The study of religion offers students an opportunity to inform themselves about the major religious traditions of the world and to think critically and constructively about religion as a dimension of human experience and a mode of human expression. The curriculum includes courses on major religious traditions, significant issues in religion, and methods of studying religion.
There is no major in religion but an emphasis in religion is available through the general studies program and a minor in religion is also possible.
Students contemplating an emphasis or minor in religion should discuss their academic
program with a member of the department. A Bachelor of Arts degree field major provides
an additional option.
Minor. A minor in religion requires a minimum of 15 hours. A maximum of 6 may be taken at the 100 level.
Rel 110 Old Testament(3)
General education introductory course. An introduction to the literature, history, and religion of the Old Testament.
Rel 115 New Testament(3)
General education introductory course. An introduction to the literature, history, and religion of the New Testament.
Rel 120 The Biblical Heritage(3)
The collection of books known as the Bible has been central to a number of religious traditions for more than 2000 years. Course examines the central religious ideas and motifs of Biblical literature and then proceeds to study how the Jewish and Christian traditions have interpreted those ideas and molded them in various forms and combinations. Course is historical and analytic not confessional; culminates with a survey of the roles played by the Bible in contemporary American culture.
Rel 125 World of Bible(3)
Seeks to understand the Bible within its geographical, historical, and religious context -- the polytheistic world of the ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean civilizations of the Babylon, Assyria, Egypt, Persia, Greece, and Rome from the period of the patriarchs to the rise of Christianity. Special attention to similarities and differences between Biblical ideology and views current in neighboring religious traditions.
Rel 130 Introduction to Religion(3)
An introduction to the major religious traditions and problems, both Eastern and Western, with some emphasis on the methods used in the study of religion.
Rel 131 Traditional Religion and the Modern World(3)
A study of some of the traditional religious systems (Buddhist, Hindu, Confucian, Taoist, Judaic, and Christian) and of several of the important modern criticisms of religion with a view to confronting the problem of whether traditional religion can be significant in the modern world.
Rel 150 Workshop in Religion (2-4)
Rel 210 Current Religious Issues (3)
A critical study of contemporary issues in the West with some attention to non-Western religions. Considers the relationship of religion to such topics as race, war, secularism, population explosion, and politics.
Rel 215 The Meaning of Death (3)
An exploration of the images, interpretations, and practices that constitute the response to death in major religious traditions.
Rel 221 Judasim (3)
The history and central teachings of traditional Juadism and its modern varieties (Reform, Orthodox, Conservative). Focuses on Jewish customs and practices as well as Jewish religious thought.
Rel 222 East Asia (3)
Cross-Listed as LAS-I 222, HIST 222, POL S 222
General education introductory course. A survey of basic topics on China, Korea, and Japan, including history, culture, society, philosophy, religion, politics, and economics. Taught by a team of instructors from several departments.
Rel 223 Hinduism and Buddhism (3)
Hinduism and Buddhism are closely related, both growing out of a unique critical period in the history of India's ancient Vedic tradition. The world view from which they arise is sharply different from that which has been characteristic in the West; one of its consequences has been the direct investigation of consciousness by sophisticated meditation techniques, a type of religiousity for which India has become famous. Course investigates the formation of that world view and explores the diverse ways in which it has been elaborated and interpreted as a way of life and path of spiritual cultivation in the Hindu and Buddhist tradition.
Rel 224 Christianity (3)
An overview of Christianity from New Testament times to the present stressing historical developments in religious life and theology. Includes Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christianity; explores contemporary trends and problems.
Rel 225 Jesus (3)
There have been varied responses to and multiple interpretations of the life and teaching of Jesus. course examines the development and function of traditions about Jesus in Biblical, extrabiblical, and more recent, popular sources.
Rel 240 Religion in America (3)
A survey of the beliefs, practices, and issues current in major American religious bodies with some attention to minor religious denominations such as the Black Church, Christian Science, and the Latter Day Saints.
Rel 245 Islam (3)
The religion in tis geographical, social, political, and cultural context, both Arab and non-Arab.
Rel 250 Eastern Religion (3)
An introduction to the religions of India and China. Studies and contrasts Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Tries to understand the religious life and texts of these ancient and dynamic cultures from the vantage point of the believers themselves.
Rel 280 Special Studies (3)
A concentrated examination of a significant figure, event, or issue in religion of the study thereof. Repeatable for credit. Prerequisite: departmental option.
Rel 311 Old Testament Topics (3)
An in-depth study of a major facet of the religion of the Hebrew Bible, such as prophecy, law, covenant, historiography, and wisdom, or a genre of biblical literature, such as poetry or narrative.
Rel 321 New Testament Topics (3)
An in-depth study of a major facet of the religion of the New Testament such as the synoptic traditions, Johannine theology, Pauline theology, apocalyptic, and canonization.
Rel 323 Protestantism (3)
Traces the development of the Protestant Christian tradition and analyzes its distinctive themes. After a historical survey of this family of Christianity, course explores distinctively Protestant themes, such as justification by faith, the primacy of individual conscience, and the primacy of scripture, integrating them with current phenomena.
Rel 327 Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion (3)
Cross-listed as ANTHR 327.
An examination of various concepts concerning the realm of the supernatural as held by various peoples around the world. Relates such religious beliefs and the resultant practices to the larger patterns of cultural beliefs and behaviors.
Rel 333 Women and Religion (3)
Cross-listed as WOM S 333
Examines past and present images and roles of women in religious traditions. Looks at women in the Bible and religious history as well as contemporary criticisms of patriarchal religion and resources for change.
Rel 339 Religion in America (3)
Cross-listed as HIST 339
Surveys various religious traditions in American history from colonial times to the present. Discusses how religions groups. beliefs, and issues have changed over time and how they interact with each other. Includes the different branches of Christianity and Judaism; the study of awakenings and revivals; the stories of prominent religious thinkers and leaders; immigrant religious traditions; the tensions between liberal and traditional religious forms; the prophetic and apocalyptic traditions in America; and the impact of Native America, Asian, and African beliefs and practices on the religious landscape.
Rel 346 Philosophy of Religion (3)
Cross-listed as Phil 346
Rel 380 Special Studies (3)
A concentrated intermediate study of a particular component of religious studies. Repeatable for credit.
Rel 410 Comparative Religion (3)
An observation and analysis of the patterns found in the characteristic religous phenomena (e.g. myths, symbols, rites, institutions), with a view to a systematic understanding of human's religious life as it has expressed itself throughout history.
Rel 442 Greek and Roman Religion (3)
The transformations in the religions of the Mediterranean world and the Near East Between the conquests of Alexander the Great and the Triumph of Christianity under Constantine. Covers the traditional forms of Greek and Roman religion, the impact of Greek culture and religion on the EAst after Alexander, the mystery religions, the spread of oriental cults in the Roman Empire, Gnosticism, astrology, and the development of Christianity within the Roman Empire. At its most inclusive level, course deals with the particular religious synthesis lying at the basis of Western civilization; the fusion of Jewish, Greek, and Roman patterns of though in the Christian world of antiquity.
Rel 476 The Reformation (3)
Cross-listed as HIST 576
Rel 480 Special Studies (3)
A concentrated study of a religious issue or text announced by the instructor when course is schedule. Repeatable for credit. Prerequisite; instructor's consent.
Rel 490 Indepent Work (1-3)
Designed for the student capable of doing advance independent work in a specialized area of the study of religion that is not formally offered by the department. Repeatable for credit. Prerequisite:departmental consent.
Courses for Graduate/Undergraduate Credit
Rel 750 Workshop in Religion (2-4)
Rel 790 Independent Study (1-3)
For the student who is capable of doing graduate work in a specialized area of the study of religion not formally offered by the department. Repeatable for credit. Prerequisite: departmental consent.