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SOCIOLOGY

School

Harvard Divinity School

HDS 3740

Body, Spirit, and Indigenous Expressive Culture

BTI Category

Sociology/Ethnography/Research Methods

Semester

FA24

This course focuses on the ways Indigenous artists and media makers represent embodied religious and spiritual experiences in their work. In considering how embodiment and various forms of spirituality, ceremony, and religious practice figure in contemporary Indigenous expression, the course questions the definitional framing of the category of expressive culture, including as it does a wide-ranging syllabus that brings issues from fiction, life-writing, film, painting, poetry, food studies, and scholarly work on the relationship of technology to Indigenous health and well-being into conversation. Authors, artists, and media makers on the syllabus include Victor Masayesva, Louise Erdrich, Sterlin Harjo, Therese Marie Mailhot, Elissa Washuta, Sean Sherman, Elle Mejia Tailfeathers, Hi’ilei Hobart, Joshua Whitehead, and Billy Ray Belcourt.

Professor

Class Day & Time

TBA

R

3:00pm - 4:59pm

Grading Option

Letter, P/F, Audit

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

N

School

Boston University Graduate Program in Religion

CAS RN683

African Diaspora Religions

BTI Category

Sociology/Ethnography/Research Methods

Semester

FA24

This course introduces students to religions of the African Diaspora, with a specific focus on the Caribbean and the Americas. Religious traditions such as Africanized Christianity, Cuban Santer?a, Haitian Vodou, Brazilian Candombl? and African American Spiritualism will be explored.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Margarita Guillory

MWF

12:20PM-1:10PM

Grading Option

Letter, P/F, Audit

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

Y

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

MA/PHD Split

School

Boston University Graduate Program in Religion

CAS RN685

Representations of the Holocaust in Literature and Film

BTI Category

Sociology/Ethnography/Research Methods

Semester

FA24

Questions of representation in literature and film about the Holocaust, including testimonial and fictive works by Wiesel and Levi, Ozick, and others; films include documentaries and feature films. Discussions of the Holocaust as historical reality, metaphor, and generative force in literature.

Professor

Class Day & Time

TBD

TR

11:00AM-12:15PM

Grading Option

Letter, P/F, Audit

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

Y

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

MA/PHD Split

School

Boston University Graduate Program in Religion

CAS RN753

Topics in Religion and Sexuality

BTI Category

Sociology/Ethnography/Research Methods

Semester

FA24

TBD

Professor

Class Day & Time

TBD

TBD

TBD

Grading Option

Letter, P/F, Audit

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

Y

Online?

TBD

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

MA/PHD Split

School

Harvard Divinity School

HDS 2052

Religion and Liberation Around Toni Morrison and Gabriel Garc�a M�rquez: Writings and Lives

BTI Category

Sociology/Ethnography/Research Methods

Semester

FA24

In 1995 Toni Morrison and Gabriel Garc�a M�rquez met for the first time in Mexico City and spoke about their writings, editors, lives and literary influences. The Colombian writer showed his deep knowledge of Morrison�s novels and Morrison thanked him as a resource for religious themes in her writings. Later, in an interview with Professor Carrasco, Morrison stated, �When I read his book One Hundred Years of Solitude, I literally said, �Oh, my God, you can do this��meaning magic, strange stuff�and be deadly serious. So, that freed me up in my writing. Reading him unlocked something important for me. �This course is a comparative and critical study of the religious dimensions in their writings and lives with special attention to the themes of religious experience, homeland and quests, Africa and Latin America, "rememory" and myths, goodness and the literary imagination. We engage with four types of �texts� and link them together to decipher the ties between the writer�s lives, countries, politics, liberation movements and their writings; autobiographical fragments, novels, film, critical reflections. For Morrison we will use the film �Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am� and interviews as autobiographical fragments. For Garc�a M�rquez we will read his autobiography, Living to Tell the Tale and interviews. Novels include Song of Solomon, Beloved, Home, A Mercy, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chronicle of a Death Foretold. This course will not be open to auditors. Students have the opportunity to write a research paper, take a final written exam or do a creative project.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Carrasco, David L.

R

12:00pm-0159pm

Grading Option

Letter, P/F

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

N

School

Harvard Divinity School

HDS 2321

Writing about Revelation: Scholarly Approaches to Religious Experience

BTI Category

Sociology/Ethnography/Research Methods

Semester

FA24

When someone says they have spoken with God, what is a scholar to do? This course considers a range of scholarly approaches to such claims, from the sympathetic to the skeptically reductive. Focusing primarily on American religious history--and covering a diverse array of figures and time periods, including Anne Hutchinson, Handsome Lake, Nat Turner, Ellen White and Sojourner Truth--the course will give students a chance to grapple with the words of these remarkable figures and analyze the ways that scholars have sought to make sense of them. The first half of the course will review the secondary literature and critically engage the theories and methods that have been brought to bear on these accounts; the second half of the course will give students a chance to develop their own informed approaches as they write about revelation. Jointly offered in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Religion 2563.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Holland

R

12:00pm-02:00pm

Grading Option

Letter, P/F, Audit

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

N

School

Harvard Divinity School

HDS 2965

Virginia Woolf and Religion

BTI Category

Sociology/Ethnography/Research Methods

Semester

FA24

This course will examine some of the religious currents around Woolf--in her family, her society, her friendships and her reading--and explore their relationship to her work. Special attention will be given to Woolf as a religious thinker, the religious-literary practices that shaped her life and work, her experiments with the idea of God, her reimagining of the possibility of religious community, the spiritual trajectories of the modernist movement she helped to shape, and the religious dimensions of her attempt to reimagine literary realism.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Paulsell

M

03:00pm-05:45pm

Grading Option

Letter, P/F

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

N

School

Harvard Divinity School

HDS 3118

American Heretics

BTI Category

Sociology/Ethnography/Research Methods

Semester

FA24

This course explores the rise and role "irreligion" and "irreligious" or "heretical" ideas and thinkers in American religious/irreligious history, including proponents of Deism, Freethinkers, Transcendentalism, and Spiritualism and extending forward into the present day to include the New Atheists, Secular Humanists, Spiritual-But-Not-Religious, �Nones,� and others who do not identify with traditional religious institutions. The course uncovers on the interactions of these groups with 1) their more religiously traditional neighbors, including Catholics, Mainline and Evangelical Protestants, Jews, etc. and 2) the government of the United States and various state laws and institutions. This course explores the history of anti-religious, a-religious, and multi-religious movements and their influence in American society today, including as a form of social critique within the abolitionist, suffragist, civil rights, feminist, and womanist movements. "Heretical" ideas often later become religiously normative (such as ordaining women), while others remain irreligious, and this course explores reasons for each. This course includes exploration of 'primary texts' from heretical authors and secondary academic historical analysis to create a portrait of a diverse and ongoing thread in American intellectual history. This is a limited enrollment course. Interested students should attend the first course meeting. If the course is overenrolled, a selection procedure will be described at that first meeting. Selected students will then be invited to enroll in the course by the second meeting day.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Sanford

TR

03:00pm-04:15pm

Grading Option

Letter

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

Y

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

N

School

Harvard Divinity School

HDS 3192

Global Christian Nationalism

BTI Category

Sociology/Ethnography/Research Methods

Semester

FA 24

This course aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of global Christian nationalism, a political ideology and cultural framework calling for the amalgamation of a particular form of Christianity with a country’s civic and political life. Using a comparative perspective, we will examine contemporary Christian nationalism’s impact on society and politics around the world. We will also explore arguments for and against Christian nationalism. Through readings, discussions, presentations, and critical analysis, students will come away from this course with a firm grasp of the contemporary relevance of Christian nationalism in the modern world.

Professor

Class Day & Time

TBA

R

9:00am-10:59am

Grading Option

TBA

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

N

School

Boston University Graduate Program in Religion

CAS RN684

The Holocaust

BTI Category

Sociology/Ethnography/Research Methods

Semester

FA24

Rise of German (and European) antisemitism; rise of Nazism; 1935 Nuremberg Laws; the initial Jewish reaction; racial theory; organizing mass murder including ghettos, concentration camps, killing squads, and gas chambers; bystanders and collaborators (countries, organizations, and individuals); Jewish resistance; post-Holocaust religious responses; moral and ethical issues.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Steven Katz

TR

3:30PM-4:45PM

Grading Option

Letter, P/F, Audit

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

Y

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

MA/PHD Split

School

Boston University Graduate Program in Religion

CAS RN716

Religion, Race, and Climate Change

BTI Category

Sociology/Ethnography/Research Methods

Semester

FA24

TBD

Professor

Class Day & Time

James Hill

T

3:30PM-6:15PM

Grading Option

Letter, P/F, Audit

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

Y

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

MA/PHD Split

School

Boston University School of Theology

STHTR 850

Social Science Approaches to Religion and Spirituality

BTI Category

Sociology/Ethnography/Research Methods

Semester

FA24

Not Yet Available

Professor

Class Day & Time

Nicolette Manglos-Weber

R

12:30-3:15pm

Grading Option

Letter

Credits

3

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

N

School

Harvard Divinity School

HDS 2082

Spiritual Paths to Abstract Art

BTI Category

Sociology/Ethnography/Research Methods

Semester

FA24

Approaching 20th-century abstract art through the lens of religious studies, this course explores alternatives to twentieth-century narratives of modern art centered on the existential crisis of a heroic-- usually male, Caucasian and secular—individual.  In contrast, we will center paths to abstraction in which a departure from or repurposing of the figure emanates from spiritual sources not usually associated with modernity.  Locating the artists’ work within their biographies and their communities, the course focuses on abstraction as a vehicle for delving intersections of spirituality with history, race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality.  Religious movements and experiences that led to abstraction, rather than the artistic styles that resulted, serve as the organizing principle for the syllabus.  We will attend to the outsize interest of abstract artists in Theosophy, as well as to paths to abstraction originating outside of Europe, and/or grounded in Indigeneity, Judaism, Christian Science, and the Occult. Artists treated include Hilma af Klint, Wassily Kandinsky, Mary Sully, Hyman Bloom and Betye Saar, among others. Jointly offered in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Religion 1571.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Braude

R

12:00pm-01:59pm

Grading Option

Letter

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

Y

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

N

School

Harvard Divinity School

HDS 2362

Blacks, Jews, and Palestinians

BTI Category

Sociology/Ethnography/Research Methods

Semester

FA24

The late mystic and theologian Howard Thurman once characterized human engagement as a long and winding journey leading to the human heart, where the Augustinian interiority opens itself to the divine and the stranger. �Ultimately there is only one place of refuge on this planet for any [human] �that is in another [human�s] heart. To love is to make of one�s heart a swinging door.� Establishing a place of refuge for another is an ethical imperative, what Thurman called humankind�s �responsibility� to God and humanity. But what happens when the other, neighbor, or stranger has ancestral (or immediate) connections to the destruction, displacement, and death of your familial, cultural, or religious community? Is love possible or justifiable within this context? The course will explore both the ethics and theological grammar of prayer, piety, and �sacred songs� in post-Enlightenment Quakerism and the Abrahamic religions to imagine the possible epistemic grounds for contemplative and deliberative human interaction among groups holding competing and colliding conceptions of memory, truth, moral responsibility, and exile/freedom/ fugitivity. With an emphasis on theory and practice, the course will investigate the tension between what John Rawls called comprehensive beliefs and public reason as well as interrogate the ethics of responsibility and love.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Johnson, Terrence

M

03:00pm-04:59pm

Grading Option

Letter

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

Y

Notes

Students must have prior coursework in one of the following areas: African American Studies, Jewish Studies, or Middle East Studies.

School

Harvard Divinity School

HDS 3065

The Man of Light: The Philosophy and Spirituality of Henry Corbin

BTI Category

Sociology/Ethnography/Research Methods

Semester

FA24

This seminar will focus on the writings of Henry Corbin (1903-1978), the philosopher of religion and scholar of Islam, especially the Persian tradition. The aim of the seminar will be to read Corbin�s major works; to understand his controversial place in the history of the study of religion in general, and of Islam in particular; to appreciate him as a creative and constructive philosopher and theologian in his own right; and to assess his legacy for the 21st century. Jointly offered in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Religion 1521.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Stang, Charles

T

03:00pm-04:59pm

Grading Option

Letter, P/F, Audit

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

N

School

Harvard Divinity School

HDS 3158

Moctezuma's Mexico Then and Now: The Past, the Present and Pandemics in North America

BTI Category

Sociology/Ethnography/Research Methods

Semester

FA24

This course provides students with the opportunity to explore how the study of pre-Hispanic and Colonial Mexican and Latinx cultures provide vital context for understanding today's changing world. The emphasis is on the mythical and social origins, glory days and political collapse of the Aztec Empire and Maya civilizations as a pivot to the study of the sexual, religious and racial interactions of the Great Encounter between Mesoamerica, Africa, Europe, and the independent nations of Mexico and the United States. The study of the archaeology, artistic media, cosmovision, capital cities, human sacrifice and the religious devotions of ancient Mesoamerica and the nature and impact of the devastating pandemic wrought by the arrival of European diseases in 1519 illuminate the Day of the Dead and Virgin of Guadalupe phenomena today. Special access to the photographic record of marvelous objects at the Peabody Museum aids in examining new concepts of race, nation and the persistence of Moctezuma�s Mexico in Latinx identities in the Mexico-US Borderlands. One of the biggest student/museum events at Harvard is the Day of the Dead celebrations at the Peabody Museum, which provides the opportunity for students to work directly with the materiality of the longue duree of Mexico's storied history and evocative worldview. The museum collections and sections exercises provide the students with ways to integrate their classroom work to the objects and public program of the museum, plus experience community both locally and across cultural boundaries and physical borders. This course empowers our students to evaluate the ways the U.S. is changing and struggling to define itself in relation to Latin America and especially the migration of peoples, ideas, arts, music, food from and through Mexico now taking place during a new pandemic, 500 years after the first one that resulted from the Great Encounter. Jointly offered in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as GENED 1148.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Carrasco

MW

12:00pm-01:15pm

Grading Option

Letter, P/F, Audit

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

N

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