|REL||101||C||Introduction to Religion||TR||11:00-12:15pm||Lucas Johnston||Wingate 210|
|REL||101||D||Introduction to Religion||TR||2:00-3:15pm||Ronald Neal||Wingate 210|
|REL||101||E||Introduction to Religion||TR||12:30-1:45pm||Ronald Neal||Wingate 314|
|REL||102||A||Introduction to the Bible||TR||9:30-10:45am||Jason Staples||Wingate 314|
|REL||102||B||Introduction to the Bible||TR||2:00-3:15pm||Jason Staples||Wingate 314|
|REL||103||A||Introduction to Christian Traditions||TR||12:30-1:45pm||Stephen Boyd||Wingate 209|
|REL||103||B||Introduction to Christian Traditions||MWF||10:00-10:50am||Earl Crow||Wingate 209|
|REL||103||C||Introduction to Christian Traditions||MWF||11:00-11:50am||Earl Crow||Wingate 209|
|REL||104||A||Introduction to Asian Religions||WF||11:00-12:15pm||Jarrod Whitaker||Wingate 314|
|REL||105||A||Monotheisms: Judaism, Christianity, Islam||MWF||9:00-9:50am||Ken Hoglund||Wingate 209|
|REL||106||A||The Bible In America||MWF||11:00-11:50am||Mary Foskett||Wingate 306|
|REL||107||A||Intro to African Religions||MW||12:30-1:45pm||Simeon Ilesanmi||Wingate 209|
|REL||108||A||Intro to Hindu Traditions||MW||12:30-1:45pm||Tanisha Ramachandran||Wingate 314|
|REL||108||B||Intro to Hindu Traditions||MW||2:00-3:15pm||Tanisha Ramachandran||Wingate 314|
|REL||109||A||Intro to Buddhist Traditions||WF||2:00-3:15pm||Jarrod Whitaker||Wingate 209|
|REL||110||A||Intro to Islamic Traditions||TR||2:00-3:15pm||Pieternella Van Doorn Harder||Wingate 209|
|REL||110||B||Intro to Islamic Traditions||TR||9:30-10:45am||Pieternella Van Doorn Harder||Wingate 306|
|REL||110||C||Intro to Islamic Traditions||TR||12:30-1:45pm||Leah Kinberg||Wingate 306|
|REL||200||A||Approaches to the Study of Religion||MW||12:30-1:45pm||Annalise Glauz-Todrank||Wingate 206|
|REL||244||A||Religion, Terrorism and Violence||TR||12:30-1:45pm||Lucas Johnston||Wingate 210|
|REL||245||A||Religion, Poverty and Social Entrepreneurship||MW||5:00-6:15pm||Ulrike Wiethaus||Wingate 210|
|REL||317||A||Wisdom Literature||MWF||11:00-11:50am||Ken Hoglund||Wingate 210|
|REL||328||A||Jewish-Christian Relations & the New Testament||TR||12:30-1:45pm||Jason Staples||Wingate 206|
|REL||330||A||Pope, Jefferson & Imam: A Study in Comparative Ethics||MW||5:00-6:15pm||Simeon Ilesanmi||Wingate 209|
|REL||357||A||Jews in the United States||MW||2:00-3:15pm||Annalise Glauz-Todrank||Wingate 206|
|REL||362||A||Islamic Bioethics||TR||11:00-12:15pm||Pieternella Van Doorn Harder||Wingate 306|
|REL||367||A||Christian Mysticism||MW||2:00-3:15pm||Ulrike Wiethaus||Wingate 210|
|REL||372||A||History of Christian Thought||T||3:30-6:15pm||Stephen Boyd||Wingate 209|
|REL||386||A||Indian Epics: Mahabharata||WF||9:30-10:45am||Jarrod Whitaker||Wingate 206|
|REL||390||A||Religion and Hip Hop||TR||9:30-10:45am||Ronald Neal||Wingate 206|
|REL||390||B||Archeology of Religion & Ritual||TR||9:30-10:45am||Leann Pace||Wingate 210|
|REL||390||C||Jerusalem in the Abrahamic Traditions||TR||2:00-3:15pm||Leah Kinberg||Wingate 306|
|REL||390||D||Religion in the Development of American Higher Education||TR||3:30-4:45pm||Thomas Frank||Tribble B-117|
REL 200: Approches to the Study of Religion (General Courses)
Prof. Glauz-Todrank, MW 12:30-1:45pm – What are we talking about when we talk about “religion?” Why and where did the concept “religion” originate? How have scholars defined and examined religion in the past and how have scholarly approaches changed over time? This course will address the how and the why of Religious Studies as a field, focusing on both classical and contemporary approaches. We can classify some of these approaches as sociological, psychological, anthropological, historical, feminist, postcolonial, deconstructionist, and race critical. As we examine scholarly arguments, we will also apply them to concrete situations, highlighting their relevance to the study of religion and to our lives today.
REL 244: Religion, Terrorism and Violence (Group II: Religion, History, and Society)
Prof. Johnston, TR 12:30-1:45pm – This course investigates definitions of terrorism and examines religious motivations, justifications and legitimizations of the use of violence in a number of religious systems. Students will explore historical instances of religious violence as well as contemporary terrorism.
REL 245: Religion, Poverty & Social Entrepreneurship (Group II: Religion, History, and Society)
Prof. Wiethaus, MW 5:00-6:15pm – This course will explore the evolving interface between religion, poverty reduction, culture, and social entrepreneurship on an individual and communal scale. The course will integrate theory and practice through a collaborative research project with a community partner and by practicing deep listening and empathy (Einfühlungsvermögen). Social entrepreneurship is a relatively recent concept, yet its roots reach deep into cultural and religious history. Traditionally, religious values and kinship practices have supported social entrepreneurship in distinct regional economic and religious cultures to overcome suffering caused by social stressors such as war, famine, and poverty. The course will ask questions about how traditional forms of religious creativity and social entrepreneurship (e.g., monasteries, alms giving) compare with contemporary manifestations (e.g., prophetic support of labor unions).
REL 317: Wisdom Literature (Group I: Biblical Studies)
Prof. Hoglund, MWF 11:00-11:50am – An examination of the canonical and deuterocanonical wisdom literature of ancient Israel. Specifically, the course offers an in-depth analysis of the books of Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, and Ben Sira (Ecclesiasticus). The study will emphasize an understanding of the literary forms in these books, the evidence for growth and development, as well as the interpretive problems raised by these elements. The unique theological insights of Israel’s Wisdom literature will be a continuous concern of the class. A great deal of emphasis is placed on class discussion and interaction.
REL 328: Jewish-Christian Relations & the New Testament (Group I: Biblical Studies)
Prof. Staples, TR 12:30-1:45pm – This course will focus on the long history of rivalry, enmity, persecution, and other aspects of Jewish-Christian relations during the first four centuries, with a few units also dedicated to more recent issues in Jewish-Christian relations and the scholarship thereof, including the rise of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. This course will emphasize a close reading of New Testament and other early Jewish and Christian texts relevant to Jewish-Christian relations. Topics to be covered will include ethnicity in antiquity, conversion, anti-Judaism in the New Testament, Jewish and Christian polemics, the rise of anti-Semitism, and post-Holocaust interfaith developments.
REL 330: Pope, Jefferson & Imam: A Study in Comparative Ethics (Group II: Religion, History, and Society)
Prof. Ilesanmi, MW 5:00-6:15pm – Are human beings capable of creating a good society? Can religious traditions help or frustrate the efforts to create such a society? Is there a difference between religious morality and non-religious morality? What is the difference between Dai Lama or Pope Francis and Thomas Jefferson? How do we give an account of that difference, if any? Do religious people speak the same moral language? What is moral language and how is it like and unlike religious language? What are the advantages and perils of religious pluralism in the effort to construct an ethical vision for society? Is a common ground for morality possible, or even desirable?
The course will examine these kinds of theoretical and practical questions from a comparative perspective.
REL 357: Jews in the United States (Group II: Religion, History, and Society)
Prof. Glauz-Todrank, MW 2:00-3:15pm – Who are Jewish Americans today? When and why did Jews emigrate to the U.S.? How have Jewish immigrants been transformed by the American context? Correspondingly, in what ways have Jewish cultures, religiosities and politics informed American culture? In the course, we will address these questions, and others, as we think about the dynamic relationship between Jewish Americans and the multifaceted religious and political landscape of the United States.
REL 362: Islamic Bioethics (Group III: World Religions)
Prof. VanDoornHarder, TR 11:00am-12:15pm – Islamic Bioethics: in this class we will study the principles, duties and rights that are foundational to the way Muslims take decisions concerning bioethical issues. As these decisions are located within the framework of values of the Qur’an, the Tradition of the Prophet Muhammad, and the Islamic law, we will look at Islamic texts as well as at modes of Islamic reasoning. Furthermore we will analyze case studies and make comparisons between the modes of bioethical decision-making in the West and in some Muslim majority countries.
REL 367: Christian Mysticism (Group II: Religion, History, and Society)
Prof. Wiethaus, MW 2:00-3:15pm – This interdisciplinary course will explore the nexus between mysticism, religion, place, and history through a selection of foundational medieval and neo-medieval primary texts, films, and select secondary sources. We will consider the boundaries and gateways between the sacred and the secular in places: the desert and the forest, the college campus, the mead hall and the cathedral, the monastery and the open road. We will employ literal and symbolic viewpoints, including mystical, political and gendered experiences of place and soul.
REL 372: History of Christian Thought (Group II: Religion, History, and Society)
Prof. Boyd, Tuesdays 3:30-6:15pm – Why are the disagreements about faith and morals among Christians so strong? Why do some Christians seem to have more in common with people of other faiths, or of no faith, than they do with other Christians? This course will explore recurring patterns in Christian theological systems that have often been in tension with one another. We will view these patterns in ancient, medieval, reformation and modern figures, analyze some of the implications of the differences, and look for avenues toward unity or, at least, mutual understanding.
REL 386: Indian Epics: Mahabharata (Group III: World Religions)
Prof. Whitaker, WF 9:30-10:45am – As the world’s largest and most well-known epic, the Mahābhārata is 8 times the size of the Odyssey and Iliad combined or 3 times the size of the Bible. It was composed in north India over a long period from 150 BCE to 300 CE. It is a tragic story of fratricidal war between 5 heroic Pāṇḍava brothers, who are the sons of gods, and their 100 Kaurava cousins, who are demonic incarnations. Along with their co-wife, Draupadī, and their divine councilor, Kr̥ṣṇa, the 5 demi-gods, are driven to an apocalyptic war to regain their kingdom. This course will introduce students to the epic through a translation of the text, film, and secondary readings. In addition, students will learn about ancient India, particularly its social, political, and religious realities at the turn of the first millennium of the Common Era. Cultural Diversity (CD); Group III: World Religions.
REL 390A: Religion and Hip Hop (Group II: Religion, History, and Society)
Prof. Ronald Neal, TR 9:30-10:45am – This course explores the relationship between religion and popular culture. This course will examine the religious element(s) in hip hop culture. We will examine the various ways in which religious language, images, ideas, rituals, and overall religious sensibilities are expressed in the performance of hip hop. Because hip hop is an intensely visual phenomenon we will pay close attention to the visual dimensions of hip hop, particularly, the body. The body will be treated as a stage for drama and will be read as a religious text. Tattoos, piercings, dreadlocks, and shaved heads are among the embodied aspects of hip hop that we will consider. Moreover, close attention will be given to issues pertaining to gender. We will attend to the dynamics of masculinity and femininity and the manner in which they are expressed in lyrical and visual imagery. Overall, we will examine the ways the work of hip hop artists and producers mirror the influence of religion. To this end, we will interpret hip hop in light of religious traditions such as Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Rastafarianism, and Voodun. At the end of this course, students should have a rich appreciation and multifaceted view of religion, especially as it relates to popular culture.
REL 390B: Archeology of Religion & Ritual (General Courses)
Prof. Pace, TR 9:30-10:45am – This course will introduce students to the basics of archaeological evidence collection and interpretation and how these processes are employed to reconstruct and understand human religious behavior and experience. We will also think critically about the role archaeology plays in ongoing political and religious conflicts in the world, as well as how the beliefs and rituals of living ethnic and religious communities should affect the way in which archaeologists deal with material remains associated with these groups. We will consider questions like:Do intentional Neanderthal burials represent the earliest religious behavior? What happens when archaeological evidence represents a community’s religious practices differently than their sacred texts? Can archaeology contribute positively to resolving the ongoing conflict over sites sacred to Jews and Muslims in Jerusalem? Is it appropriate for archaeologists to disturb burials in order to gain historical information?
REL 390C: Jerusalem in the Abrahamic Traditions (General Courses)
Prof. Kinberg, TR 2:00-3:15pm – Jerusalem, which lives in the hearts of vast numbers of people of different religions and cultures, has always been associated with imaginative descriptions and often viewed as the earthly counterpart of the heavenly city of God. Abraham was tested with the command to sacrifice his son on Mount Moriah, identified with the Temple Mount, which houses sanctuaries of the three major religions: The Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, the Wailing Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Via de la Rosa. For Muslims, Jerusalem is the third holiest site in the world, after Mecca and al-Medina, from which, according to a majority of Muslim traditions, Muhammad ascended to Heaven. Many Christians believe that the Second Coming of Jesus will take place on the Temple Mount, and possibly, concomitant with the building of the Third Temple. For Jews, Jerusalem is the one and only holy place, to which they face while praying and the name of which is continuously mentioned in rituals and ceremonies. The course will not deal with contemporary aspects or occurrences, but will rather examine Jerusalem as an idea. While dealing with basic events that occurred in the city throughout 3000 years, it will focus on the mythic topoi that have been attached to Jerusalem throughout the years.
REL 390D: Religion in the Development of American Higher Education (General Courses)
Prof. Frank, TR 3:30-4:45pm – Why were so many private — and a lot of public — colleges and universities started by religious groups in America? What was the connection between religion and a liberal arts education? Why did a lot of colleges drop their religious affiliations 30-50 years ago? What difference does a university’s religious heritage make in today’s world of knowledge? What role should religion have in 21st century higher education? These are some of the questions we will explore. Readings include historical surveys, college histories, presidential memoirs, and opinion pieces from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, as well as research reports and analysis of more recent years. We will also interview leaders from Wake Forest and other local schools to understand the current scene. This course is cross-listed with HMN282 and HST382.
REL 704: Conceptions of the Ultimate
Prof. Ford, TR 2:00-3:15pm – Conceptions of ultimate reality, the divine, or sacred in the history of religions may be too numerous to count. The Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses (2004) contains over 2500 entries, undoubtedly a small portion of the total. Hinduism alone boasts a proverbial 330 million deities. God, Yahweh, Allah, Brahman, Vishnu, the Dao, Nirvana, and Emptiness are but a few examples from major world religions. How are we to make sense of this multiplicity? How are we to understand the changing conceptions, symbolic and doctrinal, manifest over time in any given tradition? What are we to make of the fact that, within one tradition, deities who offer personal relationships with devotees function side-by-side with highly transcendent and impersonal conceptions of the Ultimate? Using a variety of methodological lenses (e.g., phenomenological, sociological, philosophical, and theological), this course will study various models of ultimate reality—in their cultural and historical context—found in a range of religious traditions, with special focus on early Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
Department of Religion Tentative Fall 2014 Upper Level Courses
REL 200 Approaches to the Study of Religion. (3h, General Course)
Professor Glauz-Todrank. Explores the history of and methodological resources for the study of religion. Focus may vary with instructor, but the emphasis is on the ways religion has been defined, studied and interpreted over the last several centuries.
REL 318. Feminist and Contemporary Interpretations of the New Testament. (3h, Group I: Biblical Studies)
Professor Foskett. Study of feminist and contemporary approaches to the New Testament in light of the history of New Testament interpretation and a range of contemporary concerns and interpretive contexts.
REL 338. Religion, Ethics, and Politics. (3h, Group II: Religion, History, and Society)
Professor Ilesanmi. Examines ethical issues in religion and politics using materials from a variety of sources and historical periods.
REL 361. Topics in Buddhism. (3h, Group III: World Religions)
Professor Ramachandran. Variable topics in Buddhist history, thought, and/or practice. May be repeated for credit if topic varies..
REL 363. The Religions of Japan. (3h, Group III: World Religions)
Professor Ford. Study of the central religious traditions of Japan from pre-history to the present, including Shinto, Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Christianity, and Confucianism.
REL 369. Radical Christian Movements. (3h, Group II: Religion, History, and Society)
Professor Boyd. Study of selected radical movements in the Christian tradition and their relation to contemporary issues.
REL 389. Islam in the West: Changes and Challenges. (3h, Group III: World Religions)
Professor Van Doorn Harder. Explores issues of identity, ethnicity and religion within various Muslim communities living in western countries. A central goal is to understand how these communities negotiate the new environment and the challenges they face.
|REL||101||A||Introduction to Religion||WF||9:30-10:45||Lynn S. Neal||WIN 210|
|REL||101||B||Introduction to Religion||WF||12:30-1:45||Leann C. Pace||WIN 210|
|REL||101||C||Introduction to Religion||TR||12:30-1:45||Ronald B. Neal||WIN 314|
|REL||101||D||Introduction to Religion||TR||2:00-3:15||Ronald B. Neal||WIN 210|
|REL||102||A||Introduction to the Bible||TR||9:30-10:45||Jason A. Staples||WIN 314|
|REL||102||B||Introduction to the Bible||TR||2:00-3:15||Jason A. Staples||WIN 314|
|REL||103||A||Intro to Christian Traditions||MWF||11:00-11:50||Earl P. Crow||WIN 209|
|REL||103||B||Intro to Christian Traditions||TR||12:30-1:45||Stephen B. Boyd||WIN 209|
|REL||105||A||Monotheisms: Judaism, Christianity, Islam||TR||11:00-12:15||Elaine K. Swartzentruber||WIN 306|
|REL||107||A||Intro to African Religions||MW||12:30-1:45||Simeon Ilesanmi||WIN 209|
|REL||107||B||Intro to African Religions||MW||5:00-6:15||Simeon Ilesanmi||WIN 209|
|REL||108||A||Intro to Hindu Traditions||TR||11:00-12:15||Tanisha Ramachandran||WIN 314|
|REL||108||B||Intro to Hindu Traditions||WF||9:30-10:45||Jarrod L. Whitaker||WIN 314|
|REL||109||A||Intro to Buddhist Traditions||WF||11:00-12:15||Jarrod L. Whitaker||WIN 314|
|REL||110||A||Intro to Islamic Traditions||MW||12:30-1:45||Leah Kinberg||WIN 306|
|REL||110||B||Intro to Islamic Traditions||TR||11:00-12:15||Pieternella A. Van Doorn Harder||WIN 209|
|REL||113||A||Intro to Jewish Traditions||MW||2:00-3:15||Annalise Glauz-Todrank||WIN 314|
|REL||200||A||Approaches to the Study of Religion||TR||2:00-3:15||Tanisha Ramachandran||WIN 206|
|REL||240||A||Religion & Ecology||TR||12:30-1:45||Lucas F. Johnston||WIN 210|
|REL||266||A||Sects & Cults||WF||11:00-12:15||Lynn S. Neal||WIN 206|
|REL||306||A||Ritual Studies||WF||2:00-3:15||Jarrod L. Whitaker||WIN 206|
|REL||319||A||Visions of the End: Jewish & Christian Apocalyptic||TR||12:30-1:45||Jason A. Staples||WIN 206|
|REL||323||A||Jesus Traditions||TR||11:00-12:15||Mary F. Foskett||WIN 206|
|REL||332||A||Religion & Public Engagement||T||3:30-6:00||Stephen B. Boyd||WIN 209|
|REL||345||A||African-American Religious Experience||TR||9:30-10:45||Ronald B. Neal||WIN 210|
|REL||355||A||Jewish Identities: Religion, Race & Rights||MW||12:30-1:45||Annalise Glauz-Todrank||WIN 314|
|REL||362||A||Topics in Islam: Islam & Gender||MW||3:30-4:45||Leah Kinberg||WIN 314|
|REL||383||A||Qur’an & The Prophet||TR||9:30-10:45||Pieternella A. Van Doorn Harder||WIN 206|
REL 200: Approches to the Study of Religion (General Courses)
Prof. Ramachandran, T/TH 2:00-3:15pm – The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the methodologies (and pitfalls) involved in the academic study of religion. It will explore the various kinds of questions, approaches, limitations, and techniques that are/have been used in religious studies. This course will teach students to employ a critical and intersectional analysis to the study of religion in the academy and society. Using historical and contemporary examples from various religious traditions, we will analyze how concepts such as race, gender, culture, and sexuality intersect to produce and interpret religious identities, practices, imagery, myths, rituals, and texts.
*The Course used be REL 300 and it is required for all Religion Majors. The Department strongly recommends that all Majors take this course earlier, rather than later, in the course of their degree. Minors are also welcome to take it as it counts toward their religion courses.
REL 240: Religion & Ecology (Group II: Religion, History, and Society)
Prof. Johnston, T/Th 12:30-1:45pm – This course explores the complex relationships between ecosystems, religions and cultures. Human cultures and their religious production have always depended on the natural world not just for physical and spiritual subsistence, but also as a source of inspiration or veneration, for metaphors of the sacred, and for exploitation. This course will: a) analyze will utilize and interdisciplinary approach to analyze arguments for the emergence of religion as a response to ecological and social constraints; b) survey how various cultures have imagined the natural world and their ethical obligations toward it (if any), including the development of new nature-based religious movements; and c) review arguments for and against the notion that religion is evolutionarily adaptive.
Course modules include: Environmental History and Religion; Religion and Ecological Adaptation; Environmental Anthropology; Nature-Based Religions; Evolutionary Perspectives on Religion
REL 266: Sects & Cults (Group II: Religion, History, and Society)
Prof. Lynn Neal, W/F 11:00am-12:15pm – In this course we will investigate historical and contemporary issues in the study of new religious movements. From charges of brainwashing to allegations of violence, the cult stereotype persists and shapes our vision of new religions. Throughout the semester, we will examine this stereotype, question its sources, and test its validity. We will do this not only by analyzing media coverage of new religions, but also through examining the history of specific “cults”—Jonestown, the Nation of Islam, Waco, Heaven’s Gate, Satanism, & Wicca.
REL 306: Ritual Studies (General Courses)
Prof. Whitaker, W/F 2:00-3:15pm – “Of course, rituals come in all sizes and kinds, from those linking humans to superhuman powers (possession trance, prayer, exorcism, and the like) to the everyday rituals (greeting, socializing, cleansing, and eating) to the rituals of the state, professions, clubs, and affinity groups. There are birth, puberty, courtship, marriage, death, and afterlife rituals. All of life—from the most mundane to the most special—is saturated with and marked by ritual. But what is ritual?” — Richard Schechner
This course will introduce students to the various methods and theories employed in the field of ritual studies, while examining comparative rituals and ritualized practices from around the world. Please Note: REL 306 has been approved to count as an elective course for the Anthropology (ANT) Major.
REL 319: Visions of the End: Jewish and Christian Apocalyptic (Group I: Biblical Studies)
Visiting Instructor – Staples, T/TH 12:30pm-1:45pm – “It’s the end of the world as we know it.” But will the world end with a bang or a whimper? From the Book of Revelation to the Left Behind series and the fuss over the Mayan calendar in 2012, there is no escaping the impact of apocalyptic thought even today.
Starting from the roots of apocalypticism in early Judaism, this course will explore the origins, development, and legacies of Jewish and Christian apocalyptic thought and literature—and the various ways the end is envisioned across these traditions. The course features a close reading of texts from the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and other early Jewish literature as well as early Christian apocalyptic literature such as the Book of Revelation. Our approach will be interdisciplinary and students will be encouraged to explore the issues and materials from a range of methodological perspectives, always alert to the context in which these books and movements arose.
The course will conclude with a look at the continuing legacy of apocalypticism in religious movements, politics, art, and popular culture (including fiction, music, video games, film) in the world today.
*Jason A. Staples will be Visiting Instructor in the Dept. of Religion, Academic Year 2013-14. He comes to Wake Forest from UNC-Chapel Hill, where he is completing a Ph.D. in Ancient Mediterranean Religions, specializing in Early Judaism and Christian Origins. Jason has taught numerous courses at UNC, where he won the Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2009), one of five university-wide awards given. His dissertation examines expectations of Israel’s restoration in early Judaism and how those expectations shaped early Christianity, the apostle Paul in particular. His other research interests include Jewish-Christian relations, apocalypticism, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Hebrew prophets, Jewish wisdom literature, ancient conceptions of ethnicity, gender/sexuality, sociology of religion, and Graeco-Roman philosophy. Jason has served on the steering committee for SECSOR’s “Judaism and Hellenism” subsection for the past two years and coordinated the joint UNC/Duke/NC State “Christianity in Antiquity” (CIA) colloquium for three years. Jason received his B.A. and M.A. in Religion from Florida State University and is also a member of the Football Writers Association of America.
REL 323: Jesus Traditions (Group I: Biblical Studies)
Prof. Foskett, T/TH 11:00am-12:15pm – This course examines traditions about Jesus in Christian and non-Christian texts, including the New Testament, early Christian gospels outside the New Testament canon, and the Koran. Students will study these traditions in their historical, cultural, social and literary contexts to gain an appreciation for the diversity of Jesus traditions in various periods.
REL 332: Religion & Public Engagement (Group II: Religion, History, and Society)
Prof. Boyd, Tuesdays 3:30-6:00pm – This seminar introduces students to dynamics at work at the interface between religious communities and the public sphere. It will explore, through a wide range of readings, guest lectures, field trips, and films, the potential for social change—constructive and destructive—within and between communities in contemporary local, regional, national and global contexts.
For Fall 2013, among the religions included will be Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Native traditions. Among the possible topics covered will be the US Civil Rights Movement, the relation of church and state, women’s rights, religious intolerance, inter-faith collaboration, and skills in the conduct of public life.
Students will conduct team research aimed at issues related to the semester’s selected areas of inquiry (e.g., criminal justice (innocence, re-entry, reform); education and racial desegregation/resegregation; disaster relief; campus tolerance/intolerance; Native American land rights).
REL 345: African American Religious Experience (Group II: Religion, History, and Society)
Prof. R. Neal, T/TH 9:30-10:45am – This course surveys the religious practices, beliefs, traditions, and institutions which have characterized the African American experience in North America. In this course, students will be exposed to the gamut of African American religious expression, from West African religions to Christianity to Islam to esoteric religious movements of the city to recent religious innovations among African Americans. The African American religious experience will be examined in light of the social and political history of African Americans in the United States. Students will consider the experience of slavery and the struggle for civil and human rights, which have shaped the African American experience. Special emphasis will be placed on key figures, historical moments and social movements, which have defined this struggle. Overall, students will examine the variety of religious beliefs, practices, and traditions that permeate the history and culture of African Americans.
REL 355: Jewish Identities: Religion, Race, and Rights (Group II: Religion, History, and Society)
Prof. Glauz-Todrank, M/W 12:30-1:45pm – “Is Judaism a religion or a race?” Jews and non-Jews have struggled to answer this question throughout the modern period. In this course, we will examine why. In doing so, we will answer the following questions: Why do contemporary Americans often think of Jews as members of a “religion,” but when Nazis ruled Germany they classified Jews as a “race?” What is antisemitism and why has it taken so many different forms over the ages? To construct responses to these questions, we will consider how Jews in a variety of historical and geographic contexts have been characterized by outsiders as well as how Jews have described and identified themselves. We will examine “religion” and “race” as subjective, constructed categories that have been employed to define who is a Jew. In doing so, we will also address how and why these categories have been tied to different types of legal rights and social privileges.
REL 362: Islam & Gender (Group III: World Religions)
Visiting Professor Leah Kinberg, M/W 3:30-4:45pm – The duty to treat women well is adduced in a wide range of Qur’anic verses and prophetic sayings. These quotations underlie a variety of current Islamic studies and argumentative presentations that introduce Islam not only as a religion that highly respects women, but also as the only religion that treats women equally. Western society, however, portrays the Islamic woman as being deprived of her basic rights.
The present course will examine this dichotomy and analyze the religio-cultural background that inspires it. It will begin with an historical review of the status of pre-Islamic women and the Prophet’s wives, and continue with an examination of the lives of dominant women throughout Islamic history. Finally, it will probe into the topics that are relevant to the modern Islamic woman, both in Muslim countries and in the West. Along this survey, currently contested issues will be studied: female attire, honor killing, wife beating, women stoning, female circumcision and, what seems to contradict all the above, female jihad.
*Leah Kinberg – Born and raised in Israel. BA in Biblical Studies and Arabic Language and Literature, MA in Islamic Studies, both at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Ph.D. at The University of Michigan, Ann arbor (Islamic Studies). For the last twenty five years has been teaching at Tel-Aviv University (Department of the History of the Middle East and Afrika). Over the years, affiliated with several universities as a visiting professor: The University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada, The University of New South Wails, Sydney, Australia, Simon Frazer University, Vancouver, Canada, and will spend the 2013-2014 academic year at Wake Forest University (The Department of Religion) as an AICE/Schusterman visiting Israel professor. Research and writing interests include: The function of dreams in Medieval Islamic literature, Qur’an hermeneutics, Islam and Judaism, Muslims and Jews, the question of Jerusalem, Classical Islam in the service of contemporary issues, modern Islamic rhetoric, Islam and gender and the Islamic diaspora.
REL 383: The Quran & the Prophet (Group III: World Religions)
Prof. VanDoorn Harder, T/TH 9:30-10:45am – During this course we study the contents of the Qur’an, the various stages of the history of its revelation and how it came to function as the basis of Muslim belief, worship, and law. We look at the role of the Prophet Muhammad as the recipient and transmitter of the Qur’an’s message and what his symbolic presence as a model for all Muslims means in the spiritual life of a Muslim. We furthermore study the Qur’an’s artistic qualities and its place and role in daily Muslim life and try to gain understanding about how the various modes of its interpretation developed.