Religious Studies School of Interdisciplinary Studies

Courses

FALL 2016 OFFERINGS

REL 20000: Introduction to Study of Religion
CRN: 45031
Professor Ashley Purpura
MWF 1:30-2:20 BRNG B222
This course offers an introduction to the interdisciplinary, multicultural, and academic study of religion where students are invited to reflect on religion as a cultural phenomenon and to survey the major facets of nine different religious traditions. This course features multiple field trips, expert guest speakers, religiously-themed films and foods, organized debates, and field research opportunities to develop students as informed global citizens who can recognize, respect, and speak with confidence about religion.  All students are welcome! *Counts towards Area A

REL 23000: Religions of the East
CRN: 41412
Meets w/PHIL 23000-68740
Professor Ashley Purpura
MWF 3:30-4:20; HIKS B853
This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of Indian, Southeast Asian, Chinese, and Japanese religious traditions, including: Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, and Zoroastrianism. The philosophical and religious contexts of each tradition will be considered by examining its history, primary texts, key teachings, rituals, present practice and diverse cultural expressions. *Counts towards Area A

REL 23100: Religions of the West
CRN: 41413
Meets w/PHIL 23100-68741
Professor Thomas Ryba
MWF 9:30-10:20; ME 1009
This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction  to the three Abrahamic monotheistic religions of the West: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We will examine the diversity of practices and belief systems within these religions and address debates within and between communities as well as contemporary concerns.  The philosophical and religious contexts of each tradition will be considered by examining its history, primary texts, key teachings, and cultural expressions. *Counts towards Area A

REL 31700: Ancient Judaism & Early Christianity
CRN: 15678
Meets w/HEBR 28400-16404 & HIST 20100-
Professor Stuart Robertson
TTh 3:00-4:15; REC 112
This course is a study of the emergence of Judaism and the rise of Christianity. This will include examining the effects of Greek culture, evidence of both anti-Semitism and admiration of the Jews, conversion in a setting of religious pluralism, and the development of Jewish and Christian self-definition within this climate. *Counts towards Area B-Category I

REL 35100: Christian Mysticism
CRN: 15689
Professor Thomas Ryba
MWF 11:30-12:20; REC 112
A critical, historical examination of the development of Christian mystical thought, beginning with its earliest intimations in the Hebrew Scriptures, the thought of Plato and Aristotle and continuing through Patristic, Medieval, Renaissance, Reformation, Counter-Reformation and Modern periods to the present.

IDIS 49100-007: Muslim Women in History
CRN: 16102
Meets w/HIST 30200-16106
Professor Jackleen Salem
TTh 1:30-2:45; REC 112
This course explores the ways women in the Islamic world and beyond have lived and defined themselves in politics, family, work, literature, art, and religion. The course covers the time period from the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (late sixth century A.D.) to the present. For the early period, we will explore such themes as Women in the Qur’an, women in the life of the Prophet Muhammad, women in Islamic law, feminist critiques of Islamic scholarship and government, women in literature, and the harem as locus of political power. For the modern period, themes include: a history of feminism in Islamic countries, women’s spirituality, women in politics and work, women as artists, the colonial encounter, women in politics and work, women’s activism in medicine, law, the Islamic revival, and Muslim women in Western countries.  Classes will be both lecture and discussion formats. Course materials include primary and secondary historical sources, sacred texts, film, comics, art, novels, and internet sources.

ENGL 26400: The Bible as Literature
CRN: 13224
Professor Dorothy Deering
MW 4:30-5:45; HEAV 129
A study of selections from the Old and New Testaments as examples of Hebrew and early Christian literature. *Counts towards Area B-Category I

HEBR 12100: Biblical Hebrew I
CRN: 14962
Professor Stuart Robertson
TTh 9:00-10:15; SC G040

HEBR 22100: Biblical Hebrew II
CRN: 14963
Professor Stuart Robertson
TTh 10:30-11:45; SC 102

PHIL 20600: Philosophy of Religion
CRN: 14676
Professor Paul Draper
TTh 9:00-10:15; BRNG 1230
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 21900: Introduction to Existentialism
CRN: 14974
Professor Jacqueline Marina
TTh 12:00-1:15; BRNG 1268
This course will be an exploration the existentialist movement through a careful analysis of both the philosophical and literary works of some of its most prominent expositors. Existentialism has been one of the leading influences on theology in the 20th and 21st centuries. Readings will include Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, Heidegger, Sartre and Kafka. Requirements will be a midterm, a final, and one short 5-7 page paper. Quizzes will be given throughout the semester.

PHIL 22300: Fate & Free Will
CRN: 14975
Professor Michael Bergmann
TTh 10:30-11:45; BRNG 1230
This is an introductory-level course focused on a fascinating set of topics related to the question of whether we have free will.

PHIL 30200: History of Medieval Philosophy
CRN: 14679
Professor Jeffrey Brower
TTh 3:00-4:15; BRNG 1268
A survey of the main trends and figures of medieval philosophy, with an emphasis on metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. Readings (in English translation) may include Augustine, Boethius, Avicenna, Anselm, Abelard, Maimonides, Aquinas, Scotus, Ockham and Suarez.

PHIL 50200: Studies in Medieval Philosophy
CRN: 15051
Professor Jeffrey Brower
TTh 4:30-5:45; BRNG 1248
An intensive study of some central topics in the thought of major medieval philosophers.

PHIL 50600: Advanced Philosophy of Religion
CRN: 15054
Professor Paul Draper
W 11:30-2:20; BRNG 1248
A detailed critical investigation of some central problems in a philosophical approach to religion. Readings will be selected from leading representatives of traditional theism and various contemporary schools. The thought of the representative thinkers will be analyzed, discussed, and critically evaluated. The problems discussed will be selected from the existence of God, the problem of evil, freedom and determinism, the problem of immortality, and the nature of religious language.

SOC 36700: Religion in America
CRN: 61934
Professor Daniel Olson
TTh 12:00-1:15; HAMP 1252
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

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