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10a. Japanese Religion and Spirituality
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Since ancient times, Japanese philosophers have pondered basic, unanswerable questions about their natural environment. The early Japanese believed that the world around them was inhabited by gods and spirits, from streaks of mist obscuring jagged mountain peaks to water cascading over secluded waterfalls. Almost every aspect of Japan's stunning natural beauty evoked a sense of awe and wonder among its people.

Subject:
Religious Studies
Ancient History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
Ancient Civilizations
Date Added:
02/15/2018
Anthropology Through Speculative Fiction, Fall 2009
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This class examines how anthropology and speculative fiction (SF) each explore ideas about culture and society, technology, morality, and life in "other" worlds. We investigate this convergence of interest through analysis of SF in print, film, and other media. Concepts include traditional and contemporary anthropological topics, including first contact; gift exchange; gender, marriage, and kinship; law, morality, and cultural relativism; religion; race and embodiment; politics, violence, and war; medicine, healing, and consciousness; technology and environment. Thematic questions addressed in the class include: what is an alien? What is "the human"? Could SF be possible without anthropology?

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Religious Studies
World Cultures
Anthropology
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Helmreich, Stefan
James, Erica
Date Added:
01/01/2010
The Art of the Probable: Literature and Probability, Spring 2008
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The Art of the Probable" addresses the history of scientific ideas, in particular the emergence and development of mathematical probability. But it is neither meant to be a history of the exact sciences per se nor an annex to, say, the Course 6 curriculum in probability and statistics. Rather, our objective is to focus on the formal, thematic, and rhetorical features that imaginative literature shares with texts in the history of probability. These shared issues include (but are not limited to): the attempt to quantify or otherwise explain the presence of chance, risk, and contingency in everyday life; the deduction of causes for phenomena that are knowable only in their effects; and, above all, the question of what it means to think and act rationally in an uncertain world. Our course therefore aims to broaden students’ appreciation for and understanding of how literature interacts with--both reflecting upon and contributing to--the scientific understanding of the world. We are just as centrally committed to encouraging students to regard imaginative literature as a unique contribution to knowledge in its own right, and to see literary works of art as objects that demand and richly repay close critical analysis. It is our hope that the course will serve students well if they elect to pursue further work in Literature or other discipline in SHASS, and also enrich or complement their understanding of probability and statistics in other scientific and engineering subjects they elect to take.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Literature
Philosophy
Religious Studies
Statistics and Probability
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Jackson, Noel
Kibel, Alvin
Raman, Shankar
Date Added:
01/01/2008
Colonial Religion
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CC BY
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This collection uses primary sources to explore religion during the Colonial period of US History. Digital Public Library of America Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop their critical thinking skills and draw diverse material from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States. Each set includes an overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide. These sets were created and reviewed by the teachers on the DPLA's Education Advisory Committee.

Subject:
Religious Studies
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Provider:
Digital Public Library of America
Provider Set:
Primary Source Sets
Author:
Adena Barnette
Date Added:
01/20/2016
Dilemmas in Bio-Medical Ethics: Playing God or Doing Good? Fall 2013
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An introduction to the cross-cultural study of bio-medical ethics. Examines moral foundations of the science and practice of western bio-medicine through case studies of abortion, contraception, cloning, organ transplantation and other issues. Evaluates challenges that new medical technologies pose to the practice and availability of medical services around the globe, and to cross-cultural ideas of kinship and personhood. Discusses critiques of the bio-medical tradition from anthropological, feminist, legal, religious, and cross-cultural theorists.

Subject:
Religious Studies
Law
General Law
Anthropology
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
James, Erica
Date Added:
01/01/2013
The Emergence of Europe: 500-1300, Fall 2003
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Survey of the social, cultural, and political development of western Europe between 500 and 1300. Topics include: the Germanic conquest of the ancient Mediterranean world; the Carolingian Renaissance; feudalism and the breakdown of political order; the crusades; the quality of religious life; the experience of women; and the emergence of a revitalized economy and culture in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Religious Studies
World Cultures
Ancient History
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
McCants, Anne Elizabeth Conger
Date Added:
01/01/2003
End of Nature, Spring 2002
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A brief history of conflicting ideas about mankind's relation to the natural environment as exemplified in works of poetry, fiction, and discursive argument from ancient times to the present. What is the overall character of the natural world? Is mankind's relation to it one of stewardship and care, or of hostility and exploitation? Readings include Aristotle, The Book of Genesis, Shakespeare, Descartes, Robinson Crusoe, Swift, Rousseau, Wordsworth, Darwin, Thoreau, Faulkner, and Lovelock's Gaia. This subject offers a broad survey of texts (both literary and philosophical) drawn from the Western tradition and selected to trace the growth of ideas about nature and the natural environment of mankind. The term nature in this context has to do with the varying ways in which the physical world has been conceived as the habitation of mankind, a source of imperatives for the collective organization and conduct of human life. In this sense, nature is less the object of complex scientific investigation than the object of individual experience and direct observation. Using the term "nature" in this sense, we can say that modern reference to "the environment" owes much to three ideas about the relation of mankind to nature. In the first of these, which harks back to ancient medical theories and notions about weather, geographical nature was seen as a neutral agency affecting or transforming agent of mankind's character and institutions. In the second, which derives from religious and classical sources in the Western tradition, the earth was designed as a fit environment for mankind or, at the least, as adequately suited for its abode, and civic or political life was taken to be consonant with the natural world. In the third, which also makes its appearance in the ancient world but becomes important only much later, nature and mankind are regarded as antagonists, and one must conquer the other or be subjugated by it.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Literature
Philosophy
Religious Studies
World Cultures
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Kibel, Alvin C.
Date Added:
01/01/2002
Foundations of Western Culture:  Homer to Dante, Fall 2008
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" As we read broadly from throughout the vast chronological period that is "Homer to Dante," we will pepper our readings of individual ancient and medieval texts with broader questions like: what images, themes, and philosophical questions recur through the period; are there distinctly "classical" or "medieval" ways of depicting or addressing them; and what do terms like "Antiquity" or "the Middle Ages" even mean? (What are the Middle Ages in the "middle" of, for example?) Our texts will include adventure tales of travel and self-discovery (Homer's Odyssey and Dante's Inferno); courtroom dramas of vengeance and reconciliation (Aeschylus's Oresteia and the Icelandic NjĚÁls saga); short poems of love and transformation (Ovid's Metamorphoses and the Lais of Marie de France); and epics of war, nation-construction, and empire (Homer's Iliad, Virgil's Aeneid, and the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf)."

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Literature
Philosophy
Religious Studies
World Cultures
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Bahr, Arthur
Date Added:
01/01/2008
Foundations of Western Culture II: Renaissance to Modernity, Spring 2003
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This subject offers a broad survey of texts (both literary and philosophical) drawn from the Western tradition and selected to trace the growth of ideas about the nature of mankind's ethical and political life in the West since the renaissance It will deal with the change in perspective imposed by scientific ideas, the general loss of a supernatural or religious perspective upon human events, and the effects for good or ill of the increasing authority of an intelligence uninformed by religion as a guide to life. The readings are roughly complementary to the readings in 21L001, and classroom discussion will stress appreciation and analysis of texts that came to represent the cultural heritage of the modern world.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Literature
Philosophy
Religious Studies
World Cultures
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Kibel, Alvin C.
Date Added:
01/01/2003
Foundations of World Culture I: World Civilizations and Texts, Fall 2011
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This course aims to introduce students to the rich diversity of human culture from antiquity to the early 17th century. In this course, we will explore human culture in its myriad expressions, focusing on the study of literary, religious and philosophical texts as ways of narrating, symbolizing, and commenting on all aspects of human social and material life. We will work comparatively, reading texts from various cultures: Mesopotamian, Greek, Judeo-Christian, Chinese, Indian, and Muslim. Throughout the semester, we will be asking questions like: How have different cultures imagined themselves? What are the rules that they draw up for human behavior? How do they represent the role of the individual in society? How do they imagine 'universal' concepts like love, family, duty? How have their writers and artists dealt with encounters with other cultures and other civilizations?

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Literature
Philosophy
Religious Studies
World Cultures
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Ghenwa Hayek
Date Added:
01/01/2011
From the Silk Road to the Great Game: China, Russia, and Central Eurasia, Fall 2003
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Examines interactions across the Eurasian continent between Russians, Chinese, Mongolian nomads, and Turkic oasis dwellers during the last millennium and a half. As empires rose and fell, religions, trade, and war flowed back and forth continuously across this vast space. Britain and Russia competed for power over Eurasia in the "Great Game" of geopolitics in the nineteenth century, just as China, Russia, and others did in the twentieth century. Today, the fall of the Soviet Union and China's reforms have opened new opportunities for cultural interaction. Topics include: the religious traditions of Central Asian Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, and Confucianism; caravans and travelers like Marco Polo and Rabban Sauma, the first Chinese to travel to the West; and nomadic conquest and imperialist competition, past and present. Source materials include primary documents, travelogues, films, music, and museum visits.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Religious Studies
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Perdue, Peter C.
Date Added:
01/01/2003
Identity and Difference, Spring 2010
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This course explores how identities, whether of individuals or groups, are produced, maintained, and transformed. Students will be introduced to various theoretical perspectives that deal with identity formation, including constructions of "the normal." We will explore the utility of these perspectives for understanding identity components such as gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, language, social class, and bodily difference. By semester's end students will understand better how an individual can be at once cause and consequence of society, a unique agent of social action as well as a social product.

Subject:
Religious Studies
Anthropology
Ethnic Studies
Women's Studies
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Jackson, Jean
Date Added:
01/01/2010
International Women's Voices, Spring 2004
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International Women's Voices has several objectives. It introduces students to a variety of works by contemporary women writers from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and North America. The emphasis is on non-western writers. The readings are chosen to encourage students to think about how each author's work reflects a distinct cultural heritage and to what extent, if any, we can identify a female voice that transcends national cultures. In lectures and readings distributed in class, students learn about the history and culture of each of the countries these authors represent. The way in which colonialism, religion, nation formation and language influence each writer is a major concern of this course. In addition, students examine the patterns of socialization of women in patriarchal cultures, and how, in the imaginary world, authors resolve or understand the relationship of the characters to love, work, identity, sex roles, marriage and politics.This class is a communication intensive course. In addition to becoming more thoughtful readers, students are expected to become a more able and more confident writers. Assignments are designed to allow for revision of each paper. The class will also offer opportunities for speaking and debating so that students can build oral presentation skills that are essential for success once they leave MIT. The class is limited to 25 students and there is substantial classroom discussion.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Literature
Religious Studies
World Cultures
Women's Studies
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Margery
Resnick
Date Added:
01/02/2008
Islam, the Middle East, and the West, Fall 2006
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Surveys the major political, socio-economic, and cultural changes in the Middle East from the rise of Islam to present times (A.D. 600-2002), with special emphasis on Islam's encounter with the West. Examines the rise and fall of Islamic empires; the place of Arabs, Persian and Turkic peoples, as well as minorities in Islamic society; scientific and technological achievements and their transmission to the West; and the impact of European expansion after 1800. Considers contemporary crises and upheavals facing the Middle East in light of the historical past. This course aims to provide students with a general overview of basic themes and issues in Middle Eastern history from the rise of Islam to the present, with an emphasis on the encounters and exchanges between the "Middle East" (Southwest Asia and North Africa) and the "West" (Europe and the United States).

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Religious Studies
U.S. History
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Belli, MĚŠriam
Date Added:
01/01/2006
Learning from the Past: Drama, Science, Performance, Spring 2009
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" This class explores the creation (and creativity) of the modern scientific and cultural world through study of western Europe in the 17th century, the age of Descartes and Newton, Shakespeare, Milton and Ford. It compares period thinking to present-day debates about the scientific method, art, religion, and society. This team-taught, interdisciplinary subject draws on a wide range of literary, dramatic, historical, and scientific texts and images, and involves theatrical experimentation as well as reading, writing, researching and conversing. The primary theme of the class is to explore how England in the mid-seventeenth century became "a world turned upside down" by the new ideas and upheavals in religion, politics, and philosophy, ideas that would shape our modern world. Paying special attention to the "theatricality" of the new models and perspectives afforded by scientific experimentation, the class will read plays by Shakespeare, Tate, Brecht, Ford, Churchill, and Kushner, as well as primary and secondary texts from a wide range of disciplines. Students will also compose and perform in scenes based on that material."

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Performing Arts
Philosophy
Religious Studies
World Cultures
Astronomy
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Henderson, Diana
Sonenberg, Janet
Date Added:
01/01/2009
Medicine, Religion and Politics in Africa and the African Diaspora, Spring 2005
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An exploration of colonial and postcolonial clashes between theories of healing and embodiment in the African world and those of western bio-medicine. Examines how Afro-Atlantic religious traditions have challenged western conceptions of illness, healing, and the body, and have offered alternative notions of morality, rationality, kinship, gender and sexuality. Analyzes whether contemporary western bio-medical interventions reinforce colonial or imperial power in the effort to promote global health in Africa and the African diaspora.

Subject:
Religious Studies
Anthropology
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
James, Erica
Date Added:
01/01/2005
Medieval Literature: Dante, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Spring 2005
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Examines cultural developments within European literature from different societies at different time-periods throughout the Middle Ages (500-1500). Considers--from a variety of political, historical, and anthropological perspectives--the growth of institutions (civic, religious, educational, and economic) which shaped the personal experiences of individuals in ways that remain quite distinct from those of modern Western societies. Texts mostly taught in translation. Topics vary and include: Courtly Literature of the High and Late Middle Ages, Medieval Women Writers, Chaucer and the 14th Century, and the Crusades.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Literature
Religious Studies
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Cain, James
Date Added:
01/01/2005
Medieval Literature: Medieval Women Writers, Spring 2004
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Rating

Examines cultural developments within European literature from different societies at different time-periods throughout the Middle Ages (500-1500). Considers--from a variety of political, historical, and anthropological perspectives--the growth of institutions (civic, religious, educational, and economic) which shaped the personal experiences of individuals in ways that remain quite distinct from those of modern Western societies. Texts mostly taught in translation. Topics vary and include: Courtly Literature of the High and Late Middle Ages, Medieval Women Writers, Chaucer and the 14th Century, and the Crusades.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Literature
Religious Studies
Women's Studies
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Cain, James
Date Added:
01/01/2004
Nationalism, Fall 2004
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Explores the related phenomena termed nationalism: national consciousness and identity, nations, nation-states, and nationalist ideologies. Analyzes nationalism's emergence and endurance as a factor in modern politics and society. Topics include: nationalism and state-building, nationalism and economic modernization, nationalism and democratization, and nationalism and ethno-political conflict. This course provides a broad overview of the theories of and approaches to the study of nationalist thought and practice. It also explores the related phenomena termed nationalism: national consciousness and identity, nations, nation-states, and nationalist ideologies and nationalist movements. The course analyzes nationalism's emergence and endurance as a factor in modern politics and society. Topics include: nationalism and state-building, nationalism and economic modernization, nationalism and democratization, and nationalism and religious conflict.

Subject:
Religious Studies
Political Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Nobles, Melissa
Date Added:
01/01/2004
Neuroscience and Society, Spring 2010
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This course explores the social relevance of neuroscience, considering how emerging areas of brain research at once reflect and reshape social attitudes and agendas. Topics include brain imaging and popular media; neuroscience of empathy, trust, and moral reasoning; new fields of neuroeconomics and neuromarketing; ethical implications of neurotechnologies such as cognitive enhancement pharmaceuticals; neuroscience in the courtroom; and neuroscientific recasting of social problems such as addiction and violence. Guest lectures by neuroscientists, class discussion, and weekly readings in neuroscience, popular media, and science studies.

Subject:
Religious Studies
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
SchĺŮll, Natasha
Date Added:
01/01/2011