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Courses

SPRING 2015 OFFERINGS

REL 20300: Theology of Paul
CRN: 14634
Professor Thomas Ryba
MWF 9:30-10:20; BRNG B260
A critical examination of the Pauline and Deutero-Pauline epistles, the book of Acts, and other first century texts associated with Paul of Tarsus. Students will be introduced to problems and methods in the interpretation of ancient texts.

REL 23000: Religions of the East
CRN: 10598
Meets w/PHIL 23000-10596
Professor Ashley Purpura
MWF 3:30-4:20; SMTH 108
This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of Indian, Southeast Asian, Chinese, and Japanese religious traditions, including: Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, and Zoroastrianism. The philosophical and religious contexts of each tradition will be considered by examining its history, primary texts, key teachings, rituals, present practice and diverse cultural expressions.
*Counts towards Area A

REL 23100: Religions of the West
CRN: 10592
Meets w/PHIL 23100-10243
Professor Thomas Ryba
MWF 11:30-12:20; LWSN B155
This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction  to the three Abrahamic monotheistic religions of the West: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We will examine the diversity of practices and belief systems within these religions and address debates within and between communities as well as contemporary concerns.  The philosophical and religious contexts of each tradition will be considered by examining its history, primary texts, key teachings, and cultural expressions.
*Counts towards Area A

REL 31800: The Bible & Its Early Interpreters
CRN: 40885
Professor Stuart Robertson
TTh 3:00-4:15; REC 226
This course will start with observation of the development of early themes in later parts of the Hebrew Bible and proceed to the on-going influence of these themes in Jewish literature outside the Hebrew canon (apocrypha, pseudepigrapha, tagums, midrash, Josephus, Philo, and other Hellenistic Jewish authors), as well as pagan literature of this era and in early Christian literature, particularly the New Testament.

ARAB 23900: Arab Women Writers: Gender, Religion & Culture
CRN: 15536
Meets w/ENGL 23200-15539, LC 23900-15423, WGSS 28100-15537 & IDIS 49000-15538
Professor Lynne Dahmen
TTh 9:00-10:15; SC 108
Explore how religion inflects women's writings. Travel North Africa via women's tales. Hear the story of growing up Muslim in Indiana. Topics to be explored include: religion, sexuality, marriage, education and immigration. Primary evaluation through short reflection papers and term paper.
*Satisfies CLA Core requirement in Gender Issues and requirements in Religious Studies, Arabic Studies and Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies

CLCS 38600: Ancient Greek Religion
CRN: 12697
Professor Keith Dickson
MWF 9:30-10:20; SC G040
A study of the religious beliefs and practices of the ancient Greeks. We will learn how they understood, represented, and related to the gods. We will see how they legitimized their view of the world by linking it to a transcendent reality. We will ask whether their use of the sacred continues to influence modern Western religious behavior.

ENGL 24000: British Literature Survey (to 1700 A.D.)
CRN: 18881
Meets w/CMPL 23000-15333 & IDIS 49100-15334
Professor Angelica Duran
TTh 9:00-10:15; HEAV 206
The course takes a 3-part journey of from1) influential works of the Anglo-Saxon through the Medieval periods that help us understand how the united intellectual enterprise that Francis Bacon called “the advancement of learning” split into the arts and sciences, 2) onto some of the most revolutionary works from the Age of Milton, a.k.a. the English Scientific Revolution, a.k.a the Age of Discovery, 3) then texts from the Enlightenment, which tease out its outgrowths and help us understand what that split means for us today.

ENGL 26400: The Bible as Literature
CRN: 15048
Professor Dorothy Deering
MWF 10:30-11:20; HEAV 102
A study of selections from the Old and New Testaments as examples of Hebrew and early Christian literature.
*Counts towards Area B-Category I

HIST 22800 (HONORS): The Real Game of Thrones: History of England, 55 B.C. to 1600
CRN: 13567
Professor Melinda Zook
MWF 10:30-11:20; UNIV 201
George R.R. Martin’s enormously popular epic fantasy, A Song of Ice and Fire, recently transformed into the HBO series, Game of Thrones, was inspired by Martin’s own fascination with English history, particularly the fifteenth-century dynastic wars, known as the Wars of the Roses.  This course explores the history behind the fantasy.  We begin with the first written histories of the British Isles following the Roman invasions and end with the Civil Wars in the mid-seventeenth century.  In between, we explore the Anglo-Saxon invasions at the outset of the Middle Ages and the rise of the Arthurian legend; the Norman conquest and medieval kingship; the Hundred Years War between England and France; the insurrections and regicides that were part of the Wars of the Roses; the Tudor monarchy and the Reformation; and the Civil Wars between Roundheads and Cavaliers at the outset of the modern era.  Learn why medieval and Renaissance England has continued to inspire poets and playwrights, film-makers and novelists: from Shakespeare to J.K. Rowling, from Tolkien to George R. R. Martin.

HIST 30200: Religion, American History & Culture
CRN: 65936
Professor Franklin Lambert
TTh 10:30-11:45; UNIV 219

HIST 31800: History of the Christian Church II
CRN: 13578
Professor Deborah Fleetham
MWF 1:30-2:20; UNIV 219
Continuation of HIST 31700. The Reformation, the major developments in Christianity, and the churches in the modern world.

HIST 47900: American Representations of the Middle East & North Africa
CRN: 13632
Meets w/AMST 30100-16285
Professor Stacy Holden
TTh 4:30-5:45; UNIV 101
Ever since 18th century Barbary Corsairs preyed on hapless ships in the Mediterranean Sea, Americans have employed the Islamic world as an exotic setting in a variety of different types of publications. For 300 years, sermons, plays, romance novels, speeches, media reports and memoirs have repeated one particular theme: the captivity of Americans by Muslims. The resulting narratives, whether in factual or fictional accounts, rarely provide accurate portraits of the Islamic world, but authors' comparisons between life abroad and life at home unintentionally reveal much about American values and attitudes. In this class, students examine how stories of captivity act as prisms for viewing much more than the people and politics of the Middle East and North Africa. More importantly, students address how these Islamic captivity narratives have shaped--and continue to shape--debates among citizens of the United States over evolving conceptions of national identity and global power. In the present day--an era fraught with new tensions between the United States and the Islamic world--this class surveys popular literature and film in order to understand how captivity narratives reflect and refract the socio-political impulses of Americans.

HIST 50500: Haunted Pasts: Ghosts, Ghouls, & Mosters in Global Cultures
CRN: 15034
Meets w/IDIS 49100-003-15034
Professor Tithi Bhattacharya
TTh 10:30-11:45; UNIV 101
This course will be a survey of ghost-lore across cultures.  It will study ghost stories and theologies about the afterlife along with funerals in order to understand the changing nature of fear in society.

HIST 59500: The Holocaust & Genocide
CRN: 13643
Professor Rebekah Klein-Pejsova
MWF 10:30-11:20; UNIV 301
The implications of the attempted destruction of European Jewry by the Nazis during the Second World War - what we term the Holocaust - along with millions of Roma (Gypsies), Poles, Russians, homosexuals, the handicapped, and others are terrifyingly far-reaching. Genocide and ethnic cleansing are central to our understanding of the twentieth century, and beyond. This course moves from memory of the Holocaust and its exploration through fiction, intense examination of the complexity of its causes and nature, the white-hot issues of contestation surrounding it, problems and practices of commemoration (including our local Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Conference www.glhrc.org), to an investigation of comparative genocide, looking especially at the cases of Armenia, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Darfur. We will make use of primary sources and secondary literature, fiction, memoirs, film and other media in the course of our examination.

IDIS 49100: Religion & Violence
CRN: 14648
Professor Ashley Purpura
TTh 3:00-4:15; REC 225
In this course we will explore the relations between religion and violence across time, cultures, and traditions. We will consider religiously motivated violence towards oneself (such as fasting and voluntary martyrdom) and others (such as war and terror), as well as the appropriation of and responses to violence within sacred texts and practices. Through engaging interdisciplinary theories of religious violence we will develop our understanding and assessment of recent violence enacted in the name of religion. Students will have the opportunity to research areas of their own interests throughout the semester, and all students are welcome without prerequisite!

LC 33100: Kabbalah & Jewish Mysticism: Secret Knowledge in Judaism
CRN: 14962
Professor Alon Kantor
TTh 3:00-4:15; SC G014
This course critically explores the rich and varied traditions of Jewish mysticism, generally known as Kabbalah.  What is the nature of this multifaceted esoteric movement? What are its aims and goals? The course will consider the major historical trends, basic themes, and key concepts of the Kabbalistic world view.

PHIL 20600: Philosophy of Religion
CRN: 14991
Professor Michael Bergmann
TTh 9:00-10:15; BRNG 1268
The course encourages critical reflection on traditional and contemporary views about God and other religious ideas. Topics include arguments for God's existence, the problem of evil, understanding the divine attributes, miracles, religious pluralism, and life after death.

SOC 36700: Religion in America
CRN: 63286
Professor Daniel Winchester
TTh 10:30-11:45; KNOY B033
Examines the social dimensions of religion in American life; religion in American culture; social profiles of America's religious groups, trends in individual commitment; and religion's impact on American life.

FALL 2014 OFFERINGS

REL 20000: Introduction to Study of Religion
CRN: 45031
Professor Ashley Purpura
MWF 4:30-5:20; BRNG 2290
This course offers an introduction to the interdisciplinary, multicultural, and academic study of religion where students are invited to reflect on religion as a cultural phenomenon and to survey the major facets of nine different religious traditions. This course features multiple field trips, expert guest speakers, religiously-themed films and foods, organized debates, and field research opportunities to develop students as informed global citizens who can recognize, respect, and speak with confidence about religion.  All students are welcome!
*Counts towards Area A

REL 20000: Introduction to Study of Religion (LEARNING COMMUNITY)
CRN: 63049
Professor Ashley Purpura
MWF 4:30-5:20; BRNG 2290
This course offers an introduction to the interdisciplinary, multicultural, and academic study of religion where students are invited to reflect on religion as a cultural phenomenon and to survey the major facets of nine different religious traditions. This course features multiple field trips, expert guest speakers, religiously-themed films and foods, organized debates, and field research opportunities to develop students as informed global citizens who can recognize, respect, and speak with confidence about religion.  All students are welcome!
*Counts towards Area A

REL 20100: Interpretation of the New Testament
CRN: 67530
Professor Thomas Ryba
MWF 10:30-11:20; REC 112
This course provides a critical overview of the religious content of the New Testament.  Our working assumption is that theological interpretations of these Scriptures can only be made after they are fully understood within the historical, social, and intellectual contexts from which they emerged.  In our studies, we shall look at how the religious thought of early Christians was influenced by the mythologies, cultures, philosophies and theologies of other Mediterranean peoples in late antiquity. 

REL 23000: Religions of the East
CRN: 41412
Meets w/PHIL 33000-25269
Professor Ashley Purpura
MWF 2:30-3:20; SC 239
This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of Indian, Southeast Asian, Chinese, and Japanese religious traditions, including: Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, and Zoroastrianism. The philosophical and religious contexts of each tradition will be considered by examining its history, primary texts, key teachings, rituals, present practice and diverse cultural expressions.
*Counts towards Area A

REL 23100: Religions of the West
CRN: 41413
Meets w/PHIL 33100-25272
Professor Thomas Ryba
MWF 1:30-2:20; WTHR 160
This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction  to the three Abrahamic monotheistic religions of the West: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We will examine the diversity of practices and belief systems within these religions and address debates within and between communities as well as contemporary concerns.  The philosophical and religious contexts of each tradition will be considered by examining its history, primary texts, key teachings, and cultural expressions.
*Counts towards Area A

REL 31700: Ancient Judaism & Early Christianity
CRN: 28173
Professor Stuart Robertson
TTh 3:00-4:15; ME 1012
This course is a study of the emergence of Judaism and the rise of Christianity. This will include examining the effects of Greek culture, evidence of both anti-Semitism and admiration of the Jews, conversion in a setting of religious pluralism, and the development of Jewish and Christian self-definition within this climate.
*Counts towards Area B-Category I

ANTH 37300: Anthropology of Religion
CRN: 67536
Staff
TTh 4:30-5:45; REC 121
Anthropological theories of the origin, development, and functions of religion, ritual, and myth.  Data drawn from western and non-western societies, with special emphasis on the relationship of religion to social structure, cultural patterns, and social change.

ENGL 46200: The Old Testament as Literature
CRN: 57589
Professor Sandor Goodhart
TTh 4:30-5:45; KRAN G009
A study of Hebrew Scripture.  In this course we will read selections from Hebrew Scripture - the Pentateuch (the five Books of Moses), the books of the Prophets, and the Holy Writings - with the goal of understanding these texts within the Rabbinical tradition of Biblical interpretation. All texts will be examined in English and no knowledge of the Hebrew language will be expected.

ENGL 46300: The New Testament as Literature
CRN: 68449
Professor Angelica Duran
MWF 10:30-11:20; HEAV 102
This course takes a multi-disciplinary approach to the New Testament Bible.  Close readings will be contextualized by the textbook.  Our semester will revolve around understanding the Bible; Special Collections research; and film viewing, all of which will be supplemented by events on campus, the Greater Lafayette area, and maybe even Chicago.   
*Counts towards Area B-1 "Religious Traditions & Diversity"

ENGL 54400: Milton
CRN: 68450
Professor Angelica Duran
MWF 12:30-1:20; HEAV 128
In this class, we will read the works of the epitomal “dead white male author” and explore his global reception worldwide, to see why great authors like Virginia Woolf kept returning to him; the Spanish Inquisition put him on its prohibited lists; and why U.S. founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and John Adams sought guidance and solace from Milton's works as they struggled to define a new nation. Close readings will be supplemented by Special Collections training and a Chicago field trip.

HEBR 12100: Biblical Hebrew I
CRN: 43123
Professor Stuart Robertson
TTh 9:00-10:15; SC G040
The first semester of biblical Hebrew will present the basic elements of the language, including alphabet, vocabulary, and grammar. No previous knowledge of Hebrew required.
*Counts towards Area B-Category I

HEBR 22100: Biblical Hebrew II
CRN: 21285
Staff
TTh 10:30-11:45; REC 117
The third semester of biblical Hebrew focuses on reading and translation of extended passages form the Pentateuch and the use of textual criticism.
*Counts towards Area B-Category I

HIST 31700: History of the Christian Church I
CRN: 66760
Professor Deborah Fleetham
MWF 1:30-2:20; LWSN B155
This course traces the Christian Church's evolution from its foundations to the fourteenth century and will concentrate on five interlocking themes: 1) the Christianization of the Roman Empire and of the Germanic peoples; 2) the hierarchical structure and governance of the Church; 3) the relations between the Church and various monarchies; 4) the rise, triumph, and decline of papal authority; and 5) the principal movements aiming at the reform of the Church.

HIST 39001: Jews in the Modern World
CRN: 66765
Professor Rebekah Klein-Pejsova
MWF 10:30-11:20; UNIV 301
This survey of Jewish history examines Jewish responses to modernity with special attention to the Jewish relationship with the state and with the surrounding non-Jewish society, Jewish cultures, and the diversity of the modern Jewish experience. Special attention will be given to strategies of survival, modernization, and dissent in the Jewish and non-Jewish world using a variety of primary and secondary sources, including memoirs, film and music.

HONR 19900: The Evolution of the Bible & its Revolutionary Effects
CRN: 63066
Professor Stuart Robertson
MWF 1:30-2:20; REC 117
This course is designed for Honors College students. The Bible is the most read book, or maybe the most talked-about book of any that has ever been written.  Many people had a hand in writing it, and far more than that have tried to say what it means.  Its ideas have helped to shape our ideas about not only God, but about business, architecture, ethics, race, the relationship of men and women in society, etc.  Sometimes the Bible is mis-used to form opinions, but even a misuse is a use.  You may not even realize how the Bible has touched your life, even if you think you're not religious.

PHIL 20600: Philosophy of Religion
CRN: 25250
Professor Michael Bergmann
TTh 1:30-2:20 (M 8:30; M 9:30; M 11:30); BRNG 2290
The course encourages critical reflection on traditional and contemporary views about God and other religious ideas. Topics include arguments for God's existence, the problem of evil, understanding the divine attributes, miracles, religious pluralism, and life after death.

PHIL 43100: Contemporary Religious Thought
CRN: 68318
Professor Jacqueline Marina
MWF 1:30-2:20; BRNG 1230
This class will explore 19th, 20th, and 21st century developments in philosophy of religion.  We will be reading a selection of texts from Schleiermacher, Kierkegaard, Tillich and James, as well as analyze some alternative contemporary accounts of the fundamental nature of reality and the goal of human life.

PHIL 50500: Islamic & Jewish Philosophy & the Classical Tradition (& Its Critique by Spinoza)
CRN: 63207
Professor Daniel Frank
TTh 1:30-2:45; BRNG 1248
This course examines medieval and early modern philosophical traditions.  We begin by reading Plato’s Republic, a key foundational text for thinkers working in Arabic-speaking lands.  Our focus will turn to a group of philosophers who lived between the 10th-12th centuries, a high point in medieval Islamic and Jewish philosophy, before Greek philosophy was rediscovered in Christian Europe.  Next, we examine Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, a ground-breaking, founding document in modern political thought and biblical criticism, but also as a work engaged in the philosophical monotheisms of the medieval past. 

SOC 36700: Religion in America
CRN: 61934
Staff
TTh 10:30-11:45; ARMS B071
Examines the social dimensions of religion in American life; religion in American culture; social profiles of America's religious groups, trends in individual commitment; and religion's impact on American life.
*Counts towards Area C-Category II