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. Religion 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 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 250. Christianity. 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 251. Judaism. 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 252. Hinduism. 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 253. Buddhism. 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 255. Islam. This course will introduce students to the historical origins and development of Islam.  Fulfills general education requirement: Intercultural Diversity. 3 credits.

REL 280. Method and Theory in 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 311. Key Issues in Religion. The course focuses on the issues surrounding one central topic in the study of religion. Topics include 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. Prerequisite: One prior course in religion. 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 314. Death, Dying, and Beyond. This course will engage the different religious answers to the fact that humans are mortal. Its aim is to introduce students to the variety of human reactions to the finitude of our corporeal existence and challenge them to engage the variety of responses from a variety of responses from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.  Fulfills general education requirement: Disciplinary Perspectives. 3 credits.

REL 340. One Nation Under God?. This course explores the relationship between religion and politics in the United States. It will include an examination of the role religion played in the founding of our nation's democracy, the important separation between church and state that has been achieved over the course of our nation's history, and the ascendancy of the religious right in recent electoral politics.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 1 (History). 3 credits. [This course is cross-listed with AMS 340]

REL 499. Senior Seminar. Students will complete a major paper, integrating their research, writing, and analytical skills.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing or by permission. 3 credits. [This course is cross-listed with PHL 499]