Religious Studies Program Courses

Courses of Instruction (RELG)

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Course Formats
ACE Outcomes
RELG 108
The world's major religious traditions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 9
Asian religions in philosophical, ritual, ethical, contemplative, and historical contexts. Essential texts, ideas, beliefs, and practices of the three main religious traditions of South and East Asia. Hinduism and in South Asia. Daoism in East Asia. Buddhism in South and East Asia. Traditional and modern expressions of Asian religions.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 9
Explores religious, particularly Christian, responses to social justice issues such as peace, poverty, oppression, discrimination, the environment, the death penalty and abortion.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
RELG 130W
Readings and documents from church history dealing with attitudes toward women in Western religious thought. How this thinking has influenced theological concepts confronting women today and the role of theology in leading toward the emancipation of women in contemporary society.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
Prereqs:
Permission.
Introduction to the religious traditions in the U.S. through thematic, historical, denominational and cultural considerations. Emphasizes the variety and diversity of religious experiences in the U.S., including Native American, Protestant, Catholic, African-American, Judaism, Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist traditions.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
Introduction to religion as an academic subject. Examines religion in terms of four interconnected elements: myth, ritual, transformative experience, and ethics. Representative materials drawn from different religions and cultures, including both western and non-western traditions.
This course is a prerequisite for: MUSC 451
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 5
A comparative study of the three great monotheistic faiths, from their historic beginnings to their present-day manifestations.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 9
Requires enrollment in the Alpha Learning Community Program.
Topic varies.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
Prereqs:
Good standing in the University Honors Program or by invitation.
University Honors Seminar 189H is required of all students in the University Honors Program. Cannot be taken "Pass/No Pass".
Topic varies.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
RELG 205
Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament in translation. History, culture and religion of Ancient Israel as it is reflected in the biblical books and the archeological record.
This course is a prerequisite for: MUSC 451, RELG 308
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 5
Introduction to the nature and range of religious traditions in western culture from the Bronze Age to the present as seen through selected primary religious texts. Nature of religion and religious tradition, how these function to shape our view of self and society, and how religion functions to render human experience interpretable and significant.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 5
Introduction to the religion and history of Islam. The Prophet Muhammad, the Qur'an, jihad, Islamic theology and law, Sufism, and modern Islam. Diversity of Islam in contrast to images of monolithic Islam. Status of women. Islam in the United States.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 9
RELG 209
The history of Jewish-Christian relations from the birth of Christianity until the present. Readings from primary and secondary sources as written by Jewish and Christian authors.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 9
Pauline literature, Paul's interpretation of Jesus, and his work as missionary to the Gentiles. Acts and the Pauline Epistles are primary sources. Contemporary analyses of Pauline thought and its importance for the contemporary situation.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
HIST 214
History of Islam Crosslisted as RELG 214
Survey of Islam's development from its origins to the present. Includes Islamic theology, art, and literature, the structure of traditional Islamic societies, and the changing role of Islam in the modern world.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 9
Groups: Latin American, Asian, Middle Eastern or African History
Survey of the natures of religions prevalent in European cultures before 1000 C.E. Differing cultures and peoples and the role of religion in their interaction. The nature of pagan European culture and religion, and analysis of the conversion to Christianity. Conflicts between pagan and Christian culture as related in cultural artifacts like texts, art, ritual, and linguistic history. Cultural adaptations of Greek and Latin Christianity.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 9
HIST 216
History of Christianity Crosslisted as RELG 216
Pre-1800 content.
Impact of the Judaeo-Christian tradition upon the development of Western civilization.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 5
Groups: European History, Pre-1800
HIST 217
Israel: The Holy Land Crosslisted as JUDS 217, RELG 217
Survey of the history of the Land of Israel from Biblical times to the present. Includes Roman and Byzantine rule, the Crusades, Islamic Palestine, Zionism and the modern state of Israel, and the religious importance of the land for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 9
Groups: Latin American, Asian, Middle Eastern or African History
RELG 218
Buddhist traditions from different perspectives. Historical, philosophical, contemplative, and ethical dimensions of Buddhism. The Buddha and his teachings, development of the Buddhist community, and early forms of Buddhism. The rise of Mah?y?na, Buddhist philosophical and contemplative systems, and different models of the Buddhist path and its stages. Buddhist traditions of South and East Asia. Contemporary Buddhist perspectives on ethics and bioethics, transformations of Buddhist practices in Europe and America, and contemporary Buddhist education in the West.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 9
HIST 219
Introduction to Jewish History Crosslisted as JUDS 219, RELG 219
Survey of the history of the Jewish people from Biblical times to the present. The Old Testament, Ancient Israel, the Talmud, the relationship to Christianity and Islam, persecution and self-government in the middle ages, Jewish philosophy and mysticism, emancipation, modern anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, Zionism, the modern state of Israel, and the Jewish experience in America.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 9
Groups: Latin American, Asian, Middle Eastern or African History
Issues arising from the attempt to understand the human encounter with the divine. Introduces the study of philosophical theology. Significant figures from the past and contemporary approaches.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 5
The clash between science and religion, past and present. Are current scientific theories of the origin of the universe and the evolution of matter, life and mind compatible with religious belief' Responses to science by various religious movements.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 5
RELG 230
Philosophical, ritual, ethical, contemplative, and historical dimensions of Tibetan Buddhism. Popular forms of Buddhism. Tibetan art and architecture. Relationship of Buddhist learning and practice. Tibetan Buddhist texts. Contemporary Buddhist practices. Tibetan monastic education and debate culture. Tibetan Buddhist education in the West.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 9
CLAS 305
Ancient Greek Religions Crosslisted as RELG 305
Introduction to the religious practices of ancient Greece from the prehistoric through the classical periods. Myth and ritual and the evidence from art history and archaeology.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
CLAS 307/807
Early Christianity Crosslisted as HIST 307/807, RELG 307
Pre-1800 content.
Life, literature, thought, and institutions of the Christian movement from Jesus to Constantine. A critical, historical approach to the sources in English translation and how they reflect the interaction of Christian, Jew, and pagan in late antiquity. Includes the historical Jesus vis-a-vis the Christ of Faith, the impact of Paul's thought, the formation of Christian dogma, methods of interpreting canonical and extra-canonical Christian literature, the problem of heresy and orthodoxy.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture
Course Delivery: Classroom
RELG 308
Dead Sea Scrolls Crosslisted as JUDS 308
Prereqs:
JUDS/RELG 205 or permission.
Dead Sea Scrolls, including the history and thought of the Qumran inhabitants, the archaeology of Qumran, and the corpus of the Scrolls. Concentration on the reading of selected primary texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
Six traditions in the history of religious thought, from Greek and medieval conceptions of divinity through the Enlightenment to the modern era, including existentialist, humanistic, and atheistic responses to religion, and Buddhist thought. A comparative look at central religious ideas within these traditions contrasting western and non-western conceptions of ultimate reality, self, ethics, and responses to evil.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
CLAS 312
The social, political and intellectual dimensions of the conflict between the old and new religions of the empire.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
Diversity of Islam in the modern world. Muslim responses to modernity. Traditionalism, securlarism, Islamic modernism, and "Islamic fundamentalism".
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
HIST 319
The Crusades Crosslisted as RELG 319, MRST 319
Prereqs:
Sophomore level standing or higher.
An introduction to the Crusades and the idea of holy war in the middle ages from both the Christian and Islamic perspectives.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
Groups: European History, Pre-1800
HIST 331
Ancient Israel Crosslisted as CLAS 331, JUDS 331, RELG 331
Prereqs:
Sophomore standing or permission.
Pre-1800 content.
The cultural, social, and religious institutions of Ancient Israel from their antecedents in the Late Bronze Age until the Great Jewish Revolt and the beginning of Rabbinic Judaism. Literary works and material remains of the Israelites, and evidence from surrounding cultures.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture
Course Delivery: Classroom
Groups: Latin American, Asian, Middle Eastern or African History, Pre-1800
HIST 332
Jews in the Middle Ages Crosslisted as JUDS 332, RELG 332
Prereqs:
Sophomore standing or permission.
Traces the emergence and development of a distinctive Jewish culture and identity in medieval Europe and in the regions bordering the Mediterranean sea from the birth of rabbinic Judaism under the Roman empire until the seventeenth century orthodox synthesis of Talmudic learning, Kabbalah, and custom and Jewish responses to the Englightenment. Includes interaction of Jews with majority cultures (including the development of anti-Semitism), and the impact of Jews and Jewish learning upon western culture.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
Groups: European History, Pre-1800
HIST 333
Jews in the Modern World Crosslisted as JUDS 333, RELG 333
Prereqs:
Sophomore standing or permission.
Examines the history of the Jewish people since the 18th century with geographical foci on Europe, North America, and the Middle East. Emphasis on the Jewish Enlightenment, emancipation and assimilation, anti-Semitism, migration to and adaptation in America, Zionism and the modern state of Israel.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
Groups: European History
RELG 334
Jews, Christians and the Bible Crosslisted as JUDS 334
Jewish and Christian interpretations of the Hebrew Bible and/or Old Testament from 400 BCE to 1800 CE. Readings from the Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament, the Church Fathers and the Talmud, medieval and early modern Christian and Jewish biblical commentators.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
Seminal texts from the Tibetan, Theravada, and Chinese Buddhist canons in English translations. Perfection of Wisdom, Lotus, Pure Land, Flower Garland, Descent to Lanka, and other scriptures that comprise the foundation of the Buddhist canons. Influential commentaries on those scriptures written by Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu, and other seminal thinkers whose works assumed canonical status.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
RELG 340
Women in the Biblical World Crosslisted as JUDS 340, WMNS 340
Role and status of women as depicted in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the New Testament. The stories and laws concerning women found in the Bible and from extra-biblical evidence.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
RELG 342
The Quran Crosslisted as ENGL 342
Examination of the Quran, the scripture of Islam.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
Analysis of Buddhist contemplative systems from different angles and in diverse cultural contexts. Meditation systems of Theravada Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia. Indian and Tibetan contemplative systems of Mahayana Buddhism. Visualization practices of Himalayan Vajrayana Buddhism.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
Issues in the field of Religious Studies. Diverse methods and approaches in the study of the issues. Sample topics: religious experience across cultures; the nature and interpretation of scriptures and sacred texts; religion as self-defined and externally understood; and the relation of religion to Western science.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
Perspectives of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Chinese religions on ritual practices, contemplative techniques, devotional elements, philosophical questions, and ethical issues related to death, immortality, and transcendence. Asian religious perspectives on the issues of death, rebirth, and postmortem existence. The nature of ghosts, ancestors, divinities, and their role in daily life. Funerary and other death-related rituals. Ethical and bio-ethical issues of killing, suicide, abortion, and euthanasia.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
RELG 355
Early Buddhist teachings and Theravada doctrines of the four noble truths, selflessness, cyclic existence and nirvana, structure of consciousness and external universe. Later interpretations of emptiness, perception, buddha-nature and other ideas by Madhyamaka (Middle Way) and Cittamatra (Mind Only)—the two major systems of Mahayana Buddhism. Polemical issues in the Buddhist thought. Synthesis of major systems of thought by later Mahayana thinkers.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
The topics covered in RELG 381 are determined by the instructor.
The tools and concepts for understanding the social organization of religion, and religion as a lived experience, in a given social setting. Analyze religion’s functions within a social setting to understand one of the following phenomena: (a) the position(s) of religion within a public space; (b) the shifting boundaries of religious and non-religious activity; (c) the fluid nature of orthodoxy and heterodoxy; and (d) the use of violence as a means of religious coercion.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 5
Topics vary.
Credit Hours: 1-3
Max credits per semester: 6
Course Delivery: Classroom
Prereqs:
Permission.
This course has no description.
Credit Hours: 1-12
Max credits per semester: 12
Course Delivery: Classroom
CLAS 401
Research Seminar Crosslisted as RELG 401
Letter Grade only
Research on one topic under the direction of a faculty member with emphasis on methodology, familiarity with primary and secondary source materials, and composition of scholarly literature.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
ACE Outcomes: 10
RELG 406/806
Second Temple Judaism Crosslisted as JUDS 406
An in-depth study of the literature, history and culture of Judea and the Jews in the Second Temple period, from 550 BCE to 70 CE. Readings include apocalyptic texts, Wisdom literature, and selections from the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
CLAS 409/809
Religion of Late Western Antiquity Crosslisted as HIST 409/809, RELG 409
Pre-1800 content.
Examination of the religious institutions, philosophies, and lifeways of the Hellenistic Age from Alexander to Constantine. Includes civic religion of Greece and Rome, popular religion, mystery cults, Judaism, Christianity, popular and school philosophies (Platonism, Aristotelianism, Epicureanism, Cynicism, Stoicism), Gnosticism. History, interrelationships, emerging world view of these movements.
Credit Hours: 2-3
Course Format: Lecture
Course Delivery: Classroom
CLAS 410/810
Gnosticism Crosslisted as RELG 410
Examination of the nature, history, literature, ritual, and impact of the classical Gnostic religions, 100 BCE to 400 CE. Extensive reading of original Gnostic treatises in English translation, with particular attention to their appropriation and transformation of earlier Jewish, Christian, and pagan religious and philosophical traditions. The principal Gnostic schools to be treated are Simonians, Sethians, Valentinians, Hermetics, and Manichaeans.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
Phenomenon of religious fundamentalism. Theories advanced to define and explain fundamentalism. Examples of fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Kikhis, and Buddhism.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
HIST 421/821
The German Reformation Crosslisted as RELG 421, MRST 421/821
Prereqs:
Junior standing.
Pre-1800 content.
The cultural and intellectual developments of the German Reformation against its social background. The religious and political events of the first half of the sixteenth century. Transition from medieval to modern Christianity. The transmission and revolutionary nature of evangelical doctrines. The gradual institutionalization of the new churches.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
Groups: European History, Pre-1800
HIST 426/826
Reformation Thought Crosslisted as MRST 426/826, RELG 426/826, MODL 426/826
Prereqs:
Junior standing or permission.
Life and thought of significant figures and schools of thought in the Reformation period
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
Groups: European History, Pre-1800
Prereqs:
A previous course in Buddhism or Asian religions is recommended
Different presentations of the Buddhist path and its result from the perspectives of Therav?da Buddhism, Mah?y?na Buddhism in its Indo-Tibetan form including Tantra, East-Asian Zen, and Pure Land Buddhism. Enlightenment as a gradual versus a sudden process; innate enlightenment versus enlightenment as a distant possibility; relationship of conceptuality and non-conceptual realization of reality; and stages of the path.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Format: Lecture 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
ENGL 489/889
Medieval Literature and Theology Crosslisted as RELG 489
The relationship between significant medieval theologies and primary medieval poets and prose masters.
Credit Hours: 3
Course Delivery: Classroom
Groups: Literary and Cultural Studies