Religious Studies

Religious Studies

201 Introduction to Religious Studies (3) An introduction to the academic study of religion.  Attention to definitions, sacred story, ritual, space and time, religious experience, theodicy, organization, politics, and human existence and destiny.  Contemporary issues and religious perspectives will be explored.

301 Major Religions of the World (3) A survey of the history and philosophy of major living religions: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. (Same as PHIL 301).

306 Religion and Society (3) Interrelationships of society, culture, and religion. Prereq: SOC 201. (Same as SOC 306).

320 Traces of God (3) An analysis of the contemporary question of the existence and nature of God and the relevance to that question of experience, faith, revelation, mysticism, proofs, history, relationships, and creativity. Also an exploration of the relation of God and the World in terms of creation/evolution, time/eternity, and culture/values. Position paper required. (Same as PHIL 320)

340 Death, Suffering, and Evil (3) A study of the essential limits and boundary situations of life, particularly the dark shadows of death, suffering, and evil. Special attention given to an investigation of the possible meaningfulness of these limits and their value for authentic life. Other considerations include: suicide, abortion, war, crime, punishment, illness, insanity, perversion, inequality, waste. Position paper required. (Same as PHIL 340).

350 The Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (3) A survey of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, with attention to the theological perspectives, historical contexts, and literary forms (i.e., narrative, poetry, wisdom, and apocalyptic).  An introduction to the methods of biblical interpretation.  Attention will be given to the interpretation of these texts by Jewish and Christian communities.

360 The New Testament and Early Christian Origins (3) A survey of the New Testament, with attention to theological perspectives, historical contexts, and literary forms (i.e., gospel, history, epistle, and apocalypse).  An introduction to the methods of biblical interpretation.  Attention will be given to the interpretation of these texts in the early Jesus Movement and by the later Christian community.

370 God and Human Happiness (3) Studies in selected philosophers, religious thinkers and religious texts where a primary concern is the nature of human happiness and its relationships to beliefs about God or the ultimately real. Texts may include works from such philosophers as Plato or Nietzsche, such authors as Tolstoy or O’Connor and such texts as the New Testament or the Bhagavad Gita. Issues may include the relative importance of moral or nonmoral goodness for happiness, the nature of God or ultimate reality as it bears upon human life and destiny and related issues. Position paper required. (Same as PHIL 370.)

375 Church History (3) A general survey of the development of Christianity from apostolic times to the present. Examination of both western and eastern forms of Christianity, the development of beliefs, practices and institutions and Christianity’s interaction with society and culture.

380 Topics in the Philosophy and History of Religion [Selected Topics] (3) Intensive coverage of issues in the philosophy of religion (such as the theistic attributes, theistic proofs, religious language) or in the history of religion (such as non-Western religious traditions, eras of reform, the history of interpretation). Course may be repeated with total credits not to exceed six (6) hours. (Same as PHIL 380).


Programs of Study

The history and philosophy curricula lie at the heart of a liberal arts education.

Learn more >

What's New

The Civil Rights Conference

Learn more >