Courses

RE 101H: Exploring Religion
What makes something ?religious?? This course examines the ways in which religions play a role in culture. Students will explore the history of this interaction and the continuing influence of religion in the contemporary world.

RE 201H: Understanding Religion
This course surveys various approaches to the study of religious phenomena and ideas as expressed in such cultural forms as individual and communal identities, rituals, myths, ethics, scriptures, and material and popular culture.

RE 206H: The Bible, Gender, and Sexual Politics
Relations between biblical literature and issues of sexual difference, gender socialization, misogyny, and the question of origins of patriarchy.

RE 212H: Apocalypse, Utopia, Dystopia
Examination of the "apocalypse" as represented in ancient literature and modern media. This course explores predictions and visions of global destruction and transformation in religious traditions, public debates, and popular culture.

RE 214H: Cults and Religious Freedom
This course engages the dynamics of religious innovation, diversity, tolerance, and freedom through an historical, comparative, and multimedia encounter with New Religious Movements.

RE 219G: Hindu Myth and Ritual
Students will explore classical Indian mythology, ceremonial traditions of the great Goddess and major gods, veneration of village goddesses and local protector gods, rituals of caste society, aesthetic dimensions of Hindu worship, and Hindu modernity.

RE 220G: Engaged Buddhism
Students will study innovative contemporary Buddhist teachings on the environment, consumerism, human rights, sexuality, and gender equality, along with their roots in classical Buddhist thought and practice.

RE 221H: American Religious Diversity
An examination of the diversity of religions in America today, this class will explore the development of religious pluralism, its impact on American society, and the challenges and opportunities it presents.

RE 230G: Meditation and Experience
An in-depth examination of contemplative and mystical traditions. A critical exploration of religious experience as a category of inquiry. Examples will be drawn from a range of religious traditions with an emphasis on South Asian and Southeast Asian Buddhist meditation and mindfulness traditions, Tibetan Tantra, and East Asian Zen and Pure Land.

RE 234H: The Goddess in Asia
Regional goddesses in India, China, and Japan. The relationship between women and the divine feminine principle within the context of Asian cultures compared with other contemporary expressions of Goddess devotion.

RE 240G: Religion, Power, and Difference
What is a non-Western religion? An examination of the idea of the Non-West and of the practices, beliefs, and histories associated with the religious Non-West.

RE 242H: Scriptures Across Traditions
This course explores how to critically and comparatively engage scriptures as a means to understand and negotiate religious and cultural history, difference, and diversity, across time and space, with multiple audiences. Examples will be drawn from African, Asian, European, Middle Eastern, and American traditions.

RE 243H: Sacred Texts & Social Justice
This course engages the uses of biblical texts in historic and contemporary social justice movements. Modern abolitionist, Marxist, anti-racist, postcolonial, feminist, queer, and pacifist interpretations will be considered.

RE 244H: Middle Eastern Religions
This class examines the Abrahamic Traditions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, in light of their historical development, beliefs, practices, and interactions with the many cultures within which they have found a home.

RE 252E: Animals and Religion
This course will examine animals within religion and religion within animal worlds. How does religion structure the human/animal interface? Do animals have religion?

RE 270E: Asian Religions & Environment
Examine the ways in which religions shape human understandings and treatment of the natural environment, with an emphasis on non-Western religions.

RE 272H: Creativity and Spirituality
This course explores intersections between spirituality and creativity, especially in the literary and visual arts. Students consider how the arts respond to fundamental questions about existence and intersect with spiritual concerns, as well as engage in their own creative self-expression.

RE 282H: Religions of China and Japan
Taoism and Confucianism in China, Shinto in Japan and the imported tradition of Buddhism and its regional developments in various schools; the syncretistic character of East Asian religiosity. RE 240G recommended as a prerequisite but not required.

RE 283E: Nature Religion
Examines religions grounded in a focus on nature and its spiritual dimensions and values. Students will think critically about the ways in which these religions have shaped people's approaches to nature and one another.

RE 312H: Feasts and Fasts: Religion, Food, Eating
From ritual feasts to farm-to-table, and from food gluttony to food denial, this course explores the role of religion in everyday life by attending to the complex relationship between religion and food cultures.

RE 323: Gnostics, Heretics, Martyrs
Why were some texts left out of the Bible? This course investigates ancient extracanonical writings and the controversies around them. Discussion of insider/outsider problems, orthodoxy and heresy, canon formation, and ancient Christian conceptions of race, gender, family, and status.

RE 324H: Topics in Religion and Cinema
Exploring the interrelationship between religion and film, this course examines cinematic intersections with worldviews, storytelling, and mythmaking practices in order to understand how religion shapes our world, and how film shapes our understanding of religion.

RE 325G: Regional Focus in Buddhism
Within the global diversity of Buddhist traditions are rich, distinctive histories, cultures, and practices. Delve into the dirversity of practices, beliefs, and history of one specific Buddhist tradition with special attention to contemporary social activism.

RE 330H: Being Human:Religion & Science
Students engage in an examination of religious perspectives on human existence and compare them to contemporary scientific approaches and understandings. The course explores Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim perspectives, along with theories from neuroscience and evolutionary psychology.

RE 334G: Gender, Activism, and Religion
An examination of the difficult relationship between feminism and religion, the applicability of the liberal feminist paradigm of activism to religious settings, and religious individuals actively altering gendered thinking and behavior within their traditions.

RE 336G: Yoga: History, Practice, and Service
A history of yoga from ancient South Asia to contemporary America, with attention paid to its philosophical roots, aesthetic dimensions, and religious, political, and therapeutic uses. Course includes weekly yoga practicum.

RE 345H: Jesus in Ancient and Modern Media
Investigation of the figure of Jesus according to a variety of ancient gospels, coupled with exploration of modern representations of Jesus in art, scholarship, fiction, and film.

RE 351E: A Culture of Science and Faith
This interdisciplinary course will examine the two seemingly different approaches to the environment that religion and science developed. The significance of the disparity will be examined by analyzing the writings of prominent theologians and scientists.

RE 356G: Religion, War, and Peace
This course surveys different approaches that explain religiously justified war and peacemaking, across time and cultures. Students will address the distance between representation and reality and the value of distinguishing between them.

RE 361H: Contemporary Christian Thought
Examination of some major theologians and movements since 1900, including Neo-Orthodoxy, Liberation Theology, and Postmodern theologies.

RE 372: Internship: Religion & Culture
This course comprises a) pre-internship consultation and preparation; b) supervised field-based experience of at least 150 hours at an approved location; and c) post internship reflection and peer engagement. Prerequisite: RE201H and mentor approval.

RE 375H: The Bible and American Cinema
More than a book, the Bible plays critical roles as a powerful icon and cultural influence. This course examines biblical texts, contexts, and histories of interpretation as represented in American film.

RE 381E: Ecotheology
The major dimensions of the current ecological crisis and its roots in Western tradition, how Judaeo-Christian thought has traditionally regarded nature and its relationship to God and humans, and implications for action.

RE 388H: Paul: Race, Gender, and Empire
This course explores the ancient lives and postmodern afterlives of the Apostle Paul through an intersectional lens that includes attention to gender-critical, postcolonial, and liberationist perspectives. Special attention will be given to the myriad ways that Paul?s writings continue to inform human experience.

RE 440: Seminar: Bible, Theory, Method
Focuses on emergent theories and questions about biblical texts, contexts, and modes of interpretation. Special attention given to biblical studies as a form of cultural and public discourse. Survey past thinking, explore more modern directions.

RE 449: Religion and Imagination
Philosophical and theological treatments of imagination in religion and in all of life, their implications for religion, faith and the role of intellectual reflection in religion. Focus on Christianity, but principles have broader implications. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

RE 498: Senior Comprehensive Project in Religious Studies
Practicum to be taken during the spring semester of the senior year. Engages principal methodological issues in Religious Studies, enabling majors and minors to expand and synthesize disciplinary knowledge. Focuses on discussion leadership and the development of research projects. Prerequisite: RE201H.

RE 499: Senior Thesis