Few will contest the fact that, despite predictions to the contrary, religion continues to play a central role in contemporary culture, politics, identity and conflict in every part of the globe. At the same time, the fast-moving forces of globalization, migration and technology continue to bring diverse religious communities into closer proximity, often creating new religious communities in the process. As a result, it has become ever more essential for people living in today’s world to be "religiously literate."

The Religious Studies program at Washington University in St. Louis is designed to provide students with the opportunity not only to acquire basic knowledge of the beliefs and practices of the major world religions but also to learn how to engage in an empathetic but critical appraisal of both their historic and their contemporary significance. Many of the courses offered through our program are taught by faculty in different disciplines and areas, including history, English, classics, anthropology, American religion and politics, and East Asian studies. They explore religion and religious traditions in all their interdisciplinary complexity — often comparatively, sometimes thematically, and almost always in specific historical and cultural contexts. In addition to our courses, every year the program hosts events designed to foster a lively intellectual community of students and faculty, including public lectures as well as more informal gatherings of people interested in the study of religion.

Whether students are interested in preparing for advanced academic study of religion or a career as a religious professional, are seeking a more systematic exposure to the academic study of religion to complement their studies in another area, or simply feel the need to acquire a greater religious literacy as part of their general education, the major or minor in religious studies offers an excellent opportunity to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the complex ways in which religious traditions inform human thought and behavior.

Contact:Sarah O'Donnell, Administrative Assistant
Phone:314-935-8677
Email:ReligiousStudies@wustl.edu
Website:http://religiousstudies.artsci.wustl.edu

The Major in Religious Studies

Total units required: 30 units; 24 must be 300-level or above

Required courses (6 units):

Re St 102Thinking About Religion3
Re St 368Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion3
Total units6

Senior Capstone Experience (3 units): In their senior year, all religious studies majors (with the exception of those students who have qualified for and elected to write an honors thesis) are required to take Re St 479 Senior Seminar in Religious Studies. The topic of this seminar varies from year to year. Recent topics include: Saints and Society; Religion and the Secular: Struggles over Modernity; and Pilgrimage and Sacred Space in Antiquity.

Elective courses (21 units; 18 must be 300-level or above): All majors must take at least seven courses chosen from among the offerings in religious studies. Those courses will be selected to achieve both breadth and depth of knowledge in the field.

To foster breadth of knowledge, the electives must include one course in four different Religious Traditions/areas such as: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Asian religions, and religions of the ancient Mediterranean world.

To foster depth of knowledge, the electives must include a concentration of three courses in one religious tradition or a set of closely related traditions (from the list above) and a secondary concentration of two courses in another tradition or set of traditions. Alternatively, students may, with permission of their adviser, opt to create a thematic concentration that reflects their own more specific interests. Examples of such thematic concentrations include (but are not limited to): "Religion and the Arts," "Religion and Politics," and "Gender and Religion."

Note: Any one course can count toward both the depth and breadth requirements.

For models illustrating possible combinations of depth and breadth (including thematic concentrations), visit the Religious Studies website.

Additional Information

Senior Honors: Qualified majors are encouraged to apply for Senior Honors. Applications are available online and are due prior to the end of the junior year. Students wishing to pursue this option need to meet the minimum honors requirements stated in this Bulletin and satisfactorily complete, during the senior year, Re St 498 Independent Work for Senior Honors I (fall) and Re St 499 Independent Work for Senior Honors II (spring). Full guidelines are available on the Religious Studies website.

Transfer Credit: A maximum of 6 units of course work completed elsewhere, whether another college or university or through a Washington University-approved study abroad program, may be applied toward the major. Credit will be awarded only to those courses that have been approved by the Religious Studies program.

The Minor in Religious Studies

Total units required: 18 units; 12 must be 300-level or above

Required courses (6 units):

Re St 102Thinking About Religion3
Re St 368Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion3
Total units6

Elective courses (12 units; 9 must be 300-level or above): Students may choose the remaining elective courses according to individual interest and in consultation with their advisers.

Additional Information

Transfer Credit: A maximum of 3 units of course work completed elsewhere, whether another college or university or through a Washington University-approved study abroad program, may be applied toward the minor. Credit will be awarded only to those courses that have been approved by the Religious Studies program.

Visit https://courses.wustl.edu to view semester offerings for L23 Re St.


L23 Re St 102 Thinking About Religion

Everyone agrees that religion is vitally important, but people rarely agree about what religion is. This course introduces students to the questions posed about religion, and the methods by which they are answered. Beginning with the central question, What is religion? we ask: How has religion served political power? How does the experience of religion create or change perceptions of reality? How does religious practice maintain or subvert gender roles? How does commemoration of the past shape communities in the present? How are religious identities formed, and how do they change? What is religious art? How does something become sacred? We explore these and other questions using case studies drawn from a range of sources that represent different regions, traditions, and scholarly approaches. This course is required for religious sudies majors and minors.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Arch: HUM Art: HUM BU: ETH EN: H


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L23 Re St 1550 Temple & Palace in World History: Religion & Politics in the Premodern Mediterranean

This course aims to examine the ways in which temple and palace cooperated with and competed against each other in ancient and medieval worlds. Temple and palace have played a major role in human history as a source of cooperation and conflict by inspiring and regulating the spiritual and social lives of people, including how they enacted laws, developed cultures, established institutions, and interacted with each other as individuals, families and societies. This course traces how the institutional embodiments of religion and politics, temple and palace, and their interactions, produced various models of authority, law and social association and how they collectively and separately rationalized social hierarchy and diversity in human societies.
Same as L22 History 1550

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, SD A&S IQ: HUM, SD EN: H


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L23 Re St 180 Freshman Seminar in Religious Studies

This course is for freshmen only. The topic varies from semester to semester. Recent topics include Miracles and The Self in Chinese Thought.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: ETH


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L23 Re St 2010 Religion and American Society

This course explores religious life in the United States. We will focus our study on groups and movements that highlight distinctive ways of being both "religious" and "American," including the Americanization of global religions in the U.S. context. Major themes will include religious encounter and conflict; secularization, resurgent traditionalism, and new religious establishments; experimentalism, eclecticism, and so-called "spiritual" countercultures; the relationship between religious change and broader social and political currents (including clashes over race, class, gender and sexuality); and the challenges of religious multiplicity in the U.S. Students will: 1) acquire knowledge of the disparate religions practiced in North America during the 20th century and beyond; 2) examine some of the chief conflicts as well as alliances between religion and the American social order in a global context; and 3) develop interpretive tools for understanding religion's present and enduring role in the U.S. and the world.
Same as L57 RelPol 201

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM BU: ETH EN: H


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L23 Re St 208F History, Text and Identity: Introduction to Jewish Civilization

The anthropologist Clifford Geertz once famously invoked Max Weber in writing that "man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun. I take culture to be those webs." The main goal of this course — designed as an introduction to Jewish history, culture and society — is to investigate the "webs of significance" produced by Jewish societies and individuals, in a select number of historical periods, both as responses to historical circumstances and as expressions of Jewish identity. Over the course of the semester we focus on the following historical settings: seventh-century BCE Judah and the Babylonian exile; pre-Islamic Palestine and Babylonia (the period of the Mishnah and the Talmud); Europe in the period of the Crusades; Islamic and Christian Spain; Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries; North America in the 20th century; and the modern State of Israel. For each period we investigate the social and political conditions of Jewish life; identify the major texts that Jews possessed, studied and produced; determine the non-Jewish influences on their attitudes and aspirations; and the explore the efforts that Jews made to define what it meant to be part of a Jewish collective.
Same as L75 JINE 208F

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: ETH, IS EN: H


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L23 Re St 210C Introduction to Islamic Civilization

A historical survey of Islamic civilization in global perspective. Chronological coverage of social, political, economic and cultural history are balanced with focused attention to special topics, which include: aspects of Islam as religion; science, medicine and technology in Islamic societies; art and architecture; philosophy and theology; interaction between Islamdom and Christendom; Islamic history in the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia as well as Africa; European colonialism; globalization of Islam and contemporary Islam.
Same as L75 JINE 210C

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Arch: HUM Art: HUM BU: ETH, IS


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L23 Re St 224 Islamic Religion

Survey of the development of Islamic practice and thought from the emergence of Islam in early seventh century CE to the present.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD BU: ETH, IS EN: H


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L23 Re St 235 Religion and Politics in Early America

This course introduces students to the history of religion and politics in America from the English settlements of Virginia and Massachusetts Bay during the early 17th century through the constitutional debates of the 1780s. It pays attention to both formal legal issues regarding religious establishments and wider matters concerning political sentiments and their relationship to religious ideas or values. The course does not advocate a defining argument or single ideological "point," but, rather, facilitates a series of observations of how different positions on the role of religion in early America made sense in their respective historical contexts. Social, political, and intellectual variables made for shifting understandings of what religious ideas mattered to public life in America and how those ideas ought to shape civil affairs.
Same as L57 RelPol 235

Credit 3 units. A&S IQ: HUM BU: BA EN: H


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L23 Re St 236F Introduction to East Asian Religions

This introductory course provides a basic, yet systematic, overview of certain major religious traditions that evolved in East Asia, particularly in China and Japan, but also in Korea. We begin with the classical Chinese traditions of Confucianism and Daoism, then turn our attention to Buddhism, which originated in India (ca. 500 BCE) and was later introduced into China (first century CE), Korea (fourth century CE) and Japan (sixth century CE). We then examine the Japanese tradition of Shinto, and focus more specifically upon the development of new Japanese forms of Buddhism. The course ends with a brief look at the coming of some of these religions to the West, and in particular the United States.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: ETH EN: H


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L23 Re St 300 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

A survey of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) through the historical and cultural context of the ancient Near East. Traditional Jewish and Christian interpretation of the Bible is discussed. No knowledge of Hebrew required; no prerequisites.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Arch: HUM Art: HUM BU: ETH, HUM


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L23 Re St 3011 Intermediate Greek: The New Testament

A reading of texts from the New Testament as well as others of relevance to the religions of the Roman Empire. Prerequisites: Greek 317C or permission of the instructor.
Same as L09 Greek 301

Credit 3 units. A&S: LA A&S IQ: LCD, LS BU: HUM


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L23 Re St 3012 Biblical Law and the Origins of Western Justice

This course will explore how law developed from the earliest periods of human history and how religious ideas and social institutions shaped law. The course will also illuminate how biblical law was influenced by earlier cultures and how the ancient Israelites reshaped the law they inherited. It will further analyze the impact of biblical law on Western culture and will investigate how the law dealt with those of different social classes and ethnic groups, and we will probe how women were treated by the law.
Same as L75 JINE 3012

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD, SD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L23 Re St 303 The Daoist Traditions

This course offers an introduction to the history, practices and worldviews that define the Daoist tradition. Through both secondary scholarship and primary texts, we consider the history of Daoism in reference to the continuities and discontinuities of formative concepts, social norms, and religious practices. Our inquiry into this history centers on consideration of the social forces that have driven the development of Daoism from the second century to the modern day. Special consideration is given to specific Daoist groups and their textual and practical traditions: the Celestial Masters (Tianshi), Great Clarity (Taiqing), Upper Clarity (Shangqing), Numinous Treasure (Lingbao), and Complete Perfection (Quanzhen). Throughout the semester we also reflect on certain topics and themes concerning the Daoist tradition. These include constructions of identity and community, material culture, the construction of sacred space, and cultivation techniques.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: ETH EN: H


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L23 Re St 3031 Christianity in the Modern World

Survey of Christianity since the Reformation. Focus on the divisions in Christianity, its responses to modern science, the rise of capitalism, and European expansion into Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Attention to ecumenism and the contemporary status of Christianity in the world.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM BU: ETH EN: H


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L23 Re St 3062 Islam, Culture and Society in West Africa

This course explores the introduction of Islam into West Africa beginning in the 10th century and explore its expansion and development in the region, placing emphasis on the 19th century to present day. It focuses on the development of West African Muslim cultural, social, religious and political life, to understand not only how the religion affected societies, but also how West African local societies shaped Islam. The course also aims to introduce students to a critical understanding of Islamic writing in West Africa. It also examines the organization of Muslim Sufi orders in West Africa through time and space. The course is organized around a series of lectures, readings, as well as print and visual media.
Same as L90 AFAS 3062

Credit 3 units. A&S: SS, CD A&S IQ: LCD, SSC Arch: SSC Art: SSC BU: IS EN: S UColl: NW


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L23 Re St 307F Introduction to the New Testament

What can be known — from an historical perspective — about the life and teachings of Jesus and his earliest followers? How did Jesus see himself and how did his followers see him? How did the lives, teachings and deaths of Jesus and his followers come to form the heart of a new movement? If Jesus and the apostles were all Jews, how did Christianity emerge as a distinct "religion"? This course investigates these questions through a focus on the earliest sources for Jesus and his first followers, including and extending beyond the canonical books of the Christian New Testament. Our approach in this course is historical and literary, rather than theological or confessional: We ask what Jesus, his first followers, and their Jewish and "pagan" contemporaries did and believed, and we try to catch glimpses of the worlds in which they lived and the cultures which they took for granted.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L23 Re St 3080 City on a Hill: The Concept and Culture of American Exceptionalism

This course examines the concept, history and culture of American exceptionalism: the idea that America has been specially chosen or has a special mission to the world. First, we examine the Puritan sermon that politicians quote when they describe America as a "city on a hill." This sermon has been called the "ur-text" of American literature, the foundational document of American culture; learning and drawing from multiple literary methodologies, we re-investigate what that sermon means and how it came to tell a story about the Puritan origins of American culture — a thesis our class reassesses with the help of modern critics. In the second part of this class, we broaden our discussion to consider the wider (and newer) meanings of American exceptionalism, theorizing the concept while looking at the way it has been revitalized, redefined and redeployed in recent years. Finally, the course ends with a careful study of American exceptionalism in modern political rhetoric, starting with JFK and proceeding through Reagan to the current day. In the end, students gain a firm grasp of the long history and continuing significance — the pervasive impact — of this concept in American culture.
Same as L98 AMCS 3081

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM BU: BA EN: H


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L23 Re St 3082 From the Temple to the Talmud: The Emergence of Rabbinic Judaism

This course offers a survey of the historical, literary, social and conceptual development of Rabbinic Judaism from its emergence in late antiquity to the early Middle Ages. The goal of the course is to study Rabbinic Judaism as a dynamic phenomenon — as a constantly developing religious system. Among the topics  explored are: How did Judaism evolve from a sacrificial cult to a text-based religion? How did the "Rabbis" emerge as a movement after the destruction of the Second Temple and how could they replace the old priestly elite? How did Rabbinic Judaism develop in its two centers of origin, Palestine (the Land of Israel) and Babylonia (Iraq), to become the dominant form of Judaism under the rule of Islam? How did Jewish ritual and liturgy develop under Rabbinic influence? How were the Rabbis organized and was there diversity within the group? What was the Rabbis' view of women? How did they perceive non-Rabbinic Jews and non-Jews? As Rabbinic Literature is used as the main source to answer these questions, the course provides an introduction to the Mishnah, the Palestinian and Babylonian Talmuds, and the Midrash collections — a literature that defines the character of Judaism down to our own times. All texts are read in translation.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L23 Re St 3101 The Problem of Evil

The question of how God can allow evil to occur to the righteous or innocent people has been a perennial dilemma in religion and philosophy. We study the classic statement of the problem in the biblical book of Job, the ancient Near Eastern literature on which Job is based, and traditional Jewish and Christian interpretation of Job. We study the major approaches to the problem of evil in Western philosophical and religious thought.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM BU: ETH EN: H


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L23 Re St 3105 American Holidays, Rituals and Celebrations

This seminar examines a variety of holidays, festivals and rituals in American history and culture. Topics include: conflicts over Christmas, the sentiments of greeting cards, African-American emancipation celebrations, Roman Catholic festivals dedicated to the Virgin Mary, modern renderings of Jewish ritual (including Hanukkah), the masculinity embodied in fraternal lodge ceremonies, Neopagan festivals, and Halloween Hell Houses. Various interpretive approaches are explored, and the intent is to broach a wide range of questions about history and tradition, gender and race, public memory and civic ceremony, moral order and carnival, through this topical focus on ritual and performance. A major emphasis is also placed on original research and writing, evident in the weight given the concluding seminar report and the final paper.
Same as L98 AMCS 3105

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Arch: HUM Art: HUM EN: H


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L23 Re St 311 Buddhist Traditions

This course examines the historical development of Buddhism from its origins in South Asia in the sixth to fifth century BCE, through the transmission of the teachings and practices to East Asia, Southeast Asia and Tibet, to contemporary transformations of the tradition in the modern West. In the first third of the course, we focus on the biographical and ritual expressions of the historical Buddha's life story, the foundational teachings attributed to the Buddha, and the formation and development of the Buddhist community. In the second third, we examine the rise of the Mahayana, the development of the Mahayana pantheon and rituals, and the spread of Mahayana in East Asia. In the final third, we explore the Theravada tradition in Sri Lanka and Thailand, then Tantric Buddhism in India, Tibet and East Asia. We close the course with an overview of Buddhism in the modern West.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: ETH EN: H UColl: NW


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L23 Re St 312 South Asian Religious Traditions

The Indian subcontinent is home to Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist, Jain, and Sikh traditions, among others. In this course we explore several traditions that are vital to life in India, Pakistan and beyond. We first encounter each tradition through narrative, with the support of visual media. We then explore how contemporary adherents make these traditions meaningful for themselves — in their everyday lives, in their struggles for social change, and in their political statements and contestations. Students will have the opportunity for creative projects or individual research.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Arch: HUM Art: HUM BU: IS EN: H UColl: NW


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L23 Re St 313C Islamic History 622-1200

The cultural, intellectual, and political history of the Islamic Middle East, beginning with the prophetic mission of Muhammad and concluding with the Mongol conquests. Topics covered include: the life of Muhammad; the early Muslim conquests; the institution of the caliphate; the translation movement from Greek into Arabic and the emergence of Arabic as a language of learning and artistic expression; the development of new educational, legal and pietistic institutions; changes in agriculture, crafts, commerce and the growth of urban culture; multiculturalism and inter-confessional interaction; and large-scale movements of nomadic peoples.
Same as L22 History 313C

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: IS


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L23 Re St 314C Islamic History 1200-1800

An introduction to Islamic politics and societies from the Mongol conquests to the 13th century to the collapse and weakening of the colossal "gunpowder" empires of the Ottomans, Safavids and Mughals in the early 18th century. Broadly speaking, this course covers the Middle Period (1000-1800) of Islamic history, sandwiched between the Early and High Caliphal periods (600-100) on the one hand and the Modern Period (1800-present) on the other hand. Familiarity with the Early and High Caliphal periods is not assumed. The course is not a "survey" of this period but a series of "windows" that allows students to develop both an in-depth understanding of some key features of Islamic societies and a clear appreciation of the challenges (as well as the rewards!) that await historians of the Middle Period. Particular attention is given to the Mamluk and Ottoman Middle East, Safavid Iran and Mughal India.
Same as L22 History 314C

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM BU: IS


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L23 Re St 3192 Modern South Asia

This course covers the history of the Indian subcontinent in the 19th and 20th centuries. We look closely at a number of issues including colonialism in India; anticolonial movements; the experiences of women; the interplay between religion and national identity; and popular culture in modern India. Political and social history are emphasized equally.
Same as L22 History 3192

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM BU: HUM, IS


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L23 Re St 320 Religious Freedom in America


Same as I50 InterD 320

Credit 3 units. A&S IQ: HUM, SD EN: H


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L23 Re St 3262 The Early Medieval World 300-1000

A principal theme of this course is the Christianization of Europe. From the emergence of the Christian church in the Roman Empire and the conversion of the emperor Constantine in 312 through the turbulent adoptions of Christianity by different cultures in the Early Middle Ages; the rise of Islam in the seventh century; the Arab conquests of north Africa and southern Europe; and the Byzantine empire, especially in Constantinople.
Same as L22 History 3262

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: IS EN: H


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L23 Re St 3263 The High Middle Ages: 1000-1500

This course begins with the first millennium in the West and ends with the arrival of Europeans in the Americas. The course explores topics such as the relationship of popes to kings, of cities to villages, Jews to Christians, of vernacular literature to Latin, knights to peasants, the sacred to the profane. Topics include: different forms of religious life; farming; heresy; the shift from a penitential culture to a confessional one; the crusades; troubadour poetry; the Mongol Empire; universities; leprosy; and the conquest of New Spain.
Same as L22 History 3263

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM BU: IS EN: H


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L23 Re St 3266 "East" and "West" in Jewish Imagination and Politics

How have Jews, as a paradigmatic diasporic people, understood their place between "East" and "West," and their relationships with other Jews and non-Jews within, across, and beyond the vast territorial expanse of Eurasia? What has it meant to identify, to be identified, and to live as Jews in Eurasia and beyond — both before and after the State of Israel? We begin with the origin of world Jewry, follow the various and interrelated experiences of Jews under Christendom and Islam, and, through carefully chosen vignettes, trace how the modern concepts of "East" and "West" have shaped the course of Jewish history, politics and imagination for millennia.
Same as L97 IAS 3266

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD, SD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD, SD EN: H


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L23 Re St 3277 Philosophy of Religion


Same as L30 Phil 327

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM BU: ETH EN: H


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L23 Re St 3293 Religion and Society

We take a broad and practice-oriented view of "religion," including uttering spells, sacrificing to a god, healing through spirit possession, as well as praying and reciting scripture. We consider religious practices in small-scale societies as well as those characteristic of forms of Judaism, Islam, Christianity and other broadly based religions. We give special attention to the ways religions shape politics, law, war, as well as everyday life in modern societies.
Same as L48 Anthro 3293

Credit 3 units. A&S: SS A&S IQ: SSC Art: SSC BU: ETH EN: S


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L23 Re St 3313 Women and Islam

An anthropological study of the position of women in the contemporary Muslim world, with examples drawn primarily from the Middle East but also from Asia, Africa, Europe and the United States. Students examine ethnographic, historical and literary works, including those written by Muslim women. Topics having a major impact on the construction of gender include Islamic belief and ritual, modest dress (veiling), notions of marriage and the family, modernization, nationalism and the nation-state, politics and protest, legal reform, formal education, work and Westernization. The course includes a visit to a St. Louis mosque, discussions with Muslim women, and films.
Same as L48 Anthro 3313

Credit 3 units. A&S: SS, CD A&S IQ: LCD, SSC Art: SSC BU: BA


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L23 Re St 334C Crusade, Conflict, and Coexistence: Jews in Christian Europe

This course investigates some of the major themes in the history of the Jews in Europe, from the High Middle Ages to the eve of the French Revolution. Jews constituted a classic, nearly continuous minority in the premodern Christian world — a world which was not known for tolerating dissent. Or was it? One of the main purposes of the course is to investigate the phenomenon of majority/minority relations, to examine the ways in which the Jewish community interacted with and experienced European societies, cultures and politics. We look at the dynamics of boundary formation and cultural distinctiveness; the limits of religious and social tolerance; the nature and contexts of persecution; and the prospects for Jewish integration to Europe during the course of the Enlightenment era. Our course also highlights the particular historical experiences, cultural and religious developments, and communal patterns of the Jews during this time.
Same as L22 History 334C

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: ETH, HUM, IS


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L23 Re St 3350 Out of the Shtetl: Jews in Central and Eastern Europe Between Empire, State and Nation

Out of the Shtetl is a course about tradition and transformation; small towns and urban centers; ethnicity and citizenship; nations, states and empires. At its core, it asks the question, what did it mean for the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe to emerge from small market towns and villages to confront modern ethnicities, nations and empires? What lasting impact did the shtetl experience have on Jewish life in a rapidly changing environment? The focus is on the Jewish historical experience in the countries that make up Central and Eastern Europe (mainly the Bohemian lands, Hungary, Poland, and Russia) from the late 18th century to the fall of the Soviet Union. Among the topics that we cover: Jews and the nobility in Poland-Lithuania; the multi-cultural, imperial state; Hasidism and its opponents; absolutism and reform in imperial settings; the emergence of modern European nationalisms and their impact on Jewish identity; antisemitism and popular violence; nationalist and radical movements among Jews; war, revolution and genocide; and the transition from Soviet dominion to democratic states.
Same as L22 History 3350

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM BU: IS EN: H


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L23 Re St 335C Becoming Modern: Emancipation, Antisemitism, and Nationalism in Modern Jewish History

This course offers a survey of the Jewish experience in the modern world by asking, at the outset, what it means to be — or to become — modern. To answer this question, we look at two broad trends that took shape toward the end of the 18th century — the Enlightenment and the formation of the modern state — and we track changes and developments in Jewish life down to the close of the 20th century with analyses of the (very different) American and Israeli settings. The cultural, social, and political lives of Jews have undergone major transformations and dislocations over this time — from innovation to revolution, exclusion to integration, calamity to triumphs. The themes that we will be exploring in depth include the campaigns for and against Jewish "emancipation;" acculturation and religious reform; traditionalism and modernism in Eastern Europe; the rise of political and racial antisemitism; mass migration and the formation of American Jewry; varieties of Jewish national politics; Jewish-Gentile relations between the World Wars; the destruction of European Jewry; the emergence of a Jewish nation-state; and Jewish culture and identity since 1945.
Same as L22 History 335C

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Arch: HUM Art: HUM BU: ETH, HUM


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L23 Re St 336C History of the Jews in Islamic Lands

This course is a survey of Jewish communities in the Islamic world, their social, cultural and intellectual life from the rise of Islam to the Imperial Age. Topics include: Muhammad, the Qur'an and the Jews; the legal status of Jews under Islam; the spread of Rabbinic Judaism in the Abbasid empire; the development of new Jewish identities under Islam (Karaites); Jewish traders and scholars in Fatimid Egypt; the flourishing of Jewish civilization in Muslim Spain (al-Andalus); and Sephardi (Spanish) Jews in the Ottoman empire. On this background, we look closely at some of the major Jewish philosophical and poetical works originating in Islamic lands. Another important source we study are documents from the Cairo Genizah, reflecting social history, the status of women and other aspects of daily life. Primary and secondary readings (in translation) are supplemented by audiovisual materials.
Same as L22 History 336C

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM BU: HUM


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L23 Re St 3421 Childhood, Culture and Religion in Medieval Europe

From child saints to child scholars and from child crusaders to child casualties, the experience of childhood varied widely throughout the European Middle Ages. This course explores how medieval Jews, Christians and Muslims developed some parallel and some very much divergent concepts of childhood, childrearing, and the proper cultural roles for children in their respective societies. Our readings combine primary and secondary sources from multiple perspectives and multiple regions of Europe and the Mediterranean World, including a few weeks on the history and cultural legacy of the so-called Children's Crusade of 1312. We conclude with a brief survey of medieval childhood and its stereotypes as seen through contemporary children's books and TV shows. This course fulfills the Language & Cultural Diversity requirement for Arts & Sciences.
Same as L66 ChSt 342

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L23 Re St 3422 Art of the Islamic World

This course surveys the art and architecture of societies where Muslims were dominant or where they formed significant minorities from the seventh through the 20th centuries. It examines the form and function of architecture and works of art as well as the social, historical and cultural contexts, patterns of use, and evolving meanings attributed to art by the users. The course follows a chronological order, where selected visual materials are treated along chosen themes. Themes include the creation of a distinctive visual culture in the emerging Islamic polity; the development of urban institutions; key architectural types such as the mosque, madrasa, caravanserai, palace and mausoleum; art objects and the arts of the illustrated book; cultural interconnections along trade and pilgrimage routes; Westernization and modernization in art and architecture.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 3422

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: AH, GFAH BU: IS EN: H UColl: NW


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L23 Re St 343C Europe in the Age of the Reformation

How should people act toward each other, toward political authorities and toward their God? Who decided what was the "right" faith: the individual? the family? the state? Could a community survive religious division? What should states do about individuals or communities who refused to conform in matters of religion? With Martin Luther's challenge to the Roman Catholic Church, the debates over these questions transformed European theology, society and politics. In this class we examine the development of Protestant and Radical theology, the Reformers' relations with established political authorities, the response of the Catholic Church, the development of new social and cultural expectations, the control of marginalized religious groups such as Jews, Muslims and Anabaptists, and the experiment of the New World.
Same as L22 History 343C

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD, SD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM BU: BA, HUM


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L23 Re St 346 Topics in East Asian Religions

This course explores one of the various topics in East Asian Religions. Recent topics include Tantric Buddhism and Death, Dying and the Afterlife in East Asian Religions.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Arch: HUM Art: HUM EN: H


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L23 Re St 3465 Islamic Law

This course presents a general overview of Islamic law and an introduction to the study of religious legal authority which values consensus. It then explores the formation of the major schools of law. Next it debates the notions of "ijtihad" and "taqlid" and discusses how open and independent legal decisions have been in the Islamic world. It also traces the transmission of legal knowledge in religious institutions across time and place by focusing on medieval Muslim societies and by closely examining the education of a modern-day Ayatollah.
Same as L75 JINE 346

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Arch: HUM Art: HUM EN: H


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L23 Re St 3513 Muhammad in History and Literature

This course intends to examine the life and representations of the Prophet Muhammad from the perspective of multiple spiritual sensibilities as articulated in various literary genres from medieval to modern periods. The course is divided roughly into two parts. One part deals with the history of Muhammad and the related historiographical questions. The second part deals with the representations of Muhammad in juristic, theological, Sufi, etc., literature. Because of the availability of primary sources in English translation, there is a healthy dose of primary source reading and analysis throughout the semester. Those students with advanced Arabic (and Persian and Turkish) skills are encouraged to engage sources in their original language.
Same as L75 JINE 351

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Arch: HUM Art: HUM BU: ETH EN: H


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L23 Re St 3540 Anthropological and Sociological Study of Muslim Societies

This course introduces students to anthropological and sociological scholarship on Muslim societies. Attention will be given to the broad theoretical and methodological issues which orient such scholarship. These issues include the nature of Muslim religious and cultural traditions, the nature of modernization and rationalization in Muslim societies, and the nature of sociopolitical relations between "Islam" and the "West." The course explores the preceding issues through a series of ethnographic and historical case studies, with a special focus on Muslim communities in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Case studies address a range of specific topics, including religious knowledge and authority, capitalism and economic modernization, religion and politics, gender and sexuality, as well as migration and globalization.
Same as L75 JINE 354

Credit 3 units. A&S IQ: LCD, SSC BU: IS EN: S


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L23 Re St 359 Travelers, Tricksters and Storytellers: Jewish Travel Narratives and Autobiographies, 1100-1800

Premodern Jewish literature includes a number of highly fascinating travelogues and autobiographies that are still awaiting their discovery by a broader readership. In this course, we explore a variety of texts ranging from medieval to early modern times. They were written by Jewish authors (both Ashkenazi and Sephardic) originating from Spain, Italy, Germany and the Ottoman Empire — among them pilgrims, rabbis, merchants, and one savvy business woman. We read them as responses to historical circumstances and as expressions of Jewish identity in its changing relationship to the Christian or Muslim environment in which the authors lived or traveled. Specifically, we ask questions such as: What is it about travel writing that enables its authors (and readers) to reflect on themes of identity and difference? How does this genre produce representations of an Other, against which and through which it defines a particular sense of self? What are the commonalities and differences between (Jewish) travelogues and autobiographies? To what extent are these texts reliable accounts of their authors' personal experiences and to what extent do they serve their own self-fashioning? How did premodern Jewish writers portray Christians, Muslims and Jews from other cultural backgrounds than their own? How did they construe the role of women in a world dominated by men? How did they reflect on history, geography and other fields of knowledge that were not covered by the traditional Jewish curriculum; and how did they respond to the challenges of early modernity?
Same as L75 JINE 359

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: IS EN: H


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L23 Re St 3600 Religion and the Modern Civil Rights Movements, 1954-1968

The modern Civil Rights Movement is a landmark event in the nation's political, civic, cultural and social history. In many contexts, this movement for and against civil and legal equality took on a religious ethos, with activists, opponents and observers believing that the net result of the marches, demonstrations and legislative rulings would redeem and/or destroy "The Soul of the Nation." This seminar examines the modern Civil Rights Movement and its strategies and goals, with an emphasis on the prominent religious ideologies and activities that were visible and utilized in the modern movement. The course pays particular attention to the Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Islamic traditions, figures and communities that were indifferent, combative, instrumental and/or supportive of Civil Rights legislation throughout the mid-20th century.
Same as L57 RelPol 360

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM BU: BA EN: H


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L23 Re St 3622 Topics in Islam

Selected themes in the study of Islam and Islamic culture in social, historical and political context. The specific areas of emphasis are determined by the instructor.
Same as L75 JINE 3622

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Arch: HUM Art: HUM BU: IS EN: H


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L23 Re St 365 The Bible as Literature


Same as L14 E Lit 365

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Arch: HUM Art: HUM BU: ETH EN: H


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L23 Re St 366 Approaches to the Qur'an

The place of the Qur'an in Islamic religion and society. Equal emphasis on text: the Qur'an's history, contents, and literary features; and context: the place of the Qur'an in everyday life, its oral recitation, artistic uses, and scholarly interpretation. Knowledge of Arabic not required.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: ETH


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L23 Re St 3670 Gurus, Saints and Scientists: Religion in Modern South Asia

Many long-standing South Asian traditions have been subject to radical reinterpretation, and many new religious movements have arisen, as South Asians have grappled with how to accommodate their traditions of learning and practice to what they have perceived to be the conditions of modern life. In this course we consider some of the factors that have contributed to religious change in South Asia, including British colonialism, sedentarization and globalization, and new discourses of democracy and equality. We consider how new religious organizations were part and parcel with movements for social equality and political recognition; examine the intellectual contributions of major thinkers like Swami Vivekananda, Sayyid Ahmad Khan and Mohandas Gandhi; and explore how Hindu, Islamic and other South Asian traditions were recast in the molds of natural science, social science and world religion.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: ETH EN: H


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L23 Re St 368 Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion

What is religion? In this course, we explore how religious ritual may help to clarify the nature and function of religion. We first consider "classic" theories of religion and ritual, such as those of James Frazer, Sigmund Freud, Emile Durkheim, Mircea Eliade, Max Weber, E.E. Evans-Pritchard, and Clifford Geertz. We then consider more recent theories of ritual and its relationship to religion (such as those of Victor Turner and Maurice Bloch). Alongside, and in light of, these theoretical writings, we look at specific instances of ritual practice from various cultures and periods. Note: This course is required for religious studies majors and minors. It is recommended that this course be taken after completion of L23 Re St 102 Thinking About Religion.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM BU: ETH EN: H


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L23 Re St 370C Islamic Movements: Reform, Revival, Revolt

As a religion and a social/intellectual and political movement, Islam has undergone constant reassessment since its inception 14 centuries ago; thus modern fundamentalist movements are the latest manifestation of long-term trends. An overview of this historical process, concentrating on contemporary Islamic movements and works by seminal thinkers.
Same as L75 JINE 370C

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: IS


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L23 Re St 374C Kings, Priests, Prophets and Rabbis: The Jews in the Ancient World

We trace Israelite and Jewish history from its beginnings in the biblical period (ca. 1200 BCE) through the rise of rabbinic Judaism and Christianity until the birth of Islam (ca. 620 CE). We explore how Israel emerged as a distinct people and why the rise of the imperial powers tranformed the political, social and religious institutions of ancient Israel. We illuminate why the religion of the Bible developed into rabbinic Judaism and Christianity and how rabbinic literature and institutions were created.
Same as L75 JINE 301C

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM BU: BA, HUM


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L23 Re St 3750 In the Beginning: Creation Myths of the Biblical World

This course studies myths and epic literature from the Bible, ancient Egypt, the ancient Near East and ancient Greece about the birth of the gods, the creation of the world and of humanity, and the establishment of societies. These masterpieces of ancient literature recount the deeds of gods and heroes and humanity's eternal struggle to come to terms with the world, supernatural powers, love, lust and death. This course examines how each culture borrows traditions and recasts them in a distinct idiom. The course further examines different approaches to mythology and to the study of ancient cultures and the Bible.
Same as L75 JINE 3751

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD, WI A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: HUM EN: H


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L23 Re St 380 Topics in Religious Studies

The topic for this course varies. Recent topics include: Religion and Violence; It's the End of the World As We Know It: Apocalypse in the Biblical World; and North American Religious Experience.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM BU: ETH


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L23 Re St 3831 Magicians, Healers and Holy Men

Magic is perhaps not one of the first words one associates with Greco-Roman antiquity. Yet for most individuals living in the ancient Mediterranean, including philosophers, businessmen, and politicians, magic was a part of everyday life. Casting spells, fashioning voodoo dolls, wearing amulets, ingesting potions, and reading the stars are just some of the activities performed by individuals at every level of society. This course examines Greco-Roman, early Christian, and Judaic "magical" practices. Students read spell-books which teach how to read the stars, make people fall in love, bring harm to enemies, lock up success in business, and win fame and the respect of peers. Students also look at what is said, both in antiquity and in contemporary scholarship, about magic and the people who practiced it, which helps illuminate the fascinating relationship between magic, medicine, and religion.
Same as L08 Classics 3831

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM BU: HUM EN: H


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L23 Re St 385D Topics in Biblical Hebrew Texts

Prerequisite: HBRW 384 or permission of the instructor.
Same as L74 HBRW 385D

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM BU: HUM EN: H


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L23 Re St 38C8 Religion and Politics in South Asia: Writing-Intensive Seminar

The relationship between religion, community and nation is a topic of central concern and contestation in the study of South Asian history. This course explores alternative positions and debates on such topics as: changing religious identities; understandings of the proper relationship between religion, community and nation in India and Pakistan; and the violence of Partition (the division of India and Pakistan in 1947). The course treats India, Pakistan and other South Asian regions in the colonial and postcolonial periods.
Same as L22 History 38C8

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD, WI A&S IQ: HUM, LCD, WI BU: IS EN: H


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L23 Re St 3921 Secular and Religious: A Global History

Recent years have seen a dramatic rethinking of the past in nearly every corner of the world as scholars revisit fundamental questions about the importance of religion for individuals, societies and politics. Is religion as a personal orientation in decline? Is Europe becoming more secular? Is secularism a European invention? Many scholars now argue that "religion" is a European term that doesn't apply in Asian societies. This course brings together cutting-edge historical scholarship on Europe and Asia in pursuit of a truly global understanding. Countries covered vary, but may include Britain, France, Turkey, China, Japan, India and Pakistan.
Same as L22 History 3921

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD, SD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD, SD BU: IS EN: H


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L23 Re St 393 Medieval Christianity

This course surveys the historical development of Christian doctrine, ecclesiastical organization, and religious practice between the fifth century and the 15th, with an emphasis on the interaction of religion, culture, politics and society. Topics covered include: the Christianization of Europe; monasticism; the liturgy; sacramental theology and practice; the Gregorian reform; religious architecture; the mendicant orders and the attack on heresy; lay devotions; the papal monarchy; schism and conciliarism; and the reform movements of the 15th century.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Arch: HUM Art: HUM BU: IS EN: H


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L23 Re St 3977 The Making of the Modern Catholic Church

This course examines the work of three church councils that put their stamp on the Catholic Church at key moments in its history, making it what it is today. The first section is dedicated to the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), which defined the high medieval church as an all-encompassing papal monarchy with broad powers over the lives of all Europeans, Christian and non-Christian alike. In the second section we turn our attention to the Council of Trent (1545-1563), which responded to the threat posed by the Protestant Reformation by reforming the Catholic church, tightening ecclesiastical discipline, improving clerical education, and defining and defending Catholic doctrine. We conclude with a consideration of the largest church council ever, Vatican II (1962-1965), which reformed the liturgy and redefined the church to meet the challenges of the modern, multicultural, postcolonial world.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L23 Re St 4002 JINES Capstone Seminar

The capstone course for Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Studies majors, Arabic majors, and Hebrew majors. The course content is subject to change.
Same as L75 JINE 4001

Credit 3 units. A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L23 Re St 403 Topics in East Asian Religion and Thought

Topics in East Asian Religions is a course for advanced undergraduate and graduate students on specific themes and methodological issues in East Asian religions.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L23 Re St 4041 Islam and Politics

Blending history and ethnography, this course covers politics in the Islamic world in historical and contemporary times. Topics include history of Islam, uniformity and diversity in belief and practice (global patterns, local realities), revolution and social change, women and veiling, and the international dimensions of resurgent Islam. Geographical focus extends from Morocco to Indonesia; discussion of other Muslim communities is included (Bosnia, Chechnya, sub-Saharan Africa, U.S.).
Same as L48 Anthro 4041

Credit 3 units. A&S: SS, CD A&S IQ: LCD, SSC Arch: SSC Art: SSC BU: IS


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L23 Re St 4060 Convivencia or Reconquista? Muslims, Jews and Christians in Medieval Iberia

Senior Seminar. This seminar will provide an opportunity to explore in some depth various facets of the convivencia ("dwelling together"; coexistence) of Muslims, Jews, and Christians in medieval Iberia. While we will pick up the timeline with the emergence of an Ibero-Islamic society in the eighth century CE, the seminar's historical horizon stretches up to the turn of the 15th to the 16th century, when Spanish Jews and Muslims were equally faced with the choice between exile and conversion to Christianity. Until about the mid-11th centuries Muslims dominated most of the Iberian Peninsula. From roughly the mid-11th through 15th centuries, Christians ruled much and eventually all of Spain and Portugal. Through a process termed, from a Christian perspective, as reconquista ("reconquest"), Catholic kingdoms acquired large Muslim enclaves. As borders moved, Jewish communities found themselves under varying Muslim or Christian dominion, or migrated from one realm to the other. Interactions between the three ethno-religious communities occurred throughout, some characterized by mutual respect and shared creativity and others by rivalry and strife. The course focuses on these religious and cultural contacts, placing them in various historical and geographic contexts. It will raise questions concerning the ambiguities of religious change and concerning the interplay of persecution and toleration. Methodologically, the seminar emphasizes the study of primary sources, including documentary, historiographical, literary and poetical texts. In the course of their study, attention will be paid to peculiarities of genre, and difficulties involved in formulating historical assessments. In this sense, we will also aim at developing critical reading skills in relation to secondary literature. Seniors in Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Studies will be given preference in admission. Advanced students in other fields are asked to contact the instructor prior to enrollment.
Same as L75 JINE 4060

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L23 Re St 408 Nuns

Nuns — women vowed to a shared life of poverty, chastity and obedience in a cloistered community — were central figures in medieval and early modern religion and society. This course explores life in the convent, with the distinctive culture that developed among communities of women, and the complex relations between the world of the cloister and the world outside the cloister. We look at how female celibacy served social and political, as well as religious, interests. We read works by nuns: both willing and unwilling; and works about nuns: nuns behaving well, and nuns behaving scandalously badly; nuns embracing their heavenly spouse, and nuns putting on plays; nuns possessed by the devil, and nuns managing their possessions; nuns as enraptured visionaries, and nuns grappling with the mundane realities of life in a cloistered community.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, SD A&S IQ: HUM, SD BU: BA EN: H


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L23 Re St 4102 Rastafari, Reggae, and Resistance


Same as L90 AFAS 4102

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L23 Re St 4105 Power, Authority and Spirituality in Oceanic Art

Focusing on the material culture of the Pacific, this seminar considers the similarities and differences in political and spiritual power and authority throughout Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia. The seminar examines how material forms embodied the immaterial divine and spiritual power associated with gods and ancestors and considers how objects understood to contain these powers were used in local contexts and with neighboring communities and Westerners. Included in the discussions are objects (both ritual and utilitarian), body modification and decoration/ornamentation, dress, architecture, religion/ritual, warfare and exchange. We consider what the materials used in these categories tell us about local concepts of ancestral or divine power, about indigenous understandings of the local environment and its importance, and also how objects were understood as mediators of the relationships between humans and ancestors or divine beings. Prerequisites: Intro to Western Art (L01 Art-Arch 113) or Intro to Modern Art (L01 Art-Arch 215); one 300-level course in art history preferred; or permission of instructor.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 4105

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L23 Re St 412 Islamic Theology

This course explores major themes of early Islamic theology as developed by the Mutazilite, Ash'arite, and Maturidi schools. Some attention is paid to defunct theological systems, the traces of which have remained in the heresiographical literature. Most readings are in primary sources in English translation, though the students are also introduced to some secondary literature on various themes. Some comparative theology with reference to the Judeo-Christian tradition is a regular feature of class discussion. Topics include (but are not limited to): debates over the createdness of the Qur'an; predestination and foreknowledge; God's attributes; the nature of language; the nature of the human soul; and creation and afterlife.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM EN: H


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L23 Re St 413 Topics in Islam

Saintly mediators between God and man play a central role in Islamic piety. A focus on major aspects of saintly mediation such as the emergence and spread of the cult of saints, its place within Islamic religiosity in comparison with prophecy, and the institutional framework within which such mediation occurs. Related issues such as conversion to Islam and Islamization of originally non-Islamic beliefs and practices addressed. Prerequisite: JINE 210C or permission of instructor.
Same as L75 JINE 445

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM BU: IS EN: H


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L23 Re St 415 Topics in Judaism


Same as L75 JINE 415

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH


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L23 Re St 418 Gender and Sexuality in East Asian Religions

In this course we explore the role of women in the indigenous religious traditions of China, Japan and Korea (Confucianism, Daoism, Shamanism and Shinto), as well as Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. We begin by considering the images of women (whether mythical or historical) in traditional religious scriptures and historical or literary texts. We then focus on what we know of the actual experience and practice of various types of religious women — nuns and abbesses; shamans and mediums; hermits and recluses; and ordinary laywomen — both historically and in more recent times. Class materials include: literary and religious texts; historical and ethnological studies; biographies and memoirs; and occasional videos and films. Prerequisites: This class is conducted as a seminar, with minimal lectures; substantial reading and writing; and lots of class discussion. For this reason, students who are not either upper-level undergraduates or graduate students, or who have little or no background in East Asian religion or culture, need to obtain the instructor's permission before enrolling.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD, SD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L23 Re St 4213 Sufism and Islamic Brotherhoods in Africa

Muslim societies are prevalent in Africa — from the Horn, the North, the East to the West, with smaller conclaves in Central and South Africa. Islam has played an influential role in these diverse societies, particularly through its Sufi form. Even though Sufism originated in the Arabian Peninsula, it has fit well with African beliefs and cultures. This course aims to explore Sufi beliefs, values and practices in Africa. It reconsiders the academic constructions of "African Islam" by exploring education, intellectual life, economics, gender roles, social inequalities and politics. The goal is to show that Africa is a dynamic part of the Muslim world and not a peripheral one, as it is most often portrayed by the international media or historically, through travelers and colonial accounts. African Muslim brotherhoods have served as political mediators between countries and people (i.e., the role of the Tijaniyya in the diplomatic rivalry between Morocco and Algeria, or its role in reconciliation of clanic rivalries in Sudan). In addition, the course pays attention to hierarchy in particular tariqa. Finally, the course examines how African Sufi orders have shaped their teachings to fit transnational demands over the 20th and 21st century. We explore these issues through readings, current media, lectures and special guest speakers.
Same as L90 AFAS 4213

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L23 Re St 4225 European Utopian Settlements in the American Midwest (1814-1864): Diversity and Antislavery

During the first part of the 19th century a number of utopian visionaries from Europe (Germany, France and England) tried to establish communities in the American Midwest. These colonies were based either on religious or philosophical/social ideals which could be traced back to interpretations of the Old and the New Testament or to Enlightenment principles of freedom and equality that had been propagated during the revolutions in Europe of 1789, 1830 and 1848 which in turn had been influenced by the American war of independence. These groups showed strong antislavery convictions. The Midwest was chosen since the areas in the vicinity of the confluence of the Mississippi and the Missouri were seen as open to new social experiments. Part of the seminar are field trips to the St. Louis-based Missouri History Library as well as to the St. Louis Public Library and one-day excursions to New Harmony in Indiana, Nauvoo in Illinois, and to small towns in Warren County, Missouri.
Same as L97 IAS 4225

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L23 Re St 425 Zen Buddhism

This course is designed as an exploration of the history, teachings, practices and literature of Zen Buddhism in China (Chan), Korea (Sôn), Japan (Zen), and the United States. We discuss how Zen's conception of its history is related to its identity as a special tradition within Mahayana Buddhism, as well as its basic teachings on the primacy of enlightenment, the role of practice, the nature of the mind, and the limitations of language. We also look at Zen Buddhism and its relation to the arts, including poetry and painting, especially in East Asia. Finally, we briefly explore the response of Zen teachers and practitioners to questions of war, the environment and other contemporary issues. Open to seniors and graduate students. Prerequisites: L23 Re St 311 Buddhist Traditions or instructor's permission.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L23 Re St 4300 Pilgrims and Seekers: American Spirituality from Transcendentalism to the New Age

The seminar focuses on the formation of "spirituality" in American culture from the transcendentalist world of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman on through more recent expressions of the "spiritual-but-not-religious" sensibility. For the purposes of this course, "spirituality" is usefully placed in quotation marks in order to emphasize its peculiar construction as something positively distinct from "religion" — a re-ordering of American religious thought and experience that we will explore in historical and contemporaneous terms. The social and political consequences of this turn to the spiritual over the religious will also be explored: for example, the consecration of liberal individualism, the environmental vision of nature mysticism, the blessing of a "bourgeois-bohemian" consumerism, and the negotiation of cultural pluralism.
Same as L57 RelPol 430

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L23 Re St 432 Early Christianity and Classical Culture

This course explores the development of Early Christianity from the Apostolic fathers (late first century CE) to Augustine in the fifth century. We will be focused on contextualizing these early Christian communities within the classical Greek and Roman worlds through which they spread, examining their engagement with Greco-Roman models of rhetoric, philosophy and literature. Prerequisites: L23 307F Introduction to the New Testament or previous work in Classical Studies recommended but not required.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L23 Re St 4380 Islam, Transnationalism, and the African Diaspora

This course is designed for students who are interested in religion among African immigrants and African diaspora communities living mostly, but not exclusively, in Europe and North America, especially during waves of migration to the Americas. We begin in the days of the transatlantic slave trade, where we examine how interactions, bricolage, and influences of Christianity, Judaism, African indigenous religions, and Islam have impacted the African diaspora living in the Americas. We equally examine how Islam served as a means of resistance to slavery and provided a spiritual connection with the motherland.
Same as L90 AFAS 438

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L23 Re St 4401 Topics in Rabbinic Texts

The course aims to introduce students to independent reading of selected rabbinic texts in the original language. We will focus on a number of topics representing the range of rabbinic discussion, including legal, narrative, and ethical issues. At the same time, we will study the necessary linguistic tools for understanding rabbinic texts. Prerequisites: HBRW 385 or HBRW 401 or instructor's permission.
Same as L74 HBRW 440

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L23 Re St 444 The Mystical Tradition in Judaism

What is Jewish "mysticism"? What is its relationship to the category of "religion"? Is Jewish mysticism just one form of a general phenomenon common to a variety of religious traditions or is it a specific interpretation of biblical, rabbinic, and other Jewish traditions? Taking the above questions as a starting point, this course aims at a systematic and historically contextualized analysis of a broad range of Jewish texts that are commonly classified as "mystical." (All primary texts are read in translation.) At the same time, we explore such overarching themes as: the interplay of esoteric exegesis of the Bible and visionary experiences; the place of traditional Jewish law (halakhah) within mystical thought and practice; the role of gender, sexuality, and the body in Jewish mystical speculation and prayer; the relationship between mysticism and messianism; Ashkenazic and Sephardic traditions and their mutual impact on Jewish mysticism; the "absence of women" from Jewish mystical movements; esoteric traditions of an elite vs. mysticism as a communal endeavor; and the tension between innovation and (the claim to) tradition in the history of Jewish mysticism.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Arch: HUM Art: HUM BU: ETH, IS


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L23 Re St 4491 American Unbelief from the Enlightenment to the New Atheism

This seminar examines American freethinkers, secularists, humanists, and atheists from Tom Paine and Ernestine Rose through Madalyn Murray O'Hair and Sam Harris. Topics emphasized include: church-state relations; social radicalism and women's rights; secular versus Christian imaginings of the nation; and the recent flourishing of the new atheists and religious "Nones."

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L23 Re St 4711 Topics in Religious Studies: Gender and Religion in China

In this course, we explore the images, roles and experience of women in Chinese religions: Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, and so-called "popular" religion. Topics discussed include: gender concepts, norms and roles in each religious tradition; notions of femininity and attitudes toward the female body; biographies of women in Confucian, Daoist, and Buddhist literature; female goddesses and deities; and the place of the Buddhist and Daoist nun and laywoman in Chinese society. All readings are in English or in English translation. Prerequisite: senior/graduate standing. Students with no previous background in Chinese religion, literature or culture need to obtain instructor's permission before enrolling.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM


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L23 Re St 479 Senior Seminar in Religious Studies

The topic for this seminar differs every year. Previous topics include Saints and Society; Religion and the Secular: Struggles over Modernity; and Pilgrimage and Sacred Space in Antiquity. The seminar is offered every spring semester and is required of all religious studies majors, with the exception of those writing an honors thesis. The class is also open, with the permission of the instructor, to other advanced undergraduates with previous course work in Religious Studies.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, SD A&S IQ: HUM, SD EN: H


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L23 Re St 4790 Advanced Seminar: Empire and Messianism in the Middle East

Senior Seminar: This course looks at imperial politics in its relations to monotheistic messianic movements and ideologies in the Islamic Mediterranean from the late antiquity to the 16th century. Messianic beliefs offered political hope, rallied opposition against the existing rule, defined and ordered lived reality for imperial subjects, presented a political leitmotiv for rulers, and advocated a just sociopolitical order to be realized in the immediate or indefinite future. Thus, this course attempts to see how politics became messianic by its very ability to promise a better future. Despite the chronological scope of the course, we examine only specific ideas, practices and movements as case studies to study in depth various facets of messianic movements and thought in their geographic and historical context. We use primary sources, which are the main methodological focus of the course, and secondary literature. We aim to develop skills in identifying, reading, analyzing and dealing with primary sources in their variety and critically engaging modern scholarship on the political role of Messianism. Students write a term paper and several reports on preassigned readings, and make regular class presentations. Admission preference is given to graduating seniors in JINELC, but the course is open to all advanced students provided that they consult the instructor prior to enrolling. Knowledge of a relevant primary source language is highly desired but not required.
Same as L75 JINE 4970

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L23 Re St 480 Topics in Buddhist Traditions

The topic for this course varies.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM


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L23 Re St 4811 Reading Seminar in Religion and Chinese Literature

A seminar on religion and Chinese literature with varying topics. Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
Same as L04 Chinese 481

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM


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L23 Re St 486 Europe's "Jewish Question": Emancipation, Anti-Semitism and Jewish-Christian Confrontation

The so-called "Jewish Question" was a product of European modernity. It emerged in conjunction with the formation of modern states, Enlightenment projects for political reform, the decline of religious influence in society, and struggles over Jewish emancipation. In this seminar, students examine the unusual career of this obsession from the 16th through the 20th century by focusing selectively on a number of illustrative episodes: Christian Hebraism and the Reformation; the Enlightenment assault on religious power; European debates on Jewish emancipation; the emergence of the "Jewish Question" in the 19th century; anti-Semitism as a modern political phenomenon; the renewed discourse of Jewish "ritual murder" at the turn of the 20th century; Zionism and other forms of Jewish nationalism; and the question of anti-Zionism in the reformulation of the "Jewish Question" during the past half-century.
Same as L22 History 4942

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Art: HUM


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L23 Re St 490 Topics in Islamic Thought

The topic for this course varies.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM


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L23 Re St 495 Religion and the State: Global Mission, Global Empire

This course explores the complex intersections among U.S. political power on a global stage, and religious institutions and identities. Readings and discussions are organized around two very broad questions. First: How has this nation's history been shaped by religious "others" both inside and outside its borders? Second: How have perceptions of those others in turn affected U.S. responses to circumstances of global consequence — including, for example, foreign policy and diplomacy, missionary activity, and economic practices?
Same as L57 RelPol 495

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L23 Re St 498 Independent Work for Senior Honors I

Investigation of a topic, chosen in conjunction with a faculty adviser, on which the student prepares a paper and is examined. Students enroll in L23 Re St 498 in the fall semester and L23 Re St 499 in the spring semester. Prerequisite: admission to the Honors Program.

Credit 3 units.


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L23 Re St 499 Independent Work for Senior Honors II

Investigation of a topic, chosen in conjunction with a faculty adviser, on which the student prepares a paper and is examined. Students enroll in L23 Re St 498 in the fall semester and L23 Re St 499 in the spring semester. Prerequisite: admission to the Honors Program.

Credit 3 units.


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L23 Re St 4993 Advanced Seminar in History: Women and Religion in Medieval Europe

This course explores the religious experience of women in medieval Europe and attempts a gendered analysis of the Christian Middle Ages. In it, we examine the religious experience of women in a variety of settings — from household to convent. In particular, we try to understand how and why women came to assume public roles of unprecedented prominence in European religious culture between the 12th century and the 16th, even though the institutional church barred them from the priesthood and religious precepts remained a principal source of the ideology of female inferiority.
Same as L22 History 4993

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L23 Re St 49CA Advanced Seminar in History: Religion and the Secular: Critical Perspectives from South Asia

A generation ago, scholars and observers around the world felt assured that modernization would bring the quiet retreat of religion from public life. But the theory of secularization now stands debunked by world events, and a host of questions has been reopened. This course provides students with a forum to think through these issues as they prepare research papers on topics of their own choosing.
Same as L22 History 49CA

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L23 Re St 49JK Advance Seminar in History: Blood and Sacred Bodies: Ritual Murder and Host Desecration Accusations

This seminar follows the history of the ritual murder and Host desecration accusations from the origins in 12th- and 13th-century Europe to the 20th century. It pays close attention to the social and political functions of the narratives; their symbolic importance in Christianity’s salviric drama; attacks on such beliefs from both within and outside the community of the faithful; the suppression and decline of the ritual murder accusation; the integration of Jews into European societies in the 19th century; and the reappearance of the blood libel in the aftermath of emancipation.
Same as L22 History 49JK

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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Director

Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp
Distinguished Professor in the Humanities
PhD, Yale University
(John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics)

Core Faculty

Catherine Adcock
Associate Professor
PhD, University of Chicago
(Religious Studies; History)

Wendy Love Anderson
Academic Coordinator
PhD, University of Chicago
(Center for the Humanities)

Pamela Barmash
Associate Professor
PhD, Harvard University
(Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures)

Daniel Bornstein
Stella K. Darrow Professor of Catholic Studies
PhD, University of Chicago
(Religious Studies; History)

Beata Grant
Professor
PhD, Stanford University
(Religious Studies; East Asian Languages and Cultures)

Marie Griffith
John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities
PhD, Harvard University
(John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics)

Martin Jacobs
Professor
PhD, Habilitation, Free University of Berlin
(Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures)

Hillel J. Kieval
Gloria M. Goldstein Professor of Jewish History and Thought
PhD, Harvard University
(History; Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures)

Stephanie Kirk
Associate Professor
PhD, New York University
(Romance Languages and Literatures; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)

David Lawton
Professor
PhD, York University
(English)

Lerone A. Martin
Assistant Professor
PhD, Emory University
(John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics)

Aria Nakissa
Assistant Professor
PhD, Harvard University
(Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures)

Leigh Eric Schmidt
Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor
PhD, Princeton University
(John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics)

Mark Valeri
Reverend Priscilla Wood Neaves Distinguished Professor of Religion and Politics
PhD, Princeton University
(John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics)

Hayrettin Yücesoy
Associate Professor
PhD, University of Chicago
(Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures)

Participating Faculty

John R. Bowen
Dunbar–Van Cleve Professor
PhD, University of Chicago
(Anthropology)

Pascal Boyer
Henry Luce Professor of Collective and Individual Memory
PhD, University of Paris–Nanterre
(Anthropology, Psychology)

Geoff Childs
Professor
PhD, Indiana University
(Anthropology)

Christine Johnson
Associate Professor
PhD, Johns Hopkins University
(History)

Jonathan L. Kvanvig
Professor
PhD, University of Notre Dame
(Philosophy)

Rebecca Lester
Associate Professor
PhD, University of California, San Diego
(Anthropology)

Ian MacMullen
Associate Professor
PhD, Harvard University
(Political Science)

Nancy Reynolds
Associate Professor
PhD, Stanford University
(History)

Abram Van Engen
Assistant Professor
PhD, Northwestern University
(English)

Professors Emeriti

Carl W. Conrad
PhD, Harvard University
(Classics)

James F. Poag
PhD, University of Illinois
(Germanic Languages and Literatures)