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Rel 13. (GS 13) Food and the Sacred (4)

Examines the role of food in religious life through the study of feasts, holy foods and forbidden foods.  Case studies may include the Eucharist, the Passover Seder, Ramadan, and Buddhist teachings on vegetarianism.  The class will attend special events such as a Moravian Love Feast and the Iftar meal during Ramadan.  If possible, the class will cook together, ending the semester with a Ukrainian twelve-course meatless Christmas Eve meal.  

Rel 3. (GCP 3, Phil 3) Global Religion, Global Ethics (4)

Introduction to philosophical and religious modes of moral thinking, with attention given to ethical issues as they arise cross-culturally in and through religious traditions. The course will reference the United Nations Millennium Goals to consider family life and the role of women, social justice, the environment, and ethical ideals. Particular focus varies but may include one or more of the following: abortion and reproductive health, the death penalty, religiously motivated violence, and problems of personal disorder (heavy drinking, anorexia, vengeance).

Rel 90 Nightmares, Fantasies and Bioethics

Science fiction is sometimes society’s most compelling portrait of our hopes and fears about new scientific advances.  This course will use novels, films and philosophic analysis to focus on ethical issues in human enhancement (aka “genetic engineering,” “designer babies”).  Texts will include Ronald M. Green, “Babies by Design”, and sci fi by writers such as Octavia Butler and Marge Piercy.  (HU)

Rel 98-10 Religion and Violence (4)

This course explores the relationship between religion and violence through an in-depth study of five discrete historical events: the wars of religion in Europe, the Sepoy rebellion in British India, the shinto nationalism of pre-WWII Japan, the rise of the Arab empire in late antiquity, and religious sentiments at play in the American civil war.  (HU)

Rel 96-11 (MLL 96-11, GS 96-11) Musical Ecstasy in the Arab World (4)

In the tradition of the Arabs, poetry is born of song, and song is in turn the ultimate expression of intense erotic joy and longing.  This course introduces students to the captivating musical experience of being "carried away" by a musical performance, whether you are the listener or the musician.  Students will explore the history and the development of  "Aghaanii Tarab" (Tarab songs), as they get "carried away" by the rich and pervasive musical legacy of Egypt, Syria and Lebanon in the modern age.  (HU)

Rel 96-10 (AAS 96-10) "New Black Gods" in Popular Culture (4)

This course explores the diversity of new black religious movements in the contemporary Diaspora by employing multiple disciplinary approaches-utilizing popular cultural forms such as film, television, music, dance, comedy, and fashion.  A range of religions will be sampled-with focus on themes such as identity, evil, pain, oppression, marginalization, suffering, justice, home, memory and embodiment.  Special attention is given to historical context in which religions emerge and the significance of embodiment in black religious thought.  (HU)

Rel 95-10 (Asia 95-10, MLL 95-10) Monkey Business (4)

The search for immortality by Monkey, kongfu master and mischievous monk, is one of the most popular tales in Asia.  A combination of comedy and religious quest, the traditional novel "Journey to the West" is filled with tricks and lively storytelling that teach without preaching.  The class will read the entire novel looking carefully at the social context of its production but also its timeless lessons for transcendence.  (HU)

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