Current Courses

Register for CIE courses by contacting Trina Nussbaum.

CIE 310 D: Islamic Spirituality

Dr. Amir Akrami, Tuesday evenings 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Seminary 203

This course begins with a study of spiritual themes in the Quran, the Sunnah of the Prophet(Sunnah is the way of life prescribed as normative for Muslims on the basis of the teachings and practices of Islamic prophet Muhammad and interpretations of the Quran), and focuses on the Sufi tradition in Islam dealing with subjects such as the history of Sufism, its main insights, practices, figures and orders. Special attention will be given to the first Shi’a Imam (Ali) and also to Rumi’s teachings and interpretation of Sufism, his emphasis on love and understanding of God and the God-human relationship. Some prior knowledge of Islam will be helpful for this course, but not required.

LANG 160: Elementary Farsi

Dr. Sheida Shakouri Rad, Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:50pm – 5:05pm, Campus Center 201
Register with the Languages and Literature Department.

Farsi is the language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and parts of Pakistan and India. This course is intended to provide a basic introduction to the fundamental skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing Farsi (Persian). It will cover basic parts of speech, commonly used words and phrases, questions and ways of answering, focusing both on grammatical and communication competence. The present, past and future tenses are practised. The goal of the course is for students to begin to engage in practical everyday communications by the end of the semester.

CIE 310 C: The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict in Film

Dr. Robert Bersson, Wednesday evenings 7:00pm – 9:30pm, Seminary 123

Feature and documentary films bring the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to compelling life and speak powerfully to the parallel but contradictory narratives of the two peoples. Issues such as identity, peace and justice, victimization and trauma, and violence versus non-violence stand out boldly in the wide-ranging films. Embodying the situation on the ground and/or pointing toward solutions, the movies we will view, many made since 2000, have been critically acclaimed in Israel/Palestine and worldwide.

Major goals for the course are: 1. Understanding of Palestinian and Israeli views of the conflict; 2. Understanding of the history and roots of the conflict; 3. Experiencing significant films about the conflict by learning about their creators, from directors to actors; 4. Learning the language of film, from camerawork and editing to acting and soundtrack. Student-centered “active learning” will be the educational approach of the course. Course methods include presentations by the professor and students, discussions, film screenings in and outside of class, possible guest participants, a journal (of weekly entries on films viewed and any extra-credit work), and a final ten-minute presentation on a subject chosen by the student.

The film schedule is as follows: (please feel free to come when you can)

January 8—Jerusalem: The Center of the World (PBS, 2009, 120min)
January 15—Exodus (Preminger, 1960, 208min) (excerpts)
January 22—-A Woman Called Golda (Gibson, 1982, Part 1, 150min)
January 29—A Woman Called Golda, Part 2, 150min (excerpts) and A Dream of Justice and Freedom with Hanan Ashrawi (1995, 52min)
February 5—House/A House in Jerusalem (Gitai, 1979/98, 100 min) and You, Me, and Jerusalem (Peled and G. Khleifi, 1996, 55min)
February 12—Bottle in the Gaza Sea (Binisti, 2011, 100min)
February 19—Wedding in Galilee (M. Khleifi, 1987, 113min)
February 26—The Inner Tour (Alexandrowicz, 2002, 98min)
March 12—Paradise Now (Abu-Assad, 2005, 91min)
March 19—Waltz with Bashir (Folman, 2008, 90min)
March 26—Lemon Tree (Riklis, 2008, 106min)
April 2—Divine Intervention (Suleiman, 2005, 90min)
April 9—Encounter Point (Bacha, 2006, 85min) and Budrus (Bacha, 2009, 70min)
April 16—Little Town of Bethlehem (Hanon, 2010, 77min) and A Man of Galilee: The Story of Abuna Elias Chacour (Mennonite Church Canada, 2005, 25min)
April 23—Five Broken Cameras (Burnat and Davidi, 2011, 90min)

CIE 310 E: Spiritual Writing and Spiritual Writers

Rabbi Niles Goldstein, Thursday evenings, 7:00pm – 9:30pm, Seminary 203

This elective will explore the rich and diverse legacy of writing and writers within the religious context of the Abrahamic traditions. We will read and discuss texts from antiquity to modernity, examining the content, style, and purpose of each work, as well as the personal lives of the writers behind them. Beginning with several books from the Hebrew Bible, we will move to the medieval period, to modernity, and then to contemporary material. What, over the centuries, have been some of the literary forms of spiritual writing? Do the texts function as transmitters of doctrine, or as expressions of the writer’s inner life and/or vocation? Can writing itself be a spiritual and devotional activity?

A sample of books and writers we will study in the course:

Judah Halevi
Soren Kierkegaard
Thomas Merton
Kathleen Norris

REL 423a: Comparative Monotheisms: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Amir Akrami (Islam), Niles Goldstein (Judaism), Reuben Shenk (Christianity),
Monday evenings 7:00pm to 9:30pm in Science Center 109.
Register with the Bible and Religion Department.