Listed in: Religion, as RELI-111
Formerly listed as: RELI-11
This course introduces students to the comparative study of religion by focusing on a major theme within two or more religious traditions. Traditions and topics will vary from year to year. In 2012-13 the major traditions will be Islam and Judaism, and the theme will be death. Death is involved in life-passages both for those who die and for those they leave behind. This complex and universal concern raises questions about the very nature of being human and believing in the divine as we consider the ways in which the living make sense of death within particular religious and cultural contexts. Specific themes to explore include views of the metaphysical causes of death, descriptions of the experience of being dead, rituals surrounding the dead, ideas concerning the continued sentience or power of the departed, and beliefs about their capacity to communicate with the living and/or to return to life.
Fall semester. Professors Jaffer and Niditch.