INTRODUCTION TO RELIGIOUS STUDIES
50:840:101:01
T/TH 9:35 am – 10:55 am
Professor Karapanagiotis

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.

RELIGION AND CONTEMPORARY CULTURE
50:840:108:01
T/TH 8:00 am – 9:20 am
Professor Banner

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.

ASIAN RELIGIONS
50:840:111:01
W 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm
Professor McCauley

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.

GODS, SEX, AND VIOLENCE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
50:840:215:90
Professor Banner

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.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN RELIGION
50:840:216:01
T/TH 3:35 pm – 4:55 pm
Professor Ibn-Ziyad

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.

HINDUISM
50:840:220:01
T/TH 11:10 am – 12:30 pm
Professor Karapanagiotis

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.

ISLAM AND THE MODERN WORLD
50:840:235:90
Professor Hamdeh

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.

RELIGION IN CONTEMPORARY AMERICA
50:840:263:01
M/W 9:35 am – 10:55 am
Professor Miller

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.

DEATH AND DYING IN WORLD RELIGIONS
50:840:278:01
M/W 3:45 pm – 5:05 pm
Professor Gilmore-Clough

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. 

RELIGION AND LAW
50:840:318:01
M 6:00 pm – 8:05 pm
Professor Walker

Examines the origins and developments of religious liberty in the United States from the colonial and founding periods to present day.  Attention is given to the historical and legal foundations that currently govern the relationship of religion and the state.

EVIL
50:840:333:01
M/W 2:05 pm – 3:25 pm
Professor Wall

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.

RELIGION AND PSYCHOLOGY
50:840:337:01
M/W 12:30 pm – 1:50 pm
Professor Charme

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.

GODS AND MONSTERS: UNDERSTANDING POWER
50:840:339:90
Professor Salyer

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?

MAGIC AND RITUAL POWER
50:840:363:90
Professor Banner

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.

INDEPENDENT STUDY IN RELIGION
50:840:389:01
By Arrangement

Advanced students pursue a research topic under the direction of a faculty member, culminating in a paper.

50:840:390:01
By Arrangement

Advanced students pursue a research topic under the direction of a faculty member, culminating in a paper.