Introduction to Religious Studies
T/TH 9:35 am – 10:55 am
Professsor Karapanagiotis
(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 Religion and Contemporary Culture
ONLINE,  asynchronous via Canvas
Professor Banner 
(Gen Ed: GCM)

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
ONLINE, asynchronous
Professor Wall
(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.

Paul and the Founding of Christianity
ONLINE,  asynchronous – via Canvas
Professor Banner
(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.

Islam and the Modern World
ONLINE, asynchronous – via Canvas
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.

Gender, Sexuality, and Religion
ONLINE, asynchronous – via Canvas

Professor Charme
(Gen Ed: EAV and DIV)

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.

F 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm 

Professor Walker
(Gen Ed: XPL)


Death and Dying in Religion
M 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm 

Professor Gilmore-Clough
(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

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.

Gods and Monsters:  Understanding Power
ONLINE, asynchronous – via Canvas

Professor Salyer
(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?

Magic and Ritual Power
ONLINE, asynchronous – via Canvas

Professor Banner
(Gen Ed: GCM)

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 Studies
Professor Karapanagiotis

Independent Studies

Professor Wall