B.A. in Religious Studies
(You may click on the Course Number and Title for example syllabi. Note: these are samples only; syllabi vary from semester to semester, at the professor's discretion.)
REL 101: Introduction to Religion: Survey of Religious Studies as a discipline and the major world religions.
REL 309: Asian Religions: Examination of Asian thought in the Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian traditions. (Same as PHIL 309).
REL 324: Abrahamic Traditions: An introduction to the beliefs and traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
REL 497: Capstone: Development of advanced skills in Religious Studies methodology through writing and presenting papers in religion. Prerequisite: senior standing.
I. Sacred Texts
REL 310: The Old Testament and Early Judaism: A survey of the Hebrew bible and the development of Judaism.
REL 312: The New Testament and Early Christianity: A survey of the New Testament writings and their role in the development of early Christianity.
REL 327: Qur’an: This course will examine the structure, formation and themes of the Qur’an within Islam. It will also focus on Quranic interpretation and hadith literature (or, traditions and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad).
REL 352: Rabbinic Literature: A study of the written and oral Torah in Judaism, including the importance of rabbinic literature to the emergence of Judaism and its development, and the way this literature influenced Christianity.
II. Asian Traditions
REL 308: Buddhism: Survey of Buddhism in its historical and contemporary contexts. (Same as PHIL 308).
REL 311: Women and the Goddess in Eastern Religion: Exploration of goddess figures and the social roles of women in the Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist traditions. (Same as GST 311).
REL 320: Hinduism: Survey of Hinduism and its cultural impact on the Indian subcontinent.
INST 323: Religion, the State, and Conflict in Asia: Explores the interaction of religion and the state through case studies; examines roots of religious nationalism, relationship between religious identity and ethnicity; and international diplomatic strategies regarding religious conflicts in Asia.
REL 325: Chinese and Japanese Religions: Survey of the major Chinese and Japanese religions, including Taoism, Confucianism and Chinese Buddhism.
REL 323: Islam: An introduction to the sacred literature, basic beliefs, history, and culture of Islam.
REL 326: Saints and Sexuality: A survey of holy figures within Christianity and Islam with an emphasis on gender and the body. (Same as GST 326).
REL 345: Religion and Politics: The involvement of religion in politics nationally and internationally.
REL 350: Judaism: Judaism's history, beliefs, and practices are explored from antiquity to the contemporary era.
REL 351: Philosophy of Religion: Philosophical questions in religious thought, e.g., the existence of God, the problem of evil, the nature of religious belief and experience. (Same as PHIL 351).
REL 356: Women in Rabbinic Tradition: This course will examine the development of Rabbinic Judaism with particular emphasis on how it has shaped the lives of women. (Same as GST 356).
REL 360: Philosophical Issues: Science and Religion: Investigation of philosophical relationships between religion and science from the Renaisance to the present day, emphasizing methodological and conceptual issues. (Same as Phil 360).
REL 366: Women of the Judeo-Christian Bible: A critical study of the significant women in the sacred literature of the Western prophetic tradition. (Same as GST 366).
REL 372: Rise of Christianity: This course will trace the rise and proliferation of Christian thought and ritual from the ancient world to the early Middle Ages. Special emphasis will be paid to scriptural formation, the role of martyrdom, and writings of the early Church Fathers.
REL 378: Global Christianity: An exploration of Christianity as a global religion locally rooted in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Diverse practices and beliefs are surveyed, primarily after the 15th century, that demonstrate how indigenous Christians creatively engaged culture, colonialism, and new frameworks for community.
REL 384: Religion and Renunciation: This course will identify and critique aspects of religious renunciation, or asceticism, within Christianity, Shi`ite Islam, and Hinduism. Examples of religious renunciation include fasting, self-mortification, and voluntary poverty.
REL 385: Western Mysticism: An examination of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mystical thought and practice, emphasizing the roles of gender and authority. (Same as GST 385).
REL 386: Religion and Film: An examination of film theory and the portrayal of religion in film.
REL 387: Religious Ethics: Issues and Methods: An examination of the world’s major religious traditions and their approaches to ethical issues.
REL 399: Topics in Religion Abroad