Unless otherwise specified, Religious Studies courses do not have prerequisites. Students who register in a 3000- or 4000-level course are encouraged, however, to make sure that they have adequate preparation for that course, preferably by having completed a first- or second-year course in the field.
Religious Studies courses are designated by RELS.
The Religions of the World
is an introduction to the basic beliefs and practices of the world's great religions.
CR: the former RELS 2010
Introduction to Asian Religions and Culture
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.
Introduction to Christianity
is 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.
Introduction to the Old Testament
is an introduction to the historical background, literary structure, and content of the Old Testament. Emphasis will be placed on the authorship and dating of the various texts that comprise the Old Testament, as well as on major themes, figures, and events. This course may qualify as a Research/Writing course. Consult each semester's registration materials for the R/W designation.
Introduction to the New Testament
is 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.
(same as Sociology/Anthropology 2350) is 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.
CR: Sociology/Anthropology 2350
Introduction to Buddhism
is 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.
CR: the former RELS 3400
Introduction to Hinduism
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.
CR: the former RELS 3410
Introduction to Religious Ethics
is 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.
CR: the former RELS 2600 and the former RELS 2601
(same as Classics 3010) is a study of the role of religion in the private and public life of the Greek world.
CR: Classics 3010 and the former RELS/Classics 3121
(same as Classics 3020) is a study of the role of religion in the private and public life of the Roman world.
CR: Classics 3020 and the former RELS/Classics 3121
Jesus: His Life and Teaching
is 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.
Paul and His Writings
is 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.
Judaism at the Beginning of the Christian Era
will explore the developments in Jewish thought, institutions, beliefs, and practices during the time when Greek and Jewish cultures encountered one another and in which Jesus of Nazareth lived.
CR: the former RELS 3220
Zen, Buddhist Meditation, and Buddhist Psychology
examines the relationship between meditation and theories of human psychology in Buddhism from its origins to its formulation in Zen.
Religion and the Arts
(same as Visual Arts 3820) is 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.
CR: Visual Arts 3820
Religious Themes in Contemporary Songwriting
is 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.
Spirituality and the Earth
is an examination of the attitudes of various religious traditions to the environment. Special attention will be paid to Native American spirituality.
CR: 3 credit hours in Religious Studies beyond the first year level or departmental permission