Spring 2017 Courses

REL 104. Introduction to Religious Studies. 3 hours. 3 Hours HR AE42/GE3H / H.

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. LEC.

TR 11-12:15. Malott 2048. Instructor: Sandi Zimdars-Swartz.

REL 105. Introduction to Religious Studies Honors. 3 Hours HR AE42/GE3H / H.

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. Open only to students in the University Honors Program or by permission of instructor. Not open to students who have taken REL 104. LEC.

TR 1-2:15. Smith 7. Instructor: Sandi Zimdars-Swartz.

REL 106. Living Religions of the East. 3 Hours HR/NW AE42/GE3H / H/W.

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.) LEC.

MWF 10-10:50am. Smith 100. Instructor: Bill Lindsey.

REL 107. Living Religions of the West. 3 Hours HR AE42/GE3H / H.

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. (Same as JWSH 107.) LEC.

TR 1-2:15pm. Smith 100. Instructor: Molly Zahn.

REL 124. Understanding the Bible. 3 Hours HR AE42/GE3H / H.

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 JWSH 321 or REL 315. Not open to students who have taken REL 125 or JWSH 125. (Same as JWSH 124.) LEC.

MW 11-11:50am. Smith 100. Instructor: Paul Mirecki.

Discussion Sections:        W 1-1:50pm. Smith 206.

                                         R 10-10:50am. Smith 208.

                                         F 10-10:50am. Smith 208.

                                         F 11-11:50am. Smith 208.

                                         F 1-1:50pm. Smith 208.

REL 171. Religion in American Society. 3 Hours HR AE41/GE3H / H.

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.) LEC.

TR 11-12:15pm. Smith 100. Instructor: Tim Miller.

REL 345. Christianity. 3 Hours H.

An introductory examination of the history, doctrines, and practices of Christianity. Selected readings from the creeds, papal decrees, and major Christian theologians. LEC.

W 7-9:30pm. Smith 107. Instructor: Aaron Ketchell.  

REL 373. The Supreme Court and Religious Issues in the United States. 3 Hours H.

Historical study of the interpretation of the religion clauses of the First Amendment with special reference to the questions of establishment, the free exercise of religion, freedom of religious belief, worship, and action, and religion and the public schools. Not open to freshmen. (Same as HIST 373.) LEC.

TR 1-2:15pm. Smith 206.  Instructor: Andrew Morgan.

REL 377. Religious Ethics and Moral Decisions. 3 Hours AE51 / H.

When faced with ethical dilemmas how do we decide what is the right course of action? In what ways are our decisions affected by religious ideas about morality? In this class we examine the ethical problems we encounter every day in light of the solutions offered from various religious traditions. Cases to be examined include issues of life and death, war and peace, sexual morals, torture, the treatment of animals and the environment. LEC.

MW 11-1:30pm. 1/17/17-3/10/17. Smith 208. Instructor: Jackie Brinton. *8 week course

REL 425. Religion and Film. 3 Hours H.

An examination of the treatment of religious themes through the medium of film and an examination of the attitudes of religious organizations toward films and film production. Selected films will be viewed and analyzed from the perspectives taken within religious studies. LEC.

W 2-4:30pm. Smith 208. Instructor: Joshua Lollar.

REL 490. Senior Seminar in Theories and Methods. 3 Hours AE61 / H.

A capstone course for religious studies majors to survey methods and theories in religious studies. Prerequisite: Religious Studies major or permission of the instructor. LEC.

TR 4-5:15pm. Smith 107. Instructor: Hamsa Stainton.

REL 502 Special Topics in Religion: The Bible Then and Now. 3 hours. H.

An introduction and survey of the history and interpretation of the Jewish and Christian bibles from their first formation to the present day. Students will explore the way the text, interpretation and format of the Bible have adjusted over time to accommodate religious, political, social and technological changes. Class may occasionally meet in the university’s rare book collection to study rare bibles. LEC.

M 2-4:30pm. Smith 208. Instructor: Paul Mirecki.

REL 502 Special Topics in Religion: Explorations of the Self. 3 hours. H.

Topic and instructor to be announced in Schedule of Classes. Enables qualified students to participate in current research interests of faculty and/or pursue specific current topics. May be offered by different instructors under different subtitles, and may be taken more than once if subject matter varies sufficiently. LEC.

TR 11:00-12:15pm. Smith 4. Instructor: Paul Zimdars-Swartz.

REL 507. Religion in India. 3 Hours NW AE42/GE3H / H/W.

Survey of religious thought and practice in India from the Vedic period to the present. LEC.

TR 1-2:15pm. Smith 107. Instructor: Hamsa Stainton.

REL 534 Studies in Ritual: Marrying, Burying, and Other Passages. 3 hours.

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. LEC.

MWF 12-12:50pm. Smith 107. Instructor: Bill Lindsey.

REL 585. New Religious Movements (Western). 3 Hours H.

A survey of the beliefs, practices, and social impact of religious minorities in the United States, both contemporary and historical, rooted primarily in Christianity and Judaism. LEC.

TR 2:30-3:45pm. Smith 206. Instructor: Tim Miller.

REL 747 Seminar in Religion, Society, and Social Change. Studying Modern Islam. 3 hours.

An in-depth introduction to the issues involved in the academic study of modern Islam. In this class students will investigate the ideas, assumptions and historical circumstances that gave rise to and continue to influence scholarly approaches to Islam. Topics may include the Orientalism, gender studies, colonialism, secularism, Islamism and the concept of modernity. Students will apply what they learn to the study of Islam in contemporary Egypt. SEM.

F 9-1:30pm. 3/10/17-4/28/16. Malott 2048. Instructor: Jackie Brinton. *Non-standard meeting dates.

REL 757 Seminar in Religion, Subjectivity, Experience and Narrative. Buddhism as Lived Religion and Vernacular Culture in China. 3 hours.

This seminar will draw on a variety of materials and media to explore the diverse ways in which elements of Buddhist culture find their way into vernacular Chinese religious life, how they impacted those patterns of popular religiosity, and in turn were appropriated and transformed by them. In the process, we will examine critically the idea of “popular” or “vernacular” religiosity in China, along with received analytic divisions between Buddhist normativity and alterity, mainstream/elite and “folk” religion. Representative topics include Buddhist pilgrimage and sacred landscape; mortuary ritual, death and the afterlife (the Ten Kings and lake of blood); indigenous transformation of deities and their cults, such as the bodhisattva Guanyin (Avalokiteśvara); the interface of dramatic performance and ritual (Mulian operas); the bureaucraticzation of karma and its retribution; Buddhist spells and ritual technologies for managing illness and calamity; the culture of amulets, icons, and material sacra. SEM.

T 4pm-6:30pm. Smith 208. Instructor: Daniel Stevenson.

REL 875 Topics in Religion and Society: Issues in the Academic Study of Native American Religions. 3 hours.

Special topics to be announced in Schedule of Classes, according to research interests of faculty and students. A particular aspect of the study of religion and culture will be emphasized. Course may be taken more than once if the subject matter varies. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. LEC.

W 2-4:30pm. Smith 4. Instructor: Mike Zogry.

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