Religion Courses

Courses in Religion

1000-level

REL 1030: Comparative Mythology (3)
An historical overview of major themes and types of world mythology.

REL 1040: Theories of Human Nature (3)
An examination of the theories of human nature from both classical and contemporary sources, philosophical, scientific and religious. (Dual listing with PHI 1040.)

2000-level

REL 2010: The Hebrew Bible in Historical and Cultural Context (3)
In this course the student is introduced to the academic study of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. Topics covered will include its composition, historical development and interpretation. Special emphasis is placed on the Old Testament against the backdrop of its historical and cultural setting in the ancient Near East.

REL 2020: The New Testament and Early Christianity (3)
This course provides a historical study of the origins of Christianity by analyzing the writings of the earliest Christian movements. Topics will include the lost Gospels and other apocryphal writings as well as the emergence of the canonical books of the New Testament.

3000-level

REL 3000: Religions of the World (3)
An exploration of the basic notions and meanings that constitute beliefs and world views of the major part of humanity. The history, philosophy, sociology, psychology and anthropology of religion will be analyzed in order to discuss how the major religious systems have answered questions about God, future life, the moral responsibility of man, understanding of our world, etc. and how these beliefs shape behaviors, social order, laws and mentality of man within different cultures past and present.

REL 3010: Theories of Religion (3)
This course will explore main theories of religion from the multidisciplinary scientific (including social sciences) and theological perspectives. A study of the origin and development of religious phenomena that consist of several classic attempts to develop comprehensive theories of religion as well as new theories by modern hard natural sciences such as genetics and neurology.

REL 3020: Religion and Science (3)
Prerequisite: sophomore standing or above A comprehensive study of the relationship between religion and science. The first part of the course will be an investigation of the appearance of an independent philosophical thinking in Greece and the relationship between religion and science within the Theocentric worldview of the Middle Ages and the Anthropocentric worldview of the Renaissance. The second part of the course will be an investigation of how and why since the 17th century science gained its autonomy over religion. Examination of topics in evolutionary biology, new physics, neurology and genetics will facilitate discussion of the current relationship between religion and science.

REL 3030: One Nation Under God? Religion in Contemporary America (3)
Prerequisite: sophomore standing or above This course will examine the variety of ways in which religion is experienced in the contemporary American world view. Two aspects in particular will be taken into account: the changes that have happened and are happening within traditional historical religions in America, namely Christianity and Judaism; and an emphasis upon new religious groups which have evolved within American society.

REL 3052: Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (3)
A survey of philosophy from ancient Greece through medieval scholasticism. Special focus is given to the appropriation of classical Greek philosophy by the monotheistic traditions. Dual listing with PHI 3052.

REL 3160: Asian Philosophy and Religion (3)
A survey of Asian philosophy and religion including Hinduism, Jainism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. (Dual listing with PHI 3160.)

REL 3300: Philosophy of Religion (3)
A philosophical exploration of concepts, arguments, and definitions central to all religions. Topics may include arguments for and against the existence of God, the nature of religion, the problem of freedom and evil, the nature of religious experience, religious language, the relationship between science and religion, and the nature and destiny of humanity. (Dual listing with PHI 3300.)

REL 3310: History of Ethics (3)
The history of ethics, from Plato and Aristotle through the early 20th century, is critically surveyed. Special attention will be given to ethical intuitionism (Plato), virtue ethics (Aristotle, Aquinas), religious ethics (Bhagavad Gita, Hebrew and Greek Bible, Martin Luther King, Jr.), deontological ethics (Kant), utilitarianism (Bentham, Mill) and existentialism (Simone de Beauvoir). (Dual listing with PHI 3310.)