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Courses in LSA Studies in Religion
Studies in Religion provides students with a basic knowledge of the history, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology of religion; promotes an understanding of diverse religious traditions; and examines religious questions which arise in all cultures. The concern is not to inculcate a particular doctrine or faith but rather to broaden and deepen a student's knowledge and understanding of religious traditions.
Religion (RELIGION)
RELIGION 121 / ACABS 121. Introduction to the Tanakh/Old Testament
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course is designed to introduce to the student to the modern study of the Tanakh or Old Testament within the context of a contemporary public university liberal arts curriculum. This collection of texts will be studied both as cultural vestige of the ancient Near East and as a foundational document to Western thought. Lectures and readings will focus on the development of ancient Israel's literature, religion and history as well as on the roles of those central to the formation and maintenance of early Israelite traditions, the priest, king, prophet, and sage.

RELIGION 122 / ACABS 122. Introduction to the New Testament
(4; 3 in the half-term). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

The course will introduce the student to the modern study of the New Testament, the most widely read, but probably least understood, book in the world.

RELIGION 201 / AAPTIS 200 / ACABS 200 / HJCS 200. Introduction to World Religions: Near Eastern
(4; 3 in the half-term). (HU). May not be repeated for credit. F.

Religions of the Book include Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all with roots in the Near East. This course serves as an introduction to those world religions. Traditions studied include Ancient Israel (including the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament) as well as its "offspring: " Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Special attention is paid the origins and development of these traditions, what they share, and how they differ.

RELIGION 202 / ASIAN 220. Introduction to the Study of Asian Religions
(4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course is an introduction to the study of Asian religions. We will consider representative material drawn from some of the major Asian traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, etc.), from ancient times down to the present day.

RELIGION 204 / AAPTIS 262. Introduction to Islam
(4; 3 in the half-term). (HU). May not be repeated for credit. W.

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to Islam as a religious tradition. After examining the fundamental sources of Islam, particularly the Qur'an and the reports about the activities and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, we will discuss how these foundations gave rise to the beliefs and practices of Muslims and to an Islamic civilization with spectacular achievements in such areas as law, theology, science, philosophy, and mysticism. Our emphasis will be on the first thousand years of Islam, but modern and recent developments will be covered as well.

RELIGION 223 / ASIAN 223. Krishna Speaks: Bhagavad-Gita
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This class introduces Hinduism to students through an intensive study of this single most important scriptural text, the Bhagavad-Gita. We spend half the time going over the text-in-translation, chapter by chapter. The other half of the class time is devoted to critical issues relating to the text, i.e., history of the text, its transmission, its location within the history of Hinduism, its connections with political/cultural history, its ancient and modern interpretations.

RELIGION 225 / ASIAN 225. Introduction to Hinduism: Origins and Development of Classical Hinduism
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

Hinduism is a major world religion practiced by over a billion people, primarily in South Asia, but it also was the precursor of Buddhism, and along with Buddhism it had a major impact on the civilizations in East and Southeast Asia. This class will cover its origins and development, its literature, its belief and practices, its unique social structures and doctrines, its interactions with other religions, and finally its confrontation with and accommodation of "modernity."

RELIGION 230 / ASIAN 230 / PHIL 230. Introduction to Buddhism
(4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

RELIGION 231 / ASIAN 231. Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism
(4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course surveys the development of Buddhism in Tibet. It begins with an introduction to those doctrines and practices of Indian Buddhism that would come to hold an important place in the Tibetan tradition and goes on to examine the process of transmission of Buddhism from India to Tibet.

RELIGION 234 / ASIAN 234. Buddhism and Death
(3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course investigates a wide range of Buddhist doctrines and practices centered on dying, death, and the afterlife. These topics are explored to gain a more nuanced understanding of traditional and modern religious phenomenon as expressed in distinctly Buddhist contexts.

RELIGION 246 / ANTHRCUL 246. Anthropology of Religion
(4). May not be repeated for credit.

An introduction to basic problems faced by religions and by the study of religion. Draws on case studies from around the world to examine how people confront questions of life, death, evil, misfortune, and power. Also asks how the study of religion wrestles with relations between tolerance and faith.

RELIGION 248 / ASIAN 248 / HISTORY 248. Jesus Comes to Asia: Conversion and its Consequences in Asia
(3). (HU). (R&E). May not be repeated for credit.

This course provides a broad introduction to the study of Christian conversion and its legacy in the regions now known as South, East, and Southeast Asia.

RELIGION 258 / ENGLISH 258. The Bible as Literature
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

Literary genres of the Old and New Testaments and the formation of the Canonical Book.

RELIGION 260 / HISTORY 269 / JUDAIC 260. Introduction to the Talmud and the Rabbis
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

Come learn about that great classic of Jewish culture, the Talmud. The Talmud is an idiosyncratic, complex, profound and humorous meditation on many aspects of life including law, ritual, desire and God. This course provides the historical and literary tools necessary to analyze this ancient text produced by the rabbis in the first few centuries CE.

RELIGION 262 / PHIL 262. Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion
(4; 3 in the half-term). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course covers, among other topics: traditional arguments for the existence of the God of the world's major monotheistic religions; the problem of evil; the relation of religion and morality; and the question of religious tolerance.

RELIGION 270 / ACABS 270 / HJCS 270 / JUDAIC 270. Introduction to Rabbinic Literature
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in HJCS 470 or JUDAIC 470 or HJCS 570 or ACABS 570 or JUDAIC 570. Taught in English.

This course will explore the history and substance of these writings on three levels. First, we will situate the rabbinic literary enterprise within a broader cultural, historical and religious context. Second, we will examine the various genres that constitute rabbinic literature and get acquainted with the sages, an elite group of Jewish intellectuals, who created this corpus during the Roman and Byzantine periods. Finally, we will trace the way subsequent generations gradually shaped these texts to their current format and endowed them with their exalted status.

RELIGION 272 / ASIAN 272. Introduction to the Study of Korean Religions
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course serves as a broad survey of the major themes and developments in the history of religion in Korea. It begins with traces of religious life from the Neolithic period and ends with the rise of new religious movements in contemporary Korea.

RELIGION 277 / AAPTIS 277 / ACABS 277 / HJCS 277 / JUDAIC 277. The Land of Israel/Palestine through the Ages
(4; 3 in the half-term). (HU). (R&E). May not be repeated for credit. Taught in English.

This survey course on the history of the Land of Israel/Palestine will outline the historical events that occurred in that territory, analyze the various factors (political, economic, cultural) that shaped its development, and introduce empires and nations that ruled the land as well as the people who inhabited its cities and villages.

RELIGION 280 / ACABS 221. Jesus and the Gospels
(4; 3 in the half-term). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

RELIGION 286 / HISTORY 286. A History of Eastern Christianity from the 4th to the 18th Century
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

RELIGION 296 / HJCS 296 / JUDAIC 296. Perspectives on the Holocaust
(4; 3 in the half-term). (HU). (R&E). May not be repeated for credit.

This course is a study of the Holocaust as an historical event and its impact on Jewish thought and culture.

RELIGION 305 / ASIAN 305. Religion and Violence in the Secular World
(3). May not be repeated for credit.

How do we think about religion and violence in a secular world? Through a series of case studies focusing on the world's major religious traditions including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism and Buddhism, this course reflects on a variety of contemporary themes including the War on Terror, religious pluralism, the fate of liberal democracy etc.

RELIGION 306 / ASIAN 306. What is Religion?
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course examines: 1) the genesis and evolution of the modern concept of religion through the writings of key thinkers; and 2) its relevance to themes as diverse as politics, belief, love, capitalism, imperialism, mysticism and spirituality, secularization, and pluralism.

RELIGION 307 / ASIAN 307 / HISTORY 308. Eat, Pray, Love: Devotional Traditions in South Asia
ASIAN 220 or 225. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course explores the meaning and location of devotion within Indian religions. Over the semester, the course grapples with the centrality of practice, beyond the world of scripture and sacred texts, in understanding Religion. Focusing primarily on Hindu, Sikh, and Islamic devotional traditions, this course guides students to a deeper and nuanced understanding of the practice of popular religion in the Indian subcontinent today, as well as in the past.

RELIGION 323 / ASIAN 325. Zen: History, Culture, and Critique
(4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course provides an introduction to the religious history, philosophy and practices of Zen Buddhism.

RELIGION 324 / HISTART 323 / HISTORY 350 / HJCS 323 / JUDAIC 323. History of Jewish Visual Culture: From Ancient Mosaics to Jew-Hop Videos
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course introduces art and images from ancient Israel through contemporary Jewish American and Israeli art and popular visual culture. Can art be Jewish? What of the supposed prohibition against idolatry? How do Jewish attitudes about arts and the ways of making it change across time and space?

RELIGION 325 / AAPTIS 325 / ASIAN 324 / HISTORY 325. The History of Islam in South Asia
(4). (HU). (R&E). May not be repeated for credit.

This course examines the history of Muslim communities and institutions in South Asia. It will consider Muslim political expansion and sovereignty, conversion, the interaction between religious communities, Islamic aesthetics, the impact of colonial rule, India?s partition and the creation of Pakistan, and the contemporary concerns of South Asia?s Muslims.

RELIGION 326 / ACABS 326 / HJCS 326. History of the Jews in the Roman and Early Byzantine Worlds
(3). (ID). May not be repeated for credit.

An introductory survey course on the history of the Jews in the Roman and Byzantine worlds, from the arrival of the Romans in the East in the first century BCE through the Arab conquests in the seventh and eighth centuries CE.

RELIGION 331 / ASIAN 331 / PHIL 331. Introduction to Indian Philosophy
One introductory course on Hinduism or Buddhism. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course will cover major transitions in philosophical thinking in ancient and classical India. It will cover the traditions represented by the Upanishads, Jainism and Buddhism, the Bhagavad-Gita, and the various schools of classical Hindu Darshanas.

RELIGION 347 / CLCIV 347. Roman Religion from the Archaic Period to Late Antiquity
Prior course work on the Roman world (e.g., CLCIV 102 or 376, HISTORY 200 or 201). (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

We examine cults and rites of ancient Rome, from the archaic period to the end of the fourth century, through the study of ancient authors and archaeological remains of sacred sites.

RELIGION 350 / ACABS 323. Early Christianity, 50-650 CE
(4; 3 in the half-term). May not be repeated for credit.

An introduction to the writings of the Church Fathers, east and west, from the 1st through the 5th centuries CE. The course is organized around certain recurring themes and problems in the history of Christianity, including: the unity of God; the inspiration of scripture; place of the church in society, etc.

RELIGION 358 / ACABS 321. Israel Before the Exile (587 BCE): Its History & Religion
(4; 3 in the half-term). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course encompasses a series of studies in the cultural and political histories of ancient Israel. Early Israelite history and religion from their beginnings to the aftermath of the 6th century CE Babylonian exile will be examined within their respective biblical and ancient Near Eastern contexts (i.e., Palestine-Israel, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Syria, Persia, and Anatolia).

RELIGION 360 / RCHUMS 365. Experiences of Atheism: A History of Skepticism and Unbelief
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

An examination of the concepts and expressions of atheism in its historical and social context in four periods in Western Culture: 1) the Greco-Roman world (Thales, Democritus, Lucretius, Cicero); 2) the European Enlightenment (Spinoza, Hume, Darwin); 3) the Founding Fathers (Paine, Jefferson, Madison); and 4) the Modern Period (Marx, Nietzsche, Freud).

RELIGION 363 / AAPTIS 363. The Qur'an and Its Interpretations
No prior knowledge of Islam is necessary, although some knowledge of the Bible would be helpful. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course examines the history of the Qur'anic text from its inception in seventh century Arabia to the present. Special attention is given to the world of ideas of the Qur'an and the ways in which it was understood and interpreted by Muslims living in vastly different social, political and cultural environments. The Qur'an's multifarious influences on all aspects of Muslim life (language, literature, arts, politics, jurisprudence, moral/ethical codes, rites of passage/lifecycle) will be examined.

RELIGION 369 / PSYCH 313. Psychology and Religion
One of the following: PSYCH 111, 112, 114, or 115. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (4). May not be repeated for credit.

RELIGION 382 / CLCIV 380 / HISTORY 381 / JUDAIC 380. Ancient Jewish History to 638 CE: From Israelite Origins to Islamic Conquest
(3). (ID). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted for students who have taken both ACABS 322 and ACABS 326.

This is an introduction to Jewish history and culture as it emerged in the sixth century B.C.E. until the Persian and Islamic conquests in the seventh century. We will try to understand how the "varieties of Judaism" emerged from the religion and culture of Israelite origins in the context of Near Eastern and Mediterranean imperial and cultural history.

RELIGION 387. Independent Study
Consent of instructor required. (1 - 3). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit. Only one course from RELIGION 380, 387 and 487 may be elected in the same term. F, W, Sp/Su.

RELIGION 402. Topics in Religion
Junior standing or permission of instructor. (1 - 3; 2 in the half-term). May not be repeated for credit.

RELIGION 421 / AAS 421 / HISTORY 421 / LACS 421. Religions of the African Diaspora
(3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

Conceptualizes "diaspora" and introduces Brazilian Candomble, Cuban Santeria and Palo Monte, Haitian Vodou, Jamaican and globalized Rastafari, the ancestor religion of the Garifuna of Central America, and Afro-Indian practices in Trinidad. Studies of historical development as well as contemporary practice will be used.

RELIGION 442 / ACABS 414. Mythology and Literature of Ancient Mesopotamia
(3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course will provide a broad introduction to the two and a half millennia of Sumerian and Akkadian writing including myth and literature. It will be studied from a variety of perspectives, concentrating on the historical and social contexts of writing. Genre theory, semiotics, hermeneutics and reader response will be studied in conjunction with the unique problems of ancient myths.

RELIGION 448 / PSYCH 418. Psychology and Spiritual Development
One of the following: PSYCH 111, 112, 114, or 115, and permission of instructor. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course explores the contributions of transpersonal psychology in examining direct spiritual experience, the division to work within a specific spiritual discipline, and the diversity of lives led in search of life's highest goals.

RELIGION 455 / SOC 455. Religion and Society
One introductory course in sociology. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course introduces students to concepts and theories that apply to the sociological analysis of religion.

RELIGION 464 / ASIAN 464. From Mystic Saints to Holy Warriors: Islam in Southeast Asia
(3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

Islam has taken many forms in Southeast Asia: from the sometimes otherworldly mysticism of Sufi saints to the hard-liner Islamist agendas of some contemporary jihadists. This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of these various forms of Islamic expression, viewing them through the lenses of history, culture, politics, and film.

RELIGION 465 / AAPTIS 465. Islamic Mysticism
(3). May not be repeated for credit. Taught in English.

Beginning with the Qur'anic origins of Islamic mysticism and its early Christian and ascetic influences, this course will explore the central themes and institutional forms of Sufism, a stream of Islam which stresses the esoteric (mystical) dimensions of religious faith. It will reflect upon the inward quest and devotions of Muslim mystics as these have been lived and expressed in art, theology, literature, and fellowship since the 8th century CE.

RELIGION 467 / AAPTIS 467. Shi'ism: The History of Messianism and the Pursuit of Justice in Islamdom
Junior standing or permission of instructor. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

The course will survey the history of diverse Alid movements from the assassination of Ali (d.661) to the crystallization of shi'ism into distinct political, legal and theological schools (Twelver, Isma'ili, Zaydi), and ends with the establishment of Twelver Shi'ism as an imperial religion in Safvi Iran (1501-1722). Emphasis on the debate over authority.

RELIGION 469 / HJCS 478 / JUDAIC 468. Jewish Mysticism
(3). May not be repeated for credit. Taught in English.

A critical study of the historical development of Jewish mysticism, its symbolic universe and its social ramifications. While the course will survey mystical traditions from the early rabbinic period through the modern, the focus will be on the variegated medieval stream known as kabbalah.

RELIGION 471 / HJCS 577 / JUDAIC 467. Seminar: Topics in the Study of Judaism
(3). May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

Topics within history of modern Judaism such as reform and tradition in modern Judaism, theological responses to the Holocaust, modern Jewish philosophy. Topics will change.

RELIGION 476 / CLCIV 476 / HISTORY 405. Pagans and Christians in the Roman World
(4; 3 in the half-term). May not be repeated for credit.

The course, will trace the formation of Christian ideas and modes of conduct in the Roman empire, examine religion both as a form of cultural and political expression and as a method of establishing a variety of contacts with a supernatural world. We thus begin with an analysis of what, was meant by culture and politics, while also looking at different ways of constructing a supernatural world.

RELIGION 478 / HJCS 477 / JUDAIC 478. Modern Jewish Thought
(3). May not be repeated for credit. Taught in English.

RELIGION 487. Independent Study
Consent of instructor required. (1 - 3). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit. F, W, Sp/Su.

RELIGION 488 / ACABS 421 / CLCIV 483. Christianity and Hellenistic Civilizations
(3). May not be repeated for credit.

This seminar course covers a number of topics exploring the relationship between Christianity as a religious tradition in antiquity and the cultural and social traditions of the ancient Mediterranean.

RELIGION 496 / AAPTIS 495 / HISTORY 429 / WOMENSTD 471. Gender and Sexuality in Pre-Modern Islam
Students should preferably have had one course in Islamic Studies. (3). May not be repeated for credit. Taught in English.

An introduction to Muslim understanding of gender and gender relations, first through a study of those sacred texts (Qur'an and Hadith) that came to define the ideal woman and man, as well as their roles and relationships. Then, gender participation in the political and cultural life of the Safavi, Ottoman and Mughal Courts shall be explored to view the interplay between theory and practice.

RELIGION 497. Senior Honors Thesis
Consent of instructor required. Open only to seniors admitted to the Honors concentration program with permission of instructor. (1 - 6). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Continuing Course. Y grade can be reported at end of the first-term to indicate work in progress. At the end of the second term, the final grade is posted for both term's elections. F, W, Sp.

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