Here you can find an up-to-date list and brief description of our current and upcoming courses. Further information can be found in the HomerConnect schedule or in the Undergraduate Catalog. Additional information about individual courses may be obtained from the instructor of a particular course.

The Office of Academic Advising is an additional resource for students and advisers.

Upcoming Semester Courses - Fall 2021

RLST 10100-01 Religion Matters (3 credits)

INSTRUCTOR: Eric Steinschneider

ICC THEME: Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

COURSE DESCRIPTION: What is religion? Why is it important for understanding our rapidly changing world? This course investigates what religion is all about, drawing illustrations from various traditions around the globe. Students cultivate skills used in the academic study of religion, while exploring issues of belief, atheism, mysticism, morality, sex, and more.

JWST/RLST 10300-01 Hebrew Scriptures (3 credits)

INSTRUCTOR: Rebecca Lesses

ICC THEME: Identities & Mind, Body, Spirit

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The Hebrew Bible (referred to by Christians as the Old Testament) is one of the foundational books of both western and world culture and serves as the basis for Judaism and Christianity. In this course, we will read the books of the Bible critically as literature, as religious and moral text, and as a source of sociological knowledge. This course 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. We will deal with questions of history and archaeology, and with questions of meaning—what the biblical text meant to its ancient readers, and what meaning it has today. 

RLST 15600-01,-02 What Is Belief? (1 credit)

INSTRUCTOR: Rachel Wagner

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is designed to familiarize students with the field of Religious Studies. It provides a rigorous but accessible introduction to the phenomenon of religious belief, which is currently being debated by scholars of religion and is of significant interest to the wider public. We will consider the relationship between belief and knowledge, doubt, and practice; the possibility of multiple forms of religious belief; and the problem of belief's utility as a tool of comparative analysis.

RLST 21000-01 Religion, Race, and Social Justice (3 credits)

INSTRUCTOR: Samah Choudhury

ICC THEME: Power and Justice; ICC ATTRIBUTE: Diversity 

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will explore the intersection of race and religion, alongside gender, sexuality, and culture as they pertain to different communal struggles for social justice. We will examine how racial identities, theories, and movements are implicated in the ways religious communities think about the divine and their relationship to it in both North American and global contexts. Case studies may include the American civil rights movement, the Nation of Islam, the Arab Spring, Latin American liberation theology, and others.

RLST 24000-01,-02 Writing About Religion: Heaven and Hell (3 credits)

INSTRUCTOR: Samah Choudhury

ICC ATTRIBUTE: Writing Intensive

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Explores two thousand years of the history of heaven and hell with a focus on human meaning-making in religious practice, poetry, art, and digital media. Includes significant attention to the development of research and writing skills in the humanities.

RLST 24100 -01 The Religious Right in America (3 credits)

INSTRUCTOR: Rachel Wagner

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course focuses on the rise and continued prominence of the Christian religious right in America, exploring the increasing politicization of American Christian Fundamentalism from its origins in the early 20th century through the Trump era. Through an examination of such volatile issues as abortion, equal rights, Christian imperialism, LGBTQ rights, and the problem of violence, the course explores the movement’s theological presumptions and considers how these run counter to progressive American values of equality, feminism, and anti-racism. Students also review contemporary responses to the religious right from the perspectives of liberation theology, black theology, and feminist and womanist theologies.

RLST 35600-01 Religion and Literature (3 credits)

INSTRUCTOR: Eric Steinschneider

ICC ATTRIBUTE: Writing Intensive

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course explores the ways in which religious ideas and practices appear in contemporary novels associated with various cultures and religious traditions. We consider how authors utilize religious themes to negotiate challenges and questions posed by modernity, as well as how they engage questions of religious identity through the medium of modern literary forms. We read these works against the background of contemporary changes in the relationship between the religious and the secular.