Course code:



M - Intermediate

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • HY - History
  • HS - Human Studies

Typically offered:

Upon occasion

Religious experiences and concepts have been central in history. They have informed ideas of self, community and nature as well as practices of science, technology and politics. This course provides an intellectual history of the concepts of god or gods and related notions and practices. It will focus on them as they have developed in the West but will also look, briefly, for comparative purposes at India and China. It will use secondary materials like Karen Armstrong’s A History of God and Peter Adamson’s A History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps to follow threads of the story from early polytheism up through the present day. It will also focus on a series of short selected primary sources including sacred texts as well as writings by philosophers, theologians, political thinkers, and mystics. Class format will be a mixture of lecture and discussion. Students will be evaluated on their participation in discussions and their ability to convey their understanding of material in short homework assignments, two problem sets, and two papers analyzing the historical connections between one or more texts and their contexts.



Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.