Courses

Anthropology and Sociology of Religion

AASR 42908 Moral Geographies
W 11:00-1:50 S201

How are moral practices and imaginations spatialized?   How are spatial practices shaped by and inflected with moral imagination, anxiety, and discipline?  This course attends to these and other questions through a reading of a selection of ethnographies.  Some themes we will address include pilgrimage, mobility, travel, diaspora, and transnationalism.

Ident. ANTH 42445

AASR 43310 Feminism and Islamic Studies
TH 10:30-1:20 S201

Ident. ISLM 43310, GNSE 43310

Bible

BIBL 42404 Gospel of Mark
F 9:00-11:50 S200

This is an exegesis course on the Gospel of Mark, which we will read in its entirety in Greek in critical conversation with major scholarly commentaries, monographs, and articles. 

PQ: Greek; Introductory Koine Greek 1 and 2 in the Divinity School or equivalent.

BIBL 43803 Biblical Notions of Covenant
T/TH 10:30-11:50 S400

This is a reading course in biblical texts that employ the notion of covenant.   Covenant is a central religious idea in many biblical texts, even as different authors conceptualize it in very different ways.  In this course, we will examine the ways that covenant is understood in a selection of texts from the Hebrew Bible.  All biblical texts will be read in Hebrew.

PQ: One year of biblical Hebrew.

BIBL 44602 Song of Songs
T/TH 12:00-1:20 S403

A text-course that will attend to the features of the work as poetry and to the book’s coherence and integrity.

PQ:  Biblical Hebrew

Ident. NEHC 44602

BIBL 51602 Josephus and the New Testament
M 1:00-3:50 S403

We will examine the works of the Jewish historian Josephus, whose writings are a major source for understanding the history of Second Temple Judaism, especially at the time when Christianity began to emerge and many texts of the New Testament were written.  We will closely read in Greek those portions of Josephus's works that are directly pertinent to the interpretation of the New Testament and earliest Christian history: his independent references to John the Baptist, James, Jesus, and other New Testament figures; his portrayal of popular, messianic, and prophetic movements in the first century; his portrayal of Jewish sects, such as the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes; his interpretation of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 C.E.; the relationship between his historiography and Luke-Acts; etc.

PQ: 2-3 years of Greek

BIBL 52800 The Book of Kings: Seminar
W 3:00-5:50 S403

The second of a two-course sequence.  Sharing work as they go, students will select specific topics of research, research them, and write thesis papers.

PQ:  The Book of Kings: Critical Review (Winter 2016).   Instructor’s Pre-Approval

Ident. NEHC  42800

BIBL 52907 Lamentations
TH 3:00-5:50 S400

This is a seminar that will situate the biblical book of Lamentations in its historical context and focus especially on its literary features, its religious arguments, and its ancient Near Eastern analogues.  All biblical texts will be read in Hebrew.

PQ:  Strong biblical Hebrew

Divinity School

DVSC 45100 Reading Course: Special Topics

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 32106 Introduction to the Study of Iconography
TH 1:30-4:20 CWAC 1561

This survey course is designed to familiarize students with a wide variety of subjects depicted in Western art from Antiquity to today through imagery representing different epochs, styles, artistic media and techniques.  The subject matter we are going to investigate comprises both religious and profane realms, with images illustrating, for instance, the Bible, the Apocrypha, myth, history, allegory, typology and hagiography.  Whereas the chief focus of our investigation is on the intersection of art and literature, we will simultaneously appreciate the potential to convey meaning which is intrinsic to the visual arts specifically.  Students will acquire skills that enable them to describe images of different subject matter and style in a systematic and comprehensive manner.  They will acquaint themselves with established methodology and with scholarly tools designed for iconographical investigations of any given topic.

Ident. RLIT 32106/ RLST 28320/ ARTH 22106/32106

HCHR 37701 Colloquium: US Social History—Catholics as Americans
TH 3:00-5:50 ARR

Instructor: Kathleen Conzen

This colloquium focuses on recent historiography to explore the implications of the presence of Roman Catholics within the American population for the central interpretive narratives of American history. Readings will range in time from the colonial period to the later twentieth century, and address such themes as colonization, westward expansion, immigration and ethnicity, church-state relations, slavery and the Civil War, citizenship and political participation, welfare and reform, gender and sexuality, race relations, transnational ties.

PQ: Upper-level undergraduates with consent of instructor.

Ident. HIST 47701

HCHR 40902 Religion in America From the Revolution to the Civil War
T 9:00-11:50 S201

This course surveys American religious history from the revolutionary period to the Civil War.  Topical and thematic emphases include the constitutional codification of religious freedom, regionalism, immigration, slavery, antebellum secularism, and religion and the American Civil War.

Ident. RAME 40902

HCHR 43104 The Second Great Awakening
F 1:30-4:20 S200

This course engages classic and recent scholarship on the early nineteenth century period of revivalism commonly known as the Second Great Awakening.  The readings compose an historiographical survey of the period, its antecedents, and its legacies (e.g., Schmidt’s Holy Fairs, Hatch’s Democratization of American Christianity, Shipps’ Mormonism, Stokes’ The Altar at Home).

PQ:  Please read Leigh Schmidt’s Holy Fairs: Scotland and the Making of American Revivalism  in preparation for the first meeting (4/1).

Ident. RAME 43104

HCHR 43107 Early Christian Art
T 1:30-4:20 S201

This course will focus on the visual arts as ubiquitous, understanding them as an essential part of early Christian culture and identity.  Close attention will be paid throughout to interdisciplinary scholarly methods that have been developed in order to approach early Christian art within the larger framework of late antique culture and to decode the symbolism that characterizes it.  Some sample questions we are going to discuss include:

What do the earliest Christian images in the catacombs and on sarcophagi convey about the hopes and fears of those who commissioned them?  In which ways did the design and furnishing of religious architecture respond directly to needs associated with the celebration of the liturgy or other cultic activities?   What were the functions and messages of the splendid mosaic programs that survive, for instance, in various churches in Rome and Ravenna?   To what extent may they be understood (possibly until today) as an aid to religious imagination and worship?   How were visual means employed to provide complex theological exegesis, and what is the relation of the imagery to religious writings?  What is the place of early Christian manuscript illumination within the larger context of late antique book culture?  What do we know about viewer response to Christian art both in the private and the public spheres?  Finally, viewed in the broader cultural context of the ancient Mediterranean:  To what degree was early Christian architecture and iconography inspired by the arts of paganism, and to what degree may it be called essentially innovative?  What relationship existed between early Christian art and the arts of Judaism or those of the ‘profane’ sphere?

Ident. RLIT 43107/RLST 28315/ARTH 20609/30609

HCHR 46705 Suffering and the History of the Interpretation of Job
M/W 10:30-11:50 S200

This class will analyze various views or understandings of suffering during different historical periods and the present day.  We will look at the interpretation of suffering from the point of view of the persons suffering as well as those in their society.  We will pose varying questions to the texts.  What did cities and charities do to alleviate suffering?  Why is the Book of Job considered “wisdom” literature?  What was the value of self-imposed suffering?  Why was even unwanted suffering considered a divine gift?  What did one learn from suffering?  How is suffering interpreted today, especially in relationship to the question of justice?  The readings will include various genres, one of which will be the history of the interpretation of the Book of Job.

Ident. THEO 46705

History of Judaism

HIJD 35300 The Question in Jewish Religious and Theological Culture
T 3:00-5:20 S200

This course will examine the role and function of questions in Jewish religious and theological literature, from Biblical antiquity to modern times.  We shall begin with a phenomenology of the notion of a question, and then proceed to study historical cases: texts and forms that use questions to create or challenge prior topics, provoke dialogues or dialectics, and variously seek to meet the challenges of history and culture.  Texts will be drawn from the Hebrew Bible, Rabbinic interpretation (Midrash and Talmud), Jewish Philosophy, and modern theology and poetry.  Comparisons with western and eastern thought will be adduced as pertinent. 

No language prerequisite.  Texts will be in English translation, with originals provided.

Ident. THEO 35300

HIJD 35505 Jewish Hermeneutical Theology
W 9:00-11:50 S403

This course will study the types and modes of theological hermeneutics in Jewish culture, from antiquity to the modern period.  Modes of argument and justification, uses  of tradition and authority, and types of grounding of positions in the divine or human word will be considered.  The earlier (historical) types in the first part of the course will set up a close consideration of selected (contemporary) examples in the writings of E. Levinas, J. Soloveitchik, and M. Fishbane.  The modern theological task will be of paramount concern.  

No language requirement.  Texts will be in English translation, with originals provided.

Ident. THEO 35505

History of Religions

HREL 39502 South India, 1300-1700: Persons, Politics, Perceptions
W 3:00-5:50 ARR

Instructor: David Shulman

This seminar will address the transition in all the major South Indian cultures and languages from what we might call the "high medieval" to the early modern, with a focus on textual sources (read in translation) on state formation, shifting notions of personhood and self, aesthetic and poetic innovations, and competing conceptual schemes. We will examine these texts with an eye to early indications of the civilizational change of the late-15th and early 16th- centuries, and we will ask ourselves if we can trace the genealogy of ideas and cultural dynamics in terms of possible causal relations. Thus the seminar will be both an exercise in focused historical study, with a comparative edge, and an attempt to work out an integrated approach to primary cultural ideas and themes.

Ident. ISLM 39502/SALC 29502/39502

HREL 44009 Religious Law, Secular Law, and Sexual Deviation in Ancient India
T/TH 1:30-2:50 S208

The Laws of Manu, the Arthasastra, and the Kamasutra

This course will compare these three important texts in order, first, to understand the social norms for religion and sexuality in ancient India (in The Laws of Manu); and then to discover how two widely accepted scientific texts (the Kamasutra, on pleasure, and the Arthasastra, on politics) challenged those norms.

Requirement:  Essay at the end of quarter.

Ident. GNSE 44009/RLST 27701/SALC 44000

HREL 46412 American Mythologies: Screwball Comedies
T/TH 3:00-5:50 S106
HREL 47001 Pahlavi Language and Literature
ARR ARR

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

HREL 52200 Problems in the History of Religions
W 7:00-9:30pm Instructor’s Home

PQ:  limited to students in the Ph.D. Program in the History of Religions working on their colloquium paper, orals statement for the Qualifying Examination, or dissertation chapter.

Islamic Studies

ISLM 30006 Survey of Persian Poetry: 10th to 15th Century
T 1:30-4:20 Pick 218

This course surveys the development of Persian poetry from the tenth to fourteenth century, with a focus on the qasida, the ghazal, the ruba`i, strophic poems, and the masnavi (romances and mystico-didactic poetry).  After a brief consideration of the rudiments of prosody, we will read a selection from  a variety of poets, consider the ways that Persian language and poetic genres evolve and the social circumstances that produce these texts.  Throughout, we will consider the traditional categories of chronological or stylistic periodization, and evaluate how best to understand the poetics of the pre-Safavid era, and in what the poetic inheres:  do the different genres represent significant topical, tropological, stylistic and mood boundaries, or does poetry 

This course is suitable as a third-year Persian course for students who have completed the intermediate Persian sequence.

Ident. PERS 20006/30006

ISLM 37302 The Transmission of Islamic Knowledge in South Asia Since 1800
ARR ARR

Instructor: Francis Robinson

One of the most striking developments in the Muslim world over the past two centuries is that, in spite of most of it being subject to colonial rule, or to rulers who wished to reshape Muslim societies after the model of the West, Islamic knowledge has come to be more vigorously and more widely disseminated than ever before. There has been an Islamisation of Muslim societies from below. This course will examine this most important process in the context of South Asia. We will examine the role of ulama, the madrasas in which they teach, the nature of the Dars-i Nizami madrasa curriculum, and the reasons for the spread of these institutions from c. 100 formal madrasas in 1900 to c. 100,000 today. Women’s madrasas will not be neglected. We will examine Sufis and Sufi shrines, and their relationships to their constituencies; we will explore the role of spiritual devotion in the life of the individual. Print was only taken up in South Asia in the nineteenth century so we will need to investigate the impact of the printed word. Sermons had a role to play, but particularly two types of sermons, the milad sermon on aspects of the life of the Prophet and Shi<a sermons mourning the fate of the Imams. Groups with a particularly proselytising purpose will be studied, for instance, the Tablighi Jama<at. But also women’s proselytising groups such as al-Huda and the women’s reading groups which have flourished under the Jama<ati Islami and its affiliates. Amongst the themes which will be addressed are: the significance of the move from orality to literacy, the impact of print, the emergence of self-interpretation and the impact of the electronic world.

Ident. SALC 37302/47302

ISLM 39502 South India, 1300-1700: Persons, Politics, Perceptions
W 3:00-5:50 ARR

Instructor: David Shulman

This seminar will address the transition in all the major South Indian cultures and languages from what we might call the "high medieval" to the early modern, with a focus on textual sources (read in translation) on state formation, shifting notions of personhood and self, aesthetic and poetic innovations, and competing conceptual schemes. We will examine these texts with an eye to early indications of the civilizational change of the late-15th and early 16th- centuries, and we will ask ourselves if we can trace the genealogy of ideas and cultural dynamics in terms of possible causal relations. Thus the seminar will be both an exercise in focused historical study, with a comparative edge, and an attempt to work out an integrated approach to primary cultural ideas and themes.

Ident. HREL 39502/SALC 29502/39502

ISLM 40392 Readings in the Sira Literature
ARR

Readings in selected texts from the Sira literature (traditional biography of the prophet Muhammad)

Ident. ARAB 40392

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

PQ: the 2nd Quarter of Introduction to the Qur’anic Arabic, or 2 years of Arabic or the equivalent

Ident. NEHC 40401

ISLM 43310 Feminism and Islamic Studies
TH 10:30-1:20 S201

Ident. AASR 43310, GNSE 43310

ISLM 51000 Writings of Ibn al-‘Arabi
TH 1:30-4:20 MMC Library

PQ:  2 years of Arabic or the equivalent

Ident NEHC   41000

Ministry and Religious Leadership

CHRM 30700 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 that 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.DIVs only; course meets all year.   DO NOT REGISTER FOR THIS COURSE

CHRM 35300 Arts of Ministry: Community, Leadership, and Change
F 9:00-11:50 S400

This course is the third 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. In this final quarter of the year-long sequence, students study congregations as "communities-within-communities," examining the public life of congregations and their leaders as responsible agents of change, both within the religious community and in the wider context. Through research projects and case studies, students practice the skills of analysis, decision-making, negotiation and visioning that are essential to organizational vitality and constructive community engagement

PQ:  Second year M.DIV. students, others by permission of instructor

CHRM 40800 Practice of Ministry III
M 3:00-4:50 S400

PQ: Second year M.DIV. students only.

CHRM 50202 Advanced Preaching Seminar
W 9:00-11:50 S400

PQ:  Open to students who have taken the Arts of Ministry; Pastoral Care course, or by permission of instructor.

Philosophy of Religions

DVPR 39702 Studies in Chan (Zen) Buddhism: Recorded Sayings of Yunmen, Chaozhou, Linji, et al.
W 3:00-5:50 S208

PQ: Some familiarity with Buddhism, especially Chinese Buddhism

DVPR 43351 Poetry and Theory: Mallarme
W 3:00-5:50 CL 113

This course will undertake a close reading (in French) of seminal texts (essays and translation as well as poems) by Mallarmé. We will also read older critical interpretations (Mauron, Sartre, H. Friedrich, Robert Greer Cohn, Scherer, J-P Richard, Poulet, e.g.) and more contemporary theorists (Derrida, Blanchot, De Man, Jameson, Johnson, Kristeva, Rancière, Bersani, Zizek). Finally, we will read him in conjunction with some other, more or less overtly philosophical texts (Heidegger, Badiou, Nietzsche, Meschonnic, e.g.). Reading knowledge of French is REQUIRED, though the course will be conducted in English.  Some knowledge of German and classical Greek is helpful but not required.

PQ: Reading knowledge of French REQUIRED, NO EXCEPTIONS.

Ident. RLIT 43351/CMLT 43351/FREN 

DVPR 46502 Studies in Atheist Spirituality: “Godless Epiphanies East and West” Workshopping: A Manuscript in Comparative Philosophy of Religion
M 3:00-5:50 S208
DVPR 50112 Deconstruction and Religion
M 1:30-4:20 S201

Ident. THEO 50112

DVPR 51204 Readings in Madhyamaka
F 1:00-3:50 S403

PQ: Some Sanskrit and/or Tibetan, permission of instructor

DVPR 54712 Reading Descartes's Meditationes de prima Philosophia
M 3:00-5:50 S106

Descartes was not (against an Anglo-Saxon bias) always all wrong. On the contrary, his inaugural achievement in metaphysics not only has framed the whole subsequent development of early modern philosophy up to Kant included, but most (if not all) great modern philosophers have relied on him, in a positive as well as critical way (from Hegel and Schelling to Nietzsche, Husserl and Heidegger, even Wittgenstein to a certain extent). The seminar will aim to two directions. 1) Reading precisely the Meditationes, according to the recent bi-lingual J. Cottingham's edition (Cambridge U.P., 2013) <<At each required page, referring to the issues raised by modern and post-modern philosophers».    Some capacity to read Latin is welcome, if not compulsory. Extended bibliography will be given in class, but the background remains J.-L. Marion, On Descartes' Metaphysical Prism and Cartesian Questions, Chicago U.P., both 1999 , as well as On the Ego and on God. Further Cartesian Questions, Fordham University Press, New York, 2007).

Ident. THEO 54712/PHIL 56712/SCTH 49702

Religion, Literature, and Visual Culture

RLIT 30602 Reading Buddhist Scripture as Literature: The Lotus Sūtra
Tu, Thurs 3-4:20pm

Instructor: A. Hsu

The Lotus Sūtra, an early Mahayana Buddhist scripture that propounded startling new Buddhist beliefs and practices, is one of the most influential and widely read scriptures in the world, especially in East Asia: Its champions have touted it as profoundly meaningful, beautiful, and emancipatory. How and why is it good to read? To answer these questions, we will read an English translation of the work over the first half of the course, alongside some scholars who say that it should be read “as literature.” After completing our initial reading of the Lotus, we will turn to thinkers who attempt to destabilize our notions of what “reading,” “Buddhism,” “literature,” or “scripture” can even be said to consist of. As a final project, we will weigh in by developing our own readings of the Lotus, its history of interpretations, or the course itself. All texts in English.

Equivalent Course(s): RLST 26200, EALC 26202, FNDL 26207
RLIT 30602 Reading Buddhist Scripture as Literature: The Lotus Sūtra
Tu, Thurs 3-4:20pm

Instructor: A. Hsu

The Lotus Sūtra, an early Mahayana Buddhist scripture that propounded startling new Buddhist beliefs and practices, is one of the most influential and widely read scriptures in the world, especially in East Asia: Its champions have touted it as profoundly meaningful, beautiful, and emancipatory. How and why is it good to read? To answer these questions, we will read an English translation of the work over the first half of the course, alongside some scholars who say that it should be read “as literature.” After completing our initial reading of the Lotus, we will turn to thinkers who attempt to destabilize our notions of what “reading,” “Buddhism,” “literature,” or “scripture” can even be said to consist of. As a final project, we will weigh in by developing our own readings of the Lotus, its history of interpretations, or the course itself. All texts in English.

Equivalent Course(s): RLST 26200, EALC 26202, FNDL 26207
RLIT 32106 Introduction to the Study of Iconography
TH 1:30-4:20 CWAC 1561

This survey course is designed to familiarize students with a wide variety of subjects depicted in Western art from Antiquity to today through imagery representing different epochs, styles, artistic media and techniques.  The subject matter we are going to investigate comprises both religious and profane realms, with images illustrating, for instance, the Bible, the Apocrypha, myth, history, allegory, typology and hagiography.  Whereas the chief focus of our investigation is on the intersection of art and literature, we will simultaneously appreciate the potential to convey meaning which is intrinsic to the visual arts specifically.  Students will acquire skills that enable them to describe images of different subject matter and style in a systematic and comprehensive manner.  They will acquaint themselves with established methodology and with scholarly tools designed for iconographical investigations of any given topic.

Ident. HCHR 32106/ RLST 28320/ ARTH 22106/32106

RLIT 36302 Iconoclasm and Animation
T/TH 9:00-11:50 S106

This course will explore the fantasies of the animation of images both ancient and early Christian, both secular and sacred. The theme of animation will serve as the backdrop to examining the phenomenon of iconoclasm as an assault on the image from pre-Christian antiquity via Byzantium to the Protestant Reformation.  The course will tackle both texts and images, the archaeological context of image-assault and the conceptual (indeed theological) contexts within which such assault was both justified and condemned.

PQ:  This course will be taught in an intensive twice a week format over 5 weeks, beginning on Tuesday, March 29 and ending on Thursday, April 28.

Ident. ARTH 26302/36302

RLIT 41205 Theories of Art in the Twentieth Century: Historiography, Religion and Crisis
M/W 1:30-4:20 CWAC 152

This course will serve as a historically situated, philosophically inflected, introduction to the methods developed in the twentieth century for the study of images.  It will address the discipline of Art History in Germany and Austria in the years up to 1933, the conflict of Protestant and Catholic models for the historiography of images before the first World War, the effects of the Nazi regime on the writing of the history of art, and the impact of the Second World War on scholarship in both Germany and among refugees, many of them Jews.  It is intended to serve both as an introduction to the critical historiography of art and to some of the prime methods developed in the last century for the study of images.

PQ:  This course will be taught in an intensive twice a week format over 5 weeks, beginning on Monday, March 28 and ending on Wednesday, April 27.

Ident. ARTH 41305

RLIT 42205 Religion and Literature in France 1954-1972
T 3:00-5:50 S208

This course will track the relationship between religion, literature and philosophy in France from the Algerian war through the aftermath of the student  revolts of 1968.   It will consider the ways in which gender, race and political identity more generally factor into discussions surrounding the efficacy of language, the nature of agency and the autonomy of the subject.  The course will follow from the winter seminar on religion and literature in postwar France but it will be open to new students and does not require the winter course as a prerequisite.  French reading knowledge will be valuable but not necessary. Thinkers to be considered include Maurice Blanchot, Emmanuel Levinas, Jacques Derrida, Franz Fanon, Julia Kristeva, Roland Barthes and others.

RLIT 43107 Early Christian Art
T 1:30-4:20 S201

This course will focus on the visual arts as ubiquitous, understanding them as an essential part of early Christian culture and identity.  Close attention will be paid throughout to interdisciplinary scholarly methods that have been developed in order to approach early Christian art within the larger framework of late antique culture and to decode the symbolism that characterizes it.  Some sample questions we are going to discuss include:

What do the earliest Christian images in the catacombs and on sarcophagi convey about the hopes and fears of those who commissioned them?  In which ways did the design and furnishing of religious architecture respond directly to needs associated with the celebration of the liturgy or other cultic activities?   What were the functions and messages of the splendid mosaic programs that survive, for instance, in various churches in Rome and Ravenna?   To what extent may they be understood (possibly until today) as an aid to religious imagination and worship?   How were visual means employed to provide complex theological exegesis, and what is the relation of the imagery to religious writings?  What is the place of early Christian manuscript illumination within the larger context of late antique book culture?  What do we know about viewer response to Christian art both in the private and the public spheres?  Finally, viewed in the broader cultural context of the ancient Mediterranean:  To what degree was early Christian architecture and iconography inspired by the arts of paganism, and to what degree may it be called essentially innovative?  What relationship existed between early Christian art and the arts of Judaism or those of the ‘profane’ sphere?

Ident. HCHR 43107/RLST 28315/ARTH 20609/30609

RLIT 43351 Poetry and Theory: Mallarme
W 3:00-5:50 CL 113

This course will undertake a close reading (in French) of seminal texts (essays and translation as well as poems) by Mallarmé. We will also read older critical interpretations (Mauron, Sartre, H. Friedrich, Robert Greer Cohn, Scherer, J-P Richard, Poulet, e.g.) and more contemporary theorists (Derrida, Blanchot, De Man, Jameson, Johnson, Kristeva, Rancière, Bersani, Zizek). Finally, we will read him in conjunction with some other, more or less overtly philosophical texts (Heidegger, Badiou, Nietzsche, Meschonnic, e.g.). Reading knowledge of French is REQUIRED, though the course will be conducted in English.  Some knowledge of German and classical Greek is helpful but not required.

PQ: Reading knowledge of French REQUIRED, NO EXCEPTIONS.

Ident. DVPR 43351/CMLT 43351/FREN 

Religions in America

RAME 40902 Religion in America From the Revolution to the Civil War
T 9:00-11:50 S201

This course surveys American religious history from the revolutionary period to the Civil War.  Topical and thematic emphases include the constitutional codification of religious freedom, regionalism, immigration, slavery, antebellum secularism, and religion and the American Civil War.

Ident. HCHR 40902

RAME 42416 Issues in Black Sacred Music
1:30-4:20 JRL 264

This seminar explores issues and concepts pertaining to black sacred music-making among communities of faith in the United States. While many observers define "black sacred music" in terms of genres ranging from nineteenth-century spirituals to modern-day gospel, this course seeks to problematize the discursive construction of this category while situating it in historical, cultural, and transnational context. How, in other words, is musical sacrality understood both within and beyond contexts of North American church worship? What are the ways in which stylistic and conceptual distinctions are drawn between religious and "popular" musics, and how do these distinctions relate to the ritual reconstruction of sacred/secular musical boundaries? With respect to congregational worship, we will ask, How do the spaces of global theology impact those of local (black) musical practice? 

Taking ethnographic approaches as a starting point, we will examine black sacred music as sound, text, and embodied practice. We will also look toward the nexus of Music and Theology to attain a cross-disciplinary understanding of the significance of "the sacred" in black music. Students are encouraged to ponder a variety of social strategies and sonic theologies, while keeping alive a sense of how music and ritual accrue special meaning for practitioners. We will aim towards a critical awareness of how this music's past informs its present, and how present-day gospel artists, in particular, engage with their traditions and perform fluid identities while reconstructing the boundaries of black sacred music in the twenty-first century. 

Ident. MUSI 42416

RAME 43104 The Second Great Awakening
F 1:30-4:20 S200

This course engages classic and recent scholarship on the early nineteenth century period of revivalism commonly known as the Second Great Awakening.  The readings compose an historiographical survey of the period, its antecedents, and its legacies (e.g., Schmidt’s Holy Fairs, Hatch’s Democratization of American Christianity, Shipps’ Mormonism, Stokes’ The Altar at Home).

PQ:  Please read Leigh Schmidt’s Holy Fairs: Scotland and the Making of American Revivalism  in preparation for the first meeting (4/1).

Ident. HCHR 43104

Religious Ethics

RETH 30904 Minor Classics in Ethics
TH 12:15-1:30 S200
This is an informal, non-credit reading group of RETH faculty and all students interested in religious ethics to discuss minor classics in contemporary ethics, philosophy, and theology.  No background is required.  Selected articles have revitalized forgotten themes or have launched new problems for moral philosophy and religious ethics.    Thursdays: 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th and 10th weeks of the quarter.
 
No Credit.  DO NOT REGISTER FOR THIS COURSE.
 
RETH 42100 Problems in Theology and Ethics: Humanism and Anti-Humanism
T 1:30-4:20 S400

This Seminar is an inquiry in current debates surrounding human dignity and capabilities. The seminar will explore the current debate about “humanism” among cultural critics, theologians, and philosopher.  We will begin with some classic statements of humanism and turn to the current discussion, exploring various humanistic and anti-humanistic thinkers, ranging from T. Todorov, E. Levinas and M. Nussbaum to theologians like K. Barth’s claims about the humanity of God, John Paul II writings on human dignity, and James Gustafson’s criticism of “anthropocentrism, to, finally, post-Nietzschean anti-humanists, like Foucault, and also arguments for transhumanism. Previous PhD level work in theology or ethics required.

Ident. THEO 42100

RETH 44000 Methods and Theories in Comparative Religious Ethics
T/TH 10:30-11:50 S208

This course engages important works in the developing field of comparative religious ethics.  The main concern will be with texts that tackle the difficult problem of the “method” of comparison and also develop theories for comparative ethics.  Attention will also be given to the actual comparison of the moral thought of various traditions. The main purpose of the course is familiarity with the main options and lines of debate in comparative religious ethics.

RETH 45610 Seminal Texts in the History of Medical Ethics
T 6:00-8:50 S200

This seminar will involve a close reading (in translation, but with some texts available in original languages) of seminal texts from antiquity through to the mid-20th century that have shaped thinking about medical ethics. We will concentrate on Western works, including Hippocrates, Plato, Scribonius Largus, Ali al-Ruhani, Paracelsus, Isaac Israeli, Maimonides, John Gregory, Thomas Percival, Worthington Hooker, William Osler, Richard Cabot, Francis Peabody, and various medical oaths and codes of the 20th century. We will also read several non-Western texts: The Oath of Initiation of the Caraka Samhita and the Chinese text known as “The Five Commandments and Ten Requirements.” The class will be conducted in classical seminar style, with students assigned to lead the discussions of particular texts. Our interdisciplinary discussion will exemplify and provide a context for the interdisciplinary nature of the field.

Ident. MEDC 45610/LAWS 80404

Theology

THEO 31600 Introduction to Theology
M/W 9:00-10:20 S106
This course is designed to introduce students to the language, controversies, and figures of theology, and to encourage students to improve their own theologizing by considering its public relevance, intelligibility, and justifiability.
THEO 35300 The Question in Jewish Religious and Theological Culture
T 3:00-5:20 S200

This course will examine the role and function of questions in Jewish religious and theological literature, from Biblical antiquity to modern times.  We shall begin with a phenomenology of the notion of a question, and then proceed to study historical cases: texts and forms that use questions to create or challenge prior topics, provoke dialogues or dialectics, and variously seek to meet the challenges of history and culture.  Texts will be drawn from the Hebrew Bible, Rabbinic interpretation (Midrash and Talmud), Jewish Philosophy, and modern theology and poetry.  Comparisons with western and eastern thought will be adduced as pertinent. 

No language prerequisite.  Texts will be in English translation, with originals provided.

Ident. HIJD 35300

THEO 35505 Jewish Hermeneutical Theology
W 9:00-11:50 S403

This course will study the types and modes of theological hermeneutics in Jewish culture, from antiquity to the modern period.  Modes of argument and justification, uses  of tradition and authority, and types of grounding of positions in the divine or human word will be considered.  The earlier (historical) types in the first part of the course will set up a close consideration of selected (contemporary) examples in the writings of E. Levinas, J. Soloveitchik, and M. Fishbane.  The modern theological task will be of paramount concern.  

No language requirement.  Texts will be in English translation, with originals provided.

Ident. HIJD 35505

THEO 40801 Theology and Cultural Studies
W 1:30-4:20 S200

This course will study models of cultural studies and we will put these theoretical constructs in conversation with models of theology.  Indeed, theology arises out of human culture and the attempt of the human being to make utlimate meaning out of all that he/she has created.  Students will engage different cultural analyses and develop their own cultural approach to constructing theologies.

THEO 42100 Problems in Theology and Ethics: Humanism and Anti-Humanism
T 1:30-4:20 S400

This Seminar is an inquiry in current debates surrounding human dignity and capabilities. The seminar will explore the current debate about “humanism” among cultural critics, theologians, and philosopher.  We will begin with some classic statements of humanism and turn to the current discussion, exploring various humanistic and anti-humanistic thinkers, ranging from T. Todorov, E. Levinas and M. Nussbaum to theologians like K. Barth’s claims about the humanity of God, John Paul II writings on human dignity, and James Gustafson’s criticism of “anthropocentrism, to, finally, post-Nietzschean anti-humanists, like Foucault, and also arguments for transhumanism. Previous PhD level work in theology or ethics required.

Ident. RETH 42100

THEO 44502 Black Theology: Liberation or Reconciliation
T 9:00-11:50 S200

Two of the major founders of the 1960s black theology of liberation movement are James H. Cone and J. Deotis Roberts.  James H. Cone centered earthly liberation of the oppressed and poor blacks as a proactive subject in history.  His new norm, consequently, adjudicated race relations in America based on whether or no poor black people achieved their liberation.  In contrast, J. Deotis Roberts, while accenting liberation, foregrounded reconciliation as foundational to American race relations.  After the confrontation and deliverance of people, ultimately, for Roberts, America hungers for racial reconciliation of equals.

Ident. CRES 44502

THEO 46705 Suffering and the History of the Interpretation of Job
M/W 10:30-11:50 S200

This class will analyze various views or understandings of suffering during different historical periods and the present day.  We will look at the interpretation of suffering from the point of view of the persons suffering as well as those in their society.  We will pose varying questions to the texts.  What did cities and charities do to alleviate suffering?  Why is the Book of Job considered “wisdom” literature?  What was the value of self-imposed suffering?  Why was even unwanted suffering considered a divine gift?  What did one learn from suffering?  How is suffering interpreted today, especially in relationship to the question of justice?  The readings will include various genres, one of which will be the history of the interpretation of the Book of Job.

Ident. HCHR 46705

THEO 50112 Deconstruction and Religion
M 1:30-4:20 S201

Ident. DVPR 50112

THEO 52700 Schleiermacher’s Glaubenslehre
TH 3:00-5:50 S201

This course will engage in a close reading of Schleiermacher's magnum opus in order to address questions such as the following: To what extent is the Glaubenslehre recognizable as an "ecclesial" theology (as Schleiermacher himself understood it)? To what extent is it recognizable as "Modern,"Liberal", and "Protestant," and how might its recognition as such affect our understanding of these terms? How should we understand Schleiermacher's theological method and his account of Christian doctrines? To what extent are the standard interpretations of his views adequate? Does Schleiermacher contribute anything of lasting importance to Christian thought?

THEO 54712 Reading Descartes's Meditationes de prima Philosophia
M 3:00-5:50 S106

Descartes was not (against an Anglo-Saxon bias) always all wrong. On the contrary, his inaugural achievement in metaphysics not only has framed the whole subsequent development of early modern philosophy up to Kant included, but most (if not all) great modern philosophers have relied on him, in a positive as well as critical way (from Hegel and Schelling to Nietzsche, Husserl and Heidegger, even Wittgenstein to a certain extent). The seminar will aim to two directions. 1) Reading precisely the Meditationes, according to the recent bi-lingual J. Cottingham's edition (Cambridge U.P., 2013) <<At each required page, referring to the issues raised by modern and post-modern philosophers».    Some capacity to read Latin is welcome, if not compulsory. Extended bibliography will be given in class, but the background remains J.-L. Marion, On Descartes' Metaphysical Prism and Cartesian Questions, Chicago U.P., both 1999 , as well as On the Ego and on God. Further Cartesian Questions, Fordham University Press, New York, 2007).

Ident. DVPR 54712/PHIL 56712/SCTH 49702