Course Schedule

Spring '20 Course Schedule


Spring '20 Upper Level Courses

Spring 2020 Upper-Level Course Offerings

REL 305: Ethnography of Religion (3h. General Credit) Dr. Carter Higgins.
Study of theory and method in ethnography of religion where students closely read ethnographies from a variety of cultures and discuss the practical, methodological, and ethical issues related to ethnography. Course culminates with students researching and writing their own ethnographies. (CD)

REL 313: Near Eastern Archaeology (3h Group I — Biblical Studies) Dr. Leann Pace.
Survey of 20th-century archaeology in the Near East with attention to its importance for Biblical studies.

REL 317: Wisdom Literature (3h Group I — Biblical Studies) Dr. Ken Hoglund.
Examines the development, literary characteristics, and theological contents of the works of ancient Israel’s sages.

REL 332: Religion and Public Engagement (3h. Group II — Religion, History, and Society) Drs. Stephen Boyd and Tanisha Ramachandran. Examines the interface between religious communities and the public sphere, and the potential for social change in contemporary global and local contexts through a range of readings, guest lectures, field trips, and films.  

REL 335: Religious Ethics and the Problem of War (3h. Group II — Religion, History, and Society) Dr. Simeon Ilesanmi.
Examines the causes and characteristics of war, various religious responses to it, and approaches to peacemaking, with attention to selected contemporary issues.

REL 349: Asian Meditation Practices (3h Group III — World Religions) Dr. Shawn Arthur.
Introduces and examines theoretical and practical aspects of various forms of Eastern meditation (Concentration, mindfulness, Zen, visualization, and moving energy work) from both practitioner and modern scientific perspectives. (CD)

REL 356: Modern Jewish Movements  (3h. Group II — Religion, History, and Society) Dr. Annalise Glauz-Todrank.
Examines modern Jewish movements from Isaac Luria’s system of Kabbalah in 16th century Palestine through Jewish Renewal in the contemporary United States. (CD)

REL 362A: Topics in Islam: Islamic Bioethics (3h. Group III—World Religions)  Dr. Nelly van Doorn-Harder.
Variable topics in Islamic history, thought, and/or practice. May be repeated for credit if topic varies. (CD)

REL 362B: Topics in Islam: Islam and Youth in Africa (3h. Group III–World Religions)  Dr. Kimberly Wortmann.
Variable topics in Islamic history, thought, and/or practice. May be repeated for credit if topic varies. (CD)

REL 373: Special Topics in African-American Religious Traditions: Black Religion & America.  (3h. Group II — Religion, History, and SocietyDr. Ron Neal.
This course examines the relationship between Black American religious traditions and the lives of prisoners. The writings of prisoners and ex-prisoners including Malcolm X and Eldrige Cleaver and the history of the Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola) will be mined for their religious content and concerns.   (CD)

REL 390A: Latin American Liberation Theologies. (3h. Group II — Religion, History, and Society)  Dr. Liz Gandolfo.
Latin American liberation theology is a body of religious thought that offers Christians and all people of goodwill both a prophetic critique of an unjust and violent status quo and a hopeful vision of a more just and peaceful future. This course engages students in a contextual and theological overview of Latin American liberation theologies and asks students to enter into critical and constructive dialogue with the relevance of this body of thought for their own contexts.

REL 390B: Beyond Drinking the Kool-Aid: Jonestown After 40 Years. (1.5h Group II — Religion, History, and Society)  Dr. Lynn Neal.
On November 18, 1978 over 900 people died in a murder-suicide at Jonestown in Guyana. Now over forty years later, many people only remember this group, Peoples Temple, and the event (if at all) through the cautionary phrase: “Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid.” This half-semester class goes beyond this superficial phrase and offers students the opportunity to do an in-depth examination of Jonestown’s history, theology, and cultural legacy through the vehicle of digital storytelling.

REL 399: Senior Colloquy. (1h General Credit) Dr. Mary Foskett.
This one-hour capstone course, required for senior majors, is structured around writing and reflection on the major through readings, discussions, and portfolio development. 

Fall '20 Course Schedule


Fall '20 Upper Level Courses


Fall 2020 Upper-Level Course Offerings

Religion 318: Feminist and Contemporary Interpretations of the New Testament
(3 hours, Group I—Biblical Studies) 
Dr. Mary Foskett
Study of feminist and contemporary approaches to the New Testament in light of the history of New Testament interpretation and a range of contemporary concerns and interpretive contexts.

Religion 331: Religion and Law
(3 hours, Group II—Religion, History, and Society)
Dr. Annalise Glauz-Todrank     
A study of religion and law as distinct yet interdependent spheres that influence cultural negotiations about authority, power, identity, and the regulation of society. The geographic and tradition-specific focus may vary with the instructor.

Religion 336: Religious Traditions and Human Rights
(3 hours, Group II—Religion, History, and Society)
Dr. Simeon Ilesanmi                                                                                                                       
Study of relationships and tensions between religious traditions and human rights, with illustrations from historical and contemporary issues and movements.

REL 369: Radical Christian Movements
(3 hours, Group II—Religion, History, and Society) 
Dr. Stephen Boyd
Study of selected radical movements in the Christian tradition and their relation to contemporary issues.

REL 374: Black Messiahs and Uncle Toms
(3 hours, Group II—Religion, History, and Society)
Dr. Ron Neal
Examines the cultural and religious history of black leadership in the United States. (CD)

REL 385: Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs
(3 hours, Group III—World Religions)
Dr. Tanisha Ramachandran
Examines the racialization of Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism in North America using a postcolonial and intersectional approach, (CD)

REL 390 A: Explorations in Buddhist-Christian Dialogue
(3 hours, Group III–World Religions)
Dr. Jay Ford
This course will explore the historical exchange between Buddhism and Christianity. Different in so many respects, these two traditions have participated in a vigorous and sustained dialogue for over five centuries and, as one scholar puts it, represent “one of the liveliest expressions of global interreligious dialogue today.”

REL 390 B: Environmental Ethics
(3 hours, Group II—Religion, History, and Society)
Dr. Luke Johnston
This course explores different religious and secular perspectives on human responsibilities to and the impacts on ecological systems. Contestations over these various commitments are highlighted.

REL 395: Exploring Interfaith Practice and Leadership.
(3 hours, General Credit) ONLINE COURSE
Dr. Nelly van Doorn-Harder and Dr. Leann Pace
This online course on interfaith leadership invites students to consider how they might engage most effectively with people from a variety of religious backgrounds.

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