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Please note that minors in Religious Studies can count other courses that do not fall explicitly under the "RELG" rubric, provided such courses deal primarily with the topic of religion in some form. The below list is not exhaustive, but shows most of the courses being offered for the Fall 2019 semester with a major focus on one or more religious traditions. Please feel free to direct further questions about individual courses not on this list to the Religious Studies Faculty Coordinator, Douglas Jones (dfjones@binghamton.edu).

You can find the complete list of Judaic Studies Department course offerings here. 

Fall 2019

Religions of the World - RELG 101 - Gen Ed: G, H
Time: T/R | 11:40-01:05 pm
Instructor: Douglas Jones
What does it mean to study various religions from an academic perspective? How do we, as outsiders at a public university, discuss different traditions responsibly? Answering questions like these and developing our skills as scholars of religion is of no small importance in an increasingly global society. This class will take a thematic approach to a number of traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Prominent themes include the history of Religious Studies as a discipline, religion and popular culture, religion and violence, the history of utopian thought, and the status of new and controversial movements across the globe.


Intro to Judaic Studies - RELG 180A - Gen Ed: H
Time: T/R | 10:05 am-11:30 am
Instructor: Randy Friedman
This survey course, appropriate for first and second year students, will examine the course of Jewish history, philosophy, culture and religion through over three millennia. The course will include key sections of the Hebrew Bible, Rabbinic writings, medieval and early modern philosophy, as well as 19th and 20th century political works, art, and literature. No background is required.


Jewish History Ancient to 1500 - RELG 280A - Gen Ed: G, N
Time: M/W/F | 09:40-10:40 am
Instructor: Michael Kelly
This course offers an introduction to Jewish history from the Bible to the end of the Middle Ages. It surveys some of the major issues that defined Judaism, including the nature and development of biblical texts; the effort of small Jewish states in the age of great ancient empires; the impact of (Greek culture) Hellenism on Judaism and the rise of Christianity from it; the emergence of the Diaspora; and Jewish life under and interaction with medieval Islam and Christendom. The course's two major themes are: 1) the evolution and development of Judaism, and 2) the shifting character of Jewish identity and peoplehood. No previous knowledge of Jewish history and religion is required or assumed.

Jewish Non-Profit Organization - RELG 280D - Gen Ed: J
Time: T/R | 10:05 am-11:30 am
Instructor: Barbara Goldman-Wartell
The Jewish Non-Profit Organizations course will look at the organizations and systems that make up the Jewish community in the United States. The goal of the course is to deconstruct the concept of "community" and to understand how institutions fulfill the purposes of community. We will introduce the course by learning about the history of the Jewish community and Jewish communal institutions in the U.S. and how they came to create the landscape of organizations that exist today. We will also use different tools for analyzing organizations and how they function. The main part of the course will explore the rich, diverse and complex landscape of Jewish communal organizations that exist today. We will cover many types of organizations, some emerging organizations and how they fit into the landscape of the Jewish Non-Profit world.

Archaeology of Religion- RELG 280J - Gen Ed: N
Time: M/W/F | 09:40-10:40 am
Instructor: Michael Sugerman
Most classes about religion investigate belief systems through documents and history, but that approach excludes the practices of the majority of people who have ever lived. Archaeology's focus on material evidence enables us to investigate groups not represented or underrepresented in textual traditions, including societies without writing, and non-elite members of literate societies. In this class we will focus on the material culture of supernatural beliefs with an emphasis on two interesting processes: the emergence of anthropomorphic gods and the creation of state religions. We will use case studies from the Near East, Mesoamerica, and other regions to investigate these subjects.

The Bible and Its Interpretation - RELG 361- Gen Ed: C, H
Time: M/W/F | 1:10 – 2:10
Instructor: Douglas Jones
This course takes a comparative approach to the history of biblical interpretation by looking at diverse communities within the Jewish and Christian traditions. How have these communities used the Bible to understand their place in history, address present tribulations, and even predict the future? What major conflicts have arisen over the issue of interpretation? Some topics include the theme of movement in the Torah and rabbinical tradition, 18th and 19th century biblical scholarship, the meaning of allegory in Catholic and Protestant interpretation, and the so-called literal sense of scripture. We will also close by considering the issue of biblical interpretation as it relates to new religious movements in America.

Moses Mendelssohn's World - RELG 380A - Gen Ed: H
Time: W | 05:50-08:50 pm
Instructor: Allan Arkush
This course will explore the writings and activities of the 18th century German Jewish philosopher and social reformer Moses Mendelssohn and its impact on the Jews of the Western world in modern times. It will concentrate on Mendelssohn's philosophy of religion and his struggles with Jewish and non-Jewish contemporaries. The course will also focus on his heirs and his critics in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Arabic Civilization & Culture - RELG 380B - Gen Ed: G, H, W
Time: T/R | 10:05-11:30am
Instructor: Moulay Ali Bouanani
This course aims to give an overview of the Civilization and Culture of the Arab peoples in Africa and elsewhere, starting with their origins and continuing through the present. A selection of texts¬in English¬dealing with and pertaining to different aspects and areas of Arabic life and culture will be read and discussed. The texts have been selected with the intent to compare and analyze approaches in those written by Arab writers and those written by non-Arab writers. Among the topics to be covered are¬but not limited to: The origins of the Arabs; pre-Islamic Arab society; Arab-Islamic society and the Islamic Empire; Arabs in Africa and Europe, Arab-African (Amazigh) Epires, Arabic-Islamic culture in Africa and its contribution to world culture; decadence and fall of the Arab-Islamic Empire; European Infiltration and Colonialism (18-19 C); Independence and the creation of Nation-States. We will also analyze and discuss modern concerns and problems of the area focusing on the Maghrib, the Sahel and West Africa.

Encountering Israel Palestine - RELG 380D -Gen Ed: N,W
Time: W | 01:40-04:40 pm
Instructor: Assaf Harel
Few places attract as much spiritual and political attention as the Israeli and Palestinian space. This course offers students the possibility of gaining a better understanding of Israeli and Palestinian realities through exploration of lived experience of the local people. Rather than taking a comprehensive historical approach, it allows student to engage in brief yet critical intellectual encounters with central elements of Israelis and Palestinian lives such as religion, politics, violence and the mundane.

At Home in the Diaspora - RELG 380F
Time: T/R | 01:15-02:40 pm
Instructor: Allan Arkush
This course will examine the modern ideologies and movements that have advocated and worked for the reconstitution of the Jews as a non-territorial and secular nation. It will begin with a close study of the ideology of the Russian Jewish diaspora nationalist Simon Dubnow, continue with a review of his intellectual heirs' attempts to put his ideas into practice, and end with an examination of contemporary diasporists' critique of Zionism.

Understanding Islam - ARAB 381I - Gen Ed: H
Time: M/W/F | 01:10-02:10 pm
Instructor: R Kevin Lacey
Of the three Abrahamic faiths, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, Islam has the most adherents, estimated at 1.5 billion, and is the fastest growing. The objective of this course is to provide an overview of important topics and themes in Islamic thought, with special focus on the Koran (inclusive of commentary or tafsir) and ahadith, the extra-Koranic narrative reports about the words and behavior of the Prophet Muhammad, which are accepted as being second only to the Koran as the most authoritative source for understanding Islam. Within the context of the Koran and ahadith, and also some of the secondary sources, Judaism and Christianity as understood by Islam are also touched upon, with references where appropriate to the Old and New Testament. Additionally, some of the main themes of Islamic theology, religious philosophy, and the thinking of the Sufis (mystics of Islam) will be covered. All required readings are in English. Among the Koranic commentators who will be studied are Abdullah Yusuf 'Ali and Muhammad Asad, the illustrious Jewish convert to Islam. 

CLAS 232: Classical Mythology - Gen Ed: H, W
Time: M/W/F | Sec 01 - 10:50-11:50 am | Sec 02 - 12:00 -01:00 pm
Instructor: Zoja Pavlovskis-Petit
Classical myth in ancient literature and art. Myth as theology, cosmology, explanation of psychological and social phenomena. Correlations between history and mythology. Modern schools of myth interpretation. For majors and non-majors. Weekly lecture and two discussion sessions. Format: One final examination, one 15-page paper. Class participation and attendance very important.


 Summer 2019

Religions of the World - RELG 101 - Gen Ed: G, H

Cross listed: JUST 100 / AFST 180E
Time: Distance Learning, Term II
Instructor: Douglas Jones
What does it mean to study various religions from an academic perspective? How do we, as outsiders at a public university, discuss different traditions responsibly? Answering questions like these and developing our skills as scholars of religion is of no small importance in an increasingly global society. This class will take a thematic approach to a number of traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Prominent themes include the history of Religious Studies as a discipline, religion and popular culture, religion and violence, the history of utopian thought, and the status of new and controversial movements across the globe.


 

 

Permanent Courses

Please Note:  Many courses not listed as permanent or topics courses might count toward the Religious Studies minor. Both lists are subject to change, as courses are added to the curriculum and as course topics change over time.  Please be in touch with Professor Friedman or Professor Jones with any questions.

(click on department heading for more information about course offerings)

Asian and Asian American Studies

AAAS 105   INTRODUCTION TO ASIAN PHILOSOPHY
AAAS 280K   RELIGIONS, IMMIGRANTS, CONTEMPORARY U.S.
AAAS 313   RELIGIONS AND POPULAR CULTURES OF KOREA
AAAS 380J   WOMEN IN ASIAN RELIGIONS
AAAS 431   CONFUCIANISM IN KOREA
AAAS 462   CONFUCIUS' ANALECTS

Africana Studies

AFST 180E   INTRO. TO AFRICAN RELIGION
AFST 235   (also HIST 235) MUSLIM PEOPLES
AFST 283F   ISLAMIC CULTURES IN AFRICA
AFST 372   ARABIC CIVILIZATION AND CULTURE
AFST 375   (also HIST 375) MUSLIM SOCIAL HISTORY TO THE 19th CENTURY
AFST 378   AFRICAN METAPHYSICS

Anthropology

ANTH 111   INTRODUCTION TO ANTHROPOLOGY
ANTH 117   SEX, FOOD, DRUGS, DISEASE AND RELIGION
ANTH 166   INTRODUCTION TO CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
ANTH 124   MULTICULTURALISM IN THE 21ST CENTURY
ANTH 252   PEOPLES OF THE PACIFIC
ANTH 254   PEOPLES AND CULTURES OF THE MIDDLE EAST
ANTH 255   also LAC 255) INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF TROPICAL LOWLAND SOUTH AMERICA
ANTH 256   (also HIST 258) NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE AND HISTORY
ANTH 258   PEOPLES AND CULTURES OF EUROPE
ANTH 261   (also JUST 261) ARCHAEOLOGY OF BIBLICAL LANDS
ANTH 262   ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS OF PERU
ANTH 263   ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE INCAS AND S. AMERICAN EMPIRES
ANTH 273   NORTHERN IRELAND: POLITICS AND IDENTITY
ANTH 300   HISTORY OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL THOUGHT
ANTH 370   NATIVE AMERICA TODAY
ANTH 374   ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE MIDDLE EAST
ANTH 375   ARCHEOLOGY OF AFRICA
ANTH 377   EMPIRES OF THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST
ANTH 380C   (also AFST 380/ARAB 384) INTRO ARABIC CIVILIZATION & CULT
ANTH 380   MUSLIMS JEWS CHRISTIANS

Art History

ARTH 104   (also AAAS 104) INTRO TO ART AND ARCHITECTURE OF THE ASIAN WORLD
ARTH 325   RELIGION AND IMAGES ACROSS THE EARLY MODERN WORLD
ARTH 386A    (also MDVL 382C) GILDED PAGES: CALLIGRAPHY, ILLUMINATION, AND PAINTING
IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Comparative Literature

COLI 110   WORLD LITERATURE (BIBLE AS LITERATURE)

English

ENG 370J   19C AMERICAN TRANSCENDENTALISM AND ASIAN RELIGIONS

Hebrew

HEBR 331   HEBREW LITERATURE BETWEEN THE BIBLE AND THE MODERN PERIOD

History

HIST 235   MUSLIM PEOPLES
HIST 301   ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN RELIGIONS

Judaic Studies

JUST 111   PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
JUST 241   (also HIST 241) HISTORY OF ANCIENT ISRAEL
JUST 243   (also HIST 243) MEDIEVAL JEWISH HISTORY
JUST 244   (also HIST 244) MODERN JEWISH HISTORY
JUST 311   FAITH AND REASON
JUST 317   AMERICAN JEWISH THOUGHT
JUST 342   BETWEEN PERSIANS AND ISLAM
JUST 344   RENAISSANCE AND EARLY MODERN JEWISH HISTORY
JUST 361   (also HIST 380P) THE BIBLE AND ITS INTERPRETATION
JUST 411   PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION

Philosophy

PHIL 105   (also AAAS 105) INTRODUCTION TO ASIAN PHILOSOPHY
PHIL 111   PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
PHIL 311   FAITH AND REASON
PHIL 312   SCIENCE AND RELIGION
PHIL 336   (also AAAS 336) BUDDHIST METAPHYSICS
PHIL 344   (also AAAS 344) BUDDHIST ETHICS
PHIL 411   ADVANCED TOPICS IN PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION

Political Science

PLSC 403   ISLAM IN WORLD POLITICS

Psychology

PSYC 111   GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY
PSYC 228   SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
PSYC 344   RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY

Sociology

SOC 100A   SOCIAL CHANGE: AN INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
SOC 100B   SOCIAL CHANGE: AN INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
SOC 302   SOCIOLOGY OF LATIN AMERICA
SOC 369   SOCIOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY ASIA

Last Updated: 5/17/19