New Religion Courses

New Religion Courses

Spring 2014


RELG 006A. FYS:  Religion & Law

This course explores the influence of religion on legal systems and codes of law. Taking as our starting point the concept of the separation of church and state, we examine what this idea has meant in U.S. Constitutional law and Western European legal codes. We then study legal systems that have traditionally privileged the role of religion, particularly those in North and West Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Students consider what effect, if any, reliance on religion as the foundation of a legal system has on social practice, legal theory and codes of law. We conclude with an examination of current legal debates and cases.
1 credit. Kistler, Sarah
TUES/THURS  11:20 am - 12:35 pm  Trotter Hall 315

RELG 011A. Islamic Politics
This course examines the intersection of religion and politics in Islam. We consider the nature of Islamic political theory, the relationship between the religious and political establishments, the characteristics of an Islamic state, and the range of Sunni and Shi'i thought, from medieval to modern times and from secular modernist to radical Islamist ideologies. We also examine the compatibility of Islam and the nation-state, democracy, and constitutionalism, and recent social movements and social movement theory, among other topics.
Eligible for ISLM credit.
1 credit. Kistler, Sarah
MWF  10:30 - 11:20 am  Trotter Hall 301

RELG 014A. Muhammad
This cross-disciplinary course explores the varied and contested understandings of Muhammad from his lifetime down to the present day. We examine Muhammad as a radical historical figure, as the Seal of the Prophets, as an inspiration for mystical and for heretical religious sects and as a symbol of Islamic extremism. Students explore Muhammad's continued significance in the modern era, paying particular attention to Islamists, religious ethicists, modernists and African and African-American Muslims. We consider textual sources, from the Qur'an to the poetry of Rumi to the missives of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as liturgy, art and music, including illuminated manuscripts, chants, iconography and recent depictions of Muhammad in mass media.
Eligible for ISLM credit.
1 credit. Kistler, Sarah
TUES/THURS  2:40 - 3:55 pm  Science Center L32

RELG 043. Cross-listed as LASC 025. In Quest of God: The Latin American Religious Arena
*This course counts for distribution in Humanities under the Religion rubric*
This course explores distinct historical, socio-cultural contexts, political and economic processes in which historical varieties of Catholicism have emerged in Latin America. Understanding religion as generative, this course will examine the foundations, theological themes, and processes of pre-Hispanic indigenous practices, Spanish Colonial Catholicism, the public role of the Catholic Church in struggles for justice and human rights in the 1960-1990 period expressed by Liberation Theology, the recent growth of Protestantism with a focus on Pentecostalism, the "end of revolutionary utopias," the contemporary praxis of Catholicism, the public emergence of native spiritualities, and diaspora religions of the Caribbean, Brazil and Latinos in the U.S.
1 credit. Machuca-Gálvez, Milton
MON  1:15 - 4:00 pm  Trotter Hall 203