For a minor in religious studies a student must take RE 201H, three additional courses in the discipline (one of which must be at the 300 level or above), and one 400 level course (preferably RE 480) for a total of five courses.
RE 101H: Exploring Religion
What makes something "religious"? This course examines the ways in which religions play a role in culture. Students will explore the history of this interaction and the continuing influence of religion in the contemporary world.
RE 201H: Understanding Religion
This course surveys various approaches to the study of religious phenomena and ideas as expressed in such cultural forms as individual and communal identities, rituals, myths, ethics, scriptures, and material and popular culture.
RE 206H: The Bible, Gender, and Sexual Politics
Relations between biblical literature and issues of sexual difference, gender socialization, misogyny, and the question of origins of patriarchy.
RE 212H: Reading for the Rapture
Examination of the "apocalypse" as represented in ancient literature and modern media. This course explores predictions and visions of global destruction and transformation in religious traditions, public debates, and popular culture.
RE 214H: Cults and Religious Freedom
This course engages the dynamics of religious innovation, diversity, tolerance, and freedom through an historical, comparative, and multimedia encounter with New Religious Movements.
RE 219G: Hindu Traditions
Yoga, meditation, karma, reincarnation, major devotional and ceremonial traditions that have developed around Shiva, Vishnu, and the Goddess. The dynamic between popular worship and the contemplative traditions of Hindu culture. RE 240G recommended but not required.
RE 220G: Buddhist Traditions
Focus on the historical continuities and discontinuities of Buddhisms across Asia, the ways Buddhist traditions reflect their given geographical areas, and the social and political conditions that have facilitated changes within the various Buddhist traditions.
RE 220H: Bible and Culture: American Film
More than a book, the Bible plays critical roles as a powerful icon and cultural influence. This course examines biblical texts, contexts, and histories of interpretation as represented in American film.
RE 221H: Religion in America
The beliefs, behavior and institutions of Judaism and Christianity in American life. The uniqueness of the American religious experience and its impact on American institutional patterns.
RE 230G: Yogis, Mystics, Shamans
An examination of extraordinary religious experience, including mystical encounters, ecstatic states, and bodily disciplines. Examples will be drawn from a range of religious traditions, including but not limited to Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism.
RE 234H: Regional Goddesses in Asia
Regional goddesses in India, China, and Japan. The relationship between women and the divine feminine principle within the context of Asian cultures compared with other contemporary expressions of Goddess devotion.
RE 240G: Non-Western Religion
What is a non-Western religion? An examination of the idea of the Non-West and of the practices, beliefs, and histories associated with the religious Non-West.
RE 241H: Christianity: Heroes and Heretics
The rise and development of Christianity into a world religion. Key issues such as the nature of God, person of Christ, reason and revelation, personal and social ethics. Key figures as influential examples of faith.
RE 242H: Engaging the Bible
Surveys the study of biblical literature, attending to: 1) historical and social worlds of biblical writings; 2) the Bible's contents and canonization; and 3) approaches to biblical interpretation in different time-periods, cultures, and media.
RE 244H: Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Major religions of Middle East, Judaism, Christianity, Islam. Historical development, literature and contributions to the West.
RE 272H: Creativity and the Sacred
Exploration of connections between the visual and literary arts and the sacred. Students will examine the significant interconnections of art and the sacred by analyzing forms, styles, symbolism, themes, and narrative structures.
RE 291H: Apostle Paul - Religion and Politics
Critically appraise Paul of Tarsus's life, letters, and legacy. Encounter Paul's Jewish, Greek, and Roman imperial worlds in ancient literature, art, and architecture. Examine contemporary literary-critical, postcolonial, and liberationist approaches to Pauline studies.
RE 315H: Seminar on Religion and Race
Study the relationship between U.S. society and a Non-Western religion with attention to social and political significance. Explore the pop-cultural framing of religious identities and its impact on the way we live our lives.
RE 323: Banned Books: Beyond the Bible
Investigation of ancient "Gnostic" writings and communities. Discussion of orthodoxy and heresy, canon formation, and women's role(s) in earliest Christian assemblies. Contemporary fascination with extra-canonical literature (The Da Vinci Code) will be considered. Prerequisite: RE 201H or any course in Biblical studies.
RE 325G: Regional Focus in Buddhism
Within the global diversity of Buddhist traditions are rich, distinctive histories, cultures, and practices. Delve into the dirversity of practices, beliefs, and history of one specific Buddhist tradition with special attention to contemporary social activism.
RE 330H: Human Being and Becoming
Exploration of Christian understandings of human existence in comparison with other perspectives. Topics include: what it means to be and become human; relationships between individual, society, and nature; and meaning in human existence.
RE 334G: Gender, Activism, and Religion
An examination of the difficult relationship between feminism and religion, the applicability of the liberal feminist paradigm of activism to religious settings, and religious individuals actively altering gendered thinking and behavior within their traditions.
RE 336G: Yoga: History, Practice, and Service
A history of yoga from ancient South Asia to contemporary America, with attention paid to its philosophical roots, aesthetic dimensions, and religious, political, and therapeutic uses. Course includes weekly yoga practicum.
RE 345H: Jesus in Ancient and Modern Media
Investigation of the figure of Jesus according to a variety of ancient gospels, coupled with exploration of modern representations of Jesus in art, scholarship, fiction, and film.
RE 350E: Ecology, Chaos, and Sacred
Examine the struggle of ecological order against the inbreaking of chaos. How is the one maintained against the other? Is "reality" chaos or order? How does one's world-view affect one's understanding of ecology, chaos, or "reality"?
RE 351E: A Culture of Science and Faith
This interdisciplinary course will examine the two seemingly different approaches to the environment that religion and science developed. The significance of the disparity will be examined by analyzing the writings of prominent theologians and scientists.
RE 356G: Religion and War
Study the different approaches that explain religiously justified war. Examples drawn from the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia. Explore the gap between ideals and practices and the value of distinguishing between them.
RE 361H: Contemporary Christian Thought
Examination of some major theologians and movements since 1900, including Neo-Orthodoxy, Liberation Theology, and Postmodern theologies.
RE 371H: Religions of China and Japan
Taoism and Confucianism in China, Shinto in Japan and the imported tradition of Buddhism and its regional developments in various schools; the syncretistic character of East Asian religiosity. RE 240G recommended but not required.
RE 381E: Ecotheology
The major dimensions of the current ecological crisis and its roots in Western tradition, how Judaeo-Christian thought has traditionally regarded nature and its relationship to God and humans, and implications for action.
RE 382E: Asian Religions and Environment
Examine the ways in which religions shape human understandings and treatment of the natural environment, with an emphasis on non-Western religions.
RE 383E: Nature Religion
Examines religions grounded in a focus on nature and its spiritual dimensions and values. Students will think critically about the ways in which these religions have shaped people's approaches to nature and one another.
RE 401: Internship in Religious Education
Supervised, field-based experience in church work, with a minimum of 150 hours on-site experience. Permission of instructor required.
RE 440: Seminar: Bible, Theory, Method
Focuses on emergent theories and questions about biblical texts, contexts, and modes of interpretation. Special attention given to biblical studies as a form of cultural and public discourse. Survey past thinking, explore more modern directions.
RE 449: Religion and Imagination
Philosophical and theological treatments of imagination in religion and in all of life, their implications for religion, faith and the role of intellectual reflection in religion. Focus on Christianity, but principles have broader implications. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
RE 480: Religious Studies Colloquium
Engages principal methodological issues in Religious Studies, enabling upper-level majors and minors to expand and synthesize disciplinary knowledge. Focuses on discussion leadership and the development of research projects. Prerequisite: RE 201H.
RE 498: Comprehensive Examination
Practicum to be taken during WT of the student's senior year, involving review of work done in the major, essays, and preparations for research project to be completed in RE 480.
RE 499: Senior Thesis