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Rel 98 (JST 98) Judaism and Comic Books (4)

Is The Thing Jewish? What does Superman have to do with the bible?  Do Orthodox Jewish girls fight trolls? In this course, we will closely examine comic books and graphic novels in order to expand our understanding of what Jewishness might mean. With a POW! and a BAM!, we will consider many topics “from Krakow to Krypton,” including American Jewish history, how representations of Jews are gendered, global Jewish traditions, monsters and mutations, Jewish baseball players, and more! 

Rel 97 (ASIA 97, PHIL 97) Intro to Buddhism: Love, Death and Freedom (4)

This course will introduce students to Buddhist practices, philosophical systems, and cultural forms, from Buddhism’s Indian origins to its spread in East Asia and Tibet. Students will explore how Buddhists have approached the problem of death, the possibility of freedom, and forms of social and individual love and concern.  Course materials include poetry, biographies, philosophical writings, art, and film.

Rel 96 (AAS 96, WGSS 96) New Black Godz in Pop-Culture (4)

"You in the presence of a King, scratch that you in the presence of a God," says rapper Jay Z in the song "Crown." From Illuminati based conspiracy theories of black expressive culture to the rhetorical use of "devils" "monsters" and "demons" that proliferate in American discourse surrounding marginal identities, this course takes a cue from hip hop's rhetorical signifying on god to examine the relationship between contemporary cultural production, identity formation (race, religion, gender, sexuality, class), privilege/marginality, and the "operational acts of identification" used in proce

Rel 90 Archaeology and the Bible (4)

In this course we will examine the way that archaeological work might inform the study of the Bible. We will also study the way that archaeological data have been used either to confirm or falsify the biblical texts. As part of our study, we will examine in detail several archaeological sites in order to understand better the difficulties in interpreting the material remains that archaeologists dig up. (HU)

Rel 97 Jewish Mysticism (4)

This course will examine both the history and the central texts and ideas of the Jewish mystical tradition. We will read a broad range of texts, including the ancient Sefer Yetzirah or Book of Creation, the Zohar, the works of Isaac Luria and his disciples, and the writings of some of the 18th and 19th century Hasidic rabbis.  We will also explore the contemporary emergence of Kabbalah and the activities of the Kabbalah Center in contemporary America. (HU)

Rel 96 (GS 96) Religious Fundamentalism in Global Perspective (4)

This course will explore the rise of fundamentalist religious movements and their involvement in violent conflicts.  Topics to be considered will include the relationship between fundamentalist religious ideologies and terrorism, and the kinds of responses that fundamentalist religious movements present to the development of a global marketplace and the spread of secular nationalisms. (HU)

Rel 95 (AAS 95,Phil 95) Is God Dead? Past, Present, Future (4)

Is God dead? Some people think so. Do you? Come decide for yourself. This course looks at the philosophical and theological death of god movement(s) with particular attention to its origins, its popularity in certain historical moments, and future prospects and directions of this movement, with particular attention to the changing shape of the movement in light of area studies and contemporary identity politics. Posed as an ongoing question—is god dead?—the course is for anyone interested in the idea of god past, present, and future. (HU)

Rel 90 (Bios 90) Bioethics in the News (4)

Advances in biological science give rise to ethical issues: genetic research; medicine; reproductive technology; contraception; access to health care; the list is endless. In this class we will challenge ourselves by picking a different issue in the news every week. Students will present possible news articles, the class will vote, and we will discuss our favorites at the next class. We will have to be fast on our feet, and each week will be a surprise, but we will have fun and learn a lot. There will be two short papers but the grade will depend heavily on class participation.


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