Introduction to Religious Studies
T/TH 8:00 am – 9:20 am
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.
Introduction to World Religion
Gen Ed: HAC & ECL
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.
Introduction to the Bible
Gen Ed: HAC
A 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.
The Historical Jesus
Gen Ed: HAC
Who was the Jewish teacher named Jesus? This course will explore how scholars use historical methods 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.
African American Religion
Monday & Wednesday 3:45 pm – 5:05 pm
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.
Islam and the Modern World
Tuesday & Thursday 2:00 pm – 3:20 pm
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.
Death and Dying in World Religion
Monday & Wednesday 2:05 pm – 3:45 pm
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.
Religion and Law
M 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm
Examines the origins and developments of religious liberty in the United States from the colonial and founding periods to the present day. Attention is given to the historical and legal foundations that currently govern the relationship between religion and the state.
CROSS-LISTED WITH 50:730:840:333:01
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 evil, how evil could be explained, whether it is compatible with belief in God, and if it sheds useful light on contemporary issues like terrorism, genocide, racism, and poverty.
RELIGION AND PSYCHOLOGY
Monday 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm & Wednesday 12:30 pm – 1:50 pm
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 are considered.
CULTS AND NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS
M/W 9:35 am – 10:55 am
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. The focus will be on building a scholarly toolkit by which to understand these religious groups in an objective and critical manner.