Courses in Religion (Division 457)

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

An introduction to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The course begins with an overview of the Bible, and then explores the major personalities, themes and issues of the three religious traditions which emerged from it. No special background is required. There is a quiz in the discussion section on the reading and lectures at the end of each unit, but no midterm exam. The final exam is an essay on one of a number of major themes (freedom, authority, community, etc.) which are announced at the beginning of the course, and students are permitted (and encouraged) to bring one page of notes to the final exam. A term paper is optional (required for students in the Honors section). Additional discussion outside of lectures and discussion sessions is available on MTS/CONFER. The course also features a trip to the Toledo Museum of Art for a special tour of religious art. (Freedman)

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

See ABS 283.

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.

358/GNE 362/Hist. 306. History of Ancient Israel I: From Abraham to the Babylonian Exile. (3). (HU).

See General Near Eastern Studies 362. (Machinist)

360. Studies in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament): The Primary History. (4). (HU).

This course will focus upon those books of the Old Testament that present the history of ancient Israel (Genesis through Ezra-Nehemiah). While one aim of the course is to explore the history of ancient Israel, another aim will be to explore these books as exemplars of Hebrew "history-writing" - i.e., the factors that shaped and influenced how the biblical writers remembered and re-told the stories of their past. Thus, an important goal of the course is to acquaint students to issues more broadly associated with "historiography," as well as to particularly Hebrew "confessional" schemes that underlie these books and give them a "religious" quality. (Herion)

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

See Philosophy 365. (Mavrodes)

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

See Psychology 370. (R. Mann)

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. Credit may vary from one to three hours.

419/Anthro. 419. Religion and Society in Native North America. One course in cultural anthropology or permission of instructor. (3). (SS).

See Anthropology 419. (Kan)

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? Can we understand aspects of their experience and teaching which are derived from Hinduism, Islam, or other religions? 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)

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

See Buddhist Studies 480.

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.

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.)


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