Religion

Program Offerings

Offering type
A.B.

Goals for Student Learning

The Department of Religion at Princeton aims for our students to gain content knowledge with respect to religious traditions, practice, history, ethics and philosophy, across time periods and cultural settings. In addition, we intend for our students to develop an understanding of the history of the academic study of religion and its crucial methodologies and purview. Beyond the inherent value of these mutually constitutive sets of goals, we want the development of this content knowledge and facility with religious studies as a field to cultivate methodological tools that students will take with them into other parts of their academic lives and their eventual careers: an abiding intellectual curiosity; self-motivation and initiative in research; a habit of close reading and critical empathy in the assessment of both secondary and primary sources; facility with questions of race, gender and class; and the ability to make clear, cogent and successful arguments both in writing and in discussion.

Prerequisites

Any course offered by the department.

Program of Study

Majors are required to complete at least nine departmental courses by the end of their senior year. Courses taken prior to declaring a religion major count toward this total. 

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

During the fall of their junior year, majors will enroll in REL 399, the Junior Colloquium. REL 399 is a for-credit course that counts toward a student’s nine religion courses for the major and their total number of courses for graduation.

Undergraduate courses in the Department of Religion are classified in two ways: Traditions, and Themes. Majors must take at least three courses in either a particular tradition in a traditions stream or a particular theme in a thematic stream. 

Students will choose one of the two streams during their junior year in conversation with the director of undergraduate studies (DUS).


TRADITIONS: This stream encompasses different religious traditions, approaches, geographical areas and time periods. They are:

  1. Ancient Judaism, Christianity, and Greek and Roman Religions: 230, 251, 252, 350, 352, 353, and occasional courses
  2. Religion in America: 258, 319, 357, 358, 360, 367, and occasional courses
  3. Philosophical and Ethical Approaches to Religion: 242, 261, 311, 312, 317, 346, 347, 363, 364, and occasional courses
  4. Islam:  235, 236, 240, 328, 334, 335, 336, 338, and occasional courses
  5. Religions of Asia: 225, 226, 228, 229, 322, 326, and occasional courses

Students master the relevant historical, philosophical and cultural contents and contexts of their chosen tradition(s). How are normative claims made and contested in religious traditions? What are the theological, ritual and philosophical concepts and categories central to these traditions? How does a religious or philosophical tradition change over time and in new locales? How do individuals negotiate their belief commitments in religiously diverse contexts? Does religion represent a distinct sphere of life separable from other domains of culture and social activities? What are the assumptions, strengths and weaknesses of the historical study of religion? These are some of the questions that inform this stream.

The stream assigned to each course taught by department faculty is identified in its listing on the department's website.

THEMES: Students have the option of majoring their coursework in a thematic area that crosses traditions, time periods and geographies. Each student will establish their thematic designation in conversation with the DUS during junior year. 

Details of suggested themes appear on the department's website. In consultation with the DUS, students may designate a theme not included in the suggested list around which to concentrate their coursework. The DUS will suggest courses and grant final approval to students’ thematic plans.

Students will take five additional departmental courses. At least one of these courses must be designated “Critical Approaches to the Study of Religion.” At least one such course will be offered every academic year. Please note: Critical Approaches courses do not double-count for tradition and thematic distributions.

Critical Approaches designations appear in the list of undergraduate courses posted on the department's website in advance of each term.

Up to two elective courses may be approved cognate courses taught by faculty outside of the Department of Religion that supplement coursework in the department. The director of undergraduate studies must approve cognate courses. Please note that other than these two electives, all courses toward the major must be taught by department faculty.

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

Religion majors 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 pass/D/fail departmental courses with permission from the director of undergraduate studies. Majors must obtain the written approval of the director of undergraduate studies prior to choosing this grading option.

The expectation is that majors in religion develop a course of study in which they gain mastery over a set of coherent questions, either within or across areas, traditions and themes. Students are encouraged to pursue their thesis work within the area of their major.

Independent Work

Junior Year

In conjunction with REL 399, the Junior Colloquium, during the fall term juniors will produce a five- to seven-page JP proposal. During the spring term, juniors will continue this independent research and write a 30–40 page junior paper under the supervision of a faculty adviser. The DUS will assign advisers. 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 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.  Because REL 399 is required, and crucial, for the junior paper research, and offered only during the fall semester, study abroad during the fall term of junior year is discouraged. However, those juniors who have compelling reasons to study abroad in their fall semester should meet with the director of undergraduate studies about their plans, including plans for satisfying REL 399 and the preparation of their junior paper proposal. Juniors who study abroad in the spring term will write the required spring junior paper under the supervision of a religion department faculty member, observing the department's JP deadline. Students must consult with the DUS 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 director of undergraduate studies. 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.

Faculty

  • Chair

    • Judith Weisenfeld
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies

    • Seth A. Perry
  • Director of Graduate Studies

    • Eric S. Gregory
  • Professor

    • Leora F. Batnitzky
    • Wallace D. Best
    • Andrew Chignell
    • Jonathan C. Gold
    • Eric S. Gregory
    • AnneMarie Luijendijk
    • Elaine H. Pagels
    • Stephen F. Teiser
    • Judith Weisenfeld
    • Muhammad Q. Zaman
  • Associate Professor

    • Shaun E. Marmon
    • Seth A. Perry
    • Garry Sparks
    • Moulie Vidas
  • Assistant Professor

    • Gabriel M. Citron
    • Liane M. Feldman
    • Yedidah Koren
    • Bryan D. Lowe
    • Tehseen Thaver
    • Nicole M. Turner
  • Lecturer

    • Eric T. Anderson
    • Patrick B. Haley
    • Lauren Kerby
    • Jenny Wiley Legath
    • Leslie G. Virnelson
    • Suzanne C. van Geuns

For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.

Courses

REL 202 - Great Books of the Jewish Tradition (also JDS 202) Spring HA

REL 203 - Introduction to Jewish Cultures (also COM 202/JDS 203) Spring EM

REL 222 - Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion (also HUM 222) Not offered this year 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 (also JDS 201) HA

REL 225 - The Buddhist World of Thought and Practice Not offered this year 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. Staff

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 90-minute classes 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, Christian, and other traditions will be studied, as well as such topics as politics, death, myth, asceticism, and secularism. Two lectures, one preceptorial. B. Lowe

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) Fall HA

This course introduces the Hebrew Bible, a complex anthology written by many people over nearly a thousand years. In this class, we will ask questions about the Hebrew Bible's historical context and ancient meaning, as well as its literary profile and early reception. Who wrote the Bible? When and how was it written? What sources did its authors draw on to write these stories? And to what circumstances were they responding? Students will develop the skills to critically analyze written sources, and to understand, contextualize, and critique the assumptions inherent in modern treatments of the Bible. Two lectures, one preceptorial L. Feldman

REL 235 - War, Martyrdom and Sacrifice in the Islamic Tradition (also NES 235) EM

How were just war, holy war, and martyrdom imagined and enacted over the centuries in Islamic societies? How do concepts of the afterlife inform attitudes towards war and martyrdom? We begin in the Late Antique world with a survey of noble death, martyrdom, holy war, and just war, in the Roman, Jewish and Christian traditions. We explore these topics in the Islamic tradition through case studies: the Arab conquests, the Crusades, Spain and the Reconquista, the Iran-Iraq war and contemporary jihadist movements. We use primary sources in translation (including fiction and poetry) and, for modern period, films and internet. S. Marmon

REL 236 - Introduction to Islam (also NES 236) 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. Staff

REL 240 - Muslims and the Qur'an (also NES 240) Fall EM

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 244 - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Their Emergence in Antiquity (also HLS 241/MED 246/NES 244) Fall EMHA

The period studied in this course saw wide-ranging transformations that inform religion and culture to this day, such as the emergence of the traditions now called Judaism, Christianity and Islam, a spread in allegiance to a single God, and a decline in public animal sacrifice. The course will introduce students to a critical examination of these changes. We will learn to identify patterns across different traditions, uncover the ways these traditions shaped one another, trace the development of beliefs from their earliest forms, and analyze the social and political context of these changes. M. Vidas

REL 246 - Ancient Judaism (also JDS 246) Fall 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. Y. Koren

REL 251 - The New Testament and Christian Origins (also HLS 251/MED 251) 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. Staff

REL 252 - Jesus: How Christianity Began (also CLA 252/HLS 252) 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. Staff

REL 257 - Religion and Film (also AMS 397) Not offered this year HA

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 CDEM

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 271 - 'Cult' Controversies in America (also AMS 341) Fall HA

In this course we examine a variety of new religious movements that tested the boundaries of acceptable religion at various moments in American history. We pay particular attention to government and media constructions of the religious mainstream and margin, to the politics of labels such as "cult" and "sect," to race, gender, and sexuality within new religions, and to the role of American law in constructing categories and shaping religious expressions. We also consider what draws people to new religions and examine the distinctive beliefs, practices, and social organizations of groups labeled by outsiders as "cults." J. Weisenfeld

REL 280 - Zen Buddhism (also EAS 281) Spring CDEM

Are Zen and other religions stable entities with identifiable essences? Or do they lack a core, gradually vanishing as each layer is peeled away? Do they take on different forms in relation to cultural and power configurations? Or can they themselves shape social and political structures? In order to understand these questions and ask better ones, we will examine Zen in diverse contexts, including China, Japan, Korea, Germany, and the United States, to consider the tensions between romanticized ideals and practice on the ground. We will grapple with studying complex religious traditions with complicated and sometimes troubling histories. B. Lowe

REL 309 - Politics and Religion (also POL 309) Not offered this year EM

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 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 Rage and Black Power (also AAS 321) Not offered this year HA

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. Staff

REL 323 - Japanese Mythology (also EAS 358) Spring CDHA

Myths are powerful. The stories we will read were first recorded around 1,300 years ago and continue to be told in the present day. We will ask why people -- both in Japan and humans more generally -- tell these types of tales. To answer this question, we will explore comparative approaches that search for universal patterns, myths as "ideology in narrative form" used as tools of legitimization, and appropriation of myths for new purposes in original contexts including feminist critiques. B. Lowe

REL 324 - Mind and Meditation Not offered this year 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: Scripture in Stone Spring 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. Gold

REL 328 - Women and Gender in Islamic Societies (also GSS 328) 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 (also NES 334) Not offered this year EM

REL 335 - God's Messengers: Prophecy and Revelation in the Islamic Tradition (also NES 356) 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 (also NES 339) Fall HA

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. Two 90-minute classes. 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) Not offered this year CDEC

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 and the American Revolution (also HIS 310) Not offered this year HA

Intellectual and cultural aspects of American religion from the 17th century through the early republic, with the Revolution as a focal point. Special attention to early Protestant traditions (Anglican, Puritan, Quaker, and Methodist, among others), African American religious traditions, the Great Awakening, the Enlightenment, and the transformation of religion through the Revolution. 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, Gender, and American Religion (also AMS 369/GSS 360) 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 women, gender, and religious leadership in varied religious contexts, such 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 approaches to shaping religious and social opportunities in light of shifting ideas about religion, gender, and authority. 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 (also GSS 338/HUM 364) 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 (also AAS 325/ENG 393) Not offered this year LA

REL 367 - The American Jeremiad and Social Criticism in the United States (also AAS 346) Not offered this year HA

REL 368 - Topics in African American Religion (also AAS 368) Not offered this year LA

REL 373 - Studies in Religion (also AAS 320/LAS 322) Not offered this year SA

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) Fall CDSA

In this seminar we examine how the modern constructed categories of "race" and "religion" have interacted in American history and culture. We explore how religious beliefs and practices have shaped ideas about race and how American racialization has shaped religious experience. We consider the impact of religion and race on notions of what it means to be American and how these have changed over time. Topics include race and biblical interpretation; religion and racial slavery; religion, race, and science; popular culture representations; race, religion, and politics; and religious resistance to racial hierarchy. J. Weisenfeld

REL 383 - What is Scripture? Spring EC

The relative novelty of American scriptures allows us entry into the most essential questions of scriptures' meaning, function and use: What is a scripture? How does a text become one? We will discuss selections from The Book of Mormon, Science and Health, Message to the Blackman in America, and Dianetics, along with several other new-world scriptures and, by way of comparison, the American histories of some old-world scriptures. Emphasis will be on reading and reflecting on these texts as primary sources, investigating their internal logic, discursive influences, and rhetorical effects to think about how communities have formed around them. S. Perry

REL 390 - God of Many Faces: Comparative Perspectives on Migration and Religion (also SOC 340) Not offered this year SA

REL 412 - Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Religion (also ANT 412) SA

REL 420 - Topics in Modern Jewish Thought Not offered this year EM

The question of how Jews, the historical "other" of the west, could be integrated into the modern nation state is one of the defining features not just of modern Jewish thought but of modernity more broadly. This course considers the relevance of modern Jewish thinking about the nature of the state, individual and collective freedoms, and political tyranny for modern debates in political theory. Topics include: liberalism, socialism, totalitarianism, race and identity politics. L. Batnitzky

REL 435 - The Madrasa: Islam, Education, and Politics in the Modern World (also NES 435) Not offered this year EM