Religion (REL)

REL 110 The Old Testament 3.0 SH [GEB]

Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures as history, as literature, and as a statement of faith. God's covenant with Israel forms a unifying motif, seen against the background of the ancient Near East. A brief overview of the New Testament is also included.

REL 120 The New Testament 3.0 SH [GEB]

An introductory overview of the historical context, literary genres, and theological and ethical messages of the New Testament, with focus on its contemporary relevance, the identity of Jesus, and what it means to be his follower. A brief overview of the Old Testament is also included.

REL 130 World Religions 3.0 SH [GEH]

An introduction to the world's religious traditions, including the three Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, and other traditions at the discretion of the instructor. This course provides an opportunity to learn about the diversity of religious practice in the world and prepares students for a world impacted by religion at every level.

REL 215 The Hebrew Prophets 3.0 SH [GEH]

Prophecy as a quest for leadership and as insight into social and moral conditions in Israel before, during, and after the exile.

REL 218 Wisdom Literature and Psalms 3.0 SH [GEH]

Close reading of Psalms, Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes, with reference to wisdom traditions of the ancient Near East.

REL 222 The Bible and the Environment 3.0 SH [GEH]

This course critically examines and interprets relevant biblical texts within the context of the current ecological crisis with the intent of articulating a biblical case that responds to the challenge to live faithfully and responsibly as stewards of the Earth and its resources.

REL 224 Christian Gospels 3.0 SH [GEH]

An examination of the origins and development of Christian gospels in and outside the New Testament canon, as historical, literary, and theological products of the early Church, and of their contemporary interpretations.

REL 225 The Bible & Comparative Ethics 3.0 SH [GEH]

A survey of systems of biblical ethics and their basis in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures serves as the basis for comparative study of other religious and secular systems of ethics, and the interaction between ethical teachings of world religions.
Prerequisite: REL 110 or REL 120.

REL 227 Paul the Apostle 3.0 SH [GEH]

An exploration of the life, letters, thought and impact of the prolific and controversial apostle. The book of Acts, Paul's letters and those attributed to him, are examined in order to better understand both the man and the message.

REL 230 Faith and Film 3.0 SH [GEH]

Students will develop evaluative and critical skills for use in their encounter with the medium of film. These skills will be applied both to films with explicitly religious and spiritual themes, as well as to films in which such themes are more hidden and implicit. Theories of film criticism and biblical scholarship and sensitivity will be employed as students view, discuss, review, and research a variety of popular films.

REL 231 History of Christianity 3.0 SH [GEH]

An exploration of the Christian churches from their beginnings in the apostolic period to their most recent expressions in the twenty-first century. The course considers how Christianity has shaped societies and how societies have shaped Christianity. Major movements, leading figures, theological developments, and religious trends will be examined to better understand the global spectrum of Christian expressions.

REL 240 Introduction to Islam 3.0 SH [GEH]

The study of Islam as a religion, focusing on the Quran, the prophet Muhammad, ritual, commentary, dissent, and important religious themes and developments during three periods: Middle (650-850 CE); Mature (850-1500 CE); and Modern (1600-present).

REL 260 Religion in America 3.0 SH [GEH]

An historical survey of religious groups and movements that shaped and were shaped by the American experience.

REL 270 Gender & Religion 3.0 SH [GEH]

This course examines underlying assumptions about gender roles in the context of scripture and religious practice. It explores historical, cultural, and religious expectations about men's and women's attitudes and interests, and how those appear in scriptures and in various religious traditions. The title will be extended to describe the current topic. May be taken two times provided the topics differ.

REL 275 Christian Science Movement 3.0 SH [GEH]

This course allows students to engage in in-depth study of specific aspects of the history and/or cultural practice of Christian Science at various times and places. May be repeated once provided the topics differ.

REL 300 Biblical Interpretation 3.0 SH [  ]

An analysis and practicum of the methods scholars and others have used to interpret biblical literature, from antiquity to the present.
Prerequisite: REL 110 or REL 120.

REL 304 Topics in Biblical Studies 1.0-3.0 SH [  ]

A seminar on a topic in biblical studies at the advanced level. The content varies, and the title will be extended to describe the current topic. May be offered for variable credit from one to three semester hours. May be repeated up to a total of nine semester hours provided the topics differ.
Prerequisite: REL 110 or REL 120.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

REL 307 Spiritual Autobiographies 3.0 SH [  ]

In this course we will explore classic and contemporary spiritual autobiographies and learn about the practices of faith that sustained and challenged diverse religous people. Students study texts from different cultures and historical periods, discovering how historical and cultural context shapes faith. Through critical examination of the texts, students will reflect on their own spiritual journeys and identities.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

REL 310 Topics in Religious Studies 1.0-3.0 SH [  ]

A seminar on a topic in religious studies at the advanced level. The content varies, and the title will be extended to describe the current topic. Topic areas include comparative religions, history of religions, philosophy and ethics of religions, and religion in society. May be offered for variable credit from one to three semester hours. May be repeated up to a total of nine semester hours provided the topics differ.
Prerequisite: at least one REL course.

REL 332 The Life of Mary Baker Eddy 3.0 SH [  ]

An historical survey of the life and times of Mary Baker Eddy, from her childhood through her work as Discoverer, Founder, and Leader of Christian Science.
Prerequisite: completion of one course in religion, history, or philosophy.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

REL 365 God and the Holocaust 3.0 SH [GEH]

This course helps students understand the historical background, context, events, and aftermath of the Holocaust. We will also be addressing the implications and repercussions of the Holocaust on religious practice and theology. Finally, the course is intended to encourage students independently to develop their own prayerful response to examples of violence and evil.
Class Level Restriction: Sophomore and Junior and Senior only.

REL 370 Jews, Christians, & Muslims 3.0 SH [GEH]

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam sometimes interact harmoniously, but at other periods have fought bitterly. This course compares these religions theologically, legally, and culturally; traces the history of the interactions among these religions; and also examines contemporary relations between these three religions.

REL 390 Methods of Religious Study 3.0 SH [  ]

This course provides students with an understanding of the methodological tools used in the study of religion; it also gives students the opportunity to reflect upon which of those methods will be most helpful to them in undertaking a specific research project in which religion is a significant category of analysis.
Prerequisite: REL 110 or REL 120 and two REL courses numbered 200 or above.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

REL 401 Capstone Project 1.0-3.0 SH [  ]

A selected topic, area, or problem providing opportunity for survey, investigation, research, creative activity, or approved travel-study. May be offered for variable credit from one to three semester hours. May be taken three times up to a total of six semester hours. May be offered on an independent contract basis.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.