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Courses

FALL 2014 OFFERINGS

REL 20000: Introduction to Study of Religion
CRN: 45031
Ashley Purpura
MWF 4:30-5:20
This course will introduce students to the academic study of religion through an exploration of various methodologies available for a critical, reflective investigation of the study of religion. *Counts towards Area A

REL 20000: Introductin to Study of Religion (LEARNING COMMUNITY)
CRN: 63049
Ashley Purpura
MWF 4:30-5:20
This course will introduce students to the academic study of religion through an exploration of various methodologies available for a critical, reflective investigation of the study of religion. *Counts towards Area A

REL 20100: Interpretation of the New Testament
CRN: 67530
Thomas Ryba
MWF 10:30-11:20
The purpose of this course is to provide a critical overview of the religious content of the writings of the New Testament (in their development).  The assumption behind this investigation is that theological interpretations can be made of these Scriptures only after these are understood in the historical, social, and intellectual contexts from which they emerged. In our studies, we shall discover that the characteristic religious thought of Christians--though unique--was influenced by the mythologies, cultures, philosophies and theologies of other Mediterranean peoples in late antiquity.  This means we will take account of other canons and other extra-canonical interpretations of the Christian scriptures, especially when these are at variance with (and challenge) the Christian interpretations of New Testament history and theology.  The general purpose of this course will be achieved through three specific investigations: first, the investigation of the early Christian notions of God, second, the investigation of the development of the early Christian understanding of the person of Jesus and, third, and most important, the investigation of the development of the early Christian understanding of Jesus' mission.  In order to achieve these objectives, we shall spend considerable time trying to understand the world views of the people who shaped these writings, the features of the Scriptures in which they expressed their theologies and the historical and critical tools that scholars employ in trying to uncover the factual bases and theologies of the New Testament books. Lectures and class discussions will cover: (1) the notion of the New Testament canon and how it came about, (2) the various notions of scriptural inspiration, (3) the use of critical/analytical methods to uncover New Testament history and theologies, (4) the social, religious and philosophical backgrounds for the New Testament writings, (5) the (possible) authorship, sites, and processes of composition of the gospels (including Acts), (6) the (possible) authorship, sites and processes of composition of the epistles [We shall spend the least time on this because it is taken up in REL .], (7) the (possible) authorship, site and process of composition of the Book of Revelation, (8) the theologies of the various books of the New Testament, and (9) extra-canonical books of other early Christianities.

REL 23000: Religions of the East
CRN: 41412
Meets w/PHIL 33000-25269
Ashley Purpura
MWF 2:30-3:20
A study of the history, teaching, and present institutions of the religions of India, Southeast Asia, China, and Japan. This will include Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, and Zoroastrianism.
*Counts towards Area A

REL 23100: Religions of the West
CRN: 41413
Meets w/PHIL 33100-25272
Thomas Ryba
MWF 1:30-2:20
The purpose of this course is to provide a systematic survey of those religions variously described, in the West, as ‘Western Religions’ or ‘Religions of the West.’  Immediately, a problem arises because the adjective, ‘Western,’ is questionable.  The descriptions ‘Western’ or ‘of the West’ have been understood as designating a problematic geo-cultural location—but also a homogeneous style of religious thought because of their common origins as Abrahamic monotheisms.  Contemporary scholars of religion, and indigenous believers, often contest this imputed homogeneity and have pointed to the incredible complexity and fluidity of these traditions, characteristics which resist simplistic classification.  Well aware of the challenges such descriptions present, we, in this course, will engage in a comparative study of the systems of belief, thought, and practice traditionally termed ‘Western Religions’ by Western scholars of religions.  This will be accomplished through a series of readings on these systems’ histories, philosophies and scriptures. The approach adopted in this course is phenomenological and comparative.  Adopting the phenomenological method in the academic study of religion means that we shall try to study these religions objectively and empathetically.  Adopting the comparative method in the academic study of religion means that we shall try to compare and contrast the features of these religions with the intent of observing similarities, dissimilarities and regularities, where meaningful items of comparison occur.  The phenomenological method (properly applied) gives us access to a religion’s rationale; the comparative method (properly applied) gives us access to the rationale of Religion. The systems of belief, thought and practice which will be studied and compared in this course are: (1) the Judaic tradition (* > 1800 BCE [~1900]), (2) the Christian tradition (* ~ 4 BCE/>~30 CE), and (3) the Islamic tradition (* > 622 CE [AH 1]).  This survey and comparison will take place according to a fixed set of categories.  The following will be surveyed for each of these traditions: (a) its worldview, (b) its scriptures, (c) its hierology, (d) its cosmology, (e) its anthropology, (f) its soteriology, and (g) its most important schools of thought (or forms of scholasticism).  To simplify this comparison, we shall not be considering these structures across all periods of each tradition (and in their full denominational complexity) but only within the span of time which was characteristically formative for later development.  This will be called the “classical” period of each.
*Counts towards Area A

REL 31700: Ancient Judaism & Early Christianity
CRN: 28173
Stuart Robertson
TTh 3:00-4:15
This course is a study of the emergence of Judaism and the rise of Christianity out of roots in the history of ancient Israel. This will include noticing the effects of Greek culture, evidence of anti-Semitism and admiration of the Jews, conversion in a setting of religious pluralism, and the development of Jewish and Christian self-definition in this climate. *Counts towards Area B-Category I

ANTH 37300: Anthropology of Religion
CRN: 67536
Staff
TTh 4:30-5:45
Anthropological theories of the origin, development, and functions of religion, ritual, and myth.  Data drawn from western and non-western societies, with special emphasis on the relationship of religion to social structure, cultural patterns, and social change.

ENGL 46200: The Old Testament as Literature
CRN: 57589
Sandor Goodhart
TTh 4:30-5:45
A study of Hebrew Scripture. In this course we will read closely selections from Hebrew Scripture - the Pentateuch (the five Books of Moses), the books of the Prophets, and the Holy Writings - with the goal of understanding these texts within the Rabbinical tradition of Biblical interpretation. All texts will be examined in English and no knowledge of the Hebrew language (however desireable) will be expected. There will be no exams but students will keep a journal and write weekly informal papers and one final longer paper. Classes will proceed by paying repeated close attention to the kinds of matters one would consider in any advanced course on literary reading.

ENGL 46300: The New Testament as Literature
CRN: 68449
Angelica Duran
MWF 10:30-11:20
This course takes a multi-disciplinary approach to the New Testament Bible.  Close readings will be contextualized by the textbook.  Understanding the Bible and Special Collections research; and supplemented by events on campus, the Greater Lafayette area, and maybe even Chicagoland, including film viewings. 
*Counts towards Area B-1 "Religious Traditions & Diversity"

ENGL 54400: Milton
CRN: 68450
Angelica Duran
MWF 12:30-1:20
John Milton has been touted as the epitomal conservative “dead white male author” from whom such great authors as Virginia Woolf sought to wrest themselves, and the Spanish Inquisition put on its prohibited lists. On the other hand, such revolutionaries as U.S. founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and John Adams sought guidance and solace from Milton's works as they struggled to define a new nation. Perhaps the vast difference in interpretations reflect the success with which this great epic author, embroiled land-owner, secretary of the Cromwellian government, thrice-married, fiercely-independent Christian captured the turbulent and confusing religious, civil, and scientific revolutions that dominated England during his lifetime (1608-1674). In this class, we will read Milton’s works and explore his global reception worldwide, which is to say across borders, across
centuries.

HEBR 12100: Biblical Hebrew I
CRN: 43123
Stuart Robertson
TTh 9:00-10:15
The first semester of biblical Hebrew will present the basic elements of the language, including alphabet, vocabulary, and grammar. No previous knowledge of Hebrew required.
*Counts towards Area B-Category I

HEBR 22100: Biblical Hebrew II
CRN: 21285
Staff
TTh 10:30-11:45
The third semester of biblical Hebrew focuses on reading and translation of extended passages form the Pentateuch and the use of textual criticism.
*Counts towards Area B-Category I

HIST 31700: History of the Christian Church I
CRN: 66760
Deborah Fleetham
MWF 1:30-2:20
The Christian Church shaped the West, and continues to influence it profoundly. Born within the ancient Roman Empire, Christianity survives in diverse forms throughout the world: the Church is arguably the most influential and long-lived institution in world history. Tracing the Church's evolution from its foundations to the fourteenth century, History 317 will concentrate on five interlocking themes: 1) the Christianization of the Roman Empire and of the Germanic peoples; 2) the hierarchical structure and governance of the Church; 3) the relations between the Church and various monarchies; 4) the rise, triumph, and decline of papal authority; and 5) the principal movements aiming at the reform of the Church. Until about 600 CE, the course concerns the Church throughout the Mediterranean world. Thereafter, it concentrates on the Latin Church in Western Europe, devoting little attention to the Greek, Oriental, or Slavic churches.

HIST 39001: Jews in the Modern World
CRN: 66765
Rebekah Klein-Pejsova
MWF 10:30-11:20
What does it mean to be a Jew in the modern world? Are Jews a religious, ethnic, or national group? How have Jews dealt with catastrophe, relations with non-Jews, the challenges of assimilation, of anti-Semitism? What is Zionism, and how did it develop? This survey of Jewish history examines Jewish responses to modernity with special attention to the Jewish relationship with the state and with the surrounding non-Jewish society, Jewish cultures, and the diversity of the modern Jewish experience. Special attention will be given to strategies of survival, modernization, and dissent in the Jewish and non-Jewish world using a variety of primary and secondary sources, including memoirs, film and music.

PHIL 20600: Philosophy of Religion
CRN: 25250
Michael Bergmann
TTh 1:30-2:20
M 8:30
M 9:30
M 11:30
The course encourages critical reflection on traditional and contemporary views about God and other religious ideas. Topics include arguments for God's existence, the problem of evil, understanding the divine attributes, miracles, religious pluralism, and life after death.

PHIL 33000: Religions of the East
CRN: 25269
Meets w/REL 23000-41412
Ashley Purpura
MWF 2:30-3:20
A study of the history, teaching, and present institutions of the religions of India, Southeast Asia, China, and Japan. This will include Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, and Zoroastrianism.
*Counts towards Area A

PHIL 33100: Religions of the West
CRN: 25272
Meets w/REL 23100-41413
Thomas Ryba
MWF 1:30-2:20
The purpose of this course is to provide a systematic survey of those religions variously described, in the West, as 'Western Religions' or 'Religions of the West.' Immediately, a problem arises because the adjective, 'Western,' is questionable. The descriptions 'Western' or 'of the West' have been understood as designating a problematic geo-cultural location-but also a homogeneous style of religious thought because of their common origins as Abrahamic monotheisms. Contemporary scholars of religion, and indigenous believers, often contest this imputed homogeneity and have pointed to the incredible complexity and fluidity of these traditions, characteristics which resist simplistic classification. Well aware of the challenges such descriptions present, we, in this course, will engage in a comparative study of the systems of belief, thought, and practice traditionally termed 'Western Religions' by Western scholars of religions. This will be accomplished through a series of readings on these systems' histories, philosophies and scriptures. The approach adopted in this course is phenomenological and comparative. Adopting the phenomenological method in the academic study of religion means that we shall try to study these religions objectively and empathetically. Adopting the comparative method in the academic study of religion means that we shall try to compare and contrast the features of these religions with the intent of observing similarities, dissimilarities and regularities, where meaningful points of comparison occur. The phenomenological method (properly applied) gives us access to a religion's rationale; the comparative method (properly applied) gives us access to the rationale of Religion. The systems of belief, thought and practice which will be studied and compared in this course are: (1) the Judaic tradition, (2) the Christian tradition, and (3) the Islamic tradition. This survey and comparison will take place according to a fixed set of categories. Surveyed for each of these traditions will be: (a) its worldview, (b) its scriptures, (c) its hierology, (d) its cosmology, (e) its anthropology, (f) its soteriology, and (g) its most important schools of thought (or forms of scholasticism). Prerequisites: None. Course requirements: three objective examinations; six optional extra-credit assignments.
*Counts towards Area A

PHIL 43100: Contemporary Religious Thought
CRN: 68318
Jacqueline Marina
MWF 1:30-2:20
This class will explore 19th, 20th, and 21st century developments in philosophy of religion.  We will be reading a selection of texts from Schleiermacher, Kierkegaard, Tillich and James, as well as analyze some alternative contemporary accounts of the fundamental nature of reality and the goal of human life.

PHIL 50500: Islamic & Jewish Philosophy & the Classical Tradition (& Its Critique by Spinoza)
CRN: 63207
Daniel Frank
TTh 1:30-2:45

SOC 36700: Religion in America
CRN: 61934
Staff
TTh 10:30-11:45
Examines the social dimensions of religion in American life; religion in American culture; social profiles of America's religious groups, trends in individual commitment; and religion's impact on American life.
*Counts towards Area C-Category II

SPRING 2014 OFFERINGS

IDIS 49100: Sex, Saints & Sinners: Gender & Medieval Religion
Meets w/HIST 30200-10557
CRN: 69741
Ashley Purpura
TTh 4:30-5:45
This course offers a historical-critical exploration of how religion influences expres-sions of gender, and how gender influences expressions of religion. Taking Christi-anity in the Medieval/Byzantine period as the primary context, the history of gen-der and sexuality in the construction of heresy and holiness will be investigated. Medieval/Byzantine religious literary genres and artistic mediums will be engaged through historical contextualization and the consideration of recent developments in gender theory. Opportunities for exploring gender and sexuality in other relig-ions (past and present) will also be available. All students are welcome without pre-requisite!

REL 23000: Religions of the East
Meets with PHIL 33000-24022
CRN: 38202
Staff
MWF 12:30-1:20
A study of the history, teaching, and present institutions of the religions of India, Southeast Asia, China, and Japan. This will include Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, and Zoroastrianism.
*Counts towards Area A

REL 23100: Religions of the West
Meets with PHIL 33100-32968
CRN: 38203
Thomas Ryba
MWF 3:30-4:20
The purpose of this course is to provide a systematic survey of those religions variously described, in the West, as 'Western Religions' or 'Religions of the West.' Immediately, a problem arises because the adjective, 'Western,' is questionable. The descriptions 'Western' or 'of the West' have been understood as designating a problematic geo-cultural location-but also a homogeneous style of religious thought because of their common origins as Abrahamic monotheisms. Contemporary scholars of religion, and indigenous believers, often contest this imputed homogeneity and have pointed to the incredible complexity and fluidity of these traditions, characteristics which resist simplistic classification. Well aware of the challenges such descriptions present, we, in this course, will engage in a comparative study of the systems of belief, thought, and practice traditionally termed 'Western Religions' by Western scholars of religions. This will be accomplished through a series of readings on these systems' histories, philosophies and scriptures. The approach adopted in this course is phenomenological and comparative. Adopting the phenomenological method in the academic study of religion means that we shall try to study these religions objectively and empathetically. Adopting the comparative method in the academic study of religion means that we shall try to compare and contrast the features of these religions with the intent of observing similarities, dissimilarities and regularities, where meaningful points of comparison occur. The phenomenological method (properly applied) gives us access to a religion's rationale; the comparative method (properly applied) gives us access to the rationale of Religion. The systems of belief, thought and practice which will be studied and compared in this course are: (1) the Judaic tradition, (2) the Christian tradition, and (3) the Islamic tradition. This survey and comparison will take place according to a fixed set of categories. Surveyed for each of these traditions will be: (a) its worldview, (b) its scriptures, (c) its hierology, (d) its cosmology, (e) its anthropology, (f) its soteriology, and (g) its most important schools of thought (or forms of scholasticism). Prerequisites: None. Course requirements: three objective examinations; six optional extra-credit assignments.
*Counts towards Area A

REL 25000: A History of Christian Afterlife
CRN: 69388
Thomas Ryba
MWF 10:30-11:20
An exploration of the ways Christians have envisioned the afterlife, including New Testament descriptions. Apocryphal notions, Patristic conceptions, mystical and 19th century descriptions of heaven as sexual union, and 20th century understandings of the afterlife as a "process of education".

REL 31800: The Bible & Its Early Interpreters
Meets with HIST 30200-66510
CRN: 40885
Stuart Robertson
TTh 3:00-4:15
This course will start with observation of the development of early themes in later parts of the Hebrew Bible and proceed to the on-going influence of these themes in Jewish literature outside the Hebrew canon (apocrypha, pseudepigrapha, tagums, midrash, Josephus, Philo, and other Hellenistic Jewish authors), as well as pagan literature of this era and in early Christian literature, particularly the New Testament.

HIST 31700: History of the Christian Church I
CRN: 68787
Deborah Fleetham
MWF 10:30-11:20
The Christian Church shaped the West, and continues to influence it profoundly. Born within the ancient Roman Empire, Christianity survives in diverse forms throughout the world: the Church is arguably the most influential and long-lived institution in world history. Tracing the Church's evolution from its foundations to the fourteenth century, History 317 will concentrate on five interlocking themes: 1) the Christianization of the Roman Empire and of the Germanic peoples; 2) the hierarchical structure and governance of the Church; 3) the relations between the Church and various monarchies; 4) the rise, triumph, and decline of papal authority; and 5) the principal movements aiming at the reform of the Church. Until about 600 CE, the course concerns the Church throughout the Mediterranean world. Thereafter, it concentrates on the Latin Church in Western Europe, devoting little attention to the Greek, Oriental, or Slavic churches.

PHIL 20600: Philosophy of Religion
CRN: 24000
TTh 11:30-12:20
W 10:30-11:20
W 12:30-1:20
W 1:30-2:20

The course encourages critical reflection on traditional and contemporary views about God and other religious ideas. Topics include arguments for God's existence, the problem of evil, understanding the divine attributes, miracles, religious pluralism, and life after death.

PHIL 33000: Religions of the East
Meets with REL 23000-38202
CRN: 24022
Staff
MWF 12:30-1:20
A study of the history, teaching, and present institutions of the religions of India, Southeast Asia, China, and Japan. This will include Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, and Zoroastrianism.
*Counts towards Area A

PHIL 33100: Religions of the West
Meets with REL 23100-38203
CRN: 32968
Thomas Ryba
MWF 3:30-4:20
The purpose of this course is to provide a systematic survey of those religions variously described, in the West, as 'Western Religions' or 'Religions of the West.' Immediately, a problem arises because the adjective, 'Western,' is questionable. The descriptions 'Western' or 'of the West' have been understood as designating a problematic geo-cultural location-but also a homogeneous style of religious thought because of their common origins as Abrahamic monotheisms. Contemporary scholars of religion, and indigenous believers, often contest this imputed homogeneity and have pointed to the incredible complexity and fluidity of these traditions, characteristics which resist simplistic classification. Well aware of the challenges such descriptions present, we, in this course, will engage in a comparative study of the systems of belief, thought, and practice traditionally termed 'Western Religions' by Western scholars of religions. This will be accomplished through a series of readings on these systems' histories, philosophies and scriptures. The approach adopted in this course is phenomenological and comparative. Adopting the phenomenological method in the academic study of religion means that we shall try to study these religions objectively and empathetically. Adopting the comparative method in the academic study of religion means that we shall try to compare and contrast the features of these religions with the intent of observing similarities, dissimilarities and regularities, where meaningful points of comparison occur. The phenomenological method (properly applied) gives us access to a religion's rationale; the comparative method (properly applied) gives us access to the rationale of Religion. The systems of belief, thought and practice which will be studied and compared in this course are: (1) the Judaic tradition, (2) the Christian tradition, and (3) the Islamic tradition. This survey and comparison will take place according to a fixed set of categories. Surveyed for each of these traditions will be: (a) its worldview, (b) its scriptures, (c) its hierology, (d) its cosmology, (e) its anthropology, (f) its soteriology, and (g) its most important schools of thought (or forms of scholasticism). Prerequisites: None. Course requirements: three objective examinations; six optional extra-credit assignments.
*Counts towards Area A

SOC 36700: Religion in America
CRN: 63286
Daniel Olson
TTh 4:30-5:45
Examines the social dimensions of religion in American life; religion in American culture; social profiles of America's religious groups, trends in individual commitment; and religion's impact on American life.

SOC 56700: Religion in Social Context
CRN: 10296
Fenggang Yang
TTh 1:30-2:45
Examines the social bases of religion at the societal, organizational, and individual levels. Topics include the formation of religious groups and ideas; social dynamics within religious groups; religion's persistence over time; and the conditions under which religion tends to change.

Examines the social dimensions of religion in American life; religion in American culture; social profiles of America's religious groups, trends in individual commitment; and religion's impact on American life. *Counts towards Area C-Category II