Harvard Divinity School

Mothers, Diviners and Prophets: The Religious Lives of Women in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2020

This course reconstructs the religious lives of Israelite women, examining topics such as goddess worship, female religious experts, and family and household religion using biblical and archaeological evidence. It also considers the influence of gender theory in Biblical Studies, including feminist critique and recent work on kinship and matrilineal descent.... Read more about Mothers, Diviners and Prophets: The Religious Lives of Women in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel

Women, Religion, and the Problem of Historical Agency

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2020

This course examines recent scholarship on women in American religious history, focusing particularly on questions of narration, agency and power. We will ask several interrelated questions: How have historians integrated women into narratives of American religious history? Whose stories have they highlighted, and why? How have they conceptualized women as historical agents? We will read major interpretive works as well as theoretical accounts of gender, social structure, and power. Readings will explore the diversity of religious traditions in America, including Puritanism, Judaism, Mormonism, Catholicism, African-American Christianity, evangelicalism, and Islam. Jointly offered in the Divinity School as HDS 2186

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Sex, Gender, and Sexuality II

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2020

The second of two parts, the course will continue to explore the theoretical articulation of sex, gender, and sexuality in feminist and queer theory, with attention to the role of other differences – racial, ethnic, religious, and differences in physical ability – in contemporary work. Prerequisite: REL 1572 or consent of the instructor.

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Gender and Judaism in Modern America

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2020

Both demographic and cultural reproduction pose critical challenges to minority religions, placing pressure on personal decisions, group dynamics, religious practices, and intergroup relations.  This course follows the navigation of these pressures by American Jews, and the explores formations of gender and sexuality that result.  Topics include marriage, dating and family formation, synagogue life and Jewish ritual, as well as social and political movements that have become vehicles of American Jewish identity: civil rights, second-wave feminism, and Zionism.  Readings include works by Riv-Ellen Prell, Lynn Davidman, Joyce Antler and Sarah Imhoff as well as fiction by Philip Roth and Anita Diamant.
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Sex, Gender, and Sexuality

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2019

The course will explore the theoretical articulation of sex, gender, and sexuality in twentieth-century theory, particularly in psychoanalysis, philosophy, and feminist and queer theory. Readings will include texts by Sigmund Freud, Simone de Beauvoir, Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault, Gayle Rubin, Julia Kristeva, Monique Wittig, Judith Butler, Moira Gatens, and others.

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Religion, Gender, Identity in 21st Century Diasporic Muslim Fiction

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2019

Diasporic Muslim fiction in the West: We will read 21st century novels by writers of Muslim background based in Europe and the U.S.— exploring, among others, themes of border crossings, the Muslim immigrant experience, figurations of gender and sexuality, and representations - and contestations - of Islam in the West. Readings include (provisional list): Ben Jalloun, Leaving Tangier, Hosseini, The Kite Runner, Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Lalami, Secret Son, Aboulela, Minaret, Jarrar,  A Map of Home, Shafak, Forty Rules of Love.... Read more about Religion, Gender, Identity in 21st Century Diasporic Muslim Fiction

Scripture Stories of Women

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2019

The seminar will engage in a feminist reading of Scripture Stories about wo/men in order to trace the cultural imprint of these stories and assess whether they are “good news” for wo/men. Special attention will be given to feminist interpretation, and political-cultural imagination. Discussion will focus on the significance of social location, critical methods, and religious imagination for the interpretation and teaching of these stories about biblical wo/men and their cultural-theological significance for contemporary religious education and ministerial praxis.
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Women and Gender in U.S. Catholicism

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2019

This course focuses on the growth and methodological richness of women’s and gender history in American Catholic Studies. It is designed to highlight histories of both lay and religious women, and to introduce students to a diversity of approaches—including visual and material culture studies, queer studies, African American and Latinx studies, childhood studies, biography, and oral history.... Read more about Women and Gender in U.S. Catholicism