Introduction to Religious Studies
T/Th 8:00 am – 9:20 am
Professor Banner
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 Religions
Professor Salter
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.

Introduction to Religion & Contemporary Culture
T/Th 9:35 am – 10:55 am 
Professor Banner
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.

Introduction to the Bible
M/W 2:05 pm – 3:25 pm
Professor Johnson
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.

M/W 9:35 am – 10:55 am  
Professor Karapanagiotis
Gen Ed:  GCM

This course is an in-depth examination of conceptions of God, broadly and cross-culturally understood. In particular, this course examines various definitions of the concept of God, the ways in which diverse religious groups have understood God, as well as the varieties of God-concepts expressed around the world (e.g., theism, kathenotheism, polytheism, monotheism, nontheism, monism, and atheism). Importantly, as a class we will examine the ways in which the concept of God not only differs across traditions, locations, and time periods, but has been the subject of intense intra-religious debate. Finally, this course examines debates about the existence/non-existence of God (both historical and contemporary) including the cosmological and ontological arguments as well as the arguments from evil, naturalism and physicalism, and evolution.  

Course materials are drawn from a range of religious traditions including but not limited to Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. Importantly, students should note that this course will not approach the study of God theologically. Instead, we will examine concepts of God in an academic manner: as philosophical arguments and concepts shaped by historical, cultural, social, and political circumstances and actors. This means that individual belief or lack thereof with respect to notions of God will remain outside the parameters of class discussions. 

The Historical Jesus
Professor Banner
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.

Religion and Health
cross listed with 50:499:456:91
M 3:45 pm – 5:05 pm
Professor Walker
Gen Ed:  EAV

Religion & Law 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 of religion and the state; that define Free Exercise protections for people of all religions and none; that set limitations on the state from Establishing or privileging a religion; and provide a civic framework for people to self-govern one of the most religiously diverse societies in the world. 

Gender, Sexuality and Religion
cross listed with 50:443:297:91
M 12:30 pm – 1:50 pm 
Professor Charme
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.

Death and Dying in Religion
M/W 2:05 pm – 3:25 pm 
Professor Gilmore-Clough
Gen Ed:  GCM, DIV

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 
Professor Walker
Gen Ed: EAV

Course description will be updated as it becomes available.

cross listed with 50:730:333:90
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 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.

Independent Studies
Professor Karapanagiotis

Independent Studies
Professor Wall