Course Descriptions

Religious Studies

RLS 101 - Comparative Religion (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. HP
Core Curr. HU
Survey of human values and religious experiences found in major religions of the world.

RLS 121 - Islamic Civilization (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. NW
Core Curr. GP WC,HU
Introduction to the Islamic Civilization of the Middle East, including primary literature produced by Muslims and members of other religious communities living under the aegis of Islam, from the seventh century to the present.

RLS 200 - Contemporary Religion in the United States (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. HP
Core Curr. HU
Analysis of religious faith, worship, and practice in an age of transition. Emphasis on challenges that confront a person's faith. Survey of major American religious denominations.

RLS 225 - Arabic Christianity (3 hours)
Core Curr. GP WC,HU,WI
Examines the history of various Arabic Christian communities from pre-Islamic times to modernity, giving special attention to the relationship between Arab Churches and Muslim society. Teaches students ways to interpret primary source literature of Arab Christians, enabling students to understand Christianity in the light of Christians living as minorities in the Islamic world.

RLS 280 - Psychology of Religion (3 hours)
An overview of both theory and method in the psychological study of religion. Emphasis will be on understanding the biological and psychological underpinnings of religious belief, behavior, and experience. Cross listed as PSY 280. Prerequisite: PSY 101

RLS 300 - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. HP
Core Curr. GP WC,HU
Human values relevant to contemporary life found in ancient writings of Judaism and Christianity.

RLS 302 - New Testament (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. HP
Core Curr. HU
Human values in the early Christian experience as reflected in its scriptures.

RLS 305 - Early Christianity: Monasticism (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. HP
Academic study of Christian asceticism from the fourth to the seventh centuries. This course analyzes the earliest literature of the Christian monastic movements, primarily located in Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean lands. The course gives particular attention to understanding moral values developed in monasticism that influenced Western civilization.

RLS 310 - Religion and Society (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. SF
Examination of the major social scientific theories that explain social needs and functions served by religion.

RLS 313 - Introduction to Rabbinic Judaism (3 hours)
Core Curr. GP WC,HU
The course introduces students to the writings that comprise rabbinic literature, particularly the Talmud, the single most influential document in the history of Judaism. Rabbinic texts are set within a broader cultural, historical, and religious context as the values, beliefs, and practices of the first rabbis are analyzed and appreciated.

RLS 320 - Muslim-Christian Relations (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. SF
Historical and theoretical analysis of relationships between Muslims and Christians, including a careful examination of the Middle Eastern Christian communities at the time of Muhammad, and after. Explores the ways Muslims and Christians have developed theological and social categories for characterizing each other.

RLS 321 - Islam & the West: Clash of Civilizations? (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. SF
Core Curr. GP GS,SB
Historical and theoretical analysis of the modern crisis in relations between the Arab Islamic world and the West. Examines the modern rise of nation-states, Western imperialism, and Islamic "undamentalism" in the Middle East.

RLS 330 - The Human Condition (3 hours)
Core Curr. MI
Multidisciplinary examination of the limits and possibilities of human nature. Evolutionary biology, developmental psychology, philosophical ethics, and contemporary religious thought. Prerequisite: junior/senior standing.

RLS 331 - Religions of the Eastern World (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. NW
Core Curr. GP WC
Historical and cultural study of the religions of India, Southeast Asia, and China.

RLS 332 - Religions of the World II (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. HP
Core Curr. GP WC,HU
Historical and literary study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

RLS 336 - Buddhism and Asian Civilizations (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. NW
Historical survey of the development of Buddhism in the civilizations of India, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Tibet. Origins of the Buddhist tradition and the development of its basic beliefs, practices, and institutions within the context of Asian civilizations.

RLS 338 - China: Religion and Culture (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. NW
Core Curr. GP WC
Historical and cultural survey of Chinese religions. Development of Chinese religion and philosophy from ancient times until the present. Major traditions of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, as well as popular belief and culture.

RLS 340 - Japan: Religion and Culture (3 hours)
Gen. Ed. NW
Historical and cultural survey of religion in Japan, primarily Buddhism and Shinto. Folk religion, Chinese influences, and the New Religions.

RLS 344 - Philosophy of Religion (3 hours)
Nature of religion; function and validity of religious concepts in the modern world. Cross listed as PHL 344. Prerequisite: 3 hours of religious studies or philosophy.

RLS 350 - Topics in Religious Studies (3 hours)
Topics of special interest which may vary each time course is offered. Topic stated in current Schedule of Classes.

RLS 497 - Problems in Religious Studies (1-3 hours)
Primarily for undergraduate RLS majors: comprehensive and integrated survey of the discipline at an advanced level; projects in special areas. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

RLS 498 - Problems in Religious Studies (1-3 hours)
Primarily for undergraduate RLS majors: comprehensive and integrated survey of the discipline at an advanced level; projects in special areas. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.