Current Courses

Course Offerings (Spring 2022)

View a full list of religious studies courses, including those not offered this semester.

General education courses are marked with an asterisk (*). 

*Religion 1000: Religions of the World

This course provides a general introduction to the world's religions, including major traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as smaller indigenous traditions. The approach of the course is objective and academic; it is not designed to advocate any particular religious perspective or ideology. This course fulfills a General Education Humanities requirement and one of the basic requirements for the Religious Studies major. 
 
Section Date & Time Instructor Location
001 MWF 12:30 - 1:20

Kenny Smith

145 Coates
002 MWF 1:30 - 2:20 Kenny Smith 145 Coates
003 MWF 2:30 - 3:20 Kenny Smith 145 Coates

 

*REL 1004: Old Testament

This course is a broad survey that covers most of the literature of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and addresses literary, historical, archaeological, and theological issues. We will employ historical-critical methods to examine the religious ideas and practices of ancient Israel against the background of the culture of its near eastern neighbors, including Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, Greece, and Syria. To prepare for each topic of lecture/discussion, we will read numerous narratives from the Bible, related passages from the required textbook, and selected articles by modern scholars. This course fulfills a General Education Humanities requirement. 

Section Date & Time Instructor Location
001 TTh 10:30 - 11:50 Charles Isbell Online Synchronous


*REL 1005: New Testament

This course will introduce you to the history, literature, and religion of the earliest period of Christianity (from about 30 to 150 CE). We will see how Christianity arose out of the Jewish religion and how it spread in the Greco-Roman world. We will examine a variety of writings from this period, including the collection of early Christian literature known as the New Testament. You will learn the historical, critical methods by which scholars study these writings as sources for our knowledge of the origins of Christianity. This course fulfills a General Education Humanities requirement. 

Section Date & Time Instructor Location
001 TTh 1:30 - 2:50 Bradley K. Storin 152 Coates
002 MWF 10:30 - 11:20 Delbert Burkett 132 Prescott

 

REL 2001: Faith and Doubt

This course considers how religious faith is challenged or supported by various factors, such as reason, morality, organized religion, and the experience of suffering. The course uses a selection of readings from Paine, Hume, Clifford, James, Kierkegaard, Hesse, Weil, Kushner, and others to address the following questions of religious faith and skepticism: (1) Is belief in God compatible with reason? (2) Is it valid to evaluate religious faith by critical reason? (3) What are the limits, if any, of religious knowledge? (4) To what extent is religious belief validated by the existence of moral norms? (5) To what extent does an individual's faith depend upon or come into conflict with organized religion? (6) How has traditional theistic belief and language been challenged or modified by modern religious thinkers? (7) Is religious faith compatible with the experience of suffering and evil? 

Section Date & Time Instructor Location
001 TTh 4:30 - 5:50 Madhuri Yadlapati 209 Coates

 

*REL 2027: Asian Religions

Asian civilizations have a long history with far-reaching impact and influence on our global community today. One does not need to travel to Asia to be affected by Asian people, economic and political activities, cuisine, arts and entertainment, health treatment options, and religious orientations. The religious landscape of Asia is crucial to understanding Asian civilizations. This course focuses on a variety of Asian religious traditions, including fundamental teachings of the Hindu, Confucian, Taoist, Shinto, and Buddhist traditions of India, Tibet, China, and Japan. We explore how religious values influence decision-making processes in personal and public spheres. This course fulfills a General Education Humanities requirement and one of the basic requirements for the Religious Studies major.

Section Date & Time Instructor Location
001 W 6:00 - 8:50 Paula Arai 209 Coates

 

*REL 2029: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

This course introduces students to the histories, teachings, beliefs, and practices of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to engage with guest speakers, take field trips to synagogues, churches, and mosques, and watch a number of videos pertaining to contemporary issues (e.g., women's roles, waging war) within these religions. This course fulfills a General Education Humanities requirement and one of the basic requirements for the Religious Studies major. 

Section Date & Time Instructor Location
001 TTh 9:00 - 10:20 Maria Rethelyi 209 Coates

 

REL 2120: The Holocaust

We will survey the long history of anti-Semitism that preceded and prepared the way for the specific program of Nazism. Along the way, we will consider the questions raised about God and suffering, human morality, and western civilization and modernity. We will also examine both the political responses of democratic countries and the religio-philosophical responses of Judaism and Christianity to the Nazi attempts to exterminate the Jews.

Section Date & Time Instructor Location
001 TTh 1:30 - 2:50 Charles Isbell Online Synchronous

 

REL 3000: Christianity

This course introduces students to Christianity as a living religious tradition with deep historical roots. We will learn about the main lines of Christian thought and practice across the world. In addition to the lives of Christian saints, leaders, prophets, mystics, and reformers, topics will include the construction of orthodoxy, the development of church leadership, the emergence of Christian artistic traditions, the rise of monasticism, the relationship(s) between Christianity and secular governments, and Christian interaction with other religious traditions. Our scope will be global: we'll see Christianity emerge in the ancient Mediterranean basin and move to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, East Asia, and the Americas. There are no prerequisites for the course, and no prior knowledge is assumed.

Section Date & Time Instructor Location
001 TTh 12:00 - 1:20 Bradley K. Storin 114 Audubon

 

REL 3203: Religion and Parapsychology

This course explores the role of the paranormal in the history of religions, and in the history of scholarly thought about religion. Perhaps most importantly, this course takes seriously alternate ways of understanding the nature of reality and human experiences that fall outside the norms and methods of contemporary thought and science.

Section Date & Time Instructor Location
001 MWF 11:30 - 12:20 Kenny Smith 145 Coates

 

REL 4010: Zen

This course covers the complex, subtle, and nuanced teachings of the diverse tradition of Zen. In contrast to the fundamental assumptions of western civilization, Zen understands reality as devoid of inherent substance. Cultivating the critical thinking skills required to comprehend the dynamics of this worldview will help students expand their perspective and increase their flexibility in interpreting events and texts. Students will explore not only historical and philosophical developments that occurred in Japan, China, and the U.S. from the 8th century to the 20th century, but also Zen practice, meditational practices, gender dynamics, and pedagogical authority. The rigor of reading assignments and the standard of writing expected is ambitious.

Section Date & Time Instructor Location
001 M 6:00 - 8:50 Paula Arai 204 Coates

 

REL/ANTH 4032: Religion, Gender, and Society

Religion is one of the most salient forces in society and gender is a social structure.  How does religious identity inform the ways humans understand gender and the world around them? How does gender identity inform the ways humans understand religion and the world around them? How does society inform the ways humans understand gender and religion? By engaging with material from a variety of academic fields, students will examine the link between religious ideas and gender formulations within different societies and religious communities. We will learn to understand religion from the marginalized perspective of gender. We will use the gender lens on questions of religions in order to highlight practices, roles, issues, and people that otherwise would not be central to the discipline of religion.

Section Date & Time Instructor Location
001 TTh 10:30 - 11:50 Maria Rethelyi 204 Coates