50:840:101 Introduction to Religious Studies (Gen Ed: GCM) 
This course introduces students to major academic methods for the study of religion and theories about religious belief and practice. It draws on diverse materials from the world’s religions and multiple disciplinary approaches. Topics may include belief systems, morality, sacred literature, myth, ritual, history, gender, ethnicity, and debates about the roles of religion in contemporary life.

50:840:103 Introduction to World Religions (Gen Ed: GCM) 
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 (Gen Ed: EAV)
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 (Gen Ed: HAC)
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 Asian Religions (Gen Ed: GCM)
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
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 (Gen Ed: AAI)
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 (Gen Ed: AAI) 
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.

50:840:190 Reading Seminar in Religion (1 credit)
In this small, seminar-style course, students will work through either one significant book or a similarly substantive collection of essays, with the topic varying by semester. Students will engage in intensive close reading of the text, identifying particular arguments and ideas during student discussion in the seminar meetings. The course meets for 1/3 the time of a regular course, that is, on average one hour a week (or two hours every other week). This course can be repeated up to three times for credit. (Note that there is also a similar course in Philosophy, 50:730:190, which can be taken up to an additional three times).

50:840:195 Diversity (0 credits)
Cross-listing number for occasional courses meeting the general education diversity requirement. 

50:840:196 Engaged Civic Learning (0 credits)
Cross-listing number for occasional courses meeting the general education engaged civic learning requirement.

50:840:197 Experiential Learning (0 credits)
Cross-listing number for occasional courses meeting the general education experiential learning requirement.

50:840:198 Writing (0 credits)
Cross-listing number for occasional courses meeting the general education writing requirement.

50:840:208 The Historical Jesus (Gen Ed: HAC)
Who was the Jewish teacher named Jesus? This course will explore how scholars use historical method to reconstruct the life of an ancient figure as well as how ideas and beliefs about a religious leader develop over time. It will examine the original sources for the historical Jesus and the major issues under debate in current scholarship.

50:840:210 Paul and the Founding of Christianity (Gen Ed: HAC)
This course will explore the writings of Paul, arguably the most influential author in Christianity, as well as those who reacted to him and even directly opposed him. It will also consider Paul’s relationship to Judaism, the historical Jesus and the early followers of Jesus as well as his contribution to what would eventually become the new religion of Christianity.

50:840:214 Classical Mythology

50:840:215 Gods, Sex, and Violence in the Old Testament (Gen Ed: HAC)
This course introduces select books of the Tanakh (Old Testament), as well as the history behind them, in order to examine some of the most unusual, strange and fascinating stories, legends and folktales in the Bible and try to understand them from the point of view of the cultures in which they were written.

50:840:216 African-American Religion (Gen Ed: EAV)
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 (Gen Ed: GCM) 
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 (Gen Ed: GCM)
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
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
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

50:840:235 Islam and the Modern World (Gen Ed: GCM)
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

50:840:266 Race, Politics, and Religion (Gen Ed: EAV)
This course examines how religion shaped the political and racial priorities of American History. Topics include the role and definition of civil religion, the struggle George Washington had with defining the role of religion in a new republic, the impact of slavery, and the social construction of whiteness.

50:840:267 Justice, Forgiveness, and Reparations (Gen Ed: DIV)
The course attempts to focus understanding on the relation between the concepts of justice, and its sub-elements of forgiveness and reparations, in the context of recent domestic and international approaches to the righting of historical and intergenerational social wrongs, including enslavement, war crimes, crimes against humanity, apartheid and genocide.

50:840:270 Gender, Sexuality, and Religion (Gen Ed:  HAC)
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 (Gen Ed: GCM)
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
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 (Gen Ed: PLS)
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 Special Topics in Religion

50:840:295 Diversity (0 credits) (Gen Ed: DIV)
Cross-listing number for occasional courses meeting the general education diversity requirement.

50:840:296 Engaged Civic Learning (0 credits) (Gen Ed: ECL)
Cross-listing number for occasional courses meeting the general education engaged civic learning requirement.

50:840:297 Experiential Learning (0 credits) (Gen Ed: XPL)
Cross-listing number for occasional courses meeting the general education experiential learning requirement.

50:840:298 Writing (0 credits) (Gen Ed: WRI)
Cross-listing number for occasional courses meeting the general education writing requirement.

50:840:320 Mysticism
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
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 (Gen Ed: EAV)
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  (Gen Ed: EAV)
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 (Gen Ed: EAV)
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 (Gen Ed: EAV)
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
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.

50:840:339 Gods and Monsters: Understanding Power (Gen Ed: EAV)
We experience power in some form every day, yet we rarely think critically about the role it plays in our lives. Gods and monsters symbolize the extreme poles of our understandings of power and thus serve as instructive benchmarks for this interdisciplinary exploration. The course approaches the study of power from theoretical (e.g., philosophical, political, sociological, and historical), literary, and artistic perspectives and applies these understandings to issues in the public sphere. Some of the questions we will ask include: How are gods and monsters made and what cultural functions do they serve? What is power? How is it created, maintained, and distributed? How does power change? How is power gendered?

50:840:351:01 Selling God in the Digital Age (Gen Ed: USW and XPL)
The goals of the course are 1) to learn techniques of “netnographic” research on online religious communities in the U.S. and abroad, 2) to critically analyze digital religion and the questions it raises about the different components of religion, 3) to explore how religious leaders and groups use the internet and technology to brand and market their religious products to wide audience of potential customer-converts, and 4) to understand the power of “new media” as a marketing tool for religion and spirituality in the U.S. and globally.

50:840:363 Magic and Ritual Power (Gen Ed: HAC)
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.

50:840:366 Cults and New Religious Movements (Gen Ed: USW)
This course examines religious groups in the United States that have been labeled in the public as “cults.”  We investigate their beliefs and practices, as well as their histories, social dynamics, recruitment strategies, and relationships with the public.  Focus will be on building a scholarly toolkit by which to understand these religious groups in an objective and critical manner.

50:840:380, 381, or 382 Learning Abroad Program (0 credits)
Cross-listing for designating a course a Learning Abroad course

50:840:389 or 390 Independent Study
Advanced students pursue a research topic under the direction of a faculty member, culminating in a paper.

50:840:393, 394, 395, or 396 Special Topics in Religion