Courses

Code Course Credits

REL 100

Why Religion? The Hero's Journey (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

This seminar will look at defining journeys in Greek, Roman, Hebrew and early Christian literature and inquire how they shaped and continue to shape cultural and religious identity.

Prerequisite(s): REL 110 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
When offered as REL 100, for 3-credits, fulfills the Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirement. When offered as REL 110, for 4-credits, fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirements.

3 or 4

REL 100

Religions of the World (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Fall and Spring Semester

This course will examine the way religion has been studied as an academic discipline. We will explore both Eastern and Western religious traditions in their historical contexts and will focus primarily on how various religious concepts are understood and practiced in these major world religions. These will include the concepts of the Holy, revelation, sacred writings, good and evil, forgiveness, creation, the human condition, salvation, and ethics. In our study of religions we will explore a variety of practices in different historical contexts but common ground will be sought to illustrate how the sacred texts of each religious tradition define and illustrate how and why these groups practice the above mentioned concepts.

Prerequisite(s): REL 111 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
When offered as REL 100, for 3-credits, fulfills the Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirement. When offered as REL 111, for 4-credits, fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirements.

3 or 4

REL 100

Saints and Sinners in Church History (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

Saints and sinners, much like victors and vanquished in war, are often determined by those who triumph in Church conflicts. This course will address several Church controversies throughout the 2000 years of its history, review the issues and debates that arose through the reading of primary and secondary sources, and who in the end were considered victors, saints, and the vanquished, sinners, in Church history.

Prerequisite(s): REL 112 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
When offered as REL 100, for 3-credits, fulfills the Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirement. When offered as REL 112, for 4-credits, fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirements.

3 of 4

REL 100

Sacred Space From Mt. Sinai to Ground Zero (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

What makes a place "sacred"? Who decides whether a place is sacred? What do people do in scared spaces? This seminar will examine the nature of sacred space in theory, history and practice with a focus on sacredness in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In addition, the course will ask if "non-religious" places can be sacred. The course includes a fieldtrip to the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.

Prerequisite(s): REL 113 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
When offered as REL 100, for 3-credits, fulfills the Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirement. When offered as REL 113, for 4-credits, fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirements.

3 or 4

REL 100

The Journey toward Religious Maturity (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Fall and Spring Semester

The course takes an interdisciplinary approach to examining the process by which a person achieves an adult faith in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Drawing from psychology and anthropology, we explore the phases of religious development in relation to myths and symbols, and we apply that understanding to a specific person and to a theological issue, while also considering how to read, critically and analytically, a non-religious text through the lens of religion.

Prerequisite(s): REL 114 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
When offered as REL 100, for 3-credits, fulfills the Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirement. When offered as REL 114, for 4-credits, fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirements.

3 or 4

REL 100

The Subject is the Question of God (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Fall and Spring Semester

Religious traditions were established before humans were aware that they were subjects. With awareness of subjectivity, religious traditions have to be reconstructed on what we know today about the brain and universe. How is this possible in an atheistic universe? Beyond atheism, the very significance of the human as a subject open to freedom is the question of God.

Prerequisite(s): REL 115 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
When offered as REL 100, for 3-credits, fulfills the Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirement. When offered as REL 115, for 4-credits, fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirements.

3 or 4

REL 100

Abrahamic Faith (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Fall and Spring Semester

This course is an investigation of the religious dimension of human experience, especially as it has been lived, understood and cherished among the three Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Its guiding focus is the centrality of "faith" as a relational response to God who, in line with Abraham's foundational claim, is experienced as living. The course considers significant questions in conversation with some of the most important writings in the tradition of Western religious thought, as well as some of the basic questions that arise in the academic investigation of religion: What is the nature of religious experience? How does religion provide motivation and direction for the life of individuals and communities? How does religion nurture or inhibit human development and well-being?

Prerequisite(s): REL 116 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
When offered as REL 100, for 3-credits, fulfills the Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirement. When offered as REL 116, for 4-credits, fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirements.

3 or 4

REL 100

Gods, Myths, and Rituals in the Ancient Mediterranean (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Fall and Spring Semester

This class investigates the diverse religions of the ancient Mediterranean world (ca. 600 BCE-400CE), including Greek and Roman religions, formative Judaism, and the earliest Christianity. The course explores the history and development of these traditions by examining topics related to issues of ritual, myth, sacred space, gender, and concepts of divinity within each group. Particular focus is placed on the ways in which these groups influenced one another and reshaped cultural and religious landscapes through competitive interaction. Through a critical analysis of the sources students will begin to understand the practices, beliefs, and experiences of the Greco-Roman world and the communities that produced them.

Prerequisite(s): REL 117 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
When offered as REL 100, for 3-credits, fulfills the Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirement. When offered as REL 117, for 4-credits, fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirements.

3 or 4

REL 100

The Religious Quest (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Offered Fall 2014, Spring 2016

This course explores pilgrimage in Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism in light of theories of pilgrimage, ritual, and sacred space. The primary focus will be on the pilgrimages to Lourdes, Santiago de Campostella, Mecca, and Buddhist sites in Japan and India. The course also considers how for many people-even those who do not consider themselves religious-pilgrimage serves as a model for living a meaningful life.

Prerequisite(s): REL 118 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
When offered as REL 100, for 3-credits, fulfills the Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirement. When offered as REL 118, for 4-credits, fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirements.

3 or 4

REL 100

Religion and How to Create One (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Fall Semester

Is there a future for religion in the 21st century? This course will consist of a semester-long conversation—fueled by readings and a lot of writing—about the nature of spirituality and religion. To promote deep learning about how religions work and why they might still be valuable to our society, the class will see if it can develop a new religion, one that might better meet its generation's need for a way to make sense of—and meaning for—their lives.

Prerequisite(s): REL 119 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
When offered as REL 100, for 3-credits, fulfills the Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirement. When offered as REL 119, for 4-credits, fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirements.

3 or 4

REL 100

Deviance and the Divine (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

This course will use the concept of deviance as the lens through which we will study the three major monotheistic traditions of the world – Islam, Judaism and Christianity. What are the major tenets and beliefs of each? What do they share and where are the conflicts? What does each consider normative and why? When does a belief or practice cross the line in deviance? Ultimately, are they all simply deviants of one another? In our investigation, we will also look to some lesser known religious traditions as foils, such as Scientology, Raelianism, the Nation of Islam, Jews for Jesus, Mormonism, and Christian Science.

Prerequisite(s): REL 120 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
When offered as REL 100, for 3-credits, fulfills the Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirement. When offered as REL 120, for 4-credits, fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirements.

3 or 4

REL 100

Religion as Pharmakon: Poison or Cure (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Fall and Spring Semester

For the ancient Greeks pharmakon meant both cure and poison depending on the context. Religion functions in the same way: it can heal us but can also poison us. We will explore the ambiguity and the power—both healing and destructive—of religious traditions.

Prerequisite(s): REL 121 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
When offered as REL 100, for 3-credits, fulfills the Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirement. When offered as REL 121, for 4-credits, fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirements.

3 or 4

REL 100

Pilgrimage and Passage: Religion as "Sacred" Journey (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Fall and Spring Semester

The course begins with the premise that all religions are at their best when they are "betwixt and between," living in the threshold, open to new and unexpected horizons. After a close reading of the Book of Exodus, which will provide the opportunity to identify various themes associated with ritual passage, we will concentrate primarily on the study of the three chief monotheistic religions of Semitic origin: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The course will end with a brief exploration of Hinduism and Buddhism. Through comparative analysis of these religions, we will strive to determine similarities and differences in particular approaches to God, worship, institution, and moral conduct.

Prerequisite(s): REL 122 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
When offered as REL 100, for 3-credits, fulfills the Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirement. When offered as REL 122, for 4-credits, fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirements.

3 or 4

REL 100

Demons, Devils and Satans: Monsters of Religion (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

Monotheistic traditions maintain that God is both all-powerful and just. Yet, they simultaneously speak of demons, devils, and satans - characters who threaten both God and His control over the universe. How can such an obvious contradiction stand? This course will examine the narratives and images of demonic characters, by looking at scriptural texts, interpretive materials and folklore. In our investigation, we will address such questions as: Who or what is considered Evil? How does evil exist in a world in which God is good? Is there a universal concept of Satan? Do demons and the demonic straddle traditional lines or are they tradition-specific? In other words, does each tradition create the demon most appropriate for it? What are these characters good for? What can they tell us about how each tradition conceives of itself and its place in the human-God relationship?

Prerequisite(s): REL 123 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
When offered as REL 100, for 3-credits, fulfills the Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirement. When offered as REL 123, for 4-credits, fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirements.

3 or 4

REL 100

God Doesn't Do Religion (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Fall Semester

We tend to think that religion is all about God, but why? And if God "doesn't do religion," who does? What do we even mean by "religion" in these questions? This course will inquire into the "building blocks" of religion and human religiousness, considering the practices of Jews, Christians and Muslims from an anthropological and historical perspective.

Prerequisite(s): REL 124 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
When offered as REL 100, for 3-credits, fulfills the Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirement. When offered as REL 124, for 4-credits, fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirements.

3 or 4

REL 100

God's Love (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

This course explores the "Holy Longing" perhaps best expressed in CL Lewis' definition of joy: "The unsatisfied desire that is more desirable than any satisfaction." It will focus on the key existential question of the validity of transcendent realities within the context of a contemporary culture that validates truth through empirical evidence, while also investigating the unifying tension between the Christian understanding of God as transcendent love and the Greek notion of erotic love's "ecstasy." The course will seek to elucidate the "knowing of the heart" as transcendent wisdom rooted in empirical truth.

Prerequisite(s): REL 125 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
When offered as REL 100, for 3-credits, fulfills the Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirement. When offered as REL 125, for 4-credits, fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Religious Studies Cornerstone Requirements.

3 or 4

REL 206

Islamic Traditions

Offered: Alternate Years: Spring 2013, 2015

Studies the Arabian environment, Muhammed (founder), Qur’an (sacred writings), and mysticism, sects, and legal and social institutions of Islam.

Course may be applied to the Middle Eastern Studies minor.

3

REL 209

Religion and Culture of the Jewish People

Offered: Spring Semester

A survey of key texts, beliefs, and practices of Jewish culture and religious practice, including the Bible, classic texts, holidays and holy days, Zionism, modern American Jews, and Israel.

Course may be applied to the Middle Eastern Studies minor.

3

REL 210

Religions of China and Japan

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

An exploration of Confucianism and Taoism in China, and Shinto and Buddhism in Japan, with an emphasis on nature in these religions.

Course may be applied to the Asian Studies minor.

3

REL 226

Women, Slaves & Sin: Paul and the Creation of Christianity

Offered: Spring Semester

An investigation into the life, writings, and legacy of the Apostle Paul. The course will uncover the historical, philosophical, social, and religious forces that shaped the beliefs, practices, and experiences of the earliest Christians.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course .
Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions and Moral Inquiry requirements.

3

REL 233

American Catholic Social History

Offered: Fall Semester

An historical presentation of the numerous social issues, conflicts, and varied solutions in American Catholicism from the late 19th century forward with emphasis on how the many issues of society impacted Catholicism. The course demonstrates how the application of faith and various theological and philosophical theories were used in resolution of social conflict.

Fulfills the Moral Inquiry and Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirements.Course may be applied to the American Studies program.

3

REL 236

Faith in Christ and Religious Pluralism

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

Students will grapple with the issues involved in Christianity's engagement with other religious traditions through the lens of its understanding of Jesus. Students will look at the development of the classical doctrines about Christ and their connections to Christians' understanding of their relationship to non-Christians in past eras. Students will also consider recent Christian attempts to address the question of pluralism.

3

REL 238

Migrants, Immigrants, Refugees: Justice Issues and Catholic Responses

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

An examination of the "immigrant" dimension of the American Catholic Church, past and present, exposing the injustices experienced by the marginalized outsider/newcomer, exploring the Catholic Church's responses to these injustices utilizing Catholic social thought, and focusing on Hispanic culture and presence in the Catholic Church and American society.

Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirement.Course may be applied to the American Studies program.

3

REL 248

Christian Prayer, Liturgy and Sacrament

Offered: Fall Semester

An introduction to the fundamentals of Christian liturgy, including the meaning of the assembly, ritual symbol and gesture, proclamation of sacred scripture, and blessing prayers in the context of relating liturgy to life.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course .
Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirement.

3

REL 251

Introduction to the Old Testament

Offered: Spring Semester

Literature of the Hebrew Bible. Survey of the religious, literary, and political history of ancient Israel. Students may not receive credit for both this course and REL 260.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course .
Course may be applied to the Anthropology minor

3

REL 252

Introduction to the New Testament

Offered: Fall Semester

Literature of the New Testament in its religious and historical context. Life and ministry of Jesus, origins of earliest Christianity, the role of Paul, and the development of the Church.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course .

3

REL 253

Models of the Church: Historical Developments

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

A study of various forms of the Church from its Apostolic beginnings, through the institutionalization process and Vatican II reforms, up to the present development of Base Christian Communities.

Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirement.

3

REL 254

Global Catholicism

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

Examination of the Catholic Church as it is understood in the historical, cultural, political, economic and religious context in various regions of the world. The course will utilize the documents of the five Special Synods of Bishops from Africa, Asia, Europe, Americas and Oceania Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Exhortations in reaction to the Synods' deliberations.

Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirement.

3

REL 255

Religions in the Roman Empire

Offered: Not Offered 2013 - 2014

A study of ancient world views, mystery religions, gnosticism, and the rise of Christianity.

Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirement.

3

REL 256

Church and Social Justice

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

An examination of the Catholic Church's relationship to society and its responses to a variety of social, political, and economic issues.

Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions and Moral Inquiry requirements.

3

REL 261

Women in Early Christian Tradition

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

An exploration of the roles played by women in the development of early Christianity and examination of the factors that led to the decline of women's influence as a more institutionalized Christian religious system developed.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course, and one additional REL course.

3

REL 262

Religion in America

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

An examination of a variety of religious ideas, institutions, and traditions in the United States from the colonial period to the present. Special emphasis is placed upon questions of religious pluralism, religion and cultural identity, and religion in public life.

Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirement.Course may be applied to the American Studies program.

3

REL 263

Women's Religions in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

This class will explore the critical roles played by women in the religious traditions of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, as well as Judaism and earliest Christianity. It will introduce factors that led to the decline of women's influence as Christianity developed a more institutionalized religious system.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course, or Permission of Instructor.
Course may be applied to the Gender & Sexuality Studies program.

3

REL 267

Liberation Theology: Latin American Perspectives

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

An examination of the development of liberation theology in the historical, political, economic, and cultural contexts of Latin America's struggle to move from colonialism to freedom. The course also explores feminist theology, ecological theology, and indigenous people's theology that are rooted in liberation theology.

Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirement.

3

REL 269

The Muslim Jesus

Offered: Alternate Years: Spring 2015, 2017

This course investigates Muslim teachings on and about Jesus. Here we will ask: What does Islam teach about Jesus? How does the Islamic portrayal of Jesus resemble/ differ from Christian teachings? What are the causes of the differences? How does Islam's understanding of Jesus affect its understanding of and relationship with Christians and Christianity?

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course.
Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirement.Course may count towards the Middle Eastern Studies program.

3

REL 274

The Religions of Egypt

Offered: Fall Semester

This course examines the diverse religious traditions of ancient Egypt by exploring how indigenous traditions reacted and adapted when encountering other cultures including Greek, Roman, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim. The course discusses how such mutual influence resulted in unique patterns of ritual and belief found only in Egypt.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course.
Fulfills the Moral Inquiry requirement.

3

REL 275

Hard Rockin' Jews: Judaism and Pop Culture in Israel

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

For 2000 years Judaism has been a minority religion in majority "other" cultures. With the establishment of Israel, Judaism became the majority culture of a nation-state. This course examine how the religion of Judaism both influences and is influenced by the secular culture of the modern State of Israel.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course.
Course may be applied to the Anthropology minor Course may be applied to the Middle Eastern Studies minor.

3

REL 276

EcoSpirituality

Offered: Spring Semester

This course will invite students to reflect on the insights that spiritual and religious movements of the modern West might bring to the ecological challenges faced by the world today. Students will encounter the work of several influential theologians, but they will predominantly be challenged to develop practical strategies through which they can take environmental action now, bringing spiritual reflection to the problem of physical climate change.

Prerequisite(s): One Cornerstone Relgious Studies course.
Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirement.

3

REL 300

The Catholic Tradition: Past and Present

Offered: Spring Semester

A study of Catholicism from historical and theological perspectives to aid students in attaining an appreciation for the richness of the Catholic Tradition in the past and present. Scripture, sacramental life, doctrinal teachings and development, moral issues, and the future Church direction are explored.

Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirement.

3

REL 301

Islam and the Bible: Jewish and Muslim Morality and Ethics

Offered: Fall Semester

As brother religions vying for the same sacred history, Islam and Judaism trace the genesis of their spiritual and biological communities back to the very same founding parents. Yet Islam is not Judaism, Muslims are not Jews, and vice versa. Rather, the two traditions are, and understand themselves to be, distinct entities with distinct value systems. By comparing the Jewish and Muslim accounts of the shared Biblical ancestors, as well the often colorful exegesis on these narratives, this course will investigate various matters of moral and ethical concern to these communities and the lessons thereby imparted by each tradition.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course.
Fulfills the Moral Inquiry requirement.Course may be applied to the Middle Eastern Studies minor.

3

REL 302

Violence and Sex in the Bible

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

Examines the dynamics of sex and violence in ancient Israel as they are presented in the biblical text. Topics include the construction of gender, the status of women and men in society and law, holy war, the characterization of physical violence as positive or negative, the gender of God and its implications.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course.
Course may be applied to the Gender & Sexuality Studies program.

3

REL 303

The Virgin Mary and Visions of the Feminine in Christianity

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

The development of the Church's understanding of the Virgin Mary and of other feminine aspects of the transcendent in Christian spirituality. The course begins with Mary's ideological antecedents and the issue of the "historical Mary." It explores the relationship between images of the Virgin and theologies, controversies, and heresies, as well as contemporary feminist understandings of Mary and of the divine as feminine.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course.
Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirement.

3

REL 307

Buddhist Ethics

Offered: Fall Semester

An exploration of traditional Buddhist ethics, moral arguments Buddhists have advanced about contemporary issues, and points of comparison with philosophical and Christian ethics.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course.
Fulfills the Moral Inquiry requirement.Course may be applied to the Asian Studies minor.

3

REL 309

Psychology and Religion

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

An examination of religion from the perspectives of the major psychological and psychoanalytic approaches to human behavior.

3

REL 311

Ethics and Sacrament: The Church in Crisis

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

The failure to integrate sexuality into Christian life has created a crisis. The failure to understand human intimacy has eroded religious belief. Theories of ethics and human behavior, however, illuminate why intimacy is at the heart of Christian belief and ethics.

Fulfills the Moral Inquiry requirement.

3

REL 312

Archaeology and the Bible

Offered: Fall Semester

Introduction to the archaeology of Palestine, with special focus on the interrelationship of excavated and textual data.

Course may be applied to the Middle Eastern Studies minor.

3

REL 314

Mysticism: The Experience of Transcendence

Offered: Fall Semester

A study of mysticism from its origins in the Greek world to its expression in Christian and non-Christian forms. A "hands-on'' approach to mystical practices is encouraged, and the reading of mystical texts is supplemented by field trips to contemplative communities.

3

REL 315

Dreams and the Sacred

Offered: Spring Semester

A study of the role of dreams and other rites of divination in ancient and modern religious experience. Biblical and classical sources are examined, and contemporary attempts to recover the sacred dimension of dreams also are considered.

3

REL 316

Neoplatonism

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

A study of the seminal writings of the Neoplatonists, their sources, and their influence on the development of later religious traditions.

3

REL 317

Gods, Kings and Justice in the Ancient World

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

Who speaks for Justice? Where does Justice come from? This course examines these and related questions by analyzing and comparing ancient texts such as the Babylonian law code of Hammurabi, Egyptian hymns, Homer's Odyssey, and the biblical prophets. Ancient works of art treating issues of justice are also examined.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course.
Fulfills the Moral Inquiry requirement.Course may be applied to the Gender & Sexuality Studies program.Course may be applied to the Middle Eastern Studies minor.

3

REL 318

Archaeology and Religion in Ancient Greece

Offered: Spring Semester

This course introduces the field of archeology in the Greek world and demonstrate how archaeological remains can enlighten our understanding of Greek religion and society. The course will then examine how material evidence can help us to better understand this complex ancient culture and the world in which it developed.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course.

3

REL 323

Gods and War: Religion, Ideology, and Nationalism in Japan and the United States

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

An exploration of how religions in Japan and the United States have helped formulate national identities and mobilize citizens for war.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course.
Course fulfills the Moral Inquiry requirement and may be applied to the Asian Studies minor.

3

REL 325

Theology and Community Service

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

An exploration of questions about the relationship of theology and community service in contemporary society, in the context of a search for insight and understanding into personal experiences while volunteering service in a local social service agency. Offered jointly by Religious Studies and Campus Ministry.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course.
Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirement.

4

REL 327

Vatican II: Revolution Or Reform

Offered: Fall Semester

An in-depth reading and analysis of the principal Vatican II documents to demonstrate how Catholicism today is transformed from earlier history. Contemporary issues, as understood in the light of the Vatican II Church, are explored.

Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirement.

3

REL 329

Justice, Peace, Ecology

Offered: Alternate Years: Spring 2013, 2015

The local and global environmental crisis is examined from the perspective of contemporary theological developments, recent biblical scholarship, ecumenical statements, and Roman Catholic social teaching communicated in various papal and episcopal statements on the current crisis.

Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirement.

3

REL 330

Topics in Religious Studies

Offered: Offered Periodically

This seminar offers students and faculty an opportunity to investigate in some depth a specific area of the study of religion not normally otherwise addressed by the department. Topics are announced prior to registration. This course can be taken more than once with permission of the department chair.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course.

3

REL 333

The American Catholic Experience

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

A critical examination and analysis of the peoples, events, and ideas that shaped American Catholicism from the era of discovery to the 21st century. Catholicism's minority status and the perennial tension of being American and Catholic are used as guiding principles in this study.

Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirement.

3

REL 334

The Mystery of Evil

Offered: Fall Semester

In a world of violence and vengeance, enmity and injustice, disease and natural disaster, the problem of evil is an ever present reality prompting the deepest and most urgent questions for humanity. This course introduces important philosophical and theological perspectives on evil, considers the persistent challenge of theodicy, as well as the inherent limitations of theodical projects, and examines questions on the origin of evil, the possibility of human evil, the ability to name evil in the context of cultural pluralism, and the possibility of hope for overcoming evil.

Prerequisite(s): Sophomore Standing
Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirement.

3

REL 336

Women in the Islamic Tradition

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

The treatment of women and women's issues in the Islamic tradition through both primary sources (in translation) and secondary sources: women in Muhammad's life and the role they played in Islamic society; the treatment of women and women-related issues in the Islamic tradition, including both legal and non-legal matters; and the writings of modern Muslim women scholars on Islam as they look at these same issues with a new perspective and present new interpretations.

Course may be applied to the Gender & Sexuality Studies program. Course may be applied to the Middle Eastern Studies minor.

3

REL 337

The God Question: Modern Challenges to Faith and Christian Responses

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

This course traces the historical development of the character of both modern theism and atheism in response to certain views about human knowing that arose in the age of modern science and in confrontation with particular strains of Western Enlightenment thought. It also considers some of the changing perspectives on the divine mystery that have arisen from certain significant theological projects of recent time, among them liberation, feminist, ecological, political, and various contextual theologies.

Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing.
Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirement.

3

REL 338

Sex and God: Love Songs in Medieval Spain

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

An examination of the secular love poetry penned by religious scholars of the 10th-13th centuries in medieval Spain. We will explore the ways in which these pious standard-bearers of religion used sacred images and accounts from the Bible/Qur'an and exegetical traditions in their secular love poems, to both male and female beloveds, and what messages were thus embedded.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course.
Course may be applied to the Gender & Sexuality Studies program. Course may be applied to the Middle Eastern Studies minor.

3

REL 340

Jesus and Moral Decisions

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

Jesus and Moral Decisions challenges students to ask, "What would Jesus do?" when faced with contemporary moral decisions. Through the use of Gospels, and secondary sources, students will lead discussions and write essays that address Jesus' answer(s) to moral decisions today.

Fulfills the Moral Inquiry and Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirements.

3

REL 341

Spiritual Autobiography

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

A close reading of a variety of spiritual autobiographies from the second half of the twentieth century to discern what personal spiritual, religious, and ethical values may be coming to the fore at a time when traditional expressions of communal religion are in decline. It will center on the question: what does it mean to be "spiritual" or "religious" in the twentyfirst century?

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course.

3

REL 343

Christian Theology as Ideology: From Theocracy to Democracy

Offered: Spring Semester

How the use of Greek philosophy and Roman imperial theory transformed the Gospel of Jesus in a society that regarded its culture as providential history. This synthesis created but eventually tore Christendom apart. The political, economic, intellectual, and scientific dynamics of Europe are incomprehensible without considering this theological development.

Prerequisite(s): Sophomore Standing
Considered a European History. Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions and Moral Inquiry requirement.

3

REL 345

Biblical Hebrew

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

A systematic introduction to biblical Hebrew emphasizing grammar and vocabulary with the intention of reading short passages of biblical prose by the end of the semester. Daily preparation and active class participation mandatory.

Course may be applied to the Middle Eastern Studies minor.

3

REL 346

Feast or Famine? The Mass in the Modern Age

Offered: Fall Semester

An exploration of the theological study of the celebration of the Roman Catholic Mass, with a focus on the historical development of the Eucharist, various models of eucharistic celebration, and, the writings of John Paul II and Benedict XVI as a window on critical ecclesial and social issues that surface with regard to the Mass in the modern world.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course.
Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions requirement.

3

REL 347

Topics in Religious Approaches to Moral Issues

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

Explores how religious traditions address moral issues, paying particular attention to assumptions about human nature and the good, the bases on which the moral system or religion(s) being studied generates arguments about specific issues, that system's modes of moral argumentation, and its applicability to contemporary issues. The course also includes comparative analysis of the moral system relative to at least one other religious tradition.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course.
Fulfills the Moral Inquiry requirement.

3

REL 348

Sacraments, Justice, and the Moral Life

Offered: Not Offered 2013-2014

The course is an introduction to the fundamentals of sacraments, including ritual, symbol, and participation, all examined in the context of right relationship with God, others, and the material world. The seven official sacraments of the Catholic Church will be explored historically and critically according to the ways in which they may build or may destroy God's Kingdom of justice.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-level Religious studies course.
Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions and Moral Inquiry requirements.

3

REL 351

Heretics, Saints & Martyrs

Offered: Alternate Spring Semesters: 2013, 2015

This course will examine the growth of the early Christian movement during Late Antiquity. Discussions will focus on a number of important themes including persecution and martyrdom, monasticism and asceticism, the development and refutation of heresies (Gnosticism, Arianism, Nestorianism), and the creation of orthodoxy in belief, creed, and ritual.

Fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions and Moral Inquiry requirements.

3

REL 373

Buddhism, Nature & Environmental Ethics

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

An exploration of traditional Buddhist views of nature, especially in the Zen tradition, in relation to popular images of Buddhism and recent statements by Buddhist thinkers about environmental issues. Drawing from the field of Environmental Ethics, this course will also consider what a rigorous Buddhist environmental ethic might entail.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course.

3

REL 411

Approaches to the Study of Religious Traditions

Offered: Alternate Years: Fall 2014, 2016

An exploration of the basic questions and themes in the academic study of religions, with a focus on how the discipline of Religious Studies developed and how it continues to change.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Religious Studies Cornerstone Course, and junior or senior standing.
Fulfills the Writing-in-the-Disciplines requirement.

4

REL 412

Senior Thesis

Offered: Spring Semester

Research, reflection, writing, and public presentation under the direction of a member of the Department, as well as participation in senior seminar.

Prerequisite(s): Permission of Instructor or Department Chairperson.

3

REL 475

Internship in Religious Studies

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s): Minimum 3.0 GPA and permission of Department Chairperson.
Must complete the "U.S. Internship Request for Approval" process found under the myPlans tab in myHill to register for this Internship.

3

REL 476

Internship in Campus Ministry

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Familiarizes students with campus ministry fundamentals beyond Stonehill. Based on the particular host institution's faith tradition and goals, students will plan retreats, justice and peace initiatives, liturgical practices and similar functions.

Prerequisite(s): Minimum 3.0 GPA and permission of Department Chairperson.
Must complete the "U.S. Internship Request for Approval" process found under the myPlans tab in myHill to register for this Internship.

3

REL 477

Internship in Parish Ministry

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

A parish internship provides the opportunity to be involved in planning and carrying-out a multi-level religious education program, youth ministry activities, community service projects, and spiritual/liturgical events.

Prerequisite(s): Minimum 3.0 GPA and permission of Department Chairperson.
Must complete the "U.S. Internship Request for Approval" process found under the myPlans tab in myHill to register for this Internship.

3

REL 478

Internship in Catholic Ministry

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

This internship provides experience with the practical aspects and operations of a Catholic campus ministry program. Working with campus ministers, and applying theological and social principles, students will be introduced to retreats, liturgical ministry, service (local and overseas), and student ministry.

Prerequisite(s): Minimum 3.0 GPA and permission of Department Chairperson.
Must complete the "U.S. Internship Request for Approval" process found under the myPlans tab in myHill to register for this Internship.

3

REL 490

Directed Study

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Supervised reading and research directed by Department member. Permission of the faculty member directing the project and the Department Chairperson.

3