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Course List




REL 1010 Introduction to Religion 3 (3)

Study of the variety of religious experience and expression in human life.

REL 1020 World Religions 3 (3)

Survey of major religious traditions of the world. Includes Honors sections.

REL 3000 Studying Religion: Theories and Methods 3 (3)

Discussion- and presentation-based seminar in which students read the writings of the great theorists of religion since the eighteenth century. Social-scientific, phenomenological, and cultural approaches to the study of religion are explored. Basic methodologies and tools for studying religion are also introduced. Preq: Sophomore standing.

REL 3010 The Old Testament 3 (3)

Survey of the books of the Old Testament with special consideration given to the development of the concepts, institutions, and theology of the ancient Hebrews.

REL 3020 Survey of New Testament Literature 3 (3)

Study of the books of the New Testament from the standpoint of their occasion, content, literary form, and basic theology.

REL 3030 The Quran 3 (3)

Survey of Islamic Scripture, its origins, content, and interpretation, with attention to the development of Hadith and Sunna as well.

REL 3050 Constructing Scripture 3 (3)

Historical exploration of the development of Jewish and Christian scriptures. Emphasis is given to reading texts that were excluded from the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament and the role the canonical played in constructing “orthodoxy.”

REL 3060 Judaism 3 (3)

Examines the development of Judaism from biblical to modern times.

REL 3070 The Christian Tradition 3 (3)

Examination of the development of Christianity in Western civilization from the post-New Testament period to the present, stressing institutional growth and changes, theological currents, and interaction of Christianity with culture.

REL 3080 Religions of the Ancient World 3 (3)

Selected religious movements in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Canaan, and the Greco-Roman world with emphasis on movements outside the Judeo-Christian tradition.

REL 3090 The Religious History of the American South 3 (3)

As the label "Bible Belt" implies, the American South has long appeared as a distinct religious region within the United States. This course introduces students to southern religious history, emphasizing longstanding religious diversity and vexing racial issues, alongside the history of Protestant Christianity. 

REL 3100 History of Religion in the United States 3 (3)

Development of religion in the U.S. from the Colonial period to the 20th century. Attention is devoted to analyzing the broad currents in religious movements and religious thought that have given shape to the American pluralistic experience.

REL 3110 African American Religion 3 (3)

Study of the religious milieu in the U.S. rooted in our African heritage. Background on African tribal religion is included, along with Christian denominations and new religions such as Nation of Islam, Rastafarianism, Voudun, Santeria, and Candomble.

REL 3120 Hinduism 3 (3)

A study of the history, practices, ideas, and social institutions associated with the variety of Indian religious traditions commonly called "Hinduism" from their origins to the present.

REL 3130 Buddhism 3 (3)

A study of the history, practices, idea, and social institutions associated with the variety of Buddhist traditions found throughout the world. Discussion topics focus on the development of classical Buddhism in India and its expansion into Tibet, and includes treatment of distinctive developments in China and Japan. 

REL 3140 Buddhism in China 3 (3)

Study of Buddhism in Chinese history since the second century. Examination of the translation and interpretation of the texts, major Chinese Buddhist schools, monastic life, and the comprehensive influence of Buddhism on Chinese culture and society. All readings and discussions are in English.

REL 3150 Islam 3 (3)

A study of the origins, development, and history of the religion of Islam and Islamic cultures from the time of the Prophet to the present.

REL 3170 History of Native American Religion and Culture 3 (3)

Study of Native American religion and culture from the pre-Columbian era to the present. Examines how Native American religious
traditions in a variety of cultural contexts of North America have impacted, and have been impacted by, changing historical circumstances.
May also be offered as HIST 3170.

REL 3200 Jesus in History, Faith and Film 3 (3)

An investigation of the genre of ancient biography, the diverse portrayals of Jesus' life in early Christianity, and the post-Enlightenment "Quest for the Historical Jesus." The course also analyzes contemporary cinematic portrayals of Jesus' life as a way of further exploring the relationship between producer, social location, and constructions of the past. Preq: Sophomore standing

REL 3300 Contemporary Issues in Religion 3 (3)

Examination of a variety of issues of broad concern to scholars of religion today. Issues may vary. May be repeated for a maximum of six

REL 3350 Islam and the West 3 (3)

Focuses on challenging popular representations of antagonism between Islam and the West to elucidate the complex relationship between
the two.

REL 3510 Ancient Near East 3 (3)

History of the peoples and civilizations of the Near East from the Sumerians to the establishment of Roman power in this region. Includes geography, mythology, religious, and economic currents as well as the methods and discoveries of archaeology. May also be offered as HIST 3510.

REL 3730 Age of the Protestant Reformation 3 (3)

Evolution of Modern Europe (ca. 1500–1660), as affected by the Reformation, wars of religion, and
growth of nation-states. Study includes intellectual advances and the beginnings of European expansion overseas. May also be offered as HIST 3730.

REL 3990 Junior Research Colloquium 3 (3)

Colloquium offered each spring for junior Religious Studies majors. Students enroll individually with a faculty member of their choice and develop, in consultation with him or her, a research project suited to the student’s interests. All students meet four times as a group to present and discuss their research. Preq: Junior Religious Studies major.

REL 4010, 6010 Studies in Biblical Literature and Religion 3 (3)

Critical examination of a selected topic in biblical studies. Topics vary from year to year. May be repeated once for credit.

REL 4020, 6020 Studies in Religion 3 (3)

Thorough examination of a selected topic in one or more of the religious traditions of the world or of religious life in a particular region. Topics vary from year to year. May be repeated once for credit.

REL 4100 Holy Lands 3-6 (3-6)

Rotating study abroad trips to areas of historical importance to Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and other religious traditions. Students visit archaeological sites, museums, and sacred spaces of global importance and gain needed world-perspective as they encounter other cultures.

REL 4210 Koine Greek of the New Testament 3 (3)

The first of a two-semester sequence (with REL 4220) that teaches students to 1) read koine Greek, the common Greek of the Roman Empire, from early Christian manuscripts and 2) perform textual criticism to reconstruct the earliest attainable versions of these texts from the extant manuscripts.

REL 4220 Early Greek Manuscripts of the New Testament 3 (3)

The second of a two-semester sequence (with REL 4210) that teaches students to 1) read koine Greek, the common Greek of the Roman Empire, from early Christian manuscripts and 2) perform textual criticism to reconstruct the earliest attainable versions of these texts from the extant manuscripts.

REL 4520, 6520 History of Early Christianity 3 (3)

Study of the history, social and doctrinal, of early Christianity up to 600 A.D. Preq: Consent of instructor.

REL 4900 Senior Seminar 3 (3)

Capstone-style seminar offered each fall for senior year Religious Studies majors, who conduct research, make presentations, and engage in weekly discussions on a topic chosen by the faculty member organizing the seminar. Course represents the final synthesis of skills developed throughout the major. Preq: Senior Religious Studies major.

REL 4920 Creative Inquiry: Religion 1-4 (1-4)

Small group work is performed on particular issues with emphasis on involving students in research. Content varies. May be repeated for a maximum of nine credits. Preq: Consent of instructor.

REL 4970 Religion Honors Research 3 (3)

Students conduct research, clearly define the topic, and complete an annotated bibliography under the
supervision of thesis advisor. Preq: Consent of department chair and thesis advisor.

REL 4980 Religion Honors Thesis 3 (3)

In consultation with thesis advisor and departmental thesis committee, students write, revise, defend, and complete their theses. Preq: REL H497 and consent of department chair and thesis advisor.

REL 4990, 6990 Independent Study 1-3 (1-3)

Study of selected problems, issues, or movements in religion under the direction of a faculty member
chosen by the student. Student and faculty member develop an individualized course of study approved by the department chair prior to registration. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits. Preq: Consent of instructor.