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The courses listed below are for the 2012-13 Academic Catalog and are subject to change. Please reference the Academic Catalog for further information and course descriptions. If you are a current student, please reference the catalog in which you come under.
Required Courses 6 credit hours
World ReligionsREL 111
This course introduces students to the worldÕs great religions (Indigenous religions, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Shinto, the Religion of Ancient Israel, Judaism, Christianity and Islam) so that they will discover what all religions share in common (and how vastly different they are), how each religion seeks to provide guidance in solving fundamental human problems, offers a wonderful window onto a cultureÕs great art, science, medicine, cuisine, literature, architecture, and music, both shapes a culture and is shaped by it, helps a culture articulate its values, morals and aspirations, helps us to understand ourselves, provides people orientation to life and a map of reality, and binds people together. Students will read primary as well as secondary texts.
Introduction to the Old TestamentREL 114
This course furnishes students with the tools and background necessary to help make their own reading of the Old Testament informed, insightful, and fresh. By providing guidance in the historical, geographical, and faith contexts, as well as the literary art involved in the production and crafting of this great literature, the course will help students understand why the study of the Old Testament has been the source of enjoyment, inspiration, and spiritual direction for centuries.
Introduction to the New TestamentREL 124
This course introduces students to the literature of the canonical New Testament, focusing on the development of the Jesus traditions that eventually led to the writing of literary gospels and the correspondence of early Christian leaders with the burgeoning churches.
Religion Electives 12 credit hours
Religion in AmericaREL 202
This course helps students understand how religion has shaped American culture and how American culture has shaped religion. It will focus on the diversity of religion in America and compare movements and ideas. It will also inquire about whether there are unifying elements in American religion that bind Americans together as a people. A significant focus of this course is on five vital impulses that perennially shape American religion: the experimentalist, millennialist, utopian, modernist and traditionalist impulses. The course will concentrate on the meaning of America as a series of colonial religious experiments, the religious motivations for major movements of social reform, alternative religious movements that favor communal experiments or utopian vision, the occult, Eastern religions, movements that helped Americans accommodate religious beliefs to modern world views, and the reactionary movements that opposed cultural accommodation.
Comparative MythologyREL 231
The course invites students to a contemporary, cross-cultural study of the worldÕs great mythologies as a search for values and identity. Students will explore the common elements, recurrent patterns, themes, and archetypes of mythologies around the world, from ancient times to the present.
Prophets and the Prophetic MovementREL 244
This course studies the phenomenon of prophecy in ancient Israel and the prophetic literature in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. It provides an introduction to prophecy and the prophetic literature in the ancient Near East. It surveys the biblical prophetic books and their main topics in chronological order, paying special attention to the contemporary events in the Near East and Israel. It reflects on the modern relevance of the prophetic texts.
Religion and the American SouthREL 302
This course examines the role of religion in shaping Southern history, culture and regional identity. This course will also focus on the role of African Americans in the shaping of Southern religion. Students will read primary and secondary documents (including fiction), watch films, and listen to various forms of southern gospel music and hymnody.
Wisdom in Ancient Israel and Ancient Near EastREL 315
The purpose of this course is to help students appreciate the great and little traditions of wisdom in the Hebrew Scriptures and in the Ancient Near East in general, as a movement of instruction in royal academies, as an ancient humanistic tradition, and as a literary and scholastic tradition that often challenged traditional religious ideas as well as priestly and prophetic institutions.
Western Religion ThoughtREL 323
This course introduces students to the lives and writings of some of the Western worldÕs great thinkers, martyrs, religious revolutionaries, preachers, missionaries, mystics, literary figures, and social reformers. These will include Boethius, Perpetua, John of the Cross, Bunyan, Madame Guyon, Albert Schweitzer, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. We will concentrate on religious issues that are universal: the ÒgoodÓ life, the purpose of God in history, the problem of evil, envisioning a more meaningful future for humankind, justice, freedom, the afterlife, and faithful commitment to great ideals. All of the primary readings in this course were written in prison.