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RELIGIOUS STUDIES (REL)

Office: 212-A Manly Hall

REL 100 Introduction to the Study of Religion. 3 hours.

Various methodological approaches to the academic study of religion, with examples of religious life and thought drawn from a variety of cultures. This course is required of all majors and minors.

REL 105 Honors Introduction to the Study of Religion. 3 hours.
Prerequisite: Admission to the University Honors Program or a 3.3 GPA.

Honors version of REL 100.

REL 110 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. 3 hours.

Introduction to the books of the Hebrew Bible in their historical setting, with emphasis on textual analysis and on literary forms and their function and use in the past and present.

REL 112 Introduction to the New Testament. 3 hours.

Introduction to the Hellenistic world of early Christianity, examining the early traditions about Jesus that were organized into the Gospels and the letters of Paul.

REL 124 Religion & Film in America. 3 hours.

Uses film as the way into understanding the religious scene in America—a broad set of ideas, symbols, social movements, and institutions that affect and are affected by the wider American culture.

REL 208 Hinduism. 3 hours.

An historical survey of a major religious tradition of Asia.

REL 210 Buddhism. 3 hours.

A historical survey of the Buddhist traditions of South Asia and East Asia.

REL 213 Sociology of Religion. 3 hours.

Sociological analysis of religion as a cross-cultural institution and its relationship to personality and other social institutions.

REL 220 Survey of Asian Religions. 3 hours.

Introductory survey of the major religious traditions of Asia, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Shinto.

REL 223 Holocaust in Historical Perspective. 3 hours.

Examination of this event, and scholarship on it, from various historical and critical perspectives.

REL 224 Judaism. 3 hours.

A study of some of the leading schools and interpreters of Judaism and a review of modern developments including the Holocaust and the state of Israel.

REL 226 African Diaspora Religions. 3 hours.

Examination of African influence throughout the Americas (e.g., Candomblé in Brazil, Vodou in the Caribbean, African American religions in North America), focusing on the interplay between religion, culture, and politics.

REL 228 History of Christian Thought. 3 hours.

The major theological orientations that have shaped Christianity in various social and historical contexts.

REL 231 Religious Existentialism. 3 hours.

Examines answers offered by such writers as Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, Buber, Weisel, and Tillich, to such questions as: What is the meaning of existence? What is the meaning of my existence? What does it mean to exist authentically in religious terms?

REL 234 Women and Religion (same as WS 234). 3 hours.

The role and place of women in several religious traditions, ancient and modern.

REL 235 Native American Religions. 3 hours.

Surveys the histories, beliefs, and practices of Native American religions as found in various geographical regions throughout the Americas (e.g., the Aztecs, Lakota, Muskogee, Cree, and Hopi).

REL 236 Islam. 3 hours.

An introduction to the traditions of Islam, including their history, texts, intellectual debates, and contemporary practices.

REL 237 Self, Society, and Religions. 3 hours.

A survey of psychological and social theories used to study religion, drawing on different cultural and historical data of relevance to the approaches surveyed.

REL 238 Philosophies of Judaism. 3 hours.

Survey of major philosophical formulations of the nature and role of Jews and Judaism, written by select Jewish thinkers.

REL 240 Portraits of the Apocalypse in Contemporary Films. 3 hours.

Examines contemporary portrayals of the end times in popular films.

REL 241 Historical Overview of Religions in America. 3 hours.

A survey of religions in America from before European colonization to the present.

All REL upper-level classes require junior standing or permission of instructor; to guarantee their spot in the class, REL majors and minors are advised to obtain a permit from the department to enroll in an upper-level course.

REL 311 English Bible as Literature (same as WL 363). 3 hours.

Analytical and critical study of a number of books of the Bible; each book is examined and evaluated as an example of a particular literary genre.

REL 321 Religion and Identity in South Asia. 3 hours.

Investigates the intersections of various social divisions and identities with religious labels and practices by analyzing case studies from South Asia.

REL 332 Contemporary Jewish Thought. 3 hours.

Examination and analysis of modern Jewish reformulations of divinity, revelation, redemption, election, etc., in critical contrast to classical Jewish and Greek traditions.

REL 335 Psychology of Religion (same as PY 334). 3 hours.

Examination of religious beliefs, behaviors, and institutions by the application of psychological theories.

REL 340 Nietzsche and Religion. 3 hours.

Examines the major writings on religion of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), with special attention to the relationship between religion, rhetoric, language, culture, and power.

REL 341 Theories of Myth. 3 hours.

Examination of the history of differing theories of myth, conceived as a sub-type of narrative.

REL 347 Jewish-Christian Relations. 3 hours.

Critical examination of the 2,000-year-old relationship focusing on areas of commonality and difference.

REL 360:361 Individual Directed Research: Student Topics. 3 hours.

Supervised research of the student’s choice. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 hours for differing topics. Speak with the professor before registering.

REL 370 Advanced Studies in Religion in Culture. 3 hours.

Specific context will be determined by faculty responsible for the course that semester. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 hours for differing topics.

REL 371 Advanced Studies in American Religions. 3 hours.

Specific context will be determined by faculty responsible for the course that semester. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 hours for differing topics.

REL 372 Advanced Studies in Middle Eastern and European Religions. 3 hours.

Specific context will be determined by faculty responsible for the course that semester. May be repeated for a maximum of May be repeated for a maximum of 9 hours for differing topics.

REL 373 Advanced Studies in Asian Religions. 3 hours.

Specific context will be determined by faculty responsible for the course that semester. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 hours for differing topics.

REL 410 Religion and Genocide. 3 hours.

Explores the phenomenon known as genocide by examining its relationship to the religion in both its institutional and theological frameworks.

REL 419 Myth, Ritual, and Magic (same as ANT 419). 3 hours.

Examination of the theories and methods used to study the relations between religious narrative and behavioral systems.

REL 420 Gospel of Mark. 3 hours.

Investigates the Gospel of Mark through the lens of contemporary biblical, literary, and cultural criticism.

REL 440 Theories of Religion. 3 hours.

Examines classic and contemporary theories of religion such as functionalism, structuralism, Marxism, and psychoanalysis. Emphasis may vary with each offering.

REL 460:461 Individual Directed Research: Student Topics. 3 hours.

Supervised research of the student’s choice. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 hours for differing topics. Speak with the professor before registering.

REL 480 Seminar in Religion in Culture. 3 hours.

Specific context will be determined by faculty responsible for the course that semester. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 hours for differing topics.

REL 481 Seminar in American Religions. 3 hours.

Specific context will be determined by faculty responsible for the course that semester. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 hours for differing topics.

REL 482 Seminar in Middle Eastern and European Religions. 3 hours.

Specific context will be determined by faculty responsible for the course that semester. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 hours for differing topics.

REL 483 Seminar in Asian Religions. 3 hours.

Specific context will be determined by faculty responsible for the course that semester. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 hours for differing topics.

REL 490 Capstone Senior Seminar. 3 hours.

A seminar offered spring semester of each year for seniors pursuing a major or minor in religious studies or minor in Judaic studies. The professor and subject of the seminar rotate through the four areas of the curriculum. Required of all majors and minors in the Department. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 hours for differing topics.

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