Religion, Comparative (REL)

REL 101. Introduction to the Study of Religion. (3) (MPF, MPT)

Introduction to the study of religion as a phenomenon of human culture. Various examples of religion are observed and compared in relationship to a thematic and methodological framework. IIB. CAS-B.

REL 128. Religion, Science, and Origins. (3) (MPF)

A team-taught, interdisciplinary introduction to the science behind the theory of evolution and to religious responses to that theory, including contemporary controversies around creation science and intelligent design. Multiple disciplinary perspectives are brought to bear, drawn from fields in both the natural sciences (such as biology) and the humanities (such as philosophy of science, sociology of knowledge, science studies, intellectual and cultural history, and comparative religion). IIB. CAS-B.
Cross-listed with BIO.

REL 133. Imagining Russia. (3) (MPF)

Survey of Russian history, society, politics, economy, literature, film, and arts from a variety of intellectual perspectives. Classroom lectures plus out of class cultural presentations. IIB, IIIB. CAS-B.
Cross-listed with RUS.

REL 177. Independent Studies. (0-6)

REL 201. Methods for the Study of Religion. (3) (MPT)

Classical and contemporary theories of the nature, origin, and function of religion in human society. Required for majors and minors in comparative religion. ADVW. CAS-W.
Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

REL 203. Global Religions of India. (3) (MPF)

Explores the major religions of India and their growth outside India. Asks how these religions have contributed to the religious pluralism of America. Also asks how Asian American and non-Asian American practitioners of these religions have changed the way that religion in practiced in India and other parts of Asia. IIB, IIIB. CAS-B.
Cross-listed with AAA.

REL 223. Introduction to Buddhism. (3)

Explores the development of Buddhism in India and South Asia. Examines the relationship between early Buddhist values and those of the larger culture in India, especially with regard to the importance of marriage, family, and accumulation of wealth. As Buddhism spread to Nepal, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand, it was transformed by and effected profound changes within these other cultures. These cultural interactions are explored.

REL 226. Introduction to Islam. (3)

Origin and early history and rapid spread of Islam as a world faith, development of Muslim theology and culture, major groups and thinkers, and problems and issues of the present.

REL 233. History of Christian Thought. (3)

A survey of the history of Christian thought that introduces the major intellectual issues throughout Christian history, including understandings of God, evil, human nature, and salvation. Examines the diversity in Christianity between and within Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant traditions. Explores the interaction between intellectual developments and historical context.

REL 241. Religions of the American Peoples. (3) (MPT)

An introduction to the Jewish, Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholic traditions with emphasis on their transition to and development in North America. IC. CAS-B.
Cross-listed with AMS.

REL 254. Introduction to Russian and Eurasian Studies. (3) (MPF)

Examines the major developments that have shaped Russian and Eurasian Culture, society and politics over the last millennium. The course incorporates perspectives from the social sciences, humanities and the fine arts. IIB. CAS-B.
Cross-listed with ATH/CLS/ITS/HST/POL/RUS.

REL 275. Introduction to the Critical Study of Biblical Literature. (3) (MPF, MPT)

Surveys origins, historical development, content of texts, both canonical & non-canonical, that contributed to the formation of the Bible against the background of the advent & continuing development of modern literary and historical-critical methods. IIB. CAS-B.

REL 277. Independent Studies. (0-6)

REL 286. Global Jewish Civilization. (3) (MPF)

How did the Jewish people persist through the vicissitudes of enslavement, conquest, dispersion, and return, over the course of three thousand years of history? In this course, we will study of the encounter between Jews and the cultures and lands in which they lived, through a consideration of Jewish sacred texts and literature, spanning the globe from Ancient Mesopotamia to modern America. IIB, IIIB. CAS-B.

REL 312. Religions of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. (3) (MPT)

Survey of religion in ancient Israel from the beginnings of the nation to 587 B.C.E. Draws upon discoveries in the ancient Near East illuminating history, culture, and religion of ancient Israel.

REL 313. Marriage Across Cultures. (3)

This class engages feminist theory and gender studies to explore the consequences of different types of marital formations (polygamous as well as monogamous) for the lives of women and men in selected Western and non-Western cultures. IC. CAS-B.
Cross-listed with WGS.

REL 314. Social and Religious History of the Jewish People. (3) (MPF, MPT)

Cultural, social, and religious history of Jews in Europe, America, and the Middle East since Enlightenment with emphasis on 20th century and in the context of the larger society and culture. IIB. CAS-B.

REL 316. The Age of the Reformation. (3)

The religious revolutions of the 16th century, both Protestant and Catholic, in their social, political, and religious contexts. Topics chosen from: medieval reform movements and heresies; popular religion; the debates about clerical celibacy, free will, and the priesthood; social discipline and the modern state; family and women; the missions to the New World; the witch craze and the Inquisition.
Cross-listed with HST 316.

REL 331. Paul and the Beginnings of Christianity. (3)

History, institutions, and thought of early Christianity in the first two centuries, C.E., including the letters of Paul and early interpreters of Paul.

REL 332. The Development of Christianity: 100 to 451. (3)

Development of Christianity and the interaction between religion, culture, society, and politics from second through fifth centuries.

REL 333. Religion, Dress, and Status. (3) (MPT)

Displays of status through constrictive dress and gender segregation will be explored with reference to religion, gender, and class. Course will explore the topic through selected case studies, several of which involve Islamic cultures.
Cross-listed with WGS.

REL 334. Women's Religious Experiences in the Ancient Mediterranean World. (3) (MPT)

Places women's lives and cultic experiences at the center, introducing a range of religious traditions from ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Israel, and Egypt, to Greece and Rome, as the database for an analysis of women's relationships to myths, temple cults, festivals, mystery rites, domestic cult, private and immigrant cults, and magic from the second millennium BCE to the 4th century CE. The course emphasizes the application of modern critical approaches to the ancient evidence including material culture and epigraphy.

REL 336. Reconstructing Jesus. (3)

There are a lot of Jesuses out there; the divine savior, the wandering Jewish preacher, the apocalyptic prophet, the revolutionary, the moral philosopher—each one someone’s reconstruction. How do we get to the Jesus of History, and what does that even mean? Students explore the intellectual and methodological problems in reconstructing a historical figure — none more influential than Jesus of Nazareth.

REL 337. Religions of Russia and Eurasia. (3)

Explores the developments of religion in Russia from the tenth century to the present day. The course introduces students to Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the role of religion in Russia's history and culture as well as religious diversity in Russia and Central Asia.

REL 340. Internship. (0-20)

REL 341. Protestantism and the Development of American Culture. (3) (MPT)

History and symbolic structure of American Protestantism and its role in the development of American culture.

REL 342. Religious Pluralism in Modern America. (3) (MPT)

Historical and cultural analysis of religious communities of the U.S. of primarily non-European origin. Includes African American, Native American, Latino, and Middle Eastern and Asian traditions, including Islam. IC. CAS-B.
Cross-listed with AMS.

REL 343. African-American Religions. (3)

An historical survey of the formulation and expression of African-American religions from slavery to the present, including culturally specific forms of Christianity and Islam, as well as reinventions and reinterpretations of African traditions.
Cross-listed with BWS.

REL 345. Women, Religion and Social Change in America. (3) (MPT)

An exploration of various ways in which women lifted their own voices, engaged with societal issues, and constructed their communities and themselves through the institutions and frameworks of religion in America.
Cross-listed with AMS/WGS.

REL 346. Issues in the Study of Native American Religions. (3) (MPT)

This course focuses on the methods by which Native American religions have been studied and represented, and ways in which these methods and representations have been, and continue to be, critiqued.
Cross-listed with AMS.

REL 355. Religion and Law. (3)

Students will work with legal briefs, theories, and case studies drawn from a range of traditions, such as Islamic, Jewish, Hindu, and Christian, to examine how law and religion are constituted and used to construct, challenge, or complicate identities. Case studies will focus on controversial cases in the US and other parts of the world. Also analyzed will be the changes to law and religion brought by modernization such as the effects of secularization, technology and new media, colonial/post-colonialism, and human migration.

REL 360. Interdisciplinary Special Topics. (1-4; maximum 8)

Course of study on a selected topic examined from the perspective of two or more disciplines.

REL 365. Arabian Gulf Economies in Social Transition. (6)

Since the discovery of oil in twentieth-century Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman and the United Arab Emirates have seen remarkable social, cultural, political, and economic shifts. In visits to Dubai, Muscat, and Abu Dhabi, this program will introduce students to the intersection of the religious, cultural, and economic climates of both the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman to foster the importance of Arab culture and Islam to the pursuit of a successful emerging, developed, and specialized economy in the Middle East. Through site visits, conversations with experts and locals, as well as personal experiences, students will evaluate how culture is preserved, lost, and transformed in Oman and UAE in the course of engaging in local and global business. As a result of this experience, students interested in foreign affairs, human cultures, global politics, and global economies will be uniquely skilled to succeed in the Arabian Gulf context. This course is only offered as part of a credit workshop.

REL 376. Global Jihadism. (3)

Introduces and examines the development of contemporary Jihadi-Salafi movements such as al-Qa'ida and ISIS in comparison with movements such as Hamas and Hizbullah. Evaluates the changing interpretations of Islamic tradition, law, and religious practice each movement manifests. Particular attention is paid to a critical analysis of the writings and multimedia productions of these movements in response to modernization, secularization, and global historical and socioeconomic circumstances.

REL 377. Independent Studies. (0-6)

REL 402. Basic Structures in the History of Religions. (3) (MPC)

Investigations of categories, types, and forms developed for the study of religions, such as the Sacred, the Holy, myth, initiation.

REL 430. Early Christian Literature and Religion. (4; maximum 4)

Selected texts and/or themes of early Christianity studied critically in their historical and cultural context. Reading knowledge of Greek is desirable.

REL 470A. Havighurst Colloquium. (3)

Exploration of significant issues related to Russian and post communist affairs. Each semester focuses on a central theme or topic that is examined through presentations, readings, research, discussion, and writing. May be repeated once for credit with only 3 hours counting towards the history major.
Cross-listed with ATH/CLS/HST/RUS 436/RUS 536 and POL 440/POL 540.

REL 477. Independent Studies. (0-6)

REL 480. Independent Reading for Departmental Honors. (1-6)

REL 677. Independent Studies. (0-6)

REL 700. Research for Master's Thesis. (1-10)