RELS   101. Introduction to Religious Studies. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course examines the phenomenon of religion and religious experience. Through a phenomenological approach definitions and descriptions of the major features of the religious experience and of religious establishments, including concepts of the sacred, the numinous, religious language, texts, symbols, rituals and myths are reviewed. In addition, the social, political and spiritual dimensions of religion in human culture will be investigated.

RELS   108. Human Spirituality. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of the manifestations of one or more of the themes of religious studies in a diverse group of religious communities. The themes may include such wide-ranging topics as the sacred and profane, the epistemology of faith and knowledge, creation stories, human identity, the nature of the divine, the possibility of liberation or salvation, mythology, ritual, ethics, religion and art, religion and law, and religion and politics.

RELS   201. Biblical Hebrew. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Vocabulary, elementary grammar, introduction to lexica and reading of biblical texts.

RELS   202. Biblical Hebrew. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: RELS   201. Vocabulary, elementary grammar, introduction to lexica and reading of biblical texts.

RELS   250. Death: Myth and Reality. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of intellectual and emotional responses to death and dying with emphasis upon their role in the development of religious thought and practice. Special attention will be paid to the death theme in literature, funeral practices and beliefs concerning the afterlife in selected world religions.

RELS   280. Introduction to Catholic Studies. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course provides an introduction to Catholicism's major doctrines, figures, historical events, philosophy and ethics from its beginnings in the first centuries of the Common Era through contemporary debates over such issues as abortion, sexuality and war. Students will learn about scripture, doctrine, theology, the sacraments, art and architectures, saints, social justice and gender, and the history and role of the Church.

RELS   282. Introduction to Buddhism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Introduces Buddhism from its origins in India and addresses its major schools of thought, practice, ritual and philosophy, in Asia and beyond, particularly the United States.

RELS   291. Topics in Religious Studies. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of six credits. Focused study of selected ideas, institutions, movements, time periods and/or thinkers. See Schedule of Classes for specific topic to be offered each semester.

RELS   301. Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A survey of the Hebrew Bible from its beginning through the post-Exile period. Emphasis given to the literary and historical development of the text.

RELS   302. Introduction to the New Testament. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A survey of the New Testament with particular emphasis given to the historical development of the Canon.

RELS   303. Intertestamental Literature and Thought. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. The period between the Old and New Testaments as seen through the literature of the era, with emphasis on the writings of the Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha and Josephus.

RELS   305. Hebrew Prophets. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A survey of the literature and history of Israel as seen through the work of the writing prophets. Emphasis will be placed on the second part of the Hebrew Canon and the Book of Daniel.

RELS   306. Introduction to Judaism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A general survey of the dynamics and characteristic patterns of Jewish civilization encompassing history, practices and beliefs. Crosslisted as: INTL   306.

RELS   307. Black Religion. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An analysis of the role of religion in the lives of blacks with an emphasis on African religions and philosophies, the black church in America, and the roles of the various faiths, sects and cults. Crosslisted as: AFAM   307/INTL   307.

RELS   308. High and Later Middle Ages. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A detailed historical overview of developments in Western Europe from the end of the first millennium through the end of the 15th century. Crosslisted as: HIST   311.

RELS   310. Mediterranean Religions. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Explores the earliest evidence of religious practice and belief in the Mediterranean region and probes the ways that the ancient traditions shaped the religions that still endure today. Also investigates the effect of religion in the Mediterranean region on related issues of intercultural relations, peace and conflict, and migration.

RELS   311. Religions of the World. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An investigation of the historical, cultural and theological foundations and development of major world religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Shinto. Crosslisted as: INTL   311.

RELS   312. Religions of the World. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An investigation of the historical, cultural and theological foundations and development of major world religions including Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Crosslisted as: INTL   312.

RELS   313. Life and Literature of Paul. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A survey of the life and literature of Paul as given in Acts and the Epistles, involving special consideration of Paul's contribution to the expansion of Christianity.

RELS   314. Jesus in the New Testament. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of the Christ of faith and the Jesus of history as presented in New Testament literature and as interpreted in the works of selected scholars from the church fathers to the present.

RELS   315. The Ancient Near East. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of the ancient Near Eastern civilizations from the preliterary period to the end of Kassite rule in Babylonia (c. 1160 B.C.). Crosslisted as: HIST   301.

RELS   317. Islam. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of the emergence of Islam in Arabia in the seventh century and its subsequent developments, including a look at the Qur'an (the holy book), the Prophetic traditions, the concept of God, and mysticism (sufism) and law (shari'ah) and an overview of ritual practices, fundamental beliefs, theological principles and current issues in Islam and international relationship. Crosslisted as: INTL   317.

RELS   318. History of the Jewish People I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of the Jewish people from the biblical period to the early modern period, including the Israelite conquest of Canaan, Judea in Hellenistic and Roman times, the Diaspora in Islam and in Europe, social and cultural trends, and Jewish settlement in the Ottoman Empire. Crosslisted as: HIST   333.

RELS   319. History of the Jewish People II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of the Jewish people from the early modern to the present, including the impact of the Emancipation, the rise of the American Jewish community, the impact of modernism and growth of Reform, the beginnings and growth of Zionism, restoration in Palestine, the Holocaust, the creation of Israel, and the relations of Israel and world Jewry. Crosslisted as: HIST   334.

RELS   320. Taoism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of one of the most fundamental and influential philosophies of life in Chinese culture, focusing on the theory and practice of the basic principles of Taoism as formulated by the legendary Lao Tzu and further developed by Chuang Tzu.

RELS   322. Tibetan Buddhism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A basic introduction to the history, development and mythology of the Buddhism of Tibet focusing on the Indian heritage and shared basis of all Buddhist practices, a clear identification of the three vehicles found in Buddhism, and a careful consideration of the path of the Bodhisattva, the hero of Great Vehicle Buddhism. Crosslisted as: PHIL   322.

RELS   326. Existentialism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: 3 credits in philosophy (exclusive of logic) or permission of instructor. An examination of the nature of truth, freedom, responsibility, individuality and interpersonal relations as found in some principal writings of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Jaspers, Sartre, Heidegger, Camus, Buber and Marcel. Crosslisted as: PHIL   326.

RELS   327. History of Christianity I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A historical and theological examination of Christianity from its origin to the early modern period, or the age of the Reformations. Emphasis is placed upon an understanding of leading events, ideas, movements and persons in their historical settings. Crosslisted as: HIST   335.

RELS   333. Psychology and Religious Experience. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: PSYC   101. Religious belief and experience as viewed by major psychological theorists. How psychological methodology has been used to study religious experience. Topics include personality factors and development, conversion experiences, religious experiences and mental health and human values. Crosslisted as: PSYC   333.

RELS   334. Religion in Contemporary America. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course studies the history, literature, belief patterns and unique traits of religion in the United States. The evolution of religion and religious sentiment in a modern pluralistic, democratic society, including the varieties of religious experiences in contemporary America will be reviewed.

RELS   335. The American Jewish Experience. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. The religious, social and cultural structure of American Jewry from the Colonial era to the present.

RELS   336. Religions in Latin America. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An interdisciplinary survey of the major religious groups of Latin America, with a focus on the development of Catholicism, Protestantism and the traditions of the African diaspora, such as Santeria and Voduo, during the 20th century.

RELS   337. Contemporary Cults and New Religious Movements. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An overview of contemporary religious movements. Focuses on new groups that have emerged in the context of globalization. Involves understanding of what gives rise to these movements, how they are distinctive and how they develop.

RELS   340. Global Ethics and the World's Religions. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A critical survey of ethical concepts and issues in the thought and practice of major religious traditions. Comparison of ethical perspectives on selected themes and attention to cooperative efforts toward a global ethic. Crosslisted as: INTL   341.

RELS   350. World Classics of Spirituality. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A critical reading of selected works from among the spiritual classics of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Taoism and other religious traditions. Crosslisted as: INTL   360.

RELS   360. Sociology of Religion. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A systematic review and assessment of major sociological theories of and empirical research on religious behavior and groups. Topics include the structure of religious organizations; social correlates and functions of religion; denominationalism; religion and social class, social change and population. Crosslisted as: SOCY   360.

RELS   361. The Bible as Literature. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Literary aspects of the Bible will be considered. Also, attention will be given to the history of the English Bible. Crosslisted as: ENGL   361.

RELS   362. Shakespeare and Religion. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An examination of the religious ideas in selected plays by William Shakespeare and their relevance to contemporary religious thought and experience. Topics include the nature of God, the meaning of life, the problem of evil, moral authority and the question of immortality as found in Shakespeare's plays.

RELS   363. Archaeology and Sacred Texts. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lectures hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: UNIV   200 or HONR   200. Explores past and present archaeological research as it relates to events, persons, and places described in ancient sacred texts of the Mediterranean.

RELS   371. Women in Islam. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: UNIV   200 or HONR   200, RELS   108, GSWS   201 or ENGL   215. Critical study of the roles and rights of women in Islam. Crosslisted as: GSWS   371.

RELS   372. Global Women's Spirituality. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Explores the spiritual writings of women in various cultures and religious traditions. Crosslisted as: GSWS   372/INTL   372.

RELS   373. Gender and the Bible. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: RELS   108 or GSWS   201 or RELS   301 or RELS   302; and ENGL   215 or UNIV   200 or HONR   200. Studies the Hebrew and Christian scriptures with emphasis on gender. Attention to traditional, feminist, womanist and postcolonial interpretation. Crosslisted as: GSWS   373.

RELS   380. Contemporary Catholic Thought. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: RELS   280. A study of the contemporary Catholic Christian response to the questions, "Who is God?" and "Where/how do we experience the Sacred?" Methods of Catholic theology will be explicated and applied to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and current responses to those teachings in such areas as sacramental worship and liturgy, and moral/ethical teachings of the Church.

RELS   391. Topics in Religious Studies. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 6 credits. A study of a selected ideas or concepts, religious thinkers or significant movements in the field of religion. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester and prerequisites.

RELS   401. Faith and Life Sciences. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: UNIV   200 or HONR   200. Open to students of any school or program. Explores the complex relationships between faith traditions and the life sciences. Topics include epistemology, impact of life sciences on ideas of fate and responsibility, limits of science and technology, and scientific and religious perspectives on human origins, consciousness, aggression, forgiveness, health, illness and death. Crosslisted as: LFSC   401.

RELS   407. Modern Jewish Thought. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: UNIV   200 or HONR   200. A study of the writings of the leading Jewish thinkers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Special reference will be made to the issues arising from the encounter of Judaism with the modern world: the nature of revelation and the authority of the Torah, the nature of God, the impact of the Holocaust, the meaning of redemption and the significance of the state of Israel.

RELS   408. Indian Tradition. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: at least six credits from philosophy or religious studies courses. A systematic analysis of the major theories of Indian religious and philosophical thought: Vedas, Upanishads, Gita, Charvaka, Jainism, Buddhism, the six systems of Hinduism and contemporary developments. Crosslisted as: PHIL   408.

RELS   409. Modern Islamic Thought and Global Trends. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: INTL/RELS   312 or INTL/RELS   317; UNIV   200 or HONR   200. Introduces students to the integral relationship of Islam to major events of global concern and contextualizes these events into the wider modern and postmodern developments of Islamic thought and its intellectual and ideological self-interrogation. This course will provide students with the opportunity to study both the background of modern Islamic thought and selected contemporary events. Crosslisted as: INTL   409.

RELS   410. The Chinese Tradition in Philosophy. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of the development of Confucianism, of alternative ways of thought prior to the fall of the Han Dynasty and of neo-Confucianism. The systems of thought are examined in the light of their social, political and religious impact on China, Korea and Japan. Crosslisted as: PHIL   410/INTL   410.

RELS   412. Zen Buddhism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: UNIV   200 or HONR   200. A study of Zen Buddhism, including backgrounds in Indian philosophy and practice, development in China and Korea, and present-day Zen theory and practice in Japan and in Western countries. Crosslisted as: PHIL   412/INTL   412.

RELS   422. Religion and Film. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated with different themes for a total of six credits. Prerequisite: UNIV   200 or HONR   200. Explores central themes present in all global religious traditions, such as ritual, faith, myth, suffering, redemption, the religious quest/pilgrimage, the nature of good and evil and perceptions of the sacred. Using readings from sacred texts and contemporary film critiques, the course juxtaposes ancient story and wisdom with contemporary narratives in film. Possible themes would include women and religion in world cinema, Christology in world cinema, and violence and redemption in film.

RELS   425. Religion, Magic and Witchcraft. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: ANTH/INTL   103 and UNIV   200 or HONR   200 with a minimum grade of C. A survey of the nature and variety of beliefs outside of the major streams of religious thought. Among topics considered are myth, totemism, taboo and sorcery. Emphasis on understanding supernatural beliefs and practices in relation to culture and society. Crosslisted as: ANTH   425/INTL   425.

RELS   430. Philosophy of Religion. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: 3 credits in philosophy (exclusive of PHIL   211 and PHIL   212) or permission of instructor. An introduction to the major problems and questions of religion and reason. Special reference will be made to the nature of God, the nature of man, the problem of evil, the source of good, immortality and the basis of authority. Crosslisted as: PHIL   430.

RELS   440. Mysticism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: UNIV   200 or HONR   200. A critical analysis of the varieties of mysticism in world religions. Arguments for and against mysticism will be emphasized. Mysticism will be related to art, psychology, science, philosophy, theology and magic. Crosslisted as: PHIL   440.

RELS   441. Islamic Mysticism: the Sufis. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: INTL/RELS   312 or INTL/RELS   317; UNIV   200 or HONR   200. Introduces students to the major Sufi masters and their works. It covers ideological and practical development of Islamic mysticism as compared to the developments within Islam itself. Crosslisted as: INTL   441.

RELS   442. Seminar in Hinduism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A survey of Hinduism, taking up the earliest origins of Hinduism, the Hindu creation myth, the various conceptions of the divine, the speculation regarding human nature, the stages of life, development of family and monastic codes, the great epics of Hinduism including the Bhagavad-Gita, the six schools of Hindu philosophy and modern Hinduism as it has developed in response to Western influences.

RELS   450. Religion, Globalization and Social Justice. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: RELS   340/INTL   341, WLRD 210 or WRLD   220; UNIV   200 or HONR   200. Explores the role religions are playing in the work of building a socially just and environmentally sustainable world community. Crosslisted as: INTL   449.

RELS   451. Religion, Racism and Social Justice. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: RELS   340/INTL   341, WLRD 210 or WRLD   220; UNIV   200 or HONR   200. Explores the complex history and contemporary relationships between religion, racism and social justice. Crosslisted as: AFAM   451/INTL   451.

RELS   453. Western Religions, Women and Social Justice. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: UNIV   200 or HONR   200; and RELS   108, GSWS   201 or WRLD   210. Explores the experience and portrayal of women in the three Abrahamic traditions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Study focuses on how these religions and their texts bear upon the social, economic, political and spiritual lives of women. Special attention is given to the impact of globalization and religious fundamentalism on women. Crosslisted as: GSWS   453/INTL   453.

RELS   455. Catholic Ethics and Social Justice. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: RELS   280 or 380, or RELS/INTL   312, or RELS   340/INTL   341; UNIV   200 or HONR   200. An exploration of the Catholic church's major theological, ethical, constitutional and strategic concerns, and an analysis of Catholic social teaching and its relation to current social issues such as abortion, peace and conflict, poverty, and human rights. Crosslisted as: INTL   456.

RELS   490. Senior Capstone Seminar. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: RELS   340/INTL   341; senior standing in religious studies major with a minimum of 85 credits earned toward the degree. Senior research project; written thesis and oral presentations using established concepts, theories and research methods in religious studies. Students will select the religious groups/traditions as the focus of their research, writing and oral presentations in consultation with the course instructor.

RELS   491. Topics in Religious Studies. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated with different topics for maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisite: written permission of instructor. An in-depth study of selected ideas or concepts, religious thinkers or significant movements in the field of religion. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

RELS   492. Independent Study. 1-4 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Maximum of 4 credits per semester; maximum total of 6 credits for all independent study courses. Open generally to students of only junior or senior standing who have acquired at least 12 credits in the departmental discipline. Determination of the amount of credit and permission of instructor and department chair must be procured prior to registration of the course. An independent study course to allow interested students in religious studies to do research in an area of major interest under the direction of a professor qualified in that field.

RELS   493. Religious Studies Internship. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits (40 clock hours per credit). May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits, however only 3 credits can count toward the major. Prerequisites: completion of 9 credits of upper-level (300- or above) course work in religious studies, and permission of the internship coordinator. Student must be in good academic standing with a minimum major GPA of 2.25. Designed for the advanced student to gain workplace experience in a local, national or international organization offering opportunities in religious studies.

RELS   499. Senior Seminar. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Prerequisites: RELS   340/INTL   341; senior standing in religious studies major with a minimum of 85 credits earned toward the degree. Pre- or corequisite: RELS   490. Focuses on self-assessment, compilation of a portfolio and curriculum vitae, career and graduate school preparation, and on the lifelong application of skills and knowledge acquired in the program. Students will critically assess their experience in the religious studies program.

RELS   592. Independent Study. 1-4 Hours.

Semester course; 1-4 credits. Determination of the amount of credit and permission of the instructor and department chair must be procured prior to registration for the course. Open only to graduate students. An independent study course to allow qualified graduate students to do research in an area of major interest.