RELS 100. Introduction to Religious Studies. 3 Credits.
This course is designed as an introduction to the academic study of religion. Topics discussed include problems with defining "religion," approaches to the subject in the humanities and social sciences, and the roles played by religion in the contemporary world. F,S.
RELS 101. Religions of the West. 3 Credits.
This course is an introduction to the comparative study of the many cultural manifestations of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. S, odd years.
RELS 102. Religions of Asia. 3 Credits.
This course is an introduction to the characteristic beliefs and practices of selected religions that developed in Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism and Shinto. We will devote special attention to scriptures and other classic literature of the traditions. Students will gain an appreciation of the vitality and enduring significance of each of the religions as a way of life for large numbers of people. F, odd years.
RELS 201. Introduction to the Bible. 3 Credits.
This course is designed to introduce the student to the academic study of the Bible and to the relevant comparative material drawn from the surrounding cultures. F.
RELS 216. Sex, Gender, and Religion. 3 Credits.
This course presents issues generated by the interrelationship of sex, sexual orientation and gender with religion. Included in our investigation are examination of the various interpretations of sacred texts which produce discourses of sexual control, establish moral authority and seek to define sexual identity. Other discourses are those created from other religious experiences and therefore resist those of the dominant society. On demand.
RELS 220. Religion in America. 3 Credits.
This course examines the role that religion has played in the political, social, cultural, and intellectual history of America. S, even years.
RELS 227. Mysticism and Spirituality in Religion. 3 Credits.
A study of mystics and their writings from the Eastern and Western traditions and the application of methods of religious inquiry into the presence of mystical phenomena. S, even years.
RELS 245. Death and Dying. 3 Credits.
An examination of various perspectives on death and dying in our own and other cultures with a view to coping with the problems of mortality and immortality. Medical, psychological, philosophical, and religious aspects contributing to an understanding of the meaning of death will be offered by resource people whose experience will lend assistance to the student's confronting the reality of death and dying. Lecture and discussion. F.
RELS 309. Atheism and Secularism. 3 Credits.
A systematic and critical examination of the fundamental concepts, ideas, and history of atheism and secularism. S, odd years.
RELS 315. Daoism and Confucianism. 3 Credits.
An introduction to two major religious and philosophical traditions indigenous to China and important throughout East Asia. Attention will also be directed to the relations of Daoist and Confucian traditions to the social and political order, from ancient times through the contemporary period. S, odd years.
RELS 320. Hinduism. 3 Credits.
The Indian subcontinent is one of the great historic centers of world civilization, and it has extended its cultural influence throughout Asia and the world; like China, it now also comprises about one-fifth to one-sixth of the earth's population. This class will introduce students to the region's preponderant religious and philosophical tradition of Hinduism, treating topics such as understandings of God or gods, teachings of a universal Self, reincarnation, views for and against the caste system, and Hinduism and globalization. We will treat examples of Hinduism from the ancient to contemporary periods, devoting special attention to selections of classic texts. S, even years.
RELS 325. Religious Violence. 3 Credits.
A critical examination of the theories used to explain and the history associated with violent acts attributed to "religious" actors and/or motivations. F, odd years.
RELS 334. Judaism. 3 Credits.
Comparative Jewish thought in cultural context and as manifest in Jewish literature. Topics to be studied include the sacred, the human community, the role of Israel, ethics, the Holocaust. On demand.
RELS 338. Christianity. 3 Credits.
A systematic and comparative investigation of the many varieties of Christianity that have occurred in the past and that exist in the contemporary world. S, even years.
RELS 355. Islam. 3 Credits.
Beginning with pre-Islamic Arabian culture, this course provides an academic survey of the genesis of Islam, including the life of the prophet Muhammad and formative events in the early Islamic community, Qur'an and Hadith, common beliefs, rituals, and practices, the development of schools of Islamic jurisprudence and theology, Sufism, and Islamic art and literature. F, even years.
RELS 380. Buddhism. 3 Credits.
A historical and critical survey of different Buddhist schools in India, China, Tibet, and Japan. F, even years.
RELS 399. Selected Topics. 1-3 Credits.
A selected topic in the area of religious studies such as Atheism, Religion and Public Life, Lessons of the Holocaust, Religion and the Environment, Greco-Roman Religion, African American Religious History, Women Religious Writers. Repeatable to 12 credits with different topics. Repeatable to 12 credits. On demand.
RELS 480. Seminar in Theory and Method. 3 Credits.
This course is required of all Religious Studies students and will fulfill the Essential Studies capstone requirement. Although the specific focus of the course may change each time it is offered, in every case it will focus critical attention on a variety of interdisciplinary approaches to the academic study of religion. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing. On demand.
RELS 491. Seminar in Religious Studies. 3 Credits.
A consideration of selected topics or religious classics of mutual interest to departmental staff and advanced students in Religion. Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing and some upper level work in Religion or consent of instructor. On demand.
RELS 494. Independent Studies in Religion. 1-3 Credits.
Supervised reading and study on an individual basis. Repeatable to 8 credits. Prerequisite: Instructor consent. Repeatable to 8 credits. F,S.
RELS 497. Projects in Religious Studies. 1-3 Credits.
Projects in Religion is a course that allows students to engage in non-traditional, non-classroom based projects in religious studies. Projects may include internships, practicums, research or teaching assistantships, community engagement activities, or other projects that may differ from semester to semester. Students may enroll in this course with permission of instructor, but some projects (e.g., internships) may be selective and subject to an application process. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to 12 credits. F,S.