Religious Studies

Requirements & Courses

  • Major Requirements
    1. Thirty-six credits in Religious Studies including REL 100 and 400.
    2. Remaining program of study will be constructed on an individual basis in consultation with members of the department.
    3. Foreign language study (either ancient or modern, depending on the student’s academic interests) is strongly encouraged for all majors.
  • Minor Requirements
    1. Twenty-four credits in Religious Studies including REL 100 and 400.
    2. Remaining program of study will be constructed on an individual basis in consultation with members of the Department.
  • Four credits from REL, with the exception of practicum or independent study courses, count towards the Distributive Requirements in the Humanities.

Courses

  • REL
    100
    .
    Introduction to World Religions
    4
    An introduction to the histories, major figures, sacred texts and belief systems of selected “world religions” such as Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and/or newer religious movements such as Mormonism or Baha’i Faith.
  • REL
    101
    .
    Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
    4
    Introduction to the Hebrew Bible from its origins to the Babylonian Exile (587-6 B.C.); focuses on history, literature and interpretation. Examination of assumptions and methodology.
  • REL
    102
    .
    Introduction to the New Testament
    4
    Introduction to the New Testament, its history, environment, literature and interpretation. Formative years of Judaism and growth of the Christian community.
  • REL
    103
    .
    Vocation in Christian Traditions
    4
    Examination of history of Christian thought and traditions from early church through modern period. Analysis and interpretation of selected documents.
  • REL
    130
    .
    Creation Stories & the Religious Themes
    4
    Examination of diverse creation myths from many cultures and the role cosmologies play in forming a culture’s worldview.
  • REL
    150
    .
    Good Life in World’s Religions
    4
    Examination of what constitutes a good life according to Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity.
  • REL
    180
    .
    Topics in Religion
    4
    Special topics in Religious Studies will be explored.
  • REL
    181
    .
    Topics in Biblical Study
    4
    Topics may include Torah, Paul’s Letters, Prophetic and Wisdom Literature, Synoptic Gospels, and/or Biblical Ethics and Social Problems. May be repeated for credit for distinct topics.
  • REL
    202
    .
    Women, Gender & Religion
    4
    This course addresses questions about women in various religious traditions and examines the ways feminist theory interacts with the study and practice of religion.
  • REL
    205
    .
    Christianity
    4
    An introduction to Christian thought and practice from the first century to the present. Course includes reading, discussion, and written analysis of a variety of primary and secondary texts; individual and group work; off-campus site visits; and/or academic service learning.
  • REL
    206
    .
    Reformation
    4
    An examination of the theological debates surrounding the Protestant and Catholic Reformations of 16th century Europe. Includes reading, discussion, and written analysis of various primary and secondary texts.
  • REL
    210
    .
    Biblical Ethics & Community Service
    4
    Examines the Biblical ethic which underlies the religious understanding, worship and community service of Jewish and Christian religious communities. Opportunities to participate in community service agencies and programs.
  • REL
    215
    .
    Philosophy of Religion
    4
    Examination of classical and contemporary issues in the philosophy of religion such as arguments for and against the existence of God, religious language, the relation between faith and reason, the evidential value of religious claims, and the relationship between morality and religion. Cross-listed with PHL-215.
  • REL
    216
    .
    Existentialism
    4
    Examination, evaluation and discussion of selected subjects - the individual, freedom, responsibility, anxiety, hope, death, meaning of life - as treated in various essays, short stories and dramas. Focus on analysis and interpretation of texts. Cross-listed with PHL-216.
  • REL
    217
    .
    Asian Philosophy and Religion
    4
    Exploration of the histories and roles of the most influential religious traditions and philosophical systems in Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confuscianism, and Daoism. Cross-listed with PHL-217.
  • REL
    219
    .
    Judaism and Islam
    4
    An examination of Judaism and Islamic thought and practice from the formative periods to the present, including contemporary debates. Includes reading, discussion, and written analysis of various primary and secondary texts.
  • REL
    *
    220
    .
    Bible and Society
    4
    Explores how the social context (ethnic, economic, class, etc.) of faith communities shapes the study, understanding, and use of scripture in worship and impacts the values and daily lives. Emphasis on lectionary readings shared by Protestants and Roman Catholics, and the Hebrew scriptures. Requires instructor permission to register. Cross listed as SOA-221.
  • REL
    225
    .
    Environmental Ethics
    4
    Examination of ideas of nature, relation of humans to nature and human responsibilities to, for and with nature from Western (inherited and current), alternative Western (deep-ecology, ecofeminism, Gaia) and Eastern perspectives. Focus on understanding various environmental ethical perspectives and their personal, social and environmental consequences.
  • REL
    230
    .
    Religion and Science
    4
    Examination of the relationship between religion and science through both historical and contemporary issues.
  • REL
    240
    .
    Jesus in Gospel & Film
    4
    An introduction to the context, life, and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth through the media of film, primary texts (canonical and non-canonical gospels), and secondary texts in biblical criticism.
  • REL
    250
    .
    Christian Ethics
    4
    An exploration of current Christian debates on ethical issues such as human reproduction, homosexuality, pacifism and just war, racism, nationalism, genetic engineering, and/or economic and environmental justice. Prior knowledge of Christian traditions is helpful but not required.
  • REL
    280
    .
    Topics in Religion
    1-8
    Special topics in Religious Studies will be explored.
  • REL
    299
    .
    Religious Studies Independent Study
    1-4
    Individual study of a particular subject in religion.
  • REL
    *
    302
    .
    Women, Gender & Religion
    4
    One Religious Studies course or Permission
    This course addresses questions about women in various religious traditions and examines the ways feminist theory interacts with the study and practice of religion.
  • REL
    *
    305
    .
    Christianity
    4
    One Religious Studies course or Permission
    An introduction to Chrisitan thought and practice from the first century to the present. Course includes reading, discussion, and written analysis of a variety of primary and secondary texts; individual and group work; off-campus site visits; and/or academic service learning.
  • REL
    *
    306
    .
    Reformation
    4
    One Religious Studies course or Permission
    An examination of the theological debates surrounding the Protestant and Catholic Reformations of 16th century Europe. Includes reading, discussion, and written analysis of various primary and secondary texts.
  • REL
    *
    307
    .
    Religion in America
    4
    One Religious Studies course or Permission
    Examination of history of religious thought and traditions in America. Analysis and interpretation of selected documents. Non-traditional forms of religion also included.
  • REL
    *
    315
    .
    Philosophy of Religion
    4
    One Religious Studies course or Permission
    Examination of classical and contemporary issues in the philosophy of religion such as arguments for and against the existence of God, religious language, the relation between faith and reason, the evidential value of religious claims, and the relationship between morality and religion. Also listed as PHL-215.
  • REL
    *
    316
    .
    Existentialism
    4
    One Religious Studies course or Permission
    Examination, evaluation and discussion of selected subjects - the individual, freedom, responsibility, anxiety, hope, death, meaning of life - as treated in various essays, short stories and dramas. Focus on analysis and interpretation of texts.
  • REL
    *
    317
    .
    Asian Philosophy and Religion
    4
    One Religious Studies course or Permission
    Exploration of the histories and roles of the most influential religious traditions and philosophical systems in Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism.
  • REL
    *
    319
    .
    Judaism and Islam
    4
    One Religious Studies course or Permission
    An examination of Judaism and Islamic thought and practice from the formative periods to the present, including contemporary debates. Includes reading, discussion, and written analysis of various primary and secondary texts.
  • REL
    *
    330
    .
    Religion and Science
    4
    One Religious Studies course or Permission
    Examination of the relationship between religion and science through both historical and contemporary issues.
  • REL
    *
    340
    .
    Jesus in Gospel and Film
    4
    One Religious Studies course or Permission
    An introduction to the context, life, and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth through the media of film, primary texts (canonical and non-canonical gospels), and secondary texts in biblical criticism.
  • REL
    *
    350
    .
    Christian Ethics
    4
    One Religious Studies course or Permission
    An exploration of current Christian debates on ethical issues such as human reproduction, homosexuality, pacifism and just war, racism, nationalism, genetic engineering, and/or economic and environmental justice. Prior knowledge of Christian traditions is helpful but not required.
  • REL
    *
    380
    .
    Topics in Religion
    4
    Selected topics in religious studies. May be taken more than once. Only two registrations count toward a Major in Religious Studies.
  • REL
    *
    381
    .
    Topics in Biblical Studies
    4
    One Religious Studies course or Permission
    Topics may include Torah, Paul’s Letters, Prophetic and Wisdom Literature, Synoptic Gospels, and/or Biblical Ethics and Social Problems. May be repeated for credit for distinct topics.
  • REL
    *
    385
    .
    Religious Studies Practicum
    1-4
  • REL
    *
    399
    .
    Religious Studies Independent Study
    2-6
    Individual study of particular subject in religion. Intensive acquaintance with selected part of the literature through planned program of reading.
  • REL
    *
    400
    .
    Theory & Method in Religious Studies
    4
    REL-100
    Upper level seminar addresses current issues in the field of religious studies (such as postmodernism, postcolonialism, disability studies, and/or queer theory), approaching these issues with a variety of disciplinary methods (such as historical, theological, phenomenological, ethical, and/or anthropological). Required for, but not limited to, majors and minors in religious studies.
  • REL
    *
    500
    .
    Senior Thesis
    4
    Individual research culminating in preparation of major paper and departmental oral examination. Requires instructor permission to register.