Department of Religion

  • Chair

    Leora F. Batnitzky

  • Departmental Representative

    Moulie Vidas

  • Director of Graduate Studies

    Jonathan C. Gold

  • Professor

    Leora F. Batnitzky

    Wallace D. Best, also African American Studies

    Andrew D. Chignell, also Center for Human Values

    Eddie S. Glaude Jr., also African American Studies

    Eric S. Gregory

    Martha Himmelfarb

    AnneMarie Luijendijk

    Elaine H. Pagels

    Jacqueline I. Stone

    Stephen F. Teiser

    Judith Weisenfeld

    Muhammad Q. Zaman, also Near Eastern Studies

  • Associate Professor

    Jonathan C. Gold

    Shaun E. Marmon

    Moulie Vidas, also Judaic Studies

  • Assistant Professor

    Gabriel Citron

    Jessica Delgado

    Seth A. Perry

    Laura E. Quick, also Judaic Studies

    Tehseen Thaver

     

  • Lecturer

    Kevin A. Wolfe

Information and Departmental Plan of Study

Prerequisites

Any course offered by the department.

Early Concentration

A sophomore may apply for early concentration through consultation with the departmental representative.

Program of Study

Normally, each term juniors and seniors will take two courses offered by the department.

Concentrators are required to complete at least eight religion courses taught by department faculty (including visitors to the Department of Religion) by the end of their senior year. All students are required to complete Religion 222, which is considered one of the eight religion courses. In addition, students are encouraged, but not required, to take two approved cognate courses in other departments. The cognate courses will be calculated into departmental honors. The departmental representative must approve cognate courses.

Students will select at least one course from each of the following three areas:

1. Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean: Judaism and Christianity from Antiquity to the Middle Ages: 230, 251, 252, 340, 350, 352, 353, and occasional courses

2. Religions of the Americas: 258, 319, 357, 358, 360, 367, and occasional courses

3. Religion and Critical Thought: 242, 261, 311, 312, 313, 317, 346, 347, 363, 364, and occasional courses

Students will select two courses in the following area from two different traditions:

Islam and the Religions of Asia: 225, 226, 228, 229, 235, 236, 240, 322, 326, 328, 334, 335, 336, 338, 382, and occasional courses

Not all courses satisfy area requirements. A course may be counted toward one area requirement only. In any year it is offered, 373 Studies in Religion will be assigned to the appropriate area.

Religion concentrators are required to take Religion courses for a letter grade. However, once senior religion majors have satisfied all departmental and area requirements, they are allowed to P/D/F departmental courses with permission from the departmental representative. Majors must obtain the written approval of the department representative prior to choosing this grading option.

When registering for the first term of senior year, each student will decide upon a focus of study in consultation with the departmental representative. Possible focuses of study include Japanese religions, Chinese religions, Buddhism, Islam, philosophy of religion, modern Jewish thought, religious and philosophical ethics, social criticism, African American religious movements, gender, sexuality, and religion in the Americas, global pentecostalism, new religious movements, religion and American politics, visual, material, and popular culture in American religions, race and religion in the Americas, Biblical studies, ancient Judaism and Christianity, Rabbinic Judaism, and Gnosticism. Senior independent work will be in the student's focus of study, and two courses must be completed in the focus of study by the end of the first term of the senior year. All changes to the focus of study must be approved by the departmental representative.

Independent Work

Junior Year. During the fall term of the junior year, all department juniors will participate in a colloquium (see below for study abroad) with a member or members of the faculty. In addition to short assignments throughout the term that prepare majors to research and write a junior paper (JP), students are expected to produce a five to seven-page JP proposal. The JP proposal and colloquium participation constitute 40 percent of the junior independent grade. During the spring term, juniors will do independent reading and write a 30-40 page junior paper under supervision. The departmental representative, in consultation with the director of the colloquium, will assign advisers. The spring junior paper will constitute 60 percent of the junior independent work. At the end of junior year, students will review their work in the department and discuss with a faculty committee their plans for senior independent work.

Senior Year. Every senior will prepare a 70-90 page thesis under the supervision of a faculty adviser.

Senior Departmental Examination

At the end of the senior year, students will take an oral examination concerning their senior independent work, focus of study, and work in the department generally.

Study Abroad

The Department of Religion welcomes study abroad for departmental majors in their junior year. Those juniors who study abroad in their fall term will be exempt from the colloquium but will be required to write a fall junior paper under the supervision of a religion department faculty member. Juniors who study abroad in the spring term will write the required spring junior paper under the supervision of a religion department faculty member. Normally, students are expected to have junior year independent work completed before the start of the senior year. Students must consult with the departmental representative before leaving for their study abroad program.

Preparation for Graduate Study

Those students considering graduate work in religion are strongly advised to develop a reading knowledge of languages most appropriate to their focus of study, for example, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, German, and French.

Religion and Special Programs. Students who wish to combine the study of religion with work in programs should consult the departmental representative. In recent years, religion majors have received certificates in African American studies, African studies, American studies, dance, East Asian studies, European cultural studies, Hellenic studies, Judaic studies, Near Eastern studies, theater, visual arts, and gender and sexuality studies.

 

Courses

REL 202 Great Books of the Jewish Tradition (See JDS 202)
REL 221 Choral Music (See MUS 221)
REL 222 Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion (also
HUM 222
) EC
An examination of thinkers (e.g. Pascal, Hume, Marx, Emerson, Freud) and filmmakers (e.g. Hitchcock, Kurosawa, Friedrich) who distinguish between a way of life they regard as sinful, oppressive, or deluded and a process of change in which the alleged defects are overcome. The course provides an introduction to modern debates over what religion is and how it affects individuals and societies, for good or for ill. The course also concerns film as a vehicle for ethical reflection and social criticism. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Staff
REL 223 Introduction to Judaism: Religion, History, Ethics (See JDS 201)
REL 225 The Buddhist World of Thought and Practice Fall HA An introduction to the thought and history of Buddhism. Emphasis is upon the beginnings of the religion in India, the interaction between Buddhism and the various cultures of Asia, basic schools of Buddhist religious philosophy, the relationship between thought and practice, and the place of Buddhism in the modern world. Two lectures, one preceptorial. J. Stone
REL 226 The Religions of China (also
EAS 226
) Spring EM
A thematic introduction to the history of Chinese religion. Topics include: cosmology, family, shamanism, divination, mortuary ritual, and women. Readings are drawn from a wide range of sources, including sacred scriptures, popular literature, and modern ethnography. Two lectures, one preceptorial. S. Teiser
REL 227 Tibetan Buddhism Not offered this year EM This course is a survey of the Buddhist traditions of Tibet, focusing on the doctrines and practices associated with the main schools of tantric ritual and meditation. Topics covered will include: the origins of the distinct forms of Buddhism in Tibet; Buddhist responses to historical challenges; the special relationship between politics and religion in Tibet; the role of Tibetan Buddhist scholars and scholasticism; Tibet through the lenses of the Chinese, and the West; and Tibetan Buddhist art. Required field trip to the Rubin Museum of Art in NYC. Two lectures, one preceptorial. J. Gold
REL 228 Religion in Japanese Culture (also
EAS 228
) Not offered this year HA
An introduction to Japanese religion from ancient to modern times, focusing on its role in culture and history. Representative aspects of Shinto, Buddhist, Confucian, and other traditions will be studied, as well as such topics as myth, ritual, shamanism, and ancestor worship. Two 90-minute classes. J. Stone
REL 229 Great Books in Buddhism (also
HUM 229
) Not offered this year LA
Close reading of great stories in the formative period of Buddhism, 50 BC to 400 AD. Examines Buddhist literature against the background of religious doctrine and cultural history. Explores themes such as: previous lifetimes, rebirth and cosmology, genres of Buddhist narrative, parables, personal quests versus social justice, emptiness, and changing conceptions of the Buddha. Two lectures, one preceptorial. S. Teiser
REL 230 Who Wrote the Bible (also
JDS 230
) Spring HA
The course will introduce students to the Hebrew Bible ("Old Testament") in its ancient Near Eastern setting. Key concepts often associated with the Hebrew Bible, such as God, damnation, sin, and history, will be scrutinized through a careful reading of a selection of Biblical texts including the Creation and Garden of Eden narratives in Genesis, the laws of Leviticus, the prophecies of Ezekiel and the poetry of Song of Songs. Particular attention will be paid to the transformations that the texts underwent through a continuous process of transmission and interpretation. Two 90-minute classes. L. Quick
REL 235 In the Shadow of Swords: War, Martyrdom and the Afterlife in Islam (also
NES 235
) Spring EM
This course is an examination of the changing concepts of martyrdom, holy war, and suicide in both Sunni and Shi'i Islam. How are war and martyrdom presented in the sacred texts of these traditions? Historically, how have Sunni and Shi'i Islam constructed, idealized, and also questioned the concept of the Islamic martyr and/or the holy warrior? In what ways have modern religious revivalism, revolutionary movements, and struggles for nationhood created a new and still contested understanding of the Islamic martyr? Course materials include sources in translation, films, Internet sites, and journals. Two lectures, one preceptorial. S. Marmon
REL 236 Introduction to Islam (also
NES 236
) Not offered this year SA
The doctrines and practices of Islamic communities from the Prophet Muhammad up to and including the modern period. Topics covered include the Qur'an; Sunnis and Shi'is; Islamic law and philosophy; Sufism; Islamic art and architecture; Islamic understandings of physical space and time; the structure of Muslim households; gender issues; Islamic education; modern Islamic "fundamentalist" movements. Materials include sources in translation, films, modern novels. Guest speakers representing diverse Muslim perspectives will be an important component. Two lectures, one preceptorial. S. Marmon
REL 240 Muslims and the Qur'an (See NES 240)
REL 242 Jewish Thought and Modern Society (also
JDS 242
) Not offered this year EM
What is the relation of Judaism and the individual Jew to the modern world? Is Judaism a religion, a nationality, an ethnicity, or a combination of these? This course explores various answers to these questions by examining various historical and cultural formations of Jewish identity in Europe, America, and Israel from the 18th century to the present, and by engaging particular issues, such as Judaism's relation to technology, the environment, biomedical ethics, feminism, and democracy. Two lectures, one preceptorial. L. Batnitzky
REL 246 Ancient Judaism from Alexander to the Rise of Islam (also
JDS 246
) Not offered this year HA
This course offers an introduction to the development of ancient Judaism during the eventful millennium plus from the establishment of the Torah as the constitution of the Jewish people in the fifth century BCE--an event that some have seen as marking the transition from biblical religion to Judaism--to the completion of the other great canonical Jewish document, the Babylonian Talmud, in perhaps the sixth century BCE. The weekly lecture and assigned readings will provide historical context, but the focus of the course will be on primary texts that reflect the major developments in ancient Judaism, to be treated during a two-hour precept. M. Himmelfarb
REL 251 Christianity in the Roman Empire: Secret Rituals, Mystery Cults, and Apocalyptic Prophets (also
HLS 251
) Spring HA
This course is a historical introduction to early Christian texts within and outside of the New Testament canon. We investigate how the Christian movement began, using ancient sources - Jewish, Greek, Roman, and Christian - about Jesus of Nazareth. We read the letters of the Apostle Paul and New Testament gospels, and the recently discovered gospels of Thomas and Mary. We will discuss the formation of the New Testament canon, views of Jesus, and attitudes toward gender, race and community. The course is accessible to students new to these sources, as well as to those familiar with them. Two lectures, one preceptorial. A. Luijendijk
REL 252 Jesus: How Christianity Began Not offered this year EC We investigate what is known about Jesus from earliest gospels, Roman and Jewish sources, and "gnostic gospels;" letters between a Roman governor and emperor telling why they had Jesus' followers tortured and executed; first hand accounts of conversion, trials and martyrdom's; how pagans saw Christians, and how the movement emerged from Judaism; debates over virgin birth, resurrection, sexual practices, gender roles; and how emperor Constantine's conversion-and the work of Augustine-transformed the movement. Two lectures, one preceptorial. E. Pagels
REL 257 Religion and American Film (also
AMS 397
) Not offered this year HA
The controversy over Mel Gibson's [The Passion of the Christ] sits in a long history of complex interactions between religious Americans and popular movies. In this course we explore the politics of representing religion at key moments in American film and religious history. We consider how movies provide unique insight into aspects of American religious life and how representations of religion reveal the shifting contours of constructions of American identity. Topics include: censorship; representations of religious, ethnic, and racial minorities; gender, sexuality, and religion; recent filmmaking strategies of religious groups. J. Weisenfeld
REL 258 Religion in American Society Not offered this year SA A broad survey of religion in American society from the colonial era to the present. Emphasis on religious encounter and conflict; the relationship between religious change and broader social and political currents; religious innovations and transformations; immigrant religions; secularization, resurgence, and pluralism. Mix of primary and secondary source readings. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Staff
REL 261 Christian Ethics and Modern Society (also
CHV 261
) Fall EM
An examination of the meaning of Christian ethics through a study of selected contemporary moral and political issues: bioethics, capital punishment, sex and marriage, pluralism, race, class, gender, the environment, the morality of warfare, torture, and the role of religion in public life. Two lectures, one preceptorial. E. Gregory
REL 300 Topics in the Study of Gender (See GSS 302)
REL 309 Politics and Religion (See POL 309)
REL 311 Religious Existentialism Not offered this year EC An in-depth study of existentialist philosophies of, among others, Søren Kierekgaard, Martin Buber, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Emmanuel Levinas. The course will focus on their respective arguments about the relations between philosophy and existence, reason and revelation, divine law and love, philosophy, religion and politics, and Judaism and Christianity. One three-hour seminar. L. Batnitzky
REL 312 Augustine and Aquinas Not offered this year EM A comparative study of the primary texts of Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas. Topics include: the problem of evil, human nature, the existence of God, freedom and grace, ethics and politics, and the relation of theology to philosophy. Attention also given to the legacy of these influential and contested thinkers. One three-hour seminar. E. Gregory
REL 313 Pragmatism and Religion: James and Dewey EC Examines the works of two important classical pragmatists, William James and John Dewey, and their views about religion. Focuses on questions such as: How do James and Dewey understand and respond to evil and death? Is a conception of God important to their thoughts about religion? Attention given throughout the course to the concepts of nature, experience, and piety. One three-hour seminar. E. Glaude Jr.
REL 317 Recent Jewish and Christian Thought (also
JDS 317
) Not offered this year EM
Explores recent Jewish, Christian, and postmodern thought, all of which seek to criticize universalist conceptions of reason and ethics while defending a view of Jewish, Christian, or philosophical particularity. Examines the historical reasons for and philosophical contents of these arguments and also their philosophical, ethical, and political implications. One three-hour seminar. L. Batnitzky
REL 319 Religious Encounters in the Colonial Atlantic World Not offered this year HA The encounter of Europeans, Africans, and native Americans in the world of the colonial Atlantic from the mid-15th to the 18th centuries constituted "America." This course will examine the religious dimensions of the encounter of these different peoples across time and space. One three-hour seminar. Staff
REL 321 Black Power and Its Theology of Liberation (See AAS 321)
REL 322 Buddhism in Japan (also
EAS 322
) Not offered this year HA
An examination of representative aspects of Buddhist thought and practice in Japan from the sixth century to the present. Possible topics include: major Buddhist traditions (Lotus, Pure Land, Zen, and Tantrism), meditation, ritual, cosmology, ethics, influence on literature, and interaction with other religions. Two 90-minute seminars. J. Stone
REL 324 Mind and Meditation EC An examination of the philosophy, history, and methods of Buddhist meditation. Buddhist theoretical works will be studied in their traditional contexts and considered in the light of modern philosophy of mind and cognitive science regarding the emotions, the will, and the effects of meditation. Some coursework in Philosophy or Religion is expected. One three-hour seminar. J. Gold
REL 326 Buddhist Literature: Interpreting the Lotus Sutra Not offered this year HA An intensive reading and discussion of selected Buddhist texts from various cultures, from ancient times to the present. Readings may represent a range of genres, such as Buddhist scriptures, philosophical writings, sacred biography, narrative, sermons, poetry, drama, and fiction. Alternatively, we may study the reception across Buddhist cultures and time periods of a single significant text. Prerequisite: 225 or equivalent recommended. Two 90-minute classes. J. Stone
REL 328 Women and Gender in Islamic Societies (also
GSS 328
) Spring SA
This seminar focuses on issues of gender and sexuality in Islamic societies, past and present. Topics include women's lives, women's writings, changing perceptions of male vs. female piety, marriage and divorce, motherhood and fatherhood, sexuality and the body, and the feminist movement in the Middle East. Course materials include a wide range of texts in translation, including novels and poetry, as well as contemporary films. One three-hour seminar. S. Marmon
REL 334 Modern Islamic Political Thought (See NES 334)
REL 335 God's Messengers: Prophecy and Revelation in the Islamic Tradition (also
NES 356
) Fall HA
The "monotheistic superheroes" in the Islamic tradition are the "brother prophets" who preceded Muhammad, the "seal of the prophets." These prophets include figures who have parallels in the Jewish and Christian traditions, such as Abraham, Moses, Solomon and Jesus. We will explore the history of the rich post scriptural Islamic tradition, both oral and written, that developed and expanded the "stories of the prophets" and made them into the "monotheistic superheroes" that they continue to be today. One three-hour seminar. S. Marmon
REL 336 Pilgrimage, Travel, and Sacred Space: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in the Land of Islam (also
NES 336
) Not offered this year HA
Muslim, Christian, and Jewish travelers and pilgrims in the lands of Islam before the period of European dominance in the Middle East. The course uses original accounts (in translation) along with a range of contemporary scholarly literature drawn from history, religious studies, and anthropology. One three-hour seminar. S. Marmon
REL 338 Islam in India and Pakistan (also
NES 340
) Not offered this year HA
India and Pakistan, home to nearly a third of the world's Muslim population, offer an unusually rich spectrum of the ways in which Islam has been lived, thought about, and transformed in recent times, both within this vast region and in the wider world. Our topics include: Sufism; the evolving relations between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims; major trends in Islamic law, theology, and political thought; Islamic institutions of learning (madrasas); and Muslim and non-Muslim minorities. One three-hour seminar. M. Zaman
REL 339 Introduction to Islamic Theology (See NES 339)
REL 340 Ancient Judaism and the Dead Sea Scrolls (also
JDS 340
) Not offered this year HA
A study of the history of Judaism in ancient Palestine from the emergence of the Torah as an authoritative document under Persian rule in the middle of the fifth century BCE through the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, with an emphasis on the critical reading of primary sources. Much of the second half of the course is devoted to the Dead Sea Scrolls and their implications for our understanding of ancient Judaism. Other texts to be studied include 1 Enoch, the Wisdom of Ben Sira, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Daniel, Jubilees, and 4 Ezra. Two 90-minute classes. M. Himmelfarb
REL 346 Reason and Revelation in Jewish Thought (also
JDS 346
) Not offered this year EC
A critical introduction to some of the classics of medieval and modern thought. Specific topics include prophecy, miracles, and the possibility of knowing the divine, with particular attention to the relation between modern and premodern conceptions of reason and Moslem, Christian, and secular philosophical influences on Jewish thought. Two 90-minute classes. L. Batnitzky
REL 347 Religion and Law (also
JDS 347
) Not offered this year EM
A critical examination of the relation between the concepts of "religion" and "law" as they figure in the development of Jewish and Christian law, as well as in contemporary legal theory. Particular attention to the ways in which, historically, theological debates play out in contemporary secular legal arguments about the value underlying law. One three-hour seminar. L. Batnitzky
REL 350 God, Satan, Goddesses, and Monsters: How Their Stories Play in Art, Culture, and Politics (also
CLA 352
/
ENG 442
/
HIS 353
) Fall EC
The seminar will investigate sources ranging from the Babylonian creation story and Homer's Illiad to passages from Genesis, Exodus, Job, the Hebrew prophets, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the New Testament to see how stories of invisible beings (gods, demons, angels) construct group identity (who "we" are, and who are the "others"--and what characterizes each) and express group values. One three-hour seminar. E. Pagels
REL 352 Who Was or Is Jesus? Not offered this year HA This seminar investigates the earliest sources about Jesus--New Testament gospels, "gnostic" gospels, and Jewish and Roman historical accounts--to explore various views of Jesus in historical context, as well as contemporary interpretations in poetry, fiction, and film. One three-hour seminar. E. Pagels
REL 353 Inspiration, Revelation, and Conversion Not offered this year LA Exploration of some of the classics of religious experience from ancient through contemporary times, using where possible comparison of Eastern and Western sources. Sources range from Western writers as diverse as Augustine, Teresa of Avila, Thomas Merton, Simone Weil to the life of the Tibetan monk Milarepa, and the Hindu Ramakrishna. One three-hour seminar. E. Pagels
REL 357 Religion in Colonial America and the New Nation (also
HIS 310
) Spring HA
Intellectual and cultural aspects of American religion from the 17th century through the early republic. Special attention to early Protestant traditions (Anglican, Puritan, Quaker, and Methodist, among others), the Great Awakening, the Enlightenment, and the transformation of religion through the Revolution and its shape in the new nation. Two lectures, one preceptorial. S. Perry
REL 358 Religion in American Culture since 1830 Not offered this year HA The relationship between religion and society in the U.S. in the 19th and 20th centuries. Attention will be paid to Transcendentalism, the Civil War, the social gospel, Fundamentalism, New Thought, Pentecostalism, civil rights, immigration, and recent religious movements.Two 90-minute classes. Staff
REL 360 Women and American Religion (also
GSS 360
/
AMS 369
) Not offered this year SA
An exploration of women's roles and experiences, and constructions of gender in diverse settings within North American religion. The seminar will examine female religious leaders and participants in such subcultures as Puritanism, evangelicalism, Catholicism, Judaism, African American Protestantism, native traditions, and American Islam. Emphasis on the dilemmas faced by women in religious institutions as well as the creative uses women have made of their social and religious "place." One three-hour seminar. J. Weisenfeld
REL 363 Religion and Ethical Theory Not offered this year EM This seminar will examine philosophical accounts of what it means to live well, focusing mainly on works written in the last half century that are relevant to issues in religious ethics: whether morality requires a religious foundation, the ethical significance of divine commandments, and the concepts of virtue, goodness, evil, horror, holiness, sainthood, faith, and the sacred. Among the philosophers to be discussed are Richard Rorty, John Finnis, Alasdair MacIntyre, Iris Murdoch, Stanley Cavell, and Robert Merrihew Adams. One three-hour seminar. Staff
REL 364 Love and Justice Not offered this year EM Analysis of philosophical and theological accounts of love and justice, with emphasis on how they interrelate. Is love indiscriminate and therefore antithetical to justice, or can love take the shape of justice? What are the implications for moral, political, and legal theory? The seminar also considers recent efforts to revive a tradition of political theology in which love's relation to justice is a prominent theme. One three-hour seminar. E. Gregory
REL 366 African American Autobiography (See AAS 325)
REL 367 The American Jeremiad and Social Criticism in the United States (also
AAS 346
) HA
An examination of the religious and philosophical roots of prophecy as a form of social criticism in American intellectual and religious history. Particular attention is given to what is called the American Jeremiad, a mode of public exhortation that joins social criticism to spiritual renewal. Michael Walzer, Sacvan Bercovitch, and Edward Said serve as key points of departure in assessing prophetic criticism's insights and limitations. Attention is also given to the role of black prophetic critics, such as James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr., and Cornel West. Two lectures, one preceptorial. E. Glaude Jr.
REL 368 Topics in African American Religion (See AAS 368)
REL 373 Studies in Religion Not offered this year EM A study of a selected topic such as mysticism, scriptures of the world religions, or of particular religious movements, leaders, and thinkers. Staff
REL 377 Race and Religion in America (also
AAS 376
/
AMS 378
) Not offered this year SA
This course examines the ways in which constructions of race have shaped how varied Americans have constructed religious identities and fostered religious experience, as well as made meaning of the religions of others. Topics addressed include American intrepretations of race in the Bible, religion and racial slavery, religious constuctions of whiteness, and religious resistance to notions of race. Readings are drawn from a range of primary and secondary sources. J. Weisenfeld
REL 378 Religion, Gender, and Sexuality in Early Latin America (also
GSS 378
/
LAS 379
/
HIS 331
) Not offered this year HA
This seminar explores scholarship on the history of religion, gender, and sexuality in Latin America, focusing primarily on the mainland colonial period (1492-1821), but including some pre-colonial and the nineteenth century material. Through historical studies, primary documents, and discussion, students will consider connections between religious beliefs, spiritual and sexual practices, gendered social relations, and the ways race, class, and gender intersected with ideas about moral and social order in the period under study. We will also think critically about how scholars have portrayed these subjects. One three-hour seminar. J. Delgado
REL 382 Death and the Afterlife in Buddhist Cultures Not offered this year HA A study of Buddhist approaches to death, dying, and the afterlife with a focus on South Asia, Tibet, and East Asia. Topics may include: anthropological studies of mortuary rites; Buddhist cosmology and doctrines of karmic causality; Buddhism, the family, and rites for ancestors; Buddhist deathbed and funerary practices; accounts of afterlife journeys; placation of ghosts; and changes in contemporary Buddhist funerals. Buddhist doctrinal teachings and social roles with respect to death and the afterlife as well as interactions of Buddhism with local religious cultures are considered. Two 90-minutes classes. J. Stone
REL 390 God of Many Faces: Comparative Perspectives on Migration and Religion (See SOC 340)
REL 412 Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Religion (See ANT 412)
REL 435 The Madrasa: Islam, Education, and Politics in the Modern World (See NES 435)