101C—Introduction to the Study of Religion (3)
A description and analysis of religion, which lays the foundation for further study in the field of religious studies. Some topics to be considered are: the meaning of the terms “religion,” scripture, belief, and ritual; religious issues such as God, death, suffering, salvation, technology, and group identity.
102C—Introduction to Roman Catholicism (3)
A presentation of the various options of belief, history, worship, moral action, views of the Church, and ways of life present in Roman Catholicism.
116D—Asian Religious Traditions (3)
A comparative study of the philosophical and religious traditions of Asia. The main goal is to appreciate the way different peoples of Asia have thought about and continue to think about the most profound questions of the meaning of life, the nature of death, and their social roles.
152D—World Religions (3)
An inquiry into the meaning of man’s religious life, based on a historical and theological introduction to his great religions, ancient or living: Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist, Islamic, Judaic, and Christian.
173D—North American Religions (3)
An introduction to the worship, doctrines, organization, and moral imperatives of the mainline religions in North America. Special attention is paid to the manner in which religions and cultures influence each other.
176C—Introduction to Christianity (3)
An introduction to the academic study of the Christian tradition, this course is designed to acquaint students with Christianity’s relationship to Judaism, scholarly methods of study, and central biblical and theological concepts as these relate to, and are in dialogue with, philosophical, historical, and theological questions of value and commitment.
177D—Values, Leaders, and Religion (3)
Leadership is about envisioning a future for oneself and others. Values shape our past, present, and future. Religions link individual and shared values to ways of life and futures beyond present experience. This course helps you learn how to describe, judge, and choose among various values and value patterns, understand how value patterns constitute a way of life, and provide methods for leaders to share their visions of the future with others. Four value patterns are compared and contrasted: American, Religious, Business, and that of the individual student.
178C—Introduction to Judaism (3)
An introduction to rabbinic, messianic, mystical, and philosophical alternatives within Talmudic, medieval, and modern Judaism; ways of dealing with evil, salvation, the search for order, and community. Formerly REST 278C.
179C—Introduction to Islam (3)
A study of the background, origins, doctrines, laws, lifestyles, and traditions of Islam. Formerly REST 277C.
183D—The Church and Culture (3)
This course has as its goal to explore the interrelationship between the church and contemporary culture. Students examine the cultural changes that have shaped our understanding of ourselves and our world in the 20th century in the light of the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World and related documents. Students discover the cause of the present conflict between Christian and secular cultures, and learn to value the contribution of each perspective on human life as they look to the 21st century.
228C—The Church: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic (3)
A study of religious reform in our time. The impact of contemporary society on the Christian churches; to what extent are the religious options and convictions about the person and the role, organization, teachings, and practices of the churches open to evolution? Formerly REST 181C.
250C—History of the Papacy (3)
Concerns the development of the papacy and its role in world history. Examines the major historical, doctrinal, and theological justifications of the independent papacy in a global context from its origins with the pontificate of Leo I to that of John Paul II. Covers material from the late Roman and Medieval, Renaissance, Modern, and Contemporary periods. Cross-listed with HIST 250C.
252C—Reading the Hebrew Scriptures (3)
A historical, literary, and theological introduction to the sacred text of the Hebrew Scriptures. While recognizing it to be essentially a record of faith, students are informed of its development and importance within its own social context. Particular attention is given to the Torah and the Former Prophets. Formerly REST 161C.
255D—Great Women in Christianity (3)
A course that examines the obstacles and contributions in the lives of women who have made their lasting mark on Christianity. Women discussed are: the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Desert Mothers, Hildegard of Bingen, Clare of Assisi, Julian of Norwich, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, Elizabeth Bayley Seton, Dorothy Day, and Catherine deHeuck Doherty. Documentaries/docudramas, seminars.
257D—Religious Experiences (3)
This course explores some sources of Christian spirituality through the lived experience of Jesus and certain Christian authors. It also reflects spirituality on personal experience in the light of certain recommended writings to realize the meaning of Christian spirituality.
258D—Studies in the Qur’an (3)
This course focuses on the major themes of the Qur’an. The Muslims believe that Qur’an is revealed from God to Muhammad through angel Gabriel. The Qur’an speaks about God, His creation, man, woman and society, prophethood and prophecy and prophets of God, nature, the world and hereafter, Satan and evil, death and dying, and hell and heaven. All these topics are important to the study of religion, including world religions: Judaism and Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism. In the teaching of this course, references are made to other religions and students are exposed to a comparative study of other disciplines to understand the phenomenon of religion, and its contribution to world culture and civilization. Formerly REST 157D.
262C—Reading the Christian Scriptures (3)
A historical, critical, literary and theological survey of the books written by first and second century Christians that ultimately became the New Testament. Although very diverse one from the other, all New Testament books focus on the centrality of Jesus of Nazareth as the one in and through whom God reconciled the world to Himself. The main focus of the course includes the reading and discussion of selected New Testament texts. Note: Formerly listed as The New Testament.
264C—Love in the New Testament (3)
God’s love for humanity is the solid foundation on which the New Testament is firmly built. Humans’ love for God and neighbor flows from God’s love. The course focuses on New Testament texts addressing the theme of “Love” and aims at raising one’s awareness and appreciation of both the texts and Christian Love.
266C—Christian Beatitudes (3)
Aims at better understanding the deep meaning of the Beatitudes proclaimed by Jesus, and recorded by Matthew in his gospel as part of the Sermon on the Mount, and by Luke as part of his Sermon on the Plain. Due consideration is given to the Jewish background, whose influence is visible in both versions of the Beatitudes. A look at the contemporary pagan world brings to light parallels and differences. Finally, their meaning and importance for the Christian in today’s world is suggested by various interactive means.
268C—Who is Jesus? (3)
An examination of the person Jesus through the eyes of first-century Christians as reflected in the New Testament and in contemporary understanding of Jesus. This course seeks to engage the student in the process of understanding the Christian encounter with Jesus Christ.
272P—Martin and Malcolm (3)
Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., were prominent religious advocates of Black Liberation. Their names and ideals still motivate countless Americans. Representative texts of both men are studied to understand their religious insights in the light of the history of the Civil Rights Movement during the second half of the 20th century. Cross-listed with HIST 272P.
275C—Christian Sacraments (3)
A detailed examination of the function and meaning of Christian sacraments by witnessing their celebration, questioning their celebrants, and studying their history.
279D—Theologies of American People of Color (3)
This course focuses on fundamental theological themes as well as the religious histories of Hispanic and African American people in the United States.
280D—The Black Church in America (3)
A survey course, that introduces students to the African American Christian religious tradition. Exploration of the lives, words, and deeds of its most influential builders from the colonial period to the present. Cross-listed with AFAM 280D.
282P—Contemporary Issues and Challenges in the 21st Century Black Church (3)
Students explore views of the Black Church on contemporary social issues and challenges—homosexuality, gender equity, race relations—faced in reference to church doctrine, traditions, and beliefs. Cross-listed with AFAM 282P.
284D—Christian Morality and Contemporary Society (3)
A search for the meaning of an authentic Christian morality with a consideration of its personal foundation in Jesus and its related problems: freedom, authority, law, conscience, and sin; its values: life, person, love, worship, responsibility; its goal: death, judgment, bodily resurrection.
286D—Crime and Justice in America (3)
Justice has meant life and property for some, disgrace for others. In the name of justice, some favor capital punishment to protect their own lives and property; in the same name, others ask that their needs be met. Most people are content to let justice be done. Rarely have people agreed about the meaning of justice across social lines. The same people have even redefined justice on the occasion of a changed social position. This course examines notions of crime, punishment and justice in light of biblical and post-biblical Christian and Jewish understandings of justice.
289P—Alienation and Powerlessness (3)
The Roman Catholic Church has responded to the alienation and powerlessness of people in different ways at different times. Within the last century, many Church documents outline a theory of social justice. With particular attention to the American experience, this course explores and critiques the Church’s response to the poor, both nationally and internationally.
290C—Saints in Film (3)
Saints come from all cultural sources: European, African, Asian, and American. Representing all walks of life, ages, and ethnic groups, artistic mages of “saints” in film present a variety of understandings as to what constitutes holiness and the path to it. This course explores the notion of saint in Scripture, the canonical definition, and the process and history of canonization and what theological tradition holds regarding the Communion of Saints.
340D—Feminism and Religion (3)
What does women’s religious experience contribute to human understanding of the sacred and the moral conduct of life? What happens when women’s experience is not fully integrated into religious traditions and cultures? How do religious institutions enhance and hinder women’s opportunities for development? This course addresses such questions through contemporary Jewish, Christian, and Muslim women’s writings. The roles, insights, and self-understanding of women are considered with emphasis upon feminist scholarship in the modern North American context.
352D—Marriage and Sexuality: Issues (3)
The confrontation of man’s existential situation with traditional marital and sexual models and norms. Concentration is given to an analysis of current developments in the areas of monogamy, pre- and post-marital sexuality, divorce and remarriage, homosexuality, contraception, abortion, sterilization, and the family.
361C—The Prophets (3)
An analysis of selected texts of the prophetic books of the Old Testament with emphasis on historical background, compositional history, literary characteristics, and theological message.
364C—The Letters of Paul (3)
A critical study of the Acts of the Apostles and of selected letters of Paul in which a variety of literary, lexical, historical, and theological questions is addressed.
365C—Parables of Jesus (3)
In what manner does one enter into an understanding of the Parables of Jesus? “If you only followed the parables, you yourself would become parables and with that rid of all your daily cares.” Another said: “I bet that is also a parable.” The first said: “You have won!” The second said: “But unfortunately only in parable!” The first said: “No, in reality, in parable you have lost.”
366C—Is God Just? (3)
A study of the Book of Job in light of its antecedents in Ancient Near Eastern literature and as its author’s challenge to the theological status quo.
386D—Morality in Business (3)
A study of the moral dimensions of the economic and business professions. The course is designed to combine a study of moral principles with case studies to illustrate their practical application. Special emphasis is focused on the basic rights and duties of management and labor in the private enterprise system, and the role of government regulations in domestic and international economic life.
387D—Medical Ethics and Society (3)
This course examines religious and moral themes in medicine with emphasis on the difficult ethical questions facing today’s health care providers and patients. Among the issues considered are assisted reproduction, the end of life, genetic research, and the health care system.
390C—Jesus in Film (3)
Artistic images of Jesus in film present a variety of understandings of Jesus of Nazareth, a figure of faith and history. Teacher, healer, savior, judge, Messiah, revolutionary, acetic, prophet, and superstar are some ways film has envisioned Jesus. The course investigates the relationship of the Jesus of Christian tradition with the Jesus of Hollywood’s imagination.
399C—Biblical Themes in Opera (3)
The Bible has been a great source of inspiration for Western literature, music, and art. This course offers the opportunity to study biblical stories and themes as expressed by librettists and composers in Western (lyrical) operas and oratorios.
466C—The Gospel and Letters of John (3)
A study of the Johannine Gospel, focusing on questions of authorship, literary characteristics, and theological issues.
472—A History of Theology and Its Evolution to the Present (3)
The beginning of theology in the scriptures and early Christian thought; the historical causes of its evolution to the present. Study and analysis of patristic, scholastic, modern, and contemporary theologians and their methods of theological inquiry.
481D—Central Christian Mysteries (3)
A theological investigation of the mysteries of God—Father, Word, and Spirit; Creation; Incarnation; Redemption; and Resurrection. An analysis of the biblical data, man’s developing understanding of these mysteries historically, and the contemporary challenges to present dogmatic expressions with a view to the significance of these mysteries for the meaning of Christian life today and for the future.
496—Independent Study (1-3)
Reading and research projects in the broad areas of religious studies: general, biblical, historical, and theological. Under the direction of a department member, students will prepare and follow a schedule of readings, conferences, research, writing, and oral presentations. Completion of the Independent Study/Tutorial Authorization form is required. See Policy on Independent Study. Prerequisite: 2.75 cumulative GPA in Religious Studies courses.