Current Term Course Offerings
See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click its title.
REL 100 - Onishi (Multiple Sections)
Through consideration of texts in a diversity of humanistic and social scientific disciplines, this course explores the nature, function, and meaning of religion in individual and collective experience. It also explores texts, practices, and symbols from a variety of world religions. Students who have taken REL 210 are ineligible for taking REL 100.
REL 102 - Brown (Multiple Sections)
An introduction to the history, literature and interpretation of the New Testament.
REL 132 - Lubin
This course explores the many ways in which Hindus visualize and talk about the divine and its manifestations in the world through mythic stories, use of images in worship, explanations of the nature of the soul and body in relation to the divine, and the belief in human embodiments of the divine in Hindu holy men and women. Topics include: the religious meanings of masculine and feminine in the divine and human contexts; the idea of local, family, and "chosen" divinities; and differing forms of Hindu devotion for men and women.
REL 203 - Onishi
A study of various attempts to define "modernity" in terms of the decline, transformation, and/or displacement of religious thought and practice in the west. Students explore depictions of the modern west from the perspective of a variety of disciplines, including some of the following: sociology, psychology, philosophy, theology, literature, art.
REL 216 - Lubin
A survey of sainthood in a variety of religious contexts: Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist. The course asks: "What makes someone holy? How do saints behave? How and why are they worshipped?" Readings include sacred biographies (hagiographies), studies of particular traditions of saint worship, and interpretations of sainthood in both theological and cross-cultural perspectives.
REL 299 - Lubin
Instruction in Sanskrit language and literature. For students at the elementary level, the course presents all the basic grammar of the language over the course of a year, with readings of gradually increasing difficulty from the first class. Recitation and the use of spoken Sanskrit to analyze grammatical forms will be taught. At the intermediate level, the course gives more attention to syntax, the use of compounds, and metrics. All readings are taken from original Sanskrit works, beginning with easy epic passages and fables in prose and verse. At the advanced level, the course guides students in the reading, analysis, and interpretation of important works in Sanskrit (chosen in accordance with the students' interests), providing historical, religious, and cultural background, as well as a consideration of the relevant secondary literature. Opportunities for reading from manuscripts are offered. May be repeated for degree credit when the levels of instruction are different. Only the fifth term of study (third-year level) may be used to a meet a major requirement.
REL 381 - Blecher
This seminar introduces students to the Islamic understanding of shari'a ("Path," "law") and its role in Muslim culture, history, and society. To be examined are: the key sources of law in the Qur'an and the model of the Prophet Muhammad, the early development of Islamic legal theories and institutions, the roles of these institutions in everyday life, and the struggle to re-imagine Islamic law and its place in contemporary Muslim communities. Case studies include the nature of political institutions, the rights and roles of women, and Islamic economics, courtroom procedure and the standing of shari'a in American courts.