY OF SEX (Miranda Shaw)
FYS 100-10 TR 12:00-01:15PM
Introduction to varying cultural constructions of sexuality, ancient and modern. Students will learn to recognize and critique sexual norms and gender roles embedded in literary and visual media by engaging in historical, cross-cultural, gender, and feminist analysis.

ANXIETY AND ETHICS (Kathleen Skerrett)
FYS 100-11 TR 1:30-2:45PM
Approaches anxiety as an existential or spiritual condition that is entwined with the practice of freedom. We will discuss late modern philosophers, theologians, and creative artists, who explore how ethical lives are intricately woven into the opportunities and challenges that anxiety presents.

DREAMING OF THE PROPHET (Mimi Hanaoka)
FYS 100-08/09 W 10:30-11:45AM; MW 12:00-1:15PM
Explores how Islam makes sense of dreams and waking visions. We consider what roles visions and dreams play in the political, social, and devotional dimensions of Islamic societies how visions relate to prophecy, truth, the future, the afterlife, and the end of time.

MARX, NIETZSCHE, & FREUD (Jane Geaney)
FYS 100-05/06 TR 10:30-11:45AM; TR 12:00-01:15PM
The writings of Marx, Nietzsche, & Freud — highly original “Masters of Suspicion” — revolutionized the dominant discourse in many fields, and their extraordinary influence on 20th Century thought continues to impact our intellectual world. Through the study of these texts, students will hone their critical reading, thinking, writing, and class participation skills.

Spring 2019 Course Flyer

Download a PDF of our Spring 2019 course flyer.