School of Humanities and Sciences

Religious Studies Courses

RLST 10300 - Hebrew Scriptures 3A H HU LA

This course treats the books of the Bible critically as literature, as religious and moral texts, and as a source of sociological knowledge. It surveys the biblical literature, acquaints the students with critical methods for the study of the Bible, situates the Bible within the literature and culture of the ancient Near East, and discusses the religion of ancient Israel. Deals with questions of history and archaeology, and with questions of meaning -- what the biblical text meant to its ancient readers, and what meanings it has today. Cross-listed with JWST 10300. Students may not receive credit for both RLST 10300 and JWST 10300. 3 credits. (F,Y)

RLST 10400 - Introduction to the New Testament HU LA

A survey of the life and teaching of Jesus, and major themes in the Pauline Epistles and the Book of Revelation. 3 credits. (IRR)

RLST 10500 - Introduction to World Religions: Indigenous and Eastern 1 G H HU LA

Examination of methods in the study of religion and the meaning of ritual, myth, and symbols as applied to Native American and other primal religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shintoism. Ideas of divinity, methods of liberation, life after death, attitudes toward nature, ways of living in society, and world views are studied in each tradition and then compared. 3 credits. (F,Y)

RLST 10600 - Introduction to World Religions: Western and Modern 1 G H HU LA

Study of the historical and theological dimensions of the three major Western religious traditions. Ideas of God and prophecy, angels and sages, messiahs, rabbis, and Sufis are examined in a comparative approach to Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions. Various methodological approaches to the study of religion are surveyed and applied to our interpretation of the traditions. Also explored are the primal worlds of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim storytelling, from the foundational scriptures (Bible and Koran) through later texts exemplifying the fundamental values of each tradition. Also considered is the encounter between these traditions and the critiques of secular modernity (Freud, Marx, Nietzsche), raising the question of the contemporary meaning of religion in the West. 3 credits. (S,Y)

RLST 17500 - Selected Topics in Religion HU LA
RLST 17600 - Selected Topics in Religion HU LA

Topics to be determined according to teacher and student interest. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. 3 credits. (IRR)

RLST 20100 - Religion and Culture 1 HU LA

Study of the mutual relations between religion and culture. The course explores the religious dimension of art, music, and literature, and considers the way religious symbols influence cultural movements, contrasting religious symbols as the basis for cultural values with religious symbols as a countercultural critique of majority norms. Students study both Western and non-Western examples, such as African American spirituals, Handel's "Messiah," European cathedrals, and Buddhist meditation practices. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or above, or one course in religious studies. 3 credits. (O)

RLST 20200 - Religion and Society 1 G H HU LA

Studies the interrelationships between religion and society. Major themes include examination of how religions influence social and political systems, how economic and historical factors affect religious dynamics, and how social scientists study religion today. It is a multicultural study of diverse societies. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or above, or one course in religion. 3 credits. (E)

RLST 20300 - Judaism 1 G HU LA

An introduction to Judaism, with a focus on theology, ethics, and ritual practice. Readings include selected texts from the biblical, rabbinic, medieval, and modern periods. Theological and ethical issues include God, good and evil, covenant, death and afterlife, justice, and social responsibility. The course examines how these Jewish understandings are lived out through practices associated with birth and death; marriage and commitment; sexuality; and the life of study, prayer, and devotion. Cross-listed with JWST 20300. Students may not receive credit for both RLST 20300 and JWST 20300. Prerequisites: One course in the humanities or social sciences. 3 credits. (S,Y)

RLST 20400 - Christianity HU LA

A survey of the Gospel accounts of Jesus and the historical development of Christianity, including major theological themes and issues. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or above. 3 credits. (O)

RLST 20600 - Problem of Evil HU LA

Considers explanations for physical and moral evil: the religious view, that all evil serves a divine purpose; the existentialist view, that moral evil results from a lack of authentic purpose; and the sociological view, that some categories of good and evil reflect basic social-political relations in a given society, with an emphasis on images of women as evil or potentially dangerous and destructive. Prerequisites: One course in the humanities or social sciences. 3 credits. (Y)

RLST 20700 - Death and Immortality 1 H HU LA

A look at various experiences surrounding death and their symbolic significance. Seen as an integral aspect of life rather than as an unwelcome end, death and grieving become initiations into a deeper sense of life. Includes a study of symbolism hidden in myths of afterlife, and how we can grapple with the threat of nuclear war. Prerequisites: One course in the humanities or social sciences. 3 credits. (Y)

RLST 22100 - Religion and Depth Psychology HU LA

A study of Freudian, Jungian, humanistic, and transpersonal psychologies with respect to issues in religion. Topics for study include dream theory, the individuation process, psychological types, self-actualization, peak and plateau experiences, death, psychological aspects of worship, values, the psychology of meditation, and levels of consciousness. Students are encouraged to keep a dream notebook and must submit a term paper based on it or some suitable research topic. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. 3 credits. (O)

RLST 25200 - Introduction to Mysticism HU LA

Drawing from the mysticism of world religions, thid course focuses on the mystical process (i.e., what happens to the mystic on his or her journey to "deepest reality") and the ways to reach this goal. Topics include stages of the mystical path; voices and visions; love or bridal mysticism; meditation and contemplation; and mysticism in the world of action, science, and the occult. Prerequisites: One course in the humanities or social sciences. 3 credits. (E)

RLST 25500 - Religions in America HU LA

A sociohistorical survey of the varieties of religions in North America, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, new religious movements, and religions of various ethnic groups, such as Native American religions and African American religions. Emphasizes the role religion plays in the political and ethical spheres of American life. Prerequisites: RLST 10600, or sophomore standing or above. 3 credits. (IRR)

RLST 27500 - Selected Topics in Religion HU LA
RLST 27501 - Selected Topics in Religious Studies HU LA
RLST 27600 - Selected Topics in Religion HU LA

Topics to be determined according to teacher and student interest. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Prerequisites: One course in the humanities or social sciences. 3 credits. (IRR)

RLST 28100 - Hinduism 1 G HU LA

A historical survey of the development of Hinduism from its origin in the Vedic religion to the modern Vedantism. Reading and discussion on the Upanishads, the Bhagavad-Gita, and the Yoga Sutra. Prerequisites: One course in the humanities or social sciences. 3 credits. (O)

RLST 28300 - Introduction to Buddhism 1 G H HU LA

Study of the life and teaching of Gautama Buddha, and of the development of Theravada Buddhism in Southeast Asia and Mahayana Buddhism in the Far East. Reading and discussion of the Buddhist scriptures and Zen writings. Prerequisites: One course in the humanities or social sciences. 3 credits. (E)

RLST 30500 - Comparative Study of Religions HU LA

Examination of the major issues in various religious traditions and comparison of their similarities and differences through the method of typological and phenomenological analysis. Discussion of certain common themes among these religions, such as the concept of god(s), the nature of man, the problem of evil, ways of salvation, patterns of rituals, and types of religious organization. Prerequisites: RLST 10500; RLST 10600; one course in religion at level 2 or above. (recommended: RLST 24200, RLST 28100, or RLST 28300). 3 credits. (E)

RLST 31100 - Philosophy of Religion HU LA

Study and discussion of a broad range of issues in the philosophy of religion, such as religious epistemology, the ontological argument, the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, religion and science, and the problem of evil. Primary source readings. Prerequisites: two courses in philosophy, with at least one at level 2. 3 credits. (IRR)

RLST 31700 - Myth and Metaphor HU LA

A study of myth as primary symbolism and the ground of conceptual meaning in religion: analysis of major archetypal images, the hero's quest, and personal mythology. Prerequisites: RLST 10500 or RLST 10600; one of the following: RLST 20100, RLST 22100, or RLST 23200. 3 credits. (O)

RLST 32000 - Anthropology of Religion LA SS

The religious experience from the standpoint of ethnographic field studies and from various theoretical approaches. Examines the relationships among religion, culture, and society. Explores the evolution of the anthropological study of religion. Prerequisites: ANTH 10400; two courses in the social sciences. 3 credits. (Y)

RLST 32300 - Gender and Sexuality in Judaism HU LA

Exploration of what it means to be a Jewish man or woman. The course addresses how Jewish gender roles have changed throughout history, as well as how contemporary Jews deal with changes in women's roles and demands for gender equality. Topics covered include what is "gender" and how to study it; traditional roles of men and women in Judaism; the gendered Jewish body; family and sexuality; homosexuality; Jewish feminism; the gender of God; and changing women's religious roles. Cross-listed with JWST 32300. Students may not receive credit for both RLST 32300 and JWST 32300. Prerequisites: Three courses in the humanities or social sciences. 3 credits. (Y)

RLST 33300 - Jewish Mysticism HU LA

This course traces the history of Jewish mysticism. After a brief overview of early Jewish mysticism from the biblical and rabbinic periods, students will concentrate on the medieval flowering of Kabbalah, and its further development in the 16th-century Kabbalah of Safed and Israel and 18th-century Eastern European Hasidism. The emphasis will be on understanding both the theoretical and experiential aspects of Jewish mysticism, and on examining some of the key texts of Jewish mysticism. Cross-listed with JWST 33300. Students may not receive credit for both RLST 33300 and JWST 33300. Prerequisites: Three courses in the humanities or social sciences. 3 credits. (Y)

RLST 35300 - Twentieth-Century Mysticism HU LA

Study of the major trends in 20th-century mysticism through the writings of key mystics. Topics include earth and esoteric spiritualistics, the influence of Eastern spiritualistics on the West, and current Jewish, Christian, and Sufi ideas. The writings of Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Merton, and Yogananda, as well as works from the Native American and Sufi traditions, are studied. Prerequisites: RLST 25200. 3 credits. (E)

RLST 37500 - Selected Topics in Religion HU LA
RLST 37600 - Selected Topics in Religion HU LA

Topics to be determined according to teacher and student interest. May be repeated for credit for selected topics on different subjects. Prerequisites: One course in religion; two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences. 3 credits. (IRR)

RLST 37700 - Women and Religion HU LA

A study of the emerging issues regarding women and religion, including the psychology of women's spiritual journey, the importance of the feminine or yin dimension of reality, the role of women in ancient and traditional religions, and new forms of feminine spirituality. Prerequisites: Three courses in religion and/or philosophy, or those courses in psychology, sociology, anthropology, and politics that address women's issues. 3 credits. (O)

RLST 39100 - Independent Study: Religion LA
RLST 39200 - Independent Study: Religion LA

Study or research project(s) of the student's own devising. Minimal consultation with professor; final project(s) evaluated by professor. Offered on demand only. May be repeated for credit for different projects. Prerequisites: One course in religion; two courses in the humanities and/or social sciences; permission of instructor. 1-4 credits, depending on instructor and student interest. (IRR)

RLST 39300 - Tutorial in Religion LA
RLST 39400 - Tutorial in Religion LA

Work by student and teacher together on a problem or project of interest to both. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor; one course in religion; two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences. 1-4 credits, depending on instructor and student interest. (IRR)

RLST 49100 - Independent Study: Religion LA
RLST 49200 - Independent Study: Religion LA

Study or research project(s) of the student's own devising. Minimal consultation with professor; final project(s) evaluated by professor. Offered on demand only. May be repeated for credit for different projects. Prerequisites: One course in religion; two courses in the humanities and/or social sciences; permission of instructor. 1-4 credits, depending on instructor and student interest. (IRR)

RLST 49300 - Tutorial in Religion LA
RLST 49400 - Tutorial in Religion LA

Work by student and teacher together on a problem or project of interest to both. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor; one course in religion; two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences. 1-4 credits, depending on instructor and student interest. (IRR)

RLST 49500 - Seminar in Religion HU LA
RLST 49600 - Seminar in Religion HU LA

Small group study of a topic not offered otherwise in the curriculum or not offered at the same level. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: One course in religion; two courses in the humanities and/or social sciences; permission of instructor. 3 credits. (IRR)