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Viewing: RELS 005 C1: Gender,Sexualty,Religion

Last approved: Wed, 22 Aug 2018 19:28:51 GMT

Last edit: Fri, 17 Aug 2018 13:07:18 GMT

First Name Last Name Userid Title Home School Org Short Name
Megan Robb robbme ASST PROFESSOR A School of Arts and Sciences Religious Studies
Fall 2018
Fall 2018
What does it mean to be a gendered individual in a Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, or Sikh religious tradition? How important are gender differences in deciding social roles, ritual activities, and spiritual vocations? This course tackles these questions, showing how gender – how it is taught, performed, and regulated – is central to understanding religion. In this course we will learn about gendered rituals, social roles, and mythologies in a range of religious traditions. We will also look at the central significance of gender to the field of religious studies generally. The first part of the course will be focused on building a foundation of knowledge about a range of religious traditions and the role of gender in those traditions. This course emphasizes religious traditions outside the West. Although it is beyond the scope of this class to offer comprehensive discussions of any one religious tradition, the aim is to provide entry-points into the study of religious traditions through the lens of gender. This course will emphasize both historical perspectives and contemporary contexts. We will also read religion through feminist and queer lenses – we will explore the key characteristics of diverse feminist and queer studies approaches to religion, as well as limits of those approaches.
FOLK 029 - Gender, Sexuality, & Religion
GSWS 109 - Gender, Sexuality, & Religion
Every Other Term

Foundational Approach

Course usually offered in Fall term
Cross Cultural Analysis
Standing Faculty
Standing Faculty
This course is appropriate for general education as well as part of introductory
1) Recognize and understand religious studies terms.
2) Know concepts key to Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, & Sikhism.
3) Distinguish between facts and matters of debate and ambiguity.
Applying Knowledge:
1) Compare and contrast different approaches to gender across religious traditions.
2) Choose a research question and design a program of research.
3) Write a convincing academic research essay.
4) Apply religious studies principles to real case studies.
Learning to Learn:
1) Research to explore interesting issues on your own as a scholar.
2) Think like a religious studies scholar.

Methods of Assessment

Essay 1 (20%)
The essay will be 2,000 words (use the word-count feature – about 8 pages double-spaced). Essay guidance is laid out in the syllabus.

Essay 2 (20%)
The essay will be 3,000 words (about 12 pages double-spaced). There will be a choice of question and you may apply the essay to any one or more of the religious traditions covered in the course.
Exams (30%)
There will be two exams. The exams will involve definition of terms and short essay responses.
The mid-term exam is Thursday 18 October. (15%) The final exam date in December will be determined by the registrar. (15%)
You will write short journal entries responding to a question relevant to the reading. The entries should be submitted on Canvas, and each should be around 250 words. (5 journal entries x 4% = 20%)

Journal 1 Due: Thursday, 6 September by 8 AM
Journal 2 Due: Thursday, 27 September by 8 AM
Journal 3 Due: Thursday, 11 October by 8 AM
Journal 4 Due: Thursday, 15 November by 8 AM
Journal 5 Due: Thursday, 29 November by 8 AM

Cross Cultural Analysis

We look at primary and secondary sources written by religious practitioners who are Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish from a variety of national backgrounds. For instance, in each unit we read one theological text that interprets that religious tradition's relationship to gender, and discuss how it varies from the perspective of the secondary literature.
We look at how religious texts inform artwork, literature, and social institutions. We also are concerned with the divergences between the above. For example, we start by reviewing information about Vedic texts in Hinduism, then we look at a variety of artwork the represents those texts in divergent ways; then we look at social institutions that fall within the category of Hindu without engaging with those texts at all. We grapple with the task of allowing for the full range of expression of Hindu religious traditions.
We are in particular interested in the relationship (or lack of relationship) between text and ritual in this class. Rituals discussed include dress, ceremony, song, and dance. Texts discussed include religious texts and interpretive literature inspired by texts.
We close read texts together, and writing assignments require them to do close readings of those texts. We look at artwork to analyze the components of that artwork together, and class conversation allows them to practice critical analysis of new images together. I give feedback in the form of written feedback and oral feedback about the nuance of their analysis, to contribute to their training in sensitive and critical cultural analysis. We read articles about controversies relevant to contemporary social institutions that are relevant to gender and religion, and through writing assignments they are required to interpret their behavior. I give them feedback on this analysis in writing and orally in class to model appropriate critical thinking

Cultural Diversity in the US


Quantitative Data Analysis


Formal Reasoning


Administrative Fields

Key: 789