Courses for Summer 2021

  • Jesus

    Who was, and is, Jesus? Who decides? What can we know about the historical Jesus and who he became? In this course, we will begin with the earliest accounts of Jesus as recounted in the canonical gospels and outside it (e.g., the Gospel of Judas). Then we will turn to the many ways that later generations of Christians (both heretical and orthodox) and non-Christians depicted Jesus, especially in art, literature, theology, politics, and entertainment. We will read canonical and non-canonical Christian texts, Jewish accounts of Jesus, the Quran, modern Christian apologetic literature, and analyze films like the Life of Brian.
    RELS 0014 S01
    Primary Instructor
  • Saints and Mystics of India

    Saints and Mystics of India explores the rich variety of religious experience in India as expressed in the inspired poetic productions of several mystics through time. By critically listening to these powerful voices of the past, we will endeavor to understand how mystical poems from divergent Indian traditions exhibit multiple points of interaction, influence and convergence. Our investigation will draw on the spontaneous literary outpourings of several mystics including but not limited to: Nammalvar, Andal, Kabir, Mahadeviyakka, Nanak, Mira, Tukkaram, Caitanya, Ramakrishna and Ramana Maharshi.
    RELS 0035 S01
    Primary Instructor
    RELS 0035 L01
    Primary Instructor
    Schedule Code
    L: Lab
  • Buddhist Thought, Practice, and Society

    From its beginnings to the 21st century. Principal teachings and practices, institutional and social forms, and artistic and iconographical expressions.
    RELS 0100 S01
    Primary Instructor
  • The Classical Chinese Philosophy of Life

    An introduction to the origins and early development of the indigenous religious thought of China from the oracle bone divination of the Shang Dynasty to the ethical philosophy of Confucianism and the cosmology and mysticism of Daoism. The course will seek to identify and elucidate the basic elements of the distinctive Chinese world view and demonstrate how they have shaped the nature of religious practice and experience and how they have been shaped by them. Works of interpretive scholarship will be used to supplement the primary texts in translation that will form the course. Optional lab section.
    RELS 0120 S01
    Primary Instructor
  • Religion Gone Wild: Spirituality and the Environment

    A study of the dynamic relation between religion and “nature” or the more-than-human world. Religion, in this course, includes forms of religion within and outside the bounds of conventional religious traditions. In this course, then, religion includes Buddhism, Christianity, and Aboriginal religion, but also ecofeminism, nature literature, and environmentalism. Topics in this study of religion, ethics, and environmental humanities include: religious depictions of humans in relation to “nature” and the more-than-human; the contribution of religions to environmental degradation and environmental health; religion and environmental justice; and North American and Australian indigenous eco-spiritual perspectives.
    RELS 0260 S01
    Primary Instructor
  • Hope, Despair, and Longing in Jewish Thought (JUDS 0050K)