Elizabeth Alexander

Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Religious Studies
Office location and address
1540 Jefferson Park Ave
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
RELG 1500: Introductory Seminar in Religious Studies
Credits: 3
These seminars introduce first- and second-year students to the academic study of religion through a close study of a particular theme or topic. Students will engage with material from a variety of methodological perspectives, and they will learn how to critically analyze sources and communicate their findings. The seminars allow for intensive reading and discussion of material. Not more than two Intro Seminars may count towards the Major.
RELJ 2030: Judaism, Roots and Rebellion
Credits: 3
What does it mean to construct one's identity in dialogue with ancient texts and traditions? Can the gap between ancient and contemporary be bridged? Or must texts and traditions born of a remote time and place remain hopelessly irrelevant to contemporary life? This course explores these questions by examining the myriad ways that contemporary Jews balance the complexities of modern life with the demands of an ancient heritage.
RELG 4500: Majors Seminar
Credits: 3
Introduces the study of religion as an interdisciplinary subject, utilizing methods in history of religions, theology, sociology, depth psychology, and literary criticism. The seminars are thematic and topics will vary according to the design of the instructor. Limited to twenty religious studies majors.
RELG 4800: Crafting a Research Project in Religious Studies
Credits: 3
This course offers third- and fourth-year Religious Studies majors resources for conceiving and executing a major research project. As a follow-up, students usually take RELG 4900 ("Distinguished Major Thesis"), which affords them an opportunity to write the research project they have conceived in this course. Whether you plan to write a thesis or not, RELG 4800 offers an accessible introduction to the craft of research in Religious Studies.
RELJ 5100: Theology and Ethics of the Rabbis
Credits: 3
This course explores theological and ethical themes in classical rabbinic literature (c. 200-600 CE). Focus is on gaining fluency in textual and conceptual analysis. Questions examined include: How is the relationship between God, humans generally and the people Israel specifically, imagined? What is evil and how is it best managed? What is the nature of one's obligation to fellow human beings? How does one cultivate an ideal self?
RELJ 5105: Religion and Culture of the Rabbis
Credits: 3
An examination of religion and culture of the rabbinic movement (c. 70-600 CE) in the social and cultural contexts of Greco-Roman antiquity. Among the issues to be examined: rituals and institutions of the rabbis, social organizations within the rabbinic movement, engagement with other sectors of Jewish and gentile society.
RELG 5801: Crafting a Research Project in Religious Studies
Credits: 3
This course offers MA students in Religious Studies resources for conceiving and executing a major research project or thesis. By the end of the semester, each participant will have completed a well-organized, detailed prospectus. The prospectus will reflect the guidance of one's thesis advisor as well as the scrutiny of the instructor and input from peers. Each student will thus be poised to begin writing his/her thesis the following semester.
RELJ 8710: Tutorial in Mishnah Translation
Credits: 3
Assorted passages from the Mishnah are read out loud, subjected to grammatical and content-based analysis, rendered into elegant English, and considered as exemplars of rabbinic literature.
RELJ 8730: Tutorial in Midrash Translation
Credits: 3
This tutorial helps graduate students develop and strengthen skills in the reading and translation of ancient rabbinic Hebrew. It prepares them to do advanced research with ancient rabbinic texts, with a focus on midrashic texts in particular. It gives students the interpretive skills to make sense of the texts and provides an overview of the scholarly issues pertinent to their study.
RELS 8998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Research
Credits: 1–12
For master's research, taken before a thesis director has been selected.
RELS 8999: Non-Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
For master's thesis, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.
RELS 9998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.
RELS 9999: Non-Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral dissertation, taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.