Academic Catalog

Religious Studies (RELG)

RELG 101  - Introduction to World Religions  (3 Credits)  

Survey of the major religions of the world; including among others Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Daoism.

RELG 102  - Introduction to the Study of Religion  (3 Credits)  

Examination of the religious dimension of human life, the ways in which it is defined, and the methods by which it is studied.

RELG 103  - The Abrahamic Religions  (3 Credits)  

Introduction to the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Isalm.

RELG 117  - Introduction to Christian Theology  (3 Credits)  

Christian theology is characterized as a way of seeking to make sense of life in relation to central doctrines and concepts.

RELG 201A  - Judaism   (3 Credits)  

Historical and religious development of Judaism from biblical times to the present.

RELG 205  - Hebrew Bible   (3 Credits)  

Study of the literature, history, and culture of ancient Israel within the broader context of the ancient Near East.

RELG 206A  - Christian Beginnings   (3 Credits)  

Study of the literature, history, and beliefs of the first Christians within the broader cultural context of the Roman Empire.

RELG 208  - Christianity After the New Testament  (3 Credits)  

In this course, we will consider the interaction between Christianity and imperial power, the creation of a specifically Christian culture, the origins and development of the ascetic movement within Christianity, Christian conflicts with Jews and Hellenes, and the ways that Christian ritual and sacred space changed the landscape of the Mediterranean world.

RELG 210  - Islam   (3 Credits)  

This introductory course examines the Quran, the life of the prophet Muhammad, Islamic law, philosophy, theology, mysticism, and art.

RELG 211  - Greek and Roman Religion  (3 Credits)  

The public, personal, and mystery religions of the Greeks and Romans, and the development of classical religious ideas. Crosslisted as CLAS 211.

RELG 231  - Special Studies in Religion  (3 Credits)  

Among topics taught at different times: Current Theological Issues, The Roman Catholic Tradition, World Religions II. Different subjects taught under this course number count as different courses.

RELG 250  - African American Religions  (3 Credits)  

A study of the variety of African-American religious expression from colonial times to the present. Course will include slave religions, African-American interpretations of Protestant and Roman Catholic thought, Religion and the Civil Rights struggle, as well as Santeria and Voodoo.

RELG 251  - Native American Religions  (3 Credits)  

A study of the variety of Native American religious expression from pre-European contact times to the present. Course will explore the similarities and differences among the beliefs of the First Nations, as well as a discussion of how contact with European settlers influenced those faiths.

RELG 252  - Religion and Politics in Islam  (3 Credits)  

This course is designed to familiarize students with political aspects of Islam, in particular radical Islam and its major ideologies. The emphasis will be placed on modern and contemporary periods (1850-present).

RELG 253  - Muhammad and the Qur'an  (3 Credits)  

In this course, the life of Prophet Muhammad with special emphasis on his sayings (Hadith literature) will be studied first, followed by an in-depth study of the Qur'an. Verses of the Qur'an will be analyzed and interpreted particularly those that are in dialogue with Judaism and Christianity.

RELG 277  - Religion in America Before the Civil War  (3 Credits)  

An examination of principal figures, trends, and issues in religion in America from the pre-contact era to the Civil War.

RELG 278  - Religion in America After the Civil War  (3 Credits)  

An examination of principal figures, trends, and issues in religion in America from the Civil War to the present day.

RELG 283  - Hinduism   (3 Credits)  

This course explores the diverse beliefs, rituals, and literatures of Indian religion that constitute Hinduism, the historical progression of their development, and their current expressions throughout the world. Cross-listed as PHIL 283.

RELG 284  - Buddhism   (3 Credits)  

An introduction to the thought and traditions of Buddhism. Readings from the Dhamapada as well as from various Theravada and Mahayana traditions.

RELG 298  - Ethics of Religion and Violence  (3 Credits)  

Compares Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian and Muslim constructions of the moral self, and explores provocative exemplars renowned for their response to violence, injustice and power in the modern world.

RELG 302  - Virgins, Monks, and Hermits  (3 Credits)  

In this course, we will explore some of the most influential early Christian ascetics, as well as their most extreme practices such as sexual renunciation, fasting, and poverty.

RELG 303  - Sex, Gender, Religion America  (3 Credits)  

A historical and thematic examination of the ways in which sexual identity, gender identity, and religion have shaped each other in American culture and history.

RELG 305  - Religion and Politics in the United States  (3 Credits)  

Prerequisite: Any one 100-or 200-level religion course or the permission of the instructor. Preparation of a senior thesis under the direction of the religion faculty. Choice of topic by student. Capstone course required of all senior majors.

RELG 309  - Death and Dying in Early Christianity  (3 Credits)  

Prerequisite: Any 100 or 200 level RELG course or permission of instructor.In this course, we will narrow our study to how early Christians thought about, ritualized, and created theological principals around the various processes of and theories on the topic of death and dying.

RELG 310  - Women and Sexuality in the Western Religious Tradition  (3 Credits)  

Prerequisite: Any one 100-or 200-level religion course or the permission of the instructor. Study of the changing understanding and roles of women and sexuality in the western religious tradition from the origins of Christianity to modern times.

RELG 318  - Philosophy of Religion  (3 Credits)  

Prerequisite: Any one 100-or 200-level religion course or the permission of the instructor. Philosophical examination of such topics as the relationship between faith and reason, the existence or non-existence of God, life after death, mysticism, and miracles. Cross-listed as PHIL 318.

RELG 331  - Special Studies in Religion  (3 Credits)  

Among topics taught at different times: Asceticism, Body, and Gender in Late Antiquity; 19th-Century Theology; Religion and Politics in Islam, Early Christian Monasticism. Different subjects taught under this course number count as different courses.

RELG 341  - Major Religious Thinkers  (3 Credits)  

Prerequisite: Any one 100-or 200-level religion course or the permission of the instructor. Among thinkers studied in some depth at different times: Paul, Augustine, Avicenna, al-Ghazzali, Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Wiesel. Different figures taught under this course number count as different courses.

RELG 342  - Neuro Theology  (3 Credits)  

Prerequisite: Any 100-200 level RELG course. In this course, the phenomenon of religion will be analyzed and interpreted from a purely scientific perspective. This emerging field is a branch of evolutionary psychology and evolutionary biology which uses all the tools of a scientific method to study why humans have been religious throughout history.

RELG 353  - Islamic Philosophy and Theology  (3 Credits)  

Any 100 or 200 level RELG course. Central themes and topics in the Islamic theological and philosophical tradition will be discussed in some detail. Such topics include the existence of God, free will and determinism, eschatology, ontology and epistemology. References will be made between major Islamic philosophers and their medieval Christian counterparts. Cross-listed as PHIL 353.

RELG 383  - Yoga In Theory, History, and Contemporary Society  (3 Credits)  

Prerequisite: Any 100 or 200 level RELG course or permission of instructor. Critically explores the long history and diverse beliefs, practices, rituals and literatures of the religions that constitute Yoga, especially their theories of the body, mind and transcendence, as well as their popular expressions throughout the contemporary world.

RELG 384  - Death and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism  (3 Credits)  

Prerequisite: Any 100 or 200 level RELG course. Explores Tibetan Buddhism’s experiential descriptions of dying, death, intermediate states between lifetimes, and rebirth, which are framed within its philosophy of karma, the relative world we inhabit, and the ultimate goal of liberation from it. Also surveys meditation practices in preparation for death and death rites.

RELG 400  - Research Seminar: Selected Religious Texts  (3 Credits)  

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior status or consent of instructor. In-depth study of selected religious texts chosen by the instructor. Text selection will vary; examples include the Bhagavadigita, Kierkegaard's Philosophical Fragments and Augustine's Confessions.

RELG 401  - Guided Research   (3 Credits)  

Preparation of a senior thesis under the direction of the religion faculty. Choice of topic by student. Capstone course required of all senior majors.

RELG 491  - Individual Study  (1-3 Credits)  

IIndependent work under the supervisionof a membe of the Religion faculty. Must have permission of instructor and department chair.

RELG 492  - Individual Study  (1-3 Credits)  

Independent work under the supervision of a member of the Religion faculty. Must have permission of instructor and department chair.

RELG 499  - Internship   (1-6 Credits)  

Supervised off-campus learning experience, developed in consultation with the religion faculty.