Autumn 2022 Courses

Welcome! Explore our Autumn 2022 offerings below, and click the course title to register in MyPlan.

Intro to Judaism 

5 credits, I&S
TTh 2:30 – 4:20 pm
Brendan G. Goldman

Explores Judaism’s sacred texts, holidays, and beliefs. Addresses Judaism’s impact on society, culture, and politics. Through the lens of the Jewish experience, grapples with fundamental questions about the role of individuals and members of larger communities in an increasingly multicultural, religious, and interconnected world.

Introduction to World Religions: Eastern Traditions

5 credits, I&S 
MW 12:30 – 2:20
David Fowler

History of religions, concentrating on religions that have developed in South Asia and East Asia. Primary attention to Hinduism and Buddhism; other important Asian religions are discussed in relation to them, with emphasis on basic conceptual and symbolic structures. Optional writing (W) credit is available. Please contact instructor for the additional W-requirement.

Comparative Study of Death 

5 credits, I&S
W 3:30 – 5:20
Paula F. Saravia 

Death analyzed from a cross-cultural perspective. Topics include funerary practices, concepts of the soul and afterlife, cultural variations in grief, cemeteries as folk art, and medical and ethical issues in comparative context. American death practices compared to those of other cultures.

Readings in International Studies: Religious Nationalisms

JSIS 498/598
5 credits, I&S 
T 1:30 – 4:20 pm

James K. Wellman

Reading and discussion of selected works of major importance in interdisciplinary international studies.

Religion Theorized: Approaches to the Study of Religion

5 credits, I&S / VLPA
M 1:30 – 4:20 pm

James K. Wellman

Covers the major approaches to modern scholarship in the study of religion, which includes multiple approaches from history, phenomenology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, gender and sexuality studies, Marxism, and political theory. Class discusses which theories are most helpful in describing, understanding and explaining religion, enabling students to prepare their own research. Prerequisite: admission to the comparative religion MAIS program or permission of instructor.

Colloquium in Comparative Religion

1 credit
M 5:30 – 7:20 pm

James K. Wellman

Required colloquium for graduate students in comparative religion program. Introduction to faculty research and to major methods and disciplines in the study of religion.

Related courses of interest:

Asian War Epics: Working through Many Mahabharata

JSIS 384 A/HSTAS 388 C
TTh 1:30 -3:20
Heidi Pauwels

Buddhist Literature/Asian and Western Literature

ASIAN 223/C LIT 322
MW 1:30 – 3:20
Joseph Marino

Introduction to Buddhist literature in India, China, and Japan including biographies, poetry, narratives, ritual manuals, doctrinal treatises, and historical accounts. Attention also given to issues of textual composition, transmission, authorship, audience, context, and function. Taught in English.

Christianity in East Asia

JSIS 384 A/HSTAS 388 C
TTh 10:00-11:50
Hajin Jun

Christianity in East Asia, sixteenth century to present. Shared experiences that transcended national boundaries. Also traces divergent paths Christianity took in China, Korea, and Japan. What propelled missionary expansion? Why did people convert? What are lasting legacies of Christianity? Attention to shifting meanings of faith, identity, and religious community across the region.

Advanced Studies in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization: Myths from the World of the Bible

NEAR E 496
3 credits, I&S
MW 1:30-2:50
Kathryn Medill

Offered occasionally by visitors or resident faculty. Content varies.

Religions of the Ancient World

NEAR E 302/502
3 credits, I&S
TTh 1:30-2:50
Scott Noegel

A comparative exploration into ancient religious customs, rituals, and beliefs (ca. 3000-500 BCE). Focus on peoples of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Syria, and Israel. Topics include conceptions of worship and divinity, sacred space and time, and types and roles of priesthoods, divination, prayers, and afterlife beliefs.

Modern Sephardic Cultures

NEAR E 286 A
MW 3:30-5:20
5 VLPA or I&S
Canan Bolel

This course explores Sephardic culture across the chronological and geographical map by focusing on language, literature, popular press, humor, music, religious practices, medicine, and cuisine.

History of Modern Israel/Palestine

5 credits, DIV or I&S
MW 1:30-3:20pm
Liora Halpern

Cultural, social, and political histories of Palestine, the Land of Israel, and the State of Israel; Zionist and Palestinian nationalist movements, in their larger regional, transnational, and global contexts.

See previous courses here.