Religious Studies | List of Classes


Current Schedule of Classes

RLST 101: Introduction to Religious Studies

Introduction to the primary forms of religious experience and expression and to the structure of religious worldviews. Examples from a variety of societies and time periods introduce and illustrate such topics as religious symbols, myths, ritual, and communities, as well as alternative concepts of ultimate reality, cosmogony, theodicy, and soteriology.

RLST 105: Religion of the Old Testament, Hebrew Scriptures, and Ancient Near East

Introduction to the literature and religious history of Ancient Israel and related cultures in the Ancient Near East. Study of the sources, contents, interpretation, and religious and historical significance of the Hebrew Scriptures and the Old Testament.

RLST 106: Introduction to the New Testament and Early Christian Literature

Historical introduction to Mediterranean religion and culture in late classical antiquity. Comparative literary, historical, and sociological analysis of the literature of the period, with emphasis on the New Testament and early Christian literature.

RLST 110: Religions of the Middle East & the West

Survey of the history, beliefs, and practices of the major religious traditions of the Middle East and West: prehistoric and indigenous religions; ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Mesopotamian religions; Zoroastrianism; Judaism; Christianity; Islam; and new religious movements.

RLST 111: Religions of South and East Asia

Survey of the history, beliefs, and practices of the major religions of East and South Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto. Discussion of modern challenges to traditional religion and the emergence of new religious movements inspired by Asian traditions.

RLST 113: Religion & Society

Study of the interaction between social forces and religious belief and practice, with an emphasis on contemporary American social and religious life. Special topics include the social aspects of evangelical religion, the interaction of religion and politics, religious diversity, the relation between religion and gender, and the impact of globalization.

RLST 115: Religion in America

Historical study of religion in America. Major topics include Native American Religion, Judaism, Roman Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, African-American Religions, American sects, metaphysical and occult movements, Asian religions, and religious themes in American public life, politics, and popular culture.

RLST 117: Philosophy of Religion

Introduction to major topics in the Philosophy of Religion: the existence and nature of God, religious experience and knowledge, and concepts of immortality and human destiny. Special attention is given to conflicts between religion and science, competing claims for religious truth, and the relevance of religion to social ethics.  Cross-listed with PHIL 117.

RLST 207: Introduction to Critical Thinking

Study and practice in critical thinking and advanced English composition: analysis, evaluation, and formulation of arguments; critical study of texts; and composition of critical essays. Application of critical thinking and writing skills to current moral, social, and religious issues. Cross-listed with PHIL 207.