Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies

Courses in Religious Studies

The Department offers a wide array of courses in Religious Studies to meet the various interests and needs of students. For the most updated information about course offerings, please consult the University course catalog and BenULive course schedule, or contact the Department.

 

Stained glass RELS 100 | Religion and Culture
An investigation of the ways in which myth, ritual, and the interpretation of scripture provides meaning and orientation for human life. 3 semester credit hours. Religious Studies Core Elective. Typically offered: Periodically.


RELS 105 | New Testament Greek I
Beginners introduction to the grammar and vocabulary of the original Greek text. 3 semester credit hours.


RELS 106 | New Testament Greek II
Continuation of RELS 105. Prerequisite: RELS 105. 3 semester credit hours.


RELS 110 | Ecclesiastical Latin I
A year-long introduction to the grammar and vocabulary needed to read the Latin of St. Jerome's Vulgate, liturgical and Medieval scholastic texts. Equivalent to 4 years of high school Latin. 3 semester credit hours.


RELS 111 | Ecclesiastical Latin II
Continuation of RELS 110. Prerequisite: RELS 110.  3 semester credit hours.


RELS 120 | Eastern Religious Traditions
This course will introduce the major religions of South, Southeast, and East Asia, and the interactions between them, focusing on the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and Sikh traditions, with mention of Islam, Asian Christianity, and Chinese religions. 3 semester hours. Religious Studies Core Elective. Periodically.


RELS 122 | The Baptism of Europe
Studies the development and Christianization of Europe in the Middle Ages (500-1500 A.D.). Drawing upon the resources of the Catholic and Benedictine traditions, the course explores the theme of "person in community" through social structures (religious, political, economic) and through the interactions and/or conflicts between people and cultures (Eastern and Western Christianity; Christianity, Judaism, Islam). 3 semester credit hours.

RELS 130 | Abrahamic Traditions
An introduction to the three western "Abrahamic" religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and their interactions. 3 semester credit hours. Religious Studies Core Elective. Typically offered: Periodically.

RELS 145 | Women in the Sacred Scriptures
An exploration of Christian and Jewish Scriptures (with some mention of the Scriptures of other religions), in particular those passages which emphasize women's faith, wisdom, and/or experience. 3 semester hours. Religious Studies Core Elective. Typically offered: Periodically.

RELS 150 | Introduction to the Bible I
A close reading of selections from the Christian Bible which examines historical background, literary composition, and general content of the books of the Hebrew Bible ("Old" Testament) and the New Testament. 3 semester hours. Religious Studies Core Elective. Annually.

RELS 151 | Introduction to the Bible II
Continuation of RELS 150. Prerequisite: RELS 150. 3 semester credit hours.

RELS 155 | New Testament

A reading of the New Testament designed to treat the historical background, literary composition, and theological meaning of the text. 3 semester credit hours. Religious Studies Core Elective. Typically offered: Periodically.

RELS 180 | The Divine Economy
A classic religious expression for bringing creation to full health is the unfolding of the drama of "divine economy" (oikonomia tou Theou), one mark of which is shared abundance. 3 semester credit hours. Religious Studies Core Elective. Typically offered: Annually.

RELS 191 | Selected Topics
Special topics on the introductory level. A topics course may apply toward divisional core. 1-3 semester credit hours. Religious Studies Core Elective. Typically offered: Fall and Spring Terms.

Stained glass window with Star of DavidRELS 200 | Abrahamic Sacred Scriptures
A comparative study of the sacred scriptures of Judaism (Tanakh), Christianity (Bible), and Islam (Qur'an), as interpreted by and used in the lives of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, respectively. 3 semester hours. Religious Studies Core Elective. Periodically.

RELS 220 | History of Christian Thought I
This overview of the Christian intellectual tradition studies the history of reflection on Christian faith from the first through the fifteenth century, as seen in the writings of representative figures. 3 semester credit hours. Religious Studies Core Elective. Typically offered: Fall Term, Odd Years.

RELS 221 | History of Christian Thought II
This overview of the Christian intellectual tradition studies the history of reflection on Christian faith from the sixteenth century to the present, as seen in the writings of representative figures. 3 semester credit hours. Religious Studies Core Elective. Typically offered: Spring Term, Even Years.


RELS 230 | Judaism

This course will introduce students to the practices, beliefs, literature, history, and diversity of Jews and Judaism, as well as to Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Muslim dialogue. 3 semester hours. Religious Studies Core Elective. Typically offered: Periodically.

RELS 235 | Islam
This course will introduce students to the practices, beliefs, literature, history, and diversity of Islam and Muslims throughout the world, as well as to Christian-Muslim dialogue. 3 semester hours. Religious Studies Core Elective. Periodically.

RELS 240 | Christian Worship
A historical, cultural, and theological examination of the diverse liturgical practices of Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant Christians. 3 semester credit hours. Religious Studies Core Elective. Typically offered: Periodically.

RELS 250 | Christian Ethics
An understanding of the distinctively Christian strategy of life based on readings of Christian scriptures and theological interpretations. 3 semester credit hours. Religious Studies Core Elective. Typically offered: Periodically.

RELS 251 | Christianity in Latin America
Examines the cultural, historical and religious traditions of Latin America and the impact of social change on religious beliefs and practices in the region. 3 semester credit hours.

RELS 265 | Eastern Christianity
History, theology, spirituality, and contemporary life of Eastern Christians, including the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches. 3 semester credit hours. Religious Studies Core Elective. Typically offered: Periodically.

RELS 270 | Roman Catholicism
Survey of Roman Catholic teachings, ethical principles, sacramental rituals, and structural organization. 3 semester credit hours.

Dome of the RockRELS 271 19th Century Church History
Studies the European Church's reaction to the French Revolution and scientific theories and the social questions of the 19th century. Analyzes the roots of contemporary developments in the church. 3 semester credit hours.

RELS 272 | 20th Century Church History
Analyzes the impact of 19th century developments, the world wars, decolonization, intellectual trends, and Vatican II's origins and results. 3 semester credit hours.


RELS 275 | Protestant Traditions
Survey of the fundamental principles of Protestant teaching as rooted in the German, Swiss, and English Reformations. 3 semester credit hours. Religious Studies Core Elective.


RELS 285 | Religion in America
Study of the prominent individuals, communities, movements, institutions and beliefs which make up the religious experience of North American people. 3 semester credit hours. Religious Studies Core Elective. Typically offered: Fall Term.

RELS 291 | Selected Topics
Special topics on the intermediate level. A topics course may apply toward divisional core. 3 semester credit hours. Religious Studies and Writing Intensive Course. Typically offered: Periodically.

RELS 350 | Christian Ethics
An understanding of the distinctively Christian strategy of life based on readings of Christian scriptures and theological interpretations. 3 semester credit hours.

RELS 385 | Religion In America
Study of the prominent individuals, communities, movements, institutions and beliefs which make up the religious experience of North American people. 3 semester credit hours.

RELS 391 | Selected Topics
Special topics on the advanced level. 3 semester credit hours.