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Religious Studies

Spring 2017 Course Offerings

RLST  1610 (3) 001                     Intro. to Religious Studies                  Tu/Th 5:00-6:15       (Meets Core requirement                               E. Muhaisen
                    in Humanities)                                   NC 1005

RLST  2660 (3) 001                     World Religions                                   Tu/Th 2:00-3:15
                                    (Meets Core requirement                                    S. Yuhas
             in Humanities)                            NC 1806

RLST  3120 (3) 001                      Islamic Traditions                              Tu/Th 3:30-4:45                                                              E. Muhaisen                                                NC 1005

RLST  4000 (3) WK1     Religion and Cultural                      Sat/Sun 10:00-5:00            Diversity                                                Don Maloney
                                                    (Meets Core requirement                                    Arts 298
                                                    in Diversity                                            Course meets:                                             Jan. 28-29
                                                    Feb. 18-19

RLST  4040/5040 (3) 001   Psychology of Religion                           M/W 2:00-3:15
                                               S. Coggan
                                                   King 218

RLST  4060/5060 (3) 001          Philosophy of Religion                               W 5:00-7:50                             Same as PHIL 4600/5600                          R. Metcalf
                                                    Plaza 112
RLST  4160/5160 (3) 001     Mysticism                                           M/W 3:30-4:45                                                                                         S. Coggan
                                                           King 218

RLST 4420/5420  (3) 001           Goddess Traditions                          M/W 5:00-6:15                                       Same as WGST 4420/5420                               S. Coggan                                                    King 218

RLST 4462/5462  (3) 001            Islam in Modern History                      M/W 3:30-4:45                          Same as HIST 4462/5462                               D. Stahl
                                                                   NC 3202

RLST  4840                              Independent Study

Course Descriptions

RLST 1610 Introduction to Religious Studies:  Religion is a complex phenomenon which involves social norms, beliefs and fears, and overarching worldview. Religious experiences are among the most profound an individual can have. The course will examine religious phenomena from various perspectives including historical, psychological, anthropological, political, sociological, the symbolic and ritual, to appreciate the tremendously important role religion has played in human history and contemporary experience.

RLST 2600 World Religions:  This course provides an introduction to the basic beliefs and concepts of the world’s great religious traditions, including Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Shintoism.

RLST 3120 Islamic Traditions:  This course introduces students to the history, texts, practices and experiences of Islam and Muslims, and investigates modern topics such as Sunni-Shi’a sectarianism, women and gender, politics and conflict and contemporary issues. With 1.5 billion adherents, Islam is the world’s second largest religion, roughly 20% of the world’s population.  Islam is also a living tradition, always in evolution. The course also acquaints students with methods for studying and talking about Islam.

RLST 4000 Religion and Cultural Diversity:  Religion is one of the key elements that creates diversity. This course will explore issues in religion and religious identity in contemporary America, including Native American spiritual traditions, Jewish American, Asian American religious traditions, the African American spiritual traditions and their relationship to the civil rights movement, and the growth of the Black Muslim movement.  Attention will also be given to the question of gender issues, as the traditional model for gender roles was formulated, in part, from a religious basis.

RLST 4040/5040 Psychology of Religion:  This course examines the theories developed by some of the great names in the field of psychology and their approaches to religion.  Questions addressed will include why people become religious, how religion functions in their lives, religious experience and assessment of the validity of religious claims.  Key theorists will include William James, Sigmund Freud, Erich Fromm and Carl G. Jung.

RLST 4060/5060/PHIL 4600/5600 Philosophy of Religion: This course investigates the nature of religion and methods of studying it. The course covers such issues as the existence of God, faith and reason, religious experience, and religious language.

RLST 4160 Mysticism:  This course explores the mystical strains within the world's great religious traditions.  Jewish, Christian and Islamic mystics did not always express the same beliefs and attitudes as mainstream Jews, Christians and Muslims. When mystics are placed side-by-side, amazing similarities appear. One cannot always tell whether a given mystical statement is Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Sufi, or Christian. This class will examine these mystical traditions, East and West.

RLST 4420/5420 Goddess Traditions: The course explores the many forms which goddesses have assumed through history, including the Neolithic Great Mother and her heiressess in ancient Mediterranean cultures, such as Isis, Ishtar, Demeter, Hecate, Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena and others, and their parallels in India. Goddess traditions have encompassed a full spectrum from virgins to Great Mothers to dark underworld goddesses of death and destruction.  This rich heritage will be the focus of the course.

RLST 4840 Independent Study:  Various topics in Religious Studies pursued in independent research. (Students cannot sign up for this online.)