RELS 100. Introduction to Religious Inquiry. 3 Credits.
An introduction to the questions posed by those seeking religious truth as well as the methods and tools used by all religious traditions. This course is designed as a foundational entry into the academic study of religion, well suited for students with little or no training in the academic study of religion. F.
RELS 101. Religions of the West. 3 Credits.
A survey of the classical stories, rituals, and symbols of religious culture in Western civilization from ancient times to the present. F.
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 120. Religion in America. 3 Credits.
A study of religious life in America. Emphasis is placed on the role of religion in the development of American life and character. S, even years.
RELS 203. World Religions. 3 Credits.
A general survey of the beliefs and practices of major world religions, with a focus on Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, and new religious traditions. S.
RELS 216. Women and Religion. 3 Credits.
An examination of the role of women's experiences in religious thought, symbols and traditions, beginning with the centrality of goddess and mythic female figures, to the shift from matriarchy to patriarchy in the major cultures of the world and the consequential suppression of women's experiences by patriarchal society, up to the current trend towards reformation and reconstruction of traditional religions by contemporary women theologians and religious thinkers. S.
RELS 221. Jewish Scripture/Old Testament. 3 Credits.
An introduction to the academic study of this ancient literature that includes an investigation of its historical, cultural, and religious contexts, as well as an examination of the fundamental interpretive approaches employed by biblical scholars. F.
RELS 231. Christian Scripture/New Testament. 3 Credits.
An introduction to the academic study of the New Testament that includes an investigation of its historical, cultural and religious contexts, as well as an examination of the fundamental interpretive approaches employed by biblical scholars. S.
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. S.
RELS 250. East and West in Religion. 3 Credits.
A critical and comparative study of people's religious orientation between Eastern and Western traditions. F.
RELS 300. Jesus in Gospel and History. 3 Credits.
A study of one of the most significant personalities in religious history. Biblical and non-biblical texts which have defined and described Jesus will be examined. F.
RELS 301. Life and Religion of Paul. 3 Credits.
A study of the Pauline themes underlying the Christian faith as seen through the writings of this creative religious personality. Emphasis on current Pauline studies. S.
RELS 305. Mysticism. 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. F.
RELS 309. Atheism, Theism and Secularism. 3 Credits.
Exploration of the basic theistic and atheistic options regarding the ultimate meaning and value of human life, with a study of the impact the rise of secularism has had on religious faith. On demand.
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. Offered Fall every 3 years (2007).
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. Offered Fall every 3 years (2008).
RELS 321. Prophets and Prophecy. 3 Credits.
This course investigates the religious phenomenon of prophecy in both traditional contexts (ancient Israelite religion and the ancient near east, early Christianity and the Greco-roman world), as well as in its present day manifestations within a variety of indigenous cultures and contemporary religions. Offered Spring every 3 years (2009).
RELS 328. Development of Christian Doctrine. 3 Credits.
An introduction to the origins of early Christianity as a movement, the struggle among competing interpretations of the Christian faith to establish orthodoxy, and the development of Christian thought and practice through the Protestant Reformation. Offered Fall every 3 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. Offered Spring every 3 years (2010).
RELS 338. Contemporary Christianities. 3 Credits.
A survey of modern Christian thought from the Protestant Reformation to the contemporary era, with an emphasis on the variety of Christian practices and theologies in the twenty-first century. Offered Spring every 3 years (2009).
RELS 342. Religious Ethics. 3 Credits.
Problems concerning the presuppositions of religious ethics and their application to personal moral issues and to such areas of community life as business, race relations, war and peace. On demand.
RELS 355. Islam. 3 Credits.
This course provides an overview of Islam, the faith of more than one billion persons throughout the world. This course explores the history, beliefs and practices, ethics, writings, and experiences of Muslims in diverse cultures, with an emphasis on understanding the development of Islam in the 20th and 21st centuries. This course develops critical and creative thinking, careful reading and analysis of complex texts and issues, writing and research skills, and the ability to empathize with a diversity of contexts and viewpoints. On demand.
RELS 380. Buddhism. 3 Credits.
A historical and critical survey of different Buddhist schools in India, China, Tibet, and Japan. Offered Spring every 3 years (2008).
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. F,S.
RELS 410. Asian Religions in the United States. 3 Credits.
A survey of Asian religions in the U.S., with special attention paid to the ways in which Asian religions are becoming Americanized and American popular culture is becoming Easternized. Offered Spring every 3 years (2009).
RELS 423. Psychology of Religion. 3 Credits.
The psychological significance of various types of religious experience, personal and social. An examination of classical psychological statements about religion including James, Allport, Kierkegaard, Freud, and Jung. S, even years.
RELS 431. Religious Violence and the Apocalyptic Mind. 3 Credits.
This course examines contemporary examples of religious violence by placing them within a broader context of ancient and modern examples of apocalyptic thought. Offered Spring every 3 years.
RELS 466. 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 480. Religion Capstone. 3 Credits.
This course provides an opportunity for religion majors to reflect further upon, and integrate what they have learned in the religion program and their overall university experience. Topics to be considered include diverse expressions and meanings of religion; cross-cultural understanding and dialogue; the effects on religious studies of patriarchy, colonialism and heterosexism; religion and violence; and religion and contemporary culture. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing in the Religion major. F.
RELS 491. Seminar on Religion. 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 Religion. 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. Repeatable up to 12 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to 12 credits. On demand.