Religion 100 R – Topic: Intro to the Bible
Introductory survey of the Old and New Testaments. Attention will be given to historical contexts, cultural perspectives, and theological themes, to help students appreciate biblical literature.
Religion 121 R – Art of Biblical Literature
This course is intended to help readers appreciate the artistry of biblical prose and poetry. We will examine texts from the Old and New Testaments and Apocrypha, paying special attention to plot structure, word-plays, imagery, repetition, characterization, themes, parallelism and aetiology. Throughout the term, we will consider reinterpretations of biblical literature in the music, literature, and art and film of our own culture. Class sessions have a lecture/discussion format. There will be three or four exams and frequent quizzes. No prerequisites.
Religion 134 C/R – Chinese and Japanese Religious Traditions
This course examines several religious traditions which have shaped East Asian civilizations. We will study the formal traditions of Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Shinto and the New Religions; we will also consider the popular religious traditions of China and Japan. Classes include both lecture and discussion; students will be evaluated through essay exams, short papers and analysis of scripture and other texts. No prerequisites.
Religion 137 R – Jewish Tradition
This course introduces the student to the Jewish tradition, beginning with its development in the biblical and early rabbinic periods. It focuses upon the general history of Judaism as well as its basic concepts, including readings in primary and secondary texts and discussions of the Jewish calendar and life-cycle events. Required: three exams and two book reviews. Not writing intensive.
Religion 200 R – History and Literature of the Holocaust
As the pivotal event in twentieth century history, the Holocaust raises significant questions for Western culture. How did racism become the ideology of Germany? Why did other European countries assist in carrying out Germany's plans? Who were the perpetrators, victims, rescuers, and bystanders--and why? How could systematic murder take place in the heart of Christian culture? This course will introduce the student to the historical context of the Holocaust as well as the memoirs, poetry, essays, and post-Holocaust theology that attempt to deal with both its roots and its impact.
Religion 222 R – Understanding the New Testament
No prerequisites, but Religion 221 (OT) recommended.
This course is designed for religion majors, pre-theological students and other serious students of religion. Throughout the term we will attempt to understand the historical context of the New Testament literature, discover the religious perspectives which shape the New Testament texts and appreciate the richness of the New Testament writings. Students will be required to read the New Testament and some non-canonical texts, write two papers and take two exams. The class has a lecture/discussion format. Writing intensive.
Religion 241 R – Christian Tradition
Historical survey of the development of Christian thought and doctrine in the West. Students will be introduced to the work of major theologians (classical and modern) and to issues of perennial debate such as the tensions between reason and revelation, the humanity and divinity of Christ, nature and grace, justification and sanctification, spirit and structure, and differences between Roman Catholic and Protestant doctrine. Lecture/discussion format. Midterm and final examinations. No prerequisite though students should be aware that the course requires careful reading of primary texts, many of which are quite challenging.
Religion 300 C/R – Gods and Ghosts in Urban East Asia
“Gods and Ghosts in Urban East Asia” will center on questions concerning the nature of ritual, the nature of spirituality, and the means by which we communicate spiritual experience to others. The course specifically addresses the learning goals relating to “Religious and Philosophical Inquiry” and “Non-Western Cultures.” Upon approval, it will also fulfill the requirements set out for “Writing-Intensive” courses. We will address these questions through readings on the transformations of tradition, new religions, and fundamentalism(s) in urban China, Korea, Japan, and other East Asian locations. In the first few weeks of the course, we will focus on definitions of ritual, religion, and spirituality and examine our own presumptions about religious practice in general and in contemporary East Asia in particular. Students will read ethnographies that deal with contemporary Daoism and psychiatry in China, Falun Gong, Shintoism in Japan, and Shamanism in Korea. Additional readings will address general issues about religion and spirituality as well as issues specific to East Asian urban centers. Students will write a substantial, fieldwork-based research paper, will contribute regular précis, and will complete biweekly reading quizzes. Writing intensive.
Religion 339 C/R – Monkeys, Samuari and Gods
This seminar will look at religious meaning and message in some of the best loved literature of China and Japan, including Journey to the West, Tale of Heike, Dream of the Red Chamber, Account of my Hut, and others. Class will be a combination of lecture and discussion, with student presentations and a term paper. Videos and other media will be used when possible. Writing intensive.
Religion 381 R – Women and Religion
The aim of this course is to understand the status of women within classical and modern Judaism and Christianity and to assess feminism’s influence upon and critique of them. Religious institutions and laws are examined from a feminist principle of interpretation. Writing intensive.
Religion 498 – Senior Essay
Required for senior religion majors.