Teacher-Advisor Program (TAP) Seminars

Fine Arts
Social Sciences
Natural Sciences & Mathematics


REL 020C ~ D2: The Wheel and the Cross

Instructor: Kevin Trainor Professor of Religion More . . .

Whatever our religious backgrounds, most of us in the U.S. probably feel much more familiar with Christianity than Buddhism, and tend to separate the two traditions along a great East-West divide. This course aims to complicate that perspective. It provides an introduction to the study of religion through a detailed comparative analysis of these two traditions, illuminating some surprising similarities as well as important differences in their histories and practices. Students will have the opportunity to complete a ritual research project and present their research to the class.

Requirements Satisfied: one Humanities course and a D2 non-European Cultures course

REL 023A ~ What is the Bible?

Instructor: Anne Clark Professor of Religion More . . .

What is the Bible? Or rather, what are the Bibles? How were they made? By whom? And of course, why? In this class, we will examine the origins of "the Bible" to learn about the nature of religion as well as the origins of some of the religious traditions that have profoundly shaped the world. We will begin with the religious beliefs of the peoples of the ancient Near East, then turn to the development of ancient Israel, and finally, the emergence of the Christian movement. In looking at each of these closely related religious cultures, we will try to understand how the evidence of their beliefs and practices allows us to construct a picture of what we call religion.

Requirements Satisfied: one Humanities course

REL 095B ~ Introducing Islam

Instructor: Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst Assistant Professor of Religion More . . .

Islam is, in our post-9/11 world, a feature of the daily news; nearly two billion people worldwide identify as Muslims, and Muslims have been a part of the American religious landscape since the slave trade moved Muslim Africans to our shores. No doubt this is an historic and yet timely topic, very much worthy of our attention. But how much do you really know about Muslims or Islam? This course examines the history of Islam, focusing especially on its variation over time and location. By examining practices and writings of Muslims in three locations-South Asia, the Middle East, and North America-we will complicate the idea that Islam is a discrete, universal set of ideas, practices, or beliefs.

Requirements Satisfied: one Humanities course