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Courses - Fall 2023
Religious Studies
Islamic Civilization
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with: HIST120.
Credit only granted for: HIST120 or RELS120.
Introduction to society and culture in the Middle East since the advent of Islam: as a personal and communal faith; as artistic and literary highlights of intellectual and cultural life; and as the interplay between politics and religion under the major Islamic regimes.
Ancient Myths and Modern Lives
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with: CLAS170.
Credit only granted for: CLAS170 or RELS170.
Additional information: This course cannot be taken for language credit.
What are myths and why do we tell them? What powers do myths have? We will tackle these questions by looking at the enduring and fascinating myths from ancient Greece and Rome. In addition to studying how they shaped ancient societies, we will also look at their modern influence and reflect upon the power that myths still hold in our contemporary world. Taught in English.
Is Judaism a Religion?
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with: JWST171.
Credit only granted for: JWST171 or RELS171.
Jewish identity can be framed in terms of ethnicity, culture, and religious practice, but also in terms of more contemporary social constructions including social action, political engagement, and intellectual pursuit. In the context of such diverse social and individual frames, what does it mean to identify Judaism as a religion? Attention to Jewish society in historical and global perspective will provide a backdrop for a particular focus on contemporary Jews in the United States and Israel.
Special Topics in Religious Studies; Visual Cultures of Islam
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Crosslisted with ARTH389L, AAST298B, PERS298E, and HIST219E. Credit granted for HIST219E, ARTH389L, AAST298B, PERS298E, or RELS219E.

Visual Cultures of Islam is part of the Digital Islamic Studies Curriculum (digitalislam.umich.edu). This course is taught by an expert in the field of Islamic Art at the University of Michigan, and digitally shared with the University of Maryland. The course explores definitions of "Islamic" art and investigates various visual cultures of Islam around the world from the 7th to the 20th century. The course meets twice a week in real time using video conferencing technology and students are able to enroll directly at Maryland for course credit.
Jesus, Mani, and Muhammad: The Dynamics of New Religious Movements
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with: HIST289T.
Credit only granted for: RELS273 or RELS289M or HIST289T.
Formerly: RELS289M.
We examine three significant ancient religious figures: Jesus (d. 30s CE), Mani (d. 276 CE), and Muhammad (d. 632). All three were founders of long-lasting religions that were part of a dramatic change in the society and religion of the ancient world. Special areas of focus: the biographies of these founding figures, and how we know them; a historical approach to religious founders; and the sociology of new religious movements.
Jerusalem in Antiquity: The History of Sacred Space in a Holy City
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with: JWST274.
Credit only granted for: JWST274, RELS274, JWST289J or RELS289J.
Formerly: JWST289J, RELS289J.
Examines the complex history of Jerusalem's status as a holy city, with a focus on constructions of sacred space in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Renaissance Europe
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: HIST112 or HIST111; or permission of instructor.
Cross-listed with: HIST332.
Credit only granted for: HIST332 or RELS342.
Intellectual developments in Italy and Northern Europe from 1300 to 1550 and their influence on the arts and religion; social and economic trends, including the rise of the commercial economy in cities; the family and the role of women in society; expansion of Europe overseas and the beginnings of colonization; emergence of the state and consequent changes in political theory.
Advanced Topics in Religious Thought; Islamic Reformism
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with HIST428G. Credit only granted for HIST428G, HIST779C, or RELS439A.

Islam is far from a monolithic religious tradition. We will debate a wide range of perspectives on the various facets of Islamic Reform and modernization in the 18th-21st centuries. Students will learn to appreciate the diversity of Islamic thought in the contemporary world and its manifestations in daily practice, and in social, political, regional, and international conflicts.
Independent Study in Religious Studies
Credits: 1 - 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Contact department for information to register for this course.
(Perm Req)
Directed Readings in Religous Studies; Islam and the Body
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
Contact department for information to register for this course.