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.
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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?
This webpage provides elementary information on aspects of Arab culture and history, including religion, politics, naming conventions, and Persian influence on Arab culture and language. The information seems to have been authored by the site's administrator, and contains no references or citations.
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.
This Wide Angle video segment illustrates Islamic and secular elements of life in Turkey, and introduces Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the first president of Turkey, and his reforms.
Augustine argues that everything that exists is good. His argument is criticized, showing how arguments of the same form could show that completely blackened pans cannot exist and that God is an impossible object. So, the paper shows how to paradoy an argument by giving parallel reasoning that yields absurd conclusions.
This course serves as an introduction to the Buddhist artistic traditions of South, Southeast, and East Asia, as well as the Himalayas. It starts with the core tenets of Buddhism, Buddhist iconography, and early Buddhist art and architecture in India, then progresses to Southeast Asia. The course then focuses on Vajrayana Buddhism and its artistic traditions in the Himalayas, then examines Mahayana Buddhist art and architecture in China, Korea and Japan. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: identify the core beliefs of Buddhism, major Buddhist schools, and basic Buddhist iconography; identify major works of Buddhist art and Buddhist monuments from South, Southeast, and East Asia, as well as the Himalayas; identify the major developments in Buddhist doctrine and Buddhist art and architecture, as well as the relationship between the two as the religion spread throughout Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the Himalayas. (Art History 406)
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) presents a backgrounder on Al-Shabab; an Islamist insurgent group that remains capable of carrying out massive attacks in Somalia and surrounding countries despite a decade-long African Union offensive against the Islamist group. CFR Backgrounders provide an in-depth analysis on current political and economic issues.
The Council on Foreign Relation's (CFR) "The Sunni-Shia Divide" InfoGuide examines the roots and consequences of the divide between Sunni and Shia Muslims, including expert insight into the extremist groups behind today’s sectarian violence and related flashpoints that threaten international security. CFR InfoGuides are a multimedia series to promote understanding of complex foreign policy issues.
Christian Parables is a resource for use by school teachers that has been developed as part of Dr Naomi Appleton and Dr Alison Jack’s project Approaching Religion Through Story at the University of Edinburgh School of Divinity.
Structured to meet Education Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence standard for Religious Moral Education (RME), the resource is divided according to the three structuring principles of the experiences and outcomes for RME in Scotland: Beliefs, Values and Issues, and Practices and Traditions. Keywords are also provided to indicate the particular relevance of the story.
The file contains six parables in PDF format, sorted by the principles stated above, and an introduction to parables.
Resources provided as part of the project ‘Approaching Religion Through Story’ are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Licence.
For the most part recorded on site in places such as Subiaco, Montecassino, Assis, San Casciano, Florence and Rome in June of 2013, the documentary we present here was produced and then broadcasted by the State Television of Portugal on December 24, 2013 (RTP2) and January 2, 2014 (RTP1). The Program was produced for RTP1 by the Journalist Fátima Campos Ferreira and the Reporter of Image Carlos Oliveira under the scientific advice of João J. Vila-Chã, professor for Philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. The documentary was particularly enriched by the contribution of Professor Joseph Weiler, President of the European University Institute in Florence, and was edited by Alexandre Leandro, chief-editor at the RTP. Originally titled (in Portuguese) «O Triunfo do Espírito», the documentary was conceived as (a rather unusual form of) narrative about (the Idea of) Europe and out of the recognition that for the present as for the future of the world a confront remains unavoidable with the cultural and the religious dimension of the Idea of Europe as we know it through the media of our cultural (and philosophical) history. We are grateful to all the Institutions that in places such as Subiaco, Montecassino, Assis, Florence, San Casciano and Rome allowed the team sent by the RTP to Italy to realize the work as intended and so contributed in a decisive way to this particular (and somehow peculiar) narrative about the Idea of Europe.
This site offers a brief list of words that relate to Christianity, including a number of terms that are specific to Christianity as it is practiced in the Middle East. Many of the words are accompanied by brief explanations of their significance. The glossary is preceded by a brief introduction.
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.
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes biblical scholar Bart Ehrman for a discussion of his intellectual odyssey with a focus on how the Bible explains the problem of human suffering. The conversation includes a discussion of the challenges of biblical interpretation when confronting this age old problem of the human condition. Included are topics such as the contribution of the prophets, a comparison of the old and new testaments, the book of Job, and the emergence of apocalyptic writers. (57 minutes)
Conversations with History host Harry Kreisler welcomes Walter Russell Mead of the Council on Foreign Relations for a discussion of the Anglo American maritime system—its origins, development, and impact on the world. The conversation touches on the unique synergy between Protestant religion and capitalism, the consolidation of Anglo American power in the process of transforming the international system, the importance of culture in international politics, and the need for a dialogue of civilizations in the 21st century. (57 minutes)
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Father J. Brian Hehir for a discussion of the role of religion in framing ethical issues in a nuclear age. (56 min)
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes distinguished French political scientist Olivier Roy for a discussion of globalization’s impact on religion and culture. The conversation focuses on changes within Islam. They explore the balance of power between Islamists and neo fundamentalists, the dynamic propelling terrorism, and the appropriate response of the West to the challenges posed by the interaction between globalization and Islam. (54 minutes)
Conversations with History host Harry Kreisler welcomes Professor Fawaz A. Gerges for a discussion on the origins, evolution and future direction of Islamic militancy. (56 minutes)
Georgetown University Professor John L. Esposito talks with UC Berkeley's Harry Kreisler about the complex forces shaping Islam and its relationship with the West. (56 min)
Ira Lapidus, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Berkeley, and the founding Chair of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies on the Berkeley campus joins Harry Kreisler to discuss Islam, its relation to politics, the treatment of women in Islamic societies, and how an understanding of Islamic history might inform U.S. foreign policy. (54 min)
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Daniel Benjamin, a former counterterrorism official in the Clinton administration, for a discussion of the forces shaping terrorism in an era when the boundaries between religion and politics are blurred. He articulates a strategy for protecting the homeland while addressing the root causes of terrorism in todayŐs world. (59 min)
Conversations Host Harry Kreisler welcomes philosopher Martha Nussbaum for a discussion of women and human development, religious freedom, and liberal education. (55 min)
At the outset of the 16th century, Europeans tended to dismiss English literature as inferior to continental literary traditions; the educated Englishman was obliged to travel to the continent and speak in other languages in order to culture himself. By the end of the Renaissance, however, some of the greatest works in the English language from Shakespeare's dramas to Thomas More's Utopia had been written. In this course, the student will read and examine these works, situating them within their socio-historical and literary contexts, while attempting to determine how the art of English language and letters came into its own during this dynamic period. (English Literature 202)
CultureTalk - Arab World features a very extensive selection of filmed interviews with people from different countries in the Arabic speaking world. While some interviews are in English, the vast majority are in Arabic. Translations and usually transcripts are provided for all non-English video clips. Topics include family, food, education, religious and cultural customs, work, art, sport, travel, etc. The regions covered are the Levant, North Africa, Egypt, and Mauritania, with an Iraqi section on the way.
In this course, the student will consider Dante's literature for its stylistic and thematic contributions to the body of Medieval and Italian literature, as well as for its inventive appraisal of Christianity. First, the student will examine the context of Dante's life and works, followed by taking a look at some of Dante's shorter works. Then, the student will devote the majority of the course to the study of Dante's masterpiece,The Divine Comedy. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: summarize Dante's philosophy on the use of language in literature; identify Dante's attitude towards the relationship between Church and State based on readings from his essays; complete an autobiographical reading of Dante's work, with attention to the influence that specific romantic, political, and religious aspects of his life had on his texts; define important terms related to the study of Dante's work specifically, the poetic devices on which he relied most frequently; identify the structural aspects of The Divine Comedy, and in particular discuss the importance of the overarching circular structure of the text; point to the major biblical, historical, and literary allusions in The Divine Comedy and discuss the significance of these references; perform a cogent reading of the important symbols in Dante's texts (i.e. the presence of light, fire, and roses); critically discuss the key themes in Dante's writings, such as the narrator as pilgrim, divine judgment, and the physical reality of hell. (English Literature 409)
Many religions have things in common. At the same time, each is unique. In the shared category, Islam, like Christianity and Judaism, descends from the first five books of the Bible. That’s why some people refer to members of all three religions as “followers of the Book.” Some people also call the three religions “Abrahamic” because they all descended from Abraham. In the unique category, Jews were the first to believe that there was one God; Muslims believe that Muhammad was God’s messenger and Christians believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah.
In the same way that religions are both alike and unique, so, too are the members of those religions. In this activity, students learn more about Muslims in the United States and practice graph-reading skills.
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.
This course is intended to provide an up-to-date introduction to the development of English society between the late fifteenth and the early eighteenth centuries: a vital period of social, political, economic, and cultural transition, and one which provided the immediate context of early British settlement in North America. Particular issues addressed in the lectures and section discussions, and available for deeper study as essay topics, will include: the changing social structure; households; local communities; gender roles; economic development; urbanization; religious change from the Reformation to the Act of Toleration; the Tudor and Stuart monarchies; rebellion, popular protest and civil war; witchcraft; education, literacy and print culture; crime and the law; poverty and social welfare; the changing structures and dynamics of political participation and the emergence of parliamentary government.
In this video segment from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, learn how Muslims in America celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the Ű_í_Ű__Ű_Ű_Ű_Feast of Breaking the Fast.Ű_í_Ű__Ű_Ű_Ű_í_Ű_ ***Access to Teacher's Domain content now requires free login to PBS Learning Media.
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.
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.
In this video segment from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, learn about Muslims in Lawrenceville, Georgia, their plans to build an Islamic cemetery and the stiff objections from their Christian neighbors. ***Access to Teacher's Domain content now requires free login to PBS Learning Media.
In this lesson, students will use the case of Park51’s Islamic Cultural Center as a starting point for a discussion about whether religious freedom is absolute and if religious freedom requires respect for other religions.
" 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)."
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.
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?
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.