Skip to main content

Religious Life of China

This course surveys China’s unique religious heritage through a selective survey of major thinkers, texts and cultural expressions. The primary emphasis is on the historical development and mutual influence of the “three teachings”— Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism — with special attention given to the relationship between philosophy and popular practice, and to the interaction among political and religious institutions. Topics include gods and the sacred, ritual, ethics, human nature, meditation, mysticism and salvation. Offered every other year. Also offered as ASIA 223

Religious Visual Culture

This course considers the interaction between visuality and religion: the role that seeing might play in religious practice and the role that religion might play in visual practice. It explores not just the ways that images and objects can embody and communicate meaning, but also how they can elicit powerful responses (e.g. fascination, excitement, faith, desire, or fear) in those who view them, and how they help humans to constitute the worlds that they inhabit. The course draws upon case studies from multiple religious traditions. Also offered in Asian Studies.

Mystery and Meaning

What is religion? Why are people religious? What power does religion have for individuals and societies? How does religion function as a way of knowing, acting, and being in the world? How did the study of religion arise in the modern West, and how scholars of religion go about studying it? What ways have they devised to grasp the rich varieties of religious experiences and expressions that they classify as religions?


Indexes key scholarship in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.  Contains significant full text of books, book chapters, journal articles book reviews, pamphlets, and many primary sources.