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Rel 2. Death in Religious Traditions (4)

Introduces students to the study of religion through an exploration of what different religious traditions have to say about the great mystery that we all face, death. Because we all must die, all religions must deal with the challenge and sense of crisis provoked by the deaths of those close to us, of innocent victims of disaster, disease and crime, and our own imminent deaths. Death thus provides an excellent point of comparison among the various religious traditions. (HU)

Rel 90-14 Introduction to Black Religions and Hip-Hop (AAS 90-14)

Longtime rapper KRS ONE, aka, “The Teacha” once stated that,“Rap is something you do and Hip-Hop is something you live.” Traditionally seen as a response to racism, poverty, and urban social decay, hip hop culture is now considered a global, local, and trans-cultural phenomenon. Similarly, religions of the “oppressed” – that is, those that arise from within and among communities seen as “marginal” – are often viewed as responses to similar social problems.

Rel 90 Sacred Tales of the Jews

Examines the mysterious and beautiful tales told by Hasidim, participants in the movement of spiritual revival which arose within 18th century Judaism. Compares Hasidic tales to European fairy tales, and shows how later writers transformed Hasidic narratives to express their own religious or literary meanings.  (HU)

Rel 62. Explorations in Dialogue (4)

Course critically investigates inter-religious dialogue, and important issue in the contemporary academic study of religion.  The course will focus on the problem of inter-religious encounter; the limitations of the eight different models of dialogue; the questions of power and identity as they arise both within religious traditions and between religious people who intentionally engage in conversation about their religions with those from other traditions.  Course description

Rel 90 (AAS 90) Tupac: Thug Life and the Black Revolutionary Tradition (4)

We will explore the religious, existential, political, and ethical dimensions of RAP in relation to the work of Tupac Shakur.  We will analyze Tupac’s work—alongside classic memoirs, documentaries, and social theory texts—with an interest in understanding the conceptions of God, justice, love, the sacred, and the profane reflected in them, and how these conceptions connect to and reflect American and African American cultural practices and traditions.  Graded assignments will include oral presentations, creative expression projects, and analytical essays.

Rel 25. (AAS 25) Introduction to Black Religions and Hip-Hop (4)

Rapper KRS ONE once stated that, “Rap is something you do and Hip-Hop is something you live.”  This course thinks through the global evolution of Hip-Hop culture and the public and academic study of Black Religions as responses to structural and historical inequality and the search for meaning in culture by considering themes of resistance, constraint, power, the body, deviance, and morality over and against race, class, gender, and sexuality from a range of academic and cultural sources. 

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