Religious Studies Courses, Spring 2023

RELI 1000-01: Introduction to Religion, USP H, A&S Core Global

Tyler Fall, TR 1:20 pm – 2:35 pm

Religion is central in shaping culture. While cultural differences stem from religion, many similarities find their expression in religion. Learn about several world religions and the way each understands the world and influences its adherents.


RELI 1000-40: Introduction to Religion, USP H, A&S Core Global

Mary Keller, Online – Asynchronous, J-Term: Course meets from 1/3/2023 – 1/27/2023

This course will introduce you to the landscape of religions throughout the world. We will begin with ancient Indigenous religious traditions, then examine some of the major religions in the world today before concluding with a look at newer religious (and anti-religious) movements.


RELI 1101-40: FYS: Gilgamesh to the Bomb – Online, USP H, A&S Core Global

Mary Keller, Online – Asynchronous

What is the relationship between divine authority and human governance? This course begins with the oldest known text, the Epic of Gilgamesh, moves through classics of Western thought from Aquinas to Machiavelli, hits the Enlightenment, feminism, double consciousness, and the bomb.


RELI 2225-01: History of Christianity, USP H (Cross-listed with HIST 2225)

Tyler Fall, TR 2:45 pm – 4:00 pm

Christianity began as an obscure and persecuted Jewish sect and, over the centuries, became the largest religion in the world. This class examines the history of how this transformation occurred.

RELI 2500-01: Topic: Philosophy of Religion (Cross-listed with PHIL 2310)

Susanna Goodin, MWF 1:10 pm – 2:00 pm

A study of God and religion, this class addresses the issues of what an argument for the existence of God might be, what an argument against the existence of God might be, what God’s attributes are, can we ever know anything about God, why does suffering exist, does God care, what are miracles, is there an eternal soul, and what exactly is a religion anyway.


RELI 3240-80: Reformation and Enlightenment Christianity (Cross-listed with HIST 3240)

Peter Walker, Online – Synchronous, TR 8:00 am – 9:25 am

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.

RELI 3260-40: African Spirits in the New World, USP H, A&S Core Global (Cross-listed with AAST 3260)

Mary Keller, Online – Asynchronous

Study the religions of the African diaspora in Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Brazil and the southern US. Learn about the ritual process and the arrival of the African spirits into their diasporan communities.


RELI 3320-40: Eastern Thought (Cross-listed with PHIL 3320)

Holly Grether, Online – Asynchronous

This course will survey some of the most prominent themes found in Eastern Thought. We will explore primary sources texts from multiple religious traditions--Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnostic Christianity and Taoism. An underlying premise of this course is that none of these religions developed in isolation and, therefore, prominent themes can be found across the board. Five core course terms will be used as our comparative guide--selfhood, cosmic dualism, soteriology, eschatology, apotheosis.


RELI 3400-01: Religion in the American West, A&S Core Diversity (Cross-listed with AMST 4500)

Tammy Heise, TR 9:35 pm – 10:50 am

This course focuses on the history of religions in the American West. It deals in depth with Native American traditions, Mormonism, Catholicism, and evangelical Protestantism. It also looks at unconventional expressions of religion such as nature religion (for example, in the formation of the national parks or in practices like rock climbing) and secularization.


RELI 4100-40: African American Religions Culture, USP COM3, A&S Core Diversity (Cross-listed with AAST 4100)

Mary Keller, Online - Asynchronous

This survey course draws material from autobiography, history, essays, Black Theology, Womanist Theology, and Hip Hop.


RELI 4500-01: Topic: Islam in America (Cross-listed with AMST 4500, INST 4990, ARBC 4990)

Tammy Heise, TR 11:00 am - 12:15 am

How does Islam interact with Modernity? This course extends beyond the news to study contemporary trends and movements among the world’s Muslims. Includes a general introduction to the history and religion of Islam, and discusses contemporary Islamic topics, reflecting current issues such as Women’s status and gender issues, authority and authoritarianism, innovative theology, Sunni vs. Shii, geographic and ethnic tensions within Islam, instructor research and student choices.