2020-2021 University Catalog 
    Oct 25, 2021  
2020-2021 University Catalog archived

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REL 295 - Special Topics in Religion

Credits: 3 credits in fall or winter, 4 in spring

Prerequisite varies according to the topic. A course offered from time to time in a selected problem or topic in religion. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2021, REL 295A-01: Special Topics in Religion: Religion and Children’s Literature (3). In this course, students consider how authors have used literature for young people in the service of religion, and the inverse. Students consider the beginnings of the genre with George MacDonnell, and his influence on CS Lewis; Laura Ingalls Wilder’s place in the canon of American civic religion; the theology of Harry Potter; the mobilization of Asian religious imagery in fantasy; and the re-working of the Left Behind series for young readers; among other topics. (HU) Haskett.

Winter 2021, REL 295B-01: Special Topics in Religion: Women, Gender, and Sexuality in the Jewish Tradition (3). How does Jewish tradition understand gender, sexuality, and sexual difference - and how have Jews sought to influence, negotiate, or critique the tradition? This class employs classical and modern scholarly textual analysis, contemporary theological/philosophical responses, first-person accounts, and ethnography to consider these thorny questions. Students also consider how contemporary theories of gender, sexuality, and feminism interact with the study of Judaism in particular. No previous coursework in Jewish Studies or Religion is required. (HU) Filler.


Fall 2020, REL 295A-01: Topic: American Judaism (3). No prerequisite. The first Jews set foot on American soil in 1584, and Jewish understandings of the United States and its non-Jewish majority have been complicated ever since. We explore the history, sociology, and theology of American Judaism from the colonial period to the present day, with a particular focus on the Jewish minority experience and the development of Jewish politics and culture. Students also consider the rise of the congregational denominations, the appeal of nostalgia, and development of particularly American Jewish holidays and cuisines. (HU) Filler.

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