Spring 2013 Courses

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101. Introduction to the Study of Religion
Jorunn Buckley M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Hubbard-Conf Room West
Basic concepts, methods, and issues in the study of religion, with special reference to examples comparing and contrasting Asian and Western religions. Lectures, films, discussions, and readings in a variety of texts such as scriptures, novels, and autobiographies, along with modern interpretations of religion in ancient and contemporary, Asian and Western contexts.

105. Native American Religions: Continuity and Change
David Howlett T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Searles-215
A study of Native American religious experience in diverse contexts, from the American Southwest to the Great Plains and from the far Pacific Northwest to the American Southeast. Explores specific religious rituals practiced by groups like the Lakota, the Navajo, and the Yupik. Analyzes how historical experiences, such as cultural genocide, the dispossession of tribal lands, and the reclamation of traditions, have affected ritual practices over time. Additional topics include Native American struggles for religious freedom, Native American access to sacred spaces, Native Americans and Christianity, and the commodification of Native American spirituality.

202. Judaism in America
David Howlett T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55 Searles-213
An exploration of Judaism in the United States from colonial times to the present. Topics include the immigrant experience, suburbanization, mass consumption, transnational push and pull factors, sacred spaces, communal boundary maintenance strategies, gender and sexuality, the evolution of rituals and holy days, and divisions within Judaism. Readings include historical monographs, primary source documents, ethnographic accounts, and novels.

209. Gender and Islam
Jorunn Buckley M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Kanbar Hall-107
Explores categories for interpreting female symbolism in Islamic thought and practice, and women’s religious, legal, and political status in Islam. Attention is given to statements about women in the Qur’an, as well as other traditional and current Islamic texts. Emphasis on analysis of gender in public versus private spheres, individual vs. society, Islamization vs. modernization/Westernization, and the placement/displacement of women in the traditionally male-dominated Islamic power structures. Students may find it helpful to have taken Religion 208, but it is not a prerequisite.

219. Religion and Fiction in Modern South Asia
John Holt T 6:30 - 9:25 CT-16 Whiteside Room
A study of the Hindu and Buddhist religious cultures of modern South Asia as they have been imagined, represented, interpreted, and critiqued in the literary works of contemporary and modern South Asian writers of fiction and historical novels.

223. Mahayana Buddhism
John Holt M 6:30 - 9:25 Adams-406
Studies the emergence of Mahayana Buddhist worldviews as reflected in primary sources of Indian, Chinese, and Japanese origins. Buddhist texts include the Buddhacarita (“Life of Buddha”), the Sukhavati Vyuha (“Discourse on the ‘Pure Land’”), the Vajraccedika Sutra (the “Diamond-Cutter”), the Prajnaparamitra-hrdaya Sutra (“Heart Sutra of the Perfection of Wisdom”), the Saddharmapundarika Sutra (the “Lotus Sutra”), and the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch, among others.

247. Global Pentecostalism: The Roots and Routes of Twentieth Century Christianity
Laura Premack T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Adams-114
Seminar. Pentecostalism is a form of Christianity centered on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Pentecostals speak in tongues, heal, prophesize, see visions, and exorcise demons. By many accounts, Pentecostalism is the fastest growing religion in the world. While its population is difficult to count, current estimates place the world’s total number of Pentecostals at close to 600 million. The vast majority of these Pentecostals are concentrated in the global South: Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The widespread assumption is that Pentecostalism started in the United States in 1906 -- and was taken to the rest of the world by missionaries. Challenging this assumption and exploring other interpretive possibilities is at the center of this course, which will focus on charting the origins and expressions of the global Pentecostal movement with emphasis on its African-American roots and its contemporary African and Latin American expressions.

253. Gender, Body, and Religion
Elizabeth Pritchard T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Sills-107
A significant portion of religious texts and practices is devoted to the disciplining and gendering of bodies. Examines these disciplines including ascetic practices, dietary restrictions, sexual and purity regulations, and boundary maintenance between human and divine, public and private, and clergy and lay. Topics include desire and hunger, abortion, women-led religious movements, the power of submission, and the related intersections of race and class. Materials are drawn from Christianity, Judaism, Neopaganism, Voudou, and Buddhism.

259. Religious Toleration and Human Rights
Elizabeth Pritchard T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 The Hazelton Room (Kanbar 109)
Is toleration a response to difference we cannot do without, or is it simply a strategy for producing religious subjectivities that are compliant with liberal political rule? Is toleration a virtue like forgiveness or a poor substitute for justice? Examines the relationship between early modern European arguments for toleration and the emergence of universal human rights as well as the continuing challenges that beset their mutual implementation. Some of these challenges include confronting the Christian presuppositions of liberal toleration, accommodating the right to religious freedom while safeguarding cultural diversity by prohibiting proselytism, and translating arguments for religious toleration to the case for nondiscrimination of sexual orientations and relationships. In addition to case studies and United Nation documents, readings include selections from Locke, Marx, Heyd, Walzer, Brown, Pellegrini, and Richards.