CAS RN 100 Religion and Culture Introduction to the history of
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Please note: many of the courses below are not offered every semester. To view current Religion Department course listings, please return to the Undergraduate Course Listings page and select either Fall or Spring. CAS RN 101 The Bible *Designed for the student who will take only one or two courses in religious studies, this course introduces the Bible as a foundational source of Western culture. In addition to basic knowledge of Hebrew and Christian scriptures, the student may expect to gain an appreciation of biblical themes in Western literature and art. CAS RN 102 Sacred Journeys *An introduction to the comparative study of religion through scriptural images, travelers' accounts, and mystical reflection on the theme of the sacred journey in religious quest in Native American traditions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. CAS RN 103 Religions of the World: Eastern *Study of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shinto. Focus on the world view of each tradition and the historical development of that world view. CAS RN 104 Religions of the World: Western *Continues but does not presuppose CAS RN 103. The study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Introduction to the development, thought, practices, and influence of these religions. CAS RN 106 Death and Immortality *Examines death as religious traditions have attempted to accept, defeat, deny, or transcend it. Do we have souls? Do they reincarnate? Other topics include cremation, ancestor worship, apocalypse, alchemy, AIDS, near-death experiences, otherworld cosmologies. CAS RN 108 New Age Spirituality *Survey of the origins and development of New Age spirituality in a global context, concentrating on Occidental borrowings from India and Tibet. Possible topics include romanticism, utopianism, the occult, magic, neopaganism, out-of-body experiences, reincarnation, and channeling. CAS RN 109 Introduction to Religious Thought: The Quest for God and the Good *Introduction to religious thought, exploring the aims of human life, the place of God in the good life, and the role of contemplation and action in the spiritual quest. Readings from Plato, Aristotle, Bible, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Augustine, Maimonides, Ghazzali. CAS RN 111 Multireligious America *Introduction to American religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, with an emphasis on developments after 1965, when new legislation opened up immigration and dramatically altered the American religious landscape. Exploration of interreligious interactions: conflict, cooperation, and creolization. CAS RN 201 The Hebrew Bible *Study of the literature of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the religious faith to which these writings bear witness within the context of the history of the ancient I CAS RN 202 From Jesus to Christ: The Origins of Christianity *Places Jesus of Nazareth in his contemporary religious and social context of Second Temple Judaism; and accounts for the origins and growth of Christian life, belief, and spirituality up to the second century, as reflected in the writings of that period. CAS RN 204 Topics in Religion and the Visual Arts *Explores interplay between religion and art through the study of historical, contemporary examples. Topic changes each year. May be repeated for credit. Topic for Spring 2007: The Visual Culture of American Religions. Explores relationship between visual culture and religious experience in the U.S. Examining objects from various traditions to highlight roles played in theological reflection, devotional practice. Topics include Northwest Coast crest poles, gravestones, santos, Shaker maps, Kinkade paintings, Jewish graphic novels. Also offered as CAS AH 204. CAS RN 205 Major Western Religious Texts *Principles of interpretation brought to bear on four texts from the Western religious traditions: Augustine's Confessions, Thoreau's Walden, Melville's Moby Dick, and Tillich's Shaking of the Foundations. CAS RN 207 Myth and Religion in Literature *A workshop on religion in selected works of literature, on the nexus between myth and mysticism (in this instance, using the examples of Celtic and Islamic texts), and on the themes of individual moral crisis, action and passivity, and the quest for a meaningful way of life. CAS RN 209 Roman Catholicism *Introduction to the history, character, beliefs, and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Topics include the origin and development of the church, and the function of the sacraments and the councils, popes, and monks. CAS RN 210 Buddhism *A historical introduction to the major themes of Indian Buddhist thought and practice with special attention to the development of Buddhism in Tibet. CAS RN 212 Christianity *Introduction to Christian thought and practice in a world context, origins to present. Topics include sin, salvation, sacramnent, sacred text, bodies and souls, community, authority and the individual, Christians and non- Christians, and the challenge of modernity. CAS RN 213 Hinduism *Introduction to the Hindu tradition. Ritual and philosophy of the Vedas and Upanishads, yoga in the Bhagavad Gita, gods and goddesses in Hindu mythology, "popular" aspects of village and temple ritual, and problems of modernization and communalism in postcolonial India. CAS RN 214 Islam *The rise and spread of Islam from the seventh century to the present; introduction to its central beliefs, institutions, and practices, and its impact on the religious and cultural history of Asia and Africa. Continuity and change in the modern period. CAS RN 215 Japanese Religion *Introduction to Japanese religions, including Shintoism and Zen, Pure Land, and Tantric Buddhism. Focus on Zen Buddhism and its cultural expression in both geido (way of the arts) and bushdo (way of the warrior). Brief examination of the modern Japanese philosophy of religion. CAS RN 216 Judaism *Systematic and historical introduction to doctrines, customs, literature, and movements of Judaism; biblical religion and literature; rabbinic life and thought; medieval mysticism and philosophy; modern movement and developments. CAS RN 220 The Holy City: Jerusalem in Time, Space, and Imagination *Jerusalem as a holy city: its importance in historical experience and theological understanding of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. CAS RN 239 Religion and Science *Examines the complex relationship between science and religion, focusing on historical episodes (e.g., the "Galileo Affair") and curent controversies (e.g., "Intelligent Design" movement's influence on school curricula, "Spirituality and Health" research, and "Ecology and Religion.") CAS RN 240 Made in God's Image: The Divine-Human Relationship *Exploration of some of the most basic questions about our existence. Who are we? Where did we come from? What is the divine and how can we know it? Readings from creation stories, ancient epics, the Bible, Augustine, and Dante. CAS RN 242 Magic, Science, and Religion *Boundaries amd relationships between magic, science, and religion from late antiquity through the European Enlightenment. Topics include transformation of pagan traditions, distinctions between learned and popular traditions, and changing assumptions about God and Nature. CAS RN 245 Religious Thought: The Quest for God and the Good *Introduction to religious thought, exploring the aims of human life, the place of God in the good life, and the role of contemplation and action in the spiritual quest. Readings from Plato, Aristotle, Bible, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Augustine, Maimonides, Ghazzali. CAS RN 247 Religion and Healing Prereq:(CASRN103 OR CASRN104) (some prior academic study of world religion) or equivalent. *An introduction to approaches to healing integral to Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, African, African- descended, Latin American, Chinese, and Native American traditions, and to some of the combinations that have emerged from their interactions. CAS RN 301 Varieties of Early Christianity *Surveys the many different and often competing forms of Christianity that arose and flourished in the second to the seventh century, from the "apostolic period" to the Arab conquest in the Middle East. CAS RN 303 Christian Thought I *First course in two-semester sequence on major developments in Christian intellectual history. Source readings are from the New Testament, the Apostolic Fathers, and the Apologists (including Neo-Platonic backgrounds); Augustine, Bonaventure, Thomas (including Aristotelian backgrounds); Ockham, selected Rhineland and Spanish mystics, Luther, and Calvin. CAS RN 304 Christian Thought II *Second course in two-semester sequence on major developments in Christian intellectual history. Source readings are from Spener, Hobbes, Leibniz, Kant, Schleiermacher, Hegel, Harnack, Berdyaev, Barth, Bultmann, Maritain, and Bonhoeffer. CAS RN 307 Medieval Christian Spirituality *Explores Christian beliefs and practices in medieval Europe within and outside formal church structures. Topics include accommodation of pagan culture, constructing identity, clerical and lay piety, heterodox practice and institutional response, and encounter with non-Christian traditions. CAS RN 308 The Cross and the Crescent *Surveys the relations of Eastern Christianity with Islam from Late Antiquity to the Middle East conflict. Focus on historical developments up to today's political problems, the emergence of a Christian Arabic literature, and the history of cultural and religious exchange. CAS RN 309 Jewish Music *Jewish music as an expression of Jewish heritage, from ancient Israel to modern America. Sacred music; folk songs; nineteenth- century antagonisms, twentieth-century themes and composers in the diaspora. Reading, listening, and analysis; group presentation, performance, debate, final exam, and term paper. CAS RN 311 African American Religious History *Surveys the religious beliefs and practices of Americans of African descent from the colonial period to the present. Foci include the role of religion in the formation of personal and national identity, and the political ramifications of Christian faith. Also offered as CAS AA 311. CAS RN 312 Buddhism in America *The transplantation and transformation of Buddhism in the United States. Time period ranges from the eighteenth century to the present, but the emphasis is on contemporary developments, including the new Asian immigration, Jewish Buddhism, feminization, and engaged Buddhism. CAS RN 313 Hinduism in America *The transplantation and transformation of the ideas, institutions, and practices of Hinduism and Sikhism in America. Consideration of gurus and students, Indian-American immigrants, and European-American converts. Emphasis on primary texts, including autobiographies, novels, catechisms, sermons, and anti-cult polemics. CAS RN 317 Greek and Roman Religion *Survey of ancient Greek and Roman religions and their development from earliest beginnings to the eclipse of paganism. Theories and practices of these religions, comparisons with other religions, and relationships to Judaism and Christianity. CAS RN 321 Wisdom Tradition in Ancient Israel and Judaism *Wisdom as a major intellectual tradition in ancient Israel; the sage in Israelite and other Near Eastern cultures; formal criticism of literary types; relation to prophetic and apocalyptic traditions; canonical and apocryphal writings. CAS RN 322 History of Judaism *Major trends in post-biblical Judaism; academy and synagogue; Mishna and Talmud; Babylonian diaspora; medieval poetry, philosophy, and mysticism; codes of law; organization of the Jewish community "in exile", the land of Israel; Jewish, Islamic, and Christian civilizations. CAS RN 323 Classical Jewish Thought *Basic human and religious issues as they have been understood within the classical Jewish framework of God, the people of Israel, and Torah: good and evil, creation, the relationship of human beings to God and to one another. CAS RN 324 Introduction to Rabbinic Literature *Chronological exploration of rabbinic Judaism's major documents, using a modern scholarly anthology. The Mishnah; legal and legendary selections from the midrashim and both the Jerusalem and Palestinian Talmuds. Themes: monotheism, sin and atonement, heaven and hell, conceptions of gender, the impact of rabbinic texts on medieval and modern Judaism. CAS RN 325 Jewish Mysticism *Analysis of the development of Jewish mysticism from the biblical to the early medieval era. Emphasis on the forms of mysticism--and the texts in which they are embedded--from the rabbinic era. No knowledge of Hebrew is required. CAS RN 328 Judaism in the Modern Period *Exploration of complex encounters between Judaism and modernity from the Renaissance and Reformation to expulsion from Spain and creation of Jewish centers in the New World; emancipation and its consequences; assimilation, conversion, Reform Judaism, Zionism, the American Jewish community, modern anti-Semitism. CAS RN 329 Modern Jewish Thought *Explores attempts of major modern Jewish philosophers to reconcile Judaism and the modern consciousness. Authors include Mendelssohn, Cohen, Rosenzweig, Buber, Kaplan, and Fackenheim. Responses of traditional Judaism to modern strategies of identity and self-preservation; Judaism and the crisis of modernity. CAS RN 331 Zionism and the State of Israel *Introduction to the development of Jewish nationalism from its traditional and European origins through its culmination in the modern state of Israel. Readings from Zionist and Israeli literature on political, religious, and philosophical implications. CAS RN 333 Antisemitism Prereq: consent of instructor. *Theological and social sources of antisemitism in the ancient, medieval, and modern worlds. Comparisons with other modes of persecution such as slavery and witchcraft. Jewish responses to otherness. Intellectual and social antisemitism in contemporary America. CAS RN 334 Dead Sea Scrolls *Examination of the ancient Hebrew documents discovered in the Judean desert. Their authorship; the theological significance of the Scrolls; their relations to Ancient Judaism and early Christianity; the controversy over their release and publication. CAS RN 335 Judaism in the First Century *Explores the diversity of Judaism in the first century CE and traces the emergence of Christianity as a religion distinct from Judaism. Sources include ancient Jewish literature, early Christian literature, and archaeological evidence. CAS RN 337 Gender and Judaism Prereq:(CASRN101 OR CASRN216 OR CASAN260) *Jewish monotheism examined from the perspectives of gender theory, feminism, and homoeroticism. Themes include religion and gender, women and homosexuals as "other" in Jewish and Christian thought, difficult traditional texts and their reappropriation, issues in contemporary spirituality. CAS RN 338 The Holocaust and Music *Introduction to musical compositions created during and after the Holocaust that commemorate the period's historical moments, social issues, and personal experiences. Listening, analysis, and background reading on music by Schoenberg, Shostakovich, Penderecki, Reich, and others. CAS RN 340 The Quran *The emergence of the Quran as a major religious text, its structure and literary features, and its principal themes and places within the religious and intellectual life of the Muslim community. CAS RN 341 Islamic Mysticism: Sufism *Rise and development of the mystical movement in early Islam; analysis of the thought of leading Sufi brotherhoods, their organization, liturgy, and religious life; the impact of Sufism on classical and postclassical Islam. CAS RN 343 Global Islam *A historical and comparative study of Islam in its diverse regional and cultural settings: the Near East, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, China, the former Soviet Union, and the West. Islam's spread, adaptability, and role as a catalyst for social change. CAS RN 344 Islam and the West *Examination of religious and intellectual interaction of Islam and the West during the Middle Ages: philosophy, theology, jurisprudence, mystical thought, and ethical theory. Literary and scientific influences also considered. CAS RN 345 Islamic Law *A survey of major trends in Islamic jurisprudence from the seventh century to the present; the structure of Islamic law, its regulative principles, its place in Islamic society, and the mechanisms by which it is elaborated and applied. CAS RN 349 Qur’anic Negotiations: Contemporary Muslim Writers and the Holy Book *Contemporary Muslim writers’ responses to the Qur’an, especially their imitations of its rhetorical effects, and their use of the Holy Book to attack social and political ills. Writers include Mahfouz, Durrani, Nisrin, and Rushdie. CAS RN 360 Taoist Religion *A historical survey of the Taoist traditions in China. The philosophy of Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu and Han dynasty religion. Early Taoist movements, as well as the heyday of the religion in the Six Dynasties and the Tang. Modern Taoism as it was first formed in the Tong dynasty is also discussed. CAS RN 362 Chinese Medicine Prereq: junior or senior standing *A wide range of traditional Chinese health and religious practices, interpreted in light of ancient concepts of body and mind, illness and health, and the like. Techniques are discussed, as well as magical, ritual, and popular healing. CAS RN 363 Zen Buddhism *A study of Zen teachings and practices as a sect of Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, as a philosophic system, and as a pattern of culture. CAS RN 369 Science and Christianity *Examines the relationship between science and the Christian tradition in Europe and North America since 1500. Considers the epistemological and metaphysical foundations of both science and Christian thought as they have evolved over time. Also offered as CAS HI 369. CAS RN 372 Indian Philosophies of Religion *(Meets with CAS PH 246.) Studies the co-existence of religious communities in India, with emphasis on recent history of inter-communal relations. Introduction to the philosophical and religious culture of India; examination of some of the classical Six Systems of Indian Philosophy; exploration of the development of modern ("Neo-Hindu") philosophy, with emphasis on Ghandi. CAS RN 374 The Church and the Jews Prereq: admission to the Padua Summer Program. * CAS RN 375 Culture, Society, and Religion in South Asia *Ethnographic and historical introduction to the Indian subcontinent with a focus on the impact of religion on cultural practices and social institutions. CAS RN 384 The Holocaust *Background of German (and European) anti- Semitism. Rise of Nazism and early oppression, initial Jewish reaction, mechanics of destruction, ghettos, camps, world response and nonresponse, literature of the Holocaust, and religious implications. CAS RN 387 Anthropology of Religion *Myth, ritual, and religious experience across cultures. Special attention to the problem of religious symbolism and meaning, religious conversion and revitalization, contrasts between traditional and world religions, and the relation of religious knowledge to science, magic, and ideology. CAS RN 388 Oral Tradition as Verbal Art *Exploration of religious and secular poetry worldwide with emphasis on the ethnography of communication. A focus on performance in oral tradition and its consequences for literary form, as well as the impact of mass media and literacy on orality. CAS RN 389 Moses and the Origin of Monotheism *From Philo to Freud, the richly varied afterlife of the biblical Moses figure and story of monotheism's Egyptian origins, considered as an abiding preoccupation of western religions, theology, literary and visual art, and secular thought. CAS RN 390 New Testament Literature *Exploration of the work that constitutes a "New Testament Literature": scriptual writings– both canonical and rejected– are read together with works of literary art that, taking their inspiration from the New Testament, perpetually reinterpret and renew the Christian tradition. CAS RN 397 Topics in Philosophy and Religion *Topic for Spring 2007: Religion, Science, and the Occult in the Early Modern Age. Also offered as CAS PH 456. CAS RN 398 Topics in Philosophy and Religion *Topic for Spring 2006: Phenomenology of Religion. Traces the development of "phenomenology" from nineteenth- to twentieth-century philosophy before turning to twentieth-century phenomenology of religion and the "phenomenological philosophy of religion." The theme of self-consciousness and the relation between philosophy and theology are explored throughout. CAS RN 401 Senior Independent Work Prereq: approval of the Honors Committee. * CAS RN 402 Senior Independent Work Prereq: approval of the Honors Committee. * CAS RN 412 Theology of Christian Mysticism *A concentrated venture in philosophical theology. Lectures, reading, and discussion center on the thought, not the praxis, of selected major mystics in the Christian tradition. Overviews Greek philosophical backgrounds; closely examines Eckhart, Nicholas of Cusa, Boehme, and William Blake. CAS RN 413 Gender in Medieval Christian Mysticism *Study of the Christian mystical traditions of medieval Europe, both orthodox and heretical, with particular emphasis on the role of gender and authority in mystical writing, practicing, and teaching. CAS RN 414 Indigenous Religions of West Africa *Survey of indigenous religions of West Africa. Focus on the High God; ancestor worship; divinities and spirits; the concept of the human person; ethical and moral values; and the West African view of nature. CAS RN 415 Traditional African Religions in the Diaspora *Exploration of original West African religions and their survival in the Americas: Cadomble, Umbanda, Macumba in Brazil; Santeria in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere; Sango in Trinidad and Tobago; and Vodun in Haiti. CAS RN 423 Core Texts and Motifs of World Religions: West Prereq:(CASCC101 & CASCC102) or two courses in religion or philosophy. *An intensive seminar in primary texts and key ideas of theology and religious philosophy as developed in representative world religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam. First course in a year-long sequence. Each semester may be taken independently. Also offered as STH TT 901. CAS RN 424 Core Texts and Motifs of World Religions: East Prereq:(CASCC101 & CASCC102) or two courses in religion or philosophy. *An intensive seminar in primary texts and key ideas of theology and religious philosophy as developed in representative world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism. Second course in a year-long sequence. Each semester may be taken independently. Also offered as STH TT 902. CAS RN 425 Topics in South Asian Religions *Specific aspects of South Asian religions within a historical or comparative/ phenomenological framework. Topic for Spring 2007: Buddhist Philosophy. Major issues, personalities, and texts in the Buddhist philosophical tradition, including early Buddhist scriptures, intellectual developments in classical India, China, Japan, and Tibet, and the encounter with modernity in Asia and the West. CAS RN 427 Topics in American Religion *Topic for Fall 2006: Grounding the Sacred. Examines the religious relationship between Earth and people in the U.S.; looks at ways cultural and theological assumptions have shaped peoples' treatment of the natural world since the colonial period; assesses major ethical responses to ecological issues. CAS RN 428 Theology Proseminar *Study of certain central approaches to theology. CAS RN 430 Topics in East Asian Religions *Topic for Spring 2006: Women in East Asian Religion. Explores gender norms and roles in Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and folk traditions and how these structure social relations. Examines attitudes towards the feminine, gender,and sexuality through reading doctrinal texts, autobiography, and ethnography about women in China, Korea, and Japan. CAS RN 435 Women, Gender, and Islam Prereq:(CASRN104 OR CASRN214) or equivalent. *Investigates the way Muslim religious discourse, norms, and practices create and sustain gender and hierarchy in religious, social, and familial life. Looks at historical and contemporary challenges posed to these structures. CAS RN 441 Hermeneutics *Analysis of literary works, ancient and modern, informed by hermeneutical theories of Heidegger, Gadamer, and Ricoeur. Attention to structure and meaning of symbol, myth, narrative; religious, philosophical, and poetic discourse; problems of self, world, and the Divine. Olson. 4 cr. either sem. CAS RN 443 Problem of Evil *A philosophical and theological analysis of the problem of evil, as formulated in the Bible and other sacred texts, ancient and modern philosophy, literature, and cinema. CAS RN 444 Literature and Religion in England, 1500-1800 Prereq:(GRSRN744) Seniors and graduate students (GRS RN 744) only. *Seminar which combines close readings of specified texts with wide-ranging discussion of ideas and issues. Passages from the Old and New Testaments are studied in English translation, chiefly in the version of 1611, though the work of earlier translators is also used for purposes of comparison and contrast. The influence of the English Bible upon British poetry, prose, and drama is examined. CAS RN 445 Sources of the Self in Philosophy, Religion, and Literature *Analysis of "models of self" in major twentieth-century cult novels. Does the model of the self projected by a given work have a defensible moral content? Framing of this question in recent works on ethics and interpretation by Paul Ricoeur, Charles Taylor, and Alasdair MacIntyre. Novels by Hesse, Henry Miller, Sartre, Salinger, Kerouac, Plath, Castaneda, and Pirsig. CAS RN 447 Voice and Otherness Prereq: Seniors and graduate students only, with consent of instructor. *Examines the relation and disrelation between experience, especially the experience of suffering, and language. Emphasizes the theological, ethical, psychological, and poetic dimensions of communication and incommunicability. CAS RN 448 Reasons and Gods Prereq: juniors and seniors only. *Explores the varied roles of reason in religious contexts by investigating the often surprising applications of theistic proofs and disproofs in the history of philosophy, ancient and modern, and the history of religions, eastern and western.. CAS RN 449 Dante's Journey to God *Reading of the entire Divine Comedy as the poet's journey toward the vision of God. Special attention to how Dante transforms pagan sources, assimilates the Bible and its interpretative traditions, and boldly attempts to establish his own text as a "sacred poem." CAS RN 450 Philosophy of Religion *An introduction in three stages to the philosophy of religion: its historical development as a discipline of theology, metaphysics, and comparative religion; its principal topics, issues, and problems; a close reading of Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion (1827). CAS RN 451 Topics in Continental Philosophy and Religion *Seminar (close reading and discussion) devoted to selected primary texts of Goethe, Kierkegaard, Schelling, and Nietzsche CAS RN 452 Topics in Religious Thought Topic for Fall 2007: Religious Thought: East and West. Explores key problems in religious thought: nature of the Absolute, origin of time and the world, paradox of transcendence and immanence, role of teachers, sages, and prophets, language and negative theology, reason and the path to realization. CAS RN 465 Religion and Society *Exploration of the fine line between opposing views of religion and society, with an effort to profit from the very divergence of views to deepen understanding of primary concepts and categories with which we order our world. CAS RN 468 Symbol, Myth, and Rite *Historical overview of ritual behavior, the role of symbolism in the study of culture, and the narrative quality of worldview and belief. Emphasis on verbal performance and public display events in specific cultural contexts. CAS RN 469 Critique of Religion *Philosophical critiques of revealed religion from the Enlightenment to the twentieth century, including analysis of criticisms in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Major trends examined include rationalism, historicism, anthropological materialism, and nihilism. CAS RN 470 Topics in Medieval Religious Culture Prereq: junior standing or consent of instructor. *Topic for Fall 2006: Religious Cultures in Contact and Conflict: Jewish-Christian Encounter. Focuses on varieties of interaction through an examination of social relations, economic ties, intellectual and cultural exchanges, expulsions and violence. Explores coexistence, toleration, and its limits in medieval context. Meets with CAS HI 407. CAS RN 495 Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Religion *Origins and history of the academic study of religion. Different constructions of religion as an object of study and the methods that arise from them. The role of the humanities and social sciences in understanding religion’s place in history and contemporary experience. CAS RN 498 Topics in Ancient Christianity *Topic for Fall 2004: Dying for God: Voluntary Death and the Politics of Power in Roman Antiquity. CAS RN 499 Topics in Judaic Studies *Topic for Spring 2005: Power, Morality, and Modern Jewish Identity. Examines Jewish people's moral and ideological debates about the use of the military during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Specal attention to the creation of a new Jewish ethos of power and its ambiguous relation to the Jewish tradition. CAS RN 504 Topics in Religion and the Visual Arts Prereq: junior standing or consent of instructor. *In-depth discussion of special issues in the study of religion and art. Topic changes each year. May be repeated for credit. Topic for Spring 2007: Word and Image in American Biblical Religions. Investigates interaction of word and image in America's religious visual culture. Addresses how words and images operate, their claims to legitimacy, and the relationship between seeing and believing. Topics include graphic novels, quilts, paintings, illustrations, folk art. Also offered as CAS AH 504. CAS RN 524 Topics in Bible and Literature *Two topics are offered in Spring 2007. Students may take either or both for credit. Section A1: Apocalypse and Literature. Prereq: one literature course. Literary response to the book of Revelation from ancient to modern times. Readings from the Bible, Dante, Langland, Rabelais, Blake, Wordsworth, Dostoevsky, Hölderlin, D. H. Lawrence, García Lorca, Beckett, and others. Reference to visual and musical representations of apocalypse. Also offered as CAS LL 560 A1. Section B1: Genesis: Scripture, Interpretation, Literature. Prereq: junior standing and one course in literature or religion, or consent of instructor. Comprehensive study of primary and secondary characters in Genesis, and interpretations given them in Jewish and Christian exegetical traditions, as well as in imaginative literature of the modern period. Texts in translation or in original languages. Also offered as CAS LL 560 B1. CAS RN 543 Spiritual Affinities in Practice *Examines representative texts of spiritual literature: Julian of Norwich, Meister Eckhart, John Ruusbroec, St. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Rumi, Ibri’Arabi. Explores modes of expression, expressibility of mystical experience, spiritual reform, and discipline exercises. CAS RN 560 The Politics of Religion, Ethnicity, and Nationalism in International Relations Prereq: junior standing. *Explores causes, consequences, and patterns of resurgent religion, ethnicity, and nationalism in post-Cold War international relations, using interdisciplinary scholarship, policy literatures, and case studies. CAS RN 561 Religion and International Relations Prereq: junior standing and consent of instructor. *(Meets with CAS IR 561.) Explores the role of religion in contemporary international relations in the context of questions about the common core of modernity. Reviews scholarly and policy literature, and case studies, in order to elucidate religion’s intellectual and operational diversity in international relations. CAS RN 571 Literature of Memory I: Faith and Power in Ancient and Modern Literature Prereq: one 400-level course in the humanities or upper-level literature class. *Is faith a source of, or a substitute for, power? Do faith and power compete or are they mutually reinforcing? This course examines the theme of faith as a response to political powerlessness and oppression; faith as a guide to the uses of power; and human beings as agents of, and witnesses to, power. Preference given to seniors and graduate students. CAS RN 572 Literature of Memory II: The Book of Job Prereq: one 400-level course in the humanities or upper-level literature course. *A close reading of this classical text, focusing on ethical and theological implications. In addition to the primary text, we examine secondary literature to analyze diverse interpretations, theodicies, and afterlives. Texts are read in English. Preference given to seniors & graduate students. CAS RN 577 Literature of Memory III: Faith and Tragedy Prereq: One 400- level course in the humanities or upper-level literature class. From antiquity to modern times, writers have tried to capture what is essential in human nature by composing tragedies. What defines tragedy? How does the tragic form provide occasions for ethical examination? We will explore tragic literature from Sophocles to Miller and from Shakespeare to Shaw, as well as theories of tragedy from Aristotle to Brecht. Preference given to seniors and graduate students. CAS RN 578 Literature of Memory IV: Hope and Despair in Chasidism Prereq: One 400-level course in the humanities or upper-level literature class. The Chasidic revolution, originating in Eastern Europe, altered the course of religious history by introducing radically innovative models of spiritual life that remained grounded in classical Jewish tradition. This course will explore central tensions between the Chasidic emphasis on joy and the experience of despair. How does one find hope in desperate times? How do fundamental principles impact a community's ability to generate constructive belief in the face of anguish? How did some of the great Jewish religious figures of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries negotiate choices surrounding faith and melancholy, deal with the temptation to despair, and foster hope. Preference given to seniors and graduate students. CAS RN 583 Literature of Memory V: Hidden Literature and Banned Books *Explores writings that were hidden in times of oppression as well as those that were banned due to controversy. Themes such as the limits of language, the obligation to witness, the persecution of words and the value of recording what may never be seen will be at the center of our attention. CAS RN 584 Literature of Memory VI: Rebbe Nachman of Bratzlav *Inspiring master, unique storyteller and enigmatic wanderer, the eighteenth- century Hasidic teacher Rebbe Nachman of Bratzlav is the guide in a journey through madness and laughter, imagination and interpretation. Through biographical readings and tales, we will seek to approach this elusive personality and the secrets he spent his life hiding and revealing.