Religion

Courses

Below you will find a list of our current or recent offerings. See the course catalog for descriptions and updated information.

  • 19-204 Introduction to Christian Traditions
    A historical and thematic introduction to the Christian thought and practice. The survey begins with the Jesus movement and continues through the current growth of Christianity in the southern hemisphere, particularly sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. Literary genres, gender issues, political contexts, social movements and ethical dimensions are explored. (H) (SJ)
  • 19-214 Introduction to Native Traditions of the
    A broad survey of role and function of religion and religious activity in Native American communities. The course takes a broad, multi-disciplinary approach and focuses on religious agency in Native American communities, both past and present. Also Race and Ethnicity Studies 37-214. (H) (SJ)
  • 19-244 Introduction to Islamic Traditions
    A survey of the history, practices and beliefs of Islam from Muhammad's era to the modern. It investigates special themes such as mysticism, gender and politics with attention to diverse cultural contexts. (H)
  • 19-274 Introduction to Hinduism
    A historical and thematic introduction to the religious ideas and practices that developed primarily on the Indian subcontinent. The course surveys central religious concepts and myths in classical texts and popular traditions; the interaction with Buddhism, Jainism, Islam and Sikhism; gender issues; and the relationship between religion and politics in South Asia. (H) (IP) (SJ)
  • 19-284 Introduction to Buddhism
    A historical and thematic introduction to the central ideas and practices of Buddhism. The course begins with the historical Buddha and early developments in India, Sri Lanka and Tibet, and then surveys the spread of Buddhism to China and Japan and the interaction with Confucian, Daoist and Shinto traditions. (H) (IP)
  • 19-301 Selected Topics
    Lectures and readings on subjects of special interest. May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 19-302 Selected Topics
    Lectures and readings on subjects of special interest. May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 19-303 Selected Topics
    Lectures and readings on subjects of special interest. May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 19-304 Selected Topics
    Lectures and readings on subjects of special interest. May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 19-314 Borderlands and Religion
    An exploration of complex religious identities of the Texas-Mexico borderlands as expressed in folklore, visual art, poetry, music, film, and ethnographic studies. Through the lens of critical feminist theory, this course examines ways that border-crossing religious identities challenge prevalent assumptions about religion, gender, nation, race, and class. Also Feminist Studies 04-514 and Latin American and Border Studies 06-554. (H)
  • 19-324 Women, Goddesses and Religion
    A cross-cultural study of the ways women's voices have been heard and silenced, of the ways that their lives have been influential (as well as violently ended) and of the vital roles women have played in various religious traditions. The course also investigates ways in which female divinity has been conceptualized in various ancient and modern religious traditions. Rituals, communities, visual symbols and sacred texts will provide the material for our explorations and a feminist methodology will provide the lens for our gaze. Also Anthropology 35-364 and Feminist Studies 04-224. (H) (IP) (WA)
  • 19-334 Apocalypse
    Why do we imagine the end of everything? Is it fear? Is it control? Is it wanting to let go of control? What do religious traditions do with the idea of apocalypse (a vision, a revelation of things to come)? This course examines those questions in both religious and secular settings (while questioning those boundaries) asking why humans have imagined end times. It also considers why these imaginings exist and how they function. In addition, it raises issues of social justice and expresses hope in a different (and better) future as well as current environmental fears of demise. Also Environmental Studies 49-334. (H)
  • 19-344 Animals and Religion
    A cross-cultural study of the ways other-than-human animals are included in and influence several different religious traditions. The course also examines contemporary issues such as factory farming and biomedical experimentation. Ecofeminist and environmental theories and methods inform the course. Also Environmental Studies 49-344 and Feminist Studies 04-344. (H)
  • 19-354 Gender and Sexuality in Native America
    An examination of the ways in which gender and sexuality are understood and acted out in Native American ritual and spiritual life, past and present. Focus will be placed on both continuity and change, and the context through which these definitions make sense. Also Feminist Studies 04-394. (H)
  • 19-364 The Body and Sexuality in Religion
    A feminist, cross-cultural examination of notions of the embodied human self in various religious traditions, focusing on sexuality and sexual desire. The course will explore how the body is conceptualized; moral proscriptions regarding the body and what they reveal about religion and culture; self-cultivation techniques; and the relationship between gender and sexuality and salvation. Written texts and visual arts will be the media of exploration. This course may be repeated when topic varies. Also Feminist Studies 04-264. (H) (IP)
  • 19-374 Sacred Space and the Environment
    This course looks at the ways in which groups of peoples (the focus will be primarily on Native Americans) have shaped their spiritual identities and communities around important places within the landscape, defining themselves against these places in nature and being defined by them at the same time. Students will try to understand what it means to give spiritual value to natural places, and the varieties of ways in which religious activities (and/or environmental philosophies) are focused on such places. Also Environmental Studies 49-374 and Race and Ethnicity Studies 37-224. (H)
  • 19-384 Rastas, Saints and Virgins
    This course looks at the study of ethnic religious traditions in the United States - religions associated with specific ethnic groups. Students will examine religious systems such as Santeria, Rastafarians and the Cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe, among others. The goal of the course is not only to understand the religions themselves, but also to see how to go about studying religious systems which are not founded in texts and which differ on a deep philosophical level from many mainstream religious systems. Also Race and Ethnicity Studies 37-384. (H) (SJ)
  • 19-394 Indigenous Myth and Narrative
    An examination of oral and written narratives in Native American cultures and communities (past and present) to show how such narratives serve as ways of encoding culture and identity, notions about world and self, and serve as a powerful means of passing those ideas on generationally. Students will have the opportunity to read collections of narratives, listen to narratives being told via audio recordings, as well as examine more contemporary methods of narrative transmission, including music, poetry and social media. Also Race and Ethnicity Studies 37-474. (H)
  • 19-534 Muslims in Europe
    See History 16-514. (H)
  • 19-714 Topics in Religion
    A critical investigation of an important subject or issue in religion: religion and violence, religion and media, religious authority, religion and politics, etc. May be comparative or may focus on one tradition. This course may be repeated when topic varies. Topics courses that rotate, not necessarily every two years: Ball Games, Baskets, and Living Skies; A Novel Approach to American Religious History; Pilgrimage; Yoga; Religion and Politics; Religion and Ecology. (H)
  • 19-814 Theories and Methods of Religion
    An exploration of some of the theories and methods used in contemporary secular studies of religion. Reviews various scholars who, in the past century, have sought to analyze the phenomenon of religion apart from theology through the use of history, literary studies, feminist studies, psychology, sociology, anthropology and comparative studies. The course requires a significant amount of writing and exercises in the application of various methodological approaches, thus it is research intensive as well. Students are encouraged to take at least four religion courses before enrolling. This class is primarily for Religion majors and minors, but is open to others with permission of instructor. (WA)
  • 19-894 Religion Capstone
    This research seminar is intended for majors in religion but is open to other students with the permission of the instructor. (WA)