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?
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 book entitled « Two Centuries of Protestantism in Haiti (1816-2016): Implementation, Conversion and Secularization » is the result of the symposium of the bicentenary of Protestantism organized by the Institut universitaire de Formation des Cadres (INUFOCAD) from 15 to 17 August 2016. Under the auspices of the Protestant Federation of Haiti (FPH), this scientific event was a space for citizen reflection allowing to take a scientific look around a jubilee religion established in Haiti since 1816. It was an opportunity for academics and researchers to share with the scientific community and leaders of the Protestant sector critical knowledge about this religious phenomenon in order to contribute to the development of the sociology of religion in Haiti.
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.
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.
It's perfectly human to grapple with questions, like 'Where do we come from?' and 'How do I live a life of meaning?' These existential questions are central to the five major world religions -- and that's not all that connects these faiths. John Bellaimey explains the intertwined histories and cultures of Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. Lesson by John Bellaimey, animation by TED-Ed.
Almost as soon as the Arab armies of Islam conquered new lands, they began erecting mosques and palaces and commissioning other works of art as expressions of their faith and culture. Many aspects of religious practice in Islam also emerged and were codified. The religious practice of Islam, which literally means "to submit to God", is based on tenets that are known as the Five Pillars, arkan, to which all members of the Islamic community, Umma, should adhere.
" 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.
One of the five pillars of Islam central to Muslim belief, Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca that every Muslim must make at least once in their lifetime if they are able; it is the most spiritual event that a Muslim experiences, observing rituals in the most sacred places in the Islamic world. Mecca is the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad. The sanctuary there with the Ka‘ba is the holiest site in Islam. As such, it is a deeply spiritual destination for Muslims all over the world; it is the heart of Islam.
A Hindu temple can be a simple structure by the side of the road or a large complex including many buildings. Temples serve as dwelling places for deities, surrounded by markets selling offerings and flowers. The inner sanctuaries are small and intended for a few worshippers at a time. Above the sanctuaries are central towers, shaped like the mountain home of the gods and brightly painted.
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.
After completing basic biblical Greek, students are often eager to continue to learn and strengthen their skills of translation and interpretation. This intermediate graded reader is designed to meet those needs. The reader is “intermediate” in the sense that it presumes the user will have already learned the basics of Greek grammar and syntax and has memorized Greek vocabulary words that appear frequently in the New Testament. The reader is “graded” in the sense that it moves from simpler translation work (Galatians) towards more advanced readings from the book of James, the Septuagint, and from one of the Church Fathers. In each reading lesson, the Greek text is given, followed by supplemental notes that offer help with vocabulary, challenging word forms, and syntax. Discussion questions are also included to foster group conversation and engagement. There are many good Greek readers in existence, but this reader differs from most others in a few important ways. Most readers offer text selections from different parts of the Bible, but in this reader the user works through one entire book (Galatians). All subsequent lessons, then, build off of this interaction with Galatians through short readings that are in some way related to Galatians. The Septuagint passages in the reader offer some broader context for texts that Paul quotes explicitly from the Septuagint. The Patristic reading from John Chrysystom comes from one of his homilies on Galatians. This approach to a Greek reader allows for both variety and coherence in the learning process.
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).
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.
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.