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Academic Bulletin Religion - Course Descriptions - 2006-07

Currently viewing 2006-07 bulletin


REL 103 Islam and The Religions of India
The first part of the course studies the history, beliefs, and practices of Islam in the Middle East from Mohammad to the present day. The second part of the course studies the history, beliefs, and practices of the ancient religions of India (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism), down to the coming of Islam in the 8th century. The third part of the course deals with the religious developments in India resulting from the interaction of Islam and Hinduism in the modern period. Emphasis is upon readings in primary texts of these religions. Offered in the fall semester.
Credits: 1

REL 104 The Religions of China and Japan
A study of the indigenous beliefs of East Asia (Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto) and the development of Buddhism in China and Japan. Readings will be from the works of Confucius, Laozi, and other Chinese and Japanese philosophers/theologians. The last part of the course considers the ways traditional China and Japan have changed in the modern period. Offered in the spring semester.
Credits: 1

REL 141 Hebrew Bible
An introduction to the Tanakh, or Hebrew Bible. The format of this course will be reading and discussion of primary texts from the Torah, Prophets, and Writings of the Hebrew Bible. The emphasis will be reading for literary and narrative themes and theological issues in the text, with some discussion of historical context. Offered in the fall semester.
Credits: 1

REL 150 Studies in Judaism
This course will address, at the introductory level, various topics in Jewish history, contemporary Jewish thought, Jewish-Christian dialogue, and responses to the Holocaust. Topics will vary from year to year. (REL 150 applies to requirement B for the major. REL 151 applies to requirement C for the major). (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 151 Studies in Judaism
This course will address, at the introductory level, various topics in Jewish history, contemporary Jewish thought, Jewish-Christian dialogue, and responses to the Holocaust. Topics will vary from year to year. (REL 150 applies to requirement B for the major. REL 151 applies to requirement C for the major). (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 162 History and Literature of the New Testament
The course is a survey of the political, social, and religious situation of the Hellenistic world of the first century, the life of Jesus, the letters of Paul, and the origin and growth of the Christian church. Each writing of the New Testament is studied to learn its place in the development of the thought and practice of the early church. Offered in the spring semester.
Credits: 1

REL 171 History of Christianity to the Reformation
An historical survey of the origins of Christianity, the development and meaning of orthodox Christian beliefs, the social environment of the Christian Church, the great age of Medieval thought, and the background of the Reformation. Offered in the fall semester.
Credits: 1

REL 172 The Christian Church in the Modern Era
Lectures and discussions on the expansion of Christianity in the Reformation and post-Reformation period. Some emphasis is placed on the role of Christianity in the American experience. Offered in the spring semester.
Credits: 1

REL 173 Introductory Topics in Theology
An introductory course on Christian theology. Topic will vary from year to year. In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 181 Religion in America
An introduction to the religious history of America. This course will explore the historical development of the primary religious traditions in America, especially Protestantism, Catholicism, and Judaism, as well as the formative influence of religion among women, African Americans, and American Indians. Principal themes include pluralism, the impact of religious disestablishment, revivalism and reform, theological movements, and religious innovation. Offered in the spring semester.
Credits: 1

REL 195 Religions and the Arts
An examination of the arts of a particular period and place with a view to discovering the religious insights and attitudes that they embody. Most recently, the course involved a close reading of Dante’s Divine Comedy. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 196 Religion and Literature (HUM 196/ENG 196)
A study of religious themes and theological issues in diverse literary works. Each week will focus on a single text. Authors represent various religious traditions (like Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Judaism, and Hinduism) and raise particular religious questions (like the problem of evil, the question of atheism, the place of tradition, and the nature of redemption).
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 210 Topics in Islam
A seminar on some topic in Islamic history or thought. Recent topics have included approaches to reading in the Qu’ran and Sufi mysticism. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Prerequisite: Religion 103
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 220 Topics in South Asian Religions
A seminar on some topic in the religions of South Asia. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Prerequisite: Religion 103.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 230 Topics in East Asian Religions
A seminar on some topic in the religions of China and Japan. Recent topics have included Confucianism and Zen Buddhism. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Prerequisite: Religion 104.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 240 Topics in Hebrew Bible
A seminar on some topic related to the history and literature of ancient Israel. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Prerequisite: Religion 141.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 250 Topics in Judaism
A seminar on some topic related to post-biblical Judaism. Recent topics have included Second-Temple Judaism and Jewish responses to the Holocaust. (REL 250 applies to requirement B for the major. REL 251 applies to requirement C for the major.). (Religion 250 is offered in the spring semester of even-numbered years. In some years a course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Prerequisite, if any, will vary depending on the topic.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 251 Topics in Judaism
A seminar on some topic related to post-biblical Judaism. Recent topics have included second-Temple Judaism and Jewish responses to the Holocaust. (REL 250 applies to requirement B for the major. REL 251 applies to requirement C for the major. In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Prerequisite, if any, will vary depending on the topic.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 260 Topics in New Testament and Early Christianity
A seminar on some topic in the history and literature of the early Christian church. Recent topics have included apocalyptic, and the letters of St. Paul. This course is offered in the fall semester. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit, and in some years Religion 360 may be offered instead.)
Prerequisite, if any, will vary depending on the topic.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 270 Theological Ethics
The course examines the relationship between religion and ethics from many different perspectives, beginning with theological models of talking about God, the self, and ethical goods and ending with discussions of specific ethical problems. American realism, Latin American liberation theology, Roman Catholic natural law theory, and environmental theology will be covered. Issues discussed include medical ethics, theology and economics, the problem of war, the role of the church in social change, and the nature of sin. Offered in the spring semester.
Credits: 1

REL 272 Topics in History of Christianity
A seminar will consider some topic or figure in the history of Christianity. Topics in recent years have included 4th Century Christianity, Luther, and Calvin. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Prerequisite: either Religion 171 or Religion 172 depending on the topic.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 273 Topics in Theology
A seminar will consider some topic or figure or movement in Christian theology. Prerequisite, if any, will vary depending on the topic. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 274 Topics in Ethics
A seminar will consider some particular issue in contemporary ethics. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 280 Topics in American Religion
A seminar examining some topic or figure in American religion. Topics in recent years have included Health and Religion in America and African-American Religious History. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Prerequisite, if any, will vary depending on the topic.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 287 Independent Study
Available to students with consent of the department chair. (REL 287 applies to requirement B for the major. REL 288 applies to requirement C for the major.) Independent study at a more advanced level will be numbered 387 or 388. One-half or one course credit.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 288 Independent Study
Available to students with consent of the department chair. (REL 287 applies to requirement B for the major. REL 288 applies to requirement C for the major.) Independent study at a more advanced level will be numbered 387 or 388. One-half or one course credit.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 295 Religion and the Arts
An examination of some topic in the arts with a view to religious implications. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 296 Religion and Literature (HUM 296/ENG 296)
A study of religious themes and theological issues in literary works. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 297 Anthropology of Religion
The history and methods of social anthropology as applied to the study of religion, with consideration of the current crisis in anthropological method.
Credits: 1

REL 298 Sociology of Religion
Sociological analysis of religion, with particular focus on a topic which will vary from year to year. Recent topics have included African-American religion, the impact of the “new ethnics” who have entered the United States since 1965, and apocalypticism.
Credits: 1

REL 310 Seminar in Islam
An advanced seminar on some topic in Islamic history or thought. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Prerequisite: Religion 103.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 320 Seminar in South Asian Religions
An advanced seminar on some topic in the religions of South Asia. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Prerequisite: Religion 103.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 330 Seminar in East Asian Religions
An advanced seminar on some topic in the religion of China and Japan. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Prerequisite: Religion 104.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 340 Seminar in Hebrew Bible
An advanced seminar on some topic related to the history and literature of ancient Israel. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Prerequisite: Religion 141.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 350 Seminar in Judaism
An advanced seminar on some topic related to post-biblical Judaism. (REL 350 applies to requirement B for the major. REL 351 applies to requirement C for the major. In some years this course may be offered for one-half credit.) 
Prerequisite will vary depending on the topic.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 351 Seminar in Judaism
An advanced seminar on some topic related to post-biblical Judaism. (REL 350 applies to requirement B for the major. REL 351 applies to requirement C for the major. In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Prerequisite will vary depending on the topic.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 360 Seminar in New Testament and Early Christianity
An advanced seminar on some topic in the history and literature of the early Christian Church. Offered in the fall semester. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit, and in some years Religion 260 may be offered instead.)
Prerequisite will vary depending on the topic.
Credits: 1

REL 370 Contemporary Theology
Seminar discussions of selected works of some significant theologians of the 20th century: Barth, Tillich, Niebuhr, Ricoeur, von Balthasar, and others. Special attention will be given to issues raised by feminism and theologies of liberation and to theology’s special contribution to contemporary issues. Offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisite: Religion 172 or Philosophy 242 (old 142) or consent of the instructor.
Credits: 1

REL 372 Seminar in the History of Christianity
Advanced seminar discussions of one significant individual, movement, or period in the history of Christianity. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Prerequisite: Religion 171 or 172, depending on the nature of the topic.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 373 Seminar in Theology
Advanced seminar discussions of an individual, figure, or movement in Christian theology. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Prerequisites will vary depending on the topic.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 374 Seminar in Ethics
Advanced seminar discussions of an individual writer or topic in contemporary ethics. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Prerequisite: Religion 270 (Theological Ethics) or permission of instructor.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 380 Seminar in American Religion
An advanced seminar on some topic or figure in American religion. (In some years the course may be offered for one-half credit.)
Prerequisite will vary depending on the topic.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 387 Independent Study
Available to students with consent of the department chair. (REL 387 applies to requirement B for the major. REL 388 applies to requirement C for the major.) One-half or one course credit.
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 388 Independent Study
Available to students with consent of the department chair. (REL 387 applies to requirement B for the major. REL 388 applies to requirement C for the major.)
Credits: 1 or 1/2

REL 490 Seminar: The Study of Religion
An examination of the different ways of studying the phenomenon of religion. Required of all religion majors, normally in their senior year, and open to other students with consent of the instructor. This course is offered in the fall semester.
Credits: 1