University of Washington

Comparative Religion

Thomson Hall Room 433
(206) 543-4835

Comparative Religion Courses 2015-16           Electives All Courses that apply toward the major in Comparative Religion

Autumn 2015

JSIS A 210     5 Credits
Introduction to Islamic Civilization
TTh1:30 PM - 3:20 PM; Quiz F 1:30-2:20; 2:20-3:20 
Mahmouod, Hamza
Covers major developments in the formative, classical, and modern periods of Islamic civilization from seventh century Arabia to the contemporary Muslim world. Looks at the development of Islamic religious thought and legal practice as well as the Muslim polities, cultures, and intellectual traditions of Asia, Africa, Europe, and America. May not be taken for credit if credit earned in NEAR E 210.  

JSIS C 120     SLN 22032     5 credits  
Yoga Past and Present
MW 1:30-3:20

JSIS C 145     SLN 16486     5 credits
Introduction to Judaism
MW 1:30-3:20

JSIS C 201      SLN 16488          5 credits
Introduction to World Religions: Western Traditions
MTWTh 2:30-3:20; F Quiz 8:30-9:20; 10:30-11:20; 1:30-2:20
Western religions dominate nearly three quarters of the world's populations. Understanding them and discovering their richness and depths is as important as understanding one's own identity. This critical course in the history of the religions of humankind opens windows into the reasons and movements that shape who we are today. It is a course in the comparative introduction to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but it also challenges us to understand the heritage of our world and both the positive and negative contributions that these religions have made and still made today. We will track these diverse traditions in their historical development, examining their ideas, practices and consequences on global culture.

JSIS C 240     SLN 16494     5 credits
Introduction to Hebrew Bible
MW 1:30-3:20; F Quiz 1:30-2:20; 2:30-3:20; 3:30-4:20

JSIS C 254     SLN 22575     5 credits
American Religions: Empire, Nation and Religion: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Migrations to America
MW 1:30-3:20

JSIS C 269     SLN 22575     5 credits

Holocaust, History and Memory
 9:30-11:20; Quiz F 9:30; 10:30

JSIS C 321/ANTH 321  SLN 22262     5 credits
Comparative Religion
TTh 3:30-5:20
Anthropological approaches to religious experience and belief with emphasis on conceptual issues such as ritual, symbolism, identity, ecstatic experience, and revitalization movements in the context of globalization. Also addresses the diversity of religious expression in American culture and how that compares with other societies.

JSIS C 322     SLN 16503     5 credits
Gospels and Jesus of Nazareth
MW 9:30-11:20

JSIS C 430/ NEAR E 430/CLAS 445         SLN 16505      5 credits
Muslim Scripture, Historiography, and Exegesis
TTh 4:30 PM - 4:50 PM
Examines the origins and development of early and classical Muslim thought.Provides an in-depth survey of the three key genres of early and classical
Muslim writing: scripture (Quran), historiography (Maghazi, Sira, and Tabaqat), and exegesis (Tafsir and Ta'wil). 

JSIS C 445/CLAS 445
Greek and Roman Religion

TTh 10:30-12:20

JSIS C 466     SLN 16506     5 credits
Sephardic Diaspora
TTh 1:30-3:20

JSIS C 472       SLN 16507      5 credits
Seminar: Topics in Early Christianity: Paul and Christian Origins
TTh 1:30-3:20

JSIS C 490/590 (10+5)     SLN 16508
Engaged Buddhism, seminar
MW 3:30-5:20

Engaged Buddhism refers to the contemporary movement of socially engaged Buddhist action and practice in response to war and political situation in Vietnam.  Scholars argue that engaged Buddhism is strictly a modern phenomenon since it represents new forms of Buddhism that arose in response to colonialism and modernity; as such it is antithetical to the traditional Buddhist ideal of ending human suffering through radical detachment (or dis-engagement) from the world. For these scholars, engaged Buddhism stands for the fourth vehicle that comes on the heel of the traditional three vehicles, or the earth vehicle because of global issues engaged Buddhism addresses, or neo-Buddhism that represents reformist Buddhism to meet the needs of particular time and place. Other scholars opt to view Buddhism to have always been engaged socially and politically and that engaged Buddhism in modern period is simply the latest manifestation of the perennial Buddhist goal (end of suffering) and motivation (compassion). The course runs as a seminar: its goal are: 1) explore the varieties and characteristics of engaged Buddhism not only in Asia but also in other parts of the world and to critically assess the methodologies employed (phenomenological, historical, philosophical, sociological, feminist, etc.) in scholarships; 2) consider the definitional issues and questions of engaged Buddhism and engaged Buddhist studies; 3) revisit the relationship between history/tradition and engaged Buddhism. The currently available scholarship on engaged Buddhism focuses almost exclusively on modern and contemporary activism and movements and consequently lacks historical contextualization. We will explore whether the question of rupture vs. continuity could or should be reframed as both rupture and continuity to expand the scope of engaged Buddhist studies currently accepted in the field.

JSIS C 501          SLN 16510      5 credits
Approaches to the Study of Religion
M 11:30-2:30

JSIS C 598   Required graduate students
CRP Colloquium
W 5:30-7 PM

 ART H 400
Art History and Criticism:The Medieval Object: Cult images, relics, spolia, gems, magical amulets
TTh 12:30 - 1:50

ASIAN 203     5 credits
Literature and Culture of Ancient and Classical India
MW 12:30-2:20

ASIAN 411    5 credits
Buddhist Literature
MW 1:30-3:20 + disc F 1:30-2:20 or F 2:30-3:20

An introduction to the vast collections of Buddhist literature including examples from the genres of biography, poetry, narrative, ritual manuals, doctrinal treatises, and historical accounts. The course will begin with the origins of Buddhist literature in India and will trace its further development in India, China, and Japan. Attention will also be given to the themes of textual composition, transmission, authorship, audience, context, and function. All works are read in English translation. NO PRE-REQUISITES!

BIBHEB 201/521     SLN 11171     5 credits
Biblical Hebrew Poetry

MWF 10:30 - 11:50


CLAS 320    5 credits
Greek Private and Public Life

Daily 9:30-10:20

CLAS 324     5 credits
Greek and Roman Athletics

MTWThF 11:30 -1:20


HSTAM 235      5 credits
Myths and Mysteries of the Middle Ages
TTh 8:30-10:20; F 8:30-9:30; 9:30-10:20; 10:30-11:20

HSTAM 370     5 credits
The Vikings
MTWTh 1130-1220

 HSTCMP 209 A SLN 1572 5 credits
History of Christianity
TTh 9:30 to 11:20

HSTCMP 590 SLN 23000
Jerusalem and the Holy Land: From King David to the Crusades
Thursdays 1:30-3:20 although depending on student needs this could change. Let instructor know you availability

HSTEU 370     15740     5 credits
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Mythology for England (5)
TTh 12:30-2:20
Much of the class revolves around theological issues such as the nature in origins of evil, free will versus predestination, the ethics of war, and the responsibility of the individual in a time of crisis.

NEAR E 229      SLN  18364      5 credits
Islamic Civilization
TTh 130-320; Quiz F 1:30; 2:30
Hamza Mahmoud Zafer
Covers major developments in the formative, classical, and modern periods of Islamic civilization from seventh century Arabia to the contemporary Muslim world. Looks at the development of Islamic religious thought and legal practice as well as the Muslim polities, cultures, and intellectual traditions of Asia, Africa, Europe, and America. May not be taken for credit if credit earned in NEAR E 210. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 210.

PHIL 240   SLN 19238      5 credits
Introduction into Ethics

MWF 1030-1120; quiz F

PHIL 345     SLN 19257     5 credits
Moral Issues of Life and Death
MWF 2:00-3:20

RUSS 321    SLN 21829     5 credits

Russian Literature and Culture
MTWTh 10:30-11:20

UGARIT 201/521     5 credits
TTh 10:30-12:50

Winter 2016 

There may be some changes to the list below. Please see UW's Time Schedule for the most up-to-date course information.

JSIS C 155     5 credits
Introduction to Judaism
TTh 1:30-3:20
This seminar investigates the heroes, heretics, and radical pioneers of movements around the beginning of the Common Era (150 bce–150 ce). Jesus’
and Paul’s names are well-known today, but there were many other men and women who revolutionized the religious landscape in antiquity, some of whom
are remembered as heroes, some as heretics, while some are almost entirely forgotten. Students are invited to investigate the ancient evidence for
these heroes, heretics, and radicals in the Holy Land and beyond. While we learn about the life of people in Palestine at the beginning of the Common
Era, we will employ the tools that scholars use to create history. Over the course of the semester, students are empowered to participate in the making
of history by analyzing primary sources, engaging critically with secondary sources, and authoring their own historical narrative.

JSIS 201      SLN       5 credits    Required 

Making of the 21st Century 
MWF 1230-120; QZ on TTh

RCC Seminar
T 1:30-4:20

JSIS C 202
Introduction to World Religions: Eastern Traditions
TTh 1:30-3:20; Quiz F

JSIS C 250
Introduction to Jewish Cultural History
MW 1:30-3:20

JSIS C 380/CHID C 380
OnLine Course

JSIS C 490/590 (10+5)
Special Topics: Scripture and Canon in Buddhism
M 3:30-6:20 PM

JSIS C 495/JSIS C 502
Beyond Comparison: the history of early Judaism and Christianity / Religion in Comparative Perspective
MW 2:30-4:20
In this advanced Jewish Studies seminar, we take an in-depth view of the classical period of Jewish history (fourth century BCE to sixth century CE) and the way scholars have reshaped it in recent decades. We examine the groundbreaking contributions that have shaped and changed the field of early Judaism and how the field has grown in conversation with the fields of biblical studies and early Christian studies (e.g. “the ways that never parted” in Jewish and Christian history). We also explore new frontiers of research that complicate religious boundaries such as magic, mysticism, and sacred song. Studying the approaches that have reshaped the field of ancient Judaism sheds light on the most important theories in the study of religion and ancient history in general: from anthropology to literary theory, feminism, etc. We will discuss not only the challenges of (and opportunities for) research, but also the challenges of teaching history and religion today. Open to senior undergraduates and graduate students.

JSIS C 590
Special Topics: Heterodox Cosmologies and Social Behavior
Th 3:30-6:20

JSIS C 598
CRP Colloquium
W 5:30-7 PM

Literature and Culture of South Asia from Tradition to Modernity
TTh 2:30-4:20 + sections F 2:30-3:30 or F 3:30-4:20

Buddhist Studies Seminar

BIBHEB 202/522
Inscriptions from Biblical Times
MWF 10:30-11:50

LAW B 556
Islamic Law (pre-requisite for the Spring seminar)
MW 1:30-3:20

TTh 8:30 - 10:20; Quiz F8:30-9:30; 9:30-10:20; 10:30-11:20

NEAR E 311/511
The Archaeology of Biblical Israel (5 cr.)
M/W 3:30-5:20

JSIS C 155 5 credits

UGARIT 202/522     5 credits

TTh 10:30-12:50

Spring 2016

There may be some changes to the list below. Please see UW's Time Schedule for the most up-to-date course information.

JSIS 201
Making of the 21st Century

JSIS 202
Cultural Interactions in an Interdependent World: Power and Religion
MWF 11:30-12:20

JSIS 498
Religion, Secularization and International Conflicts

JSIS B 407
Political Islam and Contemporary Islamist Movements

JSIS B 498
War, Ideology, and Religion (unconfirmed)

JSIS C 220
Introduction to the New Testament
TTh 930-11:20

JSIS C 3-- in process
Gender, Sex, and Religion.
JSIS C 352
MW 12:30-2:20

MW 3:30-5:20 PM

JSIS C 380
Theories in the Study of Religion
MW 1:30 - 3:20

JSIS C 501
Approaches to the Study of Religion

CRP Colloquium
W 5:30-7 PM

Introduction to Indian Philosophical Literature
MW 1:30-3:20

Special Topics: Fairies, Genies and Monsters
TTh 2:30-4:20 + disc sections F 2:30-3:20 or F 3:30-4:20

ARAMIC 201/521
Biblical Aramaic
MWF 10:30-11:50

ISS (ISS is Integrated Social Sciences, which is the new online learning degree completion program.)

LAW 560
Islamic Law Seminar: Contemporary Muslim legal systems
In the Muslim world today, many governments are trying to establish legal systems that ensure economic development and the protection of human rights while ensuring that their law continues to reflect ‘Islamic norms.’ This seminar provides a forum in which students with some background in Islamic law can engage in sustained research and writing on this phenomenon. After reading literature analyzing this phenomenon, students will write a major research paper on a topic of their choosing. Among other subjects, students in the past have used the class to test assumptions about nation-building, legal transplantation, economic harmonization, the rule of law, Islamic law or human rights in the Muslim world. Pre-requisite: LAW B 556 Islamic Law or instructor’s permission.

NEAR E 306/506     3 credits
History of Biblical Interpretation

NEAR E 496/596      3 credits
Other Worldy Beings in Antiquity Graduate students only
TTh 1:30-2:50

UGARIT 203/523     5 credits
TTh 10:30-12:50








 Samarkand, Uzbekestan, Central Asia





COURSES FOR 2012-2013





Program Coordinator, Loryn Paxton
Thomson Hall, room 433
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-4835

Graduate Advising, Paula Milligan
(206) 543-6001

Student Advising, Linda Iltis
Transfer credits from another university to UW, inquire about learning abroad programs etc
(206) 543-6001