2004 - 2005 Calendar

FACULTY OF ARTS

RELIGIOUS STUDIES COURSE LIST

In accordance with Senate's Policy Regarding Inactive Courses, the course descriptions for courses which have not been offered in the previous three academic years and which are not scheduled to be offered in the current academic year have been removed from the following listing. For information about any of these inactive courses, please contact the Head of the Department.

1000. The Religions of the World. An introduction to the basic beliefs and practices of the world's great religions. This course qualifies as a Research/Writing course.
Note: Credit may not be obtained for both Religious Studies 1000 and the former Religious Studies 2010.

1010. Religion in the Modern World. An introduction to some of the major issues confronting religion in the modern world. The focus will be on such topics as freedom and determinism, good and evil, love and sexuality.

1020. Christianity in Western Civilization. An introduction to Christianity and its place in the history of Western Civilization through examples from Early Christianity, the Reformation, and the Modern Period.

1021. Apocalypse: The End Times in Thought, Action, and Imagination. This course will explore the many ways in which Judaism and Christianity have anticipated and imagined the end times. Attention will be given to Jewish and early Christian notions of the Messiah and his reign, the end of the world, and the impending judgment, as well as how Christianity has coped repeatedly with the delay of the end and how millennial thought and action have affected people during periods of social and natural crises. The role of millennial expectations in our modern era and why the apocalypse is once again a powerful image in religion, film, and literature will also be covered.

1032. Introduction to Asian Religions and Culture. This is a broadly based survey course introducing students to the religions, culture, and societies of Asia. Traditions explored may include those of India (Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism), China (Daoism, Confucianism, Buddhism), Japan (Shinto, Zen Buddhism), and Korea.

1040. Introduction to Chinese (Mandarin) I. This course will introduce students to the basics of Chinese vocabulary, characters, and grammar. Mandarin Chinese, the official dialect of China, Taiwan, and Singapore, will be taught. This course is not intended for native speakers.
Note: Credit may not be obtained for both Religious Studies 1040 and the former Religious Studies 4904.

1041. Introduction to Chinese (Mandarin) II. A continuation of Religious Studies 1040. At the end of this course students should know over a hundred Chinese characters, which should enable them to read basic texts and carry on a simple conversation. This course is not intended for native speakers.
Prerequisite: Religious Studies 1040.
Note: Credit may not be obtained for both Religious Studies 1041 and the former Religious Studies 4911.

1050. Introduction to Biblical Hebrew I. This course is designed to introduce students to the elements of Biblical Hebrew in order to prepare them for reading the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament in the original. The emphasis will be upon learning the basic grammar and syntax of Biblical Hebrew.
Note: Credit may not be obtained for both Religious Studies 1050 and either the former Religious Studies 3700 or the former Religious Studies 4900.

1051. Introduction to Biblical Hebrew II. A continuation of Religious Studies 1050. The emphasis will be upon the reading of selected Hebrew texts.
Prerequisite: Religious Studies 1050.
Note: Credit may not be obtained for both Religious Studies 1051 and either the former Religious Studies 3701 or the former Religious Studies 4901.

1200. Introduction to the Bible. An introduction to the Bible in English translation, this course introduces the Bible’s role as a textual foundation in western religion and culture. The course explores the basic story line, characters, themes, and motifs found in the Bible, with an eye to their impact on western civilization.

2013. Introduction to Christianity. A study of the Christian tradition, its development and variety. The course will include an examination of the beliefs and practices of both Eastern and Western Christianity and a study of the main differences among the major Western denominations.

2050. Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. The historical background, literary structure, and content of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. The relevance of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament to modern religious issues will also be treated. This course may qualify as a Research/Writing course. Consult each semester's registration materials for the R/W designation.

2051. Introduction to the New Testament. An introduction to the history and literary structure of the documents comprising the New Testament. Emphasis will be placed on the major themes found in these documents and on the distinctiveness of approach of the individual writers.

2130. Christianity from the First Century to the Middle Ages. This course explores the historical development of the principal doctrines of Christianity from the period of the Early Church to the Middle Ages. Topics will include the doctrine of the Trinity, the doctrine of the Person of Christ, the nature of the Church, the doctrine of the sacraments, and early and medieval speculation on the nature of Heaven and Hell.

2140. Christianity from the Reformation to the Present. This course explores the radical religious, ethical, and intellectual changes and challenges that brought about the modern world we live in: the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the Romantic Period and Pietism, and Secularism. This course may qualify as a Research/Writing course. Consult each semester’s registration materials for the R/W designation.

2302. Readings in New Testament Greek. (Same as Classics 2302). - inactive course.

2330. Introduction to Judaism. An exploration of Judaism from its beginnings to the modern era, this course introduces students to the basic beliefs and practices of the Jewish faith.

2340. Introduction to Islam. A study of the religion of Islam in its historical and contemporary manifestations; Muhammad, the Qur'an, Islamic sects, relations with Judaism and Christianity; trends and developments in contemporary Islamic thought and practice.
NOTE: Credit may not be obtained for both Religious Studies 2340 and the former Religious Studies 3340.

2350. Religious Institutions. (Same as Sociology/Anthropology 2350). Psychological, anthropological, and sociological approaches to the nature of religion. Comparative study of religious institutions and beliefs, calendrical feasts and solemnities, the nature of sacrifice and the sacred, religious roles and hierarchies, ritual innovation and revitalization.

2400. Introduction to Buddhism. A study of the history of the Buddhist tradition in India and China, the development of the main lines of Buddhist thought, and the nature of the Chinese transformation of Buddhism.
NOTE: Credit may not be obtained for both Religious Studies 2400 and the former Religious Studies 3400.

2410. Introduction to Hinduism. This course involves a study of the religious thought and history of India, the literature of Hinduism, the major thinkers in Hindu philosophy, and the role of Hinduism in the culture and society of India.
NOTE: Credit may not be obtained for both Religious Studies 2410 and the former Religious Studies 3410.

2420. Introduction to Chinese Philosophy and Religion. An introduction to the principal forms of tradition to emerge in China, this course examines the origins and development of Confucianism, Daoism, Moism, and Legalism. After exploring the social and historical conditions that gave rise to them, the course will explore their continuing development and role in Chinese society.

2425. Contemporary Issues in Chinese Religion and Culture. An examination of religion in modern China and the Chinese diaspora in Taiwan, Singapore, and North America. Special attention will be paid to religious beliefs, practices, and institutions and the way in which modern attitudes have been framed by the past.
NOTE: Credit may not be obtained for both Religious Studies 2425 and the former Religious Studies 3425.

2430. Introduction to Japanese Religions. An examination of the nature and development of Shinto, the history and characteristics of the major sects of Japanese Buddhism, and the origins and importance of the New Religions of the 19th and 20th centuries, especially Tenrikyo and Soka Gakkai.
NOTE: Credit may not be obtained for both Religious Studies 2430 and the former Religious Studies 3430.

2610. Introduction to Religious Ethics. An introduction to religious ethics through the systematic study of selected writers and issues in biomedicine, human sexuality, and social justice. Possible topics for discussion include euthanasia, abortion, poverty, and unemployment.
NOTE: Students who have successfully completed both Religious Studies 2600 and Religious Studies 2601 may not receive credit for 2610.

2800. Women in Western Religions. An examination of the attitudes toward, and roles of, women in the Western religions, including prehistoric traditions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Contemporary evaluations of these traditions from the point of view of women will also be considered.

2801. Women in Eastern Religions. An examination of the history of women in the traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and folk traditions in Asia. The modern status of women in Asia and its relationship to traditional religious ideas will also be studied.

2810. Religion and Modern Culture. An historical examination of the impact of science on religion in Western culture. Particular emphasis will be placed on such developments as the scientific revolution, the rise of modern technology, and the emergence of modern scientific theories.

2811. Introduction to Contemporary Religious Movements. An introduction to contemporary religious movements in the west, including modern witchcraft, Neo-pagan religions, Mother Earth Spirituality, UFO religion, and the New Age Movement.

2812. Religion and Popular Culture. This course will focus on the portrayal and treatment of religion in popular culture and will examine some of the ways in which religious and mythic themes are expressed in such pop culture forums as television shows, films, music, mass-market fiction, and material culture.

2820. Cults and New Religious Movements. An introduction to the origins, beliefs, and practices of such well-known groups as Scientology, the Unification Church (“the Moonies”), and ISKCON (“the Hare Krishnas”), and to suicide groups such as the People’s Temple, Heaven’s Gate, and the Solar Temple. The course will introduce students to issues within the academic study of cults and new religious movements and to the debate surrounding the brainwashing/deprogramming controversy.

2830. Religion and Popular Music. An introduction to the study of religious themes in popular music. The course will explore the influence of religious music on popular music and song and examine the role of music and song in the expression of religious themes.

3000. Medieval Books. (Same as Medieval Studies 3000, English 3002, History 3000). Examination of the development and role of the manuscript book during the Middle Ages. Topics covered will include book production and dissemination; authors, scribes and audiences; and various kinds of books (e.g. glossed Bibles, anthologies, books of hours, etc.) and their uses.
Prerequisite: Medieval Studies 2000, 2001 or 2002 or permission of the instructor.

3010. Greek Religion. (Same as Classics 3010). A study of the role of religion in the private and public life of the Greek world.
NOTE: Students may not receive credit for Religious Studies/Classics 3010 and the former Religious Studies/Classics 3121.

3020. Roman Religion. (Same as Classics 3020). A study of the role of religion in the private and public life of the Roman world.
NOTE: Students may not receive credit for Religious Studies/ Classics 3020 and the former Religious Studies/Classics 3121.

3031. The Book of Genesis. This course introduces students to one of the founding texts of western culture, the book of Genesis. Special attention will be paid to the role of myth, human origins, values, and political institutions.
NOTE: Credit may not be obtained for both Religious Studies 3031 and the former Religious Studies 3030.

3053. Anthropology of Religion. (Same as Anthropology 3053.) - inactive course.

3060. The Prophets of Israel. A study of the prophets through the relevant books of the Old Testament. Problems of text and interpretation will be discussed in relation to selected passages, but the general approach will be to bring out the creative genius and radical implications of the prophetic movement as a whole.

3091. Visions of Human Suffering in the Hebrew Bible. This course introduces students to the universal problem of human suffering as it is depicted in various biblical books. Special attention will be placed on the book of Job, but notions of suffering in the Psalms, Jeremiah, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and some apocryphal literature will also be considered.
NOTE: Credit may not be obtained for both Religious Studies 3091 and the former Religious Studies 3090.

3150. Early Christian Thought: The First Five Centuries. (Same as Classics 3150). An advanced study of selected themes and personalities in Christian thought and literature from the second to the sixth centuries. Particular attention will be given to the controversies centering on the doctrines of the Trinity and the Person of Christ.

3200. Jesus: His Life and Teaching. A study of the ministry and thought of Jesus of Nazareth as contained in the Gospels and other New Testament writings. Attention will be given to the methods and conclusions of recent scholarship as applied to his principal teachings and to the study of the historical Jesus.

3210. Paul and His Writings. A study of the Pauline writings and an appraisal of the contribution to Christianity of his mission and theology on the basis of New Testament and other relevant material. Particular attention will be given to such related themes as salvation, reconciliation, grace, and justification.

3251. The Gospel of John. An examination of the Gospel of John and the community which produced it. Special attention will be given to the place of the Gospel in the history of early Christianity.

3265. Ethics and the New Testament. - inactive course.

3270. Christianity and the Roman Empire. (Same as Classics 3270 and History 3270). A study of the relationship between Christianity and the Roman Empire from the first to the fourth century.

3272. Bible, Culture and Interpretation. This course examines ways in which the Bible has been interpreted from the beginnings of Christianity to the present.
Note: Credit may not be obtained for both Religious Studies 3272 and either the former Religious Studies 3271 or the former Religious Studies 4200.

3276. Contemporary Issues and the Bible. This course examines the relevance of the Bible to such issues as the environmental crisis, emergent global capitalism, and technology and freedom.
Note: Credit may not be obtained for both Religious Studies 3276 and the former Religious Studies 3275.

3305. The Religion of Ancient Israel. An exploration of the religious thought and institutions of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah in their cultural and historical contexts from their beginnings to the sixth century B.C.E. The course introduces students to the religious beliefs, practices, and institutions of these two kingdoms prior to their destruction and prior to the development of Judaism in the post-exilic period.
Note: Credit may not be obtained for both Religious Studies 3305 and the former Religious Studies 3050.

3310. Judaism at the Beginning of the Christian Era. - inactive course.

3315. The Development of Modern Judaism. - inactive course.

3320. Mysticism in Judaism and Islam. A study of the origins, development, and importance of mysticism in the Jewish and Muslim traditions. In Judaism, the course will include a survey of Merkavah mysticism, the Qabbalah, and Hasidism. In Islam, it will include an examination of the two major streams of Muslim mysticism (Sufism) - the “drunken” and the “sober” - and the development of the Sufi Orders.

3401. Zen, Buddhist Meditation, and Buddhist Psychology. This course examines the relationship between meditation and theories of human psychology in Buddhism from its origins to its formulation in Zen.

3431. Readings in Daoism: The Laozi and the Zhuangzi. A course in the critical reading of the two most important texts in Daoism, the Laozi and the Zhuangzi.
NOTE: Credit may not be obtained for both Religious Studies 3431 and either the former Religious Studies 3420 or the former Religious Studies 3422.

3432. Confucius and Confucianism. Beginning with Confucius and China, this course explores the growth and impact of Confucianism on East Asian society through an examination of its major writings.
NOTE: Credit may not be obtained for both Religious Studies 3432 and either the former Religious Studies 3420 or the former Religious Studies 3421.

3500. Philosophy of Religion. (Same as Philosophy 3500). The philosophical aspects of religious belief, religious language, and theology.

3510. Christianity in the Reformation Era. A study of Christian thought and practice in the Reformation era. This course will examine both Protestant and Catholic efforts at reform from the late Middle Ages to the seventeenth century.

3535. Christianity in the Modern Era. - inactive course.

3560. Christian Thought in the Middle Ages. (Same as Medieval Studies 3003). A study of the development of Christianity in the West from the eleventh century to the eve of the Reformation, through an examination of its principal thinkers and the most significant societal forces and events: the crusades, the universities, monasticism, religious dissent, and mysticism.

3591. Christian Mysticism. A study of the origins and development of the mystical tradition in Christianity from the fathers of the early Church to contemporary spirituality. The course will examine representative writers and writings from both the Western Christian tradition and Eastern Orthodoxy.

3640. Religion and Bioethics. An examination of the religious ethics of health care in the light of foundational concepts of bioethics. Topics to be discussed will include the relation of religion and medicine, as well as specific issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and genetic engineering.

3650. Religion and Social Justice. A study of social justice issues that arise from an investigation of economic and political systems from the perspective of religious ethics. Topics addressed may include environmental ethics, ecofeminism, gender equity, pacifism, civil disobedience, poverty, and social welfare questions.

3680. Religion and the Problem of Evil. - inactive course.

3810. Modern Interpretations of Religion. A study of modern attempts to analyze, interpret, and reassess the place and significance of religion in human life. Attention will be given to thinkers such as Nietzsche, Marx, Freud, Sartre, Otto, Eliade, and Tillich.
NOTE: Credit may not be obtained for both Religious Studies 3810 and the former Religious Studies 3531.

3811. Contemporary Alternative Spirituality. An in-depth examination of one or more forms of contemporary alternative spirituality. Students will study the writings of practitioners of alternative spirituality, as well as social-scientific studies of alternative spiritual groups. Religious movements to be explored include African-American alternative spirituality, Mother Earth and Creation spirituality, Neo-paganism, the New Age Movement, UFO spirituality, and contemporary witchcraft.

3820. Religion and the Arts. (Same as Visual Arts 3820). An examination of the role of art in the expression of religious ideas, together with a study of specific religious themes and concerns in one or more of the following: literature, film, music, painting, sculpture, and dance.

3830. Religion, Science and Technology. - inactive course.

3831. Religious Themes in Contemporary Songwriting. A study of religious themes in contemporary songwriting through the in-depth examination of the work of a selection of contemporary songwriters. The course will explore how religious questions and themes are handled in contemporary song and explore how song as an artistic medium expresses religious meaning. Songwriters to be explored may include the following: Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison, Tori Amos, Nick Cave, Alanis Morissette, Julie Miller, the Louvin Brothers, the Stanley Brothers, Hank Williams, etc.

3850. Religion and Healing. The links between sickness and sin, healing and faith, are found in many religious traditions. From aboriginal spiritualities to contemporary Christian faith healing, attempts to conceptualize and treat illness within spiritual frameworks are found cross-culturally. This course examines these links and also explores the relationship between religious healing systems and Western biomedicine and the difference between disease and illness, healing and curing.

3860. Implicit Religion: The Sacred in Secular Places. An in-depth examination of the concept of implicit religion. The course will explore the concept of “the sacred” through an examination of the ideas of such theorists as Eliade, Turner, and Bailey and will examine the claims of some Religious Studies scholars that the sacred can be found in secular contexts.

3900. Religion in Newfoundland and Labrador: Beginnings. A study of religion and its role in Newfoundland society from the seventeenth century to the middle of the nineteenth century. Attention will be given to the origin, growth, and consolidation of the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Moravian, and Congregational churches.

3901. Religion in Newfoundland and Labrador: The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.A study of religion and its role in Newfoundland society from the middle of the nineteenth century to the present. The course will include the history of the Anglican, Roman Catholic, United (Methodist), Congregational, and Presbyterian churches in Newfoundland and the establishment and social significance of the Pentecostal movement and the Salvation Army.

* 4201-4230. Biblical Studies: Special Subjects.
Prerequisite: Departmental permission.

* 4300-4330. World Religions: Special Subjects.
Prerequisite: Departmental permission.

4460. Folk Religion. (Same as Folklore 4460). An examination of folk responses to organized religion, surveying the religious forms and interpretations not specifically delineated by Theology. Areas of focus include: folk religious concepts of space and time; religion and healing; witchcraft and the devil; religious folk art and music; religious verbal art; the role and power of the holy person; the saint system; community social activities sponsored by the church. A discussion of some current popular religious movements will also be included. Attention will be given to material in the MUN Folklore and Language Archive, and research based on field data will be encouraged.
NOTE: Credit may not be obtained for Religious Studies 4460 and the former Religious Studies 4240.

* 4500 and 4510. Seminar in the Philosophy of Religion. (Same as Philosophy 4500 and 4510). - inactive course.

* 4700-4730. Christian Thought and History: Special Subjects.
Prerequisite: Departmental permission.

* 4801-4830. Religion, Ethics, and Modern Culture: Special Subjects.
Prerequisite: Departmental permission.

* 4902-4910 excluding 4904. Language Studies: Special Subjects. These courses are designed to provide students with some basic knowledge of the languages necessary for studying the original texts of the major world religions. The languages presently offered through the Department are Mishnaic Hebrew, Aramaic, Coptic, Pali, Tibetan, Japanese, Manchu, Arabic, and Chinese.
NOTE: In addition to those languages mentioned above, courses in Latin and New Testament Greek are available from the Department of Classics and courses in Sanskrit from the Department of Linguistics.

4998. Comprehensive Examination for Honours Students. This examination will be based on a program of assigned reading related to the general subject area of the candidate's dissertation.

4999. Honours Essay for Honours Students.

* These courses will be offered at the discretion of the Department. They are designed to provide an opportunity for students majoring in Religious Studies or doing a strong concentration of courses in the area to pursue advanced study under tutorial supervision.


Please direct inquiries to deanarts@mun.ca


Last modified on April 30, 2004 by R. Bruce

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