Religion is a fundamental part of human experience and meaning. It informs all aspects of human society, from individual and collective identity to personal relationships to political sympathies to scientific investigation to artistic creativity. The study of religion, as a result, ranges widely across human experience and the various academic disciplines.
The religious studies major brings together perspectives, approaches, questions, and expertise from many disciplines. It provides you with a range of analytical tools as well as in-depth knowledge of particular traditions and time periods.
You'll study the range of religious phenomena by
Fall 2013 will mark the first term of Study Abroad in Istanbul, located at the new UMN study center in the bustling Galata neighborhood of Istanbul. The new program will feature courses in Turkish language & culture, Political Science, Sociology, Religious Studies, Food Science, and Graphic Design, as well as a 10-day study tour to Rome, Italy. Select students will be eligible for an $800 program fee discount for participating in a semester-long evaluation group. More details are available online: http://www.umabroad.umn.edu/programs/europe/istanbul.php. Application deadline is May 1. For more information, contact Eric Leinen (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Learning Abroad Center.
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The Program in Religious Studies Faculty Lecture presents Bodhisattva as Poet: Hakuin's Readings of Cold Mountain, to be lectured on by Professor Paul Rouzer of the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures. The body of medieval Chinese poems attributed to the recluse Hanshan (Cold Mountain) has played a prominent part in the religious lives of educated East Asian Buddhists, especially those active in the Chan (Zen) movement. However, few modern scholars have read the poems in the light of a hagiographical tradition that portrays Cold Mountain as an incarnation of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of wisdom. This lecture will examine the impact of this claim on the interpretation of the poems, with special attention paid to the book–length commentary on them composed by the eighteenth–century Japanese Zen master Hakuin Ekaku (1686–1768).
Bridging Cultures: Islam and the West, a 30-minute television program associated with the Shared Cultural Spaces conference held at the University of Minnesota in 2011, is now available for viewing on the Shared Cultural Spaces Website.
The cultural and scientific exchanges that have occurred over the centuries between Western and Islamic nations have led to countless advances in literature, philosophy, architecture, mathematics, physics and the visual arts. Those exchanges are discussed by scholars gathered from around the world in Bridging Cultures: Islam and the West.
Congratulations to RS Steering Committee member, Nabil Matar, on the publication of his new collection of essays, co-edited with Judy A. Hayden and titled Through the Eyes of the Beholder: The Holy Land, 1517-1713 (Brill 2012). Learn more
Ancient Iran: Cosmology, Mythology, History presents Iran's pre-Islamic history within the context of both its complex cosmology and rich mythology. More information available at https://titles.cognella.com/ancient-iran-9781609275211.html