Courses

RE 101H: Exploring Religion
From ancient superstition to modern atheism, this course explores the concepts of doubt, uncertainty, and skepticism as pervasive creative forces in the history of religions across time and cultures.

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 Myth and Ritual
Students will explore classical Indian mythology, ceremonial traditions of the great Goddess and major gods, veneration of village goddesses and local protector gods, rituals of caste society, aesthetic dimensions of Hindu worship, and Hindu modernity.

RE 220G: Engaged Buddhism
Students will study innovative contemporary Buddhist teachings on the environment, consumerism, human rights, sexuality, and gender equality, along with their roots in classical Buddhist thought and practice.

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: American Religious Diversity
An examination of the diversity of religions in America today, this class will explore the development of religious pluralism, its impact on American society, and the challenges and opportunities it presents.

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: The Goddess 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: Religion, Power, and Difference
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: Surveying Scriptures
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
This class examines the Abrahamic Traditions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, in light of their historical development, beliefs, practices, and interactions with the many cultures within which they have found a home.

RE 272H: Creativity and Spirituality
This course explores intersections between spirituality and creativity, especially in the literary and visual arts. Students consider how the arts respond to fundamental questions about existence and intersect with spiritual concerns, as well as engage in their own creative self-expression.

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 324H: Topics in Religion and Cinema
Exploring the interrelationship between religion and film, this course examines cinematic intersections with worldviews, storytelling, and mythmaking practices in order to understand how religion shapes our world, and how film shapes our understanding of religion.

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: Being Human:Religion & Science
Students engage in an examination of religious perspectives on human existence and compare them to contemporary scientific approaches and understandings. The course explores Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim perspectives, along with theories from neuroscience and evolutionary psychology.

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 343H: Sacred Texts & Social Justice
This course engages the uses of biblical texts in historic and contemporary social justice movements. Modern abolitionist, Marxist, anti-racist, postcolonial, feminist, queer, and pacifist interpretations will be considered.

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 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, War, and Peace
This course surveys different approaches that explain religiously justified war and peacemaking, across time and cultures. Students will address the distance between representation and reality 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 372: Internship: Religion & Culture
This course comprises a) pre-internship consultation and preparation; b) supervised field-based experience of at least 150 hours at an approved location; and c) post internship reflection and peer engagement. Prerequisite: RE201H and mentor approval.

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 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 498: Senior Comprehensive Project in Religious Studies
Practicum to be taken during the spring semester of the senior year. Engages principal methodological issues in Religious Studies, enabling majors and minors to expand and synthesize disciplinary knowledge. Focuses on discussion leadership and the development of research projects. Prerequisite: RE201H.

RE 499: Senior Thesis