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)

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

A survey of the institutions, doctrine, political involvement, and culture of the Christian Churches of the West from Apostolic times to the 20th century. A textbook and two lectures a week will provide students with the necessary historical continuity. Two sections a week will be devoted to discussion of selected documents (such as creeds and confessions, papal encyclicals, monastic rules, and religious tracts) and some "literary classics" of the tradition (by such authors as St. Augustine, St. Benedict, St. Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This is an introductory course with no prerequisites; and although previous religious education might obviously prove helpful, the staff will not assume that students have any background in the history or doctrine of the Christian Church. (Tentler)

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.


359/GNE 363/Hist 307. History of Ancient Israel II: The Formation of Classical Judaism. May be elected independently of NES 362. (3). (Excl).

See GNE 363. (Machinist)

361. Studies in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament): The Prophets. (4). (HU).

An examination of the social, historical, and religious issues that arise when interpreting the prophetic literature of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. The course, which is based on readings in English translation of the Hebrew text, begins with an examination of prophecy in the Ancient Near East. The course explores the rise of prophecy in Israel and considers the prophetic response to the crisis posed by the imperial expansionist policies of the Assyrians and Babylonians, focusing, in particular, on the effects of the exile of the Israelites into Babylon and this great tragedy on the prophetic tradition. The course concludes with the transformation of the prophecy during the period of the Second Temple. Classes will meet twice weekly for lectures and once a week for discussion. A knowledge of historical method or biblical history and/or Religion 201 are encouraged. Course grading is based on papers and exams. This course is part of a sequence of three courses on the Hebrew Bible, but the others are not requisite to this course. (Pleins)

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

See Psychology 370. (R. Mann)

380/ABS 380. Selected Topics in Christian Studies. (3). (HU). 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.

Current topics-OUR ROOTS and the FUTURE: CURRENT THEOLOGICAL TOPICS. The course will be taught by a series of Visiting Professors of Religious Thought, who will give the main lecture each Monday evening from 8-10 P.M. These visiting theologians are excellent and distinguished speakers from throughout the United States and some from Europe. They will each speak on their area of expertise within the scope of where we have been, theologically, and where we are going. These lectures will be interesting and stimulating. There will also be a discussion section for one hour per week, which gives the students an opportunity to talk about the issues raised by the speakers. Course grading is based on papers and exams. Religion concentrators especially, are encouraged to participate in this course.

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.

402. Seminar in Religion. Religion concentrators with junior or senior standing. (2). (HU).

Seminar in Religion: Current Theological Topics. Permission per department, 445 W. Engineering., 764-4475 (Seniors, Grad. Students, Religion concentrators). This course will be a detailed investigation of issues raised by the Visiting Theologians of Religious Thought, and will give broader perspective to issues which are on the forefront of theological controversy. The grading will be based on research papers and class presentations.

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)

455/Soc. 455. Religion and Society. (3). (SS).

See Sociology 455. (Heirich)

480/Asian Studies 480/Buddhist Studies 480/Philosophy 457. Problems in Buddhism. Rel. 320 or equivalent. (3). (Excl).

See Buddhist Studies 480.

485/GNE 485. Muslim Sages. (3). (HU).

See General Near East 485. (Mir)

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)

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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