50:840:103. INTRODUCTION TO WORLD RELIGIONS (R) (3)
A general introduction to the basic religious concerns of humanity, and the ways in which religions have developed in Eastern and Western history, giving intellectual, moral, and institutional expression to the meaning of human existence.
50:840:108. INTRODUCTION TO RELIGION AND CONTEMPORARY CULTURE (3)
A study of the ways that religion may or may not have significance for our world today, examining issues such as the meaning of religious experience, evil and goodness, the purposes of ritual, roles of religion in society and culture, the impact of science and technology on religion, and issues in ethics.
50:840:110. INTRODUCTION TO THE BIBLE (R) (3)
Historical and literary exploration of portions of the Tanach (Old Testament) and New Testament that have had the most lasting influence on Western culture. Focus on the meaning of key terms like covenant and evil, biblical authorship, and different ways the text may be interpreted today.
50:840:111. EASTERN RELIGIONS (3)
A historical and comparative study of the religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shinto and their expressions in the cultures of India, China, and Japan.
50:840:112. JEWS, CHRISTIANS, AND MUSLIMS (3)
The historical development of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam from the earliest roots in the myths and rituals of the ancient world to their modern forms. The interaction between each tradition and the cultural context in which it emerges and develops. The popular expression of each religion’s beliefs in its holidays, rituals, and legends.
50:840:123. MYTH AND SYMBOL (3)
Comparative studies of the creation myths and hero myths of selected Eastern, Middle Eastern, European, Native American, and African cultures. Attention given to the religious worldview, the psychological and social implications, and the symbolic forms of expression of each. Various methodologies for the study of myth investigated.
50:840:130. RELIGION AND FILM (3)
This course examines the use of mythical and religious images and symbols in contemporary films. The cinematic representation of issues of ultimate meaning and ethical values, spiritual quests, hopelessness and despair are analyzed.
50:840:208. THE HISTORICAL JESUS (3)
50:840:210. PAUL AND THE FOUNDING OF CHRISTIANITY (3)
50:840:214. CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY (3)
50:840:215. GODS, SEX, AND VIOLENCE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT (3)
50:840:216. AFRICAN-AMERICAN RELIGION (3)
The effects of American enslavement on the religious and social institutions of the African people and the development of religious beliefs and institutions within the African-American community. The relationship between black and white religious institutions and the role of religion in the development of black political consciousness.
50:840:220. HINDUISM (3)
An in-depth examination into the Hindu traditions, including their histories, philosophies and texts, rituals, contemporary expressions, material cultures, politics of representation, and presence in the diaspora.
50:840:222. BUDDHISM (3)
An in-depth investigation into the Buddhist traditions, including their various histories, philosophies and texts, practices, rituals, ethical systems, politics of representation, and cultural diversities.
50:840:225. RELIGION IN CONTEMPORARY AMERICA (3)
An investigation of some of the major religious issues which have emerged in recent years in American culture. Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and black representatives studied; the influence of Eastern religions and extra-denominational manifestations of religious concern examined.
50:840:230. CONTEMPORARY JUDAISM (3)
A study of the development of Judaism in America and an analysis of the major religious issues of modem Judaism as expressed by major Jewish thinkers. Topics include contemporary attitudes toward God and Torah, Israel and Zionism, the Holocaust and the death of God, the dialogue of Judaism and Christianity, the challenge of secularism, and the Jew in modem literature.
50:840:233. INTRODUCTION TO ISLAM (3)
50:840:235 ISLAM AND THE MODERN WORLD (3)
An exploration of the diverse manifestations of Islam in the twenty-first century around the globe. Includes study of Islam in relation to such issues as modernity, globalization, women’s rights, fundamentalism, war, and culture.
50:840:262. RELIGION AND AMERICAN LITERATURE (3)
50:840:267. JUSTICE, FORGIVENESS, AND REPARATIONS (3)
50:840:270. WOMEN AND RELIGION (3)
An examination of the image of women and the feminine in the myths, symbols, and theology of major religious traditions. Consideration given to the status and role of women in relation to the issues of religious practice, participation in rituals, and ordination. Finally, a look at feminist options for women’s changing image and role in religion.
50:840:278. DEATH AND DYING IN WORLD RELIGIONS (3)
An exploration of the way diverse world religions try to make sense of the inevitability of death. The course examines rituals around death, notions of spirit/body relationships, conceptions of an afterlife, and the human struggle to find meaning in life in the face of death.
50:840:280. BIOMEDICAL ETHICS (3)
Exploration of moral issues in medicine and medical research. Course will typically focus on issues raised by the creation and termination of life and include topics such as abortion, stem cell research, cloning, prenatal screening for disability, right to medical care, human experimentation, genetic enhancement and eugenics, animal experimentation, the diagnosis of death, and euthanasia.
50:840:288 RELIGION AND SCIENCE (3)
This course explores the historic tension between science and religion and analyzes areas of conflict and compatibility. Issues such as cosmology and creation, evolution and human nature, neurology and spirituality are discussed.
50:840:293, 294, 295. SPECIAL TOPICS IN RELIGION (3)
50:840:320. MYSTICISM (3)
A study of the teachings and practices of mysticism in a diversity of major and minor world religions throughout history and today. Particular attention is paid to the profound philosophical and spiritual dimensions of mysticism as found in texts, music, art, ritual, and other media.
50:840:322 RELIGION AND DEMOCRACY (W) (3)
Critical examination of contemporary theories of liberalism and democracy as they relate to the inclusion of religious citizens in political contexts. Topics include the defense of religious freedom and tolerance, the use of religious reasons to justify laws regulating abortion and marriage, and the ideals of mutual respect and understanding in pluralistic political societies.
50:840:326. PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION (3)
An exploration of religious issues which are live options. Examples: Do science and reason leave any room for faith? Without a belief in a supreme being who is supremely good, is life pointless? Can an atheist be moral? Can God’s existence, or human immortality, be proven? Do religious experiences occur, and do they prove anything? (cross-listed with 730:326)
50:840:332 ANTI-SEMITISM AND THE HOLOCAUST (3)
An investigation into the nature and historical development of anti-Semitism in general and Nazism in particular. Examination of specific stages of Nazi genocide as well as implications for modem religion, theories of human nature, and situations we may confront in the future. Integrates material from history, psychology, ethics, theology, and literature in order to evaluate possible responses.
50:840:333 EVIL (3)
An examination of the phenomenon of evil, particularly moral evil, through close readings of ancient and modern philosophical, religious, political, and literary texts. Questions include whether humanity is vil, how evil could be explained, whether it is compatible with belief in God, and if it sheds useful lighton contemporary issues like terrorism, genocide, racism, and poverty.
50:840:335. COMPARATIVE RELIGIOUS ETHICS (3)
The value systems embodied in the major world religions examined in light of their influence on the formation of moral life. Specific contemporary issues analyzed, such as racism, sex, abortion, gender discrimination, divorce, pacifism, civil disobedience, ecological destruction, and genetic manipulation.
50:840:337. RELIGION AND PSYCHOLOGY (3)
Survey of different approaches to the psychological interpretation of religious phenomena, such as images of God, myths and legends, rituals, mysticism, faith healing, meditation, and conversion experiences. The works of Freud, Jung, and others considered.
50:840:363. MAGIC AND RITUAL POWER (3)
An examination of magic throughout history and today in ritual, community, literature, film, television, and personal spirituality. Is magic a form of religion? Are religious rituals forms of magic? How can magic be defined? What is its power? Such questions are asked across diverse practices and beliefs such as in Judaism, Christianity, Wicca, and paganism.
50:840:380, 381, 382. LEARNING ABROAD PROGRAM (3)
50:840:389,390. INDEPENDENT STUDY (3)
Advanced students pursue a research topic under the direction of a faculty member, culminating in a paper.
50:840:393, 394, 395, 396. SPECIAL TOPICS IN RELIGION (3)