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Office: Building 70
Mail Code: 94305-2165
Phone: (650) 723-3322
Web Site: http://religiousstudies.stanford.edu/

Courses offered by the Department of Religious Studies are listed under the subject code RELIGST on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

Mission of the Department

The Department of Religious Studies brings a variety of disciplinary perspectives to bear on the phenomenon of religion for the purpose of understanding and interpreting the history, literature, thought, social structures, and practices of the religious traditions of the world. Comprised of a dozen regular faculty with particular strengths in the study of American Religions, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, it enrolls about twenty graduate students (mostly doctoral) and roughly as many undergraduate majors, minors, and joint majors.

Religious Studies works closely with several related programs at Stanford: the Department of Philosophy, with which it offers a combined undergraduate major; the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies; the Taube Center for Jewish Studies; the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies; the McCoy Center for Ethics in Society; the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies; and the Center for South Asia.

While some undergraduates continue their study of religion in a graduate or professional program, most pursue meaningful and successful careers in business, government, the nonprofit sector, and medicine. In this respect, Religious Studies is an ideal interdisciplinary major in the liberal arts. Graduates of the department's doctoral program generally pursue academic careers and are routinely placed in the best universities and colleges in the country and overseas.

Undergraduate Programs in Religious Studies

The department offers a Bachelor of Arts major, minor, and honors program in Religious Studies, and a combined major with the Philosophy Department in Philosophy and Religious Studies. Undergraduate courses in Religious Studies are designed to engage students existentially and to assist them in thinking about intellectual, ethical, and sociopolitical issues in the world's religions. The department's faculty seek to provide tools for understanding the complex encounters among religious ideas, practices, and communities, and the past and present cultures that have shaped and been shaped by religion. Courses therefore expose students to: leading concepts in the field of religious studies such as god(s), sacrifice, ritual, scripture, prophecy, and priesthood; approaches developed over the past century, including the anthropological, historical, psychological, philosophical, and phenomenological, that open religion to closer inspection and analysis; and major questions, themes, developments, features, and figures in the world's religious traditions. The department encourages and supports the acquisition of languages needed for engagement with sacred texts and interpretive traditions as well as study abroad at Stanford's overseas centers where religions can be observed and experienced in their contemporary contexts.

Major in Philosophy and Religious Studies

The departments of Philosophy and Religious Studies jointly nominate for the B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies those students who have completed a major in the two disciplines. See a description of this combined major under the "Bachelor's" tab of the "Religious Studies" section of this bulletin, in the "Philosophy" section of this bulletin, or in the guidelines available from the Director of Undergraduate Studies of either department.

Learning Outcomes (Undergraduate)

The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to:

  1. demonstrate familiarity with a variety of methods used analytically in the field of Religious Studies.
  2. demonstrate proficiency in writing papers in the style of academic writing in the field of Religious Studies.
  3. demonstrate the ability to engage peer scholars' research in constructive and critical ways, and communicate feedback effectively.
  4. demonstrate individual expertise through oral presentation of one's advanced research to peers.
  5. complete an advanced research project consistent with standards for papers in the field of Religious Studies.

Graduate Programs in Religious Studies

The graduate mission of the department is to provide students with an interdisciplinary setting of study within which to focus on their respective areas of specialization. The department offers an internal M.A. and a Ph.D. degree in Religious Studies. The master's program is restricted to current Stanford students.

Learning Outcomes (Graduate)

Master’s Program: The purpose of the Master’s program is to develop knowledge and skills in Religious Studies. For some students this will serve as preparation for applications to Ph.D. programs. For others it will serve as a further capstone experience for their undergraduate program of study. The goals are achieved through the completion of courses, in the primary field as well as related areas, and experience with independent work and specialization. For some it will involve an optional Master’s thesis. 

Doctoral Program: The Ph.D. is conferred upon candidates who have demonstrated substantial scholarship and the ability to conduct independent research and analysis in Religious Studies. Through completion of advanced coursework and rigorous skills training, the doctoral program prepares students to make original contributions to the field of Religious Studies and to interpret and present the results of such research through teaching and publication. 

Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies

Suggested Preparation for the Major

Students contemplating the major, the minor, or the Philosophy and Religious Studies major are invited to consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The Undergraduate Student Services Associate in Building 70 can also field questions regarding the declaration procedure within the department.

Degree Requirements

The curriculum for majors is designed to lead students through a course of study which begins with laying foundations, then moves on to building expertise, and finally culminates in a capstone experience. The foundational courses aim to introduce students to the academic study of religion through the exploration of a particular religious tradition, issue, or methodology. Students build expertise in more advanced courses offering in-depth investigation of specific topics, such as mysticism, gender, or violence/nonviolence; of particular texts, historical periods, or figures of a given religious tradition; or of distinct approaches to the study of religion, such as the philosophy of religion, ritual studies, or ethnography. Students consolidate the knowledge and skills acquired in the major through an integrative capstone experience consisting of either a senior essay or an honors thesis, completed in conjunction with three supporting capstone courses.

Students who have declared the major prior to Autumn 2019-20 may choose to follow the Degree Requirements listed in either the current Bulletin or the 2018-19 Bulletin.

Required Courses

A Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies requires 60 units of course work, distributed as follows:

  1. Three courses (3-5 units each) from courses numbered RELIGST 1-99, only one of which may be an Introductory Seminar.
  2. Six courses (4-5 units each) from courses numbered RELIGST 100-289, of which at least two must be at the 200-level.
  3. Three integrative capstone courses as follows:
    Units
    RELIGST 290Majors' Seminar: Theories of Religion (Winter Quarter; junior year; fulfills WIM requirement)5
    RELIGST 297Senior Essay/Honors Thesis Research5-10
    Senior Essay: 5 units, Winter Quarter, graded 'N' until submission
    Honors Thesis: 5-10 units, spread over Autumn and Winter Quarters, graded 'N' until submission
    RELIGST 298Senior Colloquium (Spring Quarter only; grading option S/NC)4
  4. The remainder of the coursework needed to bring the total Religious Studies unit count to 60 to be chosen according to interest, in consultation with the student's advisor, and with an eye to the senior capstone requirement.
Additional Regulations
  1. With the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, up to two language courses relating to the student's program of study (such as Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Chinese, Persian, or Japanese), but not counted towards the University language requirement, may be counted toward the major.
  2. No more than ten units of the total 60 (excluding RELIGST 298) may be taken for the grade of 'S/NC' or 'CR/NC.'
  3. Students must ensure that their total complement of Religious Studies courses is not focused on a single religious tradition.
  4. Variations to the required distribution may be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies on an individual basis.
  5. All units must be in RELIGST courses unless an exception is made by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Senior Essay

A 25-30 page essay on a topic chosen by the student and approved by the advisor upon receipt of a student's proposal by the end of the third quarter prior to expected graduation. The character and content of the essay, which is meant to allow the student to call into play knowledge and skills learned in the course of the major, may take several forms. For example, a student may return to a subject studied earlier but now pursued in more depth or from a new perspective, research a recent or new topic of interest in the field, or offer a carefully framed critical assessment of what has been learned in the major based on review of influential sources, theories, and methods of studying religion. The senior essay is read and graded by the student's advisor and one other member of the Religious Studies faculty.

Honors Thesis

A 40-80 page research paper on a topic chosen by the student and approved by the advisor upon receipt of a proposal in the fourth quarter prior to expected graduation. The paper, supported by mastery of primary and secondary scholarship, advances a well-reasoned, supportable thesis. Writers of honors theses must have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 in Religious Studies courses, and at least 3.2 overall, and are expected to have already demonstrated success in writing research papers. The honors thesis is read and graded by the student's advisor and one other member of the Religious Studies faculty. Theses earning a grade of 'B+' or above receive honors.

Philosophy and Religious Studies Combined Major

The undergraduate major in Philosophy and Religious Studies consists of 60 units of course work with approximately one third each in the philosophy core; the religious studies core; and additional coursework and a capstone requirement that completes the course of study.

No courses in either the philosophy or religious studies core may be taken satisfactory/no credit or credit/no credit.

In general, transfer units cannot be used to satisfy the core requirements. Transfer units and substitutions must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the relevant department.

Students who have declared the combined major prior to Autumn 2019-20 may choose to follow the Degree Requirements listed in either the current Bulletin or the 2018-19 Bulletin.

Core Requirements

  1. Philosophy (PHIL) courses:
    1. Required course: PHIL 80 Mind, Matter, and Meaning (5 units).
    2. 16 units, including at least one Philosophy course from each of the following areas:
      1. Logic and philosophy of science: Students take either one from this list or an intermediate philosophy of science course numbered PHIL 160-169.
        Units
        PHIL 49Survey of Formal Methods4
        PHIL 60Introduction to Philosophy of Science5
        PHIL 61Philosophy and the Scientific Revolution5
        PHIL 150Mathematical Logic4
        PHIL 151Metalogic4
        PHIL 154Modal Logic4
      2. Ethics and value theory: This requirement may be satisfied by PHIL 2 or any intermediate course devoted to central topics in moral and political philosophy numbered between PHIL 170-172 or 174-176.  
      3. Epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of language. This requirement may be satisfied by any intermediate course numbered between PHIL 180-189.
      4. History of philosophy: Select one of
        Units
        PHIL 100Greek Philosophy4
        PHIL 101Introduction to Medieval Philosophy4
        PHIL 102Modern Philosophy, Descartes to Kant4
        PHIL 10319th-Century Philosophy4
    3. All philosophy courses taken for a grade in fulfillment of requirements under 1.a. and 1.b. must be taken for a minimum of 3 units and completed with a grade of 'C-' or higher.
  2. Religious Studies (RELIGST) courses:
    1. One foundational course numbered RELIGST 1-99 (3-4 units).
    2. Two courses numbered RELIGST 100-289 in religious thought, broadly construed, chosen in consultation with, and approved by, the Religious Studies Director of Undergraduate Studies (8-10 units).
    3. Required Course: RELIGST 290 Majors' Seminar: Theories of Religion (5 units;  Winter Quarter; junior year; fulfills WIM requirement).
  3. The remaining coursework (approximately 20 units) is to be chosen according to interest, in consultation with the student's advisor, and with an eye to the senior capstone requirement.
    1. No more than 5 of these additional units in either department may come from courses numbered below PHIL/RELIGST 100.
    2. No more than 10 units taken credit/no credit may count toward the major.
    3. Students should ensure that their total complement of RELIGST courses (i.e. core and elective taken together) is not focused on a single religious tradition.

Capstone Requirement

The capstone experience aims to foster the integration of capacities, knowledge, and skills acquired in the student's core and elective coursework. Combined majors fulfill this requirement by completing the capstone requirement for either the B.A. in Philosophy or the B.A. in Religious Studies. Students should discuss this choice with their advisor during their junior year and consult the capstone requirements for Philosophy and Religious Studies majors, respectively, in the Bulletin.

Units
RELIGST 297Senior Essay/Honors Thesis Research5-10
Senior Essay: 5 units, Winter Quarter, graded 'N' until submission
Honors Thesis: 5-10 units, spread over Autumn and Winter Quarters, graded 'N' until submission
RELIGST 298Senior Colloquium (Spring Quarter only; grading option S/NC)4
  1. The capstone requirement in Philosophy is fulfilled by the successful completion of one of the PHIL 194 Capstone Seminars. The role of the PHIL Capstone Seminar is to provide students with an opportunity to synthesize their undergraduate educational careers and to demonstrate their capacity for independent and creative philosophical work.
    1. PHIL 194_ (4 units) 
  2. The capstone requirement in Religious Studies is fulfilled by the writing of either a senior essay or an honors thesis, which provides students with the opportunity to pursue independent research on a topic of interest under the direction of a Religious Studies faculty member. Two required courses support the successful completion of this senior project:

Honors Program

Students pursuing a major in Philosophy and Religious Studies may also apply for honors by following the procedure for honors in either of the departments.

Minor in Religious Studies

A Religious Studies minor is a complement to many majors throughout the University. Students contemplating the minor are invited to consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The Undergraduate Student Services Associate in Building 70 can also field questions regarding the declaration procedure within the department.

Degree Requirements

A minor in Religious Studies requires a minimum of 28 units. Students are encouraged to focus their program of study either on a religious tradition or on a theme that cuts across traditions. In consultation with their minor advisor, students may design the minor in Religious Studies to complement their major. The minor must be declared no later than the last day of the quarter, two quarters before degree conferral.

Students who have declared the minor prior to Autumn 2019-20 may choose to follow the Degree Requirements listed in either the current Bulletin or in the 2018-19 Bulletin.

Required Courses for the Minor

  1. Two courses (3-5 units each) from courses numbered RELIGST 1-99, only one of which may be an Introductory Seminar.
  2. Three courses (4-5 units each) from courses numbered RELIGST 100-289, of which at least one must be at the 200-level.
  3. The remainder of the coursework needed to bring the total Religious Studies unit count to 28 is to be chosen according to interest, in consultation with the student's minor advisor.
Additional Regulations
  1. With the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, one language course relating to the student's program of study (such as Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Chinese, Persian, or Japanese), but not counted towards the University language requirement, may be counted towards the minor.
  2. No courses may be taken for the grade of 'S/NC' or 'CR/NC.'
  3. One course in directed reading (RELIGST 199 Individual Work) may be counted towards the minor.
  4. Students must ensure that their total complement of Religious Studies courses is not focused on a single religious tradition.
  5. Variations to the required distribution may be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies on an individual basis.
  6. All units must be in Religious Studies courses unless an exception is made by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Master of Arts in Religious Studies

University requirements for the M.A. are described in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.

The department offers an M.A. program that serves two groups of Stanford students:

  1. undergraduates looking to pursue a coterminal master's degree in Religious Studies
  2. Ph.D. candidates in Religious Studies who wish to also obtain a master's degree while completing their doctoral requirements.

Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to the University's basic requirements.

The student completes at least 45 units of graduate work at Stanford beyond the B.A. degree, including RELIGST 290 Majors' Seminar: Theories of Religion. Students who have taken this course as part of the B.A. need not take it again.

Residence may be completed by three quarters of full-time work or the equivalent.

The student's plan of courses is subject to approval by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). No field of specialization is expected, but students may focus work in particular areas. Advanced and graduate courses in other departments may be taken in consultation with the advisor. No thesis is required; a thesis, if elected, may count for as many as 9 units.

Each student demonstrates reading knowledge of at least one foreign language.

The department allows coterms to count courses as early as their first quarter of sophomore year toward their master's degree. Course transfers require department approval and cannot be processed after the bachelor's degree has been conferred. All University coterm policies apply. 

Application and Admissions

At this time, eligibility for admission to the master's program is restricted to current Stanford undergraduates and graduate students.

Current Stanford Undergraduates

Religious Studies accepts coterm applications in Winter Quarter (due end of the second week of classes) for admission starting Spring Quarter. Only complete applications submitted by the deadline are reviewed. A complete application includes the following:

  • A completed online coterminal program application . See the Registrar's site for additional information.
  • Two confidential letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a Stanford faculty member familiar with the applicant's academic work
  • Statement of purpose, not to exceed two pages 
  • Undergraduate transcript(s)
  • Preliminary program proposal 

Current Stanford Graduate Students

University Coterminal Requirements

Coterminal master’s degree candidates are expected to complete all master’s degree requirements as described in this bulletin. University requirements for the coterminal master’s degree are described in the “Coterminal Master’s Program” section. University requirements for the master’s degree are described in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.

After accepting admission to this coterminal master’s degree program, students may request transfer of courses from the undergraduate to the graduate career to satisfy requirements for the master’s degree. Transfer of courses to the graduate career requires review and approval of both the undergraduate and graduate programs on a case by case basis.

In this master’s program, courses taken during or after the first quarter of the sophomore year are eligible for consideration for transfer to the graduate career; the timing of the first graduate quarter is not a factor. No courses taken prior to the first quarter of the sophomore year may be used to meet master’s degree requirements.

Course transfers are not possible after the bachelor’s degree has been conferred.

The University requires that the graduate adviser be assigned in the student’s first graduate quarter even though the undergraduate career may still be open. The University also requires that the Master’s Degree Program Proposal be completed by the student and approved by the department by the end of the student’s first graduate quarter.

Financial Aid

The Religious Studies department does not provide financial assistance to coterminal or master's students. For information on student loans and other sources of support, consult the Financial Aid Office.

Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies

University requirements for the Ph.D. are described in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin. The Ph.D. in Religious Studies signifies special knowledge of an interdisciplinary field of study and potential mastery of an area of specialization within it. The faculty of the department have established certain fields of study in which the department's strengths and those of other Stanford departments cohere. They are: Religion in East Asia; Religion in Europe and North America; Religion in Late Antiquity; and Religion in South Asia. Each of these areas of specialization follows a shared structure of study.

Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to the University's basic requirements.

  1. Residence

    Each student completes three years (nine quarters) of full-time study, or the equivalent, in graduate work beyond the B.A. degree, and a minimum of 135 units of graduate course work (excluding the dissertation).
  2. Required Courses

    The 135 units of graduate course work must include the following:
    1. Units
      RELIGST 304ATheories and Methods4
      RELIGST 304BTheories and Methods4
      RELIGST 391Teaching Religious Studies3
    2. Two courses in an area outside the student's field.
    3. The remainder of the course work is individually designed, in consultation with the student's advisor.
  3. Languages

    Each student demonstrates a reading knowledge of two foreign languages, including French or German. One of these language requirements should be fulfilled by the time of advancing to candidacy at the end of the second year. Competence in the second language must be demonstrated at the time of the qualifying examination. Each student also demonstrates reading knowledge of other ancient or modern languages necessary for the field of study, area of specialization, and dissertation topic.
  4. Candidacy

    At the end of each academic year, the department's faculty recommend second-year students for candidacy on the basis of all relevant information, and especially on the student's candidacy dossier. This includes the approved declaration of an area of specialization, certification for one foreign language, and two substantial papers written for courses during the previous two years. Students are required to take RELIGST 304A Theories and Methods, RELIGST 304B Theories and Methods, and RELIGST 391 Teaching Religious Studies prior to candidacy.
  5. Paper-in-Field

    During the third year, under the supervision of their advisors, students prepare a paper suitable for submission to an academic journal in their field. The paper is read and approved by at least two faculty members in the department. Students are encouraged to register for RELIGST 392 Paper in the Field while working on the paper.
  6. Teaching Internship

    At least one teaching internship under the supervision of faculty members is undertaken at a time negotiated with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). Students receive academic credit for the required internship, which is considered part of their academic training and not as employment.
  7. Qualifying Examination

    To qualify for writing a dissertation, the student must pass a comprehensive examination in the chosen field and the area of specialization, typically during the first quarter of their fourth year. The student must complete the second language requirement before taking the qualifying examination. The qualifying examination is normally conducted by a committee of at least three Academic Council members of the department, one of whom is the advisor. One faculty member may be from outside the department with permission of the DGS.
  8. Dissertation

    The dissertation contributes to the humanistic study of religion and is written under the direction of the candidate's dissertation advisor and at least two other members of the Academic Council. The University Oral examination is a defense of a completed draft of the dissertation.
    1. Dissertation Committee—The dissertation committee is formed after successful completion of the qualifying examinations. It is normally composed of the dissertation advisor and at least two Academic Council members of the Religious Studies department. One non-departmental faculty member may serve as a reader when approved by the DGS.
    2. Dissertation Proposal—Candidates submit their dissertation proposal in consultation with their advisors. It is read and approved by the three members of the dissertation committee.
  9. University Oral Examination

    This examination, required by the University of Ph.D. students, is a defense of a completed draft of the dissertation. The composition of the examination committee is set by University regulation: five or more faculty, normally all of whom are members of the Academic Council, one of whom must be outside the department to serve as chair of the committee. Normally, the examining committee includes all members of the dissertation committee. A majority of those voting must be Academic Council faculty from within the department.

Ph.D. Minor in Religious Studies

Candidates for the Ph.D. in other departments may select a Ph.D. minor in Religious Studies.

Degree Requirements

The minor requires at least 24 units in Religious Studies at the 200 level or above. These 24 units should include at least one of the following courses:

Units
RELIGST 304ATheories and Methods4
RELIGST 304BTheories and Methods4
Optional Courses for the Minor

Other courses should be chosen in consultation with the DGS and the student's primary graduate advisor.

Graduate Advising Expectations

The Department of Religious Studies is committed to providing academic advising in support of graduate student scholarly and professional development. When most effective, this advising relationship entails collaborative and sustained engagement by both the adviser and the advisee. As a best practice, advising expectations should be periodically discussed and reviewed to ensure mutual understanding. Both the adviser and the advisee are expected to maintain professionalism and integrity.

Faculty advisers guide students in key areas such as selecting courses, designing and conducting research, developing of teaching pedagogy, navigating policies and degree requirements, and exploring academic opportunities and professional pathways.

Graduate students are active contributors to the advising relationship, proactively seeking academic and professional guidance and taking responsibility for informing themselves of policies and degree requirements for their graduate program.

For a statement of University policy on graduate advising, see the "Graduate Advising" section of this bulletin.

Faculty

Emeriti: (Professors) Carl W. Bielefeldt, Arnold Eisen, Bernard Faure, Hester G. Gelber, Robert C. Gregg, Van Harvey

Emerita: (Senior Lecturer) Linda Hess

Chair: Paul Harrison

Director of Graduate Studies: Charlotte Fonrobert

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Michael Penn

Professors: Paul Harrison, John Kieschnick (on leave), Michael Penn, Thomas Sheehan, Lee Yearley

Associate Professors: Anna Bigelow, Charlotte Fonrobert, Kathryn Gin Lum (on leave), Brent Sockness 

Assistant Professors: Elaine Fisher, James Gentry, Ariel Mayse, Michaela Mross

Senior Lecturer: Barbara Pitkin

Lecturers: Kirsti Copeland, Sangyop Lee, Jason Schwartz, Daniel Tuzzeo, Sarah Willburn

Courtesy Professors: Fiona Griffiths, Mark Lewis

Courtesy Associate Professor: Ari Y. Kelman

Overseas Studies Courses in Religious Studies

The Bing Overseas Studies Program manages Stanford study abroad programs for Stanford undergraduates. Students should consult their department or program's student services office for applicability of Overseas Studies courses to a major or minor program.

The Bing Overseas Studies course search site displays courses, locations, and quarters relevant to specific majors.

For course descriptions and additional offerings, see the listings in the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses or Bing Overseas Studies.

Units
OSPKYOTO 13Contemporary Religion in Japan's Ancient Capital: Sustaining and Recasting Tradition3-4
OSPKYOTO 58A Journey into the Buddhist Visual Arts of Japan4
OSPMADRD 74Islam in Spain and Europe: 1300 Years of Contact4
OSPMADRD 75Sefarad: The Jewish Community in Spain4

Courses

RELIGST 1. Religion Around the Globe. 4 Units.

This course surveys major religious traditions of the world. Through examination of a variety of materials, including scriptures and other spiritual writings, religious objects and artifacts, and modern documentary and film, we explore Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Jainism as rich historical and living traditions.

RELIGST 2. Is Stanford a Religion?. 4 Units.

This course seeks to introduce students to the study of religion by posing a two-part question: What is a religion, and does Stanford qualify as one? Scientific, pragmatic, seemingly secular, Stanford may not seem at all similar to religions like Christianity, Judaism or Buddhism, but a deeper look reveals that it has many of the qualities of religion--origin stories, rituals and ceremonies, sacred spaces and times, visions of the future, even some spirits. By learning some of the theories and methods of the field of religious studies, students will gain a better understanding not just of Stanford culture but of what motivates people to be religious, the roles religion plays in people's lives, and the similarities and differences between religious and secular culture.

RELIGST 4. What Didn't Make It into the Bible. 4 Units.

Over two billion people alive today consider the Bible to be sacred scripture. But how did the books that made it into the bible get there in the first place? Who decided what was to be part of the bible and what wasn't? How would history look differently if a given book didn't make the final cut and another one did? Hundreds of ancient Jewish and Christian texts are not included in the Bible. "What Didn't Make It in the Bible" focuses on these excluded writings. We will explore the Dead Sea Scrolls, Gnostic gospels, hear of a five-year-old Jesus throwing temper tantrums while killing (and later resurrecting) his classmates, peruse ancient romance novels, explore the adventures of fallen angels who sired giants (and taught humans about cosmetics), tour heaven and hell, encounter the garden of Eden story told from the perspective of the snake, and learn how the world will end. The course assumes no prior knowledge of Judaism, Christianity, the bible, or ancient history. It is designed for students who are part of faith traditions that consider the bible to be sacred, as well as those who are not. The only prerequisite is an interest in exploring books, groups, and ideas that eventually lost the battles of history and to keep asking the question "why." In critically examining these ancient narratives and the communities that wrote them, you will investigate how religions canonize a scriptural tradition, better appreciate the diversity of early Judaism and Christianity, understand the historical context of these religions, and explore the politics behind what did and did not make it into the bible.
Same as: CLASSICS 9N, JEWISHST 4

RELIGST 6N. Religion in Anime and Manga. 3 Units.

Religious themes and topoi are ubiquitous in Japanese anime and manga. In this course, we will examine how religions are represented in these new media and study the role of religions in contemporary Japan. By doing this, students will also learn fundamental concepts of Buddhism and Shinto.

RELIGST 7N. Religion, Ecology and Environmental Ethics. 3 Units.

The world today is in the midst of a major ecological crisis that is manifested in extreme weather events, loss of biodiversity, depletion of fisheries, pollution of air, water, and soil, prolonged draughts, and mass extinction of species. Since the 1970s world religions have begun to grapple with the religious significance of the environmental crisis, examining their own scriptures, rituals and ethics in order to articulate religious responses to the ecological crisis. This course explores how certain religions¿Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism¿have addressed the ecological crisis for the past fifty years. Preserving the distinctiveness of each religious tradition, this seminar examines: the issue of religion as the cause of the environmental crisis; the resources for ecological responses within each tradition; the emergence of new religious ecologies and ecological theologies; the contribution of world religions to environmental ethics; and the degree to which the environmental crisis has functioned¿and will function¿as the basis of inter-faith collaboration. We will work to develop a shared vocabulary in environmental humanities, and special attention will be given to the contribution of religion to animal studies, ecofeminism, religion and the science of ecology, and the interplay between faith, scholarship and activism.

RELIGST 8N. Gardens and Sacred Space in Japan. 3 Units.

This seminar will explore gardens and sacred spaces in Japan. We will study the development of Japanese garden design from the earliest records to contemporary Japan. We will especially focus on the religious, aesthetic, and social dimensions of gardens and sacred spaces. This seminar features a field trip to a Japanese garden in the area, in order to study how Japanese garden design was adapted in North America.

RELIGST 11N. The Meaning of Life: Philosophical, Aesthetic, and Religious Perspectives. 3 Units.

What is involved in making personal/existential sense of one's own life? We study artworks and texts by Manet, T.S. Eliot, Plato, Plotinus, Augustine, Marx, Nietzsche, and Heidegger, as well as Ingmar Bergman's classic film, "The Seventh Seal.".

RELIGST 12N. Perspectives on the Good Life. 3-4 Units.

The question is how to approach and evaluate different perspectives on the good life, especially when those perspectives are beautifully, and elusively, presented to us as texts. We will consider both classic and modern writers, from the West and from China; some are explicitly religious, some explicitly secular; some literary, some philosophical. Most of the class will revolve around our talk with each other, interpreting and questioning relatively short texts. The works we will read - by Dante, Dickenson, Zhuangzi, Shklar, and others - are not intended to be representative of traditions, of eras, or of disciplines. They do, however, present a range of viewpoint and of style that will help frame and re-frame our views on the good life. They will illustrate and question the role that great texts can play in a modern 'art of living.' Perhaps most important, they will develop and reward the skills of careful reading, attentive listening, and thoughtful discussion. (Note: preparation and participation in discussion are the primary course requirement. Enrollment at 3 units requires a short final paper; a more substantial paper is required for the 4-unit option.

RELIGST 13N. The Fourth "R": Religion and American Schools. 4 Units.

In this seminar, we will engage with historical, legal, and sociological texts, in order to trace the complicated relationship between church and state as it has played out in and around questions of education. Deciding what belongs in schools, what does not, whose interests are served in the process, and what the Constitution will allow are just some of the questions that will guide us. Through close readings of text and critical writing, we will develop alternative narratives about church-state issues that can make sense of everything from prayer in schools to civic education. This course must be taken for a minimum of 3 units and a letter grade to be eligible for Ways credit.
Same as: AMSTUD 117N, EDUC 117N

RELIGST 14N. Demons, Death, and the Damned: The 'Other' and the Otherwordly in America. 3 Units.

This course will examine how beliefs about the "other world" actually shape and are shaped by Americans' this-worldly actions and interactions (i.e. in the demonization of the "other," whether defined religiously, racially, ethnically, or in gendered terms). Students will ask how ideas about demons and death, heaven and hell have reflected the concerns, values, and identities of Americans over time. Students will learn how to read primary sources against secondary literature.

RELIGST 17N. Love, Power, and Justice: Ethics in Christian Perspective. 3 Units.

From its inception, the Christian faith has, like all religions, implied an ethos as well as a worldview, a morality and way of life as well as a system of beliefs, an ethics as well as a metaphysics. Throughout history, Christian thinkers have offered reasoned accounts of the moral values, principles, and virtues that ought to animate the adherents of what eventually became the world's largest religion. We will explore a variety of controversial issues, theological orientations, and types of ethical reasoning in the Christian tradition, treating the latter as one 'comprehensive doctrine' (John Rawls) among many; a normative framework (actually a variety of contested religious premises, moral teachings, and philosophical arguments) formally on par with the religious ethics of other major faiths as well as with the various secular moral theories typically discussed in the modern university. We will learn to interpret, reconstruct, criticize, and think intelligently about the coherence and persuasiveness of moral arguments offered by a diverse handful of this religious tradition's best thinkers and critics, past and present.

RELIGST 18N. Religion and Politics: Comparing Europe to the U.S.. 3-4 Units.

Interdisciplinary and comparative. Historical, political, sociological, and religious studies approaches. The relationship between religion and politics as understood in the U.S. and Europe. How this relationship has become tense both because of the rise of Islam as a public religion in Europe and the rising influence of religious groups in public culture. Different understandings and definitions of the separation of church and state in Western democratic cultures, and differing notions of the public sphere. Case studies to investigate the nature of public conflicts, what issues lead to conflict, and why. Why has the head covering of Muslim women become politicized in Europe? What are the arguments surrounding the Cordoba House, known as the Ground Zero Mosque, and how does this conflict compare to controversies about recent constructions of mosques in Europe? Resources include media, documentaries, and scholarly literature.
Same as: JEWISHST 18N

RELIGST 19N. Everyone Eats: Food, Religion and Culture. 3 Units.

Food is one of the most essential aspects of the human experience. The decisions and choices we make about food define who we have been, who we are now, and who we want to become. In this seminar we will study how food habits have shaped religious traditions, and vice versa, how religious traditions have shaped food ways. Some traditions are centered around food regiments such as the dietary laws, derived from biblical law that shapes Jewish and Christian tradition very differently. Indeed, many religious and ethical thinkers, as well as anthropologists, have interpreted the meanings of the dietary laws very differently. Further, in many religious traditions the killing of animals and consumption of meat is deeply fraught. We will explore the history of food practices and their contemporary impact; the connections between food, religion, and identity; the meanings that religious thinkers and anthropologists have attributed to food habits; as well as the creative translations of religious traditions into contemporary food ethics by various social movements and groups, predominantly in the U.S.
Same as: CSRE 19N, JEWISHST 19N

RELIGST 50. Exploring Buddhism. 4 Units.

A comprehensive historical survey of the Buddhist tradition, from its beginnings to the 21st century, covering principal teachings and practices, institutional and social forms, and artistic and iconographical expressions. (Formerly RELIGST 14.).

RELIGST 51. Exploring Buddhism in Tibet and the Himalayas. 4 Units.

From elaborate sand mandalas, masked dances, and entrancing ritual music to meditating yogis, robed monks, and the Dalai Lama himself, Tibetan forms of Buddhist traditions have for decades been an integral part of our modern globalized world. This course introduces the history, institutions, doctrines, and practices of Buddhism in Tibet and the broader Himalayan region.

RELIGST 53. Exploring Jewish Spirituality. 4 Units.

It was once accepted as fact that Judaism is, at its core, a rational religion devoid of any authentic mystical tradition. But the past century of scholarship has reversed this claim, demonstrating that the spiritual life has been integral to Judaism's vital heart since ancient times. This yearning for a direct immediate experience of God's Presence, a longing to grasp the mysteries of the human soul and know the inner dynamics of the Divine realm, has taken on many different forms across the centuries. This course will introduce students to the major texts--from theological treatises to poems and incantations--and core ideas of Jewish mysticism and spirituality, tracking their development from the Hebrew Bible to the dawn of modernity. Close attention will be paid to the historical context of these sources, and we will also engage with broader methodological approaches--from phenomenology to philology--regarding the academic study of religion and the comparative consideration of mysticism in particular. This course assumes no prior background of Judaism or any other religious traditions. All readings will be made available in English. Students are, however, invited to challenge themselves with the "optional/advanced" readings of sources both primary and secondary. Pending interest, students with facility in the original languages (Hebrew or Aramaic) will be given the opportunity to do so.
Same as: JEWISHST 53

RELIGST 55. Exploring Zen Buddhism. 4 Units.

This course is an introduction to Chan/Zen Buddhism. We will study the historical and doctrinal development of this tradition in China and Japan and examine various facets of Zen, such as the philosophy, practices, rituals, culture, and institution. For this aim, we will read and discuss classical Zen texts in translation and important secondary literature. This class will further feature a visit of a Zen teacher, who will give an introduction to sitting meditation.

RELIGST 56. Exploring Chinese Religions. 4 Units.

An overview of major themes and historical developments in 5000 years of Chinese religion. In this course, we will try as much as possible to appreciate Chinese religion from the Chinese perspective, paying particular attention to original texts in translation in an attempt to discern the logic of Chinese religion and the role it has played in the course of Chinese history. To a greater extent perhaps than any other civilization, Chinese have left behind a continuous body of written documents and other artifacts relating to religion stretching over thousands of years, providing a wealth of material for studying the place of religion in history and society.

RELIGST 61. Exploring Islam. 4 Units.

This course introduces some of the most important features of the Islamic religious tradition. It explores the different ways in which Muslims have interpreted and practiced their religion. The main subjects of discussion --- including the life of the Prophet Muhammad, the Qur'an, law, ritual, mysticism, theology, politics, and art --- will be considered with reference to their proper historical contexts. Some of the topics covered include abortion, gender, rebellion and violence, and the visual vocabulary of paintings. Students will be exposed to important theories and methods in the academic study of religion. No prior knowledge is required.

RELIGST 65. Exploring Global Christianity. 4 Units.

Explore the world¿s largest religion as a multicultural, global faith, with attention to Christianity¿s origins, spread and impact around the world up to the present. Special attention to recent shifting demographics leading to declining numbers in mainline Christian denominations in North America and Europe and the rapid expansion of Christianity in Africa, Asia, and South America; the explosion of international Pentecostalism and other new Christianities; Christianity, global politics, and the global economy; Christian-Muslim relations and conflicts.

RELIGST 81. Exploring Indian Religions. 4 Units.

This course provides an overview of Indian religious traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, and Sikhism. We will spend approximately half the course on Hindu thought and traditions from the Vedic period until the present day, emphasizing the diverse forms of this religion in different times and places. The second half of the course will be devoted to religions that emerged in South Asia (e.g., Jainism) and those that came to find a home and particular forms of expression on the subcontinent (e.g., Islam). Throughout students will read selections from a range of theological texts, epics, and literature that have permeated many aspects of daily religious life in India. We will also emphasize ritual activities, visual experiences in temples, and networks of pilgrimage places that dot the subcontinent. We will often pair primary sources (in translation) with later interpretations and impacts of those texts in modern South Asia. We will also survey the modern incarnations of particular Indian religious traditions throughout South Asia and the diaspora. By the conclusion of this course, students will be conversant with the texts, beliefs, and practices of the major Indian religions in their cultural and historical contexts and also have a working knowledge of basic categories important for the study of religion more broadly.

RELIGST 82. Exploring Christianity. 4 Units.

Historical and contemporary Christianity from four viewpoints: ritual and prayer; sacred texts and creeds; ethics and life; and community governance.

RELIGST 86. Exploring the New Testament. 4 Units.

To explore the historical context of the earliest Christians, students will read most of the New Testament as well as many documents that didn't make the final cut. Non-Christian texts, Roman art, and surviving archeological remains will better situate Christianity within the ancient world. Students will read from the Dead Sea Scrolls, explore Gnostic gospels, hear of a five-year-old Jesus throwing divine temper tantrums while killing (and later resurrecting) his classmates, peruse an ancient marriage guide, and engage with recent scholarship in archeology, literary criticism, and history.
Same as: CLASSICS 43, JEWISHST 86

RELIGST 91. Exploring American Religious History. 4 Units.

This course will trace how contemporary beliefs and practices connect to historical trends in the American religious landscape.
Same as: AMSTUD 91, CSRE 91, HISTORY 260K

RELIGST 105. Religion and War in America. 4 Units.

Scholars have devoted much attention to wars in American history, but have not agreed as to whether religion was a major cause or simply a cover for political, economic, and other motives. We will compare interpretations that leave religion out, with those that take it into account. We will also look at the impact of war on the religious lives of ordinary Americans. We will examine both secondary as well as primary sources, beginning with King Philip's War in the 17th century, and ending with the "War on Terror" in the present day.
Same as: AMSTUD 105R, CSRE 105, HISTORY 254D, HISTORY 354D

RELIGST 113. The Religious Life of Things. 3-5 Units.

Temples, prayer beads, icons, robes, books, relics, candles and incense, scarves and hats, sacred food and holy water; objects of all sorts play a prominent role in all religions, evoking a wide range of emotional responses, from reverence, solace and even ecstasy, to fear, hostility and violence. What is it about these things that makes them so powerful? Is it beliefs and doctrines that inspire particular attitudes towards certain objects, or is it the other way around? Many see a tension or even contradiction between religion and material pursuits and argue that the true religious life is a life without things. But is such a life even possible? This course adopts a comparative approach, drawing on a variety of traditions to examine the place of images, food, clothing, ritual objects, architecture and relics in religious thought and practice. Materials for the course include scholarship, scripture, images and at least one museum visit.

RELIGST 114. Yoga: Ancient and Modern. 4 Units.

In both Western popular culture and the Indian political arena, Yoga has become emblematic of the cultural heritage of India. But how did the phenomenon that is global postural yoga, with its secular wellness ethos and athleticism, come into existence? And how does it relate to the contemplative and ascetic disciplines that were practiced in the premodern Indian past? This course explores the early history of yoga through its philosophy and esoteric practices, concluding with a look at the ramifications of yoga in contemporary culture and politics. Participating in a yoga class is recommended. 2 units of independent study (S-NC) are offered for those who participate in a weekly yoga class and write short reflections on the experience.

RELIGST 116. Buddhist Philosophy. 4 Units.

What do Buddhists mean when they argue that there is "no self?" What about their claim that everything is "empty?" Is their theory of karma a type of "fatalism" (that everything is just a matter of predetermined fate)? Does Buddhism really teach that we are all connected with one another? This course aims to answer these questions, and many others related to Buddhist philosophy. We will begin by exploring the central philosophical arguments attributed to the historical Buddha, and study the major philosophical traditions of Buddhism and the debates between them over the issues of metaphysics (what is really real?), ethics (what should we do?), and epistemology (what and how do we know?). We will also learn about the problems and significance of the modern interpretations of Buddhist philosophy. Through these discussions, we will attempt to critically appreciate both the universality and the particularity of the Buddhist ways of thinking.

RELIGST 117. Christianity in 21st-century America. 4 Units.

As the largest religion practiced in the United States, Christianity not only shapes the lives of a large number of its citizens but also impinges on public discourse, policies, and debates. This course investigates the ways in which Christianity in America is changing and what these changes bode for its role in the public and private spheres. Issues include shifting demographics lead to declining numbers in 'mainline' denominations; the polarization of Christian conservatives and religious 'nones'; interfaith toleration and cooperation alongside interreligious conflict; the rise of 'spiritual, not religious' young adults; the effects of immigration; religion and science.
Same as: AMSTUD 117R

RELIGST 119. Religion and Conflict. 4 Units.

What is the relationship between religion and conflict? Can religious movements, ideologies, and actors cause conflicts or make them better or worse? This course looks at theories of religion and conflict, religious approaches to conflict resolution or peacebuilding, and examines case studies of conflicts involving religion.

RELIGST 123. The Hindu Epics and the Ethics of Dharma. 4 Units.

The two great Hindu Epics, the Mahabharata and Ramayana, offer a sustained reflection on the nature of virtuous living in the face of insoluble ethical dilemmas. Their treatment of the concept of dharma, understood simultaneously as ethical action and the universal order that upholds the cosmos, lies at the heart of both Gandhian non-violent resistance and communalist interreligious conflict. This course will focus on a reading of selections from the Epics in English translation, supplemented with a consideration of how the texts have been interpreted in South Asian literary history and contemporary politics and public life in India.
Same as: CLASSICS 125

RELIGST 124. Sufi Islam. 4 Units.

The complex of Islamic intellectual and social perspectives subsumed under the term Sufism. Sufi mystical philosophies and historical and social evolution. Major examples include: Qushayrî, Râbi'a, Junayd, Hallâj, Sulamî, Ibn al-'Arabî, Rûmî, Nizâm al-Dîn Awliyâ'. Social and political roles of Sufi saints and communities. Readings include original prose and poetry in translation, secondary discussions, and ethnography.

RELIGST 125. The Bible and its Interpreters. 4 Units.

Introduction to major stories, figures, and themes of the Christian Bible and their retellings in theological writing, art, literature, film, and music throughout the ages.

RELIGST 126. Protestant Reformation. 3-5 Units.

The emergence of Protestant Christianity in 16th-century Europe. Analysis of writings by evangelical reformers (Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Sattler, Hubmeier, Müntzer) and study of reform movements (Lutheran, Reformed, Anabaptist, Spiritualist) in their medieval context and as expressions of new and influential visions of Christian belief, life, social order.
Same as: HISTORY 126B

RELIGST 128. Women and Gender in Early Judaism and Christianity. 4 Units.

Beginning with the Hebrew Bible and New Testament, we will explore female figures in early Jewish and Christian literatures, such as Eve, Ruth, Mary, and Junia. Based on this, we will probe the prescriptions for female comportment in early Judaism and Christianity placing these literary prescriptions in conversation with material evidence related to women, such as for example the Babatha archive. We will analyze the politics of patriarchy in ancient discourse, and examine, among other topics, efforts by Christian clergy to silence female prophets in the second and third centuries CE. The bulk of the course will be devoted to the formative years of both Judaism and Christianity in Late Antiquity. This course assumes no prior knowledge of Judaism, Christianity, the Bible, or ancient history. It is designed for students who are part of faith traditions that consider the Bible to be sacred, as well as those who are not. Ancient readings in this course will be supplemented by modern scholarship in classics, early Christian studies, gender studies, queer studies, and the history of sexuality.

RELIGST 129. Milk and Honey, Wine and Blood: Food, Justice, and Ethnic Identity in Jewish Culture. 4 Units.

This course examines Jewish culture and the food practices and traditions that have shaped and continue to shape it. Students learn to prepare a variety of meals while studying about the historical and literary traditions associated with them, such as the dietary `laws¿ and the long history of their interpretation, as well as the cultivation of eating as devotional practice in Jewish mystical traditions. We will explore how regional foods the world over contribute to the formation of distinct Jewish ethnic identities, and how these traditions shape contemporary Jewish food ethics. The course includes guest visits by professional chefs and food writers, and field trips to a local winery.
Same as: JEWISHST 129A

RELIGST 130. Sex and Gender in Judaism and Christianity. 3 Units.

What role do Jewish and Christian traditions play in shaping understandings of gender differences? Is gender always imagined as dual, male and female? This course explores the variety of ways in which Jewish and Christian traditions - often in conversation with and against each other - have shaped gender identities and sexual politics. We will explore the central role that issues around marriage and reproduction played in this conversation. Perhaps surprisingly, early Jews and Christian also espoused deep interest in writing about 'eunuchs' and 'androgynes,' as they thought about Jewish and Christian ways of being a man or a woman. We will examine the variety of these early conversations, and the contemporary Jewish and Christian discussions of feminist, queer, trans- and intersex based on them.
Same as: FEMGEN 130, JEWISHST 120

RELIGST 132D. Early Christian Gospels. 4 Units.

An exploration of Christian gospels of the first and second century. Emphasis on the variety of images and interpretations of Jesus and the good news, the broader Hellenistic and Jewish contexts of the gospels, the processes of developing and transmitting gospels, and the creation of the canon. Readings include the Gospel of John, the Gospel of Mark, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary and other canonical and non-canonical gospels.
Same as: CLASSICS 145

RELIGST 133. Muslims, Jews, and Christians: Conflict, Coexistence, and Collaboration. 4 Units.

Relationships between Muslims, Jews, and Christians today are informed by a multitude of complex and often painful histories. These faith traditions emerged out of deep and sustained engagement with one another sharing theological and ethical principles, and revering many of the same figures and there have been many periods of rich and productive interaction. Yet there have also been areas of dissension and conflict, and periods when theological, social, or political disagreement devolved into violence and oppression. In recent times (especially following the Holocaust and the establishment of the modern State of Israel), religious, political, and intellectual leaders of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities, in the U.S. and around the world, have recognized the need to forge deeper and more meaningful relationships with one another. Knowledge and understanding of the perspectives that different communities and individuals bring to bear on their entangled past, present, and future are a critical part of efforts to resolve intransigent conflicts and advance mutual interests. This course explores some of the most significant moments of interaction through literature and art, polemic and dialogue that have shaped engagements between Muslims, Jews, and Christians throughout history, and examines both prospects and pitfalls for engagement in the present and future.
Same as: JEWISHST 123

RELIGST 139. Religion along the Silk Road. 4 Units.

From roughly the year 1 to the year 1000, a vibrant trade route stretched across Central Asia, linking Europe, India and East Asia. Along this route, merchants bought and sold the silk that gave the route its name, along with paper, ceramics, spices, precious stones and any number of other commodities. Together with these trade goods, merchants, missionaries, farmers and artisans who participated in this vast commercial network, exchanged ideas, scriptures, practices and beliefs, including those associated with major religious traditions; Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Judaism, Manichaeism and Islam followed the same routes as silk and spice. In this course we will examine the spread of all of these religions across the Silk Road, what happened when they interacted, and what this tells us about the relation between commerce, trade and geography in the pre-modern world.

RELIGST 140. RELIGION AND ETHICS: The Limits of Dialogue. 3 Units.

How do religious traditions address ethical problems? Although ¿the good¿ seems like a universal goal, religious traditions force us to consider non-universal ways of defining it. From marriage to genetic engineering, from abortion to organ donation, issues of community, faith, and practice continue to complicate our ethical thinking. Exploration of case-studies and concepts, with readings from Kant, Foucault, Butler and others, as well as Jewish and Christian interpretations of the Bible.

RELIGST 144. John Calvin and Christian Faith. 5 Units.

Close reading and analysis of Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion as a classic expression of Christian belief.

RELIGST 147. Building Heaven and Hell. 4 Units.

How did early Jews and Christians imagine space? How did they construct heaven and hell through their written texts? Can we take their written images of the earthly and heavenly Jerusalem and her temple, such as those found in Ezekiel, the Book of Revelation and the Apocalypse of Paul and transform them into three-dimensional space? We are going to try! We will meet in architecture studio and literally build with these images from foam board and hot glue. A number of themes will emerge through the course: the relationship between text and imagined space, the shifting dimensions of otherworldly visions, the connection between space and ritual, and the centrality of Jerusalem in Jewish and Christian thought.

RELIGST 149. Finding Utopia: Mysticism, Free Love, and New Religions of the Nineteenth-Century. 4 Units.

During the nineteenth-century, the ways one might pursue transcendent wisdom vastly expanded and were increasingly a matter of personal choice. New religious movements such as the American Shakers, reactions against religious institutions such as the rise of atheism, the creation of syncretic religions such as theosophy, as well as the combination of religious expression and scientific discourse in practices such as the spiritualist séance made this an era of profound religious experimentation. But challenges to traditional religious expression not only consisted of new beliefs, they also led to innovative forms of community. While exploring how an incredibly diverse set of utopian communities emerged from this new mixture of beliefs and practices, we will encounter diaries from the polyamorous Oneida community, séance accounts of astral travel, a ¿Sister of the New Life¿ living in a neighborhood in Santa Rosa, California modeled off the fairy land she thought inhabited her body, feminist advocates of free love, and theological treatises insisting that spiritual progress could only be understood scientifically. Diverse sources such as these will help us investigate the connection between nineteenth-century religious innovation and emerging progressive movements that continue to influence us today.

RELIGST 150. Humanities Core: Texts that Changed the World -- The Ancient Middle East. 3-5 Units.

This course traces the story of the cradle of human civilization. We will start from the earliest human stories, the Gilgamesh Epos and biblical literature, and follow the path of the development of religion, philosophy and literature in the ancient Mediterranean or Middle Eastern world.We will pose questions about how different we are today. What are our foundational stories and myths and ideas? Should we remain connected in deep ways to the most ancient past of civilization, or seek to distance ourselves from those origins? N.B. This is the first of three courses in the Middle Eastern track. These courses offer a UNIQUE opportunity to study Middle Eastern history and culture, past and present. Take one, two or all three courses to experience a year-long intellectual community dedicated to exploring how ideas have shaped our world and future.
Same as: COMPLIT 31, DLCL 31, HUMCORE 31

RELIGST 151. Religious Poetry of India. 4 Units.

India has a rich literature of devotional and mystical poetry composed by "poet-saints" in common vernacular languagesa, This passionate and contemplative poetry flourished between the 6th and 18th centuries, inspiring religious and social movements that are still vibrant today. It also lives as music, remaining popular and powerful in the form of songs in many styles. We will study this material through the lenses of poetry, religion, performance, and politics.

RELIGST 156X. Sounds of Islam. 3 Units.

This course explores diverse intersections of sound and Islam in religious and secular contexts throughout the world. From studying Islamic philosophies about the art of listening to interrogating Muslim hip hop, we examine how sonic practices simultaneously reflect and shape different Muslim identities globally. Issues of nationalism, war and trauma, class, race and ethnicity, gender and sexualities, colonialism, social in/justice, and migration will remain central to our exploration of spirituality, secularism, piety, and religiosity for the individuals and communities making or listening to sounds of Islam.
Same as: MUSIC 186E

RELIGST 158. Spiritualism and the Occult. 4 Units.

How can the living communicate with the dead? From Leland Jr.'s ghost to his uncle, T.W. Stanford, millions of people in the nineteenth century practiced technologies of spirit communication from spirit photography to animated séance tables. Through close readings of stories, novels, seance accounts, and scientific treatises, this class explores their mystical culture and how it blurred the line between seen and unseen in an effort to expand the real.

RELIGST 162X. Spirituality and Nonviolent Urban and Social Transformation. 3 Units.

A life of engagement in social transformation is often built on a foundation of spiritual and religious commitments. Case studies of nonviolent social change agents including Rosa Parks in the civil rights movement, César Chávez in the labor movement, and WIlliam Sloane Coffin in the peace movement; the religious and spiritual underpinnings of their commitments. Theory and principles of nonviolence. Films and readings. Service learning component includes placements in organizations engaged in social transformation. Service Learning Course (certified by Haas Center).
Same as: CSRE 162A, URBANST 126

RELIGST 165. Modern Jewish Mysticism: Devotion in a Secular Age. 4 Units.

The twentieth-century was a time of tremendous upheaval and unspeakable tragedy for the Jewish communities of Europe. But the past hundred years were also a period of great renewal for Jewish spirituality, a renaissance that has continued into the present day. Beginning with the writings of the Safed Renaissance, the Sabbateanism, and the Hasidic masters, our course will focus on key thinkers in the 19th and 20th centuries, including: Hillel Zeitlin, Martin Buber, Abraham Isaac Kook, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Arthur Green. Drawing upon essays, homilies, and poems, we will examine the ways in which their works re-cast and reinterpret the Jewish tradition in answer to the singular questions and challenges modernity. We will mark the development of their thinking against the two World Wars, the Holocaust, and the complex and multi-faceted processes of secularization. We will also consider the theological project of modern Jewish mystics in dialogue with modern Jewish philosophers (such as Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, and Emmanuel Levinas) as well as modern philosophers and scholars informed by Christianity (from William James to Charles Taylor). This course argues that the processes of sacralization, of reclaiming a life of mystical devotion, are best understood as a unique response to Jewish modernity rather than a retreat to past modalities of religion. In seeking to prove this point, we will explore writers whose work emerged in and engaged with different social and cultural domains. We will investigate their writings with an eye to issues such as power and identity, and will draw upon their works in charting the intersection of mysticism, literature, language and experience. Throughout our readings, we will keep our eye on the sustained impact of feminism on Jewish mysticism in the second half of the twentieth century. This course is structured as a seminar, and our class discussions will be rooted in the primary sources. It assumes no prior background of Judaism or any other religious traditions. All readings will be made available in English.
Same as: JEWISHST 125

RELIGST 166. The Divine Feminine in India. 4 Units.

What happens when God is a woman? Is the Goddess a feminist? The Goddess, in her numerous incarnations, is foundational to much of Indian religiosity, whether Hindu, Buddhist, or even Jain¿and in turn, without her story, much of the theology and practice of these religions remains incomprehensible. This course examines the principal expressions of the theology and ritual worship of the Goddess in Indian history, from the Vedas to the Hindu Epics, to Indian philosophy, tantric ritual practice and modern global and new age movements in order to understand how the gendering of divinity affects theological speculation, religious experience, and embodied religious identity.
Same as: FEMGEN 166

RELIGST 168. Philosophy of Religion. 3 Units.

Course traces efforts within the Western tradition from Boethius through Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, Kant, and Kierkegaard to Camus to establish a rational foundation for theist belief and its consistency or coherence with everyday experience. We will deal extensively with the criticisms that that effort has cast up and then turn to investigate issues that extraordinary or mystical experience raises. We will incorporate a look at Buddhist traditions as well as those in the west to gain insight into these questions. And finally, we will look at the ethics of belief, at our responsibility toward our commitments, and some of the varying positions available to us.

RELIGST 169. Sacred Words: Jewish Thought and the Question of Language. 4 Units.

Jews have long been referred as the people of the book, but they might better be referred to as the people of the word. Drawing upon texts from the Hebrew Bible to the works of modern Hebrew writers like of Hayyim Nahman Bialik and Amoz Oz, this seminar will chart the development of Jewish thinking on language over the past two millennia. We will explore issues such as: the idea of canonization; oral versus written language; the nature and possibility of translation; the origins of language; notions of negative theology; mystical approaches to the word; the rebirth of Hebrew as a spoken and cultural language; and the limits of language after the Holocaust. This course will also bring Jewish thought into dialogue with contemporary philosophical reflections on issues of language. Modern explorations of language will prove an interesting way of deepening our understanding of the Jewish thinkers on one hand, and enriching contemporary intellectual discourse on the other.
Same as: JEWISHST 129

RELIGST 170A. Biblical Hebrew, First Quarter. 2 Units.

Establish a basic familiarity with the grammar and vocabulary of Biblical Hebrew and will begin developing a facility with the language. Students that are enrolled in this course must also enroll in Beginning Hebrew. This course requires no prior knowledge of Hebrew and will begin with learning the alphabet. By the end of the year, students will be able to translate basic biblical texts, will be familiar with common lexica and reference grammars, and will have sufficient foundational knowledge to enable them to continue expanding their knowledge either in a subsequent course or own their own.
Same as: AMELANG 170A, JEWISHST 107A

RELIGST 170C. Reading in Biblical Hebrew. 4 Units.

Third of a three quarter sequence. Readings and translation of biblical narratives emphasizing grammar and literary techniques. Prerequisite: AMELANG 170B.

RELIGST 170D. Readings in Talmudic Literature. 1 Unit.

Readings of Talmudic texts. Some knowledge of Hebrew is preferred, but not necessary. The goal of the ongoing workshop is to provide Stanford students with the opportunity to engage in regular Talmud study, and to be introduced to a variety of approaches to studying Talmudic texts and thought.
Same as: JEWISHST 127D, JEWISHST 227D

RELIGST 170E. Readings in Talmudic Literature Advanced. 1 Unit.

Readings of the talmudic texts. Knowledge of Hebrew is required. The ongoing seminar is designed to study the making of the talmudic sugya (unit of discourse), along with classic commentaries. Students will consider some of the recent developments in the academic study of Talmudic literature, introduced by the instructor. The goal of the ongoing seminar is to provide Stanford students and faculty with the opportunity to engage in regular Talmud study, and to be introduced to a variety of approaches to studying Talmudic texts. Meeting time and location TBA. May be repeated for credit.
Same as: JEWISHST 127E, JEWISHST 227E

RELIGST 171A. Biblical Greek. 3-5 Units.

This is a one term intensive class in Biblical Greek. After quickly learning the basics of the language, we will then dive right into readings from the New Testament and the Septuagint, which is the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. No previous knowledge of Greek required. If demand is high for a second term, an additional quarter will be offered in the Spring.
Same as: CLASSICS 6G, JEWISHST 5

RELIGST 171X. Intensive Biblical Greek. 8 Units.

Equivalent to two quarters of Biblical Greek (CLASSICS 6G, 7G). Students will learn the core of New Testament Greek with the goal of learning to accurately translate and read the New Testament. Students will read one-third of the Gospel of John during the course and will be well-prepared to read the Greek New Testament independently after the course. Focus on knowledge of key vocabulary and grammar needed to read the Greek Bible with ease. No previous knowledge of Greek required. Course does not fulfill the Stanford language requirement.
Same as: JEWISHST 5G

RELIGST 173. What is Enlightenment? Religion in the Age of Reason. 4 Units.

Many contemporary attitudes towards religion were forged in 17th- and 18th-century Europe in the midst of heated debates over the meaning and value of Christianity in a world 'come of age': Liberal calls for justice, toleration, and pluralism in matters religious; secular suspicions about religious superstition, fanaticism, and ideology; skepticism regarding the solubility of ultimate questions of meaning and metaphysics. Seminal readings on religion from Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz, Voltaire, Hume, Mendelssohn and Kant.

RELIGST 173X. Latin 400-1700 CE. 1-2 Unit.

Readings in later Latin, drawing on the vast bodies of texts from the late antique, medieval and early modern periods. Each week students will prepare selections in advance of class meetings; class time will be devoted to translation and discussion. Students taking this course will gain exposure to a wide range of later Latin texts; hone translation skills; and develop an awareness of the grammatical and stylistic features of post-classical Latin. The course is aimed both at classical Latinists seeking to broaden their reading experience and at medievalists and early modernists seeking to consolidate their Latin language skills. May be repeat for credit.nnPrior experience in Latin is required, preferably CLASSICS 11L. Equivalent accepted. Classics majors and minors may repeat for credit with advance approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Does not fulfill the language requirement in Classical Studies track.
Same as: CLASSICS 6L, CLASSICS 208L

RELIGST 174. Religious Existentialism-Kierkegaard. 4 Units.

Existentialism is often understood to be a secular or anti-religious philosophy of life, a substitute for Christian ethics in a post-theistic world come of age. Yet this twentieth-century philosophical movement owes many of its concerns and much of its vocabulary to the hyper-Protestant Danish thinker Soren Kierkegaard, and much of the best Christian and Jewish thought in the 20th-century (Bultmann, Buber, Tillich) adopted existentialism as the ¿best philosophy¿ for making sense of these traditions in a secular age. This course will examine the origins of existentialist thought in the writings of Kierkegaard and its appropriation by a handful of influential 20th- century religious thinkers.

RELIGST 180. Gender Relations in Islam. 4 Units.

This course investigates the ways in which gender identities and relationships between men and women have been articulated, constructed, and refashioned throughout the Muslim world. Starting with problematizing the fixed notions of gender and sexuality, we map the attitudes toward these notions through visiting a diverse array of sources from the Qur¿an, Sunna, and legal documents to historical and anthropological case studies, literature, and film from South East Asia to Europe and North America. We examine the notions of femininity and masculinity in the Qur¿an, family laws, and attitudes toward homosexuality and transgendered populations. We read examples of ambiguous use of language with regards to gender and sexuality in Persian poetry and mystical traditions. We study the dynamic relationship between Islam and Feminism in the Muslim world. Finally, we witness the implications of these attitudes in our case studies and stories, from a divorce court in Iran to a wedding in Sudan.
Same as: FEMGEN 180

RELIGST 181. Heidegger and Mysticism. 4 Units.

A close reading of Heidegger's Being and Time in light of the new paradigm for reading his work, as well as a study of his long-standing interest in mysticism and the question of the divine.
Same as: PHIL 133S

RELIGST 183. Atheism: Hegel to Heidegger. 5 Units.

The radical changes in ideas of God between Hegel and Heidegger, arguing that their questions about theism and atheism are still pertinent today. Texts from Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche, and Heidegger: on God, history, and the social dimensions of human nature. N.B.: Class size limited. Apply early at tsheehan@stanford.edu.
Same as: PHIL 133T

RELIGST 199. Individual Work. 1-15 Unit.

Prerequisite: consent of instructor and department. May be repeated for credit.

RELIGST 202A. Monsters, Ghosts and Other Fantastic Beings: The Supernatural and the Mysterious in Japanese Culture. 4 Units.

Examine the development of strange and fantastic creatures in Japan. Mysterious creatures in folklore, literature, art, manga and movies. Through them see how the concept of the strange or mysterious have evolved and how they inform Japanese modernity.
Same as: RELIGST 302A

RELIGST 203. Myth, Place, and Ritual in the Study of Religion. 3-5 Units.

Sources include: ethnographic texts and theoretical writings; the approaches of Charles Long, Jonathan Z. Smith, Victor Turner, Michael D. Jackson, and Wendy Doniger; and lived experiences as recounted in Judith Sherman's Say the Name: A Survivor's Tale in Prose and Poetry, Jackson's At Home in the World, Marie Cardinal's The Words to Say It, and John Phillip Santos¿ Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation.
Same as: RELIGST 303

RELIGST 204. Paleography of Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts. 3-5 Units.

Introductory course in the history of writing and of the book, from the late antique period until the advent of printing. Opportunity to learn to read and interpret medieval manuscripts through hands-on examination of original materials in Special Collections of Stanford Libraries as well as through digital images. Offers critical training in the reading of manuscripts for students from departments as diverse as Classics, History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, English, and the Division of Languages Cultures and Literatures.
Same as: CLASSICS 215, DLCL 209, HISTORY 309G

RELIGST 205. Religious Poetry. 4 Units.

Religious poetry drawn from the Islamic, Christian, Confucian and Daoist traditions. Limited enrollment or consent of the instructor required.

RELIGST 212. Chuang Tzu. 5 Units.

The Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi) in its original setting and as understood by its spiritual progeny. Limited enrollment.

RELIGST 216. Japanese Buddhism. 4 Units.

Focus on the religious lives of lay people in medieval Japan, as evidenced in collections of Buddhist stories (setsuwashu), narrative picture scrolls (emaki), and related historical materials. All readings are in English, but the instructor will also work with students interested in reading the original Japanese.

RELIGST 217. The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Buddhism. 3-5 Units.

This seminar explores the influence of the Lotus Sutra, one of the most important Mahayana scriptures, in Japan. We will study how different Japanese Buddhist schools have interpreted this sutra and analyze a wide range of religious practices, art works, and literature associated with this text. All readings will be in English. Prerequisites: Solid foundation in either Buddhist studies or East Asian Studies. You must have taken at least one other course in Buddhist Studies. NOTE: Undergraduates must enroll for 5 units; graduate students can enroll for 3-5 units.
Same as: RELIGST 317

RELIGST 217X. Minorities In Medieval Europe. 5 Units.

This course examines attitudes towards outsider groups within medieval society and the treatment of these groups by medieval Christians. Heretics, Jews, Muslims, homosexuals, prostitutes and usurers occupied ambivalent and at time dangerous positions within a society that increasingly defined itself as Christian. Differences in the treatment of these various 'outcast' groups, their depiction in art, their legal segregation, and their presumed association with demonic activity are addressed through discussion, and readings from primary and secondary source material.
Same as: HISTORY 217S

RELIGST 218. Islam, Race and Revolution: A Pan-American Approach. 3-5 Units.

Taking a pan-American approach to the study of religious traditions, this upper-level course traces the history of the critical intersection between race, religion and revolution among Muslims from the turn of the nineteenth century until the present day. Moving from the Atlantic Revolutions of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, to the United States, to the decolonizing Third World, and then finally to the contemporary Middle East, this class will emphasize that Islam and race together have been used by many groups in order to challenge existing power structures, agitate for change, and more than occasionally, transform the social, cultural and governmental structures comprising their worlds. Moreover, although this class is concentrated upon religious formations in the Americas, students will explore global events throughout the Muslim world in order to examine how global politics contribute to religious formations, solidarities and identities. At the conclusion of this course, students will be expected to write a 10-15 page research paper, and a topic will be chosen in consultation with the instructor. Students will also be expected to write weekly reflection papers, which will serve to facilitate class discussion. Undergraduates register for 200-level for 5 units. Graduate students register for 300-level for 3-5 units.
Same as: AMSTUD 218, CSRE 218, RELIGST 318

RELIGST 221. The Talmud: Research Methods and Tools. 3-5 Units.

This seminar introduces students to the academic study of the Talmud and related classical rabbinic texts from late antiquity. Students will engage the major philological and historical questions concerning the making of the Talmud, along with textual tools to help them decode the texts. Prerequisite: Hebrew.
Same as: RELIGST 321

RELIGST 221B. What is Talmud?. 5 Units.

In what sense can Talmud be studied as literature? Which voices can be identified? Concepts of author, editor, or redactor. The basic textual units of Talmud: sugya, chapter, and tractate. The sugya as literary genre. The aesthetic of talmudic dialectics.nnPrerequisite: reading Hebrew with some understanding of biblical Hebrew.
Same as: RELIGST 321B

RELIGST 221C. Aramaic Texts. 1-5 Unit.

Reading of Aramaic texts with special focus on grammar and syntax.
Same as: JEWISHST 221C, JEWISHST 321C, RELIGST 321C

RELIGST 221D. Readings in Syriac Literature. 2-5 Units.

In recent years, there has been growing interest in the works of Syriac speaking Christians in antiquity and beyond. This course offers an introduction to the Syriac language, including its script, vocabulary and grammar, and a chance to read from a selection of foundational Syriac Christian texts.
Same as: JEWISHST 221D, JEWISHST 321D, RELIGST 321D

RELIGST 222B. Sufism Seminar. 3-5 Units.

Sufism through original texts and specialized scholarship. Prerequisite: ability to read at least one major language of Islamic religious literature (Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu).
Same as: RELIGST 322B

RELIGST 223. Advanced Readings in Jewish Mysticism. 1-2 Unit.

This seminar allows students and faculty to explore foundational concepts of Jewish mystical literature through immersion in primary sources. Together we will examine these texts from a wide range of philosophical, historical and theological perspectives, seeking to decode their historical importance and understand their contemporary significance. Ability to read sources in Hebrew is strongly recommended, and permission of the instructor is required. May be repeated for credit.

RELIGST 224. Classical Islamic Texts. 3 Units.

The course is based on readings in primary Arabic sources in the key fields of pre-modern Islamic scholarship. The list of readings and topics will depend on the interests of the students. In addition to focusing on the language, contents, and context of the texts covered, the course introduces genre-specific historical research methods. The reading selections may be derived from Qur¿anic interpretation (tafsir), the hadith literature, adab, biographical dictionaries, fiqh, ta'rikh, kalam, or Sufism. Reading knowledge of Arabic is required.
Same as: RELIGST 324

RELIGST 226D. Jewish-Christian Relations in Antiquity. 1-2 Unit.

Constructions of identity, community, ethnicity: these nnconsiderations frame the investigation of ancient Christian rhetoric nnand theology contra Iudaeos. This historical project will be set nnwithin the larger intellectual and cultural context of a) learned nnGraeco-Roman traditions of ethnic stereotyping; b) forensic nnrhetoric; and c) philosophical paideia; and these nntraditions will be considered within their larger social context of the Mediterranean nncity (I-III). Specifically, various Christian, and especially Latin nntraditions contra Iudaeos (IV-VI) will be studied.
Same as: CLASSGEN 126B

RELIGST 227. The Qur'an. 5 Units.

Early history, themes, structure, chronology, and premodern interpretation. Relative chronology of passages.
Same as: RELIGST 327

RELIGST 230X. Religion, Radicalization and Media in Africa since 1945. 4-5 Units.

What are the paths to religious radicalization, and what role have media- new and old- played in these conversion journeys? We examine how Pentecostal Christians and Reformist Muslims in countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Sudan, and Ethiopia have used multiple media forms- newspapers, cell phones, TV, radio, and the internet- to gain new converts, contest the authority of colonial and post-colonial states, construct transnational communities, and position themselves as key political players.
Same as: AFRICAST 248, AFRICAST 348, HISTORY 248, HISTORY 348, RELIGST 330X

RELIGST 231. European Reformations. 3-5 Units.

Readings in and discussion of theological and social aspects of sixteenth century reformations: Luther, Radical Reform, Calvin, and Council of Trent, missionary expansion, religious conflict, creative and artistic expressions. Texts include primary sources and secondary scholarly essays and monographs.
Same as: HISTORY 231G, HISTORY 331G, RELIGST 331

RELIGST 231X. Learning Religion: How People Acquire Religious Commitments. 4 Units.

This course will examine how people learn religion outside of school, and in conversation with popular cultural texts and practices. Taking a broad social-constructivist approach to the variety of ways people learn, this course will explore how people assemble ideas about faith, identity, community, and practice, and how those ideas inform individual, communal and global notions of religion. Much of this work takes place in formal educational environments including missionary and parochial schools, Muslim madrasas or Jewish yeshivot. However, even more takes place outside of school, as people develop skills and strategies in conversation with broader social trends. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to questions that lie at the intersection of religion, popular culture, and education. May be repeat for credit.
Same as: AMSTUD 231X, EDUC 231, JEWISHST 291X

RELIGST 232. Buddhist Meditation: Ancient and Modern. 3-5 Units.

An exploration of the theory and practice of Buddhist meditation from the time of the Buddha to the modern mindfulness boom, with attention to the wide range of techniques developed and their diverse interpretation.
Same as: RELIGST 332

RELIGST 234. Islam and Material Culture. 3-5 Units.

Material objects are essential elements of Islamic cultures and practices. This course examines Islamic art, sculpture, architecture, devotional objects, and clothing, as well as basic concepts in studying religion and material culture.
Same as: RELIGST 334

RELIGST 234X. Church, State, & Schools: Issues in Education & Religion. 4 Units.

This course will examine interactions between religion and education, focusing on both formal and experiential sites in which people and communities explore, articulate, encounter, and perform religious ideologies and identities. The class will focus on different religious traditions and their encounters the institutions and structures of education in American culture, both in the United States and as it manifests in American culture transnationally.
Same as: AMSTUD 293, EDUC 293

RELIGST 239. Luther and the Reform of Western Christianity. 3-5 Units.

Luther's theology, ethics, biblical interpretation, and social reforms and their significance for the remaking of Western Christianity. Readings include Luther's own writings and secondary sources about Luther and his world.
Same as: RELIGST 339

RELIGST 245. Religion, Reason, and Romanticism. 5 Units.

The late 18th-century European cultural shift from rationalist to romantic modes of thought and sensibility. Debates about religion as catalysts for the new Zeitgeist. Readings include: the Jewish metaphysician, Mendelssohn; the dramatist, Lessing; the philosopher of language and history, Herder; the critical idealist, Kant; and the transcendental idealist, Fichte.

RELIGST 246. Constructing Race and Religion in America. 4-5 Units.

This seminar focuses on the interrelationships between social constructions of race, and social interpretations of religion in America. How have assumptions about race shaped religious worldviews? How have religious beliefs shaped racial attitudes? How have ideas about religion and race contributed to notions of what it means to be "American"? We will look at primary and secondary sources, and at the historical development of ideas and practices over time.
Same as: AFRICAAM 236, AMSTUD 246, CSRE 246, HISTORY 256G, HISTORY 356G, RELIGST 346

RELIGST 250. Classics of Indian Buddhism. 4 Units.

Texts in English translation includING discourses (sutras), philosophical treatises, commentaries, didactic epistles, hymns, biographies, and narratives.

RELIGST 251. Readings in Indian Buddhist Texts. 3-5 Units.

Introduction to Buddhist literature through reading original texts in Sanskrit. Prerequisite: Sanskrit. Undergraduates register for 251 for 5 units. Graduate students register for 351 for 3-5 units.
Same as: RELIGST 351

RELIGST 252. Hearts and Diamonds: The Lives of Buddhist Sacred Texts. 4 Units.

An exploration of two key Mahayana Buddhist scriptures (the Heart & Diamond Sutras) and their histories, looking at what they say and how they have been used, from the first millennium to the present day.

RELIGST 253. Recent Research on Japanese Buddhism. 3-5 Units.

Readings in recent English-language scholarship on Japanese Buddhism. nUndergraduates must enroll for 5 units; graduate students can enroll for 3-5 units. Prerequisite: Solid foundation in either Buddhist studies or East Asian Studies (5 units for 253, 3-5 units for 353) May be repeat for credit.
Same as: RELIGST 353

RELIGST 254. Recent Contributions to Buddhist Studies. 3-5 Units.

This reading intensive course will examine nine areas in recent work in Buddhist studies, including ethnography, archaeology, monasticism, the study of "experience," and gender. May be repeated for credit.
Same as: RELIGST 354

RELIGST 255. Religion and Power in the Making of Modern South Asia. 3-5 Units.

This course examines the diverse ways that religious traditions have been involved in the brokering of power in South Asia from the late seventeenth century to the present day. We will examine the intersection of religion and power in different arenas, including historical memory, religious festivals, language politics, and violent actions. At the core of our inquiry is how religion is invoked in political contexts (and vice-versa), public displays of religiosity, and the complex dynamics of religion and the state. Among other issues, we will particularly engage with questions of religious identity, knowledge, and violence. Undergraduates must enroll in RELIGST 255 for 5 units. Graduate students must enroll RELIGST 355 for 3-5 units. HISTORY297F must be taken for 4-5 units.
Same as: HISTORY 297F, RELIGST 355

RELIGST 258. Readings in Japanese Buddhist Texts. 3-5 Units.

In this course, we will read premodern Japanese Buddhist texts. In the year 2019-2020, we will read texts related to the Lotus Sutra. Prerequisite: Chinese and/or Japanese.
Same as: RELIGST 358

RELIGST 261A. Belief. 5 Units.

The post-Chritain (or post-modern) age has given rise to new forms of faith, ranging from secular humanism and cultural atheism to rediscovery of the transcendent in the cosmos and quantum mechanics. However, unlike the era of "Christendom," belief is no longer necessarily hinged to faith. This course explores the origins of this phenomenon in Thomas Aquinas, and then newer philosophical approaches to understanding belief, ranging from Charles Taylor and Talal Asad and their theories of the secular, to Catherine Bell and the role of practice in believing. Finally, we turn to the work of three contemporary theorists of religious belief: Gianni Vattimo, Jean-Luc Marion, and Richard Kearney, who endeavor to cast believing outside established theological categories, yet still speak of "god.".
Same as: in a post-Christian Age

RELIGST 262. Sex and the Early Church. 4 Units.

Sex and the Early Church examines the ways first- through sixth-century Christians addressed questions regarding human sexuality. We will pay particular attention to the relationship between sexuality and issues of gender, culture, power, and resistance. We will read a Roman gynecological manual, an ancient dating guide, the world's first harlequin romance novels, ancient pornography, early Christian martyrdom accounts, stories of female and male saints, instructions for how to best battle demons, visionary accounts, and monastic rules. These will be supplemented by modern scholarship in classics, early Christian studies, gender studies, queer studies, and the history of sexuality. The purpose of our exploration is not simply to better understand ancient views of gender and sexuality. Rather, this investigation of a society whose sexual system often seems so surprising aims to denaturalize many of our own assumptions concerning gender and sexuality. In the process, we will also examine the ways these first centuries of what eventually became the world's largest religious tradition has profoundly affected the sexual norms of our own time. The seminar assumes no prior knowledge of Judaism, Christianity, the bible, or ancient history.
Same as: CLASSICS 262, FEMGEN 262, RELIGST 362

RELIGST 264. Hindu Tantra. 4 Units.

What is Tantra? Tantric forms of ritual and philosophy have been integral to the practice of Hinduism for most of its history. Tantra has provided initiates with a spiritual technology for embodying the divine and transcending the cycle of rebirth; on a social and political level, Tantra has mediated the institutions of Hindu kingship and appealed to a diverse population of initiates. This course covers a number of influential and well-documented Hindu tantric traditions, exploring several prominent features of Tantric religion as they develop historically, including: tantric ritual practice (core technologies of the subtle body, mantras, ma, alas, etc., along with the more notorious elements of sex and transgression), theology and philosophical speculation, as well as Tantra's relationship to the outside world and state power.
Same as: RELIGST 364

RELIGST 269. Plotinus and Augustine. 3-5 Units.

Professor's permission required to register. A reading course focused on the influence of Plotinus Enneads on Augustine's Confessions, early dialogues, and sections on reason and memory in the De trinitate. Proficiency in Greek and Latin will be helpful but is not required. Professor's prior permission required, interested students should contact the professor about course schedule: tsheehan@stanford.edu . Undergraduates register for 200-level for 5 units. Graduate students register for 300-level for 3-5 units.
Same as: PHIL 229, PHIL 329, RELIGST 369

RELIGST 270. Comparative Religious Ethics. 4 Units.

The difference that the word religious makes in religious ethics and how it affects issues of genre. Theoretical analyses with examples from W. and E. Asia. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
Same as: RELIGST 370

RELIGST 270X. Religion and Science in the Amazon and Elsewhere. 5 Units.

The conversion of native peoples to Christianity, especially Evangelical Christianity, is today a global phenomenon. This course looks to understand the reasons for religious conversion and its consequence in the everyday and ritual practices of Amazonians and their traditional practice of shamanism. We then turn to a question seldom addressed in the literature on conversion: the relationship between religion and science. We will explore the way conversion to Christianity produces changes in conceptions of the world and the person similar to those produced by access to scientific knowledge, which occurs primarily through schooling.
Same as: ANTHRO 181, ANTHRO 281, RELIGST 370X

RELIGST 271A. Dante's Spiritual Vision. 4-5 Units.

Poetry, ethics, and theology in Dante's Divine Comedy. Supplementary readings from classical authors such as St. Thomas Aquinas, and from modern writers, such as Jorge Borges. Fulfills capstone seminar requirement for the Philosophy and Literature tracks. Students may take 271A without taking 271B. Consent of the instructor required.

RELIGST 271B. Dante's Spiritual Vision. 4-5 Units.

Poetry, ethics, and theology in Dante's Divine Comedy. Supplementary readings from classical authors such as St. Thomas, and from modern writers, such as Jorge Borges. Fulfills capstone seminar requirement for the Philosophy and Literature tracks. Prerequisite: 271A.

RELIGST 273. Historicism and Its Problems: Ernst Troeltsch, the Study of Religion, and the Crisis of Historicism. 3-5 Units.

Examination of the early twentieth-century historian of religion, philosopher of culture, sociologist of religion, Christian theologian, and philosopher of history, Ernst Troeltsch, within the context of the late nineteenth-century "crisis of historicism," i.e., the historicization and relativization of religious, ethical, social, and political norms. Attention to seminal theorists of history (Herder, Kant, Ranke, Hegel, Nietzsche) in the post-Enlightenment German intellectual tradition and the attempts of Christian and Jewish thinkers in the Weimar era (Barth, Gogarten, Rosenzweig, L. Strauss) to "overcome" the crisis wrought by a radically historical approach to human culture.
Same as: RELIGST 373

RELIGST 274. From Kant to Kierkegaard. 3-5 Units.

(Graduate students register for 374. Undergrads register for 274 for 5 units.) The philosophy of religion emerged from the European Enlightenment as a new genre of reflection on religion distinct from both dogmatic theology and rationalist dreams of a "natural" religion of reason. Neither beholden to pre-critical tradition, nor dismissive of what Thomas Nagel has termed "the religious attitude," this new, ostensibly secular, genre of religious thought sought to rethink the meaning of Christianity at a time of immense philosophical ferment. The main currents of religious thought in Germany from Kant's critical philosophy to Kierkegaard's revolt against Hegelianism. Emphasis on the theories of religion, the epistemological status of religious discourse, the role of history (especially the figure of Jesus), and the problem of alienation/reconciliation in seminal modern thinkers: Kant, Schleiermacher, Hegel, and Kierkegaard.
Same as: RELIGST 374

RELIGST 275. Kierkegaard. 3-5 Units.

(Graduate students register for 375.) Close reading of Kierkegaard's magnum opus, Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments, in its early 19th-century context.
Same as: RELIGST 375

RELIGST 277. The Later Heidegger: Art, Poetry, Language. 3 Units.

Lectures and seminar discussions of the problematic of the later Heidegger (1930 - 1976) in the light of his entire project. Readings from "On the Origin of the Work of Art" and Elucidations of Holderlin's Poetry.
Same as: PHIL 234B, RELIGST 377

RELIGST 279. After God: Why religion at all?. 4 Units.

God is dead, but where does religion come from? The end of the quest for God in twentieth century philosophy. Robert Bellah's Religion in Human Evolution plus seminal works of Heidegger, including Being and Time, 'What Is Metaphysics?' 'Nietzsche's Saying `God is Dead.' 'N.B.: Class size limited. Apply early at tsheehan@stanford.edu.
Same as: RELIGST 379

RELIGST 279X. American Jewish History: Learning to be Jewish in America. 2-4 Units.

This course will be a seminar in American Jewish History through the lens of education. It will address both the relationship between Jews and American educational systems, as well as the history of Jewish education in America. Plotting the course along these two axes will provide a productive matrix for a focused examination of the American Jewish experience. History students must take course for at least 3 units.
Same as: AMSTUD 279X, EDUC 279, HISTORY 288D, JEWISHST 297X

RELIGST 280. Schleiermacher: Reconstructing Religion. 3-5 Units.

Idealist philosopher, Moravian pietist, early German Romantic, co-founder of the University of Berlin, head preacher at Trinity Church, translator of Plato's works, Hegel's opponent, pioneer in modern hermeneutics, father of modern theology. Schleiermacher's controversial reconception of religion and theology in its philosophical context.
Same as: RELIGST 380

RELIGST 281. Asian Religions in America; Asian American Religions. 4 Units.

This course will analyze both the reception in America of Asian religions (i.e. of Buddhism in the 19th century), and the development in America of Asian American religious traditions.
Same as: AMSTUD 281, ASNAMST 281, RELIGST 381

RELIGST 283. Religion and Literature. 4 Units.

A wide-ranging exploration of religious themes in literary works. Readings will include prose and poetry stemming from various world regions, time periods, and religious traditions.

RELIGST 283A. Modern Notions of 'The Holy': Hölderlin, Heidegger, Celan. 3-5 Units.

This course explores the question, "What may we call 'holy' in the modern era?" by focusing mostly on three key writers and thinkers, who "in various ways, and in different times" raised this question: Friedrich Hölderlin, Martin Heidegger, and Paul Celan. Given the scope of this question and its various reverberations and implications, we will also read "continental philosophy of religion" (Marion, Courtine, Caputo, and Vattimo, among others), as well as some of the work of Jacques Derrida.
Same as: COMPLIT 283A, COMPLIT 383A, GERMAN 283A, GERMAN 383A, RELIGST 383A

RELIGST 290. Majors' Seminar: Theories of Religion. 5 Units.

Required of all majors and combined majors. The study of religion reflects upon itself. Representative modern and contemporary attempts to "theorize," and thereby understand, the phenomena of religion in anthropology, psychology, sociology, cultural studies, and philosophy. WIM.

RELIGST 297. Senior Essay/Honors Thesis Research. 3-5 Units.

Guided by faculty adviser. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor and department.

RELIGST 298. Senior Colloquium. 4 Units.

For Religious Studies majors writing the senior essay or honors thesis. Students present work in progress, and read and respond to others. Approaches to research and writing in the humanities.

RELIGST 302. Islamic Studies Proseminar. 1-5 Unit.

Research methods and materials for the study of Islam. May be repeated for credit.

RELIGST 302A. Monsters, Ghosts and Other Fantastic Beings: The Supernatural and the Mysterious in Japanese Culture. 4 Units.

Examine the development of strange and fantastic creatures in Japan. Mysterious creatures in folklore, literature, art, manga and movies. Through them see how the concept of the strange or mysterious have evolved and how they inform Japanese modernity.
Same as: RELIGST 202A

RELIGST 303. Myth, Place, and Ritual in the Study of Religion. 3-5 Units.

Sources include: ethnographic texts and theoretical writings; the approaches of Charles Long, Jonathan Z. Smith, Victor Turner, Michael D. Jackson, and Wendy Doniger; and lived experiences as recounted in Judith Sherman's Say the Name: A Survivor's Tale in Prose and Poetry, Jackson's At Home in the World, Marie Cardinal's The Words to Say It, and John Phillip Santos¿ Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation.
Same as: RELIGST 203

RELIGST 304A. Theories and Methods. 4 Units.

Required of graduate students in Religious Studies. Approaches to the study of religion. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. May be repeat for credit.

RELIGST 304B. Theories and Methods. 4 Units.

Required of graduate students in Religious Studies. Approaches to the study of religion. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. May be repeat for credit.

RELIGST 308. Medieval Japanese Buddhism. 3-5 Units.

Japanese religion and culture, including Buddhism, Shinto, popular religion, and new religions, through the medium of film.

RELIGST 312. Buddhist Studies Proseminar. 1-5 Unit.

Research methods and materials for the study of Buddhism. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: reading knowledge of Chinese or Japanese.

RELIGST 313X. The Education of American Jews. 4 Units.

This course will take an interdisciplinary approach to the question of how American Jews negotiate the desire to retain a unique ethnic sensibility without excluding themselves from American culture more broadly. Students will examine the various ways in which people debate, deliberate, and determine what it means to be an "American Jew". This includes an investigation of how American Jewish relationships to formal and informal educational encounters through school, popular culture, religious ritual, and politics.
Same as: EDUC 313, JEWISHST 393X

RELIGST 314. Seminar in Buddhist Historiography. 3-5 Units.

The focus of this course is on approaches to the past from within Buddhist traditions rather than modern academic writing on Buddhist history. We will briefly examine research on religious conceptions of the past in other religions before turning to the full range of Buddhist historiography, including writings from India, Ceylon, China, Tibet and Japan. The first half of the class will be dedicated to reading and discussing scholarship as well as some primary sources in translation. In the second half of the course, students will develop projects based on their interests, culminating in presentations and a research paper.

RELIGST 315A. Chinese Buddhism. 3-5 Units.

This course provides an overview of the major themes and historical developments in 2000 years of Buddhist history in China, from its early transmission from India to contemporary developments in the PRC, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Themes include monasticism, doctrine, popular devotion, state policy and the encounter with modernity.

RELIGST 316. Tantric Buddhism. 4 Units.

This course explores many of the key issues in the study of tantric Buddhism, including aspects of its historical development, ritual ideology, visual and material culture, notions of identity and embodiment, and variations across different times and cultures. Focusing on the traditions of India, Nepal, and Tibet, students will read primary texts in translation, debate secondary literature, view artworks in museum galleries, and develop final projects based on their research interests. Course readings are in English.

RELIGST 317. The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Buddhism. 3-5 Units.

This seminar explores the influence of the Lotus Sutra, one of the most important Mahayana scriptures, in Japan. We will study how different Japanese Buddhist schools have interpreted this sutra and analyze a wide range of religious practices, art works, and literature associated with this text. All readings will be in English. Prerequisites: Solid foundation in either Buddhist studies or East Asian Studies. You must have taken at least one other course in Buddhist Studies. NOTE: Undergraduates must enroll for 5 units; graduate students can enroll for 3-5 units.
Same as: RELIGST 217

RELIGST 318. Islam, Race and Revolution: A Pan-American Approach. 3-5 Units.

Taking a pan-American approach to the study of religious traditions, this upper-level course traces the history of the critical intersection between race, religion and revolution among Muslims from the turn of the nineteenth century until the present day. Moving from the Atlantic Revolutions of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, to the United States, to the decolonizing Third World, and then finally to the contemporary Middle East, this class will emphasize that Islam and race together have been used by many groups in order to challenge existing power structures, agitate for change, and more than occasionally, transform the social, cultural and governmental structures comprising their worlds. Moreover, although this class is concentrated upon religious formations in the Americas, students will explore global events throughout the Muslim world in order to examine how global politics contribute to religious formations, solidarities and identities. At the conclusion of this course, students will be expected to write a 10-15 page research paper, and a topic will be chosen in consultation with the instructor. Students will also be expected to write weekly reflection papers, which will serve to facilitate class discussion. Undergraduates register for 200-level for 5 units. Graduate students register for 300-level for 3-5 units.
Same as: AMSTUD 218, CSRE 218, RELIGST 218

RELIGST 319. Readings in Hindu Texts. 3-5 Units.

Readings in Hindu texts in Sanskrit. Texts will be selected based on student interest. Prerequisite: Sanskrit.

RELIGST 320. Religion and Literature. 4 Units.

grad seminar in religion and literature-description to follow.

RELIGST 321. The Talmud: Research Methods and Tools. 3-5 Units.

This seminar introduces students to the academic study of the Talmud and related classical rabbinic texts from late antiquity. Students will engage the major philological and historical questions concerning the making of the Talmud, along with textual tools to help them decode the texts. Prerequisite: Hebrew.
Same as: RELIGST 221

RELIGST 321B. What is Talmud?. 5 Units.

In what sense can Talmud be studied as literature? Which voices can be identified? Concepts of author, editor, or redactor. The basic textual units of Talmud: sugya, chapter, and tractate. The sugya as literary genre. The aesthetic of talmudic dialectics.nnPrerequisite: reading Hebrew with some understanding of biblical Hebrew.
Same as: RELIGST 221B

RELIGST 321C. Aramaic Texts. 1-5 Unit.

Reading of Aramaic texts with special focus on grammar and syntax.
Same as: JEWISHST 221C, JEWISHST 321C, RELIGST 221C

RELIGST 321D. Readings in Syriac Literature. 2-5 Units.

In recent years, there has been growing interest in the works of Syriac speaking Christians in antiquity and beyond. This course offers an introduction to the Syriac language, including its script, vocabulary and grammar, and a chance to read from a selection of foundational Syriac Christian texts.
Same as: JEWISHST 221D, JEWISHST 321D, RELIGST 221D

RELIGST 322B. Sufism Seminar. 3-5 Units.

Sufism through original texts and specialized scholarship. Prerequisite: ability to read at least one major language of Islamic religious literature (Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu).
Same as: RELIGST 222B

RELIGST 324. Classical Islamic Texts. 3 Units.

The course is based on readings in primary Arabic sources in the key fields of pre-modern Islamic scholarship. The list of readings and topics will depend on the interests of the students. In addition to focusing on the language, contents, and context of the texts covered, the course introduces genre-specific historical research methods. The reading selections may be derived from Qur¿anic interpretation (tafsir), the hadith literature, adab, biographical dictionaries, fiqh, ta'rikh, kalam, or Sufism. Reading knowledge of Arabic is required.
Same as: RELIGST 224

RELIGST 327. The Qur'an. 5 Units.

Early history, themes, structure, chronology, and premodern interpretation. Relative chronology of passages.
Same as: RELIGST 227

RELIGST 329X. Advanced Paleography. 5 Units.

This course will train students in the transcription and editing of original Medieval and Early Modern textual materials from c. 1000 to 1600, written principally in Latin and English (but other European languages are possible, too). Students will hone their archival skills, learning how to describe, read and present a range of manuscripts and single-leaf documents, before turning their hand to critical interpretation and editing. Students, who must already have experience of working with early archival materials, will focus on the full publication of one individual fragment or document as formal assessment.
Same as: CLASSICS 216, HISTORY 315

RELIGST 330X. Religion, Radicalization and Media in Africa since 1945. 4-5 Units.

What are the paths to religious radicalization, and what role have media- new and old- played in these conversion journeys? We examine how Pentecostal Christians and Reformist Muslims in countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Sudan, and Ethiopia have used multiple media forms- newspapers, cell phones, TV, radio, and the internet- to gain new converts, contest the authority of colonial and post-colonial states, construct transnational communities, and position themselves as key political players.
Same as: AFRICAST 248, AFRICAST 348, HISTORY 248, HISTORY 348, RELIGST 230X

RELIGST 331. European Reformations. 3-5 Units.

Readings in and discussion of theological and social aspects of sixteenth century reformations: Luther, Radical Reform, Calvin, and Council of Trent, missionary expansion, religious conflict, creative and artistic expressions. Texts include primary sources and secondary scholarly essays and monographs.
Same as: HISTORY 231G, HISTORY 331G, RELIGST 231

RELIGST 332. Buddhist Meditation: Ancient and Modern. 3-5 Units.

An exploration of the theory and practice of Buddhist meditation from the time of the Buddha to the modern mindfulness boom, with attention to the wide range of techniques developed and their diverse interpretation.
Same as: RELIGST 232

RELIGST 332X. Religion and Modernity. 5 Units.

What role has the category of religion played in the development of the modern state, both colonial and national? How have central concepts of liberal political thought, such as freedom, progress, and history, depended on certain normative ideas of religion? Through various genealogical, historical, and ethnographic inquires, this course examines how the category of religion has both subtended and disturbed formations of colonial and post-colonial modernity.
Same as: ANTHRO 347

RELIGST 333. Comparative Mysticism. 5 Units.

This graduate seminar will explore the mystical writings of the major religious traditions represented in our department: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism.nnIt will address major issues in the study of mysticism, exposing students to a wide variety of religious thinkers and literary traditions, while simultaneously interrogating the usefulness of the concept of ¿mysticism¿ as a framework in the study of religion. We will consider various paradigms of method (comparative, constructivist, essentialist), and examine the texts with an eye to historical and social context together with the intellectual traditions that they represent. nnPreserving the distinctiveness of each religious tradition, the class will be structured as a series of five units around these traditions, but our eyes will be continuously trained upon shared topics or themes, including: language; gender; notions of sainthood; scripture and exegesis; autobiography and writing; mysticism and philosophy; poetry and translation; mysticism and social formation; the interface of law, devotion, and spirit; science and mysticism; perceptions of inter-religious influence; mysticism and the modern/ post-modern world. nnAdvanced reading knowledge of at least one language of primary-source scholarship in one of the above traditions is required.

RELIGST 333X. Workshop in Religion and Education. 1 Unit.

This 1-unit workshop will explore the intersection of religion and education across a variety of learning environments and demographics. It invites an ongoing conversation of the relationships between schools, congregations, religious bodies, learners, seekers, philanthropy, and public education. Advanced students and visiting scholars will have an opportunity to present their work for discussion. May be repeat for credit.
Same as: EDUC 412

RELIGST 334. Islam and Material Culture. 3-5 Units.

Material objects are essential elements of Islamic cultures and practices. This course examines Islamic art, sculpture, architecture, devotional objects, and clothing, as well as basic concepts in studying religion and material culture.
Same as: RELIGST 234

RELIGST 336X. Interfaith Dialogue on Campus: Religion, Diversity, and Higher Education. 2-5 Units.

How are we to talk across religious and spiritual differences? What is the purpose of such dialogues? What do we hope to gain from them? How do such dialogues take shape on college campuses, and what do they indicate about how students cultivate spiritual, political, and civic commitments? This course will explore these questions and others through seminar discussions, fieldwork, and writing that will examine the concepts, assumptions, and principles that shape how we think about interfaith dialogue.
Same as: AMSTUD 236, CSRE 136A, EDUC 436

RELIGST 338. Seminar in Spiritualism and the Occult. 3-5 Units.

T.W. Stanford, Leland Jr.'s uncle, left money for founding psychic studies at Stanford. The Stanford's were like millions of people in the nineteenth century who described themselves as spiritualist. Far from being the rejection of science, this movement saw itself and often was seen by others as the forefront of scientific inquiry. Its practitioners often drew a thin line between physics and metaphysics.nnOur class will examine spirit photographs, explore novels and treatises, and handle artifacts that T.W. Stanford used to communicate across the astral plane. In addition to reading primary and scholarly sources, this course will also provide the opportunity for archival research and several field trips to area sites of occult interest.

RELIGST 339. Luther and the Reform of Western Christianity. 3-5 Units.

Luther's theology, ethics, biblical interpretation, and social reforms and their significance for the remaking of Western Christianity. Readings include Luther's own writings and secondary sources about Luther and his world.
Same as: RELIGST 239

RELIGST 340. Contemporary Religious Reflection. 3-5 Units.

Focus is on normative and prescriptive proposals by recent and contemporary philosophers and theologians, as opposed to the domination of Religious Studies by textual, historical, cultural, and other largely descriptive and interpretive approaches. Do such normative and prescriptive proposals belong in the academy? Has Religious Studies exorcised its theological nimbus only to find contemporary religious reflection reappearing elsewhere in the university?.

RELIGST 343X. Anthropology of Religion. 5 Units.

This course presents classic and contemporary work on the anthropology of religion: Durkheim Elementary Forms of the Religious Life; Levy-Bruhl; Primitive Mentality; Douglas Purity and Danger; Evans Pritchard Nuer Religion; and recent ethnographies/scholarly work by Robbins, Keane, Keller, Boyer, Barrett, and others.
Same as: ANTHRO 339

RELIGST 344. Feminist Theory and the Study of Religion. 3-5 Units.

This seminar aims to put feminist theory and religious studies into conversation with each other in order to explore the resulting intersections. It will examine new directions in current scholarship. What does it mean to apply a gender studies lens to the study of religion? How do feminist conceptions of embodiment reinforce and/or context religious conceptions of the body? What are the implications of the "return of religion" currently invoked in feminist discourses? We will read works by Judith Butler, Luce Irigaray, Rosi Braidotti, Donna Haraway, Saba Mahmood, Shawn Copeland, a.o. Other thematic choices may be determined by interest of graduate students enrolled in the course.

RELIGST 345. Readings in Late Ancient Christianity. 1-5 Unit.

Topics in the study of Christianity for doctoral students. Recent scholarship and approaches to research.

RELIGST 346. Constructing Race and Religion in America. 4-5 Units.

This seminar focuses on the interrelationships between social constructions of race, and social interpretations of religion in America. How have assumptions about race shaped religious worldviews? How have religious beliefs shaped racial attitudes? How have ideas about religion and race contributed to notions of what it means to be "American"? We will look at primary and secondary sources, and at the historical development of ideas and practices over time.
Same as: AFRICAAM 236, AMSTUD 246, CSRE 246, HISTORY 256G, HISTORY 356G, RELIGST 246

RELIGST 347. Chinese Buddhist Texts. 3-5 Units.

Chinese Buddhist texts from the Han Dynasty onwards, including sutra translations, prefaces, colophons, story collections and biographies. Prerequisite: reading competence in Chinese.

RELIGST 351. Readings in Indian Buddhist Texts. 3-5 Units.

Introduction to Buddhist literature through reading original texts in Sanskrit. Prerequisite: Sanskrit. Undergraduates register for 251 for 5 units. Graduate students register for 351 for 3-5 units.
Same as: RELIGST 251

RELIGST 353. Recent Research on Japanese Buddhism. 3-5 Units.

Readings in recent English-language scholarship on Japanese Buddhism. nUndergraduates must enroll for 5 units; graduate students can enroll for 3-5 units. Prerequisite: Solid foundation in either Buddhist studies or East Asian Studies (5 units for 253, 3-5 units for 353) May be repeat for credit.
Same as: RELIGST 253

RELIGST 354. Recent Contributions to Buddhist Studies. 3-5 Units.

This reading intensive course will examine nine areas in recent work in Buddhist studies, including ethnography, archaeology, monasticism, the study of "experience," and gender. May be repeated for credit.
Same as: RELIGST 254

RELIGST 355. Religion and Power in the Making of Modern South Asia. 3-5 Units.

This course examines the diverse ways that religious traditions have been involved in the brokering of power in South Asia from the late seventeenth century to the present day. We will examine the intersection of religion and power in different arenas, including historical memory, religious festivals, language politics, and violent actions. At the core of our inquiry is how religion is invoked in political contexts (and vice-versa), public displays of religiosity, and the complex dynamics of religion and the state. Among other issues, we will particularly engage with questions of religious identity, knowledge, and violence. Undergraduates must enroll in RELIGST 255 for 5 units. Graduate students must enroll RELIGST 355 for 3-5 units. HISTORY297F must be taken for 4-5 units.
Same as: HISTORY 297F, RELIGST 255

RELIGST 358. Readings in Japanese Buddhist Texts. 3-5 Units.

In this course, we will read premodern Japanese Buddhist texts. In the year 2019-2020, we will read texts related to the Lotus Sutra. Prerequisite: Chinese and/or Japanese.
Same as: RELIGST 258

RELIGST 359. Readings in Buddhist Studies. 3-5 Units.

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RELIGST 359A. American Religions in a Global Context: Proseminar. 1 Unit.

This 1-unit proseminar is open to graduate students interested in American Religions in a Global Context. We will meet once a month to discuss student and faculty work-in-progress and important books in the field. Enrollment in the proseminar is required for students pursuing the Graduate Certificate in American Religions.

RELIGST 362. Sex and the Early Church. 4 Units.

Sex and the Early Church examines the ways first- through sixth-century Christians addressed questions regarding human sexuality. We will pay particular attention to the relationship between sexuality and issues of gender, culture, power, and resistance. We will read a Roman gynecological manual, an ancient dating guide, the world's first harlequin romance novels, ancient pornography, early Christian martyrdom accounts, stories of female and male saints, instructions for how to best battle demons, visionary accounts, and monastic rules. These will be supplemented by modern scholarship in classics, early Christian studies, gender studies, queer studies, and the history of sexuality. The purpose of our exploration is not simply to better understand ancient views of gender and sexuality. Rather, this investigation of a society whose sexual system often seems so surprising aims to denaturalize many of our own assumptions concerning gender and sexuality. In the process, we will also examine the ways these first centuries of what eventually became the world's largest religious tradition has profoundly affected the sexual norms of our own time. The seminar assumes no prior knowledge of Judaism, Christianity, the bible, or ancient history.
Same as: CLASSICS 262, FEMGEN 262, RELIGST 262

RELIGST 364. Hindu Tantra. 4 Units.

What is Tantra? Tantric forms of ritual and philosophy have been integral to the practice of Hinduism for most of its history. Tantra has provided initiates with a spiritual technology for embodying the divine and transcending the cycle of rebirth; on a social and political level, Tantra has mediated the institutions of Hindu kingship and appealed to a diverse population of initiates. This course covers a number of influential and well-documented Hindu tantric traditions, exploring several prominent features of Tantric religion as they develop historically, including: tantric ritual practice (core technologies of the subtle body, mantras, ma, alas, etc., along with the more notorious elements of sex and transgression), theology and philosophical speculation, as well as Tantra's relationship to the outside world and state power.
Same as: RELIGST 264

RELIGST 367. Seminar in Religion and Material Culture. 3-5 Units.

The first part of the course will examine approaches to the role of material culture in religion, including scholarship on icons, sacred space, clothing and food. In the second part of the course, students will develop research projects in their area of specialization.

RELIGST 369. Plotinus and Augustine. 3-5 Units.

Professor's permission required to register. A reading course focused on the influence of Plotinus Enneads on Augustine's Confessions, early dialogues, and sections on reason and memory in the De trinitate. Proficiency in Greek and Latin will be helpful but is not required. Professor's prior permission required, interested students should contact the professor about course schedule: tsheehan@stanford.edu . Undergraduates register for 200-level for 5 units. Graduate students register for 300-level for 3-5 units.
Same as: PHIL 229, PHIL 329, RELIGST 269

RELIGST 370. Comparative Religious Ethics. 4 Units.

The difference that the word religious makes in religious ethics and how it affects issues of genre. Theoretical analyses with examples from W. and E. Asia. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
Same as: RELIGST 270

RELIGST 370X. Religion and Science in the Amazon and Elsewhere. 5 Units.

The conversion of native peoples to Christianity, especially Evangelical Christianity, is today a global phenomenon. This course looks to understand the reasons for religious conversion and its consequence in the everyday and ritual practices of Amazonians and their traditional practice of shamanism. We then turn to a question seldom addressed in the literature on conversion: the relationship between religion and science. We will explore the way conversion to Christianity produces changes in conceptions of the world and the person similar to those produced by access to scientific knowledge, which occurs primarily through schooling.
Same as: ANTHRO 181, ANTHRO 281, RELIGST 270X

RELIGST 371. Writing Religious History. 4-5 Units.

This course offers graduate students a sustained opportunity to think about the craft of writing religious history. We will work together on issues ranging from structuring sentences, to revising an article, to conceptualizing a dissertation. Students will be encouraged to establish a daily writing habit and to formulate clear and searchable research strategies. Readings will include exemplars of different kinds of writing in the field. Students will write and workshop several brief (3-5 page) papers applying different approaches. The final project will be a revision of an article-length paper.

RELIGST 373. Historicism and Its Problems: Ernst Troeltsch, the Study of Religion, and the Crisis of Historicism. 3-5 Units.

Examination of the early twentieth-century historian of religion, philosopher of culture, sociologist of religion, Christian theologian, and philosopher of history, Ernst Troeltsch, within the context of the late nineteenth-century "crisis of historicism," i.e., the historicization and relativization of religious, ethical, social, and political norms. Attention to seminal theorists of history (Herder, Kant, Ranke, Hegel, Nietzsche) in the post-Enlightenment German intellectual tradition and the attempts of Christian and Jewish thinkers in the Weimar era (Barth, Gogarten, Rosenzweig, L. Strauss) to "overcome" the crisis wrought by a radically historical approach to human culture.
Same as: RELIGST 273

RELIGST 374. From Kant to Kierkegaard. 3-5 Units.

(Graduate students register for 374. Undergrads register for 274 for 5 units.) The philosophy of religion emerged from the European Enlightenment as a new genre of reflection on religion distinct from both dogmatic theology and rationalist dreams of a "natural" religion of reason. Neither beholden to pre-critical tradition, nor dismissive of what Thomas Nagel has termed "the religious attitude," this new, ostensibly secular, genre of religious thought sought to rethink the meaning of Christianity at a time of immense philosophical ferment. The main currents of religious thought in Germany from Kant's critical philosophy to Kierkegaard's revolt against Hegelianism. Emphasis on the theories of religion, the epistemological status of religious discourse, the role of history (especially the figure of Jesus), and the problem of alienation/reconciliation in seminal modern thinkers: Kant, Schleiermacher, Hegel, and Kierkegaard.
Same as: RELIGST 274

RELIGST 374F. Science, Religion, and Democracy. 3-5 Units.

How should conflicts between citizens with science-based and religion-based beliefs be handled in modern liberal democracies? Are religion-based beliefs as suitable for discussion within the public sphere as science-based beliefs? Are there still important conflicts between science and religion, e.g., Darwinian evolution versus creationism or intelligent design? How have philosophy and recent theology been engaged with such conflicts and how should they be engaged now? What are the political ramifications? This is a graduate-level seminar; undergraduates must obtain permission of the instructors.
Same as: ETHICSOC 374R, PHIL 374F

RELIGST 375. Kierkegaard. 3-5 Units.

(Graduate students register for 375.) Close reading of Kierkegaard's magnum opus, Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments, in its early 19th-century context.
Same as: RELIGST 275

RELIGST 377. The Later Heidegger: Art, Poetry, Language. 3 Units.

Lectures and seminar discussions of the problematic of the later Heidegger (1930 - 1976) in the light of his entire project. Readings from "On the Origin of the Work of Art" and Elucidations of Holderlin's Poetry.
Same as: PHIL 234B, RELIGST 277

RELIGST 379. After God: Why religion at all?. 4 Units.

God is dead, but where does religion come from? The end of the quest for God in twentieth century philosophy. Robert Bellah's Religion in Human Evolution plus seminal works of Heidegger, including Being and Time, 'What Is Metaphysics?' 'Nietzsche's Saying `God is Dead.' 'N.B.: Class size limited. Apply early at tsheehan@stanford.edu.
Same as: RELIGST 279

RELIGST 380. Schleiermacher: Reconstructing Religion. 3-5 Units.

Idealist philosopher, Moravian pietist, early German Romantic, co-founder of the University of Berlin, head preacher at Trinity Church, translator of Plato's works, Hegel's opponent, pioneer in modern hermeneutics, father of modern theology. Schleiermacher's controversial reconception of religion and theology in its philosophical context.
Same as: RELIGST 280

RELIGST 381. Asian Religions in America; Asian American Religions. 4 Units.

This course will analyze both the reception in America of Asian religions (i.e. of Buddhism in the 19th century), and the development in America of Asian American religious traditions.
Same as: AMSTUD 281, ASNAMST 281, RELIGST 281

RELIGST 383A. Modern Notions of 'The Holy': Hölderlin, Heidegger, Celan. 3-5 Units.

This course explores the question, "What may we call 'holy' in the modern era?" by focusing mostly on three key writers and thinkers, who "in various ways, and in different times" raised this question: Friedrich Hölderlin, Martin Heidegger, and Paul Celan. Given the scope of this question and its various reverberations and implications, we will also read "continental philosophy of religion" (Marion, Courtine, Caputo, and Vattimo, among others), as well as some of the work of Jacques Derrida.
Same as: COMPLIT 283A, COMPLIT 383A, GERMAN 283A, GERMAN 383A, RELIGST 283A

RELIGST 384. Research in Christian Studies. 1-15 Unit.

Independent study in Christianity. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

RELIGST 385. Research in Buddhist Studies. 1-15 Unit.

Independent study in Buddhism. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

RELIGST 387. Research in Jewish Studies. 1-15 Unit.

Independent study in Jewish Studies. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

RELIGST 388. Research in Modern Religious Thought, Ethics, and Philosophy. 1-15 Unit.

Independent study in Modern Religious Thought, Ethics, and Philosophy. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

RELIGST 389. Individual Work for Graduate Students. 1-15 Unit.

May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

RELIGST 390. Teaching Internship. 3-5 Units.

Required supervised internship for PhDs.

RELIGST 391. Teaching Religious Studies. 3 Units.

This seminar will help prepare you for your role as a university teacher both at a practical and a theoretical level. We will focus on how to best obtain (and keep) a new academic position. We will thus often work together on ¿nuts and bolts¿ issues such as syllabus design, engaging lectures, lively seminar discussions, positive classroom dynamics, and producing a strong teaching portfolio. We will also explore recent developments in pedagogical theory, cognitive science, and educational psychology that have bearing on effective university level teaching. These will be situated within the specific demands of the religious studies classroom and supplemented by guest speakers who will help us explore how institutional context affects the ways one teaches.

RELIGST 392. Paper in the Field. 1-15 Unit.

Prerequisite: consent of graduate director. May be repeated for credit.

RELIGST 395. Master of Arts Thesis. 2-9 Units.

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RELIGST 399. Readings in Theories and Methods. 1-5 Unit.

Directed readings in secondary literature for Religious Studies doctoral students. May be repeated for credit.

RELIGST 801. TGR Project. 0 Units.

(Staff).

RELIGST 802. TGR Dissertation. 0 Units.

.