Fall 2014 Related Courses

African and African American Studies 178 - Health, Society, and Subjectivity in the American Context

Laurence A. Ralph     http://isites.harvard.edu/course/colgsas-39051

While diseases are often imagined to be scientific, medical conditions, they are also social constructs. In the nineteenth century, for example, the condition of Dysaesthesia Aethiopis (an ailment that made its sufferers "mischievous") was considered nearly universal among free blacks. Today, diseases like AIDS and tuberculosis are often associated with personal attributes, while the social forces at work to structure risk for acquiring these illnesses are glossed over. This course examines the ways people reproduce and challenge contemporary visions of society through the lens of social injury, and in the process cultivate subjectivities that are marked by race, gender, class.

Anthropology 1658 - Law, Culture, and Islam

Asad A. Ahmed     http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k106532

From Afghanistan, through the Middle-East and to the United States, the Shari'a has become a site of intense conflict and controversy. Regarded as backward and barbaric by some and a source of ethical and religious life by others it marks deep divides and seemingly incommensurable world views. This course examines the Shari'a, primarily understood as law through an anthropological lens in recent and contemporary life. It will attend to the conjunctures, imaginaries and practices between ' law', culture and morality initially in the Muslim world before shifting to debates on incorporating Sharia law in the West.

Economics 1776 - Religion and the Rise of Capitalism

Benjamin M. Friedman     https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/1227

Examines the influence of religious thinking on the intellectual revolution, associated with Adam Smith and others, that created economics as we know it as an independent discipline; also examines how the lasting resonances from these early religious influences continue to shape discussion of economic issues and debates about economic policy down to our own day.

Ethical Reasoning 33 - Medical Ethics and History

David Shumway Jones     https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/1173

Disease and medicine have generated ethical dilemmas that have challenged patients and doctors for centuries, from abortion and euthanasia to informed consent and compulsory treatment. Although moral philosophy can clarify the relevant issues, resolution often depends on the details of the specific clinical and social contexts. Taking a historical approach to medical ethics, this class explores how the moral discourse in health care has changed over time in order to understand how social factors influence the persuasiveness of moral arguments. The focus will be on medical practice in the United States in the twentieth century.

History 1445 - Science and Religion in American History

Andrew Jewett     http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k104882

This lecture course explores the complex interactions of science and religion in the United States, with a particular focus on their roles in democratic politics. Beginning with the Scopes trial of 1925, it looks back to the "pan-Protestant establishment" and the Darwinian controversies of the nineteenth century and then proceeds forward to today's debates over abortion and bioengineering. Students read a wide range of primary sources and examine visual material. No previous coursework is required.

History 83c - Care of the Soul

James Hankins      http://isites.harvard.edu/course/colgsas-8082

The teachings of major philosophers in the Western tradition about how living a philosophical life can cure diseases of the soul and bring tranquility, harmony with nature, and a sense of moral worth.

History of Science 108 - Bodies, Sexualities, and Medicine in the Medieval Middle East

Ahmed Ragab     https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/830

This course will examine the ways in which medical, religious, cultural, and political discourses and practices interacted in the medieval and early modern Middle East to create and reflect multiple understandings of human bodies and sexualities. Special attention to debates on health, sexuality, and gender and racial identities.

History of Science 166 - What is Enlightenment?": Science, Religion, and the Making of Modernity

Soha Hassan Bayoumi     http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k104570

From Immanuel Kant's answer to this question in 1784 to Michel Foucault's engagement with the same question and answer in 1984, two centuries had passed and much water had flowed under the bridge. From the inception of its ideals in the Anglo-Saxon world in the seventeenth century at the hands of Spinoza, John Locke and Isaac Newton, to its development in France in the eighteenth century by Voltaire, Montesquieu and Rousseau and culmination with the writings of Immanuel Kant, the Enlightenment developed into an important intellectual movement which helped shape modernity and its repercussions in the contemporary world. This course will trace the history of Enlightenment in primary sources, enriched by a collection of secondary readings, and will explore contemporary reflections on Enlightenment from various schools of thought, ranging from romanticism to marxism, and from feminism to postmodernism. Some of the themes addressed include the politics of the Enlightenment, philosophy and morality, rationalism and empiricism, science and education, and religion and toleration.

History of Science 209 - Science, Religion and Culture: Debates, Methods and Controversies

Ahmed Ragab     https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/829

Critical examination of different methods and theories in history and philosophy of science and STS (Science, Technology and Society studies) along with discussions of a number of tools in the study and history of culture and religion and how they can be utilized in the study of science and religion; away from the conflict/reconciliation paradigms and towards examining the perceived relations and exchanges of science and religion through analyzing paradigms, discourses, traditions and authorities. The course can serve as a methodological introduction to history and philosophy of science and STS. The course is a research workshop with a focus on training and professionalization and an emphasis on methods tools in academic writing and research. Students work on specific projects throughout the semester from topic selection, question formation, to research and writing to produce a piece of academic writing such as research papers, conference papers, articles, book reviews, prospectus, syllabi, etc.

Islamic Civilizations 146 - Al-Ghazali: Theologian and Mystic

Khaled El-Rouayheb     http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k106150

Al-Ghazali (d.1111) is generally recognized to be one of the most influential of all Muslim religious thinkers. A prominent theologian and jurist, he experienced a spiritual crisis at the height of his career, and as a consequence explored mysticism (Sufism) and worked out a powerful synthesis between respect for the externals of the Islamic religion and the mystics' stress on the interior life. In this course, we will look in particular at his account of his spiritual crisis; his critical engagement with the Islamic Philosophers; and some of the more mystical works that he wrote toward the end of his life, including his theodicy, his meditations on the Qur'anic dictum that "God is the Light of the Heavens and the Earth", and select chapters from his great summa "The Revival of the Religious Sciences". All readings will be in English.

Islamic Civilizations 170 - Islam, Modernity and Politics

Ousmane Oumar Kane     http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k105370

The aim of this seminar is to study the evolution of Islamic thought and political practices in Muslim societies from the 19th to the early 21st centuries. Attention will be devoted to the patterns of interaction between the Muslim World and the West because it is our assumption that these patterns contribute to influence ideological formations and modes of religious/political mobilizations in the Muslim World. By the end of the eighteenth century, much of the Muslim World was in "decline" whereas European imperial powers, mainly France and Great Britain, were on the rise. The course will explore the response of Muslim societies and intellectuals to the rise of European prominence. The major 19th century reformist movements that appeared in the Muslim World will be discussed, ranging from movements advocating mild reform to those rejecting all influence of "Western civilization" and advocating a return to the Tradition of Muhammad. In the twentieth century, virtually all the Muslim World came under European colonial domination. During colonial rule and after, the Muslim world experienced major transformations which affected the nature and administration of law, politics and society. It is in this context, that the new Islamic revival that some have called "Islamism" was articulated as an alternative to Westernization. The course will address the rise of contemporary "Islamism," as an alternative to Western domination and modernization/Westernization. The major theorists of political Islam as well as the different trajectories of "Islamism" in diverse Muslim societies will be covered. The impact of political Islam in the West will also be addressed. The final part of the course will assess the trajectories of political Islam and address the ongoing debates on post-Islamism, secularism and modernity.

Philosophy 19 - Introduction to Philosophy of Religion

Cheryl K. Chen     http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k104623

An examination of some central themes in the philosophy of religion. Topics include: arguments for and against the existence of God, divine attributes, the problem of evil, miracles, religious experience, the relation between religion and science, and life and death. Readings from historical and contemporary sources.

Philosophy 253 - The Epistemic Authority of Science (Graduate Seminar in General Education)

Edward J. Hall and Scott Brewer     http://isites.harvard.edu/course/colgsas-44411

A systematic examination of the nature and significance of the epistemic authority that our culture currently bequeaths upon science, with emphasis on issues in both the public and private spheres. How, in a democratic society, should scientific expertise be adjudicated, and deployed in decision-making in political and legal settings? To what extent are science and religion in conflict? What is it to adopt a "scientific worldview" - and what difference should this make, if any, to how an individual perceives and conducts her own life?

Philosophy 276x - Bioethics: Seminar

Frances Kamm     http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k106045

Philosophical discussion of selected issues in bioethics, such as allocation of scarce resources, equity in healthcare, death, euthanasia and assisted suicide, abortion, embryonic stem cell research. Readings primarily from contemporary philosophical sources.

Religion 1842 - Religion, Gender, Identity: Readings in Arab and Muslim Autobiography: Seminar

Leila N. Ahmed     http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k105320

We will read autobiographical works mainly by 20th century 'Arab' writers, Muslim, Christian and Jewish, paying particular attention to issues of religion, gender and identity, exploring how these are at play in the texts and in authorial constructions of self, history, and meaning.

Religion 52 - Religion, Secularism, and Modernity

Instructor to be determined     http://isites.harvard.edu/course/colgsas-53034

This course considers how lines between the religious and the secular have been drawn from the Enlightenment to the present. Although modernity has often been associated with critiques of religion and predictions of religious decline, such predictions have come under serious challenge, calling into question the possibility of drawing a clear distinction between tradition and modernity. Moreover, it has increasingly been argued that the category of religion (along with that of the secular) is itself a modern creation. Readings will offer historical and contemporary perspectives on how distinctions between religious and secular, traditional and modern, have developed and been challenged over the past several centuries, by religious adherents and critics alike.

Religion 2488 - Queer Theology, Queer Religions

Mark D. Jordan     https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/794

This course will evaluate the project of queer theology in relation to the larger aspirations of queer religions in America. We will begin by sampling the efforts to revise traditional Christian theologies in order to accept same-sex loves. We will then try to move beyond the present discussion in several directions. We will look at some forgotten possibilities in historical engagements between advocates of homosexual rights and established religious bodies (chiefly churches and synagogues). We will consider the boundaries between queer theology and queer theory or between it and other political theologies. We will test the boundaries of "Christianity" while considering the varied forms of queer religion outside familiar religious institutions—in spirituality or spiritualism, in magic or neo-paganism, in erotic

Social Studies 98oc - Religion and Secularism in a Global World

Anya Bernstein     http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k16845

What constitutes the political and how does it relate to the religious? This course explores the relationship between recent religious resurgences and secular politics while paying particular attention to the mutually constitutive categories of the "secular" and the "religious." We start by exploring the classic secularization thesis and continue to examine its recent revisions. We will move beyond the assumption that secularism should be conceived in the singular to reflect on its global varieties, considering not only the Euro-American formations, but also debates around the place of religion in public life in China, India, Russia, Turkey and others.

United States in the World 33 - Religion and Social Change

Marla F. Frederick     http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k104844

Religion has inspired new understandings of social and political engagement. From early protest oriented struggles for civil rights in the US to the more recent personal responsibility calls of neo-pentecostal discourses, this course takes African American religious engagement with the process of democracy as a starting point for thinking about how other communities around the world have employed religion as a means of advancing social change. Through ethnography, auto/biography, and documentary film, this class compares and contrasts the influence that religious moods and motivations have had on calls for democracy and social change in places like Latin America, the Middle East and West Africa. In each instance the course questions the place of the US government and US religious bodies in these global efforts towards change.



Conflict, Ethics and Human Rights: Assessing the role of Religion in International Politics (HDS 3352)

Jocelyne Cesari     http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k105323

The end of the Cold War was characterized not only by the collapse of old Empires and the rise of new economic forces, but also by the emergence of ethnic and religious groups in world politics. Everywhere we witnessed greater tensions and confrontations between cultures or religious based politics and the international system based on secular ethics. This course will address the following questions: Why has secular nationalism failed? Why is religion seen as a legitimate alternative form of politics nationally and internationally? Is there a proclivity to violence from religious militants? Is religion a positive or negative factor of political development? It will provide a comprehensive overview of thirty years of religious militancy throughout the world as well as the various religious traditions associated to it. It will be built on case studies from different regions: Middle East, Africa, India, Africa, South Asia, Europe, and the USA. Each session will assess the influence of religion in the democratization process, the intersection of culture and religion, its competition with secular moral actors and its consequence for political and economic development.

Gender and Sexuality in Jewish Mysticism and Theology (HDS 3030)

Yakir Englander     https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/797

Because mysticism is a genre hidden from the public, it is a space where theologians can deal with the most intimate elements in human life. Does God have a body? If so, is it feminine or masculine? What does it mean when we read sources where God cries and laughs? How do our sexual lives influence our understanding of God? And how does Jewish mysticism influence contemporary Jewish law and the gender structure of Orthodox communities? After learning the tools necessary to read secret Jewish texts, we will read mystical writings through the lens of gender theory. The goal is to see how this can enrich our understanding of the sexual and gender images of God. We will apply their thought to the Talmud, the Zohar, Rabbi Nachman of Breslev and his stories, Zionist Orthodoxy and the Ultra-Orthodox theology. All texts will be in English.

Gender, Religion, Writing and Identity in Later Medieval and Early Modern Europe (HDS 2114)

Alison More     https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/817

This course uses historiographical analysis and feminist methodologies to examine the complex links between religious rhetoric, women's writings, and the questions surrounding female religious identity in later medieval and Early Modern Christianity. It traces the evolution and changing social role of female religious communities, and touches upon issues such as the relationship between the religious and secular, the formation of orthodoxy, and changing ideals of female holiness.

Theologies of the Body (HDS 2412)

Mayra Rivera Rivera     https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/943

This lecture course engages critically 20th-21st Century Christian writings about the human body in dialogue with current debates including: the boundaries between the human and the non-human; definitions of sexuality, gender, and race; understandings of materiality and performativity; and discourses about health and normative forms of embodiment.

Bodies, Sexualities, and Medicine in the Medieval Middle East (HDS 3587)

Ahmed Ragab     https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/830

What is Enlightenment?": Science, Religion, and the Making of Modernity (HDS 3302)

Soha Hassan Bayoumi     http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k104570

Science, Religion and Culture: Debates, Methods and Controversies (HDS 3341)

Ahmed Ragab     https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/829

Al-Ghazali: Theologian and Mystic (HDS 3599)

Khaled El-Rouayheb     http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k106150

Islam, Modernity and Politics (HDS 3368)

Ousmane Oumar Kane     http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k105370

Religion, Gender, Identity: Readings in Arab and Muslim Autobiography: Seminar (HDS 3616)

Leila N. Ahmed     http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k105320

Queer Theology, Queer Religions (HDS 2709)

Mark D. Jordan     https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/794

Religion and Social Change (HDS 3700)

Marla F. Frederick     http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k104844



Religion, Politics, and Public Policy (DPI-342)

Richard Parker     http://www.hks.harvard.edu/degrees/teaching-courses/course-listing/dpi-342

Religion may well still be the most powerful--yet seriously unexamined--force in American public life. Two centuries ago the U.S population was predominantly white, from the United Kingdom, and Protestant Christian; today America is multicultural, multiracial, and barely 50% Protestant. Yet, unique among advanced nations, Americans still remain highly religious -- over 90% affirm their belief in god. Moreover, amidst its diversity, distinct and stable religious/cultural/regional "blocs" persist, with patterns of beliefs and values that influence everything from where we live and whom we marry, our policy debates and our presidential choices. "Why?" and "how?" are the questions we'll try to answer. We'll look at America's migration and settlement patterns, why some denominations have grown while others have declined, and how issues -- from 19th century struggles over slavery's aboltion, temperance, public education, and women's suffrage, then right on up to today's fiercely-fought questions about homosexuality, abortion, welfare reform, economic justice, and the environment-- have been (and are being) shaped by Americans' religious identities and values. We'll also examine whether that history of influence is or is not coming to an end -- and why and what will replace it. Whether you plan a career in public life -- or just want to understand more deeply what shapes our public debates -- this course opens up a "hidden" side of America's history, politics, and economic, social, and cultural relations in ways that few Americans themselves understand.



Freshman Seminar 21i - Evolution, Buddhism, and Ethics

John Wakeley     http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k104916

Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, today supported by genetics, is often seen as antagonistic to religion. Buddhism is one of the world's major religions, yet is sometimes described as scientific. In fact, science and religion have a lot to say to each other, in particular about what can be done versus what should be done. This course explores points of contact between evolutionary genetics and Buddhism, centering on the notion of "emptiness," and building knowledge of each so that ethical questions about animals in research, genetic testing, and human genetic engineering can be discussed.

Freshman Seminar 21y - The Art and Politics of Science

Roberto G. Koulter     http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k104917

Objectivity is important in science, yet it is clear that there are elements of creativity and politics that shape the practice and communication of science. This course explores how individual creativity and political behavior influence scientific pursuits and science communication. This is done through diverse activities, including interviews with scientists, viewing and discussing films that broach scientific topics, e.g. "DNA Story" and "GATTACA", reading and discussing K. C. Cole's "Frank Oppenheimer and his astonishing Exploratorium", a visit to the Museum of Science and the preparation of a "hands on" experiment.

Freshman Seminar 33k - Reasoning About God: Exploring Religious Belief in Light of Philosophy and Cognitive Science

Guven Guzeldere     http://isites.harvard.edu/course/colgsas-35953

This seminar explores the nature of religious belief and various ways of reasoning about God, in light of philosophical arguments and recent research in the cognitive sciences. Questions that will be subjected to a systematic analytical examination include the rational and psychological bases for belief in God, the metaphysical possibility of an afterlife, and the relation between faith and reason (including the relation between religious belief and scientific knowledge). We will also discuss various philosophical arguments for the existence of God, different conceptions of the soul, the problem of evil, and the relation of religion to morality.

Freshman Seminar 43m - Psychology of Religion

Jon Wesley Boyd     http://isites.harvard.edu/course/colgsas-83191

This course addresses some of the fundamental issues of the nature of the self, issues which appear at the intersection of religion and psychology: Where do we turn for ultimate meaning? What happens when individuals undergo some sort of crisis and radically change their belief system or how they engage with the world? How do we face death? The course will focus on the ways in which both individuals and cultures create frameworks of meaning. The readings explore philosophical, psychological, and literary perspectives on these issues and questions and include works by Freud, Dostoevsky, William James, Flannery O'Connor and others