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.
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.
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 Anthropology 2350) is a contextual study of religious institutions and beliefs, calendrical feasts and solemnities, religious roles and hierarchies, ritual innovation and revitalization.
CR: Anthropology 2350, the former Sociology/Anthropology 2350, the former Sociology 2350
examines the history of Buddhist traditions in Asia, with consideration of the major developments in Buddhist philosophy, institutions, and practices.
CR: the former RELS 3400
examines the history of Hindu religious traditions, their major religious texts, institutions, and practices, and their role in social, political, and cultural movements in India and in Hindu diaspora communities.
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 of Nazareth
is a study of the historical Jesus. Beginning with an assessment of the relevant source material, this course explores what can be known about the life of Jesus of Nazareth in its historical and cultural contexts.
Paul and His Writings
is a study of the writings of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament. and his contribution to Christianity in the cultural and historical milieu in which he lived and was active.
Judaism at the Time of Jesus
will explore the developments in Jewish thought, institutions, beliefs, and practices from the Babylonian Exile of the sixth century B.C.E. to the time of Jesus, King Herod and the Roman Empire of the first century C.E.
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.
Religion, Worldviews, and the Environment
examines the human connection to the natural world as expressed in traditional religions, indigenous worldviews and contemporary approaches to environmental crises.