Religion 64 Syllabus

Submitted by Diane L. Dix

Religion 64:  The Nature of Religion:  Theories and Methods in Religious Studies

Spring 2008, Amherst College

 

Monday, 3:30-5:30, Chapin 203

John P. Reeder, Jr., jreeder@hds.harvard.edu
Office:  108 Chapin Hall

 

I.                   Religion as an Autonomous Sphere of Experience

 

1. Feb. 4:  William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience (purchase)

             

2.      Feb. 11:  Rudolph Otto, The Idea of the Holy, I-VIII; X-XIV; XVII; XXI;

                  appendices  I, II, V, VI  (purchase)

 

II.                Objections

 

3. Feb. 18:  George Lindbeck, The Nature of Doctrine (course packet)

 

4. Feb. 25:  Wayne Proudfoot, Religious Experience (purchase)

 
       III.      Morality as an Autonomous Sphere of Experience

 

      5.  Mar. 3:  Kai Nielsen, Ethics Without God (purchase);

                    Alan Donagan, The Theory of Morality, l-l7;  26-3l; 57-66; 245-50 (course

packet)

 

IV.             Objections

 

6. Mar. 12:  Annette C.  Baier, “What Women Want in a Moral Theory,” 1-17;  “ The Need for More than Justice,” 18-32; and “Hume: The Women’s Moral Theorist”, 33-50; notes 327-8, 330-33l,  from Moral Prejudices (packet)

 

Seyla Benhabib, “The Generalized Other and the Concrete Other:  The Kohlberg-Gilligan Controversy and Moral Theory,” ch. 5, 148-177;    “The Debate Over Women and Moral Theory Revisited,”  ch. 6, l78-202, from  Situating the Self: Gender, Community, and Postmodernism In Contemporary Ethics (course packet)

 

7.  Mar. 24:  Jeffrey  Stout, Ethics After Babel, “ Religion and Morality,” ch. 5, 109-123; “ Reason and Tradition,” ch. 6, 124-144 (course packet)

 

V.                Humpty-Dumpty

 

8.      Mar. 31:  Peter Berger, The Sacred Canopy (purchase); 

 

     Reeder, “Religion and Morality” (course packet)

 

9.      Apr. 7:  Clifford Geertz, “ Religion as A Cultural System,”  “Worldview, Ethos, and Sacred Symbols,” from The Interpretation of Cultures ( course packet); “ The Pinch of Destiny,” Raritan (course packet);

 

Talal Asad, “The Construction of Religion as an Anthropological  Category,” 27-44 from Genealogies of Religion: Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam

 

10.  Apr. 14:  Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., In a Shade of Blue:  Pragmatism and the

Politics of Black America (purchase)

 

11.   Apr. 21:  Saba Mahmood, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival  and the Feminist Subject (purchase)

 

12.   Apr. 28:  Mahmood, Politics of Piety

 

13.  May 5:  Summary 

 

Recommended: Bruce Lincoln, Holy Terrors: Thinking About Religion After September ll, 2nd edition.

 

Purchase (Jeffrey Amherst College Bookstore) and also on Reserve:

 

William James, Varieties of Religious Experience

Rudolph Otto, The Idea of the Holy

Wayne Proudfoot, Religious Experience

Kai Nielsen, Ethics Without God

Peter Berger, The Sacred Canopy

Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism  and the Politics of Black America

Saba Mahmood,  Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist  Subject

 

Recommended: Bruce Lincoln,  Holy Terrors: Thinking About Religion After September ll.

 

Course Packet on sale in the Religion Department, Amherst College

Reserve: purchase, packet, recommended

 

Requirements:

 

1.) Mid-term  Mar 31:  one page on an idea or issue you may write on for the  term paper

2.) Term-paper May 16: interpretative analysis, examination  of objections, or constructive statement (any one or some combination)

Religion 64 syllabus

Submitted by Diane L. Dix
religion 64 Syllabus