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University Catalog|Office of the Registrar

Religion (RELI)

1000 Level | 2000 Level | 3000 Level | 4000 Level

USP Codes are listed in brackets by the 1991 USP code followed by the 2003 USP code (i.e. [M2<>QB]).

1000. Introduction to Religion. 3. [C1, G1<>CH, G] Introduces world religions and shared characteristics. Draws on various academic approaches to religion study, emphasizing similarities and differences among wide variety of religions.

1100. Worlds of Religion. 3. [(none)<>I] Introduces first-year students to a variety of religious views and practices, events and applications to lead students to an understanding of the wide range of possible ways that religions take shape around the world and how they impact views of the arts, science, social justice and ethical norms. Prerequisites: none.

2040. Religions of the Middle East: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. 3.[(none)<>CH, G] Analyzes origins and early years of three major religions that arose in the Middle East: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Looks at historical development, political and cultural context, and structure of each religion.

2050. Religions of Asia. 3. [(none)<>CH, G] Introduces students to the religions of Asia. Primary focus on Hinduism and Buddhism, but also addresses several smaller religions. Emphasis on beliefs, sacred texts and tales, practices, ethics and worship, as well as historical development and contemporary issues. Prerequisites: none.

2060. Nature and Spirit. 3. [C1<>(none)] Examines classical principles of Christian theology in light of contemporary ecological issues. Focuses on how Christian thinkers have addressed the question of the relationship between humans, God and nature.

2070. Gender and Religion. 3. [C1<>(none)] Aims at understanding  how religion constructs and reinforces gender roles in religion and society. Looks at traditional gender roles in Christianity and the transformation they have undergone in the past century or so. Cross listed with WMST 2070.

2080. Holocaust. 3. [(none)<>CH] Surveys the destruction of European Jewry, 1933-1945. Cross listed with HIST 2080. Prerequisite: HIST 1120.

2110 [1010]. Introduction to the Old Testament. 3. [C1, G1<>CH] Introduces students to the books of the Old Testament and people whose way of life they describe. Pays particular attention to religion of the Israelites, their history and culture. Focuses on different historical circumstances in which the books were written.

2150. New Testament Survey. 3. Introduces academic study of the New Testament. Focuses on questions of history, religious and cultural context, occasion and purpose for writing the different books and theological development of early Christianity.

2175. The Life and Teaching of Jesus. 3. [C1<>(none)] Explores life and teachings of Jesus within religious, cultural and political context of first-century Palestine. Studies Jewish, Greek and Roman influences on Palestine; then, examines affect of those influences on the gospels (both canonical and non-canonical).

2200. Contemporary American Religion. 3. [C1<>CH, D] The U.S. is home to more world religions and to more versions of those religions than any other nation on the planet. This course examines how the U.S. has shaped these religions and the impact these religions have had in turn on U.S. society and culture.

2225. History of Christianity. 3. [C1<>(none)] Traces Christianity from its beginnings to late 20th century. Cross listed with HIST 2225.

2250. American Religious History I (To 1865). 3. [(none)<>CH, D] Traces the history of religion in America through the Civil War. We will pay particular attention to the intertwining of religion and colonialism; the tension between emerging Protestant hegemony and religious pluralism; and the roles religion has played in justifying oppression and pursuing liberty in American history. Cross listed with HIST 2250. Prerequisites:  none.

2252. American Religious History II (1865-1945). 3. [(none)<>CH, D] Traces American religious history from the Civil War through WWII. Focuses on how race/ethnicity, class, gender, and national origin affected religion, and explores how Americans used religion in oppressing and liberating people; marking and erasing difference; and exporting values abroad as well as reforming society at home. Cross listed with HIST 2252. Prerequisites:  none.

2255. Introduction to Judaism. 3. Descriptively analyzes Judaism. Initially focuses on history of Judaism from its origins in Ancient Israel to modern period. Then it studies the religion itself, analyzing its beliefs and practices and how they influence Judaism's adherents.

2315. History of Non-Western Religions. 3. [(none)<>CH, G] Introduces students to religions outside the Judeo-Christian realm familiar in the west. Each religion analyzed in its world views, its ways of life, and in its social organization. History of each religion and its changes. Cross listed with HIST 2315. Prerequisites: none.

2320. History of Islam. 3. [(none)<>CH, G] Focuses on the origins of Islam and its early formation, its growth and spread across the world, and its intellectual, spiritual and historical character. Time will also be spent on the formation of Islam in the modern world and how that impacts the views and actions of its members. Cross listed with HIST 2320. Prerequisites: none.

2410. Varieties of Non-Belief in the Western World. 3. [(none)<>CH] A broad, chronological survey of different types of non-belief, primarily from the Renaissance onwards. It examines critiques by philosophers, politicians, poets, and novelists aiming to understand their objections to religion and analyzing how these objections shaped the modern religious landscape and the way we understand religion itself. Prerequisite: none.

2450. Traditional African Religion. 3. [(none)<>CH, G] Surveys traditional African religions, both ancient and contemporary. Cross listed with AAST 2450. Prerequisites: none.

2500. Special Topics in Religion. 1-3 (Max. 6). Permits occasional investigation of different subjects in academic study of religion.

3110. Bible and Archaeology. 3. An archaeological survey illuminating the historical, theological, and cultural landscape of ancient Near East and the Mediterranean world.  Examines how archaeology contributes to the understanding of the peoples, texts and religious movements of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. Prerequisites: RELI 1000 or RELI 2110 or RELI 2150 or ANTH 1300 or ANTH 1450.

3150. Feminist Christian Thought. 3. [C1<>(none)] In recent decades Christianity has undergone important changes with regard to the place of women in the church. Addresses historical and theological discussions that have accompanied those changes. Also addresses how feminism and religion affect one's belief system. Cross listed with WMST 3150. Prerequisites: junior standing and at least one course in women's studies or religious studies.

3180. Drama and Religion. 3. [C3<>(none)] Drama and religion seek to communicate ideas about the ultimate meaning of human life. Both influence and are influenced by the culture from which they developed. Examines plays that are influenced by the Bible, Greek plays whose concepts have influenced Christianity over the centuries, and modern plays that address religious issues. Cross listed with THEA 3180. Prerequisite: junior standing.

3200. Religion and American Culture. 3. [C1<>(none)] Explores the role of religion in the history of American culture. It considers how developments in American religious history have reflected larger trends in American society, and how those developments have in turn helped shape American society and culture. Prerequisite: one lower-level course in religious studies, American history, or American studies.

3220. History of the Modern Middle East. 3. [{none}<>G] Surveys the Middle East from 1700 to the present. Emphasizes the demise of the Ottoman Empire, the rise of domination by European colonial powers, transformations in political, social, religious and cultural life, the rise of nationalist movements, the influence of oil, the growth of Islamist political groups and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Cross listed with HIST 3220. Prerequisite: 6 hours in history, religious studies or international studies.

3225. Apocalypse: The History of the End. 3. The apocalyptic End of Time has become the subject of much speculation, especially since the beginning of the new millennium. Analyzes such speculation as a religious phenomenon in both ancient and modern religions, and attempts to understand its social, cultural and personal impacts. Prerequisite: junior standing.

3230. Early Christianity: From Jesus to Church. 3. Considers the development of the Christian religion from a small Jewish sect to its place as the official religion of the Roman Empire and beyond. It examines the development of creeds, doctrines, and institutions, placing them within their historical context. Cross listed with HIST 3230. Prerequisites: RELI 1000, RELI/HIST 2225, or HIST 2113.

3235. Medieval Christianity. 3. Traces the development of ‘Christendom' in Europe between about 500 - 1500 CE, concentrating on the Latin West. It examines the growth of Christian institutions and practices, the Church's role as sole governing entity, along with conflicts with secular governments as they developed in later centuries. Cross listed with HIST 3235. Prerequisites: RELI/HIST 2225, HIST 1110, or RELI 1000.

3240. Reformation and Enlightenment Christianity. 3. The years between about 1500 and 1800 saw the permanent dismantling of Christianity in the West as a unified force, as Protestantism brought new ways of viewing the relationship between God and humanity. Once the fragmentation began, it accelerated rapidly as Enlightenment thinking challenged Christianity in new and complex ways. Cross listed with: HIST 3240. Prerequisites: RELI 1000, RELI/HIST 2225.

3260. African Spirits in the New World. 3. [(none)<>CH, G] Begins with Yoruba roots in Africa travels with the African Diaspora focusing on spirit possession in Haitian Vodou, Cuban Santeria, Jamaican Revival Zion, Jamaican Rastafarianism, Brazilian Candomblé,  and "Black Church" in the United States using ethnography and postcolonial theory of religious studies. Cross listed with AAST 3260. Prerequisites: AAST 1000 or any AAST 2000-level course or RELI 1000.

3275. World Christianities. 3. [(none)<>CH, G] Examines the development of Christianity primarily in Africa, Asia and South America.  Cross listed with HIST 3275. Prerequisites: WB and CH.

3340. Mysticism, Yoga, and Enlightenment in the East. 3. Explores Hindu and Buddhist concepts of enlightenment and the means for reaching them through mysticism and yoga. Study the texts and beliefs and their translation into practice. Prerequisites: WB and CH.

3344. The Divine Personality in Eastern Religions. 3. Explores divine personality characteristics envisioned in Hinduism and Buddhism and the understandings of human nature, values, and beliefs. How should humans imitate the gods? Prerequisites: WB and CH.

3350. Religion and Globalization in India. 3. Learn about religious pluralism in India. In particular, how globalization has impacted the ways people from many different religions, caste, class, and educational backgrounds, ethnicities, and regions experience and practice their religions in 21st century India. Prerequisites: RELI 1000 or RELI 2050.

3400. Religion in the American West. 3. [(none)<>CH, D] Considers the religious history of the American West from Pre-Columbian times to the present, paying special attention to the ways the West affects religious belief and practice. Themes of contact and conflict will be particularly important in our study, as will the changing perceptions of the West. Prerequisite:  USP WB course.

4000. Theories of Religion. 3. [(none)<>WC] Investigates different theories proposed to explain religion and methods used to investigate them. Pays primary attention to influential thinkers and theorists of the past century. Prerequisite: RELI 1000, and 12 additional hours in Religious Studies, at least 6 of which must be at the 3000-level or above, junior standing.

4090. Film and Religion. 3. [C1<>(none)] Movies use religion to convey messages; they debate religious issues and use religion to debate non-religious issues. This course analyzes how film makers use religion and religious themes to transform religions into advocates for social issues and to shape religion's role in society. Popular films drawn from many genres. Cross listed with ENGL 4090. Prerequisite: 6 hours of 2000-level or higher literature courses or religion courses.

4100. African American Religious Culture. 3. [(none)<>WC, D] This mid-level writing-intensive seminar is a comparative study of African American religious celebration, primarily in the context of Afro-Christianity, but touching on Islam, Candomble, "Voodoo," Santeria, and Rastafarianism. Cross listed with AAST 4100. Prerequisite: WB and one of the following: AAST 1000 or any AAST 2000-level course or RELI 1000.

4113. Medieval Religious Dissent. 3. [C1<>(none)] Religious dissent in the Middle Ages included what might be called heresy, but also encompasses such marginal groups as Jews and witches. Examines development of orthodoxy and persecution of religious diversity between eleventh and 16th centuries within the historical context of the times. Cross listed with HIST 4113. Prerequisite: HIST 1110, 4100 or 4110.

4150. Christians, Jews and Muslims in Iberia. 3. [C1, G1<>(none)] Focuses on how, from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, these three religions have interacted and influenced each other and Iberian culture in general. Readings from numerous figures, from Maimonides to Goytisolo. Prerequisite: junior/senior standing. No knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese is required.

4160. Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. 3. [(none)<>CH] Examines the biographies of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad found in works of history, in sacred literature, in hagiography, ritual and popular culture. Demonstrates strategies used to recover their historical personalities and how they are portrayed in multiple religious traditions, offering insights into how each have shaped our world. Prerequisite: RELI 1000 or junior standing.

4190. Women and the Bible. 3. Explores depictions, roles and statuses of women found in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. Introduces ways biblical portraits of women have been used in recent centuries to develop theologies of, by and for women. Cross listed with WMST 4190. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of instructor.

4260. Judaism in the Modern World. 3. Studies Jews and Judaism from pre-modern period to present. Traces migration of Jews from Europe to the USA and Israel, while examining radical changes that transform the religion. Prerequisite: junior standing.

4310. Seminar in Asian Religions. 3 (Max. 9). Introduction to an amazing world of popular and orthodox Eastern goddesses in their particular cultural and historical settings with a specific focus on Indian goddesses. Learning forms, manifestations, characteristics, narratives (including myths) and modes of worship relating to several individual goddesses, interpretive strategies in goddess scholarship from comparative and feminist frameworks. Prerequisite: RELI 2050 or junior standing.

4400. Internship in Religious Studies. 1-4 (Max. 4). Application of the academic discipline of religious studies to work outside the university classroom. Students must meet with the Religious Studies internship director in advance to identify the internship's components and grading criteria. Internships requiring a faith commitment on the intern's part are not eligible for credit. Not to be used for graduate credit. Prerequisites: 12 hours of religious studies, including RELI 1000 and RELI 4000 or its equivalent; advanced standing as a religious studies minor; consent of internship director.

4500. Special Topics in Religious Studies. 1-3 (Max. 12). Presents from semester to semester a variety of important topics in the academic study of religion. Prerequisite: RELI 1000.

4900. Independent Study in Religion. 1-3 (Max. 6). Primarily for juniors and seniors who can benefit from independent study of topics in religious studies not covered in course offerings. Guidance provided by faculty member in the appropriate field. Prerequisites: 9 hours in religious studies and consent of instructor.

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