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Spring 2014 Courses

REL 104 Introduction to Religious Studies
(3) This course introduces students to the academic study of religions. It acquaints students with key methods and issues in religious studies, and provides an introductory survey of selected religions. Not open to students who have taken REL 105.
Eligibility: Goal 4 Outcome 2 (AE42), Goal 3 Arts and Humanities (GE3H), H Humanities (H), HR Philosophy & Religion PC (HR)
7:00-8:15PM MW, 100 Smith. Instructor: Aaron Ketchell
9:30-10:45AM TR, 107 Smith. Instructor: Paul Nahme

REL 106 Living Religions of the East
(3) A basic introduction to religion in India, China, and Japan with emphasis upon religions that affect the modern period. Not open to students who have taken REL 108/EALC 108. (Same as EALC 105.)
Eligibility: Goal 4 Outcome 2 (AE42), Goal 3 Arts and Humanities (GE3H), H Humanities (H), HR Philosophy & Religion PC (HR), NW Non-Western Culture (NW), World Civilization (W)
10:00-10:50AM MWF, 100 Smith. Instructor: William Lindsey

REL 107 Living Religions of the West
(3) A basic introduction to the major religious traditions of the Near East, Europe, and the Americas, with an emphasis on their development through the modern period and their expressions in contemporary life. Not open to students who have taken REL 109.
Eligibility: Goal 4 Outcome 1 (AE41), H Humanities (H), HR Philosophy & Religion PC (HR)
11:00-12:15PM TR, 100 Smith. Instructor: Joshua Lollar

REL 124 Understanding the Bible
(3) An introduction to the literature of the Bible, exploring the relationships among the various types of literature present and the function of each type in the history and religious life of the people who produced and used them. Cannot be taken concurrently with REL 311 or REL 315. Not open to students who have taken REL 125.
Eligibility: Goal 3 Arts and Humanities (GE3H), H Humanities (H), HR Philosophy & Religion PC (HR)
11:00-11:50AM MW, 100 Smith (LEC). Instructor: Paul Mirecki
2:00-2:50PM F, 208 Smith (DISCUSSION)
3:00-3:50PM W, 208 Smith (DISCUSSION)
3:00-3:50PM F, 208 Smith (DISCUSSION)
4:00-4:50PM R, 208 Smith (DISCUSSION)
5:00-5:50PM R, 208 Smith (DISCUSSION)

REL 125 Understanding the Bible, Honors
(3)An introduction to the literature of the Bible, exploring the relationships among the various types of literature present and the function of each type in history and religious life of the people who produced and used them. Open only to students in the University Honors Program or by permission of instructor. Not open to students who have taken REL 124 or JWSH 124. (Same as JWSH 125.)
Eligibility: Goal 4 Outcome 2 (AE42), Goal 3 Arts and Humanities (GE3H), H Humanities (H), HR Philosophy & Religion PC (HR)
12:30-1:45PM MW, 108 Blake. Instructor: Paul Mirecki

REL 130 Myth, Legend, and Folk Belief in East Asia
(3) A survey of the commonly held ideas about the beginning of the world, the role of gods and spirits in daily life, and the celebrations and rituals proper to each season of the year. The purpose of the course is to present the world view of the ordinary peoples of East Asia. (Same as ANTH 293, EALC 130.)
Eligibility: H Humanities (H), World Civilization (W), NW Non-Western Culture (NW)
9:30-10:45AM TR, 1003 Malott. Instructor: Crispin Williams.

REL 171 Religion in American Society
(3) A broad introduction to religion in American culture. This class emphasizes the well-established religions with large followings (viz. Judaism, Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism). Some attention is also given to other religions active in America. Other topics covered include the relationship of church and state, religion in ethnic and racial minority groups, and women and religion. Not open to students who have taken REL 172. (Same as AMS 290.)
Eligibility: Goal 4 Outcome 1 (AE41), H Humanities (H), HR Philosophy & Religion PC (HR)
12:00-12:50PM MWF, 100 Smith. Instructor: Timothy Miller

REL 365 Hinduism
(3) An introduction to the diversity and richness of Hinduism from the Vedic period to the present; explores Hindu practices, beliefs, and communities using primary texts and extensive audio-visual resources.
Eligibility: H Humanities (H)
11:00AM-12:15PM TR, 208 Smith. Instructor: Hamsa Stainton

REL 404 Undergraduate Seminar in Religion: Islamic Law: Between Tradition and Modernity
(3) Shari’a is invariably (and incorrectly) interpreted as an unchanging legal code dating back to 7th century Arabia. Shari’a is the Muslim universe of ideals and law is only one among many topics of Shrai’a. Islamic law is an organic and constantly evolving human project aimed at ascertaining God's will in a given historical and cultural context. This course offers practical insights into the sources and constructs of this faith-based legal system that evolved over the last 1400 years. This includes:

  • The substantive difference between Shari’a and jurisprudence, analysis of the Qur’an, the Sunna (the Tradition of the Prophet Muhammad)
  • The manner in which jurists used the Quran, the Sunna, and rationality to articulate a coherent legal system.
  • The areas of the law that engender passionate debate and controversy in the contemporary world.

Eligibility: H Humanities (H)
11:00AM-12:15PM MW, 124 Frasier. Instructor: Adham Hashesh

REL 404 Undergraduate Seminar in Religion: New Testament Greek (Koine Greek)
(3) Topic, instructor, prerequisite and hours of credit to be announced in Schedule of Classes. Particular subject matter any given semester responding to student interest and taking advantage of special faculty competence. Class discussion, readings, and individual projects. Meets with GRK 375 and JWSH 300.
Eligibility: H Humanities (H)
10:00-10:50AM MWF, 356 Strong. Instructor: Josh Parr

REL 404 Undergraduate Seminar in Religion: Archaeology of Ancient Israel
(3) Topic, instructor, prerequisite and hours of credit to be announced in Schedule of Classes. Particular subject matter any given semester responding to student interest and taking advantage of special faculty competence. Class discussion, readings, and individual projects. Meets with CLSX 375 and JWSH 300.
Eligibility: H Humanities (H)
11:00AM-12:15PM TR, 2049 Malott. Instructor: Staff

REL 404 Undergraduate Seminar in Religion: The Story of the Talmud
(3) Topic, instructor, prerequisite and hours of credit to be announced in Schedule of Classes. Particular subject matter any given semester responding to student interest and taking advantage of special faculty competence. Class discussion, readings, and individual projects. Meets with JWSH 300.
Eligibility: H Humanities (H)
2:30PM-3:45PM TR, 112 Frasier. Instructor: Neal Schuster

REL 490 Senior Seminar in Theories and Methods
(3) A capstone course for religious studies majors to survey methods and theories in religious studies. Prerequisite: Religious Studies major or permission of the instructor.
Eligibility: Goal 6 Outcome 1 (AE61), H Humanities (H)
2:30 – 3:45 TR, 107 Smith. Instructor: Hamsa Stainton

REL 502 Special Topics in Religion: Men and the Male God
(3) How might Tillich's dictum that culture is the form of religion, and religion, the substance or depth-dimension of culture, suggest where students interested in religion should look if they would understand the gender trouble of the 20th century West? How might an understanding of the life, personal struggles, and quite unscientific theories of Freud shed light on how images of the great male gods of Western religion could be contributing to the problematic gendered identities of so many men and women of the present day, including many who no longer believe in these gods? And what insights might be gained into 20th century constructions of masculinity from the writings of recent theorists and popular authors that would assist men in their search for a non-violent and non-sexist male self? The course will be structured around these questions and will consist of assigned readings, somewhat informal lectures, and discussions. Careful and timely reading of the assigned texts, regular class attendance, and taking some notes on the lectures and discussions will be essential. The course is open to both graduate and undergraduate students. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Eligibility: H Humanities (H)
12:30-1:45PM MW, 206 Smith. Instructor: Paul Zimdars-Swartz

REL 534 Studies in Ritual: Play, Sport and Games
(3)A study of ritual theory and a comparative study of ritual activity among selected religious traditions. May be taken more than once if content differs sufficiently. Meets with ISP 504.
Eligibility: H Humanities (H)
2:30-5:00PM R, 108 Smith. Instructor: Michael Zogry

REL 557 Modern Islamic Reform Movements
(3) This course examines movements of renewal and reform in the Islamic world today. Also studies the conditions that gave rise to calls for reform throughout the Muslim majority world, as well as the impact reform movements have had on the practices and beliefs of Muslims today.
Eligibility: H Humanities (H)
11:00AM-12:15PM TR, 107 Smith. Instructor: Jacquelene Brinton

REL 560 Classical and Contemporary Jewish Thought
(3)An introduction to individual Jewish thinkers and collective projects from Philo to the present, including The Talmud and Midrash, Middle Age and Early Modern Jewish philosophical and Talmudic rationalism and mysticism. Considers such thinkers as Spinoza, Cohen, Soloveitchik, Rosenzweig, and Levinas. (Same as JWSH 560.) Prerequisite: A previous course in Religious Studies or Jewish Studies; or consent of instructor.
Eligibility: H Humanities (H)
1:00-2:15PM TR, 208 Smith. Instructor: Paul Nahme

REL 671 American Communes
(3) An examination of utopian communities in North America from the seventeenth century to the present. The course will survey the history, literature, and social dynamics of representative communal societies and movements including the Shakers, the Hutterites, the Oneida Community, Catholic religious communities, egalitarian communities, and other religious and secular communities.
Eligibility: H Humanities (H)
2:00-2:50PM MWF, 107 Smith. Instructor: Timothy Miller

REL 737 Seminar in Religion, Media and Performance
(3) This seminar explores aspects of performance and the media of performance in lived religion, which might include such topics as ritual, the body, mass media and the internet, and visual and material culture. Specific case studies and content to be selected by the instructor.
4:00-6:30PM W, 4 Smith. Instructor: William Lindsey

Appointment Courses Arranged with Permission of the Instructor:

REL 405 Directed Study in Religion
Investigation of a special topic or project selected by the student with advice, approval, and supervision of an instructor. Such study may take the form of directed reading or special research. Individual reports and conferences. May be repeated, with maximum cumulative credit of four hours. Course taken for one hour of credit may not be used to fulfill College distribution requirement. Prerequisite: One previous course in religious studies at the University of Kansas and permission of instructor.
Eligibility: Goal 6 Outcome 1 (AE61), H Humanities (H)
By appointment; By permission of faculty.

REL 499 Undergrad Honors Research
Required for Departmental Honors. May be taken more than once; total credit not to exceed 6 hours. Prerequisite: Open only to candidates for degree with departmental honors and with consent of the student's research supervisor.
Eligibility: Goal 6 Outcome 1 (AE61), H Humanities (H)
By appointment; By permission of faculty.

REL 500 Readings in Non-English Texts
This course provides directed readings for students in either primary or secondary texts related to religious studies utilizing material in languages other than English.
By appointment; By permission of faculty.

REL 800 Readings
By appointment; By permission of faculty.

REL 899 Thesis
By appointment; By permission of faculty.

 


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