Courses

Anthropology and Sociology of Religion

AASR 42904 Walter Benjamin
TH 9:00-11:50 S208

An examination of some of Walter Benjamin’s most influential work and its appropriation in anthropology and religious studies.

Ident. ISLM 42904/HREL 42904/ANTH 43725

Bible

BIBL 34000 Introductory Biblical Hebrew 2
M/W/F 8:00-8:50 S201

Instructor: Jordan Skornik, Lecturer in Biblical Hebrew

PQ: BIBL 33900

 

This course is the second of a two-quarter sequence designed to introduce students to the language of biblical Hebrew, with special emphasis on the fundamentals of its morphology, syntax, and vocabulary. The course follows a standard textbook supplemented by lectures, exercises, and oral drills aimed at refining the student’s grasp of grammatically sound interpretation and translation. At the conclusion of the two-quarter sequence students will be prepared to take a biblical Hebrew reading course in the spring quarter.

BIBL 35300 Introductory Koine Greek 2
M/W/F 8:00-8:50 S208

Instructor:  Andrew Langford, Lecturer in Koine Greek 

PQ: BIBL 35100

 

In this two-course sequence, students will learn the basic mechanics of Koine Greek and begin reading texts from the Greek New Testament and Septuagint. The autumn course and the first three-fourths or so of the winter course will introduce the vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and style of the Greek New Testament, and to a limited degree those of the Septuagint, after which point we will focus on reading and interpreting a New Testament document in Greek at length. Upon the conclusion of the sequence, students will be able to read and comprehend entire passages of Koine Greek text with the aid of a dictionary. This sequence aims to prepare students to successfully participate in a Greek exegesis course in Spring 2015 or thereafter.

BIBL 43300 Introduction to Papyrology
W 2:00-5:00 JRL

This course will concentrate on the methods and perspectives of the discipline of papyrology, including the "hands on" experience of working with actual texts in Chicago's collections of documents in Regenstein and Oriental Institute and the Ptolemaic collection at the University of Texas at Austin.  No previous knowledge of the field is assumed; we will begin from ground up.  Among the topics we will cover are: the major branches of papyrology (including documentary, literary, magical, and Christian texts), including analysis of the form and structure of different kinds of papyrus documents; the linguistic phenomenon of koine Greek; and the contribution of papyrology to other areas of the study of antiquity such as literature, social history, linguistics, and religion.

PQ: at least three years of Greek (or by consent of instructor)

Ident. GREK 36100

BIBL 48002 Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi
T/TH 10:30-11:50 S400

This is a reading and exegesis course on the prophets Haggai, Zechariah (chs. 1-8), and Malachi.  All texts will be read in Hebrew.

PQ:  One year of biblical Hebrew.

BIBL 50206 Brauer Seminar: Jewish and Christian Responses to Biblical Criticism
TH 3:00-5:50 S400

The rise of modern biblical criticism corresponds closely with the rise of modern thought. Especially in the nineteenth century, developments and discoveries in fields such as philosophy, classics, history, and biological science began to impact theological discourse. They made their mark especially in theology’s (then) subfield, biblical studies. This process was a highly political one, both in relation to religious communities and the state. In this seminar, we will examine the philosophical, ideological, and methodological presuppositions of biblical criticism from Spinoza to Wellhausen. We will also consider Christian and Jewish scholarly and theological responses to these developments, from Herder to Buber and Rosenzweig to the present.

PQ:  By application only—limited to 12 students.

Ident.  HIJD 50206

BIBL 50803 The Septuagint In Modern Study
W 9:00-11:50 S400

This course will explore the origins and recensional development of the Septuagint from the 3rd century BCE to the 4th century CE It will give special attention to the use of the Septuagint in textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Septuagint’s important theological role in Early Judaism and in the New Testament will be noted.

BIBL 54402 Plutarch of Chaironeia and the New Testament
M 1:00-3:50 S403

Plutarch of Chaironeia, who lived between ca. 45 and 125 C.E., is not only a contemporary of the authors of the New Testament, but also one of our main sources for information on history, policy, religions, philosophy, literature, and social life of the 1st century C.E. He was a prolific writer and produced a vast number of books. Much of his writing is preserved in two series: the “Vita” and the “Moralia” (all available in the LCL, though we will prefer the Teubner edition for the Greek text). We will try to cover a representative selection of texts, alternating between close reading of certain passages in Greek and overviews based on translations. The identification of fruitful parallels to early Christian writings will be a common task for all participants.

PQ:  Good knowledge of Greek

Divinity School

DVSC 42000 German Reading Exam

Monday, January 26 at 6:00 p.m. S106

PQ: Open only to Divinity School students

DVSC 45100 Reading Course: Special Topic

PQ: Petition with bibliography signed by instructor; enter section number from faculty list.

DVSC 49900 Exam Preparation

PQ: Open only to Ph.D. students in quarter of qualifying exams.  Department consent.  Petition signed by Advisor.

DVSC 50100 Research: Divinity

PQ: Petition signed by instructor; enter section number from faculty list.

DVSC 59900 Thesis Work: Divinity

PQ: Petition signed by instructor; enter section number from faculty list.

History of Christianity

HCHR 34900 The Age of Walter Rauschenbusch: History and Historiography of the Social Gospel
M 9-11:50 S403

This course is an intensive analysis of the origins, development, and historical significance of the Social Gospel as a religious and social reform movement in America. Particular emphasis is devoted to the social and theological contributions of Walter Rauschenbusch and the broader intellectual and cultural developments in the US in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some basic knowledge of the history of biblical interpretation is helpful to make sense of the theological and biblical controversies of the time period.

Ident: RAME 34900

HCHR 37500 The Spirituality of the Sixteenth Century
M/W 10:00-11:20 S201

Ident. THEO 37500

HCHR 44600 Renaissance and Reformation
M/W 1:30-2:50 S201

Ident. THEO 44600

HCHR 46404 The Long 1960s: Religion and Social Change
W 9-11:20 S403

This course is an intensive reading seminar of major secondary and primary sources that examine significant religious and cultural shifts that occurred in the 1960s. The course will be especially concerned with the emergence of the New Christian Right, the meaning of Vatican II for American Catholics, changes in gender roles and families, debates about public schools and the public role of religion, and race, religion, and the Civil Rights movement.

Ident. RAME 46404

History of Judaism

HIJD 30911 Jews and Judaism in the Classical Era and Late Antiquity: From Temple to Text, from “Land” to “Torah”
T/Th 10:30-11:50am ARR
This course will address the thousand-year evolvement of post-Biblical Judaism from a Temple and Land orientation to the emergence of Rabbinic Judaism. The first section of the course will focus on the political and cultural effects of the Hellenistic and early Roman periods on Jews and Judaism, with a stress placed not only on the social and political developments in Judea but on the early stages and subsequent growth of Jewish diaspora communities as well. In this context special attention will be given to the variegated literary corpus produced by Jews both in Judea and the diaspora. The second section will analyze the changes in Jewish life and self-identity in the aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple in 70CE, and the gradual emergence of Rabbinic Judaism as an alternative expression of Jewish religious commitment. The Roman Empire's embracing of Christianity on the one hand, and the growing assertiveness of a Babylonian Rabbinic community on the other, will also be closely examined.


IDENT: RLST 20911, JWSC 20911, NEHC 20491
HIJD 32702 Jewish History and Society III: Messianism in Modernity
T/TH 1:30-2:50 S208

This course will consider the changing function of the notion of the messiah as it developed and changed in the modern era.  It takes as its concrete starting point the Sabbatian Heresy of the 17th century and concludes with Derrida’s philosophical development of the concept of the messianic. The course’s aim is to use messianism as a focal point around which to consider the dynamic relationship between philosophy and Jewish civilization. It will examine the changing representations of the  Messiah within the history of Jewish civilization. Concurrently it will consider the after-effect of these representations on discourses of modernity and vice-versa, illustrating both how Enlightenment conceptions of progress helped to create the notion of “messianism” understood as an abstract idea, and how the modern/post-modern philosophical conception of the “messianic” as a force that interrupts time is dependent upon historical studies of the messianic dimension of traditional Judaism. 

Ident. RLST 25801 

HIJD 35115 Topics in the Philosophy of Religion: Challenge of Suffering from Job to Primo Levi
T 10:30-1:20 ARR

This course will focus on authors from the Jewish tradition, although some attention will be given to Catholic and Protestant perspectives, as found, for example, in liberation theology and in certain forms of religious existentialism. We will look at the various ways in which contemporary philosophers of Judaism have dealt with suffering, evil and God, especially after the experience of the Shoah. We will examine the often repeated claim that Judaism has approached the philosophical and religious challenges of suffering more through an ethics of suffering than on the basis of a metaphysics of suffering. After an introductory discussion of Maimonides on the Book of Job, readings for the course may come from authors such as E. Lévinas, J.B. Soloveitchik, Y. Leibowitz, H. Jonas, A. Lichtenstein, D.W. Halivni, D. Shatz, and E. Berkovits. The course will culminate in a philosophical analysis of some of the most important writings of Primo Levi.

PQ:  All students interested in enrolling in this course should send an application to aschulz@uchicago.edu by 12/01/14.  Applications should be no longer than one page and should include name, email address, year and major for undergraduates, department or committee for graduate students.   Applicants should briefly describe their background and explain their interest in, and their reasons for applying to, this course.

DVPR 35115/PHIL 25115/35115/ITAL 25115/35115/RLST 25115/ JWSC 26115

HIJD 40910 Early Jewish Historiography
M 2-4:50pm S400

This course will undertake a twofold study. The initial purpose is to investigate the scope and nature of the post-Biblical historiographical enterprise undertaken by Jews, through an examination of the variegated literary works that set out to preserve and describe events of the past. To what extent did Jews cultivate a historical consciousness in Late Antiquity, and what contexts and systems were employed to meet that goal? The second portion of the course will address many of these same questions as they apply to rabbinic literature, which – in contrast to some of the earlier works to be examined – clearly do not suggest a conscious historiographical agenda. Were the rabbis even interested in recording "what really happened" and transmitting this information to subsequent generations, or do they evince disinterest and even disdain towards such an undertaking? To what extent do the answers to these questions enable or preclude the use of rabbinic texts for the retrieval of historical information?

Ident. NEHC 40911/HIST 49903

HIJD 44702 The Other and the “Exotic” in Postwar Jewish Writing
W 1:30-3:50 S403

We will consider the challenge of post-colonial discourse to Jewish self-understanding. If Jewish identity was formed in and through the Jew’s relation to Europe, what happens when Jewish writers theorizing and narrating post-Holocaust Jewish existence discover they no longer occupy the space of the exotic? We will consider both European and American sources and literary and philosophical texts to treat this question. We will consider how representations of animality, humanity and the divine are mobilized in these sources. Among our writers will be Jean-Paul Sartre, Emmanuel Levinas, Alain Finkelkraut, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, and Cynthia Ozick.

Ident. RLIT 44702

HIJD 45400 Readings in Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed
T 3:00-5:50 S400

A careful study of select passages in Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed focusing on the method of the work, its exegetical framework, and its major philosophical-theological themes, including divine attributes, creation vs. eternity, prophecy, the problem of evil and providence, law and ethics, and the final aim of human existence. There is no language requirement; all readings will be in English. There will be an extra optional session for students who want to read the text in the original.

Ident. ISLM 45400/HREL 45401/NEHC 40470/RLIT 45402/RLST 21107/FNDL 24106

HIJD 47602 Jewish Responses to Continental Philosophers: Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Heidegger
W 6:00-8:50 S200

Modern Jewish thought is decisively shaped in response to the critiques of Judaism as well the new conceptual vistas forged by contemporary European philosophers. From this perspective we will consider the writings of Moses Mendelssohn, Nachman Krochmal, Ludwig Steinheim, Hermann Cohen, Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, Leo Strauss, and Emmanuel Levinas.

HIJD 50200 Readings in Arabic Religious Texts
TH 1:30-4:20 MMC Library

Selected texts from the Qur’an, the Arabic Bible, Islamic philosophy, Sufism, and other classical Arabic literature.

PQ:  2 years of Arabic or the equivalent

Ident. ISLM 50200/NEHC 40604

HIJD 50206 Brauer Seminar: Jewish and Christian Responses to Biblical Criticism
TH 3:00-5:50 S400

The rise of modern biblical criticism corresponds closely with the rise of modern thought. Especially in the nineteenth century, developments and discoveries in fields such as philosophy, classics, history, and biological science began to impact theological discourse. They made their mark especially in theology’s (then) subfield, biblical studies. This process was a highly political one, both in relation to religious communities and the state. In this seminar, we will examine the philosophical, ideological, and methodological presuppositions of biblical criticism from Spinoza to Wellhausen. We will also consider Christian and Jewish scholarly and theological responses to these developments, from Herder to Buber and Rosenzweig to the present.

PQ:  By application only—limited to 12 students.

Ident.  BIBL 50206

History of Religions

HREL 30300 Indian Philosophy 2
T/TH 10:30-11:50 S201

The course will focus on developments in logic and the theory of knowledge in Indian philosophy during the mid-first millennium C.E., and the entailments of these developments for philosophical reflection more broadly. Philosophical theism, the existence of an external world and of other minds, and the theory of meaning will be among the topics considered. The course is open to students who have completed Indian Philosophy 1, or by permission of the instructor.

Ident. DVPR 30302/RLST 24202/SALC 20902/30902

HREL 35000 Mahabharata in English Translation
M/W 1:30-2:50 S208

A reading of the Mahabharata in English translation (John Smith, van Buitenen, Narasimhan, P.C. Roy, and Doniger [ms.]), with special attention to issues of mythology, feminism, and theodicy.

Requirements will include a 15-20 page paper at the end of the course.

Ident. SALC 20400/48200/FNDL 24400/RLST 26800

HREL 35100 Indian Buddhism
M/W 3:00-4:20 S201

This course is designed to serve as an introduction to the study of Indian Buddhism. The course will survey the history, doctrines, institutions, and practices of Buddhism in India from its origins through the end of the 20th century. Readings will be drawn both from primary sources (in translation) and secondary and tertiary scholarly research. This course may be taken to satisfy the “extended flexible core” requirement.

Ident. SALC 48306

HREL 36000 Second Year Sanskrit: Readings in the Mahabharata
T/TH 1:30-2:50 S207

PQ:  One year of Sanskrit. Exam at end of the quarter.  Open to both College and Graduate Students

Ident. SALC 48400/SANS 20200

HREL 42904 Walter Benjamin
TH 9:00-11:50 S208

An examination of some of Walter Benjamin’s most influential work and its appropriation in anthropology and religious studies.

Ident. AASR 42904/ISLM 42904/ANTH 43725

HREL 44402 Mahayana Sutra Literature
T/TH 10:30-11:50 S403

The early centuries of the Christian Era saw a tremendous efflorescence of scriptural production in Indian Buddhist communities. Much of this coalesced in the movements eventually known as the Universal Way (Mahayana). In this course, we will explore this literature (in translation), discussing its history, contents and contexts, and interpretation. Particular attention will be paid to reading the documents and thinking about their literary qualities and what this might tell us of the communities that crafted them.

Ident. SALC 48315

HREL 45401 Readings in Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed
T 3:00-5:50 S400

A careful study of select passages in Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed focusing on the method of the work, its exegetical framework, and its major philosophical-theological themes, including divine attributes, creation vs. eternity, prophecy, the problem of evil and providence, law and ethics, and the final aim of human existence. There is no language requirement; all readings will be in English. There will be an extra optional session for students who want to read the text in the original.

Ident. ISLM 45400/HIJD 45400/NEHC 40470/RLIT 45402/RLST 21107/FNDL 24106

HREL 47001 Pahlavi Language and Literature
ARR ARR

PQ:  Interested students should contact the instructor regarding time/day.

HREL 48910 Readings in Tibetan Buddhist Texts
T/TH 3:00-4:20 S403

Readings in selected Buddhist doctrinal writings in Tibetan.  Open to students reading Tibetan at the advanced level.

Ident. DVPR 48910/SALC 48501 (3rd/4th year Tibetan)

Islamic Studies

ISLM 30200 Introductory Qur’anic Arabic II
T/TH 9:00-10:20 S201

This course is the second in a two-quarter sequence introduction to Arabic centered on learning to read the Arabic of the Qur'an.  It marks the inauguration of the Introduction to Qur'anic Arabic program at the Divinity School which is expected to take on role similar that to that provided by the two-quarter Introduction to Biblical Hebrew and Introduction to Koine Greek sequences.  The course is open to those with no prior Arabic or those who may have had some or may even have learned so Qur'an, but do not feel secure in their grammar.  (It is not meant for those who already have reading proficiency in modern or classical Arabic).  The course will align the introduction of grammar and vocabulary with readings in selected passages from the Qur'an; and will also include an introduction to the proper method of transliterating the Qur'an for papers and articles and the basic rules of Qur'anic recitation (tajwīd) for papers and articles, basic rules of tajwīd, as well as some secondary readings in Qur'anic studies.  A core textbook will be The Routledge Introduction to Qur'anic Arabic by Munther Younes, An Introduction to Koranic and Classical Arabic by Wheeler Thackston, and handouts. The two courses are sequential, but students who are already familiar with the basics of Arabic grammar may wish to join the sequence in the second quarter.  Successful completion of the second quarter of the sequence will qualify students to take the Seminar in the Arabic Text of the Qur'an," that will be taught by Michael Sells in the spring quarter.   In addition to those interested in Islamic Studies proper, the course may be of interest to those in a variety of areas, including but not limited to biblical studies, religion in late antiquity, rabbinic and Karaite literature. 

ISLM 33515 Music and Islam in South Asia: Interrogating Sufism
T/TH 1:30-2:50 ARR

Instructor: Regula Qureshi

This course explores the sonic practices of Islamic rituals, Muslim discourses about music, and the relation of both to the rich diversity of Islamicate musical practices in both India and Pakistan. Special focus will be on Sufi music, its blending with Hindu musical expression and  transformation into a global trend, even while retaining a commitment to communal harmony.

Ident. MUSI 33515

ISLM 40500 Readings in the Text of the Qur’an
T 1:30-4:20 MMC Library

Ident. NEHC 40601

ISLM 42904 Walter Benjamin
TH 9:00-11:50 S208

An examination of some of Walter Benjamin’s most influential work and its appropriation in anthropology and religious studies.

Ident. AASR 42904/HREL 42904/ANTH 43725

ISLM 45400 Readings in Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed
T 3:00-5:50 S400

A careful study of select passages in Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed focusing on the method of the work, its exegetical framework, and its major philosophical-theological themes, including divine attributes, creation vs. eternity, prophecy, the problem of evil and providence, law and ethics, and the final aim of human existence. There is no language requirement; all readings will be in English. There will be an extra optional session for students who want to read the text in the original.

Ident. HREL 45401/HIJD 45400/NEHC 40470/RLIT 45402/RLST 21107/FNDL 24106

ISLM 50200 Readings in Arabic Religious Texts
TH 1:30-4:20 MMC Library

Selected texts from the Qur’an, the Arabic Bible, Islamic philosophy, Sufism, and other classical Arabic literature.

PQ:  2 years of Arabic or the equivalent

Ident. HIJD 50200/NEHC 40604

Ministry and Religious Leadership

CHRM 30600 Introduction to Ministry Studies: Colloquium
W 1:30-2:50 S400

This year-long integration seminar grounds first year M.Div. students in habits and perspectives essential to the practice of ministry. Students will cultivate the discipline of attention--learning to read closely, to listen deeply, to interrogate their experience, and to participate in rigorous critical conversation. During the first quarter, students will explore the relationship of narrative and theology; the second quarter will engage students in a close encounter with urban ministry; during the third quarter, students will integrate tradition, reason, and experience as they articulate definitions of ministry

PQ: First year M.DIV. students only.   DO NOT REGISTER FOR THIS COURSE

CHRM 32500 Theology in the Public Square
T/TH 10:30-11:50 MMC Library

This course explores themes in “public theology” as formulated by Martin Luther King, Jr., Reinhold Niebuhr, Dorothy Day, and Abraham Joshua Heschel, and in relation to selected contemporary cultural contexts.

PQ: Restricted to M.DIV. students.

CHRM 35200 Arts of Ministry: Pastoral Care and Counseling
F 9:00-11:50 S400

This course is the second of a three-quarter sequence introducing students to essential aspects of religious leadership; the sequence is required for second-year MDiv students and complements their field education experience. During this quarter students focus on religious communities' practices of healing, reconciling, and empowerment, investigating the broad scope of human experience using the lenses of theology, ethics and the social sciences, and cultivating practices of care such as attention, accompaniment, and moral guidance.

PQ:  Second year M.DIVs only; others by permission of instructor

CHRM 40700 Practice of Ministry II
F 1:00-3:00 S400
PQ: 2nd year M.DIV. students only
DO NOT REGISTER FOR THIS COURSE
CHRM 42800 Senior Ministry Thesis Seminar
W 3:00-5:50 S400

PQ:  Required seminar for M.DIV students in the year in which they are writing and presenting their thesis.

Philosophy of Religions

DVPR 30302 Indian Philosophy 2
T/TH 10:30-11:50 S201

The course will focus on developments in logic and the theory of knowledge in Indian philosophy during the mid-first millennium C.E., and the entailments of these developments for philosophical reflection more broadly. Philosophical theism, the existence of an external world and of other minds, and the theory of meaning will be among the topics considered. The course is open to students who have completed Indian Philosophy 1, or by permission of the instructor.

Ident. HREL 30300/RLST 24202/SALC 20902/30902

DVPR 35115 Topics in the Philosophy of Religion: Challenge of Suffering from Job to Primo Levi
T 10:30-1:20 ARR

This course will focus on authors from the Jewish tradition, although some attention will be given to Catholic and Protestant perspectives, as found, for example, in liberation theology and in certain forms of religious existentialism. We will look at the various ways in which contemporary philosophers of Judaism have dealt with suffering, evil and God, especially after the experience of the Shoah. We will examine the often repeated claim that Judaism has approached the philosophical and religious challenges of suffering more through an ethics of suffering than on the basis of a metaphysics of suffering. After an introductory discussion of Maimonides on the Book of Job, readings for the course may come from authors such as E. Lévinas, J.B. Soloveitchik, Y. Leibowitz, H. Jonas, A. Lichtenstein, D.W. Halivni, D. Shatz, and E. Berkovits. The course will culminate in a philosophical analysis of some of the most important writings of Primo Levi.

PQ:  All students interested in enrolling in this course should send an application to aschulz@uchicago.edu by 12/01/14.  Applications should be no longer than one page and should include name, email address, year and major for undergraduates, department or committee for graduate students.   Applicants should briefly describe their background and explain their interest in, and their reasons for applying to, this course.

Ident. HIJD 35115/PHIL 25115/35115/ITAL 25115/35115/RLST 25115/ JWSC 26115

DVPR 41700 Readings in Madhyamaka
F 1:00-3:50 S403

PQ: Sufficient Sanskrit or Tibetan to read primary sources

Ident. SALC 48317

DVPR 44700 American Religious Naturalism Following James
M/W 10:00-11:20 S208
DVPR 45301 Readings in Tiantai Buddhism: Meditation Texts
M 3:00-05:50 S208

In this course we will explore the theory and practice of meditation as presented in the key canonical works of the Tiantai school, focusing especially on the Zhiyi’s magnum opus, Mohezhiguan (“The Great Concentration and Contemplation”), which serves not only as massive and detailed instructional manual in the art of meditation but is also considered the main source of the most distinctive doctrines of the Tiantai school, most notably the claim, found only here in Zhiyi’s works, that “each moment of experience entails all three thousand possible aspects of all world” (yinian sanqian).  We will also be looking at shorter works such as the Liumiaofamen (“Six Wondrous Gates”) and the Jueyisanmei (“Samadhi of Awareness of Attention”), and secondary material in English to orient students to Tiantai theory in general.   Readings will be geared to the original Chinese and English translation in a combination to be determined by the makeup of the class.  

DVPR 46602 Classical Confucianism from Confucius to Yinyang and the Philosophy of Change
W 3:00-5:50 S208

This course will cover the central works of classical Confucianism, focusing especially on the ethics and metaphysics developed in the Analects, Mencius, Xunzi and the “Daxue” and “Zhongyong,” along with the “Xicizhuan” appendix to the Zhouyi (“Book of Changes”).   With the exception of the Xunzi, these are the works that come to define Confucian orthodoxy in much of later tradition.   We will be reading these works both in light of and against their later use as orthodox sources in Neo-Confucianism, noting the radical growths and reversals in Confucian thinking as it develops through the classical period (6th-3rd centuries BCE), and with special attention to the incorporation of ironic and anti-ironic motifs growing out of the encounter with Daoist thought in classical times.  All readings will be in English translation, but close consultations of the original classical Chinese will be done in parallel for those proficient in that language.

DVPR 48910 Readings in Tibetan Buddhist Texts
T/TH 3:00-4:20 S403

Readings in selected Buddhist doctrinal writings in Tibetan.  Open to students reading Tibetan at the advanced level.

Ident. HREL 48910/SALC 48501 (3rd/4th year Tibetan)

Religion and Literature

RLIT 41400 History of Criticism and Hermeneutics: 16th -19th Centuries
F 130-4:20 S200
RLIT 44702 The Other and the “Exotic” in Postwar Jewish Writing
W 1:30-3:50 S403

We will consider the challenge of post-colonial discourse to Jewish self-understanding. If Jewish identity was formed in and through the Jew’s relation to Europe, what happens when Jewish writers theorizing and narrating post-Holocaust Jewish existence discover they no longer occupy the space of the exotic? We will consider both European and American sources and literary and philosophical texts to treat this question. We will consider how representations of animality, humanity and the divine are mobilized in these sources. Among our writers will be Jean-Paul Sartre, Emmanuel Levinas, Alain Finkelkraut, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, and Cynthia Ozick.

Ident. HIJD 44702

RLIT 45402 Readings in Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed
T 3:00-5:50 S400

A careful study of select passages in Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed focusing on the method of the work, its exegetical framework, and its major philosophical-theological themes, including divine attributes, creation vs. eternity, prophecy, the problem of evil and providence, law and ethics, and the final aim of human existence. There is no language requirement; all readings will be in English. There will be an extra optional session for students who want to read the text in the original.

Ident. HREL 45401/HIJD 45400/NEHC 40470/ISLM 454002/RLST 21107/FNDL 24106

Religions in America

RAME 34900 The Age of Walter Rauschenbusch: History and Historiography of the Social Gospel
M 9-11:50 S403

This course is an intensive analysis of the origins, development, and historical significance of the Social Gospel as a religious and social reform movement in America. Particular emphasis is devoted to the social and theological contributions of Walter Rauschenbusch and the broader intellectual and cultural developments in the US in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some basic knowledge of the history of biblical interpretation is helpful to make sense of the theological and biblical controversies of the time period.

Ident: HCHR 34900

RAME 46404 The Long 1960s: Religion and Social Change
W 9-11:20 S403

This course is an intensive reading seminar of major secondary and primary sources that examine significant religious and cultural shifts that occurred in the 1960s. The course will be especially concerned with the emergence of the New Christian Right, the meaning of Vatican II for American Catholics, changes in gender roles and families, debates about public schools and the public role of religion, and race, religion, and the Civil Rights movement.

Ident. HCHR 46404

Religious Ethics

RETH 30802 Contemporary Religious Ethics II
T/TH 10:30-11:50 S106

This is the second of a two-quarter survey of the rise and development of religious ethics.  It will examine pioneering work that established a new style of scholarship during the “quiet revolution” when Religious Studies programs gained an institutional footing in North American colleges and universities, starting in the late 1960s.  Readings for the second quarter will focus on normative resources within religious traditions or on specific ethical problems. Students may enroll in either or both quarters.  Doctoral students in the RETH area are encouraged to enroll in both quarters.  

RETH 31100 History of Theological Ethics I
T/TH 9:00-10:20 S106

This is the first part of a two-part history.  It is conducted through the study of basic, classic texts. The course moves from the philosophical ethics of the Greek and Roman worlds through strands of Hebrew scripture, the origins of the Christian movement, the end of the Roman age to the emergence of Islam, and, finally, Christian and Jewish scholastic and mystical thought in the Western middle ages. While the golden thread of the history is the origin and differentiation of Christian moral thinking, this is set within and compared with the complexity of traditions (Hellenistic philosophical, Jewish, Islamic) that intersect and often collide throughout these formative centuries in Western thought. In this way, the exploration of one tradition opens onto rich comparative thinking. The course proceeds by lectures and discussion. Most readings are in translation. There will be a final examination.  This is a basic course and thus no previous work in theology, philosophy, or ethics is required.

Ident. THEO 31100

RETH 38614 Cicero on Friendship and Aging
T 3:00-5:45 LBQ, Room B

Two of Cicero’s most enduring works are De Amicitia (On Friendship) and De Senectute (On Old Age).  We will read the entirety of both works in Latin and study their relationship to Cicero’s thought and life.  Other readings in translation will include related works of Cicero and quite a few of his letters to Atticus and other friends.

The first hour of each course meeting will be devoted to translation, the rest to discussion, in order to give opportunities for auditors who are reading in translation.

The requirements include a midterm, a final exam, and a paper. 

This is a Latin course that presupposes five quarters of Latin or the equivalent preparation. Others interested in taking it may register for an Independent Study and have different requirements, more writing and no Latin, but they will take a final exam (different).

Ident. LAWS 52403/PHIL 24208/34208/CLAS 38614/LATN 28614/38614

RETH 44802 Contemporary Political and Social Ethics
TH 2:00-4:50 S200

This is the first of a two-quarter seminar that focuses on theorizations of justice in North American religion and philosophy.  Over the arc of both quarters, we will examine theories of distributive justice, cultural rights, democratic theory, human rights, gender equity, religion and politics, and obligations to the environment.  Prior training in philosophy or political theory is welcome but not required.  Students may enroll in either or both quarters.   Doctoral students in RETH are encouraged to enroll in both quarters.   The second part of this seminar will be offered in Autumn 2015.

RETH 52403 Moral Problems: Poverty and Social Justice
T 1:30-4:20 S200

This is an advanced seminar on poverty and social justice. The course will explore the ethical and social questions surrounding poverty, various forms of poverty (voluntary/involuntary), and theories of social justice that can respond to the human suffering caused by poverty. The seminar will engage major theories of justice, religious and philosophical, in light of the reality of poverty. Previous graduate work in Religious Ethics or Theology required. Seminar discussion and research paper required.

PQ: Previous graduate work in Religious Ethics or Theology.

Ident. THEO 52403

Theology

THEO 31100 History of Theological Ethics I
T/TH 9:00-10:20 S106

This is the first part of a two-part history.  It is conducted through the study of basic, classic texts. The course moves from the philosophical ethics of the Greek and Roman worlds through strands of Hebrew scripture, the origins of the Christian movement, the end of the Roman age to the emergence of Islam, and, finally, Christian and Jewish scholastic and mystical thought in the Western middle ages. While the golden thread of the history is the origin and differentiation of Christian moral thinking, this is set within and compared with the complexity of traditions (Hellenistic philosophical, Jewish, Islamic) that intersect and often collide throughout these formative centuries in Western thought. In this way, the exploration of one tradition opens onto rich comparative thinking. The course proceeds by lectures and discussion. Most readings are in translation. There will be a final examination.  This is a basic course and thus no previous work in theology, philosophy, or ethics is required.

Ident. RETH 31100

THEO 37500 The Spirituality of the Sixteenth Century
M/W 10:00-11:20 S201

Ident. HCHR 37500

THEO 40100 Womanist Theology
T 9:00-11:50 S200

Womanist Theology is a contemporary theological discipline in the American academy. It emerged in 1979 and has differentiated into various other disciplines, foci, and methodologies. However, all scholars agree to the "womanist theology" nomenclature because they claim womanist theology doing the following work: (1) expanding the theory and method of the academy; (2) broadening the intellectual conversation; (3) welcoming new voices, and some old, into theological explorations; and (4) challenging the very notion of assumed epistemology. In 1979, Jacquelyn Grant wrote what has now been recognized as the first womanist article. In that piece, "Black Theology and the Black Woman", she astutely pointed out certain blindspots in black theology and in the larger discussions about both the academic study of religion and the relation between theology and faith communities.


This course will look at the rise and contributions of Womanist Theology of the First Generation. It is part three of Black Theology: 1st Generation and Black Theology: 2nd Generation. But one does not need to know anything about the previous two classes.

Ident. GNSE 40100

THEO 41101 Being Human
W 1:30-4:20 S200

What does it mean to be a human being—a person who fulfills individual capabilities and contributes to a community’s well being? Furthermore, what connects the individual and community to an ultimate vision, spirituality, or God? These questions and investigations can be described as an examination of and argument for constructing a theological anthropology. When one thinks intentionally about the being of a human and his or her ties to some concern or force greater than the limited self, en transcendence and materiality involve themselves in a complex dynamic. How does one construct an individual and a community of individuals? We investigate different models of being human and bring in other disciplines to help unpack this notion.

THEO 44600 Renaissance and Reformation
M/W 1:30-2:50 S201

Ident. HCHR 44600

THEO 52403 Moral Problems: Poverty and Social Justice
T 1:30-4:20 S200

This is an advanced seminar on poverty and social justice. The course will explore the ethical and social questions surrounding poverty, various forms of poverty (voluntary/involuntary), and theories of social justice that can respond to the human suffering caused by poverty. The seminar will engage major theories of justice, religious and philosophical, in light of the reality of poverty. Previous graduate work in Religious Ethics or Theology required. Seminar discussion and research paper required.

PQ: Previous graduate work in Religious Ethics or Theology.

Ident. RETH 52403