Religion

Department of Philosophy and Religion

GREL 101. Religions of the World. 3 credits.

An investigation of the world’s major religions which will give attention to their origin, history, mythology and doctrines.

HEBR/REL 131-132. Elementary Biblical Hebrew.  4 credits each semester.

An introductory course for students who intend to acquire the ability to read the Massoretic text of the Bible. Systematic study of the fundamentals of grammar, with emphasis on reading, pronunciation and translation.

REL/HEBR 231-232. Intermediate Biblical Hebrew.  3 credits each semester.

An intensive reading course. Selections from the Massoretic text of the Bible. An introduction to the critical apparatus used within the  Massoretic text as well as the variant reading apparatus printed in the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Prerequisite: One year of college biblical Hebrew or equivalent.

REL 200. Exploring Religion. 3 credits.

An examination of the various components in the study of religion including myths, rituals, mystical experiences, theologies, ethics and current issues. Examples will be taken from the sacred texts, rituals and the lives of religious personalities in traditions around the world.

REL 201. Introduction to Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. 3 credits.

A study of selected texts from the books of Genesis-Malachi that will examine their literary, historical and theological dimensions from the perspective of their ancient Israelite and Judahite contexts.

REL 202. Introduction to the New Testament. 3 credits.

This course discusses the literature of the New Testament in light of the historical, social and religious conditions from which it emerged.  Particular attention is given to historical issues related to Jesus and the origins of Christianity.

REL/PHIL 218. Philosophy of Religion. 3 credits.

An intensive examination of religion from the standpoint of  philosophical thinking with particular emphasis on the way philosophers view such problems as the existence of God, evil, immortality, religious language, etc.

REL/HEBR 231-232. Intermediate Biblical Hebrew.  3 credits each semester.

An intensive reading course. Selections from the Massoretic text of the Bible. An introduction to the critical apparatus used within the Massoretic text as well as the variant reading apparatus printed in the Biblia  Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Prerequisite: One year of college biblical Hebrew or equivalent.

REL 240. Jesus and the Moral Life. 3 credits.

This is an introductory course that focuses on the ways in which the moral teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, explored from both historical and multi-cultural perspectives, informed and continues to inform personal ideals and moral visions of society.

REL 270. Religious Ethics. 3 credits.

An investigation of the historical development of religious values and moral concepts in the Western religious traditions of Judaism, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.

REL 300. Selected Topics in Religion. 3 credits.

Selected topics in religion are studied in depth. See e-campus for current topic. Course may be repeated for credit when content changes.

REL 310. Religions of India. 3 credits.

An introduction to the thought and practice of four major religious traditions of India: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Islam. Topics  include myth, ritual, yoga and meditation, philosophy, community and devotionalism.

REL 312. Religions of East Asia. 3 credits.

An introduction to the religions of China and Japan, including Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Shinto, Folk Religions and the “New Religions” of Japan. Attention to the role of religion in the family and the state, classic texts, the importance of nature and expressions of spirituality in the fine arts.

REL 315. Women and Religion. 3 credits.

Study of women and world religions, historically and today, emphasizing Buddhism, religions of China and Japan, Judaism and Christianity. The variety of women’s religious roles and practices are studied in a comparative context. Feminist scholarship’s proposals for revising our understanding of religious history and reforming religious traditions.

REL 320. Judaism. 3 credits.

An examination of the beliefs, practices and historical development of the various forms of Judaism represented in America today: Orthodox, Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist.

REL/SOCI 322. Sociology of Religion. 3 credits.

A sociological analysis of religion; how it influences and is influenced by social existence. See cross listing in Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

REL 325. Catholicism in the Modern World. 3 credits.

Study of the variety of responses by contemporary Catholic theologians and philosophers to key elements in Christian doctrine and practice. Topics include Vatican II; scripture, tradition and modern scholarship; Jesus and Christology; contemporary Catholic spirituality; moral issues in the church; and ecumenism.

REL 330. African and African-American Religion. 3 credits.

An examination of the character and nature of religious traditions and liturgical practices of African and African-American communities through history.

REL 342. Quests for the Historical Jesus. 3 credits.

This course examines the various quests for the historical Jesus prominent in Biblical scholarship since the Enlightenment, with particular attention to the current debate.

REL 344. Christianity in the Roman Empire. 3 credits.

This course examines the rise of Christianity in the social and religious context of the pagan Roman Empire. It focuses on crucial struggles and conflicts in the volatile period from Jesus to the fourth century A.D.

REL 360. History of Western Religious Thought. 3 credits.

A survey of the development of western religious thought from the classical period through the modern period. The primary emphasis will be on the person, ideas, beliefs and critical turning points in the development of Christianity and Judaism, with some reference to Islam and to contemporary religious developments.

REL 370. Mysticism. 3 credits.

An examination of the nature of mysticism and its forms of practice in selected religious communities through the world.

REL/PHIL 375. The 19th Century: Age of Ideology. 3 credits.

A study of selected 19th-century philosophers and theologians with special attention to rationalism, romanticism and idealism. Views of Hegel, Schleiermacher, Ritschl, Marx and others are considered.

REL 380. Contemporary Theologies. 3 credits.

A survey of one or more of the following contemporary theological movements: continental, North American, African and South American, including Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant approaches and covering themes such as the conflict between history and faith, Christology, fundamentalism and liberalism and the emergence of liberation, feminist, black, neo-conservative, secular, pluralist and ecological theologies.

REL/PHIL 385. Buddhist Thought. 3 credits.

Buddhist thought from its origins to the contemporary world in South Asia and East Asia. Emphasis on the understanding of the human condition; analysis of the mind and nature of the cosmos; and the expression of Buddhist thought in the fine arts and in social activism.

REL 450. Religion and Society. 3 credits.

A survey and/or selection of major western approaches to issues of religion and society, including but not limited to traditional understanding of church and state issues. Significant figures, texts and methodologies will be critically examined. Fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.

REL 460. Biblical Texts in Context. 3 credits.

An in-depth examination of the literary, theological and historical dimensions of selected biblical texts. Texts will be studied in their ancient contexts, with a focus on ancient literary patterns and writing strategies. Students will apply critical methods used in the academic study of the Bible in their analyses. Fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major. Prerequisite: REL 201, REL 202 or permission of the instructor.

REL 475. Inter-Religious Dialogue. 3 credits.

Dialogue is, today, the most important response of the world’s religions to the diversity of world religions. It is a vehicle for mutual understanding, mutual challenge and joint response to contemporary problems. Students will study the theory and practice of dialogue and then engage in dialogue. Fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major. Prerequisite: Familiarity with two world religions or permission of the instructor.

REL 490. Special Studies in Religion. 3 credits.

Designed to give capable students an opportunity to complete independent study in religion under faculty supervision. Prerequisite: Permission of the department head.

REL 499. Honors. 6 credits.

Year course.



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Last Modified: 6/6/2003