128 Asian Traditions through Film What can we learn about Asian religious-philosophical traditions through film? What can we learn about the form and content of this medium by watching others and creating our own film? This course exposes students to Hinduism, Yoga, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Chinese divination and geomancy, and contemporary expressions of Asian religions. Students learn not just from the content and narrative of film, but also its meta-narrative, or narration in form and structure, including editing (shot composition), lighting, musical arrangement, and implicit ideologies (romanticization, Orientalism). Students will watch clips and short films in class, and feature-length films before class (through Ensemble Video). The final group project involves creation of a short film that will be screened to the rest of the class. Students will gain basic concepts of Asian religious-philosophical traditions and learn how to critically evaluate films that we will view. (M6)
136 Seeing and Believing: Women, Religion, and Film (Also Women's Studies 136) Students explore how films appropriate religion in the service of the cultural production of images of women and women's lives; and investigate the ways the creation and viewing of film might share similarities with the construction and practice of religion. (M3)
225 Pilgrimage: Searching for God in a (Post)modern World This course will provide students with the opportunity to study and reflect on the relationship between Christian thought and (post)modern life. We will look at the way supposedly “secular culture” makes reference to “signals of transcendence,” and expresses longing for spiritual meaning, focusing on the changing nature of “pilgrimage” and its relationship to religious authority, theology, spiritual conviction, tourism and movement, and the role of culture. Students will embark upon their own pilgrimage as a part of their class work, in addition to studying diverse sites and pathways of pilgrimage (secular and religious) in the U.S. and world. (M3)
248 Topics in Religion and Literature How the religious dimension of human experience is expressed and interpreted in literature, with focus on a particular author, group of writers, theme, or school of critical interpretation. Identification and evaluation of the way human religious experience is articulated through the literary imagination, whether classical, modern, or contemporary.
251 Modern Jewish Religious Movements Modern Judaism exists in a wide spectrum of beliefs and practices, from ultra-traditionalism to secular humanism. This course will explore both the making of modern Judaism and the religious "map" of Jewish life today. Topics will include Hasidic Judaism, Zionism, and contemporary North American trends in Judaism. (M5)
262 Religion and Capitalism Did the Protestant work ethic contribute to capitalism? How are Chinese Buddhist institutions currently involved in the stock market? This course examines historical and contemporary engagement of religious institutions with various forms of capitalism. We will discuss how karma acts as a medium for the exchange of spiritual and material goods. We investigate arguments that characterize capitalism as a religion. (M4)
265 Sociology of Religion (also SOC 265) Historical, anthropological, sociological, psychological, comparative, and theological methods used in scholarly study of religion. Readings drawn from classical and contemporary interpreters of religion. (M3)