Courses in Religion

REL 110. The Sacred Life. An exploration of the many dimensions of religion as a central human experience: self and meaning, religious expression, religious knowledge, religion in its cultural context, and religion and the natural order.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 6 (Religion and Philosophy). 3 credits.

REL 120. Religious Diversity in America. A study of the origin and development of religious expression in America. Special emphasis will be given to issues of religious diversity.  Fulfills general education requirement: American Social Diversity. 3 credits.

REL 140. Encountering World Religions. This course examines the beliefs and practices of some of the world's major religious traditions and significant religious movements, focusing predominantly on non-Christian or non-European traditions. The course will be oriented topically (ritual, theology, etc.), geographically (India, the Middle East, etc.), or thematically (religion in the modern world, religious encounters in history, etc.)  Fulfills general education requirement: Intercultural Diversity. 3 credits.

REL 150. Encountering Other Religions. This course examines the beliefs and practices of various religious traditions that fall outside the rubric of world religions. The focus is on less widespread religious traditions, focusing predominantly on non-Christian and non-European traditions. The course takes a comparative approach to developing religious literacy, that is, understanding the variety of religious expression as seen in a lesser known religious traditions.  Fulfills general education requirement: Intercultural Diversity. 3 credits.

REL 200. Comparative Scripture. This class aims to introduce students to the study of scripture as a key aspect of religiosity. It will be cross-cultural in nature and familiarize students with a variety of religious texts from several religious traditions. The study of textual religious expression will come from reading both primary sources and theoretical works on the study of scripture.  Fulfills general education requirement: Intercultural Diversity. 3 credits.

REL 202. Jewish and Christian Scripture. A study of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament and related literature, including its historical and social context.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 6 (Religion and Philosophy). 3 credits.

REL 204. Hindu Scripture. A study of the variety of religious literature produced over the last 4000 years that has shaped Hindu thought. Central to the aim of the course is engagement with a variety of types of scripture, including poetic praise of the divine, ritual manuals, epic narrative, and contemporary devotional songs.  Fulfills general education requirement: Intercultural Diversity. 3 credits.

REL 230. Philosophy of Religion. A study of the issues raised for philosophy by contemporary religious thought. The course examines such topics as faith and reason; faith and culture; and interpretations of revelation, symbolism and religious language.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Liberal Studies Area 6 (Religion and Philosophy). 3 credits. [This course is cross-listed with PHL 230]

REL 240. Hindu Traditions. An examination of the major religious tradition of India, through its historical development from the oldest culture extent on the subcontinent to the modern world. Students will engage a variety of materials, texts, archaeology, images, and anthropological descriptions, in order to gain a broad understanding of the tradition.  Fulfills general education requirement: Intercultural Diversity. 3 credits.

REL 241. Jewish Traditions. A survey of the development of Judaism and its contemporary teachings and practices.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 6 (Religion and Philosophy). 3 credits.

REL 242. Buddhist Traditions. An examination of the religious traditions of Buddhism, from its historical development in ancient India to its spread across the entire globe. Students will engage a variety of materials, texts, archaeology, images, and anthropological descriptions, in order to gain a broad understanding of the tradition.  Fulfills general education requirement: Intercultural Diversity. 3 credits.

REL 243. Christian Traditions. An examination of the history of Christianity and the development of Christian thought through the reading and discussion of primary works in Christian theology and philosophy.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 6 (Religion and Philosophy). 3 credits.

REL 244. Islamic Traditions. This course will introduce students to the historical origins and development of Islam.  Fulfills general education requirement: Intercultural Diversity. 3 credits.

REL 280. Theorizing Culture and Interpreting Religion. The aim of the class is to familiarize students with the methods and theories which are constitutive of the academic discipline of Religious Studies and to attune them to the historical context of the development of the study of religion as an academic discipline.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. 3 credits.

REL 285. Independent Reading Forum. For this course students will, in consultation with a member of the faculty, develop a reading list to explore critical themes, significant theorists, and/or a key thinker or school of thought in religion or philosophy. The work of the course is in part the independent reading of this list and in part participation in a forum of all students enrolled in this course with faculty from the department, focused on sharing what each student learns in their independent readings.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 1 credit. [This course is cross-listed with PHL 285]

REL 310. Themes in Religious Studies. The course focuses on the issues surrounding one central topic in the study of religion as it relates to the other two courses in a Cluster. Topics may include Death and Dying, Gender, Sustainability, Violence, and Globalization, but will be determined by the professors teaching the cluster.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

REL 311. Interdisciplinary Seminar in Religion. The course focuses on the issues surrounding one central topic in the study of religion. Students will take an interdisciplinary approach to such topics as God, Postmodern Philosophy and Theology, Existentialism and Religion, Religion and Violence, Religious Fundamentalism, The Problem of Evil.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. 3 credits.

REL 313. The Search for Jesus. This course will examine ancient texts, contemporary commentaries, historical reconstructions, and artistic and literary depictions in its search for Jesus.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Disciplinary Perspectives. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing. 3 credits.

REL 401. Senior Presentation. This course requires students to develop a presentation for their peers and faculty in the department integrating revelations garnered during their coursework. The students will prepare and give a formal presentation of their "one big idea" in a TED styled talk to be digitally archived.  Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing. 1 credit.

REL 450. Undergraduate Research Symposium I. The LVC Undergraduate Research Symposium is a year-long, team-taught reading intensive course that will culminate in a public presentation and subsequent publication of the student's work. The subject may be thematic based (e.g., "Race and Religion") or focused exclusively on a prominent contemporary figure (e.g., Catherine Malabou, Paul Kahn). External expert scholars will be incorporated into the course as guides, resources, and critical respondents through videoconferencing. Students enrolled in the fall semester of the course will be expected to continue with REL 451 / PHL 451 in the spring.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits. [This course is cross-listed with PHL 450]

REL 451. Undergraduate Research Symposium II. This is a continuation of the year-long, team-taught Undergraduate Research Symposium Course. It is a research and writing intensive course that builds on the reading, discussion and research begun in the fall semester. An external expert scholar will be incorporated into the course as guide, resource, and critical respondent in the public symposium held every spring in conjunction with INQUIRY, LVC's annual celebration of student learning.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisite: REL/PHL 450 in good standing, or permission of the instructor. 3 credits. [This course is cross-listed with PHL 451]