Course Offerings

REL-120 Religion in America (3 credits)
This course examines mutually intersecting themes and influences between religion and American culture. Topics vary and may include, for example, religious diversity in America, American religious history, the intersection of religion with American politics and cultural debates.
REL-130 Christian Thought (3 credits)
Introduces themes of Christian thought in historical and contemporary perspectives.
REL-140 Reading the Old Testament (3 credits)
Engages select passages from the Old Testament, examining their historical context, place in the Bible, textual features, and a wide variety of subsequent interpretations. Focus is on developing basic skills for reading the Old Testament.
REL-150 Introduction to the New Testament (3 credits)
Introduces the New Testament, its background, content, and major themes. Explores the ancient world and the life of the first Christian communities in order to illumine the New Testament texts. Emphasis on key topics of theology and interpretation and their contemporary relevance.
REL-201 Religious Ethics (3 credits)
Provides an introduction to religious moral thinking, paying attention to the basis, nature, content, and consequences of ethical thought and the religious traditions that address them. Includes a close study and discussion of various approaches to ethics as embedded in the world's most widespread religious traditions (particularly Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.) as well as an analysis of selected contemporary issues such as violence and war, euthanasia, abortion, sexuality, and racism.
REL-212 Living World Religions (3 credits)
Comparative study of the origin, development, literature, organization, and controlling ideas of major world religions.
REL-220 Reformers and Revolutionaries in Christian History (3 credits)
Examines key issues in the history of Christian thought through study of significant figures in late medieval and modern Christian history. Examples of theologians covered include Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, Julian of Norwich, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Teresa of Avila, Anne Hutchinson, and Jonathan Edwards
REL-305 Bible and Justice (3 credits)
Explores the Bible's relationship to contemporary social justice issues. Topics include issues linked to social identity (race, class, gender, sexuality, etc.) as well as global diversity (poverty, globalization, human rights).
REL-310 Contemporary Theologies (3 credits)
Examines major Christian theologies of the 19th and 20th centuries, including neo-orthodoxy, liberalism, existentialism, process theology, global theology, and feminist, Latin American, African American, and Asian liberation theologies. Prerequisite: One course in religion or permission of instructor.
REL-314 Religions of East Asia (3 credits)
Studies the texts, thought, and practices of the religions of East Asia, specifically China and Japan, including Confucianism, Daoism, Shinto, and Buddhism. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.
REL-315 Jews, Christians, Muslims (3 credits)
Examines the three religious traditions that trace their heritage to Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.
REL-320 Jesus and the Gospels (3 credits)
Studies the Gospel texts, explores issues and options of interpretation, and engages the key issues of modern scholarly debate concerning the Gospels. Emphasis on the use of contemporary methods of Biblical exegesis to illumine the Gospel texts. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing, or permission of instructor.
REL-330 Paul and His Letters (3 credits)
Studies key themes of Paul's letters a illumined by contemporary study of Paul. Special attention given to the place of Paul within the history of ancient Christianity, and to core features of Christian theology and practice shaped by Paul's letters. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.
REL-335 Biblical Narratives (3 credits)
Examines theory and practice of biblical interpretation through in-depth study of select biblical narratives, including the Joseph Story, the Succession Narrative (King David), the books of Ruth, Jonah, Daniel, Esther, Tobit, and Judith. Special attention given to literary approaches and theological issues.
REL-340 Women and Religion (3 credits)
Examines women's religious thought in historical or contemporary settings. Explores how women's sense of self-identity and their social position shaped their unique theological perspectives.
REL-345 Religion and Story (3 credits)
This course explores the role of story as a means of communicating religious truth claims. Students will examine selected religious themes presented and/or challenged in novels and films representing diverse socio-religious perspectives. Topics include, for example, faith, human nature, good and evil, redemption, and what is ultimate. Prerequisite: One course in religion or permission of instructor.
REL-350 God, Suffering & Evil (3 credits)
How can God be all-good and all-powerful if evil exists? The classic question of theodicy guides this course, with a study of classic and contemporary attempts to deal with the problem of evil. This course explores how people in religious traditions have thought about and lived in relation to evil and the experiences of suffering. Sustained focus on one topic enables students to practice critical thinking in the study of philosophy and religion. Prerequisite: FYS-112.
REL-375 Religion, Gender, and Culture (3 credits)
This course uses gender as a category of analysis to study religion. Topics vary and may include such things as the connection between religious notions of gender and larger social, political, and economic issues; representative interpretive traditions of religious texts and figures in literature and art; or constructions of gender in major world religions.
REL-380 Topics in Religious Studies Studies (3 credits)
Content changes each time course is offered. Repeatable course. Prerequisite: One course in religion or permission of instructor.
REL-431 Prophets (3 credits)
Examines Old Testament prophets in light of their historical, social, political, and religious backgrounds. Taught as a seminar. Prerequisite: One course in religion or permission of instructor.
REL-435 Biblical Languages Practicum (1-4 credits)
Provides opportunity to employ Greek or Hebrew skills and tools in biblical interpretation and exegetical research. Usually taken in conjunction with one of the following: Religion 320, 330, 335, or 431. Repeatable course. Content changes each time course is offered. Repeatable up to four credit hours. Prerequisite: Greek 211 or Hebrew 112.
REL-445 Religion, Peace & Justice (3 credits)
Provides in-depth engagement with religious approaches to ethical concerns in the social sphere, especially related to questions of war and peace, violence and nonviolence, and economic and social justice. Predominantly focused on the Christian tradition, the course will also include engagement with significant figures in selected other religious traditions. Prerequisite: One course in religion (preferably Religion 201) or permission of instructor.
REL-481 Directed Study in Religion (1-3 credits)
Offers research in special problems or persons under the direction of a member of the religion faculty. Content changes each time course is offered. May be repeated for up to nine hours. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
REL-492 Religion Internship (1-3 credits)
Supervised field experience in church or other house of worship, nonprofit organization, or similar area of direct relevance to a religion major.
ETH-200 Social Justice Movements (3 credits)
This course provides an introduction to the role of world religions in a wide range of liberation struggles and social justice movements from around the globe.
ANTH-453 Anthropology of Religion (3 credits)
Explores theories of religious beliefs and behavior in non-Western societies. Covers cosmology, myth, ritual, religious specialists, and dynamics. Prerequisites: Six hours of anthropology; junior or senior standing.

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Room 350, Olmsted Administration Hall