Fall 2014 Schedule

 

103.001
Intro To Bible Michael Candelaria  
  TR 1230-1345    
  In this course we will survey the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the New Testament. We will examine the historical, cultural, social, geographic, political, and religious backgrounds of each of the thirty nine books of the Old Testament and of the twenty seven books of the New Testament. We will examine how these backgrounds form the books of the Bible. We will study the authorship, date, audience, context, and content of each book. We will trace the origins, the transmission, compilation, the editing, and final edition of each work We will also explore methods of Biblical interpretation and discuss Biblical theologies.  
       
107.001
Living World Religions Dan Wolne  
  MWF 1200-1250    
  This class is an introduction to some of the world's most influential living religious traditions. Through historical and thematic survey, we will look at the beliefs and practices of Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese Religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The format of the class will be lecture, along with i-clicker based student participation. We will also view a series of videos that will help to give students a more vivid look at these traditions. Grading will be based on 3 unit exams (each 50 questions, multiple choice) each worth 25% of the total grade, and a term paper that will involve a comparison of a specific set of religious scriptures from the textbook (also worth 25% of the grade). The text is a custom text from McGraw-Hill entitled Experiencing the World's Religions and Sacred Scriptures, by Michael Molloy and Terry Bilhartz. The class should be of interest to any student wishing to gain cultural literacy about some of the world's most significant religious traditions.  
       
107.002
Living World Religions Dan Wolne  
  M 1600-1830    
  This class is an introduction to some of the world's most influential living religious traditions. Through historical and thematic survey, we will look at the beliefs and practices of Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese Religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The format of the class will be lecture, along with i-clicker based student participation. We will also view a series of videos that will help to give students a more vivid look at these traditions. Grading will be based on 3 unit exams (each 50 questions, multiple choice) each worth 25% of the total grade, and a term paper that will involve a comparison of a specific set of religious scriptures from the textbook (also worth 25% of the grade). The text is a custom text from McGraw-Hill entitled Experiencing the World's Religions and Sacred Scriptures, by Michael Molloy and Terry Bilhartz. The class should be of interest to any student wishing to gain cultural literacy about some of the world's most significant religious traditions.  
       
107.004
Living World Religions Staff  
  Lecture    
 

In this course, students will have an opportunity to learn about eight different religious traditions from around the world. We will be exploring four basic questions that are central for understanding what makes each tradition unique.

Is there a God?

What does it mean to be human?

How do humans interact with the Sacred?

How does the Sacred become community?

It is important to study the different answers to these fascinating questions because religion is one of the foundations for human society and culture. In today's multicultural world, understanding what other people believe can be very important to learning to live together in peace.

 
       
107.006
Living World Religions Michael Candelaria  
  Online    
  Introduction to major living world religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, the Chinese Religions, Islam and Judaism. Attention will also be given to oral/ indigenous religions and the theories of religion.  
       
107.008
Living World Religions Kelly Van Andel  
  Online    
  This class is an introduction to some of the world's most influential living religious traditions. Through historical and thematic survey, we will look at the beliefs and practices of Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese Religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The format of the class will be lecture, along with i-clicker based student participation. We will also view a series of videos that will help to give students a more vivid look at these traditions. Grading will be based on 3 unit exams (each 50 questions, multiple choice) each worth 25% of the total grade, and a term paper that will involve a comparison of a specific set of religious scriptures from the textbook (also worth 25% of the grade). The text is a custom text from McGraw-Hill entitled Experiencing the World's Religions and Sacred Scriptures, by Michael Molloy and Terry Bilhartz. The class should be of interest to any student wishing to gain cultural literacy about some of the world's most significant religious traditions.  
       
230.002
Hebrew Scriptures Judith Todd  
  Online    
  This course introduces the student to the literature contained in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. Students will gain a familiarity with the range of perspectives in the Hebrew Scriptures up to the early second Temple period (450 BCE). Israel is placed as a religion, a culture, and a nation into the context of the ancient Near East (ANE) through the exploration of the Hebrew Scriptures in comparison to the literature, sociology, and religions of the surrounding cultures.  
       
232.002
Christian Scriptures Staff  
  MWF 1300-1350    
  This course studies the Christian Scriptures within the context of the world in which it arose. Through readings from the Christian Scriptures, and by reference to other early Christian literature, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Jewish and Greek sources, the course investigates who the first Christians were-what was distinctive about them and also what they had in common with other religious people of the time.  
       
247.001
T: Intro to Islam Mozafar Banihashemi  
  TR 1500-1615    
 

This course will introduce students to the various elements that come together to form Islam as a world religion. The life and role of the Prophet Muhammad and the message of the Qur'an are among the specific topics to be explored. Furthermore, the course will touch upon the theological, philosophical, legal and mystical dimensions of Islam. Lastly, the development of Islam in the 19th century through present time will be examined. In this respect, the course will address a number of Muslim thinkers and intellectuals, movements, and groups that have shaped the vision and practice of Islam in the contemporary world.

 
       
236.001
T: Eastern Religion Staff  
  TR 100-1215    
  This course is a survey of the Eastern religious traditions of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Daoism, Confucianism, and Shinto. We will be studying the main philosophical ideas of these religious traditions.  
       
263.002
Eastern Religions Kelly Van Andel  
  Online    
 

This course is a survey of the Eastern religious traditions of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Daoism, Confucianism, and Shinto. We will be studying the main philosophical ideas of these religious traditions.

Book list: Scriptures of the Worlds Religions: Eastern Traditions (Custom), Feiser and Powers (editors) ISBN13: 9781121214989 McGraw-Hill.

 
       
263.003
Eastern Religions Lisa Gerber  
  Online 1H    
  This course is a survey of the Eastern religious traditions of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Daoism, Confucianism, and Shinto. We will be studying the main philosophical ideas of these religious traditions.

       
264.001
Western Religions Hilary Lipka  
  MWF 1000-1050    
  In this course we will focus on the three major religions of the western world: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, tracing the development of each of these religions from their origins up through modern times, and familiarizing ourselves with major texts, movements, practices, and essential beliefs of each.  
       
264.003
Western Religions Donna Ray  
  Online    
  In this class we will study thd three major religions of the Western world-Judaism, Christianity, and Islam-tracing the development of each of these religions from their origins up through modern times, and familiarizing ourselves with the major texts, movements, beliefs, and practices of each.  
       
  In this course we will focus on the three major religions of the western world: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, tracing the development of each of these religions from their origins up through modern times, and familiarizing ourselves with major texts, movements, practices, and essential beliefs of each.  
       
347.001
T: Evangelicals, Fundamentalist & Pentecostals Donna Ray  
  TR 1400-1515    
  Christian evangelicals make up over a quarter of the American population. But where did they come from, and what do they believe? This course traces the history of modern evangelicalism from its roots in the Protestant Reformation and transatlantic "Awakenings" of the eighteenth century to the present. Along the way, we will cover colonial America and religion in the new republic, evangelical reform in the nineteenth century, the later clash between fundamentalists and modernists, holiness and Pentecostal movements, African-American and Hispanic evangelicalism, the Christian Right, and youth movements of the late twentieth century. We will address variations in theology and religious practice with particular attention to how evangelicals have negotiated, revised, or defined central tenets of Christianity, as well as how they have negotiated contemporary issues of gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity. We will also look beyond the American religious scene, to varieties of global evangelicalismThrough shared readins and other media, weekly writing assignments, individual presentations, and discussion in a seminar setting, students will analyze evangelicalism as a social and cultural movement, as well as a religious one.  
       
347.002
T: Early Daoism Dan Wolne  
  TR 1100-1215    
  An investigation into the themes of the Dao De Ching, by a careful analysis of the text itself (in English translation) as well as early influential commentaries.  
       
       
347.003
T: Christ & Culture Michael Candelaria  
  TR 1100-1215    
  The course is an examination of cultural representations of Christ. We begin with the early Christian period during the Roman era. From there we move on to the Byzantine period, the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and the modern age with emphasis on the Enlightenment and Romanticism. Then, we focus on American Christianity and conclude with Latino conceptions of Christ. We will study the New Testament, theological writings, literature, poetry, artistic images and film. Methodology includes historical critcism, sociology, anthropology, etc. One objective of the course is to show that representations of Christ are reflections of cultural self-understanding.  
       
347.004
T: Islamic Mysticism Mozafar Banihashemi  
  MW 1700-1815    
 

This course will introduce students to mystical dimensions of the Islamic religious tradition, commonly known as Sufism. The course will explore the nature, origins, and development of thoughts and practices of mystical Islam. In this connection, various themes such as Sufism vis-a-vis Islamic orthodoxy, mystical experience of Sufis, internal and external forms of knowledge, the literary heritage of Sufism with an emphasis on Sufi poetry amoung many others will be reviewed. The course will also examine Sufi organizations and social practices in the contemporary world. .

 
       
347.005
T: Goddesses & Gods of India Staff  
  TR 1400-1515    
  This course is an introduction to the goddesses and gods of India and explores three questions: (1) Who are the goddesses and gods of India? (2) What are their relationships with each other, male and female human beings, the natural world, and their social and religious contexts? and (3) What difference, if any, does the gender of a deity make (e.g., to their relationship with worshipers or to the social structure of the society worshiping them)? In the course of exploring these questions, we will familiarize ourselves with many local, regional, and pan-Indian gods and goddesses, along with their art/iconography, rituals, philosophy, history, and literature (both Sanskrit and popular). While the focus will be on Hindu goddesses and gods, we will also briefly consider non-Hindu (e.g., Christian, Muslim) saints, who often resemble or act like Hindu deities. Materials for this course are drawn from textual, historical, and ethnographic studies from the various regions of India and the Indian diaspora; classes will be a combination of discussion, powerpoint lectures, and films.  
       
347.006
T: Magic in Ancient Religion Staff  
  TR 1230-1345    
  Studies in major religious figures and movements. Topic varies.  
       
347.007
T: Religion & Science Michael Nutkiewicz  
  W 1700-1930    
  In this course we examine the relationship between science and religion from the Middle Ages to contmeporary times. What characterized this relationship? Are science and reigion "at war" with one another, or are they simply disciplines that utilize different methods and languages to describe reality? What are the boundary lines between them? Looking at historical case studies, and learning the language and methods of science, philosophy, and religion, we will strive to understand and appreciate the complexity of the science/religion engagement across time in Western Civilization.  
       
347.008
T: Religion & Gender in the US Lynn Bridgers  
  MW 1530-1645    
  This course has three interrelated foci to study the impact of gender on religious beliefs and practices in the context of the contemporary United States, to explore the influence and effect of feminism, women’s studies and gender studies in the academic study of religion, and to assess current gender issues within diverse religious traditions. Readings include both descriptive analytical studies by scholars of religion and theoretical, constructive work by religious thinkers and theologians. Attention is given to both fundamentalist constructions of gender and resistance to gender norms within religious traditions. Traditions explored include Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Native American belief systems.
       
347.009
T: Sexuality & the Bible Hilary Lipka  
  MWF 1200-1250    
  What does the Bible really say about sex and sexuality? The answer is not as simple as one might think. In fact, the Bible has many things to say about sex and sexuality, but the message is not always consistent, and is sometimes open to more than one interpretation. In this class we will consider what both the Old Testament and the New Testament say regarding various aspects of sexual behavior and sexuality, taking into account the original context of these texts, and what they meant to their original audiences. We will also consider how these texts have been historically interpreted, the different ways they are interpreted today, and the impact these interpretations have had on contemporary debates on matters related to sexual behavior and sexuality, such as same-sex marriage, gender roles, and birth control.  
       
347.011
T: Paganism & Early Christianity Emily Kratzer  
  TR 1530-1645    
  "From Alpha to Apocalypse: Myths of Creation and Destruction in Greco-Roman and Early Christian Literature". Atlantis Troy, Rome: divinities were present at the founding of each city, and they were there for each city's end, too. But why did the ancient gods allow(or, in some cases, even cause) their magnificient creations to be destroyed? Could any civilization, whether created by God or man, last forever? In this class we will survey some Ancient Greek, Roman and Early Christian tales of creation and destruction. Our goal is to gain insight into some philosophical, theological and scientific conflicts that divided ancient polytheists and early Christian thinkers.  
       
350.001
Religion and Literature Kelly Van Andel  
  Online    
  Religion and Literature and the myths and stories that define them arguably serve as the foundation of culture. Long before the development of academic disciplines and critical thought, the practice of contemplating and explaining the self and the universe through narrative and poetry proved essential for understanding the world and one's place in it. Today, although we work and think with highly sophisticated thought patterns within specialized academic disciplines, the key to understanding ourselves and culture sill often lies in story. This course on religion and literature builds on this truth. Through three units entitled: "The Nature of the Divine," "Self and Other," and "Society and Culture," the course discusses how the act and art of story telling not only helps us understand the past but also the present construction of the world. The course material focuses on the literature about the three Abrahmaic faiths-Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and uses such to explore each units themes, which are meant to trace the development and experience of the self as it moves from a contemplative, inward gaze outward toward the other and the world.

 
       
350.002
Religion and Literature Kelly Van Andel  
  Online    
  Religion and Literature and the myths and stories that define them arguably serve as the foundation of culture. Long before the development of academic disciplines and critical thought, the practice of contemplating and explaining the self and the universe through narrative and poetry proved essential for understanding the world and one's place in it. Today, although we work and think with highly sophisticated thought patterns within specialized academic disciplines, the key to understanding ourselves and culture sill often lies in story. This course on religion and literature builds on this truth. Through three units entitled: "The Nature of the Divine," "Self and Other," and "Society and Culture," the course discusses how the act and art of story telling not only helps us understand the past but also the present construction of the world. The course material focuses on the literature about the three Abrahmaic faiths-Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and uses such to explore each units themes, which are meant to trace the development and experience of the self as it moves from a contemplative, inward gaze outward toward the other and the world.
       
365.001
Sem: Philosophy of Religion Joachim Oberst  
  W 1600-1830    
       
447.001
T: Evolution of Religiosity Paul Watson  
  MF 1300-1430    
 

A strictly materialist analysis of all aspects of religious behavior and experience from the point of view of modern Darwinian theory. The goal of the course is to offer students a cutting-edge evolutionary biological understanding of patterns of religious thought and behavior, and insights into the possible positive and negative fitness consequences of religious behavior and belief for individuals and groups.

In the last 10-15 years evolutionary psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists have made intriguing advances in explaining the evolution of pan-cultural "religiosity instincts," interacting mental mechanisms that almost inexorably lead humans to create worlds populated with supernatural beings and societies infused with religious practices ostensibly designed to build relationships with them. Several kinds of natural selection pressures, operating through proto-human and human evolutionary history, have been revealed which may have tuned and integrated our ancestral "religiosity instincts" to better serve individual inclusive fitness interests in the context of modern human coalitionary dynamics.

Cognitive by-productive (epiphenomentalist) and functionalist (adaptationist) evolutionary hypotheses of religiosity will be discussed and integrated. The functional roles played by religious instincts and behaviors in managinag human relationships and coalitions, securing social commitments, guiding moral deliberations, generating willpower will be emphasized. We will also look at related mechanishms whereby diverse religious practices pathogens. The student will emerge from the course with a new and widely applicable level of understanding of religion and the corresponding functional design of their own mind. For further information visit the course web site here.

 
       
       
453.001
Asian Studies Thesis L. Brau  
  Arranged    
  Restriction: permission of program chairperson.  
       
463.001
Sem: Jesus and Gospels Franklin Yates  
  M 1730-2000    
  This course examines the life and teachings of Jesus as they are contained in the four gospels of the New Testament. A comparison of the gospels with each other and with other Christian and non-Christian writings of the period will be used to show the development of the early Christian community and its place in the first century world.  
       
497.001
Independent Studies Dan Wolne  
  Arranged    
  Restriction: permission of program chairperson.  
       
497.002
Independent Studies John Bussanich  
  Arranged    
  Restriction: permission of program chairperson.