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Complete Course Listing

Complete listing of Religious Studies Courses

Rels 1000: The Religions of the World. An introduction to the basic beliefs and practices of the world's great religions. Note: Credit may not be obtained for both Rels 1000 and the former Rels 2010.

Rels 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 globalization and religion, religious faith and violence, freedom and authority.

Rels 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.

Rels 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.

Rels 1022: Jesus in Film. A study of how Jesus is represented in modern film. The course explores the continuing impact that the Jesus of history and faith has had on modern Western culture. The course will examine such films as The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Robe, The Gospel According to St. Matthew (by Pasolini), Jesus Christ Superstar, Jesus of Montreal, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Life of Brian, The Passion of the Christ, The Newfoundland Passion (video of the Squires' Paintings).

Rels 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.

Rels 1040: Introduction to Chinese (Mandarin) I. This course will introduce the student 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 Rels 1040 and the former Rels 4904.

Rels 1041: Introduction to Chinese (Mandarin) II. A continuation of Rels 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: RELS 1040. Note: Credit may not be obtained for both Rels 1041 and the former Rels 4911.

Rels 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 Rels 1050 and either the former Rels 3700 or the former Rels 4900.

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

Rels 1200: The Bible in Western Religion and Culture. An introduction to the Bible and its impact on literature, art, film, and music in Western culture. This course explores both the basic story line, characters, and themes in the Bible and the Bible's foundational role in the depiction and development of Western culture.

Rels 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.

Rels 2050: Introduction to the Old Testament. This course 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.

Rels 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.

Rels 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.

Rels 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.

Rels 2302: Readings in New Testament Greek (same as Classics 2302). Inactive Course.

Rels 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.

Rels 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 Rels 2340 and the former Rels 3340.

Rels 2350: Religious Institutions (same as Sociology/Anthropology 2350). This course explores 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. Note: Credit may not be obtained for both RELS 2350 and Sociology/Anthropology 2350.

Rels 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 Rels 2400 and the former Rels 3400.

Rels 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 Rels 2410 and the former Rels 3410.

Rels 2415: Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism. A course focussed on myth, inconography and ritual of Hindu gods and goddesses from the ancient to the contemporary period. The course will explore fundamental assumptions of Hindu theistic traditions in popular practice and in formal religious institutions.

Rels 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.

Rels 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 Rels 2425 and the former Rels 3425.

Rels 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 Rels 2430 and the former Rels 3430.

Rels 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 Rels 2600 and Rels 2601 may not receive credit for Rels 2610.

Rels 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.

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

Rels 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.

Rels 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.

Rels 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.

Rels 2820: Cults and New Religious Movements. Inactive Course.

Rels 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.

Rels 2850: Religion in Contemporary Canada. This course examines contemporary religious practices in Canada. Its perspective will be historical and sociological. It will examine indigenous traditions, the beginnings of Christianity in Canada, and how shifts in immigration policy have encouraged a diversity of contemporary religious practice. It will conclude by examining religion in contemporary Canada, particularly issues of religion and public policy (related to the Multiculturalism Act) and to shifting Christian membership.

Rels 3000: Medieval Books (same as Medieval Studies 3000, English 3002 and History 3000). An 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 (eg. glossed Bibles, anthologies, books of hours, etc.) and their uses. Prerequisite: Medieval Studies 2000, 2001 or 2002 or permission of the instructor. Note: Students can receive credit for only one of RELS 3000, Medieval Studies 3000, English 3002, or History 3000.

Rels 3010: Greek Religion (same as Classics 3010).

Rels 3020: Roman Religion (same as Classics 3020).

Rels 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 Rels 3031 and the former Rels 3030.

Rels 3053: Anthropology of Religion (same as Anthropology 3053). A critical evaluation of anthropological research on religion, centering on seminal thinkers and major theoretical traditions. Special attention is given to the study of belief systems, and to relationships between belief and ritual. Note: Students may not receive credit for both RELS 3053 and Anthropology 3053.

Rels 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.

Rels 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.

Rels 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. Note: Students may not receive credit for both RELS 3150 and Classics 3150.

Rels 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.

Rels 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.

Rels 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.

Rels 3265: Ethics and the New Testament. Inactive Course.

Rels 3270: Christianity and the Roman Empire (same as Classics 3270). Inactive Course.

Rels 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 Rels 3272 and either the former Rels 3271 or the former Rels 4200.

Rels 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 Rels 3276 and the former Rels 3275.

Rels 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 Rels 3305 and the former Rels 3050.

Rels 3310: Judaism at the Beginning of the Christian Era. This course 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. Note: Credit may not be obtained for both Rels 3310 and the former Rels 3220.

Rels 3315: The Development of Modern Judaism. Covering the period from the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple to the present, this course explores Judaism under the spiritual leadership of the rabbis. Approaching the material from a historical and cultural perspective, the course introduces students to the main developments of the Talmudic, Medieval, and Modern periods. Note: Credit may not be obtained for both Rels 3315 and either the former Rels 3302 or the former Rels 3303.

Rels 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.

Rels 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.

Rels 3411: Hindu Mythology: The Ramayana. A study of one of the most influential epics of Hinduism, the story of Rama, the perfect king of a golden age. The course examines various versions of the narrative from Buddhist to sectarian Hinduism, the Hindu and Indian values expressed through the story, and the Epic's place in Indian politics and in drama and visual art of India and the Hindu diaspora.

Rels 3412: The Teachings of the Upanishads. An in-depth examination of some of the principal Upanishads, foundational texts for Hindu religious philosophy and techniques of meditation. The course also examines classical and modern interpretations of these texts.

Rels 3415: Warrior, Wife, Witch: Ideal Females and Female Ideals in Hinduism. A study of Hindu constructions of ideal or iconic females (e.g., Durga, the warrior goddess; Sita, the perfect wife; the Yoginis, the "witches" of Tantra) and their power in the lives of Hindu women. The course includes critical examination of the history of Hindu goddess traditions, the ideals for females in Hindu law, and Hindu women's interpretations of "ideal females."

Rels 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 Rels 3431 and either the former Rels 3420 or the former Rels 3422.

Rels 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 Rels 3432 and either the former Rels 3420 or the former Rels 3421.

Rels 3500: Philosophy of Religion (same as Philosophy 3500). This course explores the philosophical aspects of religious belief, religious language and theology. Note: Credit may not be obtained for both RELS 3500 and Philosophy 3500.

Rels 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.

Rels 3535: Christianity in the Modern Era. A study of Western Christianity from the Enlightenment to the twentieth century through an examination of institutional and intellectual developments as well as changes in popular religious consciousness and practice. Note: Credit may not be obtained for both Rels 3535 and either the former Rels 3530 or the former Rels 3595.

Rels 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. Note: Credit may not be obtained for both RELS 3560 and Medieval Studies 3003.

Rels 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.

Rels 3600: Ancient Myth and Cult (same as Classics 3600) develops the students' knowledge of myth and material culture by examining specific religious sites in the Greek and Roman world as foci of ritual practice. Students will learn to integrate knowledge of the physical remains with the literary and ritual evidence in order to obtain a more integrated understanding of religious life in ancient Greece and Rome. Note: Credit may be obtained for only one of RELS 3600 and Classics 3600.

Rels 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.

Rels 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.

Rels 3680: Religion and the Problem of Evil. A study of religious approaches to the problem of evil. Attention will be paid to both traditional and contemporary efforts among the world's religions to address the problem. Note: Credit may not be obtained for both Rels 3680 and the former Rels 4800.

Rels 3800: Re/Presentations of Muslim Women: Gender, Colonialism and Islam. This course is presented in three parts. Initially, we will ground ourselves theoretically in Islam, Orientalism, feminism and contemporary political implications related to the study of Muslim women. We then turn to topics which have served as explanations for the "difference" of Muslim women in various contexts, both in contemporary Muslim-majority and minority political situations. We will conclude by considering a variety of contemporary ethnographic representations of Muslim women in Egypt, Palestine, France, Turkey, Cyprus and Malaysia.

Rels 3810: Modern Interpretations of Religion. A study of modern attempts to analyse, 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 Rels 3810 and the former Rels 3531.

Rels 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.

Rels 3812: Religion and Disney: Not Just Another Mickey Mouse Course. This course provides an in-depth examination of religious themes and issues arising from and within the philosophies of Walt Disney, the Disney animated films, other Disney feature films, and the Disney theme parks. Theoretical models drawn from the field of Religion and Popular Culture will provide the lens through which the religious dimensions of Disney and Disney fandom will be explored. Prerequisite: None. Completion of RELS 2812, Religion and Popular Culture, is recommended but not required.

Rels 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.

Rels 3830 Religion, Science and Technology. Inactive Course.

Rels 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.

Rels 3850: Religion and Healing. Inactive Course.

Rels 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.

Rels 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.

Rels 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.

Rels 4201-4230: Biblical Studies: Special Subjects.

Rels 4300-4330: World Religions: Special Subjects.

Rels 4700-4730: Christian Thought and History: Special Subjects.

Rels 4801-4830: Religion, Ethics, and Modern Culture: Special Subjects.

Rels 4902-4910 (excluding 4904): Language Studies: Special Subjects.

The above special-subject 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. Prerequisite: Departmental permission.

Rels 4460 Folk Religion (same as Foklore 4460).

Rels 4500 and 4510 Seminar in the Philosophy of Religion (same as Philosophy 4500 and 4510). Inactive Course.

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

Rels 4999 Honours Essay for Honours Students. This may be required as part of the honours program.

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