Advanced Undergraduate Courses

The Center sponsors occasional advanced undergraduate courses offered by Princeton faculty.

Spring 2017
MUS432/MED432/ART433/HUM432 Art and Music in the Middle Ages, taught by Jamie Reuland, Art and Archaeology, and Beatrice Kitzinger, Music

In the liturgical and courtly culture of the Middle Ages, music and the visual arts were inseparable. To examine art and music together is the aim of this course, integrating these two fields of study as they were integrated in their historical context. Working through case studies from the ninth through the fifteenth centuries–including the mystic plays of Hildegard of Bingen, the scurrilous satire of the Roman de Fauvel, and Jan van Eyck’s Ghent altarpiece–we focus on rich sites of intersection between art and music. Final and midterm projects creative and collaborative in nature.

Previously Sponsored Courses

Spring 2012
REL331/NES332 Islamic Liberalism, taught by Muhammad Qasim Zaman, Department of Near Eastern Studies
Though it makes considerably fewer headlines than does Islamism (or Islamic fundamentalism), liberalism in its different shades has long been a highly significant facet of modern Islamic thought. This seminar is concerned with the history of Islamic liberalism in varied contexts (the Arab Middle East, Iran, India, Pakistan, and contemporary Western societies), the tensions and ambiguities that have characterized liberal thought, and the contestations within the ranks of the liberals and between them and their opponents from the late 19th century to the present.

Fall 2010
SPA 357/REL 387 “Caribbean Messianisms, Utopias and Revolutions” taught by Rachel Price, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
A course on messianic, utopian, and revolutionary thought in and of the Caribbean. How is the idea of the Caribbean rooted in Christian thought? How have the Haitian and Cuban revolutions been shaped by religious iconography–from “voodoo” to the dove on Castro’s shoulder? What is the relation between a Dominican cult and US interventions in the region? In approaching these questions, we will pair a range of literary and historical readings with philosophical considerations of messianism’s and utopia’s relation to politics and time.

Spring 2010
ENG 338/REL 395 “Faith and Form: Religion and Poetry in the Nineteenth Century” taught by Meredith Martin, English, and Sarah Rivett, English,
This course asked how “poetry,” both broadly and specifically conceived, succeeded and failed in consoling and sustaining humankind and interpreting life in the nineteenth century. What do poetry and religion borrow from one another? How does the history of the two together help us to understand the fate of each in the twentieth century?

Fall 2009
ANT 218/REL 218 “Religion and Medicine” taught by João Biehl, Anthropology.
The seminar examined illness experiences and therapeutic practices as related to religious traditions worldwide. The studetns specifically looked at the mind-body interface amid suffering to investigate how new medical technologies intermingle with belief systems and local forms of care. They considered how the themes of sacrifice and salvation are actualized in humanitarian and global health interventions and theorize emerging notions of wellbeing and human agency. Students learned to analyse representations of relgiion experience and the conduct ethnographic interviews.
REL 224 “Nonviolence Across Religious History” taught by Jonathan Gold, Religion.
This course traced an intellectual history of the modern doctrine of nonviolence, emphasizing its emergence through transnational, multi-religious dialogue. Topics included nonviolence in Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism; Hume and Spinoza; Max Müller; Theosophy and South Asian religious reformers; Transcendentalism; Tolstoy, Gandhi, and King.

Spring 2008
HIS 493 “Science and Religion: Historical Approaches” taught by D. Graham Burnett, History
This seminar will offer students an opportunity to engage critically, and above all historically, with the relationship between science and religion in the modern (post-1500) world. Has this relationship been uniformly antagonistic? If so, why? If not, what general conditions or specific problems have led to other forms of engagement? We will read a set of recent secondary studies on these questions, as well as primary sources from key episodes of entanglement between theistic institutions (practices, commitments, etc.) and self-consciously scientific modernity.

Spring 2007
“Religion and Immigration”
Albert Raboteau, Religion

Spring 2005
“Moses and Jesus in the Islamic Tradition”
Shaun E. Marmon, Religion

Spring 2004
“Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross: ‘Mystical Theology,’ Epistemology and Gender”
Sarah Coakley, Visiting Professor in Christian Thought and Edward Mallinckrodt Jr. Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School

Spring 2004 Undergraduate Seminar
“Religion, Poetry, and Memory in Ancient China”
Martin Kern, East Asian Studies
Offered as part of the 2003-2004 Thematic Project, “Religion, Poetry, and Memory in Ancient China”

Spring 2003 Undergraduate Seminar
“Imagining Eden”
Joanna Magali Picciotto, English
Offered as part of the 2002-2003 Thematic Project, “Seventeenth-Century ‘Adamolatry’ and Paradisal Return”

Spring 2003 Graduate Seminar
“The Moral Mystic”
Christian Wildberg, Classics, and Daniel Zelinski, Visiting Research Fellow
Offered as part of the 2002-2003 Thematic Project, “The Moral Mystic: Mysticism and Moral Philosophy”

Fall 2002 Undergraduate Seminar
“Aquinas: Theology and Ethics”
Eugene F. Rogers, Jr., Visiting Lecturer in Christian Thought and Practice, and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia

Spring 2002 Graduate Seminar
“Poverty and Charity in the Middle Ages”
Mark R. Cohen, Near Eastern Studies, and Judah Galinsky, Visiting Research Fellow
Offered as part of the 2001-2002 Thematic Project, “Poverty and Charity in Judaism in the Islamic World in the Period of the Cairo Geniza”

Spring 2002 Undergraduate Seminar
“Death and Afterlife in Buddhist Cultures”
Jacqueline I. Stone, Religion, and Bryan J. Cuevas, Visiting Research Fellow
Offered as part of the 2001-2002 Thematic Project, “Death and Dying in Buddhist Cultures”

Spring 2002 Undergraduate Seminar
“From Eros to Sin: Augustine’s Transformation of Plato”
James R. Wetzel, Visiting Lecturer in Christian Thought and Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Colgate University

Spring 2001 Graduate Seminar
“Darwin and Religion: One Long Argument”
William Howarth, English, and Lisa Sideris, Visiting Research Fellow
Offered as part of the 2000-2001 Thematic Project, “Darwin’s Entangled Bank: The Cultural Legacy of Evolution”

Fall 2000 Undergraduate Seminar
“Religion and Cinema”
P. Adams Sitney, Visual Arts, and Jeffrey L. Stout, Religion
Offered as part of the 2000-2001 Thematic Project, “Cinema and Religious Expression”