Archive of Spring 2016

Displaying Courses 1 - 16 of 16
Spring 2016

Main Religious Studies Courses

Religious Studies 90 B Interpreting Religion: Introduction to the Academic Study of Religion
  • MWF 2-3P
  • J. Ronis
  • 180 Tan
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 77603

Are you interested in debates about the nature, origins, function and future of religion? Do you want to learn insightful ways of interpreting religious activities at both the individual and macro levels? How about exploring the appearance of religious imagery and ideology outside of traditional venues, for instance, in popular culture? Religious Studies 90B is an introductory course in the academic study of religion. It is open to all students interested in cultural and sociological perspectives on religious experiences, customs, media, and institutions. This class strives for a fairly broad but always critical investigation of religion. The readings aim for broad coverage of religious phenomena from around the world, but with an emphasis on the contemporary period.

Religious Studies C 108 Scandinavian Myth and Religion
  • MWF 10-11
  • WELLENDORF, J
  • 219 Dwinelle
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 77609

Scandinavian Myth and Religion

 

L&S Breadth:  Philosophy & Values OR Arts & Literature

 

Who were the Norse gods? Why did they have to die? And how do we know? This course presents a survey of Scandinavian myth and religion from prehistory through the conversion to Christianity (eleventh century), as illustrated in narrative and, to a lesser extent, archaeological materials. The approach will be primarily source-critical, with some use of comparative materials from other mythologies. By the end of the course, students should know the sources well, have an understanding of the major problems involved in this study, and be aware of the more important scholarly trends in the field. Three hours of lecture and discussion per week.

 

Workload: A midterm exam (20% of the course grade); a draft of term paper (10% of course grade); term paper (40% of the course grade); and a final examination (30% of the course grade).

 

Texts:

Edda, trans. Anthony Faulkes, ISBN-13: 978-0460876162

The Poetic Edda (second edition), trans. Carolyne Larrington, ISBN-13: 978-0199675340

Norse Mythology, by John Lindow, ISBN-13: 978-0195153828

All other readings are to be found in the course reader which will be made available through bCourses.

 

Prerequisites:  None, although some background in folklore and mythology, religious studies, medieval literature and history, or Scandinavian culture are likely to prove helpful.

Religious Studies 190 Shipwrecked: Conversion, Redemption, and Salvation in Ship-wreck Narratives
  • TuTh 9:30-11A
  • S. Elm
  • 2 Evans
  • 4
  • Class Number: 77627
Religious Studies 190 The Eranos Group: Exploring Mysticism with Carl Jung, Gershom Scholem, Henry Corbin, Karl Keronyi, Mircea Eliade, and Joseph Campbel
  • Th 3-6pm
  • L. R. Little
  • 20 Wheeler
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 77624

The course explores a diverse body of theories and methods essential to the modern formation of the study of religion in the latter half of the 20th century. These ideas were fostered and evolved in a unique collaboration that was precipitated by yearly conferences held in Ascona, Switzerland beginning in 1933. Called “Eranos,” the Greek word for “potluck,” this conference functioned as a kind of banquet of shared ideas on the significance of myth, symbol, and mysticism in relation to art, history, psychology and religion. This class examines seminal works that came out of Eranos as well as new scholarship that both celebrates and critiques the interpretive innovations that emerged as a byproduct of these important collaborations.

 

Method

Buddhist Studies C 128 Buddhism in Contemporary Society
  • TuTh 1230-2P
  • BLUM, M L
  • 3 LeConte
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 07659

Cross-listed with East Asian Languages and Cultures C128 section 1 and South and Southeast Asian Studies C145 section 1. 

A study of the Buddhist tradition as it is found today in Asia. The course will focus on specific living traditions of East, South, and/or Southeast Asia. Themes to be addressed may include contemporary Buddhist ritual practices; funerary and mortuary customs; the relationship between Buddhism and other local religious traditions; the relationship between Buddhist institutions and the state; Buddhist monasticism and its relationship to the laity; Buddhist ethics; Buddhist "modernism," and so on.

 

Near Eastern Studies C 188 Magic, Religion and Science: The Ancient and Medieval Worlds
  • TuTh 11:00-12:30
  • LUCARELLI, R
  • 60 EVANS
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 61560

This course will explore magic as an experimental science within the learned traditions of civilizations that we consider as fundamental for a modern Western identity: from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome to the medieval and early modern Middle East, Byzantium, and Europe. The primary sources used for this exploration will be texts on demons, magic, divination, and the sophisticated philosophical background to such beliefs. In addition, archeological remains pertinent to these practices such as talismans, amulets, and other magical objects will be discussed.

Religious Studies 190 The Eranos Group: Exploring Mysticism with Carl Jung, Gershom Scholem, Henry Corbin, Karl Keronyi, Mircea Eliade, and Joseph Campbel
  • Th 3-6pm
  • L. R. Little
  • 20 Wheeler
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 77624

The course explores a diverse body of theories and methods essential to the modern formation of the study of religion in the latter half of the 20th century. These ideas were fostered and evolved in a unique collaboration that was precipitated by yearly conferences held in Ascona, Switzerland beginning in 1933. Called “Eranos,” the Greek word for “potluck,” this conference functioned as a kind of banquet of shared ideas on the significance of myth, symbol, and mysticism in relation to art, history, psychology and religion. This class examines seminal works that came out of Eranos as well as new scholarship that both celebrates and critiques the interpretive innovations that emerged as a byproduct of these important collaborations.

 

Courses From Other Departments

All Buddhist Studies courses - see http://buddhiststudies.berkeley.edu/courses/

 

 

Asian American Studies 144 Religions of Asian America
  • TuTh 11:00-12:30
  • Chen, C.
  • 155 Barrows
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 05548

This course will examine how Asian American communities engage religion and how, in turn, they are shaped by the different facets of religious life. Religion is examined in the form of major traditions-Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity-and readings will introduce students to key concepts, practices, and institutions which help to define these trajectories.

Asian Studies 150 Special Topics - Thought and Religion in Ancient Korea
  • MW 4:00-5:30PM
  • J. Davey
  • 20 Wheeler
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 05771

For a small geographic region, the Korean peninsula has played host to a huge number of religious and philosophical traditions. In early Korea, Confucian gentlemen rubbed elbows with mountain spirits, monarchs could be simultaneously shamans and Bodhisattvas, and entire industries were devoted to properly providing for deceased ancestors. In this discussion-focused course, we will examine how the distinct and distinctive shamanic, Buddhist, Confucian, and folk traditions of the Korean peninsula came to be and explore the dynamic interaction between them that gave rise to syncretic practices and cosmologies. 

Buddhist Studies C 128 Buddhism in Contemporary Society
  • TuTh 1230-2P
  • BLUM, M L
  • 3 LeConte
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 07659

Cross-listed with East Asian Languages and Cultures C128 section 1 and South and Southeast Asian Studies C145 section 1. 

A study of the Buddhist tradition as it is found today in Asia. The course will focus on specific living traditions of East, South, and/or Southeast Asia. Themes to be addressed may include contemporary Buddhist ritual practices; funerary and mortuary customs; the relationship between Buddhism and other local religious traditions; the relationship between Buddhist institutions and the state; Buddhist monasticism and its relationship to the laity; Buddhist ethics; Buddhist "modernism," and so on.

 

Letters and Science 160 B Effective Personal Ethics for the 21st Century: Awakening at the Center of an Evolving Universe
  • MW 4-5:30
  • J. Phillips (Haas Business School)
  • 50 Birge
  • 3 Units
  • Class Number: 52071

Ethics comes from the Greek root ethos, meaning essential character. Each ethical decisiowe make (or avoid) actually co-creates who we are, our lives, our relationships, and the world we live in. Readings from Aristotle through the existentialists, an exploration of comparative religion, studies in intra- and inter-personal psychology, and cases from literature to business will orient and inspire and support students' quests to find and live their deepest values. We will investigate those characteristics and habits of human nature that hinder affirmative ethical behavior (and the realization of maximum human potential generally), and explore characteristics and practices that can foster each student's inherent imagination, creative capacity, integration, and fully satisfying participation in life and the larger Earth adventure. Ultimately, L&S 160B will empower students to transcend basic reaction to difficult and significant challenges and instead move into a genuinely creative response, thus fostering the "response-ability," stability, emotional intelligence, discrimination, and discerning self-awareness required of 21st-century global citizens.
This class is open to all undergraduates.

Letters and Science C 160 V Human Happiness (L+S Discovery Course)
  • MW 2-3
  • D Keltner
  • 155 Dwinelle
  • 3 Units
  • Class Number: 05771

This course will take an interdisciplinary approach to an understanding of happiness. The first part of the course will be devoted to the different treatments of happiness in the world's philosophical traditions, focusing up close on conceptions of the good life in classical Greek and Judeo-Christian thought, the great traditions in East Asian thought (Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism), and ideas about happiness that emerged more recently in the age of Enlightenment. With these different perspectives as a framework, the course will then turn to treatments of happiness in the behavioral sciences, evolutionary scholarship, and neuroscience. Special emphasis will be given to understanding how happiness arises in experiences of the moral emotions, including gratitude, compassion, reverence and awe, as well as aesthetic emotions like humor and beauty.
Undergraduates at all levels are welcome to enroll in this class.

Near Eastern Studies 25 Ancient Babylonian Myths and Legends
  • TuTh 2-3:30
  • Tanaka TW
  • 3 Units
  • Class Number: 51517

 

Near Eastern Studies 140 Topics in Islamic Thought and Institutions
  • TuTh 1230-2P
  • Bazian HA
  • 1709 Barrows
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 61545

The course provides the student with a broad survey of late 18th to 20th century Muslim intellectual, institutional and political history with a focus on key personalities, major events and movements shaping the emergence of modes of religious practices and modern engagement as well as the materialization of tensions emerging from local, regional and global conflicts. 

Near Eastern Studies C 188 Magic, Religion and Science: The Ancient and Medieval Worlds
  • TuTh 11:00-12:30
  • LUCARELLI, R
  • 60 EVANS
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 61560

This course will explore magic as an experimental science within the learned traditions of civilizations that we consider as fundamental for a modern Western identity: from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome to the medieval and early modern Middle East, Byzantium, and Europe. The primary sources used for this exploration will be texts on demons, magic, divination, and the sophisticated philosophical background to such beliefs. In addition, archeological remains pertinent to these practices such as talismans, amulets, and other magical objects will be discussed.