Courses for Fall 2015

RST 001H Sex Marriage Divorce Fall 2015

RST 001H – Sex, Marriage and Divorce in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Meets T, TH 10:30-11:50 in 234 Wellman

Description: Sex, marriage and divorce are ubiquitous features of human societies. This course will consist of a comparative investigation of these phenomena across different religious traditions, time periods, and areas of the world. In the first two-thirds of the course, we will analyze how Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have conceived of the law, primarily by looking at how these religions regulated the institution of marriage and sexual activity. In the last third of the course, we will analyze how the emergence of modernity affected the way the law was conceived by the different religions. We will end the course by looking at how religion is involved in debates about family law in two different modern societies: Israel and the United States.


RST 160 Fall 2015RST 160 – Introduction to Islamic Thought

Meets T, TH 1:10-3:00 in 205 Olson

Description: This course is devoted to examining Islamic thought as it is produced in three different disciplines: theology, law, and history. In the discipline of theology we will read authors who wrote about man’s free will and predestination, the nature of God’s relationship to the world, and the sources of our knowledge of morality. In the discipline of law we will read scholars who wrote about the rules governing warfare. In the discipline of history, we will read how different historians narrated traumatic events in the historical memory of the Muslims, such as the death of the Prophet Muhammad and the election of the first caliph Abu Bakr. Many of our readings will consist of ancient and medieval texts in translation.