RELG 110: UNDERSTANDING RELIGION
SONJA G ANDERSON, 3a
How can we best understand the role of religion in the world today, and how should we interpret the meaning of religious traditions–their texts and practices–in history and culture? This class takes an exciting tour through selected themes and puzzles related to the fascinating and diverse expressions of religion throughout the world. From politics and pop culture, to religious philosophies and spiritual practices, to rituals, scriptures, gender, religious authority, and more, students will explore how these issues emerge in a variety of religions, places, and historical moments in the U.S. and across the globe..

RELG 130: NATIVE AMERICAN RELIGIONS
Michael McNally, 2,3c
This course explores the history and contemporary practice of Native American religious traditions, especially as they have developed amid colonization and resistance. While surveying a broad variety of ways that Native American traditions imagine land, community, and the sacred, the course focuses on the local traditions of the Ojibwe and Lakota communities. Materials include traditional beliefs and practices, the history of missions, intertribal new religious movements, and contemporary issues of treaty rights, religious freedom, and the revitalization of language and culture.

RELG 153: INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM
Jonathan H Dickstein, 4a
This course offers a survey of Buddhism from its inception in India some 2500 years ago to the present. We first address fundamental Buddhist ideas and practices, then their elaboration in the Mahayana and tantric movements, which emerged in the first millennium CE in India. We also consider the diffusion of Buddhism throughout Asia and to the West. Attention will be given to both continuity and diversity within Buddhism–to its commonalities and transformations in specific historical and cultural settings. We also will address philosophical, social, political, and ethical problems that are debated among Buddhists and scholars of Buddhism today..

RELG 213: RELIGION, MEDICINE, AND HEALING
Sonja G Anderson, 5a
How do religion and medicine approach the healing of disease and distress? Are religion and medicine complementary or do they conflict? Is medicine a more evolved form of religion, shorn of superstition and pseudoscience? This course explores religious and cultural models of health and techniques for achieving it, from ancient Greece to Christian monasteries to modern mindfulness and self-care programs. We will consider ethical quandaries about death, bodily suffering, mental illness, miraculous cures, and individual agency, all the while seeking to avoid simplistic narratives of rationality and irrationality.

RELG 220: JUSTICE AND RESPONSIBILITY
Lori K Pearson, 4,5c
How can we understand the demands of justice, the meaning of responsibility, and the relation of both to power and politics? This course draws heavily on Christian theology and modern European philosophy to explore a range of questions about religion, ethics, and society. Is pacifism, resistance, political force, or compromise the most appropriate way to bring justice to human relations? How should the ideals of faith inform questions about political authority, struggles for equality, and tolerance of difference? As we explore these topics, we encounter diverse models of human selfhood, moral obligation, and the role of religion in public life.

RELG 257: ASIAN RELIGIONS AND ECOLOGY
Jonathan H Dickstein, 2a
How “eco-friendly” are Asian religious traditions? What does “eco-friendly” even mean? This course begins with an overview of the major religious traditions of South, Southeast, Central, and East Asia. From this foundation, we turn to modern and contemporary ecological thinkers, movements, and policies and discuss their indebtedness to, and divergence from, various religious heritages. We will also explore how modernity, capitalism, industrialization, climate collapse, and Western environmental movements have influenced eco-advocacy in contemporary Asia.

RELG 300: THEORIES AND METHODS IN THE STUDY OF RELIGION
Lori K Pearson, 2,3c
What, exactly, is religion and what conditions of modernity have made it urgent to articulate such a question in the first place? Why does religion exert such force in human society and history? Is it an opiate of the masses or an illusion laden with human wish-fulfillment? Is it a social glue? A subjective experience of the sacred? Is it simply a universalized Protestant Christianity in disguise, useful in understanding, and colonizing, the non-Christian world? This seminar, for junior majors and advanced majors from related fields, explores generative theories from anthropology, sociology, psychology, literary studies, and the history of religions.

RELG 344: LIVED RELIGION IN AMERICA
Michael D McNally, 4,5c
The practices of popular, or local, or lived religion in American culture often blur the distinction between the sacred and profane and elude religious studies frameworks based on the narrative, theological, or institutional foundations of “official” religion. This course explores American religion primarily through the lens of the practices of lived religion with respect to ritual, the body, the life cycle, the market, leisure, and popular culture. Consideration of a wide range of topics, including ritual healing, Christmas, cremation, and Elvis, will nourish an ongoing discussion about how to make sense of lived religion.