Winter 2022 courses

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

Intro to World Religions: Western Traditions

5 credits, I&S
TTh 12:30 – 2:20 pm
James K. Wellman

History of religions, concentrating on religious traditions that have developed west of the Indus. Primary attention to the Semitic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and to their ancient world background with emphasis on basic conceptual and symbolic structures.

Intro to the New Testament

5 credits, I&S /  VLPA 
MW 4:30 – 6:30 pm
Philip Tite

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

5 credits, I&S / VLPA
MWF 1:30 – 3:20 pm
Forrest Martin

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. Cannot be taken for credit if credit earned in NEAR E 240. Offered: jointly with NEAR E 202.

Religion and World Politics

5 credits, I&S 
TTh 10:00 – 11:20 pm
Tony Gill

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.

Comparative Study of Death

5 credits, I&S
TTh 8:30 – 10:20 am
Paula 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. Offered: jointly with ANTH 322.

Gender and the Hindu Goddess

5 credits, VLPA / DIV 
MW 1:30 – 3:20 pm
Heidi Pauwels

Explores implications of the perception of a feminine divine for gender issues in South Asia. Includes historical overview of goddess worship in South Asia, mythologies, philosophical systems, cults, and rituals associated with the major goddesses, the phenomena of suttee, goddess possession, and women’s goddess rituals at the village level.

Special Topics: Calderwood Seminar in Public Writing: American Religion, Race, and White Supremacy

JSIS 498
5 credits
F 12:30 – 2:20 pm
James K. Wellman
**Calderwood Seminars fulfill the Capstone Experience for the JSIS Global and Regional Studies major.

American religion and politics are in crisis. At some points in our history American civil religion brought stability and equity to American lives, but now it brings dissension and violence. The state of our nation depends on how we think and write about these issues including addressing the state of American religion and race, as well as the rise of white Christian nationalism.

The Calderwood Seminar gives writing assignments that are both intensive and collaborative. Students will work together, alternately, as authors and editors. Whereas social science courses train students to write in academic prose, this seminar in public writing will empower students to write with equal rigor but for the wider public.

By the course’s end, students will have learned the history of several issues relating to U.S. religion and politics; will have developed the ability to connect this history to contemporary events; will have learned to place their opinions in dialogue with both peers and public intellectuals; will have improved their peer-review abilities; and will have developed the writing skills that enable them to communicate effectively, efficiently, and compellingly to both the public and elites.

Read about the Jackson School Calderwood Seminars here.

Special Topics: Calderwood Graduate Seminar in Public Writing: Writing about Religion, Freedom, and the Public Sphere 

5 credits, W
W 1:30 – 4:20 pm
Christian Novetzke
**Calderwood Seminars fulfill the Capstone Experience for the JSIS Global and Regional Studies major.

Read about the Jackson School Calderwood Seminars here.

Colloquium in Comparative Religion

1 credit
M 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.

See previous courses here.