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Fall 2016

Courses From Other Departments

Buddhist Studies C 113 Buddhist Thought in India
  • TTh3:30-5
  • Lin, Q
  • 234 Dwinelle
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 33597

This course is an advanced introduction to the major teachings of Indian Buddhism and their philosophical elaborations. We will cover the core tenets attributed to the Buddha, and the later doctrinal and scholastic developments that turned Buddhism into one of the principal philosophical traditions of India. For this we will read select primary sources—in principle, extracts of the scriptures and later treatises—and academic articles and book chapters. Rather than offering a broad introductory survey of Buddhist traditions across space and time, this class is geared towards students who are already familiar with the basics of Buddhism and want to deepen their understanding of the principal teachings of Buddhism originating in India.. Prerequisites: None.


Buddhist Studies C 120 Tibetan Buddhism
  • TTh 11-12:30
  • J. Ronis
  • 587 Barrows
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: C114

Tibetan Buddhism. This course is an introduction to the history, institutions, doctrines, and ritual practices of Buddhism in Tibet. The course will progress along two parallel tracks, one chronological and the other thematic, providing on the one hand a sense of the historical development of Tibetan Buddhism, and on the other a general overview of some central themes.  Along the historical track, the course proceeds from Buddhism's initial arrival into Tibet through to the present day, with each week addressing another period in this history.  At the same time, each week will focus on a given theme that relates to the historical period in question. Themes include tantric myth, 'treasure' (terma) revelation, hidden valleys, the Dalai Lamas, exile, and more. Prerequisites: None.


Buddhist Studies C 120 Buddhism on the Silk Road
  • TuTh 2:00-3:30
  • S. Mehendale
  • 229 Dwinelle
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 13623
Cross-listed with East Asian Languages and Cultures C120

This course will discuss the social, economic, and cultural aspects of Buddhism as it moved along the ancient Eurasian trading network referred to as the "Silk Road." Instead of relying on the textual tradition, the course will focus on material culture as it offers evidence concerning the spread of Buddhism. Through an examination of the Buddhist art and archaeological remains of the Silk Road, the course will address specific topics, such as the relationship between Buddhism and commerce; doctrinal divergence; ideological  shifts in the iconography of the Buddha; patronage (royal, religious, and lay); ritual; Buddhism and political power; and art and conversion. The course is also designed as an historical introduction to the Silk Road, understood as an ever-changing series of peoples, places, and traditions, as well as an introduction to the study of those same peopels, places, and traditions in the modern period. IN this way, the class is intended both as a guide to extant textual, archaeological, and art historical evidence from the Silk Road, and as a framework fort hinking about the modern Silk Road regions from teh perspective of a contemporary American classroom. 

History 185 A History of Christianity to 1250
  • TuTh 9:30-11:00
  • TBA
  • 136 Barrows
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 15864

The course deals with the origins of Christianity and the first eleven centuries of its expansion into a major institutional, social, and intellectual force shaping Western Europe. The central themes are the mechanisms and conditions shaping this expansion rather than a chronological account to present this process as a model of "institutionalization" (or not!) of religious movements. The emphasis will be on patterns of crisis and reform, i.e., on conflicts arising within the church itself and as a result of its dealings with the "outside" world, and how these crises were resolved. The course is based on the study of primary sources and will include problems of historical method. Requirements, beyond a basic familiarity with Roman and early Medieval history, are one midterm, one final, and a book review.

History 185 B Jews and the Modern World
  • TuTh 9:30-11:00
  • J. Efron
  • 247 Corey
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 39941

This course will examine the impact of modern intellectual, political, economic, and social forces on the Jewish people since the eighteenth century.  It is our aim to come to an understanding of how the Jews interpreted these forces and how and in what ways they adapted and utilized them to suit the Jewish experience.  In other words, we will trace the way Jews became modern.  Some of the topics to be covered include Emancipation, the Jewish Enlightenment, new Jewish religious movements, Jewish politics and culture, antisemitism, the Holocaust, and the state of Israel.


South Asian 128 Religion in Modern India
  • MWF 11-12
  • 2011 VLSB
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 31590

This course considers the co-option, reinterpretation and dissemination of sacred texts and religious practices in various political and cultural projects in India during the colonial and post-colonial periods. Students will be introduced to religious “reform” movements and cross-cultural debates during the colonial period. We will also examine how the concept of a secular state in post-Independence India has shaped and continues to shape religious practice and public policy. Important themes will include, transformations in the role of women, debates around caste and “untouchability”, and religious conversions. Although the emphasis is on Hindu traditions, attention will also be given to other Indian traditions such as Islam, Christianity and Buddhism.


South Asian 140 Hindu Mythology
  • MWF 11-12
  • Goldman, R.
  • 2060 VLSB
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 31585

Description forthcoming

Southeast Asian Studies 137 Islam and Society in Southeast Asia
  • TTh 12:30-2
  • Hadler, J.
  • 209 Dwinelle
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 31587

Indonesia is the nation with the world’s largest Muslim population, and Malaysia and the southern Philippines are regions with vibrant Islamic traditions. Islam has been essential in the development of Southeast Asian cultures, literatures, and arts for over seven hundred years, and Southeast Asian Islam is intimately tied to the Islamic world. This upper-division undergraduate course will be an investigation into key discourses on the cultures and politics of Islam in Southeast Asia. We will trace the processes through which Islam entered the Malay world in the 13th century. We will explore the European colonial encounters with Islam in Southeast Asia and the ways that Islam interacted with and resisted colonialism. We will discuss the role of mysticism and Sufi associations, and of reformist movements in the 18th through the 21st centuries. And we will analyze the place of Islam in Southeast Asian arts and literature. We will consider the majority Muslim nations of Indonesia and Malaysia, and will also explore the struggles of Islam as a minority religion in the Philippines and Thailand. Readings will include primary sources in translation, literary texts, ethnographic works, and writings by colonial and local scholars. Note: this course is writing-intensive and discussion-based.



Summer 2015

Courses From Other Departments

Religious Studies C 104 Babylonian Religion
  • MWF 9:00-11:30
  • T. Tanaka
  • 78 Barrows
  • 3 Units
  • Class Number: 81005
Cross-listed with Ne Stud C 104

This course will introduce students to various aspects of the religious practices of ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) through readings, lectures, discussions, and papers. Since the Mesopotamians had no word for "religion," some of the course topics (ranging from medicine to politics to law) may challenge the student's understanding of what religion is.