This course is an introduction to several major religious traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, and Islam. We will approach these religions through their historical development, their major doctrinal and philosophical patterns, and their practices. Although the primary class format will be lecture, the instructor encourages all students to ask questions and engage in discussion freely.
Christianity & Challenge of Islam
Surveys the growth of Islam within Jewish and Christian context. Presents the basic teachings of the Qu’ran and discusses Christian/Muslim dialogue in the modern world. Prerequisite: Any TRS 200-level or HSTR course.
Hermeneutics and Religion
Through lectures, audiovisual presentations, and discussions, religious forms (e.g., prayer, metaphors, narrative, and law) and interpreters (e.g., Bal, Bultmann, Gadamer, Habermas, Ricoeur, Said, Tracy, and others) will be studied.
Comparative Reading of the Qur'an
This seminar will concentrate on an interdisciplinary reading of selected chapters from the Qur'an in which the relationship between the "People of the Book" is addressed. The readings will pay attention to both Muslim and non-Muslim traditions of interpretation of the Qur'an, and it will include inter-textual exegesis and comparative theological approaches. While traditional qur'anic exegesis (tafsir) will be one of the major elements of the seminar, knowledge of the Arabic language is not a prerequisite, and the function of qur'anic texts in contemporary dialogues between Muslims and Christians will be explicitly addressed as well.