Courses in Religion (Division 457)

201/GNE 201. Introduction to World Religions: Near Eastern. (4). (HU).

An introduction to the major religious traditions of the Near East, with emphasis on the development of Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This course will first survey the political, social, economic and religious aspects of the Ancient Near East, including Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, Iranian religious developments, Ancient Israel and the historical background of the Bible. The second half of the course will deal with the emergence of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, including hellenistic civilization and the emergence of Rabbinic Judaism, the ministry of Jesus and the development of the Church, the development of Islamic civilization and the art of the Near East. Emphasis will be on origins, major personalities and sacred texts, as well as on the development of major theological issues in these traditions up to the modern period. This is an introductory course for students who have had no previous course in religion. Students have the option of writing a paper or taking a midterm exam (or the option of doing both and keeping the best grade). There is a short quiz on the reading every two weeks and a comprehensive final exam, the questions of which will be announced during the first week of class. Section 002 is an Honors section open to any student prepared to do more work in return for a lot more personal attention. This course is offered Fall term every year. For further information please contact The Program on Studies in Religion, 468 Lorch Hall. (Freedman)

280, 281/ABS 280, 281. Jesus and the Gospels. Rel. 280 is prerequisite to Rel. 281. (4 each). (HU).

See Ancient and Biblical Studies 280 (under Near Eastern Studies).

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

One of the most important features of American society is the impact which religion has had upon the society. The emergence of a powerful religiously based right makes the question of what happens when religion and society clash more important. This course is a survey of the ways in which religion and society are influenced by each other in America. The course is divided into three sections. Section one explores the religious underpinnings of American society. Section two explores the changing nature of American society as a result of urbanization, secularization, and changing ethics. Section three looks at how religious groups have tried to come to grips with the contemporary American society. It will cover a number of different responses, from the positive thinking of Norman Vincent Peale to the evangelical revivals of Oral Roberts and Billy Graham, to the social and political activism of Martin Luther King and Jerry Falwell. The role of newer personality cults will also be explored. The course will be conducted in a lecture format with large blocks for discussion. Films and research projects will round out the offering. Class meets once per week. (Miles)

320/Asian Studies 320/Buddhist Studies 320/Phil. 335. Introduction to Buddhism. Religion 202 or equivalent. (3). (HU).

See Far Eastern Languages and Literatures: Buddhist Studies 320. (Schopen)

324. The Biblical and Patristic Roots of Christian Mysticism. (3). (HU).

This course will present the biblical sources for mystical theology and the most influential of the patristic mystics, concentrating on Augustine, Gregory the Great, and Bernard of Clairaux. The writings of these guides to the contemplative life will be read in English. Brief essays in response to each of the readings will be required, as will a longer paper tracing the influence of one of the Fathers on later Western mystical thought and an annotated bibliography and class presentation on the topic of that paper. The course will combine lecture and recitation. This course is the first half of a sequence which concludes with Religion 325, Mysticism and the Early English Mystics. No special background is required. (Stuckey)

340. Religion and Evolution. (4). (HU).

Religion 340 will survey the wide range of religious responses to the challenge of evolutionary thinking in both the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. The course will be issue oriented, and no previous knowledge of biology is required. The central issues involved in the evolution controversy will be developed both historically and philosophically, and the wide array of Christian responses to evolution will be examined closely. Discussions will focus on questions such as the following: To what extent is evolutionary thinking compatible with religious thinking? Is it possible to be both Christian and an evolutionist? How necessary is evolutionary thinking to science? The course is designed to be provocative and to include and encourage a broad array of student concerns, both religious and intellectual. A midterm and final examination will be required. Other course requirements, presumably a term paper, will stress the clarification of the student's own position about evolution and religion and will be determined in consultation with the instructor. (Hartman)

350. History of Christian Thought: The Early Church to the Reformation. (4). (HU).

Religion 350 will seek to understand the great ideas of the Judeo-Christian faith in light of their roots in the early traditions of the Church. The history of Christian thought will be considered as an important part of the history of ideas which have contributed significantly to the shaping of Western culture and its values. Through these roots, many contemporary issues may be clarified. What is the proper relationship between Church authority and political power, the spiritual and the temporal? Why did the Early Church conceive of God as Trinity, of Jesus Christ as both man and God? The course will stress the practical implications (for society and for faith) of the ideas of Early and Medieval Christianity, and so will be issue oriented. As an exercise in the history of ideas, the course is appropriate for a wide spectrum of students, including both 1) students interested in the history of Christian thought because, as Christians, they are interested in the historical development of their confession, and 2) students interested primarily in intellectual history and in particular Christian intellectual history because of the influence of those ideas on Western culture. A midterm and final, as well as a term paper, will be required. Students will be encouraged strongly to attend weekly discussion sections, which will be arranged during the first week of the class. The subject of the term paper will be arranged with the instructor and may be adapted to the specific interests of the students. (Hartman)

365/Phil. 365. Problems of Religion. (4). (HU).

See Philosophy 365. (Mavrodes)

452/Anthro. 448. Anthropology of Religion: Ritual, Sanctity and Adaptation. Junior standing. (3-5). (SS).

See Anthropology 448.


lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.