13.27 Religious Studies

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 successfully completed a first- or second-year course in the field.

Religious Studies courses are designated by RELS.

RELS 1000 The Religions of the World

is an introduction to the basic beliefs and practices of the world's great religions.

the former RELS 2010
RELS 1032 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.

RELS 2013 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 former RELS 2130, 2140
RELS 2050 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.

RELS 2051 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.

RELS 2350 Religious Institutions

is a contextual study of religious institutions and beliefs, calendrical feasts and solemnities, religious roles and hierarchies, ritual innovation and revitalization.


the former Sociology/Anthropology 2350, the former Sociology 2350


Anthropology 2350

RELS 2400 Buddhism

examines the history of Buddhist traditions in Asia, with consideration of the major developments in Buddhist philosophy, institutions, and practices. These developments may include historical and modern forms of mindfulness, the rise of Buddhist nationalist movements, and the history of Engaged Buddhism.


the former RELS 3400

RELS 2410 Hinduism

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.

the former RELS 3410
RELS 2610 Introduction to Religious Ethics

is an introduction to religious ethics through the study of issues in biomedicine, human sexuality, and social justice. Possible topics for discussion include euthanasia, abortion, poverty, and human rights.

the former RELS 2600 and the former RELS 2601
RELS 3010 Greek Religion

is a study of the role of religion in the private and public life of the Greek world. Topics include the Greek gods, religious rituals, sacred sites and temples, regional and temporal variations in religious practices, and the role of religion in society. The course may also compare ancient Greek religious practices and modern conceptions of religion.


the former RELS/Classics 3121


Classics 3010

RELS 3020 Roman Religion

is a study of the role of religion in the private and public life of the Roman world. Topics include the Roman divinities, sacred sites and temples, the role of religion in politics and society, the interaction with and assimilation of foreign religious practices, and the rise of Christianity. Students may also compare Roman religious practices with modern conceptions of religion.


the former RELS/Classics 3121


Classics 3020

RELS 3200 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.

RELS 3210 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.

RELS 3310 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.

the former RELS 3220
RELS 3401 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.

RELS 3820 Religion and the Arts

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.


Visual Arts 3820

RELS 3831 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.

RELS 3880 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.

AN = Additional notes.

AR = Attendance requirement as noted.

CH = Credit hours: unless otherwise noted, a course normally has a credit value of 3 credit hours.

CO = Co-requisite(s): course(s) listed must be taken concurrently with or successfully completed prior to the course being described.

CR = Credit restricted: The course being described and the course(s) listed are closely related but not equivalent.  Credit is limited to one of these courses.  Normally, these courses cannot be substituted, one for the other, to satisfy program requirements.

EQ = Equivalent: the course being described and the course(s) listed are equal for credit determination.  Credit is limited to one of these courses.  These courses can be substituted, one for the other, to satisfy program requirements.

LC = Lecture hours per week: lecture hours are 3 per week unless otherwise noted.

LH = Laboratory hours per week.

OR = Other requirements of the course such as tutorials, practical sessions, or seminars.

PR = Prerequisite(s): course(s) listed must be successfully completed prior to commencing the course being described.

UL = Usage limitation(s) as noted.

The information on this site has been extracted from the Official 2023-2024 University Calendar. While every reasonable effort has been made to duplicate the information contained in the official University Calendar, if there are differences, the official Memorial University of Newfoundland Calendar will be considered the final and accurate authority.

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