Spring 2023 Courses

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

A Life Worth Living 

5 credits, SSc
TTh 9:30 – 11:20 am
James K. Wellman

A Life Worth Living expands the new studies that have radically changed what and how we create a life worth living. It is a course for undergraduates in all disciplines and departments at the UW. We use spiritual, scientific, and humanistic traditions to create a meaningful life; we develop ethical traditions that inspire trust and a thriving social order; and we study the resources in our lives, which mobilize energy to drive our dreams. We study rites of passage, from the indigenous to the post-modern, to empower us to navigate our journeys and to see in ourselves and others the potential of the human being fully alive. Each student will create a sheath of ethical, moral, and spiritual maxims that helps us to navigate our global market and fashion a flourishing life. A life worth living, therefore, masters meaning, an enhanced awareness of spirit, and the use of both the scientific and humanistic resources that create a life that uplifts, delights and loves the world.

Intro to the Qur’an 

RELIG 212 
5 credits, A&H / SSc 
TTh 4:30-6:30 pm
Terri DeYoung

A literary, historical, and theological introduction to the Quran. 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. Offered: jointly with NEAR E 231.

Angels: From the Bible to American Spirituality

RELIG 440 
5 credits, SSc 
MW 1:30-3:20 pm
Mika Ahuvia

Surveys conceptions of angels in foundational texts from the Bible through the Quran and explores the significance of angels in contemporary American spirituality. Though often neglected in the study of religion, angels are integral to the faith and practice of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, transcending religious boundaries in their popularity.

Greek and Roman Religion

5 credits, A&H / SSc
TTh 10:30 am – 12:20 pm
Alexander Hollmann

Religion in the social life of the Greeks and Romans, with emphasis placed on their public rituals and festivals. Attention is given to the priesthoods, personal piety, rituals of purification and healing, and the conflict of religions in the early Roman Empire. Many lectures illustrated by slides. Offered: jointly with CLAS 445.

Religion in a Comparative Perspective: Angels – From the Bible to American Spirituality

5 credits
MW 1:30 – 3:20 pm
Mika Ahuvia

Analysis of selected theme or symbols in relation to several different religious traditions. Topics vary. Prerequisite: admission to the comparative religion MAIS program or permission of instructor.

Colloquium in Comparative Religion

1 credit
W 5:30 – 7:50 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:

Death and the Afterlife in the Ancient Near East

NEAR E 309
MW 3:30 -4:50
Kathryn Medill

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.

Jewish Literature: Foundations and Re-imaginings 

NEAR E 310
TTh 11:30 – 1:20
Naomi Sokoloff

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,

Jewish Literature: Biblical to Modern

JEW ST 312
TTh 11:30-1:20
Naomi Sokoloff

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.

Greek and Roman Mythology

CLAS 430
MWF 1:30-2:20
Christopher Waldo

Principle myths found in classical and later literature.

Race, Religion, and Migration

JEW ST 270
TTh 1:30-3:20
Devin Naar

Migration of “Middle Easterners” – Jews, Christians, and Muslims – from the Ottoman Empire to the United States in the twentieth century. How their experiences shaped, and were shaped by, the development of racial categories, definitions of citizenship and national belonging, and broader political, religious, and cultural dynamics linking the Mediterranean world to the Americas. Offered: jointly with HSTCMP 270

History of the Present: The Myth of Judeo-Christian Civilization

JEW ST 289
WF 10:30-12:20
Nicolaas Barr

Examines the use and abuse of this idea since 9/11 and the longer histories of religious and racial exclusion it obscures.

Migration and Multiculturalism in the Mediterranean

JSIS A 349
TTh 12:30-2:20
Nektaria Klapaki

Examines multiculturalism and migration in the Mediterranean. Focuses on immigrant communities of Greek diaspora in multicultural cities of Smyrna in nineteenth century Ottoman Empire, and of Alexandria in twentieth century Egypt. Considers how immigration to contemporary Greece transformed an ethnically homogeneous, mono-cultural Greek society into an increasingly multicultural one.

Middle East in the Modern World

JSIS A 402
TTh 10:30-12:20
Resat Kesaba

Economic, political, and cultural ties between the Middle East and the modern world between the eighteenth century and the present. Particular attention to the transformation of societies, formation of modern states, the relationship between Islam and democracy, and gender and society in the Middle East.

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

See previous RELIG courses here.