Course Offerings - RELIGIOUS STUDIES
87-101 Exploring Religion (HU-ES) 3 cr.
An academic introduction to the religious dimension of life; including both personal and social aspects and the relationship between religion and culture.87-102 World Religions (NW) 3 cr.
A historical survey of the basic experiential, mythical, doctrinal, ethical, ritual, and social dimensions in the world's major traditions: tribal religion, Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese and Japanese religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.87-103 Honors: Exploring Religion (HU) 3 cr.
For students enrolled in the University Scholars Program. Covers the same subject matter as 87-101. Prerequisite: University Scholar.87-104 Religions of America (HU-ES) 3 cr.
(Fall or Spring)
This course will introduce students to the power and pervasiveness of religious expression in America. Religious expression involves the entire person, acting through all his/her senses. Consequently, the study of American religion must look for data beyond traditional religious texts and doctrines. Readings will introduce students to: 1) the formative religious meaning of the New World and the enduring classification of land and people that such visions engendered; 2) a variety of sacred texts in American life; 3) a variety of sacred rituals in American life; 4) social and personal pilgrimage; 5) the construction of sacred environments; and 6) sacred sounds.87-105 Honors: Religions of America (HU-ES) 3 cr.
(Fall or Spring)
For students enrolled in the University Scholars Program. Covers the same subject matter as 87-104. Prerequisite: University Scholars.87-106 The Bible and Current Events (HU) 3 cr.
This course introduces the Bible and biblical interpretation by focussing on the role of the Bible in shaping culture and public discourse on key issues in public and foreign policy, general interest, and popular culture, such as church/state relations, abortion, domestic violence, "family values," welfare reform, same-sex marriage, and recent conflicts in the Middle East.
87-107 Religious Ethics (HU) 3 cr.
Comparative approaches to the study of diverse traditions of religious ethics. Examines the influence of the moral assumptions and values of various cultures on contemporary social conflicts.87-203 The Old Testament (NW) 3 cr.
A literary and historical introduction to the Old Testament and its religious and cultural background, with emphasis on the period up to the Exile in Babylon.87-204 The New Testament (HU) 3 cr.
A literary and historical introduction to the New Testament in its religious, social and cultural context with emphasis on the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline Epistles.87-210 Christianity (HU) 3 cr.
The principal forms and traditions of Christianity from the first century to the present; with emphasis on essentials of Christian thought.87-221 The Hindu Tradition (NW) 3 cr.
Historical and religious study of Hinduism in its unity and diversity as world view, world faith, and world influence. The course aims at a systematic understanding of Hindu origins, values, and practices as revealed in texts in translation, artistic expression, and modern transformative movements in and beyond India.87-222 Buddhism (NW) 3 cr.
An introduction to how Buddhists throughout the Buddhist tradition in India, Southeast Asia, Tibet and Central Asia, China, Korea, Japan, and the West understand the world, experience their religion, and apply it to society and culture.87-240 Islam (NW) 3 cr.
The religion of Mohammed and his followers from the Arabian beginnings through the rise and development of Islam as a great international faith and cultural system. Includes Islamic responses to modernization and the West.87-262 Environmental Ethics (HU) 3 cr.
Examines competing environmental ethics, and the ensuing social conflicts, which result from diverse views about what constitutes proper moral relationships with and obligations toward the natural world.
87-265 Women and Religion (NW-ES ) 3 cr.
A course on the role of women and the feminine in the religions of the world. Using sacred textual traditions as a base, we will examine the place of women and the feminine in 1) mythology, 2) social and family relations, and 3) religious ritual and organization, including monasticism. Attention will also be given to the significance of the gendered nature of deity for women's spirituality and experience in the world's religions. Cross listed with 98-265. Students may receive credit for only one of the two cross-listed courses.87-275 Myth and Mystery (HU) 3 cr.
A study of the human response to the sacred in the formation of world views in diverse cultures and an interpretation of the relation between theories of myth and extraordinary themes and events (e.g; lost continents, catastrophic prophecies, extraterrestrials, reincarnation, and secret knowledge), with emphasis on their possible symbolic-religious significance.
87-285 Afro-American Religious Experience (ES) 3 cr.
An examination of ideas, forms, and expressions of religious experience in the life of the Afro-Americans against the background of their own ethno-cultural heritage (Africa) and in relation to the larger and more diverse American religious heritage. Includes analyses of the thought of preeminent Afro-American religious leaders. Christian and non-Christian, the role of the Black church as a fomenting and transformative force for cultural change, and the possible future of "Black Religion" in the new millennium.87-303 Ancient Near Eastern Religions (NW) 3 cr.
Religions of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Canaan. Myths and beliefs about universal human concerns: origins and destiny, reproduction and death, nature and the state.87-304 Old Testament Poetry and Wisdom 3 cr.
Selections from the Psalms, Job, Proverbs, and the Festival Scrolls: Ruth, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther. Prerequisite: 87-203.87-305 Old Testament Prophets and Prophecy 3 cr.
The prophetic movement in Israel: its historical and social setting, its literary and theological developments, and its continuing impact on Western religion and culture. Prerequisite: 87-203.87-309 Religion and Culture of New Testament Times 3 cr.
An examination of Jewish and Hellenistic sources related to the New Testament, including the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Apocrypha, as well as sources for ancient Mystery Religions and Gnosticism. Prerequisite: 87-204 or 87-210.87-311 Biblical Archaeology 3 cr.
An examination of the archaeological evidence relating to the Judaeo-Christian biblical tradition. Introduces selected biblical sites through lectures, readings, and slides. Investigates the methodology of archaeological fieldwork including side identification, excavation techniques and analysis of finds. Prerequisite: 87-203 or 87-204.87-328 Religious Legacy of Vietnam 3 cr.
An examination of the impact of the Vietnam war on American culture as a fundamentally religious crisis. Conflicting interpretations of sacrifice, heroism, and national destiny emerge through detailed study of popular literature, film, and music of the period. Prerequisite: 87-104 or 87-105.87-329 Religion and the Bomb 3 cr.
The impact of nuclear weapons on two distinct periods of American culture. The course proceeds from the assumption that nuclear weapons have been clothed with a variety of symbolic meanings that have conveyed apocalyptic fears and utopian hopes that are essentially religious in nature. Prerequisite: 87-104 or 87-105.87-333 American Sacred Space 3 cr.
Americans, like other peoples, do not perceive all space equally. This course examines the religious landscape of America: Native American sites, natural and historic sites. The course examines how Americans consecrate-make sacred-various places.87-334 Holocaust and American Memory 3 cr.
This course will examine representation of the Holocaust in American Culture from Post-war survivor memory to the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Some attention will be paid to Holocaust memory in Europe and Israel.
87-335 Chinese Religions (NW) 3 cr.
An introduction to Chinese religions and culture as the medium for the development of religion, including archaic shamanism, ancestor cult, language, change, the Tao, Confucianism and Taoism, Buddhism, syncretism. Prerequisite: 87-102 or 87-222; or consent of the instructor.87-337 Japanese Religion (NW) 3 cr.
A general survey of Japanese religion and its relationship to culture, including archaic tribal religions, importation of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, medieval Buddhism and New-Confucianism, role of religions during Japanese modernization, militarism, post-war era, and post-modern Japan. Prerequisite: 87-102 or 87-222; or consent of the instructor.
A comparative investigation of important regional and global developments among major world religions today. Topics may vary with each presentation of the course and address a wide range of issues from interreligious dialogue to suffering, end-time themes, and comparative mysticism. Prerequisites: 87-102.87-344 Zen Practice 3 cr.
Examines individual and communal religious practice toward the experience of realization (Japanese: satori) in the Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and American Zen Buddhist traditions. Prerequisite: 87-102 or consent of instructor.87-345 Zen Art & Literature 3 cr.
Examines how the Zen schools of Buddhism have used secular literary and artistic forms to teach and to understand the experience of Zen realization (Japanese: satori) and some of the influences these have had on Japanese culture. Prerequisite: 87-102 or consent of instructor.87-351 Religion and Personal Ethics 3 cr.
Patterns of reflection and interpretation on personal moral responsibility in the contemporary world. Prerequisites: 87-101 or 87-103.87-352 Religion and Social Ethics 3 cr.
Relationships between religion and social morality in the contexts of past and present social policy, social change, and other social issues and themes. Prerequisite: 87-101 or 87-103.87-355 Religion, War, and Peace 3 cr.
An examination of issues of war, conflict resolution, and peace from the perspective of various religious traditions and movements; with emphasis on ethical questions and implications. Prerequisite: 87-101 or 87-103.87-356 Religion and Liberation Ethics 3 cr.
Examines the religious ideas and social analyses of Latin American Liberation theology, its role in social conflicts and insurrections in recent Latin American history, and its global influence on religious ethics. May also explore the ethics of those who would extend the liberation motif to all life and Earth itself and the socio-political conflicts resulting from liberation ethics extended in this way.87-357 Religion, Faith, and Healing 3 cr.
Historical, psychological, and religious study of the healing process through exposition, interpretation, and discussion of the relevance of religion to a holistic view of well-being. Includes questions of shamanic techniques, placebos, alternative medicine, healing attitudes, mental health, miracles, and medical ethics. Prerequisite: 87-101 or 87-103.87-362 Religion and Earth Ethics 3 cr.
Examines human attitudes and behaviors toward the natural world, focusing on the historical evolution of religious environmental ethics in diverse cultures and traditions. Analyzes how religion serves as a resource for many contemporary environmental movements and yields varying public policy prescriptions. Provides an opportunity for a critical appraisal of competing religious environmental ethics. Prerequisite: 87-262, 87-107; or 37-262.87-395 Special Topics 1-3 cr.
A course on a topic not normally covered in the curriculum. Each time it is offered, the topic will be announced in the time schedule. May be repeated with different content.87-399 Study Tour 1-3 cr.
A combination of background reading, travel, and field lectures. Students will keep a journal and write a comprehensive paper. May be repeated with different content. For details, inquire at the Department Office.87-446 Independent Study 1-3 cr.
See Independent Study under Course and Academic Advisement Policies information for general course description, general prerequisites, and proper contract form requirements.87-456 Related Readings 1-3 cr.
See Related Readings under Course and Academic Advisement Policies information for general course description, general prerequisites, and proper contract form requirements.87-474 Honors: Thesis 1-6 cr.
Honors thesis projects include any advanced independent endeavor in the student's major field of study e.g., a written thesis, scientific experiment or research project, or creative arts exhibit or production. Proposals attached to Independent Study contract must show clear promise of honors level work and be approved by a faculty sponsor. Course title for transcript will be "Honors Thesis." Completed projects will be announced and presented to interested students and faculty. Maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisites: University Scholar and junior standing.87-498 Honors: Seminar 3 cr.
Presentation and discussion, by faculty and advanced University Scholars, of an area of current interest in religion related to recent developments or debates in such areas of science, medicine, law, politics or others. Individual and collaborative case studies and term projects. Prerequisite: 60 credits, including at least 6 credits of Honors completed. (May be repeated for credit with different content.)87-499 Seminar 3 cr.
Presentation and discussion, by faculty and advanced students, of recent publications and other developments in various areas of the study of religion. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: 60 college credits, including 15 credits in Religious Studies.
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Last Updated July 1, 1999