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Black Women and Religion in the United States

This course is an exploration of the spiritual lives of African American women. We will hear black women’s voices in history and in literature, in film, performance and music, and within diverse periods and contexts, as reflecting their multidimensional religious experiences. We will also examine the ways that religion has both empowered and disempowered black women in their personal and collective attempts at the definition and realization of a sacred self. Swathmore College View Syllabus

Women & Judaism

Women & Judaism: This course explores the religious and social position women have historically occupied in Jewish society. We will discuss religious practice and theological beliefs as well as social and economic developments as a means of addressing questions such as: What role have women played in Jewish tradition? How are they viewed by Jewish law? How has their status changed in different historical contexts, and why might those changes have taken place? In what ways have Jewish women worked to change their traditional status? What are contemporary ideas about the status of Jewish women, and how have these ideas influenced contemporary Jewish practices and communal relations? What do the historical and religious experiences of Jewish women teach us about the way that Judaism has developed? Dr. Jeffrey Haus Kalamazoo College

Same Sex Gender & Religion

Same Sex Gender and Religion: This course explores the intersection of religions, same-sex affection/love/relations, and the category of gender. At the most basic level we examine what different religions have to say about sexuality, in particular, non-heterosexualities. We will look at the role that gender plays in these constructions of these sexualities, and we will return to our starting point to analyze the role of religions in these constructions of gender and sexualities. Throughout this term, students are introduced to the fundamental concerns of the academic study of religion, lesbian/gay/queer/trans/ intersex studies, and approaches to the study of these topics within the body of post/anticolonial theories. Among the topics considered are the construction of normative religious and sexual ideals, reading across the grain of religious teachings about sexuality and gender, and the role of ritual and performance in religion and sexuality. We will pay particular attention to the questions of…