Religion Studies Courses

REL 007: What Is Religion?
4 credits – CRN 44664
The word "religion" is fairly recent in origin, its linguistic roots unclear, and the phenomena that it has been used to designate both vast and amorphous. This course explores some of the most prominent attempts to define "religion," definitions produced both by religious thinkers and by critics of religion. We will examine some of the methods used by scholars to study religion. Finally, we will ask how the meaning of the word may be shifting in a modern, secular age.
Attribute/Distribution: HU
 
REL (PHIL) 095: Is God Dead? Past, Present, Future Religion
4 credits – CRN 43957
Is God Dead? Some people think so. Do you? Come decide for yourself. This course looks at the idea of god in Western philosophy and theology, with particular attention to death of god movement(s), and the changing shape of these movements in light of culture wars and identity politics. The course surveys key thinkers to ask questions about the origins, functions, and future of god and gods in the contemporary world. Posed as an ongoing question-Is god dead?-the course is for anyone interested in the idea of god past, present, future.
Attribute/Distribution: HU
 
REL 096: Religion and Violence
4 credits – CRN 44715
In this course we will explore the relationship between religious ideology with acts of violence. By examining a wide range of different instances of religious violence among Christians, Jews and Muslims, along with their accompanying ideologies, we will consider the relationship between religious affiliation, communally shared modes of discourse, and violent conflict.
Attribute/Distribution: HU
 
REL 097: Race and Religion - The Basics
4 credits – CRN 44444
Introduction to the Christian tradition from its early variety and subsequent classical definition in the church councils up to the enlightenment. Special emphasis will be placed on the multiform interpretations of the Christian message.
Attribute/Distribution: HU
 
REL (JST) 112: Beginnings of Judaism
4 credits - CRN 44672
The variety of approaches to Judaism in the period following the Babylonian exile through the second century C.E. The literature studied will include Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Attribute/Distribution: HU
 
REL (JST, WGSS) 138: Sex, Gender, Jews 
4 credits - CRN 44684
How do Jews of all genders tell their stories? What are the varied Jewish approaches to sexuality? How have feminist movements affected Jewish rituals? In this course, we will consider how religion, gender, sexuality, race, and class intersect in the lives of Jews, with a particular focus on North America. Topics will include: Jewish women’s memoirs; the voices of LGBTQ Jews; recent innovations in Jewish ritual and leadership; Jewish masculinities; and the gendering of Jewish children’s literature, among others.
Attribute/Distribution: HU
 
REL (GLST) 140: Globalization and Religion
4 credits - CRN 44679
This course examines the complexity of globalization and its multi-layered impact on religious identity and piety. Though comparative in methodology and historical framework, the class will give special attention to Islam and Hinduism in South Asia. Topics include: European colonialism; Orientalism and its legacy; religious nationalism; Islamophobia; and the Internet and mass media.
Attribute/Distribution: HU
 
REL (ASIA, GLST) 145: Islam and the Modern World
4 credits - CRN 44699
Examines how numerous Muslim thinkers-religious scholars, modernists, and Islamists-have responded to the changes and challenges of the colonial and post-colonial eras. Special emphasis is placed on the public debates over Islamic authority and authenticity in contemporary South Asia.
Attribute/Distribution: HU
 
REL (JST) 174: Modern Theology 
4 credits - CRN 44668
Major 20th century movements within Christian and Jewish theology understood as responses to the problems of modern times. May be repeated for credit as the subject matter varies.
Attribute/Distribution: HU