New Courses Fall 2021

Department of Religion

Fall 2021 Course List


REL 104 Asian Mythology / CRN 68127

MW / 10:00 - 10:50 / Newman, Adam

Introductory survey of the mythologies of India, China, and Japan. Students must register for one discussion and one lecture section.

Same as ASST 104.


REL 108 Religion & Society in West I / CRN 68128

TR / 11:00 - 12:20 / Rosenstock, B

Introduction to classic writers and texts in Western religious and social thought from antiquity to the Enlightenment, with emphasis on their social and historical contexts.

Same as JS 108, ANTH 108, and PHIL 108.


REL 110 World Religions / CRN 67741

TR / 9:00 - 9:50 / Layton, R

Survey of the leading living religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; examination of basic texts and of philosophic theological elaborations of each religion. Students must register for one discussion and one lecture section.

Same as PHIL 110.


REL 132 Zen / CRN 68216

W / 4:00 - 6:50 / Mayer, A

Introduces the history, teachings, and practice of Zen Buddhism in China and Japan.

Same as EALC 132.


REL 201 Hebrew Bible in English / CRN 68218

TR / 9:30 - 10:50 / Weiss, D

Analyzes the critical issues in the interpretation of the literature of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament; surveys the history and religion of Ancient Israel with special reference to Israel's setting in the ancient Near East.

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.


REL 212 History of Antisemitism / CRN 68370

TR / 2:00 - 3:20 / Rosenstock, B

Studies the negative representations of Judaism and Jews from antiquity to the modern world. Topics include: Greco-Roman concepts of the Jewish religion; medieval Christian symbolization of the demonic Jew; Jews and negative attitudes to capitalism; blood purity and blood libel; the rise of racial prejudice in the modern nation state; totalitarianism and genocide; antisemitism and anti-Zionism.

Same as JS 201.


REL 214 Introduction to Islam / CRN 70014

TR / 11:00 - 12:20 

History of Islamic thought from the time of Muhammad to the present, including the prophethood of Muhammad, the Qur'an, theology and law, mysticism and philosophy, sectarian movements, modernism and legal reform, and contemporary resurgence.

Same as SAME 214.


REL 236 Religion, Violence & America / CRN 71388

MWF / 1:00 - 1:50 / Ebel, Jonathan

Examination of the interactions among religion, violence, and American culture from the colonial period to the twenty-first century. Using a wide range of primary and secondary texts, students will study the perspectives of the perpetrators and victims of religiously motivated and/or religiously justified violence, both in domestic and international affairs.

Same as HIST 290.


REL 260 Mystics and Saints in Islam / CRN 70075

TR / 3:30 - 4:50  /

Examines mystical concepts and practices in Islam through the ages, through the lives and writings of important mystics and Sufi holy men and women, as well as the integration of mysticism and the Sufi Orders into Muslim society and Islamic orthodoxy.

Same as SAME 260. No knowledge of Islam or foreign language is required.


REL 442 History of Early Judaism / CRN 70065 and 74667


TR / 12:30 - 1:50 / Weiss, D

The history of Judaism from Ezra to the rise of Islam: Hellenism and Judaism, varieties of Judaism, Palestinian Judaism and its documents, Babylonian Judaism, the rabbis, and popular Jewish culture.

Same as HIST 432 and JS 442. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Credit in one course in religion at the 200-, 300-, or 400-level, or consent of instructor.


REL 494 African-American Religious History / CRN 67933 and 67937

 TR / 12:30 - 1:50 /  Williams, A 

African American Religious History will be taught by Professor Alexia Williams This seminar is an examination of African American religious history and culture from 1526 – 2020. Beginning with the 16th century transatlantic slave trade, to 20thcentury civil rights activism and the current Black Lives Matter movement, students will historicize the formation of black religious communities, migrations and social movements throughout US history. Note: This course meets with AFRO 498


REL 495 Death in JAPN Buddhism / CRN 72309 and 72310

F / 4:00 - 6:50 / Callahan, C

Death, Dying and the Dead in Japanese Buddhism From its inception, the Buddhist tradition has shown an abiding concern for death, the dying and the dead. This upper level seminar will examine the doctrinal and symbolic meanings of death, the ritual and meditative practices of the dying, as well as the treatment of the dead in the context of Japanese Buddhism. Drawing on recent secondary scholarship, we will examine the interface between doctrine and social practice in deathbed rituals, funerary practices and memorial services, the material, visual and literary culture of the dying and the dead, and the ethical and societal issues concerning death and dying in Japan.

Same as EALC 495.


REL 510 Graduate Intro to Religion / CRN 67805

M / 3:00 - 5:30 / Newman, A

Introduction for first semester graduate students to selected methods and techniques for conducting research in the area of Religion. Students will receive general guidance on strategies for conducting bibliographic research and designing research projects. Includes study of some currently salient issues and areas of inquiry in a number of disciplines pertaining to the study of religion. The course will be supervised by one professor and will offer a series of presentations on several methodologies and historical issues by experts in various fields.


REL 511 Apocalypse / CRN 75198

TR / 2:00 - 3:20 /  Layton, R

The term “apocalypse” refers to a “removal of the veil”—the veil, that is, that hides the secrets of the cosmos from most people and that is pulled back for only a chosen few.  “Apocalyptic” more commonly refers to visions of the end time and to the movements that shape themselves in response to these visions.  This class explores apocalyptic as a worldview, as a movement with distinct social, political, and cultural aims, and as a discourse that scripts a community’s encounters with wider culture. 

From ancient Israel to modern Japan, we will explore the diversity of apocalyptic through canonical texts, social movements, and contemporary literary and cinematic expressions.  One focal point will be the New Testament book of Revelation, which has influenced apocalyptic thought through the millennia.  We will also examine later writings to learn how key motifs, symbols, and themes were transmitted, appropriated, and re-imagined.  The second focal point for the class will be the development in modern America of apocalyptic movements, communities, and literatures, as they have adapted to the changing political, cultural, and social landscape from the nineteenth century to the present.