Courses for Fall 2021

Title Instructors Location Time Description Cross listings Fulfills Registration notes Syllabus Syllabus URL
RELS 002-401 Religions of the West Reyhan Durmaz TR 08:30 AM-10:00 AM This course surveys the intertwined histories of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We will focus on the shared stories which connect these three traditions, and the ways in which communities distinguished themselves in such shared spaces. We will mostly survey literature, but will also address material culture and ritual practice, to seek answers to the following questions: How do myths emerge? What do stories do? What is the relationship between religion and myth-making? What is scripture, and what is its function in creating religious communities? How do communities remember and forget the past? Through which lenses and with which tools do we define "the West"? JWST122401 History & Tradition Sector Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=RELS002401
RELS 005-401 Gender,Sexualty,Religion Megan E Robb TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM What does it mean to be a gendered individual in a Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, or Sikh religious tradition? How important are gender differences in deciding social roles, ritual activities, and spiritual vocations? This course tackles these questions, showing how gender - how it is taught, performed, and regulated - is central to understanding religion. In this course we will learn about gendered rituals, social roles, and mythologies in a range of religious traditions. We will also look at the central significance of gender to the field of religious studies generally. The first part of the course will be focused on building a foundation of knowledge about a range of religious traditions and the role of gender in those traditions. This course emphasizes religious traditions outside the West. Although it is beyond the scope of this class to offer comprehensive discussions of any one religious tradition, the aim is to provide entry points into the study of religious traditions through the lens of gender. This course will emphasize both historical perspectives and contemporary contexts. We will also read religion through feminist and queer lenses - we will explore the key characteristics of diverse feminist and queer studies approaches to religion, as well as limits of those approaches. GSWS109401, FOLK029401 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Humanities & Social Science Sector
RELS 011-001 Science & Religion Donovan O Schaefer TR 05:15 PM-06:45 PM Science and religion are often assumed to be two areas with no zone of overlap. Or they are seen as rivals, destined to make sparks whenever they come into contact. This course explores the interactions of science and religion. It will consider perspectives from science and technology studies on how the nature of "science" has changed over time, the history of science in its dynamic interactions with religion, and contemporary cognitive and evolutionary perspectives on the origins of religion. Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=RELS011001
RELS 079-401 The Religion of Anime Jolyon Thomas M 05:15 PM-06:15 PM
W 05:15 PM-08:15 PM
Be it shrine maidens, gods of death, and bodhisattvas fighting for justice; apocalypse, the afterlife, and apotheosis... the popular Japanese illustrated media of manga and anime are replete with religious characters and religious ideas. This course uses popular illustrated media as a tool for tracing the long history of how media and religion have been deeply intertwined in Japan. EALC079401 Arts & Letters Sector
Cross Cultural Analysis
Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=RELS079401
RELS 079-402 The Religion of Anime Hallie Nell Calhoun Swanson F 10:15 AM-11:15 AM Be it shrine maidens, gods of death, and bodhisattvas fighting for justice; apocalypse, the afterlife, and apotheosis... the popular Japanese illustrated media of manga and anime are replete with religious characters and religious ideas. This course uses popular illustrated media as a tool for tracing the long history of how media and religion have been deeply intertwined in Japan. EALC079402 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Registration also required for Lecture (see below)
RELS 079-403 The Religion of Anime Abdul Manan Bhat F 12:00 PM-01:00 PM Be it shrine maidens, gods of death, and bodhisattvas fighting for justice; apocalypse, the afterlife, and apotheosis... the popular Japanese illustrated media of manga and anime are replete with religious characters and religious ideas. This course uses popular illustrated media as a tool for tracing the long history of how media and religion have been deeply intertwined in Japan. EALC079403 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Registration also required for Lecture (see below)
RELS 079-404 The Religion of Anime Alexandra Kirby Sokolow F 01:45 PM-02:45 PM Be it shrine maidens, gods of death, and bodhisattvas fighting for justice; apocalypse, the afterlife, and apotheosis... the popular Japanese illustrated media of manga and anime are replete with religious characters and religious ideas. This course uses popular illustrated media as a tool for tracing the long history of how media and religion have been deeply intertwined in Japan. EALC079404 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Registration also required for Lecture (see below)
RELS 079-405 The Religion of Anime Alexandra Kirby Sokolow F 10:15 AM-11:15 AM Be it shrine maidens, gods of death, and bodhisattvas fighting for justice; apocalypse, the afterlife, and apotheosis... the popular Japanese illustrated media of manga and anime are replete with religious characters and religious ideas. This course uses popular illustrated media as a tool for tracing the long history of how media and religion have been deeply intertwined in Japan. EALC079405 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Registration also required for Lecture (see below)
RELS 079-406 The Religion of Anime Hallie Nell Calhoun Swanson F 12:00 PM-01:00 PM Be it shrine maidens, gods of death, and bodhisattvas fighting for justice; apocalypse, the afterlife, and apotheosis... the popular Japanese illustrated media of manga and anime are replete with religious characters and religious ideas. This course uses popular illustrated media as a tool for tracing the long history of how media and religion have been deeply intertwined in Japan. EALC079406 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Registration also required for Lecture (see below)
RELS 079-407 The Religion of Anime Abdul Manan Bhat F 01:45 PM-02:45 PM Be it shrine maidens, gods of death, and bodhisattvas fighting for justice; apocalypse, the afterlife, and apotheosis... the popular Japanese illustrated media of manga and anime are replete with religious characters and religious ideas. This course uses popular illustrated media as a tool for tracing the long history of how media and religion have been deeply intertwined in Japan. EALC079407 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Registration also required for Lecture (see below)
RELS 111-001 God and Money Anthea Butler MW 12:00 PM-01:30 PM The relationship between how people understand god(s) and money has always been a complicated one. Many religions have a relationship to money, whether in offerings, asking for blessings, or to build and create places worship. God and Money explores the relationship between how religions view money, capitalism, and religion, and how movements like the prosperity gospel have expanded and complicated the interplay between religion, money and capitalism around the world. Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
RELS 114-401 Religion Ancient Egypt David P Silverman MW 01:45 PM-03:15 PM Weekly lectures (some of which will be illustrated) and a field trip to the University Museum's Egyptian Section. The multifaceted approach to the subject matter covers such topics as funerary literature and religion, cults, magic religious art and architecture, and the religion of daily life. NELC166401, NELC468401
RELS 140-401 Intro To the Qur'An Joseph E. Lowry TR 01:45 PM-03:15 PM The goal of this course is to provide students with a general introduction to the holy scripture of the religion of Islam, the Qur'an. In particular, students will become familiar with various aspects of Qur'anic content and style, the significance of the Qur'an in Islamic tradition and religious practice, and scholarly debates about the history of its text. Through close reading of selected passages and short research assignments, students will gainfirst-hand knowledge of the Qur'an's treatment of prophecy, law, the Biblical tradition, and many other topics. No previous background in Islamic studies or Arabic language is required for this course. NELC130401 Humanities & Social Science Sector https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=RELS140401
RELS 146-401 Islam in Modern World Jamal J. Elias TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM This course key issues facing Muslims in the modern world with an emphasis on gaining an understanding of how Muslims view themselves and the world in which they live. Beginning with a discussion of the impact of colonialism, we will examine Islamic ideas and trends from the late colonial period until the present. Readings include religious, political and literary writings by important Muslim figures and focus on pressing issues in the Islamic world an beyond: the place of religion in modern national politics; the changing status of women; constructions of sexuality (including masculinity); pressing issues in bioethics; Islam, race and immigration in America; the role of violence; and the manifestations of religion in popular culture. SAST146401, NELC184401 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Humanities & Social Science Sector
RELS 150-401 Intro To the Bible Yael Landman TR 05:15 PM-06:45 PM An introduction to the major themes and ideas of the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament), with attention to the contributions of archaeology and modern Biblical scholarship, including Biblical criticism and the response to it in Judaism and Christianity. All readings are in English. NELC150401, NELC450401, JWST150401 Cross Cultural Analysis Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Humanities & Social Science Sector
RELS 155-401 Intro To Indian Phil Deven Patel TR 05:15 PM-06:45 PM This course will take the student through the major topics of Indian philosophy by first introducing the fundamental concepts and terms that are necessary for a deeper understanding of themes that pervade the philosophical literature of India -- arguments for against the existence of God, for example, the ontological status of external objects, the means of valid knowledge, standards of proof, the discourse on the aims of life. The readings will emphasize classical Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain philosophical articulations (from 700 B.C.E. to 16th century C.E.) but we will also supplement our study of these materials with contemporary or relatively recent philosophical writings in modern India. PHIL050401, SAST050401, SAST603401 History & Tradition Sector Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
RELS 165-401 The Making of Scripture Simcha Gross TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM The Bible as we know it is the product of a lengthy process of development, elaboration, contest, and debate. Rather than a foregone conclusion, the process by which the texts and traditions within the bible, and the status ascribed to them, was turbulent and uncertain. This course examines that process, examining the Bible, traditions and communities from the Second Temple Period - such as the Dead Sea Scrolls and Community - that rewrote, reconsidered, revised, or rejected now well-recognized figures and stories, and constructed distinct ideas of what was considered scripture and how it should be approached. Even as the bible began to resemble the corpus as we now know it, interpretive strategies rendered it entirely different, such as Hellenistic Allegorizers, working from the platonic tradition, rabbinic readers who had an entirely different set of hermeneutics, early Christians, who offered different strategies for reading the "Old" and "New" Testaments alongside one another (and employing categories like "Old" and "New," themselves constituting a new attitude and relationship to and between these texts), and lastly early Muslim readers, who embraced many of the stories in the Bible, altered others, and debated the status of these corpuses under Islam. NELC160401, JWST160401 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
RELS 173-401 Intro Buddhism Justin Mcdaniel M 01:45 PM-03:45 PM This course seeks to introduce students to the diversity of doctrines held and practices performed by Buddhists in Asia. By focusing on how specific beliefs and practices are tied to particular locations and particular times, we will be able to explore in detail the religious institutions, artistic, architectural, and musical traditions, textual production and legal and doctrinal developments of Buddhism over time and within its socio-historical context. Religion is never divorced from its place and its time. Furthermore, by geographically and historically grounding the study of these religions we will be able to examine how their individual ethic, cosmological and soteriological systems effect local history, economics, politics, and material culture. We will concentrate first on the person of the Buddha, his many biographies and how he has been followed and worshipped in a variety of ways from Lhasa, Tibet to Phrae, Thailand. From there we touch on the foundational teachings of the Buddha with an eye to how they have evolved and transformed over time. Finally, we focus on the practice of Buddhist ritual, magic and ethics in monasteries and among aly communities in Asia and even in the West. This section will confront the way Buddhists have thought of issues such as "Just-War," Women's Rights and Abortion. While no one quarter course could provide a detailed presentation of the beliefs and practices of Buddhism, my hope is that we will be able to look closely at certain aspects of these religions by focusing on how they are practiced in places like Nara, Japan or Vietnam, Laos. SAST142401, EALC015401 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
RELS 173-402 Introduction To Buddhism Alexandra Kirby Sokolow F 12:00 PM-01:00 PM This course seeks to introduce students to the diversity of doctrines held and practices performed by Buddhists in Asia. By focusing on how specific beliefs and practices are tied to particular locations and particular times, we will be able to explore in detail the religious institutions, artistic, architectural, and musical traditions, textual production and legal and doctrinal developments of Buddhism over time and within its socio-historical context. Religion is never divorced from its place and its time. Furthermore, by geographically and historically grounding the study of these religions we will be able to examine how their individual ethic, cosmological and soteriological systems effect local history, economics, politics, and material culture. We will concentrate first on the person of the Buddha, his many biographies and how he has been followed and worshipped in a variety of ways from Lhasa, Tibet to Phrae, Thailand. From there we touch on the foundational teachings of the Buddha with an eye to how they have evolved and transformed over time. Finally, we focus on the practice of Buddhist ritual, magic and ethics in monasteries and among aly communities in Asia and even in the West. This section will confront the way Buddhists have thought of issues such as "Just-War," Women's Rights and Abortion. While no one quarter course could provide a detailed presentation of the beliefs and practices of Buddhism, my hope is that we will be able to look closely at certain aspects of these religions by focusing on how they are practiced in places like Nara, Japan or Vietnam, Laos. SAST142402, EALC015402 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Registration also required for Lecture (see below)
RELS 173-403 Introduction To Buddhism Alexandra Kirby Sokolow F 12:00 PM-01:00 PM This course seeks to introduce students to the diversity of doctrines held and practices performed by Buddhists in Asia. By focusing on how specific beliefs and practices are tied to particular locations and particular times, we will be able to explore in detail the religious institutions, artistic, architectural, and musical traditions, textual production and legal and doctrinal developments of Buddhism over time and within its socio-historical context. Religion is never divorced from its place and its time. Furthermore, by geographically and historically grounding the study of these religions we will be able to examine how their individual ethic, cosmological and soteriological systems effect local history, economics, politics, and material culture. We will concentrate first on the person of the Buddha, his many biographies and how he has been followed and worshipped in a variety of ways from Lhasa, Tibet to Phrae, Thailand. From there we touch on the foundational teachings of the Buddha with an eye to how they have evolved and transformed over time. Finally, we focus on the practice of Buddhist ritual, magic and ethics in monasteries and among aly communities in Asia and even in the West. This section will confront the way Buddhists have thought of issues such as "Just-War," Women's Rights and Abortion. While no one quarter course could provide a detailed presentation of the beliefs and practices of Buddhism, my hope is that we will be able to look closely at certain aspects of these religions by focusing on how they are practiced in places like Nara, Japan or Vietnam, Laos. SAST142403, EALC015403 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Registration also required for Lecture (see below)
RELS 173-404 Introduction To Buddhism Hallie Nell Calhoun Swanson F 12:00 PM-01:00 PM This course seeks to introduce students to the diversity of doctrines held and practices performed by Buddhists in Asia. By focusing on how specific beliefs and practices are tied to particular locations and particular times, we will be able to explore in detail the religious institutions, artistic, architectural, and musical traditions, textual production and legal and doctrinal developments of Buddhism over time and within its socio-historical context. Religion is never divorced from its place and its time. Furthermore, by geographically and historically grounding the study of these religions we will be able to examine how their individual ethic, cosmological and soteriological systems effect local history, economics, politics, and material culture. We will concentrate first on the person of the Buddha, his many biographies and how he has been followed and worshipped in a variety of ways from Lhasa, Tibet to Phrae, Thailand. From there we touch on the foundational teachings of the Buddha with an eye to how they have evolved and transformed over time. Finally, we focus on the practice of Buddhist ritual, magic and ethics in monasteries and among aly communities in Asia and even in the West. This section will confront the way Buddhists have thought of issues such as "Just-War," Women's Rights and Abortion. While no one quarter course could provide a detailed presentation of the beliefs and practices of Buddhism, my hope is that we will be able to look closely at certain aspects of these religions by focusing on how they are practiced in places like Nara, Japan or Vietnam, Laos. SAST142404, EALC015404 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Registration also required for Lecture (see below)
RELS 173-405 Introduction To Buddhism Hallie Nell Calhoun Swanson F 12:00 PM-01:00 PM This course seeks to introduce students to the diversity of doctrines held and practices performed by Buddhists in Asia. By focusing on how specific beliefs and practices are tied to particular locations and particular times, we will be able to explore in detail the religious institutions, artistic, architectural, and musical traditions, textual production and legal and doctrinal developments of Buddhism over time and within its socio-historical context. Religion is never divorced from its place and its time. Furthermore, by geographically and historically grounding the study of these religions we will be able to examine how their individual ethic, cosmological and soteriological systems effect local history, economics, politics, and material culture. We will concentrate first on the person of the Buddha, his many biographies and how he has been followed and worshipped in a variety of ways from Lhasa, Tibet to Phrae, Thailand. From there we touch on the foundational teachings of the Buddha with an eye to how they have evolved and transformed over time. Finally, we focus on the practice of Buddhist ritual, magic and ethics in monasteries and among aly communities in Asia and even in the West. This section will confront the way Buddhists have thought of issues such as "Just-War," Women's Rights and Abortion. While no one quarter course could provide a detailed presentation of the beliefs and practices of Buddhism, my hope is that we will be able to look closely at certain aspects of these religions by focusing on how they are practiced in places like Nara, Japan or Vietnam, Laos. SAST142405, EALC015405 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Registration also required for Lecture (see below)
RELS 218-401 Saints and Devils in Russian Literature and Tradition Julia Verkholantsev MW 10:15 AM-11:45 AM This course is about Russian cultural imagination, which is populated with "saints" and "devils": believers and outcasts, the righteous and the sinners, virtuous women and fallen angels, holy men and their most bitter adversary - the devil. In Russia, where people's frame of mind has been formed by a mix of Eastern Orthodox Christianity and earlier pagan beliefs, the quest for faith, spirituality, and the meaning of life has invariably been connected with religious matters. How can one find the right path in life? Can a sinner be redeemed? Should one live for God or for the people? Does God even exist? In "Saints and Devils," we read works of the great masters of Russian literature and learn about the historic trends that have filled Russia's literature and art with religious and mystical spirit. Among our readings are old cautionary tales of crafty demons and all-forbearing saints, about virtuous harlots and holy fools, as well as fantastic stories by Nikolai Gogol about pacts with the devil, and a romantic vision of a fallen angel by Yury Lermontov. We will be in awe of the righteous portrayed by Nikolai Leskov and follow the characters of Fedor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov, as they ponder life and death and search for truth, faith, and love. In sum, over the course of this semester we will talk about ancient cultural traditions, remarkable works of art, and the great artists who created them. In addition to providing a basic introduction to Russian literature, religion, and culture, the course introduces students to literary works of various genres and teaches basic techniques of literary analysis. (No previous knowledge of Russian literature necessary. All readings are in English). REES213401, COML213401 Arts & Letters Sector
Cross Cultural Analysis
Course is available to Freshmen.
Freshman Seminar
RELS 224-401 Bible in Translation: Kings TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM This course introduces students to one specific Book of the Hebrew Bible. "The Bible in Translation" involves an in-depth reading of a biblical source against the background of contemporary scholarship. Depending on the book under discussion, this may also involve a contextual reading with other biblical books and the textual sources of the ancient Near East. Although no prerequisites are required, this class is a perfect follow-up course to "Intro to the Bible." NELC250401, NELC550401, JWST255401 Cross Cultural Analysis Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
RELS 256-301 Existential Despair Justin Mcdaniel M 05:15 PM-11:59 PM This is an experimental course that seeks to combine creative pedagogical methods and alternative scheduling to encourage intellectual reflection and emotional vulnerability through an in depth study of the way people cope with existential despair. Through a reading of memoirs, novels, poetry, and essays in an atmosphere conducive to close-reading and full-participation students will explore a wide-range of ways of coping with, describing, and comprehending moments of great despair. Lectures will explain the ritual, liturgical, homiletic, meditative, reflective, self-destructive, psycho-somatic, and ascetic ways despair is both conditioned and mitigated by different thinkers from various traditions over time. Format: This course is different from most others in that there is no homework, no outside reading, and no research papers. There will be no work given to students or expected of them outside of class. All work is done in class and class is very long (8 hours straight, once a week, from four PM to midnight). Students will eat together in class, there will be three bathroom breaks, but there will be no internet, no phones, no computers, and no auditors. Each student must be fully committed to the class and 75% of the grade will be determined by class participation. Permission needed from instructor to enroll. Permission Needed From Instructor
Benjamin Franklin Seminars
Benjamin Franklin Seminars
RELS 303-401 Power and Peril Natalie B Dohrmann
Julia L Wilker
TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM We imagine ancient Greece and Rome as the cradles of democracy and republicanism, early Judea as a pious theocracy, but monarchy was the most common and prevalent form of government in antiquity (and the premodern world in general). In this class, we will take a special look at kinship among the Jews, Greeks, and Romans to assess and discuss similarities, differences, and mutual influences. In all these cultures, the king was a polarizing figure in reality and in conception. On the one hand, some revered the monarch as ideal leader, and monarchy provided the language with which to describe and even imagine the very gods. On the other, monarchs were widely reviled in both theory and practice, from the Greek tyrants to biblical Saul. The Emperor Augustus loudly denied his own affinity to the office of king, even as he ruled alone and was revered as a god. In other words, kings stood both for the ideal and the worst form of government. This class confronts the paradox of monarchical rule and will, through the lens of the king, explore ideas of god, government, human frailty, and utopianism. ANCH303401, CLST338401, JWST303401 https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=RELS303401
RELS 500-301 Theories of Religion Donovan O Schaefer W 01:45 PM-04:45 PM This graduate seminar will map the theories and methods underpinning the contemporary study of religion. To draw this map, we will consider the history of the field. We'll proceed by examining how problems within religious studies have been resolved in different ways at different times, constructing a web of dialogs and debates between different figures across history. Specific topics to be considered will include experience, discourse, embodiment, feminism, postcolonialism, science, and materiality. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=RELS500301
RELS 501-401 Topics in Religion: Black Relig & Pop Cultr Anthea Butler M 01:45 PM-04:45 PM This course deals with various religious topics, such as Mass Religious Conversion. AFRC547401
RELS 586-401 History of Islam in South Asia Megan E Robb M 12:00 PM-03:00 PM This class is designed to structure reflection on Islam and Islamic culture in South Asia-- Indonesia, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. Contrary to the popular perception that the Middle East defines Islam, Asian countries not only host the most Muslims in the world but have been the source of some of Islam's most important social and reform movements in the last three hundred years. This class looks at the history of Muslim societies across Asia not just as a religious community but also as a social and cultural bloc (a distinctive part of what Marshall Hodgson called the 'Islamicate' world, but also an area that challenges some of Hodgson's assumptions about the Islamicate world). This course allows for the study of the Muslim world between the years1700 to present. The class will allow students to compare and contrast Muslim societies over the last three centuries, examine points of confluence for geographically- or culturally- distinct Muslim peoples in the last three centuries, and in their writing assignments focus on the history of one society in a wider Islamicate context. In the process students will gain a more nuanced awareness of how Islam has made an impact in Asian countries, and how Asian countries have in turn impacted Islam. SAST686401
RELS 608-401 Worlds of Late Antiquity Campbell A. Grey
Reyhan Durmaz
T 01:45 PM-04:45 PM The period between the third and eighth centuries - from the Tetrarchy led by Diocletian to the rise of Umayyad Caliphate - is characteristically regarded as a period of ferment and change, whether that be on the still-influential model of Decline and Fall first proposed by Edward Gibbon in the eighteenth century or the somewhat less deterministic account of transformation favored by Peter Brown in the late twentieth. These narratives tend to emphasize the large-scale processes that played out over these centuries, such as the florescence and fragmentation of two world empires; the emergence of two highly influential monotheistic religions of the book; and the codification of legal systems that continue to dominate contemporary practices and theories of law. Equally, what characterizes these centuries is the particular granularity and character of the textual and archaeological evidence that exists for the functioning of this world at the micro-scale, as against the periods that preceded and followed. This course traces the social, economic, cultural, and religious institutions and processes that make this period distinctive, explores the nature of the evidence for those institutions and processes, and exposes to scrutiny the assumptions and preconceptions that underpin the scholarly narratives that have been constructed about them. ANCH608401, NELC608401
RELS 644-401 Religion in Mod S.Asia Davesh Soneji F 01:45 PM-04:45 PM SAST645401
RELS 648-401 Approaches Islamic Law Joseph E. Lowry M 01:45 PM-04:45 PM This course aims to introduce students to the study of Islamic law, the all-embracing sacred law of Islam. In this course we will attempt to consider many different facets of the historical, doctrinal, institutional and social complexity of Islamic law. In addition, the various approaches that have been taken to the study of these aspects of Islamic law will be analyzed. The focus will be mostly, though not exclusively, on classical Islamic law. Specific topics covered include the beginnings of legal thought in Islam, various areas of Islamic positive law (substantive law), public and private legal institutions, Islamic legal theory, and issues in the contemporary development and application of Islamic law. Prerequisite: Some background knowledge about Isalm is an asset. NELC638401 https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=RELS648401
RELS 702-401 Medieval Art Now Ivan Drpic
Sarah M. Guerin
W 05:15 PM-08:15 PM Topics vary from semester to semester. For the Fall 2021 semester, the topic will be: Medieval Art Now. How has the field of medieval art history, here understood in the ecumenical sense to include the Byzantine and Islamicate worlds, changed since the 1990s and the methodological reorientations brought about by the so-called "new art history"? Indeed, what is happening in medieval art now? This graduate seminar will introduce students to the key developments and theoretical interventions that have shaped the field over the past twenty years. Topics will include: vision and visuality; materiality; thing theory; phenomenology; art's intersection with science; ecocriticism; the global turn; critical race theory; and the rise of the digital humanities. By critically engaging with some of the most invigorating recent scholarship, we will reflect on the state of medieval art history and consider what its future might or should look like. ARTH740401, AAMW740401 https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=RELS702401