Autumn 2023 Courses

Welcome! Explore our Autumn 2023 offerings below, and click the course title to register in MyPlan.

Intro to Judaism

5 credits, SSc
TTh 11:30 am – 1:20 pm
Mika Ahuvia

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.

Eastern Traditions

5 credits, SSc
MW 10:30 am – 12:20 pm
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.

Intro to the Qur’an

5 credits, A&H / SSc 
TTh 11:30 am – 1:20 pm
Hamza Zafer

A literary, historical, and theological introduction to the Qur’an. Looks at the historical circumstances of the text’s compilation; its collection and redaction; its narrative structure; its rhetorical strategies; its major themes; it connections to and departures from the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament; commentary and exegesis; translation; and its impact on political and religious thought.

Intro to the New Testament

RELIG 220 
5 credits, A&H / SSc 
MW 1:30 pm – 3:20 pm
Nathan Lilje

Introduction to the writings in the New Testament, their nature and origins as explored in modern scholarly research, and the first decades of the Christian religion.

Intro to the Hebrew Bible: Old Testament

RELIG 240 
5 credits, A&H / SSc 
MWF 10:30 am – 12:20 pm
Kathryn Medill

Examines the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) in translation and its relationship with literatures of ancient Near East. Comparisons drawn between Biblical text and literary works of Canaan, Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia. Emphasis on the sophisticated literary techniques employed by Biblical writers.

American Religions

5 credits, DIV / SSc
TTh 1:30 pm – 3:20 pm
James Wellman

American Religion covers the range of people and movements–from American women who built the country, African Americans who transformed the faith, “Nonverts” who have lost their religion, and the rise White Protestant supremacists who threaten our democracy–a critical course to understand America.

Religion Theorized: Approaches to the Study of Religion

5 credits
MW 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm
James Wellman

We study feminism, colonialism, queer theory, gender and sexuality studies, race and ethnic studies and sociological and psychoanalytic critique of religion. This is not a “tradition” specific class. The goal of this seminar is to prepare students to maximize their own research.

Colloquium in Comparative Religion

1 credit
M 5:30 pm – 7:20 pm
James 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:

Christianity in East Asia

JSIS 384 A / HSTAS 388 C
5 credits
MW 10:30 am – 12:20 pm
Hajin Jun

Explores human yearnings, obsessions, fears, and aspirations associated with death and afterlife by examining major political, military, social, economic, religious, literary, artistic, and architectural phenomena directly connected to the way ancient cultures, such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, Israel, and the Levant, have conceptualized death.

Biblical Hebrew Poetry 

BIB HEB 201 / 521
5 credits
M 5:30 pm – 7:20 pm
Scott Noegel

Overview of 3000 years of literary creativity. Considers multiple genres, including Bible, Midrash, medieval poetry, Hasidic tale, modern fiction, TV satire, and popular music lyrics, with emphasis on how later literature reinterprets and re-imagines earlier texts. Explores diversity in Jewish writing, focusing on Jews as minority and diaspora communities as well as on centers and margins within Jewish cultures.

Intro to Hieroglyphic Egyptian I

EGYPT 101 / 511
5 credits
TTh 10:30 am – 12:20 pm
Scott Noegel

A study of Jewish literature from Biblical narrative and rabbinic commentary to modern prose and poetry with intervening texts primarily organized around major themes: martyrdom and suffering, destruction and exile, messianism, Hasidism and Enlightenment, Yiddishism and Zionism. Various critical approaches; geographic and historic contexts. Offered: jointly with ENGL 312.

The Political Theory of Hannah Arendt

POL S 514
5 credits
T 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm
Noga Rotem

In this seminar we will closely read major works by political thinker Hannah Arendt, focusing on one of her most important and suggestive concepts: world/worldliness. World refers to the human-made spaces and things that are commonly shared in democracies; things we fight over, and around which we gather. The world of things around and between us serves, according to Arendt, as a stabilizing anchor for our political activities, as an object for our healthy attachment and collective extension of care, and as a means by which we establish an adequate sense of reality.

For Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Hebrew, and ancient Semitic language courses (including Biblical Hebrew), view the MELC course schedule. For Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit and other Asian languages, see the Asian Languages and Literatures course schedule.

See previous RELIG courses here.