PRAYER & HUMAN WHOLENESS (HR-1301)Credits:1.5
The focus of this course is the relationship of our spirituality to the health and wholeness of the human personality. Within the context of incarnational spirituality, we explore Biblical foundations, alternative forms of prayer and meditation, inner healing and transformation, and the empowered gifts that rise as our healing deepens. Special attention is given to communal woundedness as well as individual, the relationship of prayer and action, and the problems of stress and fatigue experienced by Christian leaders. Classes include lecture, discussion, guided meditation.
LIFE & TEACHINGS OF THE BUDDHA (HR-1550)Credits:3
This course will study analyze the early sources on the Buddha's life. We will investigate how these sources contribute to our understanding of the Buddha as a person, a teacher, and as an idealized founder of Buddhism. We will look at historical developments in how the Buddha and his life story were portrayed and used in Theravada Buddhist religious life. The class will survey the changing ways that the Buddha was depicted including a study of modern Western biographies and role in the religious life of Western Buddhists. Evaluation method: Class participation (20%); Mid-term analytical essay (8 pages, 25%); Final research paper (12 pages, 40%); Class presentation (15%). [Auditors with faculty permission]
INTRODUCTION TO ISLAM (HR-1902)Credits:3
This course aims to introduce students to the Islamic tradition in its theological, legal, historical, and contemporary contexts, with a focus on faith and practice.
ISLAM:RUMOR AND REALITY (HR-1914)Credits:3
FOOD&HEALING: ASIAN SPIRITUAL (HR-2039)Credits:3
Food and Healing in East Asian Spiritual Practices is an experiential seminar where we will read, discuss, eat, and interact with food to explore East Asian approaches to bodily nourishment and healing as spiritual cultivation. We will consider religious and spiritual modes, practices, and trends of food and healing. Furthermore, students are encouraged to embark on a journey to develop a more nuanced and culturally-informed articulation of what spiritualty might mean on a personal level. Students will be evaluated on their discussions on weekly readings, class presentations, and a research paper. Any level of student is welcomed to participate. No prior experience in spiritual cultivation is necessary: An open mind, adventurous palate, and adequate space in the stomach would be ideal. Doctoral students who wish to upgrade the course to 4000+-level can do so with instructor consent and additional reading and writing requirements. [20 max enrollment]
WOMEN&GENDER IN JUDAISM&ISLAM (HR-2041)Credits:3
Women, Gender, Sexuality in Judaism and Islam. This course will focus on women, gender roles, marriage and related questions in Judaism and Islam, studying the primary sources as well as modern developments, contemporary critical debates, anthropological views, and media representations. The course will be co-taught and bring in experts in both Jewish Studies and Islamic Studies. Students are expected to participate in the Day of Learning on these topics, to be held on a Sunday afternoon in the spring semester.
BUDDHISM IN THE WEST (HR-2850)Credits:3
This course surveys the history of Buddhist traditions in the West. Beginning with 19th century colonial contact and Asian immigration through 21st century global exchanges, we will explore the various ways that Buddhists, Buddhist communities, and Buddhist ideas have come to and developed in Western contexts. Previous Buddhist studies courses helpful but not required.
ISLAMIC TEXT AND CONTEXT (HR-2970)Credits:1.5
This course is intended to provide graduate students with a survey of selected Islamic texts and approach each within the specific historical, geographical, cultural, socio-political and religious contexts they emerge from. The readings are intended to approach Islam and its rich tradition within the scope of global history, in the past and present periods with a disruptive, critical and de-colonial pedagogy working to disentangle the constant otherization and problematization of Islam and its rich and diverse tradition. The course will employ a lecture and discussion format revolving around the selected readings. Students will be evaluated on the basis of a research paper that addresses one or more aspects of the themes convered in the course and submitted at the end of the semester.
ESOTERIC BUDDHISM (HR-3101)Credits:3
A survey of the history, teachings, doctrines, practices, and Textual traditions of esoteric, or tantric, Buddhism. Particular focus may be given to Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, or Japanese forms of esoteric Buddhism. As appropriate attention will also be given to basic introduction to the traditions of Indian tantra that provided the religious context for the development of the Buddhist tantric tradition. [Auditors with faculty permission]
CONFUCIANISM & CHRISTIANITY (HR-3940)Credits:3
This course is designed to explore the issues in the interreligious dialogue of Confucianism and Christianity. It will also explore various historical and contemporary approaches to and understanding of Confucian-Christian engagement. The first section will focus on historical background on Confucian tradition including the development of Neo-Confucianism and New Confucianism. The second section will discuss an overview of Confucian-Christian encounters. In the third section, interreligious studies approaches of the two faith traditions will be examined. The course will be primarily in seminar format with short lectures. Course requirements include reading reflections, in-class participation, group presentations, and a final project/paper. The intended audience include MDiv and MA/MTS students. This course is taught by PhD student Heeyoung Chung with a Newhall Award, under the supervision of Anh Tran. [Auditors with faculty permission]
ASIAN/OCEANIC CLTRL/FTH TRDTNS (HR-4175)Credits:3
This seminar course addresses the complexities and heterogeneity of the cultures and faith traditions of Asia and Oceania. Students will learn the beliefs and practices of religious others with deeper theological understanding, critique, and cultural sensitivity. The course objectives are set to prepare students for ministry across cultural contexts, within and among Asian and Oceanic communities The classes will be taught by a team of GTU scholars of religion from various traditions. Some class sessions will be conducted as immersion experiences to different ethno-religious communities and cross-cultural/interfaith settings in the San Francisco Bay area. Students must attend and participate in ALL classes and field trips. [15 max enrollment]
CAVE OF THE HEART: MULTIRELIG (HR-4208)Credits:3
While serving as an introduction to orthodox and heterodox Hindu religious experiences, this course will also catalyze further discourse with Christian and Islamic wisdom traditions. We will explore interreligious dialogue, hybrid spiritual identities, and transreligious mysticism, thea/ologies, and philosophies. A multireligious, counter-oppressive soteriological analysis will ground this spiritual exploration, cultivation, and formation process. Students will gain an understanding of the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gita, Yoga Sutras, and Tantras, in addition to deepening their understanding of intersections with Torah, the Gospels, and Quran. The devotional writings of the mystic Poet-Saints will further illuminate this class. Coursework will include embodied ritual, spiritual exercise, scriptural study, poetry immersion, sufi sohbet, group processes, scholarly research, and class presentation. A learning immersion will be required. [12 max enrollment; Auditors excluded]
WORLD RELIGIONS:SPIRITUALITY (HR-4262)Credits:3
The course will explore the teachings and practices of the major religions of the world: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and indigenous/native religions. We will also cover the spirituality and the direct experience within each religious tradition. This will provide a basic fundamental understanding of each religion, which is so crucial now in our society of diversity and interrelatedness and our global economy.
BUDDHIST-CHRISTIAN DIALOGUE (HR-4526)Credits:1.5
This course presents some aspects of the ongoing conversation among scholars and practitioners of Buddhism and Christianity. The material will be divided into four major thematic segments: 1)historical introduction and the process of dialogue; 2)founders and religious leaders; 3)the concepts of faith and sacred texts, prayer, meditation, compassion, and justice; and 4)contemporary issues. NOTE: The first meeting for this class will be at PSR; the course will meet at IWR for the remainder of the semester.
HINDU RITUAL STUDIES (HR-4711)Credits:3
HINDU RITUALS AND HYMNS FOR PURIFICATION, BALANCE, HEALING AND SPIRITUAL SELF DEVELOPMENT This course offers the theory & practice of Hindu praxis of Prayer and Ritual Studies. The Hindu theological vision-that all existents, known & unknown, including oneself, is pervaded by the Divine, at once immanent and transcendent-is understood & assimilated by following practices designed to lead to the discovery of the interwoven nature of reality, including one's place in the scheme of things. Prayer in the Hindu tradition, is viewed, at once, as a potent way to connect with the Divine & an articulation of the interconnections between individuals; the individual & the environment; and the micro & macro levels of the manifest universe. This course offers a thorough overview of rituals and hymns used in the tradition, emphasizing rituals meant to purify, heal, and balance (at the individual and collective levels). The course will examine the purpose & methods of: chanting the ^prayers for peace^ (santi-mantras); Vedic hymns (sukta-s), recitation of the divine names (as in the Vi??u-sahasranama); performance of rituals for healing self, community, & the ecosphere; and basic training in conducting a traditional fire ritual known as yaj±a. Background knowledge in Hinduism and Sanskrit is an asset but is not essential. The course is appropriate for advanced MA, MDiv, and PhD & ThD (with additional research).
ISLAM,BUDDHISM & CHRISTIANITY (HR-4810)Credits:1.5
This course is an investigation of religious studies with a focus on Islam as representative of an Abrahamic tradition and Buddhism as a non- theistic approach to religion. The course will concentrate on four points central to the formulation of our discussion: the personal, individual aspect of religion; the communal energy that shapes great religions; the psychological aspects of religiosity; the methodologies involved. The first two periods of class time will offer lectures outlining the Muslim and Buddhist view points on the specific subject, while in the last period the students will be asked to respond. Students are required to write four short reflection papers on the readings, participate in discussion and submit a final paper.
AN INTRODUCTION TO ISLAM (HR-4822)Credits:3
This experiential course is an introduction to the history and theology of Islam. It will introduce the student to Islamic religious teaching and practices. It will explore the diversities of Islam among Sunni, Shi'a and Sufi groups from multiple cultural perspectives. Students will be invited to participate in spiritual practice and community events in hopes that the combination of study and practical experience will deepen their experience. [15 max enrollment]
INTRODUCTION TO SUFISM (HR-4825)Credits:3
This course will examine the origins, doctrines, history, and contemporary manifestations of Sufism or Islamic spirituality through reading translations of Sufi texts, lectures, and discussion. We will look at key leitmotivs in Sufism through reading selections from the Quran and Hadith, poetry from Hallaj, 'Attar and Rumi, and prose from Ghazzali, Suhrawardi, and Ibn 'Arabi, as well as secondary sources that shed light on historical, cultural, and religious context. In addition, the course also analyses Sufi texts in relation contemporary issues such as religious pluralism, war and non-violence, and Sufism in the West. The focus will be textual and historical allowing classical and modern sources to define Sufism according to its diverse doctrinal and ritual manifestations in Muslim cultures and the West. Assessments will be based upon attendance, engagement with the material, participation in class discussions, weekly reflections, a current event report, and final research paper. No previous knowledge of the subject is required. This course is taught by PhD student Zachary Markwith with a Newhall Award, under the supervision of Marianne Farina. [25 max enrollment; Auditors with faculty permission]
READINGS EARLY BUDDHIST TEXTS (HR-8160)Credits:3
MIDDLE LENGTH DISCOURSES The Middle Length Discourses is one of the most important anthologies of the teachings and religious practices attributed to the Buddha. Often presented in a narrative account including the circumstances and people that prompted the Buddha's teachings, these rich and dynamic discourses provide context for better understanding the content and nature of early Buddhist teachings. The course is organized around particular themes found in the text such as faith, karma, the path of practice, happiness, meditation, wisdom, and enlightenment. Course evaluation: Participation, mid-term and final papers. Class format: Lecture (written study guides), reading, and online discussion forums Evaluation: Mid-term paper, final paper and class participation NOTE: This course is co-sponsored by SKSM.
ESOTERIC BUDDHISM (HR-8250)Credits:3
A survey of the history, teachings, doctrines, practices, and textual traditions of esoteric, or tantric, Buddhism. Particular focus may be given to Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, or Japanese forms of esoteric Buddhism. As appropriate attention will also be given to basic introduction to the traditions of Indian tantra that provided the religious context for the development of the Buddhist tantric tradition.
YOGA STUDIES FOUNDATIONS (HRBS-4054)Credits:3
EMBODIED ENLIGHTENMENT: THE LIVING TRADITIONS OF HINDU YOGA Yoga is practiced globally with extensive branches in the West. Interpretations & adaptations of Yoga today are almost exclusively associated with fitness & wellness in the popular imagination. Yet, Yoga includes but surpasses the physical. With millennia-old roots in Hindu spirituality, Yoga has traditionally represented major paths, often used in collaboration, meant to lead the practitioner to an integrated experience of enlightenment, & fulfillment of human potential defined differently by diverse Yoga traditions. We will study major traditions of Hindu Yoga: the paths of knowledge, wisdom, love, and selfless service, and explore the yogic journey through its embodied praxes and their basis in literature, philosophy, arts, ethics & medical research. This course is appropriate for MA/MTS & PhD/ThD (additional research).
QURANIC STUDIES II (HRBS-4828)Credits:3
QURANIC STUDIES II: MAJOR THEMES In this course, in conjunction with scholarship on the major themes and narrative of the Quran, the students will also be reading the text of the Quran directly (through translations) and enacting some of the narratives for an embodied understanding of the texts. Gender analysis will be one of the ways that the Quranic stories will be read. The critical methods applied to the study of the narratives will include gender analysis. The course will taught within an Islamic context simulated through the sound of the Azhan (call to prayer) and exposure to Islamic art. PhD students will be required to write a 5,000 word research paper on a topic chosen by individual students and approved by the instructor. [15 max enrollment; PIN code required; Auditors excluded].
SACRED TEXTS ACROSS TRADITNS (HRBS-4840)Credits:3
Sacred Texts Across Traditions is a survey of orature from Indigenous People's oral traditions, the Hebrew Bible, Christian Scriptures, Upanishads, Qur'an, Tao te Ching, as well as secondary hermeneutical texts. This course examines creation, genders and sexualities, peace and justice, spiritual body and celestial earth, environment and embodiment in texts and orature from the perspective of multireligious intertextuality. This perspective allows us to present the sacred texts in conversation with each other. This provides a context for reading them in a manner that allows recognition of interconnections between texts that might not be immediately identifiable. We will expand this by using the interrelation between hypertextuality, interdiscursivity and oral tradition to deepen the notion of ^text^. [PIN code required; 15 max enrollment; Auditors excluded] This course meets daily, 8/11/15-8/15/15, from 9:00am-5:00pm at SKSM Reading Room.
INTRO TO QURANIC STUDIES (HRBS-8182)Credits:3
In this introductory course in Quranic Studies, our focus is on the shorter hymnic and middle length suras (chapters of the Quran) that are hymnic and/ or express existential concerns. We also look at passages that relate to the themes of religious freedom and pluralism and gender constitution and relations. Students learn skills for reading the Quran, including structural and literary analyses, and write essays on selected suras applying the methods that they learn in class. The class encourages diversity of points of views, respects differences in opinion and provides a safe learning environment for all. Doctoral students take this course with the extra assignment of a 5000 word research paper. This course fulfills a requirement for the Certificate in Multi-religious Studies. [25 max enrollment] ONLINE: Has synchronous course meeting times to be determined first week of class. Most likely Monday or Wednesday mornings.
BUDDHIST ETHICS (HRCE-3002)Credits:3
Living an ethical life is a foundational part of the Buddhist path of practice. Accordingly, teachings on ethics are the basis for all Buddhist teachings. In this course we will explore key ethical teachings, guidelines and attitudes in early Buddhism. In addition, in examining how Buddhist ethics is applied, we will explore Buddhist approaches to modern day issues related to such areas as the environment, suicide, abortion and euthanasia, social conflict and economics. Course Format: Lecture/seminar. Method of Evaluation: class participation, weekly reflection papers and final paper. Suitable for MA/MDiv/MTS. PhD/DMin/ThD with additional requirements. There are no prerequisites for this course
SUFI DHIKR (HRHM-4817)Credits:3
"If you remember Me, I will remember You" ~Qur'an 2:152~ Throughout the world Sufism is identified as the mystical dimension of Islam emphasizing the student's journey towards higher states of consciousness and unity with The Divine. Just as the surfer becomes one with the wave so does the human heart become one with The Eternal through the practice of Dhikr, remembrance of The Divine. In this experiential course students will explore the many facets of Dhikr, including chanting, prayer, meditation, Qur'anic recitation, movement, and music. Sufi communities, or "tariqas," are found throughout the world and vary from country to country. This course will touch upon many different traditions and focus primarily on the Naqshbandi tradition from Dagistan. [40 max enrollment; Auditors excluded]
MORMONISM:A NEW WORLD RELIGION (HRHS-1851)Credits:3
Mormonism, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a distinctly American religion that also claims to be the restoration of original Christianity. Since its organization in 1830, it has grown from six members to world-wide population of 14.5 million with congregations in nearly 180 countries and territories. Mormonism is a decidedly Christian religion but has distinctive doctrines on the Trinity, the preexistence of souls, the purpose of life, and the post-mortal world, including unique teachings about heaven and hell. Mormons believe in modern prophets, continuing revelation, and additional sacred texts besides the bible, including the Book of Mormon which contains an account of Christ's visit to ancient America. In temples that dot the globe Mormons marry for eternity and perform other sacred ordinances. This course examines the origins, history, and evolution of Mormonism, including the religious and cultural context out of which it emerged, the foundational visions and experiences of its first prophets, and its reflection of the stresses and strains within the dominant American religious culture. Topics include such subjects as the persecution of Mormons, their exodus to the Great Basin Kingdom, polygamy and family life, the Latter-day Saint Plan of Salvation, race and gender, the "Mormon Moment," and the future of Mormonism. NOTE: This course meets at the LDS Berkeley Institute of Religion, 2368 LeConte Ave.
HSTRY SHIN BDDHST TRADTN: MDRN (HRHS-3074)Credits:3
This course will present an introduction to the Jodo Shinshu tradition in the modern period (1867-present), placing equal emphasis on Japanese history, Shin Buddhist diaspora, and current doctrinal trends, questions and controversies. [PIN code required]
LATTER DAY SAINT SACRED TEXTS (HRHS-3960)Credits:3
In addition to the Bible, Latter-day Saints claim three additional books as scripture: the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. This course examines each in terms of its origins and claim as sacred text, although the primary focus is on the Book of Mormon. Since its publication in 1830, the Book of Mormon, translated into more than 100 languages, is considered one of the most controversial books published in America. Claimed by Mormons to be as a scriptural record of three groups of Near Eastern peoples who immigrated to the New World in antiquity, as well as ^a new witness of Jesus Christ,^ it has elicited both derision and a growing body of serious scholarship. This course examines the book in relation to the nineteenth-century environment out of which it emerged and the critical judgment that it has inspired over the past 180 years. Primary emphasis is on the text itself-its narrative construction, ^deep structures,^ controlling images, dramatic action and central messages. Particular attention will be paid to the account of Jesus' visit to the New World as recounted in 3 Nephi. The course also examines a series of what Mormons consider ^modern revelations^ collected as The Doctrine and Covenants and the shorter Pearl of Great Price, which includes the Book of Moses and the Book of Abraham, plus an account of Joseph Smith's foundational visions as prophet. Class meets at the LDS Institute of Religion, 2368 Le Conte Ave., Berkeley 94709. format: seminar Evaluation: Students are required to write two short reports on outside activities and three short (3-5 page) critical papers. 20% general class participation 20% extracurricular activity reports (General Conference and LDS Service) 20% Short paper on the Doctrine and Covenants or the Pearl of Great Price 20% short paper on Book of Mormon Figure 20% Short Paper on Book of Mormon Imagery or Symbolism 10% for the extra credit assignment
HINDUISM: CLASSICAL TEXTS (HRHS-4771)Credits:3
This course will examine selections from classical Hindu scriptural texts. We will begin with selections from the Upanishads, the last portion of the Vedas, and analyze not only the verses but also the commentary written by Shankara, one of the foremost philosophers of Indian thought. We will also read selections from the Bhagavad-gita along with Shankara's analysis of the selected verses. The course will close by reading in full ^Advaita Makaranda,^ a 14th century text from the tradition of Vedanta. By the end of the semester a student will have an understanding of the origin and primary concepts in Hindu thought. Evaluation based on a term paper and class participation. For advanced master's and doctoral students, but does not require previous study of Hinduism.
TOPICS IN BUDDHIST THOUGHT (HRHS-8455)Credits:3
BUDDHISM AND FOOD This class looks at the history of Buddhism in Asia through the lens of food. Although Buddhism is often thought of as espousing vegetarianism and eschewing alcohol, this view perhaps overly relies on textual sources and an orthodox approach to religion. By examining food practices-what monastics and laypeople actually do with food and drink-we will discover alternative representations of Buddhism that link the religion to agriculture, fertility, family, reproduction, defilement, and transgression. These aspects of life may be considered rather "non-Buddhist," but in the various cultures of Asia it is through the mundane that one enters into the transcendent. Lecture and discussion will be held online in real time using a voice/video application (such as Skype). Please contact the instructor as soon as possible for details. Format: online voice lecture and discussion; term paper. [Auditors with faculty permission] NOTE: This course is co-sponsored by SKSM.
PLURAL TRADITIONS IN PUNJAB (HRIR-2104)Credits:3
Engaged coexistence between people of diverse commitments poses great challenge to religious leadership in the twenty-first century. In this seminar-style course, students will examine exciting new scholarship about the history of religious diversity in the Punjab region, a crossroads between India and Pakistan, Central and South Asia. In addition to learning how Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and Sikhs have interacted from pre-colonial to present times, students will be challenged to translate their learning for applied use. [Auditors with faculty permission]
RADICAL NONVIOLENCE: JAINISM (HRPH-2020)Credits:3
The course traces the development of non-violence from the early theological teachings and practices of non-harming (Ahimsa) prevalent among certain ascetic groups and texts in ancient India, to its systematic doctrinal expression in Jainism and to its modern and contemporary adoption as a socially engaged strategy for justice. While Hindu and Buddhist Dharma traditions hold non-harming as a foundational principle, the Jain iteration refines and expands the reach of a radical deep-roots virtue of non-injury in the Dharma traditions. The course will explore the ethical implications of the Jain principles of Ahimsa, truth, non-stealing, celibacy and non-possessiveness. The course will examine Jainism's ontology of infinite souls and respect for sentience, the constituents of reality, karma, and cosmology. We will study the foundational Jain principle of Ahimsa (absolute non-violence) in relation to other supporting principles such as the doctrine of Pluralism (Anekantavada, multiplicity of viewpoints); and the principle of Conditioned Predication (Syadvada, Creative Relativism). There will be further exploration of contemporary interests in the use of nonviolence: e.g. the Civil Rights struggle in the US and Acharya Tulsi's Jain reformist movement.
CHINESE BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY: (HRPH-3006)Credits:3
MEDITATION IN CHINESE BUDDHISM: Developments, Doctrines, and Debates in Cultural Context. We will examine the meditative practices performed by Chinese Buddhists from Buddhism's introduction into China (2nd c. CE) to the modern period. Some of these practices were introduced from abroad; some were developed in China. All were performed within Chinese cultural contexts and were viewed as efficacious (or not) within these contexts. Most of these practices were both informed by, and expressed, doctrinal perspectives and were embedded within varying ritual complexes. The diversity of these practices across regions, lineages, and practitioners also resulted in periodic, even perennial, debates among monastic and lay Buddhist practitioners. Suitable for all levels. [Auditors with faculty permission]
TOPICS IN BUDDHIST THOUGHT (HRPH-8455)Credits:3
WOMEN, FAMILY, DHARMA This course challenges several generalized notions about Buddhism (e.g., that it is largely male, monastic, and requires the practice of individual meditation) by examining the roles women have played in the development and spread of Buddhism and by looking at the family as the locus of practice. Women in the history of Buddhism will be the primary focus of the course, but we will also examine issues relating to men (as sons, husbands, fathers) and children. Topics will include women's roles in the formation and continued success of Buddhism; the relationships of nuns/monks to their families; the role of marriage in Buddhist ^monasticism^; gender symbolism; and practice within the family. Lecture and discussion will be held online in real time using a voice/video application (such as Skype). Please contact the instructor as soon as possible for details. Format: Online voice lecture and discussion; term paper. [Assumes some knowledge of Buddhism; Auditors with faculty permission]
TANTRA YOGA (HRPS-4055)Credits:3
TRANSCENDENCE, IMMANENCE, & THE TECHNIQUES FOR TRANSFORMATION Tantra takes the practitioner to an experiential realization of the body/mind as a dynamic energetic field that is the seat of divine presence. Shakta Tantra Yoga is an integrative form of yoga theory and practice, in Hinduism, that incorporates the physiological, energetic, and psychological dimensions of human existence in its approach. Tantra aims to enhance the vitality of the body/mind and liberate inner awareness. ^Tantra^ and ^Yoga^ are both complex and multilayered terms. As such, they are both frequently misunderstood. Tantra is mistakenly associated with sexuality, which occludes the mysticism and meditative absorption that is the focus of Tantra. Both Yoga and Tantra are indelibly related to praxis and never purely theoretical. Indeed, a helpful and inclusive way to approach Tantra is to view it as the Yoga of Praxis. But Tantra is also grounded in a sophisticated theological, cosmological, and physiological foundation and framed by a well-developed contemplative psychology. In distinction from yoga paths that call for renunciation or asceticism, Tantra perceives the body and mind as the locus of sacred hierophanies. Its theology and praxis is, therefore, always integrative of body, mind, and pure consciousness, which Tantra views as the ground of both the physical universe and divine transcendence. [10 max enrollment]
PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS BUDDHISM (HRPS-8320)Credits:3
Psychological Aspects of Buddhism I: Foundations in Buddhist Psychological Thought: An examination of the development of psychological theories in the abhidharma, Yogacara and tathagatagarbha systems of thought, particularly through the reading of primary sources in translation. Where appropriate, comparison with Western psychological theories will also be considered. Course is offered online in a directed readings format--student read and write brief reflections weekly. Grading: reflection papers and term paper, topic to be decided in consultation with instructor. May be repeated for credit when different primary texts are being studied. May be upgraded for doctoral students. [Auditors excluded]
SELF & "I" IN INDIC THOUGHT (HRPT-2000)Credits:3
THE SELF AND "I" IN INDIC THOUGHT ^Who am I?^ Is there a singular idea of the self in the Indian tradition? There appears from its history and literature (theology, philosophy to anthropology) to be a variety of competing ideas on the nature of the self, and the related question of personal identity, that the tradition has had to deal with, challenged to bring them together under a unitary conception. Not until the emergence of the conception of Atman - as Transcendental Self - with the Upanishads (or Vedanta) that a stable unitary metaphysics is settled upon. But this view at the same time creates problem for the mundane experiential self, its consciousness and identity: who or what is the ^I^ in our waking life? This course draws on hermeneutical reading of Indic textual traditions, from ancient, classical, epic-medieval to modern discourses on self, no-self, non-self, selflessness, personal identity, self as Divine, Atman as Brahman, in the Hindu tradition. The horizons of the self as a moral individual in relation to community and the world will also be examined with comparative attention to Jain, Indian Buddhist, Arabic-falasifa, medieval Judeo-Christian, the Enlightenment and contemporary critiques of the nature of the self. Evaluation methods will include research papers. The course is appropriate for MDiv, MA/MTS, as well as doctoral students with additional research.
FLAVORS OF FAITH (HRRA-2360)Credits:3
^Tell me what you eat and I'll tell you who you are,^ Brillat-Savarin. Food is universal, and a critical part of our collective cultural narrative. Food can serve as material culture, as intergenerational dialogue, as livelihood and as ritual. It can bring groups together or tear societies apart. Using culinary contexts as a lens through which we view ourselves and others, this course will explore the intersection of food, religion and culture, employing perspectives from religious studies, anthropology, history, art, agriculture, and other critical fields, creating a gastronomic portrait of faith in our world. Food is part of our collective cultural heritage, and a prominent carrier of tradition and shared experience. Levi-Strauss describes food as ^a type of language that helps human beings express their basic perceptions of reality.^ As we consider how the consumption, sacrificing, preparing and serving of food reflect cultural and religious history, we will explore the global, spiritual connections between food and identity. [15 max enrollment]
SWEDENBORG IN HISTORY (HRRA-2400)Credits:3
This course will substantially engage with one strand of Swedenborg's thought in cultural history: the ways his particular conceptualizations of mind, body, and soul impacted various alternative medicine currents in the 19th century, largely within an American context. We will begin by situating Swedenborg's work as a scientist and visionary theologian within different interpretative frameworks, from western esotericism to wisdom literature, seeking to underscore the continuities between Swedenborg's science and religion. The majority of the course will then focus on various fields where his role as "visionary scientist" or "scientific mystic" became amplified and transformed, from spiritualism and mesmerism, to osteopathy, to the emergence of the New Thought movement. This course is intended as a follow-up to "Introduction to Swedenborgian Thought," though students need not have taken that as a prerequisite for this course. One critical goal of this course for students in the ordination track for becoming clergy affiliated with the Swedenborgian Church of North America is to facilitate thinking about Swedenborg's cultural reception outside of denominational history as a resource for ministry: to better understand Swedenborg's strong, if diffuse, presence within American esotericism. [Auditors with faculty permission]
CONVERSION AND LITERATURE (HRRA-6100)Credits:3
The course will explore the phenomenon of religious conversion in its intersection with literature, with selected readings from such primary sources as the autobiographies of Augustine and Hermann-Judah as well as historical and theoretical studies of this intersection. The course will also include a strong focus on American literature and religious imagination. In this regard, the course takes up the phenomenon of conversion--made central to the study of religion by William James in his Varieties of Religious Experience (1903) as a place for re-mapping the dynamics between religion and American literature, that is, the movement of theology into the aesthetic and vice-versa. How might we read the literary, the poetic, as the converted forms of religious experience and theology? What gets changed, what is left behind, what is added by such transpositions? Readings in this part of the course include both autobiographical and fictionalized representations of conversion (Malcolm X, Louise Erdrich), and formative Puritan conversionary experiences in the ^new^ world that shaped the canonical foundations of American literature (Jonathan Edwards). Additional fiction by Toni Morrison, Henry James, Flannery O'Connor, and Marilynne Robinson will be covered; poetry and poetics include work by some of the Beats (Kerouac, Snyder), Susan Howe, Whitman, and Wallace Stevens. Course Audience: PhD, MA. Oral Presentation; Final Research Essay. [Auditors with faculty permission]
INTRODUCTION TO ISLAMIC LAW (HRRS-1300)Credits:3
This course will introduce students to the history and development of Islamic law, the emergence of the various legal schools (madhhabs), their legal principles, sources of legislation which include the Qur'an and Sunnah, and legal maxims. Students will be introduced to the main classical texts for the sciences of fiqh (jurisprudence), ?us?ul al-fiqh (legal theory), maqasid (divine objections), and al-qawa?id al-fiqhiyyah (legal maxims). The chapters of al-?ibadat (legal rulings pertaining to acts of worship) will be studied with the h?anbali legal school being the frame of reference. Varying opinions from other legal schools will also be presented. Finally, we will look at Islamic law in contemporary and Western contexts.
EAST MEETS WEST:BUDDHISM IN AM (HRRS-1502)Credits:1.5
An introduction to the complex issues and ideas surrounding the American encounter with Asian religions and philosophy. How does Buddhism, the most popular of the Eastern religions in the West, find its way to the United States and get mixed up into a uniquely American ^soup stock^ (to use William James' metaphor)? Is Buddhism being reconfigured to accommodate embedded Western cultural patterns? And how are American life and norms changing under the influence of the ^light of Asia?^ The course will probe a number of issues surrounding the popularity of Buddhism in America and conversion across cultures in general: What attracts Americans to Eastern religions? Is Buddhism intrinsically compatible or at odds with American ideas and institutions? With Christianity, Judaism? The course should further an understanding of acculturation as a key element in the history of religion. What happens when an established religious tradition is transplanted to another culture holding a widely divergent political, economic, and philosophical worldview? A major goal of the course is self-reflective: to develop an awareness of how easily personal and cultural presuppositions inescapably color even the most sincere effort at understanding, and affect one tradition's attempt to understand another. Methods: Lectures and discussion. Evaluation: Attendance, participation, and the quality of written work. Depending on the number of credit hours, students will be expected to submit some combination of the following: brief reflective responses to selected readings, 3 short position papers (1-2 pages), and one 10-15 page research essay. Also, each student will present one critical book review of 2-4 pages.[Auditors with faculty permission]
QUR'AN, SUNNAH, & ISLAMIC LAW (HRRS-2842)Credits:3
This course will introduce students to the Qur'an, the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, and the main sources of legislation for Islamic law as mentioned in the classical texts of legal theory. We will study the basic sciences of the Qur'an and the concepts of preservation, transmission, and exegesis. Similarly, students will study the basic sciences of the Sunnah to gain an understanding of the preservation, classification and interpretation of Hadith. Students will then be introduced to an overview of the history of Islamic law, the formation of the various legal schools, and related legal sciences such as Maqasid (divine objectives) and legal maxims, in order to understand how different approaches to these sources resulted in varying legal opinions in the Islamic legal tradition.
ISLAM IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE (HRRS-3931)Credits:3
This course will introduce students to some of the frames, themes and theories in the study and representation of Islam/Muslims in the public sphere, with a focus on the United States and Europe. Using interdisciplinary approaches, sources and media, the topics covered include: conceptual frameworks in the study of Islam/Muslims; Islam/Muslims in secular contexts; modernity, colonialism, power; Islamophobia and the Islamophobia industry; African-American Muslims, slavery, racialization of Muslims in the Americas; immigrants, migrants, refugees; women, gender, sexuality; terrorism, violence, ethics; cultural memory, aesthetics, art, architecture, music, performance, humor; approaches to interreligious studies and dialogue through theology, environment and social justice; coalition and network building, site visits and public events.
UNDERSTANDING ISLAMOPHOBIA (HRRS-3932)Credits:3
SPRING 2016 UNDERSTANDING AND COUNTERING ISLAMOPHOBIA Students will be introduced to the study of Islamophobia, its history, the uses of the term, and the particular ways in which it manifests in different contexts in Europe and the United States. From the myth of a ^clash of civilizations^ between Islam and the West, to the focus on terrorism and Muslim women, we analyze, provincialize and decolonize the normative and ^universal^ Western epistemologies and frames through which Islam and Muslims are represented in history, academia, media, law, public policy and the arts. In addition to discussions on the ^Enlightenment^ and Western Christianity, liberalism, secularism, modernity, Orientalism, and Euro/US-centric knowledge/power production, we focus on the politics and economics of militarism and imperialism, the Islamophobia industry, Islamophilia, projects on ^reforming^ Islam and Muslims, and the structural violence and rhetoric against immigrants and refugees. Studying Islamophobia comparatively, we also focus on coalition building in order to counter the racism and fear that impacts institutions, governance, social relations and everyday life. Students will be introduced to various projects, programs and publications, including the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project and the Islamophobia Studies Journal at the Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley. Students will also be required to attend two conferences on Islamophobia held at UC Berkeley Feb 5-6 and April 22-23. INTERSESSION 2016 In this course, participants will be introduced to the study of Islamophobia, its history, the uses of the term, and the particular ways in which it manifests in different contexts in Europe and the United States. From the myth of a "clash of civilizations" between Islam/Muslims and the West, to the focus on terrorism and Muslim women, we analyze, provincialize and decolonize the narrow and normative Western epistemologies and frames through which Islam and Muslims are represented in academia, media, law, public policy and the arts. In addition to discussions on Western liberalism, secular modernity and knowledge production, we focus on the politics and economics of Western militarism and imperialism, the Islamophobia industry, projects on "reforming" Islam/Muslims, and the structural violence and rhetoric against immigrants and refugees. Studying Islamophobia comparatively, we also focus on coalition building in order to counter the racism and fear that impacts institutions, governance, social relations and everyday life. Participants will be introduced to various projects, programs and publications, including the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project and the Islamophobia Studies Journal at the Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley. The course and leadership symposium will include students and faculty at CIS/GTU and UC Berkeley, Bay Area Muslim leaders, and various other religious, interfaith, education, civic, media and arts leaders. The course is open to auditors with permission of the instructors. Students taking the course for credit will be required to write a final paper.
EAST MEETS WEST:BUDDHISM IN AM (HRRS-4610)Credits:1.5
An introduction to the main currents of Eastern religious thought; particularly Buddhism; and the impact Buddhism is having on Western culture, as well as the impact Western culture is having on Buddhism. Historical perspective on the East/West encounter in America and its continuing influence on American life and thought.
5 PILLARS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE (HRRS-4814)Credits:3
This course will examine the Five Pillars of Islam academically as well as experientially, and will draw on a variety of resources, including readings, film viewings, class discussions, and field trips. Particular attention will be focused on the contributions of the Five Pillars, namely, the Shahada (proclamation of Oneness), Salat (ritual prayers), Zakat (almsgiving), Sawm (fasting during Ramadan), and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) to the process of building community in Islam and promoting social justice. [20 max enrollment; Auditors excluded]
KARBALA: ISLAM AND LIBERATION (HRRS-4831)Credits:3
In the Middle East and South Asia, the battle/ massacre of the House of Muhammad (saws) at Karbala (61 AH/680 CE) has long been a powerful symbol of resistance against tyranny. An extremely rich theological, devotional and artistic tradition has grown up around it. Karbala is a paradigm for bringing solidarity and meaning out of an apparently crushing defeat, and so can resonate with any struggle for justice. The course has two objectives: to give students a solid introduction to the theological, historical and political dimensions of the Karbala story; and to give students an opportunity to interrogate and incorporate aspects of the Karbala tradition into their own theological and ministry work. [15 max enrollment; PIN code required; Auditors excluded]
TOPICS IN ISLAMIC STUDIES (HRRS-5785)Credits:3
FRAMES, THEORIES, METHODOLOGIES IN CONTEMPORARY ISLAMIC STUDIES This is an advanced seminar in which we will discuss frames, theories, and methodologies, in the study of Islam and Muslims in contemporary contexts. Topics covered include: conceptual frameworks in the study of Islam; public Islam in secular contexts; modernity and power; Muslim majorities/minorities; citizenship and identity; and Islamophobia. Case-studies in the global media representation of Islam will serve to expand theoretical concepts, and students will have an opportunity to apply some of these frames, theories and methodologies to their own MA and PhD research projects.
QUEER LIBERATION THEOLOGIES (HRRS-8420)Credits:3
What does "liberation" mean to queer individuals and communities? How do Christian traditions worldwide relate to queer issues and queer believers? For the last twenty years queer theologians and communities have been developing contextual theologies in order to challenge and critique the ingrained heteronormativity in theological thought, spiritual practices, and institutional governance. Drawing from an interdisciplinary perspective, the course aims to examine and explore the development of queer theologies in the specific contexts of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The focus of the course is intentionally non-US centered in order to offer future ministers, scholars, and activists tools to collaborate and interact with experiences, key topics and thinkers within the complex and yet fascinating world of queer liberation theologies, thus, enriching their worldview and praxis glocally. [PIN code required; 20 max enrollment; Auditors excluded]
QUEER STUDIES:MULTIRELIG PERS (HRRS-8421)Credits:3
In an increasingly changing and globalized world, the intersection of religious and queer studies is vital for understanding the construction of identities. This online course is designed to introduce you to the place given to gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, the sexual division of labor, gender role expectations, race, and ethnicity within world religions' theo(ideo)/logical discourses. Drawing from an interdisciplinary approach you will develop a self-critical perspective on the way that sacred texts and dogmatic corpus influence the lives and spiritual practices of queer individuals and communities. Together we will explore the mutual constitution of queerness and subjectivity of religious experiences and their social and political implications towards the deconstruction of stereotypes, power dynamics, and marginalization. [Faculty Consent required; 20 max enrollment; Auditors excluded]
INTRO TO BUDDHIST MEDITATION (HRSP-1508)Credits:3
INTRODUCTION TO EARLY BUDDHIST MEDITATION Early Buddhist Meditation is a carefully developed series of mental exercises that is designed to effectively treat various mental and emotional disorders. Samatha and Vipassana are two main areas of Buddhist Meditation found in the Pali Buddhist Texts written in 1st century B.C. and the 4th century commentary on them called Visuddhimagga. These texts will be used as the resources for the course. One part of the class will be a lecture and other part will be students' presentation and class discussion. Limited amount of the class time will be used for actual practice. Final research paper and individual collection of technical terms and their definitions will be required by the end of the course.
ISLAMIC SPIRITUALITY (HRSP-2920)Credits:3
This course is a graduate seminar in which students play an active part through discussions and presentations. Special emphasis will be placed on original texts in English translation. The course will examine Islamic spirituality from early Islam to the present, based on the following topics: Islam: Faith and Spirituality; Early Muslim History; What is Sufism?; Mysticism; Love of God and Knowledge of God; Sufi Orders: Later Developments.
INTRO TO AFRICAN SPIRITUALITY (HRSP-4012)Credits:3
In the creation of our ^Beloved Community,^ this course will ask and answer what contributions do the ancient spiritual wisdoms of Africa have to offer at this time? The course will consist of lectures, demonstrations and student participation. Class participation and final reflection paper will constitute student evaluations. Indigenous African Spiritualties differ from what we in the West may refer to as ^religion.^ There is no fixed creed or closed theological system as seen in some forms of Christianity and Islam. Indigenous African spiritualties are primarily based upon oral traditions and do not have a codified written text, like other major religions. African spiritualties are holistic. In them, any imbalance or disturbance is seen not only as personal but includes one's social, family and village relationships and the relationship with one's ancestors. They encompass at their most basic level a universal belief in survival and triumph over death and the immortality of the human soul. The course will be experiential in nature with links to how African Spiritualties can inform our communal and global pursuit of social justice. Class meets Monday-Friday, 8/21/17-8/25/17, from 9:00am-5:00pm at SKSM Reading Room.
INDIGENOUS WAYS OF KNOWING (HRSP-4013)Credits:3
An experiential course presenting Indigenous perspectives and Ways of Living--including practices related to the healing arts and the relationship to the Sacred. Designed to inform the student of the rich, elegant, sophisticated worldviews of Native peoples as well as to cultivate religious and cultural sensitivity and personal healing. [25 max enrollment; PIN code required; Auditors excluded]
INTRO TO HINDUISM (HRST-1100)Credits:3
This course will introduce Hinduism, the world's third largest faith with approximately one billion adherents, and a five-thousandyear history, in a way that is accessible to MA and MDiv students interested in a multidisicplinary study of the Hindu world. We will view the Hindu experience of the sacred through a theological lens with particular attention to principal doctrines, ethics, and elements of practice. The theological significance of sacred art, rituals, symbol systems, music, dance, and contemplative practice will be examined. The course will use a lecture and discussion format. Requirements include reflection papers on readings and a final exam or research paper. INTERSESSION 2017 Class Meets weekdays, 1/3/2017-1/23/2017, from 2:00pm-5:00pm at JST 217.
THE HINDU VISION OF GOD (HRST-4050)Credits:3
INTRODUCTION TO VEDANTA In the foundational Hindu vision of God, the personal God is the immanent aspect of the transcendental and limitless reality known as Brahman. This theological view, known as Vedanta, occurs at the end (anta) of the canonical body of ancient scriptures (the Veda). It speaks directly to the notion of human suffering and bondage, to one's quest to be free and limitless, unencumbered by self-inadequacy. Vedanta suggests that Brahman is limitlessly whole, eternal, unchanging, and the source and substratum of what we experience as the ever-changing world of physical reality. Knowledge of the omnipresence of Brahman leads to liberation from samsara, the relentless striving to "become" whole and free. This course will focus on Vedanta's resolution of the alienation between the individual and the whole by expounding the connections pervading all phenomena. We will study selections from the original Vedanta texts, Upani?ads, and salient verses from the Bhagavad Gita to understand how the Hindu vision of God approaches the universal human problems that arise due to self-ignorance, and consequent misunderstanding of the nature of reality. Term papers and introspective essays will be assigned to assess critical reflection and understanding. This course is appropriate for MA, MDiv, and PhD students and not require prior knowledge of the Hindu tradition.
INTRO TO HINDU THEOLOGY (HRST-4505)Credits:3
Hinduism offers, arguably, one of the most diverse & variegated theological traditions amongst the world's religions. Hindu acceptance of significant differentiation within and between both systematic and mystical theological schools has baffled foreign interpreters for centuries. Hindu theology has been variously defined by westerns academics as polytheistic, henotheistic, monotheistic, monistic, pantheistic, and so forth. Contemporary scholarship has avoided rigorous discourse on Hindu theology, preferring to study its parts and practices. This course will survey the foundational texts, traditions, and teachings of the Hindu theological world as a variegated network of principles & practices towards an interrelated teleological vision. We will explore the place of sound and symbols, of intensity and imagination, for spiritual formation, liturgical experience, and theological expression. The course will prepare students to identify the theological frameworks that cut across Hindu denominations & understand the distinct viewpoints that render them unique. The course is appropriate for students in MA, MDiv, PhD, and ThD programs (with additional research for doctoral students) and requires reflections on readings, a quiz on terminology, & a term paper. The class may attend liturgical music events and visit one contemplative center, or house of worship.
GOD THE MOTHER IN HINDUISM (HRST-4600)Credits:3
THE DIVINE FEMININE: EMBODIED ENLIGHTENMENT The Hindu theological tradition of God the Mother (the Great Goddess) has a 2,500 year history. The tradition of the Great Goddess offers a theology that integrates transcendence and immanence, embraces both life and liberation, dynamic creativity and the contemplative life, intuitive and empirical dimensions. The course will explore the sacred texts, theology, contemplative praxis, semiotics of ritual art, theories of subtle energy, and the mystical narratives associated with the Divine Feminine. The course is appropriate for MA/MTS & PhD/ThD (additional research), & will require reflection papers and a research paper.
GOD THE MOTHER IN HINDUISM (HRST-5100)Credits:3
THE DIVINE FEMININE & HER THEOLOGY OF IMMANENT TRANSCENDENCE The Hindu theological tradition of God the Mother (the Great Goddess) has a 2,000 year history. The tradition of the Great Goddess offers a theology that integrates transcendence and immanence, embraces both life and liberation, dynamic creativity and the contemplative life, intuitive and empirical dimensions. The course will explore the sacred texts, theology, contemplative praxis, semiotics of ritual art, music, poetry, and the mystical narratives associated with the Divine Feminine. The course is appropriate for Advanced MA/MDiv/MTS & PhD/ThD students, & will require written reflections on readings and a research paper.