Listed in: Religion, as RELI-111
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This year's theme for comparative religion is “Jesus and the Buddha,” focusing on how the founders of Christianity and Buddhism have been remembered and understood by their followers. With this theme, the course examines the ways that scholars draw on contextual information to understand religious practices, ideas or beliefs, artifacts, institutions, and symbols. Both these figures have been central to questions about the natures of humans and gods, ethics, ritual practice, gender, sex, and social hierarchy. In this way, Christian and Buddhist ideas about the lives of their founding figures offer rich ground for comparative work as we consider the role of sacred writings, historical context, and interpretations across time. Our study will include a trajectory from ancient to contemporary sources and draw from a variety of relevant media, historical moments, and popular cultural movements.
Fall semester. Professors Heim and Falcasantos.
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Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Class will involve discussion in the group as a whole and in smaller work groups. Assignments will include a series of brief essays and the preparation of a final independent research essay that deals with a particular modern or contemporary group whose beliefs include expectations about an end-time. Skills required for this cap-stone project will be provided throughout the semester.