Religious Studies Blog

Posted on October 26th, 2023 in Blog, Classes by Sydney Bielefeld

Prepare your Spring 2024 schedule with courses in Religious Studies! Here are the upcoming semester course offerings:

REL-R 101 Religion and Culture (3 cr.) An introduction to the diversity of human cultures from the perspective of religious studies. The course uses a case study approach to understand how religion shapes, and is shaped by, culture and society.

REL-R 133 Introduction to Religion (3 cr.) Introduction to the diversity of traditions, values, and histories through which religion interacts with culture. Emphasis on understanding the ways the various dimensions of religion influence people’s lives.

REL-R 180 Introduction to Christianity (3 cr.)Survey of beliefs, rituals, and practices of the Christian community with a focus on the varieties of scriptural interpretation, historical experience, doctrine, and behavior.

REL-R 212 Comparative Religions (3 cr.) Approaches to the comparison of recurrent themes, religious attitudes, and practices found in selected Eastern and Western traditions.

REL-R 300 Studies in Religion – East & West in Conversation (3 cr.) Consent of Instructor. Selected topics and movements in religion, seen from an interdisciplinary viewpoint. May be taken for up to 9 credit hours under different titles.

REL-R 300 Studies in Religion – Sociology of Religion (3 cr.) Consent of Instructor. Selected topics and movements in religion, seen from an interdisciplinary viewpoint. May be taken for up to 9 credit hours under different titles.

REL-R 301 Women and Religion (3 cr.) A critical examination of the roles of women in religion, looking at a range of periods and cultures in order to illustrate the patterns that characterize women’s participation in religious communities and practices.

REL-R 314 Religion and Racism (3 cr.) Explores the interaction of religion and racism. Selected case studies may include the Bible and racism, racial reconciliation among evangelical Christians, the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana, and Islamophobia.

REL-R 369 Love, Sex, and Justice (3 cr.) Do we owe anything to anyone? Is life worth living without love or justice, or both? Are they not fundamental virtues of human relations, unconditionally necessary for us to live well? If justice must be blind, is there room for compassion or desire? Is justice truly “love gone public?” What happens when there is one without the other, or when they appear to be in conflict? What are their limits? This course seeks to address these questions by examining some of the foremost contributors to how we have come to think about love, sex, and justice in American culture in light of certain contemporary public disputes.

REL-R 370 Islam in America (3 cr.) Explores the history and life of Islam and Muslims in the United States, including the ethnic and religious diversity of American Muslims, conflicts about gender relations and women’s issues, debates about Islam’s role in politics, and the spirituality of American Muslims.

REL-R 375 Religion Behind Bars (3 cr.) This course will explore punishment, prison, and the prison industrial complex’s relationship to religion. The course will examine the development of the prison in the Western world, specifically the United States, and its relationship to religious norms, values, and institutions. In addition to the historical evolution of prison and the prison industrial complex, this course will also address the current prison system and the role of religion in the contemporary moment. Finally, this course will look at how religion is shaped in and by the prison system and the prison industrial complex.

REL-R 395 Religion, Death, and Dying (3 cr.) Death is life’s most inescapable reality; it is also inseparable from religion. This course surveys the death-related beliefs and practices of the world’s major religious traditions, exploring how they deal with the reality of death on both the practical and spiritual level. The course also examines religious debates about the afterlife and considers cross-cultural questions of meaning related to death and dying.