Spring 2020 Course Offerings
Religious Studies Courses
RLST 1010-02. Encountering Religious Diversity. MCNICHOLL (TR 4:00-5:15) – HCA
Essential beliefs and practices of the world's major religious traditions. Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Contemporary scholarship and perspectives on religious encounters from each of these traditions.
RLST 1111-10. First-Year Writing Seminar - Buddhist Literature from Buddha to the Beats. MCNICHOLL (TR 1:20-2:25) - INT
Spanning more than 2000 years, Buddhism boasts a tradition rich in literary expression including works by luminaries ranging from the ancient Indian philosopher Asvaghosa to modern day novelists such as Jack Kerouac and Herman Hesse. But why have these individuals authored narratives and composed poetry to communicate religious messages? What is the relationship between religion and literature? In this course, we will explore these issues through close readings of primary texts about the Buddha's life composed in Asia and the United States, alongside secondary scholarship from diverse academic disciplines.
RLST 1190W-01. Introduction to Southern Religion and Culture. WELLS-OGHOGHOMEH (MWF 10:10-11:00) - SBS
An exploration of the histories of evangelical and non-evangelical expressions in Southern religious culture from the colonial period to the present. The evangelical thrust of Southern culture, with some attention to Catholicism, Judaism, and other religious modes considered outside the mainstream of that culture.
RLST 1500-01. Introduction to Islam. TANEJA (MWF 10:10-11:00)- HCA
An historical overview of the different religious traditions in Islam, their basis in the Qur'an and life of the Prophet, their proliferation in the medieval period, and their response to the challenge of modernity. Topics include sunni and shi'i Islam, evolution of law and theology, sufism and political philosophy. Islam in Africa, India, Spain, and southeast Asia as well as the Middle East.
RLST 3129-01. Race and Religion in America. WELLS-OGHOGHOMEH (MWF 1:10-2:00) - US
The religious foundations of racial myths, symbols, images, conflicts, and cultures from the sixteenth century to the present. Gender, violence, sexuality, media, and popular culture.
RLST 3350-01. Christian-Jewish Relations in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. PRICE (TR 2:35-3:50)- INT
Political and cultural history from the medieval persecutions to the expansion of religious toleration in the Enlightenment. Close consideration of legal toleration, banishments, re-admissions, and the impact of Christian reform movements.
RLST 3774-01. Daoist Tradition. CAMPANY (TR 11:00-12:15)- HCA
Historical and thematic survey of the Daoist tradition in China. Philosophical classics and religious scriptures, as well as social history are covered. Daoism today.
RLST 3890-01. Special Topics in Religious Studies - Religious Narrative and Self. GELLER (M 1:10-3:50)
This course addresses a number of issues raised by autobiographical narrative in general, and by religious autobiography in particular. These include motivations (personal salvation, testimony or witness, therapy, to mobilize believers, to proselytize); relationships among self, family, God, and religious tradition; relationships among life, death, and afterlife; life before and after conversion; role of memory and narrative; multiple selves (remembered, remembering, writing, and presupposed, as well as the recovered or false); mind and body; oral vs. written; fact vs. truth; privacy vs. publicity; Ego vs. Self vs. non-Self; cultural, ethnic, gender, sexual, and religious differences; genre (confession, diary, memoir, novel, biography); as well as fundamental questions about the nature of autobiography: is it the narrative of how a self endeavors to know itself or, as understood from one contemporary critical perspective, by which a self constructs its own identity or, as understood by another contemporary perspective, how a narrative generates a fictitious self? In addition to the classic exemplars of the genre like Augustine and Rousseau, emphasis will be placed on the autobiographies of those for whom the dominant society has denied a self (in particular, African American and Jewish European,) as well as on the demands that an event like the Holocaust makes on the autobiographical and religious consciousness of those who have as it were survived their own deaths
RLST 3890-02. Special Topics in Religious Studies - Theodicy: God and Human Suffering in Historical Perspectives. LIM (T 5:30-7:30)
Theodicy: God and Human Suffering in Historical Perspectives. The story of Christianity has the notion of God who suffers with and in our place at its crux. This course surveys the variegated histories of Christian attitudes toward and responses to evil and suffering: both individually, ecclesially, both in theology and praxis. Readings will range from Dorothy Day to Irenaeus of Lyons, from Toni Morrison to Shusaku Endo, from Karl Barth to Hannah Arendt. Particular attention will be given to the contemporary issues of human trafficking and global economic disparity and its global impact.
RLST 3890-03. Special Topics in Religious Studies - Evangelicalism, Pentacostalism, and the Shape of World Christianity. LIM (R 10:00-12:40)
This course surveys the various global narratives of Christianity, with particular attention given to Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism, and their ongoing developments in theological perspectives as they pertain to "worship and cultural renewal," "politics and religion in their intertwined co-existence," and "economics, justice, and social change." The course will go beyond Americo-centric vision of Christianity to shift the focus to African, Latin American, and Asian Christian narratives of Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism.
RLST 4592-01/RLST 5592-01. Advanced Seminar in Arabic. HAMAD (MWF 10:10-11:00)
Analysis of style and forms. Poetry, novels, popular literature, and historical chronicles. Topics vary.
RLST 4593-01/RLST 5593-01. Advanced Seminar in Islamic Tradition. EIDO. (MW 12:10-1:00, F 8:10-9:00)
Analysis of original Arabic texts, manuscript reading, and research methods. Topics vary.
RLST 4665-01. Mythologies and Epics of South Asia STEWART (TR 1:10-2:25) - INT
Classical Hindu and Buddhist mythologies of South Asia. Sanskrit Mahabharata and Ramayana epics. Regional adaptations of mythical themes in vernacular languages. Buddhist and Islamic narratives of romance and chronicle. Interpretive and performance strategies. Oral, literary, and visual modes of representation. Political deployment of myths.
RLST 4960W. Approaches to the Academic Study of Religion. CAMPANY (TR 2:35-3:50) - HCA
Theories and methods for the academic study of religious traditions. Open only to junior and senior majors and minors.
RLST 4970-01. Majors Colloquium. STEWART (R 4:10-5:00)
Regular presentations and critical readings of student projects and professional writings. May be repeated for credit twice for a total of 3 credit hours. Open only to majors.
ARA 1102-01/ARA 5102-01. Elementary Arabic. HAMAD (MTWRF 8:10-9:00) / EIDO
(MTWRF 11:10-12:00) – INT / Foreign Language Proficiency
Continuation of 1101 or 5101. Development of reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills. No credit for students who have earned credit for a more advanced Arabic language course. Prerequisite: 1101 or 5101.
ARA 2202-02/ARA 5202-01. Intermediate Arabic. HAMAD (TR 11:00-12:15) – INT / Foreign Language Proficiency
Continuation of 2201 or 5201. Practice and development of language skills at the intermediate-advanced level. Intensive work in spoken Arabic with emphasis on vocabulary acquisition, reading comprehension, and writing skills. Advanced grammar, modern Arabic word formation, verb aspect usage, and structure of complex sentences. No credit for students who have earned credit for a more advanced Arabic language course. Prerequisite: 1102 or 5201.
ARA 3102-01/ARA 5302-01. Advanced Arabic. EIDO (MW 8:45-10:00) - INT / Foreign Language Proficiency
Continuation of 3101 or 5301. Further development of listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills in the Arabic language. Emphasis on grammar and literary techniques. Offered on a graded basis only. No credit for students who have earned credit for a more advanced Arabic language course. Prerequisite: 3101 or 5301.