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 Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Zoroastrianism. This course will first survey the political, social, economic and religious aspects of the Near East focusing on the historical background of the Bible. The second part of the course will deal with the origins and development of the four religious traditions including the emergence of Rabbinic Judaism, the ministry of Jesus and the development of the Church, and the rise of Islamic religion and civilization. Emphasis will be on the 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. It consists of three weekly lectures and a discussion group. There is a short quiz on the lectures and the readings approximately every three 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 every Fall Term. For further information please contact The Program on Studies in Religion, 445 West Engineering. (Freedman)

282/ABS 282. Letters of Paul in Translation. (3). (HU).

See Ancient and Biblical Studies 282 for description. (Hoffman)

283/ABS 283 The Beginnings of Christianity. (4). (HU).

See Ancient and Biblical Studies 283 for description. (Hoffman)

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 Buddhist Studies 320 for description. (Jackson)

369/Psych. 370. Psychology and Religion. Introductory psychology or senior standing. (4). (SS).

See Psychology 370 for description. (R. Mann)

380. Selected Topics in Christian Studies. (3). (HU). May be repeated for credit. Only one course from Religion 380, 387, and 487 may be elected in the same term.
Jesus and the Moral Life.
A close examination of the life and teachings of Jesus especially in the Synoptic Gospels; classical interpretations of the ethical significance of Jesus; particular focus on issues of violence and non-violence; wealth and poverty; current efforts to apply this ethic in modern society. (Cox)

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

This course is designed to accommodate students who may be unable to take listed offerings or have special reasons for undertaking directed readings. Course content and requirements are worked out individually between the student and the instructor.

401. Seminar in Religion. Religion concentrators with junior or senior standing. (2). (HU). Religion 401 and 402 may be elected for a combined total of 12 credits.

Current issues in the relation of Christology to ethical reflection: feminist, liberation theology, Jewish and other new contributions will be emphasized. (Cox)

404. Comparative Religion. Upperclass standing and permission of instructor. (3). (HU). May be repeated with permission for a total of 12 credits.
Logos and Liturgy.
This course will be concerned with the conceptions of cosmic order represented in the rituals and scriptures of a range of societies and religions. Various members of the faculty will discuss societies, rituals, or religions upon which they have done research. Ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Israel, early Christianity, Zoroastrianism, vedic India, Buddhism, China, contemporary America, and several contemporary tribal societies are among the cases to be considered. Participants will include Dr. Beck, Prof. Cox, Prof. Deshpande, Prof. DeWoskin, Prof. Gomez, Prof. Harding, Prof. Hoffman, Prof. Michalowski, Prof. Rappaport, and Prof. Windfuhr. The class will meet for lectures on Wednesdays 3-5 and discussion on Mondays 4-5. Students will either submit term papers or write a final take-home essay examination. (Rappaport)

425. Great Mystics of India of the 19th and 20th Centuries. (3). (HU).

India has long had a tradition of men and women who have developed their spiritual power to the ultimate. Our study will include the lives and teachings of Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi, Yogananda Paramahamsa, Ramana Maharshi, Sai Baba, Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Muktanananda and Anandamayi Ma. What is the nature of the spiritual journey of these great mystics? What are their states of awareness and what may be gained by those who follow them? What commonalities and differences are there among their paths and practices? What aspects of their experience derive from the religious and cultural tradition of Hinduism and in what ways are they related to other religions such as Christianity, Jainism or Islam? What do their lives imply about the universal spiritual potential of human beings? These are some of the questions we'll pursue through brief lectures, much discussion, and short oral and written reports. As we approach these great glimpses of, or even learn to steady our insight into, another construction of reality which parallels and interpenetrates our ordinary awareness. A series of three page papers will reflect on our encounters with each of these mystics, and a longer final paper will pull these experiences together into an encompassing understanding of mysticism. No prerequisites. (J. Mann)

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

This course is designed to accommodate students who may be unable to take listed offerings or have special reasons for undertaking directed readings. Course content and requirements are worked out individually between the student and the instructor. This course is also approved for graduate students. (Freedman)

489/ABS 484. Introduction to New Testament Interpretation. Rel. 280 or 281. (4). (HU).

An introduction to the historical and critical investigation of the literary artifacts of first and early second century Christianity, this course presupposes no prior acquaintance with the New Testament or religious studies. The focus of the course is on application of the methods of form and redaction criticism as tools for the investigation of the development of the Jesus-tradition and early Christianity. The approach is historical rather than theological; students interested in a more general view of the gospels should elect ABS/REL 280 rather than ABS/REL 484. Text: Throckmorton, Gospel Parallels. Recommended: Hoffman, Jesus: Outside the Gospels. (Freedman)

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

Each student will prepare a substantial paper under the direction of a staff member. (Open only to seniors admitted to the Honors Program.) (Freedman)


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