Department of Religious Studies (GRAD)

Department of Religious Studies

http://religion.unc.edu

RANDALL STYERS, Chair

The graduate program in religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill deals with religion both as a distinctive human experience and as a mode of culture and history. Both orientations define religion as a broad area of human existence, and students are encouraged to explore the tension between those two general approaches. The interests of the department's faculty express the variety of methodological orientations in such study. Faculty members in other departments of the University offer strong interdisciplinary support.

The Graduate School of the University offers two degrees in religious studies: the master of arts and the doctor of philosophy. The Department of Religious Studies also sponsors the joint Duke–UNC Graduate Certificate in Middle East Studies. The M.A. program introduces students to the general problems and methods in the study of religion. Specific requirements include

  • Thirty hours of course credit, including RELI 700 and one "gateway" graduate seminar
  • A written comprehensive examination in the student's specific field of study
  • A thesis of three to six credits and an oral defense of the thesis, and
  • Demonstrated competence in a modern foreign research language

The Ph.D. program is primarily intended to prepare students for a career in university and college teaching and research in religious studies. It currently offers specialization in ancient Mediterranean religions, Islamic studies, medieval and early modern studies, religion in the Americas, religion and culture, and religions of Asia.

Ph.D. students should expect to take at least 18 hours of course work beyond the M.A. level. Other requirements in the doctoral program include

  • Completion of requirements specific to one of the specialty fields of study noted above
  • A set of written and oral doctoral examinations specific to the student's field of study
  • Demonstrated reading competence in a second modern foreign research language, and
  • A doctoral dissertation and an oral defense of the dissertation

Additional information about the graduate program in religious studies is available at the department's Web site.

Details on the joint Duke–UNC Graduate Certificate in Middle East Studies are available at this Web site.

Professors

Barbara Ambros (57), Japanese Religions, East Asian Religions, Buddhism, Religion in Asian Diaspora Communities
Yaakov S. Ariel (48), Judaism and Evangelical Christianity in America, Messianic Movements and Missions, Christian-Jewish Relations
Bart D. Ehrman (19), New Testament Interpretation and Textual Criticism, Early Christianity
Carl W. Ernst (42), Islamic Studies, Sufism, Religions of West and South Asia
Jodi Magness (54), Archaeology of Palestine, Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Ancient Synagogues, Early Judaism
Zlatko Plese (49), Religion in Late Antiquity, Greco-Roman Philosophy and Religion, Gnosticism and Manichaeism

Associate Professors

Jessica A. Boon (55), Medieval and Early Modern Christian Thought, Mystical Traditions, Spain and the New World
Juliane Hammer (53), Islamic Studies, Gender in American Muslim Communities, Modern Muslim Approaches to the Qur'an
David Lambert (15), Hebrew Bible, Ancient Mediterranean Religions
Lauren Leve (56), Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia, Ethnography of Religion, Globalism and Postcoloniality
Evyatar Marienberg (17), Rabbinic Judaism and Jewish Law, Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Contemporary Catholicism
Todd Ramón Ochoa (65), Religion in Latin America and the Caribbean, Ethnography of Religion, Critical Cultural Theory
Randall Styers (52), Cultural History of the Study of Religion, Modern Western Religious Thought, Critical Cultural Theory

Assistant Professors

Brandon Bayne (61), Religion in the Americas, Global Christianity
Andrea Cooper (59), Modern Jewish Thought and Culture
Joseph Lam (64), Hebrew Bible, Biblical Hebrew, Comparative Semitic Grammar
Brendan Thornton (40), Religion in Latin American and the Caribbean, Evangelical Christianity, Ethnography of Religion

Adjunct Professors

Jason Bivins, Religion in the United States, Critical Cultural Theory
Philip Gura, Religion and American Literature
Jonathan Hess, Modern Judaism
Charles Kurzman, Islamic Movements
Bruce Lawrence, Islamic Studies, Sufism
Fred Naiden, Ancient Mediterranean Religions
Albert Rabil, Renaissance and Early Modern History, Women's Studies
James Rives, Ancient Mediterranean Religions
Omid Safi, Islamic Studies

Adjunct Associate Professors

Anna Barry Bigelow, Islamic Studies, Religions of South Asia, Religion and Conflict
Christian O. Lundberg, Critical Cultural Theory, Rhetoric, Cultural Studies
Barry Saunders, Ritual Studies and Biomedicine
Margaret Wiener, Indonesian Religions

Adjunct Assistant Professors

Maria Doerfler, Early Christianity
Levi McLaughlin, Religious Traditions of Japan and China, Buddhism in Modern Society

Professors Emeriti

David Halperin
Peter I. Kaufman
Laurie Maffly-Kipp
William J. Peck
Jack M. Sasson
John H. Schutz
Ruel W. Tyson
John Van Seters

Subjects in this department include Religious Studies (RELI) and Jewish Studies (JWST).

RELI

Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate-level Courses

RELI 401. Introductory Biblical Hebrew I. 3 Credits.

The first part of a two-semester introduction to the grammar of biblical Hebrew.
Gen Ed: FL.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 402. Introductory Biblical Hebrew II. 3 Credits.

The second part of a two-semester introduction to the grammar of biblical Hebrew.
Requisites: Prerequisite, RELI 401; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
Gen Ed: FL.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 403. Intermediate Classical Hebrew I. 3 Credits.

A consolidation of the fundamentals of classical Hebrew grammar via readings of biblical texts of various genres (including both prose and poetry).
Requisites: Prerequisite, RELI 402; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
Gen Ed: FL.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 404. Intermediate Classical Hebrew II. 3 Credits.

Further readings of classical Hebrew texts, focusing on biblical poetry as well as early postbiblical material (e.g., nonbiblical texts from Qumran, Mishnah/Tosefta).
Requisites: Prerequisite, RELI 403; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
Gen Ed: FL.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 409. Greek New Testament. 3 Credits.


Requisites: Prerequisite, GREK 222; Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: GREK 409.

RELI 410. Aramaic/Rabbinic Hebrew. 3 Credits.

Reading texts in rabbinic Hebrew or in biblical and/or talmudic Aramaic, with appropriate grammatical instruction.
Requisites: Prerequisites, RELI 403 and 404; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisites.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 411. Advanced Akkadian. 3 Credits.

Readings in literary, epistolary, and juridical texts.
Requisites: Prerequisites, RELI 403 and 404.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 412. Ugaritic. 3 Credits.

Readings in the alphabetic texts of Ras Shamra and a study of the elements of Ugaritic grammar.
Requisites: Prerequisites, RELI 403 and 404.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 413. Biblical Coptic and Early Egyptian Monasticism. 3 Credits.

Coptic, the last stage of Egyptian, a living language in the Roman and Byzantine period. Thorough grounding in the grammar of the Sahidic dialect as a basis for reading biblical monastic and Gnostic texts.
Gen Ed: BN, FI, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 414. Syriac. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the grammar of Classical Syriac for the purpose of reading Syriac Christian texts from late antiquity. Knowledge of another Semitic language (e.g., Hebrew, Arabic) would be an asset but is not required.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 420. Post-Holocaust Ethics and Theology. 3 Credits.

This course examines the challenges posed to ethics and theology by the Holocaust. We will address philosophical and moral issues such as the problem of evil, divine omniscience, omnipotence, suffering, theodicy, representation, testimony, and an ethics of memory.
Gen Ed: PH, CI.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: JWST 420.

RELI 421. Religion and Science. 3 Credits.

This course explores the complex relation between religion and science in the modern world. Public disputes over teaching evolution in American schools serve as a central case study of this.
Gen Ed: PH.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 423. Ethnicity, Race, and Religion in America. 3 Credits.

A theoretical inquiry into ethnicity, race, and religion as constituents of personal and communal identity. Emphasis on global migrations, colonial and postcolonial relations, diasporic communities, and issues of religious pluralism.
Requisites: Prerequisite, RELI 140; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
Gen Ed: US.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 424. Gender Theory and the Study of Religion. 3 Credits.

An examination of contemporary gender theory, with particular focus on its application to the study of religion.
Gen Ed: PH.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: WMST 424.

RELI 425. Psychology of Religion. 3 Credits.

A critical exploration of the concept of religious experience as defined by such authors as William James and Sigmund Freud. Honors version available
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 426. The Sacrifice of Abraham. 3 Credits.

This course examines philosophical interpretations of the attempted sacrifice by Abraham of his beloved son, offering a comparative approach. The incident in Genesis is remarkably succinct for its controversial subject matter. We will compare this event with representations in Greek drama, the New Testament, and the Qur'an. Honors version available
Gen Ed: PH, BN.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 427. Spirit Possession. 3 Credits.

This course explores the phenomenon of spirit possession and introduces students to various theoretical and methodological approaches to its academic study. In addition to critically engaging with accounts of spirit possession from around the world, students will explore various related themes of gender, power, and religious and cultural change.
Gen Ed: SS, BN.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 428. Religion and Anthropology. 3 Credits.

Religion studied anthropologically as a cultural, social, and psychological phenomenon in the works of classical and contemporary social thought. Honors version available
Gen Ed: SS.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ANTH 428, FOLK 428.

RELI 429. Religion and Society. 3 Credits.

Sociological analysis of group beliefs and practices, both traditionally religious and secular, through which fundamental life experiences are given coherence and meaning.
Gen Ed: SS.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: SOCI 429.

RELI 435H. Religion, Nature, and Environment. 3 Credits.

A seminar on concepts of nature within religions and a variety of world-wide spiritual traditions. Emphasis on sacred space, place, and pilgrimage as a vital intersection of religion and nature.
Gen Ed: PH.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 438. Religion, Nature, and Environment. 3 Credits.

A seminar on concepts of nature within religions and a variety of world-wide spiritual traditions. Emphasis on sacred space, place, and pilgrimage as a vital intersection of religion and nature.
Gen Ed: PH.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 441. Religion in Early America. 3 Credits.

This course examines religion in America from precontact to the Civil War. We will chart the development of religious life, thought, and practice in North America, concentrating on areas later incorporated into the United States, but maintaining broad interest in other Americas. Honors version available
Gen Ed: HS, NA.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 442. History of Religion in America since 1865. 3 Credits.

An examination of primary sources in the history of American religion since the Civil War.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 443. Evangelicalism in Contemporary America. 3 Credits.

Juniors or seniors only. Examination of evangelicalism and its role in American society, politics, and culture. Exploration of its various subdivisions and its relation to such movements as fundamentalism, pentecostalism, revivalism, and premillennialism. Honors version available
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 444. Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Judaism. 3 Credits.

The seminar examines the developments in gender roles and in sexuality in contemporary Judaism.
Gen Ed: CI, NA.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: JWST 444, WMST 448.

RELI 445. Asian Religions in America. 3 Credits.

A study of intercultural interaction and interreligious encounter focusing on Asian religions in America, 1784 to the present.
Gen Ed: GL, US.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ASIA 445.

RELI 446. Christian-Jewish Relations throughout the Ages. 3 Credits.

An exploration of the varied and complex relationships which have developed between Christianity and Judaism, from the first century to the 21st century.
Gen Ed: HS.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 448. Native and Christian: Indigenous Engagements with Christianity. 3 Credits.

This course examines diverse indigenous engagements with Christianity from earliest contacts to the present. Topics range from missionary contestations in colonial Mexico to the fight for religious freedom in 20th-century United States, from historical revitalization movements like the Ghost Dance to contemporary indigenous theologies in North and South America.
Gen Ed: US.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 450. Sexuality in Jewish Tradition and History. 3 Credits.

This course deals with various topics related to sexuality and marriage in Jewish tradition and history: sex outside of marriage, wedding ceremonies, regulations of marital sex, menstruation, homosexuality, and more.
Gen Ed: PH, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: WMST 450.

RELI 454. The Reformation. 3 Credits.

Examines a movement of religious reform that shattered Latin Christendom and contributed many of the conditions of early modern Europe. Emphases: religious, political, social.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: HIST 454.

RELI 465. Monotheistic Mysticism. 3 Credits.

In medieval Jewish Kabbalah, Christian mysticism, and Islamic Sufism, devotees attempt to express direct experiences of an infinite God. This course examines theories of mystical language, particularly the negation of language, the turn to the visual and the body, and the tension between communal and individual expressions of the divine.
Gen Ed: BN, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 480. Modern Muslim Literatures. 3 Credits.

Stresses the diversity of modern Islamic experience by examining the works of various Muslim authors. Genres may include travelogues, memoirs, novels, sermons, and treatises, among others.
Gen Ed: LA, BN, GL.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 481. Religion, Fundamentalism, and Nationalism. 3 Credits.

An exploration of explosive combinations of religion and politics in the Iranian revolution, the Palestinian movement, Hindu nationalism in India, and Christian fundamentalism in America.
Gen Ed: SS, BN, GL.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: PWAD 481.

RELI 485. Gender and Sexuality in Islam. 3 Credits.

This course approaches constructions of gender and sexuality in Muslim societies in diverse historical and geographical contexts. It focuses on changing interpretations of gender roles and sexual norms. Themes include gender in Islamic law, sexual ethics, masculinity, homosexuality, marriage, and dress.
Gen Ed: BN, CI.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 487. Mountains, Pilgrimage, and Sacred Places in Japan. 3 Credits.

This course explores the role that mountains and pilgrimage have played in Japanese cosmology and how they relate to methodology of studying place and space.
Gen Ed: BN, CI.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ASIA 487.

RELI 488. Shinto in Japanese History. 3 Credits.

This course discusses the development of Shinto in Japanese history and covers themes such as myths, syncretism, sacred sites, iconography, nativism, religion and the state, and historiography.
Gen Ed: BN, CI, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ASIA 488.

RELI 489. Animals in Japanese Religion. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. This course examines the cultural construction of animals in Japanese myth, folklore, and religion.
Gen Ed: LA, BN.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ASIA 489.

RELI 501. The History of the Bible in Modern Study. 3 Credits.

This course will examine how the modern historical-critical enterprise of biblical scholarship arose, out of what historical circumstances, for what purposes, and to what effect. What are its major aspects? How does it relate to other forms of academic and theological inquiry? How has this enterprise fared in recent times?
Gen Ed: BN, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 502. Myths and Epics of the Ancient Near East. 3 Credits.

An examination of Babylonian, Canaanite, Egyptian, Hittite, and Sumerian texts from the prebiblical era, focusing on representative myths, epics, sagas, songs, proverbs, prophecies, and hymns. Honors version available
Gen Ed: LA, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: FOLK 502.

RELI 503. Exploring the Dead Sea Scrolls. 3 Credits.

A comprehensive introduction to the Dead Sea Scrolls and the different Jewish groups connected with them.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: JWST 503.

RELI 504. Readings in Hebrew Bible. 3 Credits.

This course will examine a major corpus of the Hebrew Bible with attention to the full range of historical-critical issues. Attention will be paid as well to early forms of biblical interpretation and their use in the religious life of subsequent communities.
Gen Ed: BN, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 512. Ancient Synagogues. 3 Credits.

This is a course on ancient synagogues in Palestine and the Diaspora from the Second Temple period to the seventh century CE.
Requisites: Prerequisite, RELI 110; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
Gen Ed: VP, BN, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: CLAR 512, JWST 512.

RELI 522. 19th-Century Critiques of Religion. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. An exploration of influential 19th-century critiques of religion, including texts by such thinkers as Feuerbach, Marx, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Stanton, Douglass, and Freud.
Gen Ed: PH, NA.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 524. Ethnographic Approaches to Contemporary Religion. 3 Credits.

Critical exploration of exemplary contemporary ethnographies of religion focusing on the ways that ethnographic methods and writing styles shape knowledge of religious and cultural life in various traditions and parts of the world. Topics considered include field work, culture, ethics, and the challenges of interpreting and representing religious experience.
Gen Ed: SS, CI.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 525. Seminar in Religion and Literature. 3 Credits.

Seminar topic varies.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 527. Religious Metaphor and Symbol. 3 Credits.

This course explores the myriad and complex issues related to the function of metaphor and symbol in religious language.
Gen Ed: PH, CI.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 528. Rituals and Rhetorics of Religion. 3 Credits.

An examination of ritual, allegory, and symbol as modes of religious expression in cultic and literary contexts.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 530. Genealogies of Religion. 3 Credits.

This seminar explores the historical development of "religion" as a concept and object of academic scholarship through the critical study of key texts and foundational debates about religion in Western thought.
Gen Ed: PH, NA.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 534. Religious Ethics and Issues in Contemporary Medicine. 3 Credits.

Seniors or graduate students only. Examination of religious-ethical dimensions of such issues as the dying patient, organ transplants, abortion, prolongation of life, and experimentation on human beings, drawing on theory from the traditional Western religions and the social sciences.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 540. Mormonism and the American Experience. 3 Credits.

Exploration of the history, beliefs, and practices of Mormons. Will include visits to Latter-Day Saints services, guest speakers, and discussion of race and gender in the contemporary church.
Requisites: Prerequisite, RELI 140; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 541. Evangelicalism from a Global Perspective. 3 Credits.

The course will examine the evangelical tradition from a global perspective, exploring the tradition from its early rise in Europe to its impact on the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Honors version available
Gen Ed: GL.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 542. Religion and the Counterculture. 3 Credits.

The course examines the interaction between the values and messages of the counterculture and religious groups, ideas, and practices during the Vietnam War era. It also investigates the impact of countercultural norms and styles on the current American religious scene.
Gen Ed: US.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 565. Medieval Jews and the Bible. 3 Credits.

This course explores the Jewish interpretation of the Bible, focusing on important commentaries from influential medieval Ashkenazi and Sephardic thinkers.
Gen Ed: HS, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 566. Jewish Legal Literature. 3 Credits.

This course explores many aspects of the Halakhah, the Jewish traditional legal system, focusing on issues such as rituals, holidays, religious obligations and prohibitions, and laws regulating sexual activity.
Gen Ed: PH, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 569. Interfaith Marriages and Intimacy in World Religions. 3 Credits.

This seminar explores the topic of intimate relations between people who consider themselves, or are considered by others, to be part of different religious groups. We will explore cases in which such relations achieve the social sanction of marriage and cases in which the relations are of a more temporary nature.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 574. Chinese World Views. 3 Credits.

Explores the indigenous Chinese sciences and the cosmological ideas that informed them. Topics include astronomy, divination, medicine, fengshui, and political and literary theory. Chinese sources in translation are emphasized.
Gen Ed: SS, BN.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ANTH 574, ASIA 574.

RELI 580. African American Islam. 3 Credits.

An historical examination of African American Islam in the United States. Explores the intellectual, cultural, social, and political roots of black Islam in addition to its diverse doctrinal, ritual, and institutional manifestations.
Gen Ed: HS, GL, NA.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 581. Sufism. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. A survey of Islamic mysticism, its sources in the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad, and its literary, cultural, and social deployment in Arab, Persian, Indic, and Turkish regions.
Gen Ed: BN, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ASIA 581.

RELI 582. Islam and Islamic Art in South Asia. 3 Credits.

A survey of the formation of Islamic traditions in the subcontinent from the eighth century to the present, with emphasis on religion and politics, the role of Sufism, types of popular religion, and questions of Islamic identity.
Gen Ed: HS, BN, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ASIA 582.

RELI 583. Religion and Culture in Iran, 1500-Present. 3 Credits.

Iran from the rise of the Safavid empire to the Islamic Republic. Topics include Shi'ism, politics, intellectual and sectarian movements, encounters with colonialism, art and architecture, music, literature.
Gen Ed: HS, BN, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ASIA 583.

RELI 584. The Qur'an as Literature. 3 Credits.

A nontheological approach to the Qur'an as a literary text, emphasizing its history, form, style, and interpretation.
Gen Ed: LA, BN.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ASIA 584.

RELI 585. Religion and Culture of Turkey. 3 Credits.

This course will cover the history of Turkey from the Byzantine period until contemporary times. Key aspects of Turkish culture (architecture, music, poetry to arts) will be covered.
Gen Ed: BN, GL.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 586. Women and Gender in Japanese Religions. 3 Credits.

This seminar explores the roles of women in the religions of Japan (including Buddhism, Shinto, folk religions, pilgrimage, new religions movements, and new spirituality culture) from goddesses, shamans, nuns, and pilgrims to demons, temptresses, and lesser human beings. The course traces these themes across Japanese socioeconomic and religious history.
Gen Ed: SS, BN, CI.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 590. Topics in the Study of Religion. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. Subject matter will vary with instructor but will always be focused on a particular problem or issue.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit; may be repeated in the same term for different topics; 9 total credits. 3 total completions.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 592. Religious Conflict and Literature in India. 3 Credits.

Historical causes of violence between Hindus and Muslims in modern India. Short stories, poetry, and novels in translation are used to explore how conflicts over religious sites, religious conversion, image worship, and language contributed to a sense of conflicting religious identity.
Gen Ed: LA, BN.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: HNUR 592.

RELI 602. What Is Scripture? Formations of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Canon. 3 Credits.

The course traces the past and continued canonical processes that define what the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament has been and is today, with a focus on the history of biblical interpretation.
Gen Ed: LA, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: JWST 602.

RELI 603. The Bible and Its Translation. 3 Credits.

This course explores the translation of the Hebrew Bible in the West, with a view toward identifying religious and ideological trends.
Gen Ed: PH, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 607. Problems in Early Christian Literature and History. 3 Credits.

Honors version available
Requisites: Prerequisite, RELI 104, 207, 208, 209, 217 or 413; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
Gen Ed: NA, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 608. The Messiah and the Apocalypse. 3 Credits.

Ideas concerning the Messiah and the end of the world held by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Emphasis on the beginning of the Christian era.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 610. Readings in the Apostolic Fathers. 3 Credits.

Reading of the Apostolic Fathers. Students must have completed two courses in New Testament/Early Christianity and two years of Greek.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 617. Death and Afterlife in the Ancient World. 3 Credits.

Examinations of practices and discourses pertaining to death and the afterlife in the ancient civilizations of Near East, Greece, and Rome.
Gen Ed: PH, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 662. Advanced Seminar in Contemporary Catholicism. 3 Credits.

This advanced seminar is for undergraduate and graduate students who have at least a basic knowledge about Catholicism. The range of topics to be discussed is open and will depend on students' interests and suggestions.
Gen Ed: HS, NA.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 665. Body and Suffering in Christian Mysticism. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Medieval Christians consistently focused on the suffering body as a means of reflecting on Christ's sacrifice. This course considers how medical theories of cognition, gender, and pain influenced the potential role of the body in medieval mystical experience.
Gen Ed: NA, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: WMST 664.

RELI 668. Religion and the Spanish Inquisition: Abrahamic Traditions, Indigenous Religions, and Empire. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. This course on the "Atlantic World" studies Muslims, Christians, and Jews in the medieval Iberian kingdoms, then the religious "other" in the colonial expansion to Mexico, Peru, and the Philippines, by deploying theories concerning race, gender, sexuality, and postcoloniality.
Gen Ed: GL, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 681. Readings in Islamicate Literatures. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. Study of selected religious, literary, and historical texts in Arabic, Persian, or Urdu.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit. 6 total credits. 2 total completions.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ARAB 681, ASIA 681.

RELI 688. Observation and Interpretation of Religious Action. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. Exercises (including field work) in learning to read the primary modes of public action in religious traditions, e.g., sermons, testimonies, rituals, and prayers.
Gen Ed: SS, EE-Mentored Research.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ANTH 688, FOLK 688.

RELI 691H. Honors in Religious Studies. 3 Credits.

Permission of the director of undergraduate studies. Required of all students reading for honors in religious studies.
Gen Ed: EE-Mentored Research.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 692H. Honors in Religious Studies. 3 Credits.

Permission of the director of undergraduate studies. Required of all students reading for honors in religious studies.
Gen Ed: EE-Mentored Research.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 696. Independent Study. 3 Credits.

Advanced undergraduate or graduate standing and permission of the instructor. Subject matter should be arranged with a specific instructor.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit; may be repeated in the same term for different topics; 6 total credits. 2 total completions.
Grading status: Letter grade.

RELI 697. Capstone: Undergraduate Seminar. 3 Credits.

Majors only. Concentrating on a different theme each year, this departmental seminar introduces the different areas and approaches in religious studies.
Gen Ed: CI.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit; may be repeated in the same term for different topics; 6 total credits. 2 total completions.
Grading status: Letter grade.

Graduate-level Courses

RELI 700. Theory and Method in the Study of Religion. 3 Credits.

Graduate standing in religious studies or permission of the instructor. A basic problems and methods course required of all graduate students in religious studies.

RELI 702. Religion and Literature of Israel. 3 Credits.

A study of the religious traditions in ancient Israelite literature from the 12th through the second centuries BCE.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit.

RELI 703. Critical Approaches to the Study of the Hebrew Bible and its History of Interpretation. 3 Credits.

Exploration of current critical approaches to the study of the Hebrew Bible, including those oriented toward a study of its interpretive history.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit; may be repeated in the same term for different topics; 3 total credits. 1 total completions.

RELI 704. Readings in Religions of the Ancient Near East. 3 Credits.

Focusing on the Mediterranean religions before Alexander, the course consists of readings of original documents in translation, illustrating theology and cult, as well as on the major history of religions interpretations.

RELI 707. Early Christian History and Literature. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. A critical study of the history and literature of early Christianity from Paul to Irenaeus, with texts to be read in the original languages.

RELI 712. Early Jewish History and Literature. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. An examination of the main varieties of pre-rabbinic Judaism: Hellenistic Judaism, apocalyptic Judaism, and the Judaism of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

RELI 718. Readings in Greco-Roman Religion. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. Opportunity for reading of ancient documents representing the more important religious trends of the Greco-Roman world.

RELI 720. Critical and Comparative Lineages in Religion and Culture. 3 Credits.

Exploration of intellectual lineages shaping the contemporary study of religion and culture.

RELI 721. Theories of Religion and Culture. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. Studies in early modern, Enlightenment and Romantic political, philosophical, and literary texts.

RELI 723. Critical Approaches to Religion and Culture. 3 Credits.

Graduate standing in religious studies or permission of the instructor. Exploration of various forms of contemporary critical thought (including gender theory, critical race theory, and postcolonial studies) in order to assess the value of these critical tools for the study of religion.

RELI 724. Ethnographic Research Methods: Ethnography of Religion and Religious Formations. 3 Credits.

This course engages the practices, politics, ethics, and epistemology of ethnography as a technique of data production, analysis, and representation. While we will privilege issues and themes related to the study of religion, the course offers a broad, multidisciplinary approach to the construction and execution of ethnographic research.

RELI 729. Religion and Modernity. 3 Credits.

Graduate standing in religious studies or permission of the instructor. This course examines the relationships between religion and modernity, both as conceptual categories and through ethnographic studies of religion and/in modern life.

RELI 734. Studies in the Rhetoric of Images. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. Selected readings on image production, exhibition, and interpretation, with consideration of different ritual and cultic settings.

RELI 735. Critical Works in Religion and Literature. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. Textual analysis of several theoretical and literary works dealing with selected problems in religion and literature.

RELI 740. Approaches to the Study of Religion in the Americas. 3 Credits.

Explores methods, theories, and genealogies that shape the study of religion in the Americas. The course introduces students to key historiographical contexts and theoretical debates that will help them situate the field within the discipline of Religious Studies.

RELI 741. Themes in African American Religious History. 3 Credits.

Graduate standing in religious studies or permission of the instructor. A historical and thematic survey of the religions of African Americans from the precolonial era to the present.

RELI 742. Religion and Literature in America. 3 Credits.

Graduate standing in religious studies or permission of the instructor. A study of the religious tradition in American literature from the Puritan period to the present.

RELI 743. Current Trends in American Judaism. 3 Credits.

The course aims at examining the current developments in American Judaism: cultural, spiritual, liturgical, as well as social and institutional.

RELI 744. Religion in Colonial Americas. 3 Credits.

A study of religion in the Americas from pre-contact indigenous communities to 19th century wars of independence. The course examines cases of migration, encounter, rebellion, and institutionalization across the continent and introduces theoretical debates about colonialism, hybridity, revival, and revolution.

RELI 745. Religion in Postcolonial Americas. 3 Credits.

A study of religion in the Americas through the lens of post-colonialism understood as a concept, a method, and an historical period. This course introduces students to theoretical debates about power, culture, history, and representation to better understand the present and future of the field.

RELI 746. The Christian-Jewish Encounter in America. 3 Credits.

Course examines the Christian-Jewish encounter in America from the 17th century to the present. Analyzes both theological and social interactions.

RELI 760. Approaches to Medieval and Early Modern Studies. 3 Credits.

Graduate standing in religious studies or permission of the instructor. An introduction to the problems and methods in the study of medieval and early modern religion in the West.

RELI 780. Approaches to Islamic Studies. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the academic study of Islam and Muslims, including the history of the field, theory and method in Islamic studies, pedagogy, and important subfields. Gateway course.

RELI 782. Islam and Reform. 3 Credits.

Exploration of reformist intellectual movements in modern Muslim societies, paying close attention to the case of post-revolutionary Iran and examining the compatibility of Islam and human rights, women's rights, democracy, and fresh hermeneutical approaches to scriptures.

RELI 785. Critical Genealogies of Middle East Studies. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. This seminar is the core course for the graduate certificate in Middle East studies. It is an introduction to critical issues in the study of the Middle East, focusing on classic works of the humanities and social sciences.

RELI 801. Seminar in Biblical Studies. 3 Credits.

Topics vary; consult the department.

RELI 803. Advanced Hebrew Readings. 3 Credits.

Required preparation, proficiency in Hebrew. Primary readings in portions of the Hebrew Bible (e.g., Pentateuch, Deuteronomistic History, prophetic texts, Psalms) or in non-biblical texts (pre-exilic inscriptions, Dead Sea Scrolls) with attention to issues of interpretation.

RELI 807. Hellenistic Religious Texts in Greek. 3 Credits.

Studies in Greek texts drawn from early Christianity, Judaism, and other religions of the Greco-Roman World.

RELI 808. The Apostolic Fathers. 3 Credits.

Required preparation, proficiency in Greek. Permission of the instructor. A study of selected works of the Apostolic Fathers, including Barnabas, Ignatius, and Polycarp.

RELI 809. Textual Criticism of the Greek Bible. 3 Credits.

Required preparation, proficiency in Greek. Permission of the instructor. Reconstruction; application of text-critical principles.

RELI 810. Readings in Early Jewish and Christian Apocalyptic. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. Readings from apocalyptic texts in the original languages.

RELI 812. Diaspora Judaism. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor for undergraduates. Seminar examines the evidence for the ancient Jewish communities of Egypt, Rome, Asia Minor, and Mesopotamia.
Same as: CLAR 812.

RELI 813. Readings in Talmud. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. An introduction to the study of the Babylonian Talmud in the original Hebrew and Aramaic, with the traditional commentaries. The emphasis is on understanding Talmudic logic.

RELI 814. Problems in Rabbinic Historiography. 3 Credits.

Examination of the methodological problems of using rabbinic materials as sources for the history of Judaism in the period after 70 CE.
Requisites: Prerequisite, RELI 712; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.

RELI 817. Ancient Rhetoric and Early Christianity. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. Survey of the development of rhetorical theory and practice through the Hellenistic and Roman Period. Explores the connection between rhetorical tradition and early Christian literature.

RELI 818. The Gnostic Scriptures. 3 Credits.

Close reading and interpretation of ancient Gnostic texts found near Nag Hammadi in Egypt.
Requisites: Prerequisite, RELI 413; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.

RELI 819. Ancient Philosophy and Early Christianity. 3 Credits.

Required preparation, proficiency in Greek and/or Latin. Survey of the Hellenistic schools of philosophy and their impact on early Christian theories of the universe, ethics, cultural history, and salvation.

RELI 821. Seminar in Religion and Culture. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. Topics vary; consult the department.

RELI 823. Postcolonial Approaches to the Study of Religion. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. An examination of major themes in contemporary postcolonial thought, and the application of this work to the study of religion.

RELI 835. Space, Place, and Religion. 3 Credits.

This interdisciplinary graduate seminar focuses on religion, space, and place in the United States.

RELI 838. Topics in Religion and Law. 3 Credits.

This course examines selected themes in legal and social theory relating to the position of religion in contemporary American society.

RELI 840. Seminar in American Religion. 3 Credits.

Topics vary. May be repeated for credit.

RELI 841. Religion and Social Issues in America. 3 Credits.

Historical analysis of the relationship between religious developments and social issues in America. Topics may include economics, politics, and social reform.

RELI 842. Religion and Cultural Contact in America. 3 Credits.

Examination of religion in America through instances of intercultural contact. Topics vary.

RELI 843. Roman Catholicism in America. 3 Credits.

A seminar on Roman Catholicism in the United States that also considers developments elsewhere in the Western hemisphere. Focus is on ritual practice and visual culture.

RELI 866. Medieval Religious Texts. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. Selected texts which illumine significant aspects of medieval religious culture are read in the original languages.

RELI 867. Texts of the Catholic and Protestant Reformations. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. Selected texts which illumine significant aspects of the Catholic and Protestant Reformations are read in the original languages.

RELI 870. Methods and Topics in the Study of Western Religious Traditions. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor. Exploration of one enduring issue in the history of the Western Christian tradition. The instructor selects several case studies that illustrate both the topic and the developments within traditions.

RELI 881. Islamic Thought. 3 Credits.

Required preparation, proficiency in Arabic and/or Persian. Advanced study of major Islamic thinkers and topics, based on original language texts and modern scholarly interpretations.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit.

RELI 885. The Study of Asian Religions and the Construction of the Field. 3 Credits.

Introduction to major approaches and methodological questions in the study of Asian religions. This course serves as a gateway course.

RELI 890. Topics in the Study of Religion. 3-9 Credits.

Graduate standing in religious studies or permission of the instructor. Topics vary.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit; may be repeated in the same term for different topics.

RELI 891. Topics in Islamic Studies. 3 Credits.

Graduate seminar on critical issues in Islamic studies. Topics vary.

RELI 900. Readings and Research. 3-9 Credits.

Permission of the instructor.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit; may be repeated in the same term for different topics.

RELI 990. Preliminary Preparation. 1-15 Credits.

RELI 993. Master's Research and Thesis. 3 Credits.

RELI 994. Doctoral Research and Dissertation. 3 Credits.

JWST

Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate-level Courses

JWST 412. 20th-Century Polish Literature and Culture. 3 Credits.

A survey of the major works of 20th-century Polish literature and culture in English translation. Some readings in Polish for students who can use the language.
Gen Ed: LA, BN.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: PLSH 412.

JWST 420. Post-Holocaust Ethics and Theology. 3 Credits.

This course examines the challenges posed to ethics and theology by the Holocaust. We will address philosophical and moral issues such as the problem of evil, divine omniscience, omnipotence, suffering, theodicy, representation, testimony, and an ethics of memory.
Gen Ed: PH, CI.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: RELI 420.

JWST 425. Beyond Hostilities: Israeli-Palestinian Exchanges and Collaborations in Cinema and Literature. 3 Credits.

Focuses on the various collaborations, exchanges, and mutual enrichment between Israelis and Palestinians in the realm of culture, particularly literature and cinema. These connections include language (Israeli Jewish authors writing in Arabic and Palestinian writers who choose Hebrew as their language of expression), collaborating in filmmaking, and joint educational initiatives.
Gen Ed: BN, GL.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ASIA 425, PWAD 425.

JWST 436. Language, Exile, and Homeland in Zionist Thought and Practice. 3 Credits.

Employing Zionist and post- and anti-Zionist documents, treatises, and mostly literary and cinematic texts, this class will focus on the relations between language, Jewish-Israeli identity, and the notion of homeland.
Gen Ed: BN.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: HEBR 436.

JWST 444. Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Judaism. 3 Credits.

The seminar examines the developments in gender roles and in sexuality in contemporary Judaism.
Gen Ed: CI, NA.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: RELI 444, WMST 448.

JWST 451. 1492: The Expulsion of the Jews from Spain. 3 Credits.

The largest and most prosperous Jewry of Europe lived in medieval Spain. The 1492 expulsion, driven by the Inquisition and Catholic monarchy, not only ended Spanish Jewish life but also forced a traumatic redefinition of Jewish identity. This course focuses on the causes and consequences of the expulsion of 1492.
Gen Ed: HS, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: HIST 451.

JWST 464. Imagined Jews: Jewish Themes in Polish and Russian Literature. 3 Credits.

Explores the fictional representation of Jewish life in Russia and Poland by Russian, Polish, and Jewish authors from the 19th century to the present. Taught in English; some foreign language readings for qualified students.
Gen Ed: LA, BN.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: SLAV 464.

JWST 465. Literature of Atrocity: The Gulag and the Holocaust in Russia and Eastern Europe. 3 Credits.

Literary representation in fiction, poetry, memoirs, and other genres of the mass annihilation and terror in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union under the Nazi and Communist regimes. Taught in English; some foreign language readings for qualified students.
Gen Ed: LA, BN, GL.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: SLAV 465, PWAD 465.

JWST 469. Coming to America: The Slavic Immigrant Experience in Literature. 3 Credits.

Fictional and autobiographical expressions of the Slavic and East European immigrant experience in the 20th century. Readings include Russian, Polish, Jewish, and Czech authors from early 1900s to present. Taught in English; some foreign language readings for qualified students.
Gen Ed: LA, GL.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: SLAV 469.

JWST 476. Borderlands: Religion and Ethnicity in Modern East Central Europe. 3 Credits.

The history of modern Eastern, East Central, and southeastern Europe has been shaped by the ethnic and religious diversity of the regions. This course examines experiences in the Russian, Habsburg, and Ottoman Empires and their successor states from the 19th century to the present day.
Gen Ed: HS, BN.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: HIST 476.

JWST 485. Modern East European Jewish History. 3 Credits.

Eastern Europe was one of the largest centers of Jewish civilization from premodern times to the Second World War, giving rise to important religious, cultural, and political developments in Jewish modernity. This course examines main developments of Jewish society from the late 18th century until the aftermath of the Holocaust.
Gen Ed: HS, BN.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: HIST 485.

JWST 486. Shalom Y'all: The Jewish Experience in the American South. 3 Credits.

This course explores ethnicity in the South and focuses on the history and culture of Jewish Southerners from their arrival in the Carolinas in the 17th century to the present day.
Gen Ed: HS, CI, US.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: AMST 486.

JWST 503. Exploring the Dead Sea Scrolls. 3 Credits.

A comprehensive introduction to the Dead Sea Scrolls and the different Jewish groups connected with them.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: RELI 503.

JWST 512. Ancient Synagogues. 3 Credits.

This is a course on ancient synagogues in Palestine and the Diaspora from the Second Temple period to the seventh century CE.
Requisites: Prerequisite, RELI 110; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
Gen Ed: VP, BN, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: RELI 512, CLAR 512.

JWST 602. What Is Scripture? Formations of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Canon. 3 Credits.

The course traces the past and continued canonical processes that define what the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament has been and is today, with a focus on the history of biblical interpretation.
Gen Ed: LA, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: RELI 602.

JWST 697. Capstone Course: Themes and Methodologies in Jewish Studies. 3 Credits.

Required of majors in religious studies with a concentration in Jewish studies; graduate students may enroll. Concentrating on a different theme each year, the course offers intensive grounding in key areas of and approaches to Jewish studies. Combines exploration of broad topics with scholarly rigor and specificity.
Gen Ed: CI.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit. 6 total credits. 2 total completions.
Grading status: Letter grade.