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Courses - Spring 2024
Religious Studies
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.
Reformers, Radicals, and Revolutionaries: The Middle East in the Twentieth Century
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with: HIST245.
Credit only granted for: RELS219K or HIST245.
The 20th century was a period of dramatic changes in the Middle East. Within the global context of the two World Wars and the Cold War, countries in the region struggled with the effects of colonialism and painful processes of decolonization. The course offers a thematic-comparative approach to issues such as social and political reform, nationalism, the colonial experience, independence struggles, models of governance, political violence, and Islamism. Course lectures and the analysis and discussion of primary sources will lead students to understand that the peoples of the Middle East found answers to the challenges posed by Western dominance based on their specific historical, cultural and socio-economic circumstances.
For Spring 2021; Cross-listed with HIST245. Credit granted for HIST245, ARAB298K, or RELS219K.
Religions of the Ancient Near East
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with: HIST219I, JWST225.
Credit only granted for: JWST225, HIST219I, RELS225, or RELS219A.
Formerly: RELS219A.
Introduction to ancient Near Eastern religious systems and mythology, from the third millennium BCE through the fourth century BCE. Particular emphasis on Mesopotamia and ancient Israel.
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Credit only granted for: RELS289I or RELS271.
Formerly: RELS289I.
Draws upon examples from a wide variety of religious traditions to explore the question of what religion is and how to best understand it. Engagement with diverse approaches to religion including phenomenology and the study of "the sacred"; sociology and the study of religious communities; and questions of religious experience, ritual, and identity formation.
Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Medieval Spain: Tolerance, Oppression, and the Problematic Past
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with: HIST289A.
Credit only granted for: HIST289A or RELS289C.
For 800 years, medieval Spain was home to one of the most religiously diverse societies in European history. Despite frequent hostilities, the interactions of Spanish Jews, Christians, and Muslims produced a flowering of science, theology, and literature in an often remarkably tolerant climate. Students will learn how medieval Spanish people themselves experienced interreligious contact and conflict. They will also discover the modern pressures, prejudices, and ideals that have shaped historians interpretations of medieval Spain.
Special Topics in Religious Studies; Minorities, Minorization, and Sectarianism in the Modern Middle East
Credits: 1 - 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
The European Reformations
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: HIST111; or permission of instructor.
Cross-listed with: HIST333.
Credit only granted for: HIST333 or RELS343.
Examination of developments in European religion between 1450 and 1700; the late-medieval Church and its critics; rise of Protestant thought in Germany and its spread throughout Europe; reform efforts in the Catholic Church; religious wars and violence and their impact on state and society; consequences of religious reform in society and its impact on the family and women.
Advanced Topics in Religious Studies; Constructing the Past in Early Islam
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with HIST429M. Credit only granted for HIST429M or RELS419C.

An exploration of historical writing in the medieval Islamic world. How did early Islamic-era scholars define their relationship to the past, torn between memory and oblivion? How did they build narratives about the formative period of Islam that became so influential and long-lasting, determining in a fundamental way the access that all future generations (including us) would have to alternative pasts?
Advanced Topics in Religious Studies; Digital Methods in Historical Research
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with HIST429B. Credit only granted for HIST429B or RELS419L.

This course provides introductions and hands-on experience to a variety of digital approaches to historical analysis. Students will be able to plan and execute a basic digital historical project of their own and to identify resources for further development. No prior coding knowledge is necessary.
Advanced Topics in Religious History; Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in the Islamic World
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with CMLT679D, HIST419C, PERS498M, PERS689M, WGSS498D, and WGSS698D. Credit granted for CMLT679D, HIST419C, PERS498M, PERS689M, RELS429B, WGSS498D, or WGSS698D.
Advanced Topics in Religious History; From Damascus to Cordoba: The First Dynasty of Islam East and West
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with HIST329M. Credit only granted for HIST329M or RELS429M.

A global history of the first dynasty of Islam, from their Arabian origins to Syria and Iberia, with a focus on how the Umayyads wanted to memorialize themselves while questioning the construction of historical narratives in medieval Islam.
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, S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.