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Religious Studies (RELI)
Philosophy and Religious Studies
100 The Human Religious Experience (3:3:0). Examination of the main forms of religious expression as embodied in several important religious traditions in the contemporary world. Religious experience, myth and ritual, teachings and scripture, and the ethical, social, and artistic aspects of religion are investigated, as well as the nature and function of religion in human society.
211 Religions of the Near (Middle) East (3:3:0). Survey of the religions of the Middle East. Focuses on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam from historical, comparative, and cross-cultural perspectives but may also include modern developments of those faiths such as Mormonism and Baha'ism, as well as Zoroastrianism and the religions of ancient Near Eastern cultures.
212 Religions of the Orient (3:3:0). Survey of the religions of India, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and the religions of the Far East, China, and Japan, including Daosim, Confucianism, Shinto, from their origins to the present.
231 Religion in America (3:3:0). Religious heritage in American culture, growth of denominations and sects, and interrelationship of religion and sociopolitical life.
251 Biblical Studies: The Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (3:3:0). Provides a working knowledge of the composition, dates, contents, and development of the books of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament from the perspective of the history, religion, and society of ancient Israel. Where appropriate, connections to its later use in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are made.
252 Biblical Studies: The New Testament (3:3:0). Origins and teachings of the writings of the New Testament within the historical context of early Christian communities of faith and their background in the religions and cultures of Palestine and the Greco-Roman world. Attention is given to literary, rhetorical, and theological aspects of the texts as well as their later use in the development of Christianity.
272 Islamic Religious Life (3:3:0). Introduces students to the basic religious beliefs and practices of Islam, with a view to the diverse manifestations of Islamic culture in different ethnic and social contexts. Provides an overview of the essential rituals of Islamic life, the mystical practices of the Sufis, certain popular forms of religious practice, the sources and application of Islamic law and distinctive Islamic artistic and literary forms.
313 Hindu Religion and Philosophy (3:3:0). Hindu religious and philosophical developments from origins through formative periods.
314 Chinese Philosophies and Religious Traditions (3:3:0). Prerequisite: RELI 212 or permission of instructor. Survey of the major religious traditions and philosophical themes of China including Confucianism, Taoism, and Chinese Buddhism and Neo-Confucianism. Examines the foundation of the Chinese world view and spirituality by investigating the diverse religious traditions that have created tensions and harmony among them.
315 The Buddhist Tradition (3:3:0). Prerequisite: RELI 212 or permission of instructor. Survey of the Buddhist religious traditions. Main thrust of the course includes the historical development of Buddhism in India, China, and Japan, examining both Theravada and Mahayana traditions; philosophical and religious significance of Buddhism; and social and political implications of the Buddhist traditions in the South Asian and East Asian countries.
337 Mysticism: East and West (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Three credits in religious studies or permission of instructor. Comparative treatment of major expressions of mysticism in East and West through exploration of various ways of understanding mystical experience. Readings and discussion emphasize one or more of the Eastern (Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zen) and Western (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) traditions.
341 Global Perspectives on Spirituality and Healing (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 30 credits or permission of instructor. A cross-cultural investigation of human understandings of the relationship between spirituality and health. Beliefs about the spiritual causes of sickness and health and spiritual techniques of healing in a variety of world cultures are placed within the context of religious beliefs of those cultures.
351 Religions of the Ancient Near East (3:3:0). Prerequisites: RELI 100, 211, 212, 251 or 252, or permission of the instructor. Examination of the religions of the ancient Near East, ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Levant (Syria-Palestine), or Asia Minor. Selection of the religion depends on the instructor.
352 Judaism between the Old and New Testaments (3:3:0). Prerequisite: RELI 211, 251, 252 or permission of instructor. Examination of Jewish religion, history, and literature from the Babylonian Exile to the third century C.E. Special attention is given to the development of the Hebrew Bible, Apocalyptic and Apocryphal literature, belief in resurrection and final judgment, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jewish sects, and the emergence of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism.
353 From Creation to Covenant (3:3:0). Prerequisite: RELI 211, 251, or 252, or permission of instructor. Studies the first five books of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Genesis through Deuteronomy, that form the core of biblical religion and the Judeo-Christian tradition. Topics include creation and the flood, the patriarchal narratives, the Exodus and the Covenant at Sinai, the laws that regulated worship and daily life, and the concepts of choice and holiness in Israel. Theories of composition and editorial history also are examined, as well as the continuing influence and relevance of these books in important aspects of religion and society.
354 The Prophets of Israel (3:3:0). Prerequisite: RELI 211, 251, or 252, or permission of instructor. Rise and development of prophecy in ancient Israel, with reference to examples of divination and the ancient prophecy of the Near East. Special attention is given to prophecy as religious, social, and literary phenomena through a close study of the prophetic books in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, their composition, structure, and message.
355 The Wisdom of Israel (3:3:0). Prerequisite: RELI 211, 251, or 252, or permission of instructor. Examination of the Wisdom Literature of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes) to discover how they understand God, humans, and their world, the problems of suffering, divine justice, and skepticism, and how they contrast with the rest of the Hebrew Bible.
356 Jesus and the Gospels (3:3:0). Prerequisites: 3 credits in philosophy and religious studies, or permission of the instructor. Examines the Gospel accounts of Jesus within the context of first-century Christianity. A variety of historical and literary methods will be applied to gain an understanding of Jesus and the history and theology of the early church.
370 Judaism: Life and Thought (3:3:0). Prerequisite: RELI 211 or 251, or permission of instructor. A study of Judaism from ancient times to the present. Covers topics such as the religious, historical, and literary origins of Judaism B.C.E., Rabbinic Judaism, Jews in Mediaeval Christian and Islamic societies, Kabbalistic (mystical) Judaism, Jews and the Enlightenment, persecutions of Jews culminating in the Holocaust of the twentieth century, contemporary American Judaism, and relations between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
374 Islamic Thought (3:3:0). Prerequisite: RELI 211, 3 credits in Religious Studies, or permission of instructor. Examination of Islamic views on fundamental issues in religious thought, such as the nature of God, the nature of man, and the relationship between God and man as reflected in both divine revelation and the human religious vocation. Course investigates a number of intellectual approaches to these problems within the Islamic tradition, including those of theological, philosophical, and mystical thinkers.
375 Qur'an and Hadith (3:3:0). Prerequisites: 3 credits in philosophy and religious studies, or permission of the instructor. Explores the two primary sources of Islamic belief and practice: the Qur'an and the Hadith. Discussion of the thematic structure and literary quality of the tests is accompanied by an examination of some theological and moral issues they raise and an introduction to the various methods of interpretation and critical analysis applied to the texts in both Islamic and Western scholarship. The format for this course is lecture and discussion.
376, 377 Special Topics in Religious Thought (3:3:0), (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Three credits in philosophy or religious studies or permission of instructor. Selected topics from a philosophical perspective.
420, 421, 422, 423 Seminar (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Limited to students in the religious studies track of the philosophy major, but others may be admitted if the topic is sufficiently close to their fields of study. Topics vary.
425, 426 Independent Study (3:3:0), (3:3:0). Prerequisites: Limited to students in the religious studies track majors with 60 credits and 15 credits of religious studies and permission of department.
490 Comparative Study of Religions (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Nine credits in religious studies including RELI 211 and 212, or permission of instructor. Cross-cultural examination of the comparative aspects of religious phenomena. Examines the significance of religious phenomena from diverse religious and cultural perspectives, and investigates patterns of religious phenomena that have appeared in world cultures and civilizations.
591 Current Issues in Religious Studies (3:3:0). Special topics in religious studies that are of central interest in that field and of interdisciplinary interest as well. Topics are selected according to their current importance in the field of religious studies and their pertinence to discussions of the role of religion in contemporary social, cultural, and political life.
641 Drama in the World's Religions (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Examination of how drama is used in the religions of the world, past and present, to enact the myths, convey the concepts, and involve the worshippers. Ritual dramas, mystery, morality, and passion plays are studied, together with plays that explore profoundly religious themes.
657 "Scripture" in Religious Traditions (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Exploration of the phenomena of "sacred text" or "scripture," a widespread and important cultural phenomenon in the major religious traditions of the world.