Courses

RL-110   What Is Religion (Fall; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; H,CW) This course serves as an introduction to religious studies. It engages some of the most important questions which preoccupy students of world religions. How do religions work? What kinds of issues does religion address?

RL-115   Viking Religion (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; H) This course introduces to the student the religion of the Vikings through literature, archeology, and historical portraits. It explores the uses and misuses of Viking lore in current culture.

RL-120   World Religions (Either Semester; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; H,I) An introduction to most of the major religious traditions of the world (Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and a few of the smaller religious traditions (such as Zoroastrianism and Sikhism). This course also examines how our own beliefs and attitudes affect our understandings of religion.

RL-131   Old Testament As History and Literature (Variable; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; H,I) An introduction to the historical-critical reading of the Old Testament against the background of the history, politics, religion, literature, and culture of the ancient Middle East. This course studies how these Israelites texts were written and how their literary qualities shape their religious meanings.

RL-132   New Testament As History and Literature (Variable; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; H) An introduction to the historical-critical reading of the New Testament against the background of the history, politics, religion, literature, and culture of the ancient Mediterranean world. This course studies how these early Christian texts were written and how their literary qualities shape their religious meanings.

RL-199   RL Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) An examination of an area of study not regularly included in the departmental offerings. Titles will vary. Students may take each special topics course for credit.

RL-210   Sacred Landscapes (Either Semester; Variable; 3.00 Credits; H,CTDH) This course explores the relationship between the experience of geography and religious ideology. We take various environments-mountainous, oceanic, desert, forest, plains-and try to connect the religious thoughts of their inhabitants to the geography.

RL-230   Religions of India (Either Semester; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; H,I,CW) An introduction to religions originating in or having a major impact on India, including Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Islam.

RL-241   Cyborg Salvation (Variable; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; H) This course introduces the student to the transhumanist movement, a technology-driven philosophy that seeks to drive the evolution of the species toward its " next stage " A core question of the course is whether this is a new, " upgraded " religion or a replacement for traditional religious hopes. Various proposals for human-technology hybridizations will be explored.

RL-263   The Divine Feminine (Spring; Variable; 3.00 Credits; I,H) While the majority of religious people worldwide are women, their experiences and practices do not receive the same level as attention from academics as those of men. This class looks at women's religious experiences and the veneration of female divinities by both men and women.

RL-265   U.S. Religious Diversity (Fall; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; CA,H) This course looks at the history of conflict and cooperation between different religious groups in the United States, as well as how religious diversity has impacted, and been impacted by, American politics.

RL-299   Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Allows the department to offer special topics not normally offered. Departments may offer more than one special topic. Prerequisites vary by title.

RL-301   The Afterlife (Fall & Spring; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; H,CW) This course explores questions like these: What do major world religions teach about afterlife? How did the Bible's afterlife beliefs develop historically? Can the soul survive without the body? If so, what would a non-bodily life be like? What do near-death experiences prove about the afterlife? What is the meaning of life if there is (or is not) an afterlife?

RL-302   Atheism (Fall; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; H) This course explores questions like these: What are the arguments both for and against the existence of God? What motivates atheists to live morally? What is the meaning of life for atheists? How and why do some atheists practice religion, and how does a religion function without belief in God? How does atheism affect the well-being of individuals and societies?

RL-311   Bring Out Your Dead (Either Semester; Variable; 3.00 Credits; CA,H) Introduces the student to the ideologies, rituals, sociology, and psychological mechanisms involved in dealing with the dead and dead bodies. The course covers mortuary rituals, the preparation and treatment of dead bodies, the psychology of death, and the sociological consequences of the public manipulation of the dead.

RL-321   Women in the Bible (Either Semester; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; CA,H) This course focuses on the female characters in the Bible and on its teachings about the social and religious roles specific to women. The course studies those texts in both their ancient and modern contexts, with special attention to how they interact with culture, and explores what meanings those biblical passages can have for women (and men) today. Prerequisite: at least Sophomore standing.

RL-341   Religion and War (Variable; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; CA,H,CW) This course explores the role of religion in warfare. It looks at the evolution of religion and war in our species, modern anthropological investigations of religion and war, religious discussions of war in Western and non-Western religions.

RL-352   The Hebrew Prophets (Either Semester; Variable; 3.00 Credits; CA,H) This course combines a historical-critical study of the prophetic books of the Hebrew Bible against the background of the religion, politics, and society of ancient Israel and a theological appraisal of the relevance of the prophets' messages in today's world. Prerequisites: At least Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.

RL-399   Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Allows the department to offer special topics not normally offered. Departments may offer more than one special topic. Prerequisites vary by title.

RL-440   Yoga Studies (Variable; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; CA,H,I,CW) In the past fifty years, Yoga has become one of India's best-known exports, primarily in the form of physical (Hatha) Yoga. We will examine many of the numerous varieties of Yoga philosophy and explore how yoga and meditation became popular in the West. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing or permission of instructor

RL-450   God, Evil & the Holocaust (Either Semester; Variable; 3.00 Credits; H) If God is so powerful and so good, why is there so much Evil in the world? This course examines this problem from Jewish, Christian and agnostic perspectives, with special attention to the Holocaust, and studies ancient and modern attempts to confront this problem, including readings from the Bible, philosophers, theologians, Holocaust survivors, modern fiction, and contemporary films. Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing.

RL-490   Religion Internship (Fall & Spring; Yearly; 2.00-9.00 Credits; H) See " Internship " in catalog. Corequisite: RL495. Prerequisites: Jr. or Sr. Standing.

RL-495   Internship Seminar Religion Internship Research Seminar (Fall & Spring; Yearly; 2.00-6.00 Credits; H) See " Internship " in catalog. Corequisite: RL490.

RL-499   Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Allows the department to offer special topics not normally offered. Departments may offer more than one special topic. Prerequisites vary by title.

RL-TUT   Religion Teaching Assistant (Variable; Variable; 1.00-3.00 Credits; H)