Studies in Religion

445 West Hall, 1092
Web site:

Professor Ralph Williams (English), Director

May be elected as an interdepartmental concentration program

The Studies in Religion Program provides students with a basic knowledge of the history, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology of religion; promotes an understanding of diverse religious traditions; and examines religious questions which arise in all cultures. The concern of the program is not to inculcate a particular doctrine or faith but rather to broaden and deepen a student's knowledge and understanding of religious traditions.

Prerequisites to Concentration. Religion 201 and 202.

Concentration Program. Two courses chosen from Religion 365, 369, 452, and 455; and 18 additional credits of electives chosen in consultation with and approved by a concentration advisor. Electives may be structured as follows:

  1. Concentration in a single department, with a theme which enables a student to approach the study of religion from a single perspective:

    Religion as an idea (Philosophy).

    Religion as a cultural force through time (History).

    Religion as a social phenomenon (Anthropology, Psychology, or Sociology).

    Religion as a subject of expression (English or History of Art).

    Religion as tradition (Near Eastern Studies, Asian Languages and Cultures, Classical Studies, Linguistics; appropriate elementary language proficiency is required for concentration in these departments).

  2. Selected electives in Religion are listed below. (Many of these courses are crosslisted with other departments.)

  3. Students may also choose from a large selection of courses in other departments which relate to religion in the areas of: Afroamerican and African Studies, American Culture, Anthropology, Asian Studies, Classical Studies, College Honors, English, Asian Languages and Cultures, Germanic Languages and Literatures, History, History of Art, Linguistics, Music History and Musicology, Near Eastern Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. Permission must be granted by the Director of the program for related courses to be included as electives.

Advising. Prospective concentrators are encouraged to consult the concentration advisor, Dr. Astrid Beck. Appointments are scheduled at 445 West Hall, 764-4475.

Courses in Religion (Division 457)

121(120)/ACABS 121. Introduction to the Tanakh/Old Testament. (4; 3 in the half-term). (HU).

122(121)/ACABS 122. Introduction to the New Testament. (4; 3 in the half-term). (HU).

179. Mere Ritual, Meaningful Gesture: The Psychology of Sacred and Secular Rituals. (4). (HU).

201/ACABS 200/APTIS 200/HJCS 200. Introduction to World Religions: Near Eastern. (4; 3 in the half-term). (HU).

202/Buddhist Studies 220/Asian Studies 220. Introduction to World Religions: South and East Asia. II. (4). (HU).

203. Introduction to the Christian Tradition. I. (4). (HU).

204/APTIS 262. Introduction to Islam. (4). (HU).

225/S&SEA 225. Hinduism. (3). (HU).

230/Asian Studies 230/Buddhist Studies 230/ Phil. 230. Introduction to Buddhism. (4). (HU).

245/ACABS 245/Great Books 245. Great Books: The Ancient Near East. (4; 3 in the half-term). (HU).

250/Buddhist Studies 252/WS 250. Religion and Culture: Feminine and Masculine Images of Religious Experience. (3). (HU).

280/ACABS 221. Jesus and the Gospels. (4; 3 in the half-term). (HU).

283/ABS 283. The Beginnings of Christianity. II. (4). (Excl).

286/Hist. 286. A History of Eastern Christianity from the 4th to the 18th Century. (3). (HU).

296/HJCS 296/Judaic Studies 296. Perspectives on the Holocaust. (4; 3 in the half-term). (HU).

303/S&SEA 303. Sikhism. (3). (HU).

304/S&SEA 304. Sikhism II. Rel. 303. (3). (HU).

308/Hist. 308. The Christian Tradition in the West from New Testament to Early Reformation. (3). (Excl).

309/Hist. 309. The Christian Tradition in the West from Luther and Calvin to the Present. (3). (Excl).

310/CAAS 335. Religion in the Afro-American Experience. (3). (HU).

312. Church and American Society. (3). (HU).

316/Buddhist Studies 316/Asian Studies 316. Religion in Modern Japan. (3). (Excl).

323/Buddhist Studies 325. Buddhism in Zen Perspective. (3). (HU).

345. Hellenism, Judaism and Early Christianity. Religion 201. (3). (Excl).

350/ACABS 323. History of Christian Thought: Paul to Augustine. (4; 3 in the half-term). (Excl).

358/ACABS 321/Hist. 306. History and Religion of Ancient Israel. (3). (HU).

359/ACABS 322/Hist. 307. History and Religion of Ancient Judaism. May be elected independently of Religion 358. (3). (HU).

365/Phil. 365. Problems of Religion. (4; 2 in the half-term). (HU).

369/Psych. 313. Psychology and Religion. Introductory psychology or senior standing. (4). (Excl).

370. History of Christianity. (3). (Excl).

371. Modern Religious Thought. (3). (Excl).

375/MARC 375/German 375. Celtic and Nordic Mythology. (3). (Excl).

380. Selected Topics. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits. Only one course from Religion 380, 387, and 487 may be elected in the same term.

387. Independent Study. I, II, and III. (1-3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit. Only one course from Religion 380, 387 and 487 may be elected in the same term.

393/ACABS 393/APTIS 393. The Religion of Zoroaster. (3). (HU).

402. Topics in Religion. Religion concentrators with junior or senior standing. (1-3; 2 in the half-term). (Excl).

403/Phil. 403/Amer. Cult. 403. American Philosophy. One Philosophy Introduction. (3). (Excl).

404/Anthro. 450. Comparative Religion: Logos and Liturgy. Upperclass standing and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be repeated with permission for a total of 6 credits.

442/ACABS 414. Myth and Literature of Ancient Mesopotamia. (3). (Excl).

447/Poli. Sci. 447. Comparative Studies in Religion and Politics. (3). (Excl).

448/Psych. 418. Psychology and Spiritual Development. (3). (Excl).

452/Anthro. 448. Anthropology of Religion: Ritual, Sanctity and Adaptation. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).

455/Soc. 455. Religion and Society. (3; 2 in the half-term). (Excl).

467/APTIS 467/Hist. 541. Shi'ism: The History of Messianism and the Pursuit of Justice in Islamdom. Junior standing. (3). (HU).

468/Class. Civ 466. Greek Religion. (3). (HU).

469/HJCS 478/Judaic Studies 468. Jewish Mysticism. (3). (Excl).

471/HJCS 577/Judaic Studies 467. Seminar: Topics in the Study of Judaism. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of nine credits.

476/Class. Civ. 476/Hist. 405. Pagans and Christians in the Roman World. (4; 3 in the half-term). (HU).

478/HJCS 477/Judaic Studies 478. Modern Jewish Thought. (3). (Excl).

480/Asian Studies 480/Buddhist Studies 480/ Phil. 457. Topics in Buddhism. Rel. 230. (3). (Excl).

481/Engl. 401. The English Bible: Its Literary Aspects and Influences, I. (4). (HU).

483/Buddhist Studies 481. Ch'an and Zen Buddhism. (3). (Excl).

487. Independent Study. I, II, and III. (1-3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit. Only one course from Religion 380, 387 and 487 may be elected in the same term.

488/ACABS 421/Class. Civ. 483. Christianity and Hellenistic Civilization. (4). (Excl).

495/ACABS 425. The Gnostic Religion. Religion 280. Religion 201 recommended. (3). (Excl).

497. Senior Honors Thesis. I and II. (1-6). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be elected for a total of 6 credits.

546/APTIS 495/WS 471/Hist. 546. Gender and Politics in Early Modern Islamdom. Students should preferably have had one course in Islamic Studies. (3). (Excl).

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