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All Courses

A list of all courses offered as part of the Religion program


Introductory Courses


REL 110 The Nature of Religion (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
This introductory course considers what is distinctively religious about religions. Using a combination of in depth case study and cross-cultural comparison, it introduces the student to recurrent themes, forms and structures of religion, considering such topics as: the nature of myth and ritual; sacred time and sacred space; gods, spirits and ancestors; as well as the roles of shaman, prophet, and priest.

REL 111 Approaches to Religion (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
A modern critical study of religion using a variety of methods to further understanding of the role of religion in personal and social life. Approaches include those of philosophy, psychology, the arts, history, sociology, and anthropology. Readings are from a variety of differing religious traditions.


Theoretical Studies

ANTHC 307 Anthropology of Religion (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Examination of religions in their cultural settings with emphasis on non-western societies. Analysis of theories about the nature of religion and magic, cultural and psychological function, symbolic meanings, interrelationships with other cultural patterns and cross-cultural comparisons.

GEOG 348 Geography of Religion (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Geographic view of religion and religious phenomena. Origin, diffusion, distribution. Pilgrimages. Environmental impact. (Prereq: GEOG 101 or REL110 or REL111 or permission of the instructor.)

PHILO 262 Philosophy of Religion (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
A study of some of the major world religions, including writings from Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism. We shall examine how each religion endeavors to pursue the Ultimate in its own way. Emphasis will be placed on the unity underlying the different religions as well as the specific uniqueness of each. The texts for Hinduism and Taoism will be classic, those for Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism will be twentieth century. (Prereq: one course in philosophy or religion.)

SOC 205 Sociology of Religion (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
This course will equip the student with the basic concepts in the sociology of religion. Secularization, concepts in Protestant ethics, church/ sect/ denomination, etc., will be discussed. Prereq SOC 101 or Permission of the instructor.

REL 270 Religion and Psychology (W) (3 firs., 3 crs.)
"Every statement about God is a statement about the human person, and every statement about the human is a statement about God." This course will examine the complementarity between religion and psychology in many aspects of the human person through the media of selected text, film, and story.

REL 260 Special Topics: Theoretical Studies in Religion (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Specialized study of a methodological approach to the study of religion. Different topic offered each time.

REL 360 Special Topics: Theoretical Studies in Religion (W) (3hrs., 3 cr.)
Specialized study of a methodological approach to the study of religion. Different topic offered each time.

REL 390 Modern Theories in Religion (W) (3hrs., 3 cr.)
An advanced methodology course surveying key issues and main approaches under discussion in the current study of religion when standard methods of interpretation are being subjected to exhaustive critique and revision and new theories are being proposed. (Prereq: ENGL 120; REL 111 or its equivalent; and at least one other course in religion or one of the theoretical courses offered in one of the participating departments such as ANTHRO 307, PHILO 262, or SOC 205; permission of instructor required to register.)


Issues in Religion

REL 204 Religious Experience (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Here the emphasis is not on doctrines of religion, but on central experiences that underlie the institutions of religion. Readings are drawn from a variety of cultures: from ancient writings to contemporary ones; from religious traditions and from outside religious systems as such. Most of the readings concern the experiences themselves, in material such as the Australian initiation rites, Islamic and Native American rituals, The Epic of Gilgamesh, biblical narratives, the enlightenment of the Buddha, mystical experiences, the journals of Etty Hillesum. Work by several theorists will also be read. Questions will include: What is the experience like? What is "religious" experience? How does the experience affect people and their lives?

REL 205 Faith and Disbelief (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
An examination of questions raised in religious faith and in disbelief, concentrating particularly on the challenge to religion made by existentialism. Among the authors to be read are both critics and defenders of religion: Camus, Buber, Kierkegaard, Teilhard de Chardin, Sartre, Nietzsche, Tillich, and Bonhoffer.

REL 206 Ideas of God in Contemporary Western Thought (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
How does contemporary Western theology understand faith in God? What is meant--or ought to be meant--by the word "God"? How does the reality of evil figure into faith? Answers to these questions will be our primary focus as we read works by representative Jewish, Christian, and heterodox religious thinkers since World War II. Examples will be drawn from liberal, process, feminist, and radical perspectives, among others.

REL 207 Religious Sources for Morality (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Ethics has been defined as the tension between that which "is" and that which "ought" to be. This course will focus on the origin of the "ought": How do we decide what is good and evil? What are the sources of our understanding of what ought to be? Are these sources religious? Have they to do with belief in God? (What do we mean by "religion" and by God"?) Reading will be in Buber, The Book of Job, Genesis, Psalms, The Gospel of Matthew, Wiesel, Kant, Kierkegaard, and Tillich.

REL 208 Religion and Social Justice (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
While all religions agree that securing a socially just world is a 'constant occupation,' they disagree as to the concrete nature of that vocation. This course is designed to examine contemporary religious reflection on four social issues: war, race, the economy, and gender relations. The issues will be approached from as many sides as possible, examining them in light of the attitudes they reveal about God, society, and justice. The course will focus primarily on readings from a range of different traditions, in large part to illustrate the plurality of perspectives that exist.

REL 209 Religion and Human Rights (W) (3hrs., 3 cr.)

Religion and human rights intersect in a variety of ways. The struggle for religious tolerance played a key role in the evolution of the human rights. Yet the quest for freedom of thought, conscience and belief remains unresolved in various parts of the world. It has been contended that religious beliefs about natural and moral order are the foundation of human rights. And as the movement for universal human rights swept the globe in the later part of the 20th century, scholars and religious thinkers have examined the contributions, compatibilities (and incompatibilities) of the worlds' major systems of thought, conscience and belief to the norms and standards of the human rights project. This course will examine these various intersections between religion and human rights.

REL 210 Atheism (W) (3hrs., 3 cr.)
We are used to thinking of atheism as the antithesis of all that religion is. But atheism as it appears in our modern world has many important roots that lie in different religious traditions. This course will explore some of these origins and challenge students to rethink and refine their concepts of what is involved in "not believing in God"

REL 211 The Sacred Sky: Astrology in World Religion (W) (3hrs., 3 cr.)
Different cultures have varied beliefs about the sacred nature of the sky and how astronomical movement relates to lives and events on Earth. Viewing astrology as the vernacular used to describe the effect of astronomical cycles on terrestrial cycles, this course examines how those patterns were interpreted and understood to have meaning. The emphasis of the course is on Western astrology, from its origins in Mesopotamia to its current popularity, but also includes a look at Chinese, Native American, Mesoamerican, and Vedic astrology.

REL 212 Religion and Healing (W) (3hrs., 3 cr.)
Various cultures hold different attitudes in their approaches to healing.  What are the shared characteristics of people who have been considered healers?  How does one's own suffering shape his/her idea of God?  What is the role of the Earth?  Is there a difference between curing and healing?  How have the scientific revolution and the development of Western Medicine shaped the way we understand healing today?  Through the use of religious texts, fiction, guest speakers and art we will examine approaches to the body, suffering, death and healing.

REL 307 Religious ideas in Literature (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Storytelling has been a nurturing and necessary activity of the human species, and a primary medium for conveying religious inquiry and insight. Through careful reading, discussion, and student essays, this class will consider the inquiry into key religious issues--e.g., the human condition and possibilities of transformation, divine justice, the sacred and society, alienation and meaning--in novels, short stories, and plays by authors such as Dostoyevsky, Unamuno, Camus, Lagerkvist, Malamud, Baldwin, O'Connor, Endo, and Atwood. (Auditors require permission of the instructor to register.)

REL 308 Religion and the Arts (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
The arts have always been a medium for transforming spiritual beliefs, from prehistoric figurines to William Blake’s mystical paintings. Even in today’s society, the arts serve as a vehicle for religious expression, reflecting not only the individual’s experience with the sacred but society’s view of what art constitutes and how religion should be depicted. But how did we get to this point? We shall examine the relationship between religion and sculpture, painting, dance, theater, decorative arts, music and, finally, photography and film from a chronological and cross-cultural perspective.

REL 309 The Religious Meaning of Sex and Love (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Sex remains one of the great powers in human life to which religion has not been indifferent. This cross-cultural and interdisciplinary course asks about the relation between the religious and the erotic, inquiring into such issues as: what lies behind speaking of the gods as sexual and/or loving; what lies behind speaking of faith as a matter of 'loving' God; what rationales underlie the various religious codes of sexual ethics? In short, what are the connections among the love of God, the love for God, and sexual love between human beings--in both historical and contemporary religion?

REL 310 The Religious Meaning Of Death (W) (3hrs.,3cr.)
The fact of death is at the center of the study of religion. The meaning one gives to death often determines the direction of one's life. This course will explore the various meanings which different cultures in different historical periods have discovered in the reality of death. Attention will also be given to contemporary formulations. Material studied will be cross-cultural and interdisciplinary. Discussion will center on the assigned readings.

REL 311 Women and Religion (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
The focus is on contemporary feminist theologies. Feminist students of religion contend that male-defined traditions have set the patterns of religious and societal life, without adequate attention to women's experiences, insights or participation. The course focuses mainly on the traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam (some other traditions are included and welcome from the class), and explores the what and why of patriarchy, the power of symbols, feminist sources and methods for doing theology, as women reclaim their traditions or envision new ones, with new models for the sacred, the self and society.

REL 312 Religion and Politics (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
This course examines the interplay between religion and politics: how religious beliefs influence politics and how historical, cultural, and social factors affect religious views. Examined are contemporary situations in which religion is playing a visible role in the aims and understandings of political purposes. Included are "fundamentalist" movements in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, and theologies of liberation in Latin America, U. S. Black Churches, and the feminist movement. The religious foundations and historical backgrounds of each movement will be considered, as will the present religious perspectives and interpretations of tradition that underlie specific political positions.

REL 313 Ecospirituality: Religion and Nature (W) (3 hrs., 3 cr.)
An exploration of world religions’ most foundational ideas about spirit, sentience and the natural world—human and non-human—investigating how they shape our self-understandings, our ethics and even our scientific inquiries. Consideration of some of the most recent scientific findings concerning consciousness in plants and animals, their implications for new understandings of ‘spirit and nature’ and their effect on our whole way of being in the world.

REL 314 Religion and Sports (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
This course on the religious dimension of sport concentrates on a study of how world views are expressed in a culture's sports. ·Beginning with a consideration of religiously contextualized sport such as the ancient Olympic Games and the Mesoamerican ball game, the focus turns first to American football, basketball, and baseball and then to soccer and 19th century boxing. ·After an inquiry into the spiritual dynamics of 19th century "muscular Christianity" and of the modern Olympic movement, the course concludes with an attempt to discern an arguable sportive spirituality.

REL 315 The Problem of Evil (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Is it possible to say that we are living in an "age of evil," that the events of our time reveal the presence of a "spirit of evil" in our midst? What does religion have to say about such a phenomenon? How does religion think about and define evil? Who or what is responsible? Can anything be done about it? These are the questions this course will address by way of Eastern and Western religious materials.

REL 316 Men and Religion (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Reflecting recent work of scholars of gender, both male and female, this course will explore the ways in which religions have historically constructed the "male" and "masculine." The focus will be on materials drawn from the Jewish and Christian traditions, albeit in world perspective. Highlighted will be the importance of ideas about war for the framing of religious interpretations of men and the male role.

REL 317 Religion and Film (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Film is one of the most popular forms of literature in contemporary society. This course will explore the relationship between Religion and Film. As a class we will examine how film makers use religion to convey their points of view, as well as examining how western religions (Judaism/Christianity/Islam) use film technology for propagating faith.

REL 318 Religion and Science (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
This course will use as its starting point Albert Einstein's statement that "Science without Religion is Lame, Religion without Science is Blind." We will continue from there to explore the relation between Science and Religion historically as well as exploring modern conflicts and dialogues. This class will investigate the ways in which different approaches can aid, detract from, and influence Science and Religion--two vital human endeavors. Our ultimate goal is to come to a deeper understanding of the complexity of this relationship and to learn how these two seemingly disparate modes of thought come together.

REL 319 Religion and the Body (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
While discourse about the body and things associated therewith figures highly in the language of traditional spiritual traditions we call religion, it is only recently that scholars have been paying attention to how the body really figures into religious thinking and practice.· In fact, religious belief is frequently expressed in a variety of attitudes and practices directed towards one's body--while how one relates to and lives one's embodiment is a major indicator of the meaning of religious belief.· This course attempts to survey some of the major ways scholars have begun to explore the role of the body and discourse about the body in religious faith and practice.

REL 334 Mysticism (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
A critical analysis of the patterns and nature of mystical experiences. Analyzing mystical reports and writers from a variety of traditions and eras, we will explore the nature of the transition processes which lead to these experiences and the experiences themselves. We will also ask of the commonalities and differences of the thoughts of mystics, and explore several typologies of them. Finally, we will look at the very lively contemporary debate about these experiences, focusing on the question of the role of language, background, and expectations in mystical experiences.

REL 335 Myth and Ritual (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
What does a ritual do for its practitioners? How does it do it? What does the recitation of a myth do for people? Does a ritual or myth bring or express the infinite to its participants? What is the relationship of ritual or mythical events to people’s ordinary lives? The course, which assumes a working knowledge of more than one religious tradition, will look at rituals and myths from a variety of traditions including our own “secular” life. Focusing on the motifs of “heroes” and “goddesses,” we will identify and explore patterns of ritual/mythical life, and ask of their philosophical, social, psychological and theological significance.

REL 340 Homosexuality in World Religion (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
This course surveys and analyzes typical ways in which homosexuality has been understood, evaluated and, in some cases, institutionalized in a variety of religious traditions, attending especially to implicit constructions of gender.

REL 261 Special Topics: Issues in Religion (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Study of particular religious topics or thinkers. Different subject each time offered.

REL 361 Special Topics: Issues in Religion (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Study of particular religious topics or thinkers. Different subject each time offered.


Religious Traditions

REL 251 Asian Religions (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
In an age of increasing encounter between very different cultures, it is critical that we attempt to understand religious traditions that are not historically our own. In this course we will encounter primarily the religious traditions of India (Hinduism and Buddhism) and China (Confucianism and Taoism). Readings are in sacred texts and secondary sources.

REL 320 Hinduism (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
A study of the nature of Hinduism and its development, literature, philosophy, and religious practices. Readings in such traditional texts as the Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagavad Gita, as well as in modern texts,will explore Hinduism's understanding of God, human beings, the feminine principle, society and community, time and history, and we shall study how these understandings develop from 2000 BCE to the 21st century.

REL 321 Buddhism (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Study of Buddhism, its development, literature, and religious practices. We will begin with the life story of the Buddha and explore his teachings as they developed from their beginnings in Theravada and expanded as Mahayana, Vajrayana, Zen, and various other contemporary expressions.

REL 324 Islam and Buddhism (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
A constructive study of Buddhism and Islam, two dynamic world religions propagating differing world views. In the past, they have had historical interactions with one another. This course is an examination of their founders, their development, their major texts, their beliefs and rituals. Special attention is given to their historic collisions and to the manner in which they have met the challenges posed by the different cultural and geographic contexts they have encountered. Their contrasting appeals for contemporary Americans are considered.

REL 336 Zen (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
An inquiry into the complex nature of Zen--thought by some as the essence of Buddhism, by others as a Buddhist-Daoist hybrid-- this course focuses on the intellectual difficulties in understanding a teaching which represents itself as "beyond words and phrases."

PHILO 219 Chinese Philosophy (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Readings from the classics of Chinese philosophy found in Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist traditions.

PHILO 221 Indian Philosophy (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
This course begins with the root texts of the world’s oldest and longest continuously developed tradition of philosophical practice, questioning, and teaching, the Vedas and Upanishads. It continues with an examination of classic texts of influential Vedic schools–Samkhya, Yoga, Vedanta and Tantra–as well as of Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhist schools.· It explores historical and recent interactions with these traditions outside of their homeland, and the practical contemporary implications of their psychological, ethical and metaphysical positions.

AFPRL 220 African Spirituality in the Diaspora (3hrs., 3cr.)
An investigation into the nature and expression of unique ethos which made for survival of Afro-American humanity. This course helps to answer questions of cultural identity for people of African descent by demonstrating in what ways we are African, and looking at the results of the confrontation between African and European culture in New Europe.

REL 256 Afro-Caribbean Religions (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
This course is a survey of some of the most salient forms of African-based religions in the Caribbean and South America, and in New York City. The course will include some consideration of the transformations that have occurred in the journey of the belief systems from Africa to the New World, but the focus of the course will be on the integrity of the Afro-Caribbean forms of religion. The course will include not only attention to beliefs, but to art and ritual forms in which these religions have expressed themselves. In addition, the course will raise the question of the ongoing appeal of these religions.

REL 257 Religions of Ancient Central & South America (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
This class will explore a sample of the numerous pre-Columbian religious traditions of Mesoamerica, Central and South America. Using primary and secondary sources, we will examine how the inhabitants of these regions constructed and expressed their worldviews. One of the main questions to consider will be whether these religious traditions are products of cross-cultural or particular processes. We will also briefly address the contemporary manifestations of these traditions and their implications for modern populations.

REL 258 Religions of Early Europe (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Both Greek and Roman classical authors described the peoples north of the Danube Riveras “barbarians,” tribes uncultured and illiterate, warlike and unmatched in their banality. We know from what they left behind, however, that this was far from true. We know very little about the tribes of ancient Europe, and even less about their religious systems. This course, therefore, is a course in guesswork. We examine these early religious systems found in Europe, long before the classical Greeks, the Romans, and the Christian world redefined their existence, and attempt to consider them for what they actually were.

AFPRL 32200 - African World View: Philosophy and Symbolic Thought (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)|
Examination of African religious systems, metaphysical conceptions and philosophy.

AFPRL 323 Islam and Christianity in Africa (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
This course is designed as a panoramic survey of the effects of Islam and Christianity as they interact with traditional religious beliefs on the peoples of Africa. The course will start with the earliest contact of the Judeo-Christian religion with Africa, which, many people believe, dates back to the reign of King Solomon and the establishment of the Ethiopian Coptic Church. Special attention will be paid to some fundamental issues such as the rise of the nativistic (separatist, independent) churches, the phases of Islamic expansion and Islamic culture zones in Africa, and the religious life of African Muslims. We will examine the stance of Christianity and Islam on some basic issues such as race, social justice, and women's liberation.

AFPRL 36200 - Puerto Rican and Caribbean Religious Practices (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Reading knowledge of Spanish suggested. Analysis of roots of folk religion in Indian, African and Spanish cultures. Religious syncretisms, popular imagery and ritual practices.

AFPRL 420 The Black Church and Social Change (3hrs., 3cr.)
A historical and sociological examination of the evolution of the Black Church in the United States: the founders and their ideas, the dynamics of organization and the role of the church, over the years, in social change. An inquiry into the nature of the relationship between religious thought and revolution as a response to problems of colonialism, oppression and slavery.

REL 255 Religions of Two Gods (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
This course explores religious traditions which conceive of the world as constituted by mutually exclusive, and indeed antagonistic, realities. Gnosticism and Manichaeanism were once historically potent movements, but are no longer practiced. Others, like Zoroastrianism and Jainism, are not only of historical importance, but still claim adherents. Dualistic currents of thought also manifest themselves in non-dualistic contexts. This course examines the major historical dualistic religions--and some of theological dualism's historical and contemporary step-children--to understand what accounts for the appeal of dualistic understanding and to appreciate the motivations behind the lifestyles to which they have characteristically given rise.

REL 252 Ancient Near Eastern Religions (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
This course is a survey of the basic history and of the most significant aspects of the religions of the major Near Eastern peoples in the Bronze Age (8000BCE-3000 BCE), including the Egyptians, Sumerians, Babylonians, Hittites, Canaanites, and Israelites. The magnificent civilizations that they built had an enormous influence on subsequent human culture. This course is based on primary material, of both archeological and literary natures, and will discuss the most important texts produced by religious and secular sources.

REL 253 Abrahamic Religions (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Introduction to fundamental religious ideas in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, focusing on the essential sacred texts in the Bible and the Qur'an. Attention is given to the influence of dualistic thought from Zoroastrianism and Gnostic systems, and to some mystical and contemporary interpretations.

HIST 210 History of Judaism (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
An introduction survey of the development of the Jewish religious tradition from its origins to the present, with special attention to the interaction between Judaism and other civilizations, ancient, medieval, and modern, and to the role of Judaism in the formation of Christianity and of Islam.

HIST 309 Jewish History in the Ancient World (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
The Jewish people from origins to late antiquity; social, economic, and intellectual developments from the Biblical to the Talmudic periods. (Not open to freshmen.)

HEBR 290 Biblical Archeology (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Comprehensive study of ancient Israelite history as reflected in Biblical and ancient Near Eastern sources, and as illuminated by archeological discoveries in Israel and the Near East. Course begins with the patriarchal period and ends with the Israelite settlement of Canaan. Readings and lectures in English.

HEBR 286 Ancient Near Eastern Lit. and the Bible (3hrs., 3cr.)
Comparative study of ancient Near Eastern literature and the Hebrew Bible.

HEBR 259 Old Testament Religion (3hrs., 3cr.)
Comprehensive survey of ancient Israelite religious practice, expression and thought as reflected in Hebrew Bible.

HEBR 240 Introduction to the Old Testament (3hrs., 3cr.)
Survey of the books of the Old Testament, their form, content and cultural background. Introduction to the tools and methods of modern biblical criticism.

HEBR 294 Job, Ecclesiastes, Human Predicament (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Study of form, content and religious significance of these two enigmatic masterworks.

HEBR 292 The Hebrew Prophets (3hrs., 3cr.)
Study of phenomenon of prophecy in ancient Israel and its contribution to historical, ethical and religious thought. 

HIST 310 Jewish History in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods (3hrs., 3cr.)
The Jewish people from late antiquity to the 17th century; social and legal status under Islamic and Christian rulers; religious and intellectual movements. (Not open to freshmen.)

HIST 320 Jewish History in the Modern World (3hrs., 3cr.)
After describing the social, economic, and religious features of Jewish life in Christian and Muslim lands in the 15th-18th centuries, the course deals with the changes and crises in Jewish history during the modern era, political and economic forces on the Jewish people, the rise of Jewish nationalism, Zionism, and Jewish socialism, the spread of virulent anti-Semitism, and Jewish migrations to America and Palestine. The last part of the course focuses on the Nazi holocaust of World War II, the establishment of the state of Israel, and the condition of other Jewries at present.

REL 322 Islam (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
An introduction to the major concepts, practices, and texts of Islam, as well as an examination of the life and faith of the prophet Mohammed. A study of Islam's origin in its own sociocultural framework, its ideologies, ethos, and ethics, as well as its adaptive changes and reinterpretations in the course of history, including its status in the modern world as one of the most populous and wide-spread religions.

REL 32600 - Religious Meanings of the Qur’ān (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
This course introduces students to the study of the Qur’ān based on the traditional Islamic “sciences of the Qur’ān” (`Ulūm al-Qur’ān). Using an introductory text on the Qur’ānic sciences, the course will introduce the traditional areas of concern in the Qur’ānic sciences: the revelation, transmission, form, language and style, hermeneutics, and principles and types of exegesis. The course will continue by introducing students to representative examples of the types of material referred to in the textbook. This material is chosen on the basis of (1) interest, (2) accessibility (especially the availability of English translations) and (3) the ability to give students some exposure to the variety of styles and approaches to the material available in the literature, introducing the students to representative examples of the types of material referred to in the introductory text. This material provides students with illustrative exposure to both classical and modern Muslim approaches to the Qur’ān and its exegesis.

REL 337 Sufism (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Within the Muslim community, Sufism has been alternatively regaled as being profoundly un-Islamic and hailed as the completion of the Straight Path which is Islam, by supplementing right action and belief with matters of the heart. While considering the origins of Sufism within Islam, this course concentrates on Sufism in its integrity, focusing on the nature of Sufi path, its historical transformations, and its theological-doctrinal and metaphysic underpinnings. Thus, the course offers the student an opportunity to explore the continuities of Sufism with more conventional forms of Islam as well as its innovativeness, but importantly concentrates on an 'appreciation' of the Sufi path in its own right.

CLA 303 Religion of Ancient Greece (3hrs., 3cr.)
The nature of Greek mythology and its relationship to religious experiences and practices, oracles and mysteries. A study with modern theoretical analysis of official rites, family cults, private rituals, and the relations of all classical sources.

CLA 304 Pagans and Christians (3hrs., 3cr.)
Discussion of the various religious forces and ideas in the Later Roman Empire, both East and West; the collisions and compromises, the amalgams of religion and politics which influenced Christianity. Readings from primary sources, both pagan and Christian, both Eastern and Western, in translation.

REL 323 Christianity (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
This is a course on the doctrinal and liturgical components of Catholicism, the Eastern Church, and Protestantism. Major doctrinal and liturgical differences exist between these Christian groups and the goal of this course is to understand how this is possible. Major themes will include the "essence" of Christianity, the early Church controversies, Christian "tradition," and the basis for reformed doctrine. The focus of inquiry will be both theological and historical, beginning with the religious context for Christianity and ending with the reformations of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

REL 330 New Testament Religion (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
A scholarly consideration of the religion of the New Testament and earliest Christianity. Examination of the theological interest of the authors of the books of the New Testament in order to consider the major facets of New Testament religion: the mystery of Jesus Christ, Paul's mission and message, ethics, the relation to the Law of Judaism, salvation theology, and apocalyptic thinking. Reading in the New Testament and secondary sources.

REL 333 Christian Theology (W) (3hrs., 3cr,)
Every religious tradition pauses to reflect upon its central religious experience; "theology" is the articulate expression of this reflection. In this course, we will examine the Christian form of theology with regard to key doctrines in key works: the doctrines of Trinity, Incarnation, existence of God, and Grace – by way of a range of Christian theologians from the 5th century Agustine to the 20th century Barth.

HIST 314 Ancient and Medieval Christianity (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
A history of the Christian religion from the birth of Christ, ending before the Protestant Reformation. For the period after about 500 A.D., the course will focus primarily on the development of the Roman church in Western Europe. Our approach will be historical with the development of Christian theology viewed as response to the changing needs of the church over a long period of time. The history of church discipline and ecclesiastical institutions will be studied in the context of development of European civilization with emphasis on social, economic, and psychological impact of the church upon the people of the West.

HIST 31500 - Christianity in Modern Times (3hrs., 3cr.)
Transformation of Christianity since the Reformation, Enlightenment and modern political and intellectual challenges.

HIST 316 History of Religion in the United States (3hrs., 3cr.)
Selected topics in American religious history including the changes in European religions in an American environment; and the relationship of churches to other aspects of American history. (Not open to freshmen.)

REL 254 Tribal Religions: From Australia to the Americas (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
An examination of the traditional religions of Australia, the Pacific Islands, and North America. Study of the theological implications of myths and rituals (ideas of God, good and evil, humanity and the world), consideration of social values and the role of the individual in relation to the group, discussion of the meaning found in life and in death in traditional cultures.

REL 262 Special Topics: Religious Traditions (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Different topic each time offered. Specialized study of specific tradition or groups of religious traditions.

REL 362 Special Topics: Religious Traditions (W) (3hrs., 3cr.)
Different topic each time offered. Specialized study of specific tradition or groups of religious traditions.

REL 410 Independent Study in Religion (3 hrs., 3cr.)
Independent research and writing on a specific topic within the field under the supervision of a Religion professor. (Prereq: permission of Program Director; majors only.)

REL 450 Honors Seminar in Religion (3 hrs., 3cr.)
Specialized studies in Religion. Different topic each time offered. May be taken a second or third time with another subject. (Prereq: Five courses in Religion; Permission of Program Director required; for majors or CUNY-BA students focusing in religion only.)

REL 490 Honors Tutorial in Religion (3hrs., 3cr.)
Individual research and writing on a specific topic within the field under the direction of the Honors Committee of the Program in Religion. This course may be taken as a one semester 3 or 6 credit, or as two consecutive 3 credit courses. (Prereq: Permission of Program Director; majors only.)


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