Graduate Division of Religion


  • RLE 701: Questions of War
    • Course Descriptions: Traditionally, ethicists refer to the debate over the moral justification of war as “the question of war.” This course includes writings by Bonhoeffer, Reinhold Niebuhr, John Howard Yoder, Stanley Hauerwas, Jean Bethke Elshtain, and Michael Walzer to discuss the moral justification. Increasingly, however, ethicists find themselves addressing multiple questions of war. For this reason, “Questions of War” in the spring of 2016 will also examine contemporary issues, such as the use of torture, drones, genocide and humanitarian intervention, moral injury and trauma, and the reality of child soldiers.
    • Frequently Taught By: Ellen Marshall


  • RLHT 738: African Religions in the Americas
    • Course Description: How might a focus upon place and performance allow access to legacies of African religious thought in the Americas and the Caribbean?  The course invites students to wrestle with this guiding question by engaging innovative scholarly approaches to African religions in the Americas, with an emphasis on African-derived Christian traditions in the Southeastern United States, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada.  Reading mostly historical and ethnographic studies, we will explore the lived religion of African-descended peoples in the West, giving emphasis to built environment, the natural world, the invisible world, social location, ritual, embodiment, adornment, secrecy, symbolic thought, illness and health, and other phenomena of relevance to our course aims.  In this seminar, performanceand placeindex a plethora of ideas, expressions and locations, including (but in no way limited to) those produced by the constraints of enslavement and colonial ruling relations in Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean.  We will consider, for example, the Central African contexts and imperial formations that produced Kongo Catholicism, a tradition that had significant impact upon the appearance of African-derived Christianities in the Americas and the Caribbean.  We will investigate also how African-descended peoples have performed cultural, racial, ‘national,’ gendered and religious identities in various contexts from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century.  Moreover, beyond a thorough examination of sacred places and spiritual landscapes encompassing the natural and invisible worlds of African-descended peoples in different historical and geographic settings, we will reflect upon how the placement of bodies in social and ritual contexts is significant to accessing and utilizing religious knowledge and power across several African inspired Christian traditions.
    • Frequently Taught By: Dianne Stewart
    • RLAR 720: Indian Poetics and Aethetics
    • Course Description: Indian literature after colonialism has been dominated by the novel, the short story, and the prose poem, and it heavily borrows western literary theory to analyze them. Critics use the same literary critical concepts and methods that they would use for Dickens, Faulkner, Keats or Blake to analyze Bankim, Tagore, Gurajada or Premchand with occasional sprinkle of Sanskrit words like rasa for an Indian flavor. New Criticism, structuralism, poststructuralism and now deconstruction are actively employed by scholars in India for Indian literature.
    • Frequent taught by: V. Narayana Rao


  • RLPC 710 Religion and Human Rights: A millennium for Restorative Justice
    • Course Description: The point of departure for this course is a working hypothesis: every religious tradition conveys distinctive resources for fostering and adjudicating human rights and conducting faith-based conflict interventions. Even so, a corollary follows here, we discover repeated instances where each tradition needs other religions as well as secular humanist resources in order sometimes first to recognize and acknowledge, and then interrupt and counteract, its chronic human rights violations.
    • Frequently Taught By: Thee Smith

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