Courses in Religion (Division 457)

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

See Far Eastern Languages and Literatures: Buddhist Studies 220. (Schopen)

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

See ABS 282. (Parunak)

310. Religion in the Afroamerican Experience. (3). (HU).

A general survey of the religious experience of Afro-Americans, concentrating on developments in the religious life of Black people in America. Various religious impulses within the Black community will be studied, including traditional Christianity, Islam, Judaism, cultic Christianity (as expressed in the various Pentecostal movements) and other movements which have been described as "personality cults" such as those led by Father Divine, Daddy Grace, Prophet Jones, and Rev. Ike. A brief survey of the traditional African approach to religion is given as a background for a proper understanding of the ways in which the introduction of Christianity affected African people, followed by a study of the development of religion among Black people in the ante-bellum America. A study of Black religion since 1900 will explore the social and political cross-currents which led to the rise of separatist religious groups early in the twentieth century. The role of mainline churches and their success or failure in translating the needs and aspirations of the Black community to the larger society will be studied in relation to the civil rights struggle of the 1960s and the development of new social-action oriented religious movements. The course will conclude with an exploration of Black religious moods in contemporary society. (N. Miles)

325. Mysticism and the Early English Mystics. (3). (HU).

This course treats the early English mystics in the English translation of the original Middle English and Latin texts and glances at the antecedents in western Christianity. No prerequisites are necessary, though acquaintance with other Christian writings, especially the Bible, would contribute to full understanding and appreciation of the English mystical tradition. The course is not part of a departmental sequence. Students will be evaluated on the basis of a class presentation, several short essays, one long paper, and a final exam. The course will combine lectures with a great deal of discussion. (Stuckey)

330. Contemporary Issues in Science and Religion. (4). (HU).

Scientific discoveries throughout the modern period have challenged traditional religious values. Typically, the religious posture has been defensive, and scientific discoveries continue to erode the very foundations of religious faith. This course will examine the challenge which modern scientific disciplines, ranging from Newtonian mechanics to sociobiology, present to traditional values.

The course will begin with a historical survey, beginning with the Sixteenth Century astronomical revolution, and will examine the philosophical and theological implications of Newtonian mechanics. As the conception of the universe changes, man is relegated to the role of mere observer of a vast world-machine. Even the confidence in the clarity of man's rational vision is undermined by the scepticism of Hume. Finally, the ideas of Darwin complete the scientific revolution: Man the rational observer of the Seventeenth Century is reduced suddenly to a product of a meaningless, however dynamic, evolutionary process. The course will consider briefly how modern existentialism attests to the growing sense of alienation of man from the traditional centers of value, which have lost credibility, largely as a result of the scientific revolution.

Once the historical challenge has been put into perspective, the course will concentrate on the similarities of and differences between the respective methods and goals of science and religion. To what extent must faith be "scientific," and to what extent must science be "faithful"?

The last part of the course will deal with constructive questions: How is the Judeo-Christian tradition to understand nature as the creation of God, when science has demonstrated and requires the complete autonomy of nature? Is it possible to be both scientific and faithful in any meaningful sense?

Course requirements, including a midterm and final examination, as well as a term paper, will be based primarily on lectures and discussion. Since the course participants will come from disciplines as diverse as engineering and English, the instructor, in conference with individual students, will determine how the course requirements can be best adapted to the goals of the student. (Hartman)

360. Studies in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). (4). (HU).

The focus of this course is on the interpretation of the Bible in the light of the people who wrote, edited, compiled, and preserved it. The objective is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to understand and interpret the Bible for themselves. It is designed for undergraduates in all disciplines and areas, and is intended to acquaint them with aspects of the Bible which have figured so importantly in the religious and cultural history of the Western World. Although the course will deal with historical, literary, anthropological, archeological, and sociological aspects to some degree, the particular approach offered here will attempt to bring all of these disciplines to bear on the literature. Methods of instruction: 3 hours of lecture and 1 hour of discussion per week. Student evaluation: midterm and final exam and one paper. Required texts: The Biblical Period from Abraham to Ezra by W.F. Albright. (Freedman)

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

See Psychology 370. (Mann)

424/Psych. 403. Personality and Religious Development. (3). (HU).

See Psychology 403. (J. Mann)

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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