Religious Studies (RELI)

At Bucknell University, the academic study of Religious Studies focuses on the human quest for meaning, purpose, and value. Religious Studies courses explore the myriad ways humans have raised perennial questions about their own existence and their place in the wider compass of life, such as: Who am I? What is the good life? What is of greatest value to us collectively? What is my destiny? What is ultimately real? What constitutes truth and how do we know of it? To whom are we accountable? This academic approach also exposes students to the diverse ways humanity has sought to understand some of its most profound experiences and ideas (good and evil, suffering and redemption, beginnings and endings, personal and collective transformation). The exploration of these and other issues reveals different ways of experiencing the world; diverse religious expressions (mythic, symbolic, ritualistic, ethical, doctrinal) in various geographical, historical, and cultural contexts; transformative effects on the lives of individuals and on the patterns of common life; and distinct cosmologies and systems of value.

Religious Studies contributes to the formation of global citizens by giving them fundamental capacities of intercultural literacy. The skills and capabilities that students develop in the academic study of religion are therefore broadly applicable and are intimately related to the goals of other areas of study at Bucknell, not only in the humanities but also in management, the sciences, and engineering. Religious Studies offers close alignment with the general Bucknell goal of preparing students for a world that is both “globally interconnected and interdependent, yet divided” (“Background and Context” for the Strategic Plan, p. 5, bucknell.edu/Documents/President/StrategicPlan_Text.pdf).

The curriculum of the Religious Studies department helps students acquire the skills needed for fuller reflection on and comprehension of human nature, human history, and human existence in relation to diverse notions of the sacred. Students also learn about and assess institutional formations associated with traditions and world religions as well as the interrelation of religion with social, cultural and political developments. This curriculum reflects the strengths of the faculty of the department in both broad periodization and diverse subjects of concentration.

A major in Religious Studies provides the context for historical and conceptual engagement with some of the most profound ideas, thinkers, and questions that challenge humanity. Students develop a critical understanding of the diverse religious intentions, motivations, and inspirations of local communities as they respond to globalizing forces. Coursework in the discipline serves to provide students with an understanding of key approaches, concepts, and practices in the study of religion. Such study helps students acquire the skills needed for reflection upon the human quest for transformation and meaning.

Course Areas

Introductory Courses
RELI 100Introduction to Religion1
RELI 105Introduction to the Bible1
RELI 110Introduction to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam1
RELI/EAST 115Introduction to Asian Religions1
RELI 125Introduction to Ethics1
RELI 180Introduction to Religion in America1
"Western" Religious Traditions
RELI 205Hebrew1
RELI 209Israel: Land, People, and Tradition1
RELI 207Holocaust: (1) Event and Reception1
RELI 210Judaism1
RELI/WMST 211Women In Judaism1
RELI 212Christianity1
RELI 213God, Suffering, and Evil1
RELI 215Essentials of Christian Thought1
RELI 217Catholicism1
RELI 218Christian Ethics1
RELI 222Images of Jerusalem1
RELI 223History Western Religious Thought1
RELI 241Religion and the Loss of Traditional Faith1
RELI 242Religious Naturalism1
RELI 280/POLS 247Religion and Constitutional Law1
RELI 281Religion and American Politics1
RELI 307Post-biblical Literature1
RELI 311Spirituality and Mysticism1
RELI 315Topics in American Religion1
RELI 318Jewish Thought1
RELI 411/UNIV 327The Male Body in Judaism1
RELI 412Messianism and Madness1
"Non-Western" Religious Traditions
RELI 200/EAST 251Buddhism1
RELI 202Hinduism1
RELI 203Hinduism and Film1
RELI 243Religions of South Asia1
RELI/EAST 244Religions of East Asia1
RELI 245/EAST 252Religions of China1
RELI 246/EAST 253Religions of Japan1
RELI 247Epic India: Comics, Films, Text1
Religion, Culture, and Theory
RELI 214God, Nature, and Knowledge1
RELI 216/PHIL 223Philosophy of Religion1
RELI 226/ENST 236Environmental Ethics1
RELI 228Religions in the Modern World1
RELI 229The Ethics of Consumption1
RELI 230End of Nature, Posthuman Future1
RELI 235Religion and Popular Culture1
RELI 276Judaism and Masculinity1
RELI 279Judaism and Law1
RELI 316Topics in Religion and Culture1
RELI 317Cultivating the Self1
RELI 321Introduction to Jewish Law1
RELI 411/UNIV 327The Male Body in Judaism1
RELI 234Issues of Religion and Culture1
RELI 310Topics in Religion and Law1
RELI 237Judaism in Film1
Individual and Specialized Study of Religion
RELI 320Individual Studies In Religion.5-1
RELI 325Major Religious Thinkers1
RELI 330Theories of Religion1
RELI 350Honors Thesis1
RELI 400Senior Seminar - Culminating Experience1

Major in Religious Studies

The Religious Studies major consists of eight courses:

One or two introductory courses1-2
At least one “Western” Religious Traditions course
At least one “Non-Western” Religious Traditions course
At least one Religion, Culture, and Theory course
RELI 330Theories of Religion 11
A second 300-level course1
RELI 400Senior Seminar - Culminating Experience1
1

RELI 330 Theories of Religion and the CE senior seminar will address the writing, speaking, and information literacy requirements of the CCC. Requests for exemptions from one or more of these requirements will be considered by the department chair upon petition by the student major.

Religious Studies majors are encouraged to pursue off campus study either abroad or in approved domestic programs in order to broaden their understanding of religious pluralism both globally and in the United States. No more than two religion courses earned off campus may be used to meet the major requirements. Transfer students may appeal this restriction by writing to the chair of the department.

The Religious Studies department encourages majors to consider honors candidacy by completing an honors thesis in their final academic year. Students wishing to undertake an honors thesis should consult with their adviser in the fall semester of their junior year and declare their intentions and their thesis topic in the spring semester of their junior year.

Minor in Religious Studies

The minor in Religious Studies consists of any four courses, at least one of which must be an introductory course. Set forth below is a list of 100-level courses. All other applicable classes are found in the course list:

Select one or two of the following:
Introduction to Religion
Introduction to the Bible
Introduction to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
Introduction to Asian Religions
Introduction to Ethics
Introduction to Religion in America

In addition to the above described minor in religion, students may elect a minor in Jewish Studies.

Minor in Jewish Studies

The interdisciplinary minor in Jewish Studies consists of five courses from the lists below, comprising primarily "Core" courses or "Topics" courses in Jewish Studies with not more than one "Secondary" Course.

Core Courses

(The primary focus of which is Judaism.)

HEBR 101Beginning Modern Hebrew1
HEBR 102Beginning Modern Hebrew II1
HEBR 103Intermediate Hebrew I1
HEBR 104Intermediate Hebrew II1
HEBR/UNIV 236Israel: Literature, Film, Culture1
ENGL/UNIV 268Jewish-American Literature and Film1
RELI 205Hebrew1
RELI 207Holocaust: (1) Event and Reception1
RELI 209Israel: Land, People, and Tradition1
RELI 210Judaism1
RELI/WMST 211Women In Judaism1
RELI 222Images of Jerusalem1
RELI 307Post-biblical Literature1
RELI 318Jewish Thought1
RELI 321Introduction to Jewish Law1
RELI 411The Male Body in Judaism1
RELI 412Messianism and Madness1
PHIL 270Jewish Philosophy1
SOCI 409How Holocausts Happen1
SOCI 410Remember the Holocaust1
UNIV 327The Male Body in Judaism1

Secondary Courses

(The focus of which includes Judaism.)

RELI 105Introduction to the Bible1
RELI 110Introduction to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam1
PHIL 206Medieval Philosophy1
CLAS 218Roman History1
ARTH 221Visual Cultures of the Mediterranean 1 - 1000 CE1
CLAS 233The Age of Alexander the Great1
CLAS 251Biblical Archaeology1

Topics Courses

(When the focus of the course includes Judaism and the course has the approval of the Board of the Interdisciplinary Minor in Jewish Studies.)

HEBR/HUMN 215Hebrew Bible and Modern Literature1
HIST 245Topics in German History1
HIST 247Topics in European History1
PHIL 309Seminar in Historical Studies: Individual Philosophers1
RELI 223History Western Religious Thought1
RELI 228Religions in the Modern World1
RELI 315Topics in American Religion1
RELI 325Major Religious Thinkers1
RELI 326Major Religious Movements1
UNIV 200Integrative Perspectives Course1

Courses

RELI 100. Introduction to Religion. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course will introduce students to religious studies, and will examine such basic religious categories as history, myth, ritual, and text.

RELI 105. Introduction to the Bible. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Critical, literary, and historical analysis of Hebrew (Tanak) and Christian scriptures. Prerequisite: first-year or sophomore standing. Open to others by permission of the instructor.

RELI 110. Introduction to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
A comparative survey of the three major monotheistic traditions, including their histories, scriptures, beliefs, and practices. Attention also will be paid to issues that each tradition has faced in the modern world. Prerequisite: first-year or sophomore standing. Open to others by permission of the instructor.

RELI 115. Introduction to Asian Religions. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
A comparative study of the basic teachings and practices of Asian religions through lectures, discussions, readings, and films; inquiry into similarities and differences. Prerequisite: first-year or sophomore standing. Open to others by permission of the instructor.

RELI 125. Introduction to Ethics. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This introductory course in ethical reflection draws from a variety of religious and philosophical perspective to address a range of contemporary moral issues. Prerequisite: first-year or sophomore standing. Open to others by permission of the instructor.

RELI 150. Introduction to Religious Existentialism and Literature. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3
An introduction to some of the central religious questions associated with "Existentialism and Literature." A variety of literature (prose and poetry), film, and art will address the religious, philosophical, and psychological quandaries that have haunted human beings in their search for meaning.

RELI 180. Introduction to Religion in America. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course will examine the ways in which a wide variety of Americans have articulated and practiced their religious commitments. Prerequisite: first-year or sophomore standing. Open to others by permission of the instructor.

RELI 200. Buddhism. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Other:1
An interdisciplinary introduction to Buddhism, including basic teachings of liberation from suffering, impermanence, no-self, ethics, and meditation. Also explores the historical development of various streams of Buddhism in Asia and the West, with attention to the mutual influence between Buddhism and society, politics, and material culture. Crosslisted as EAST 251.

RELI 201. Islam. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
An overview of the many cultural expressions of this religion which emerged from the Arabian peninsula in the 6th century C.E. and spread through Eurasia to the larger world. The course will focus on the role of Muhammad as prophet, the Qur'an as scripture, and Hadith as religious narrative. The tensions between Law (Shar'iah), modernity and mysticism (Sufism) also will be explored.

RELI 202. Hinduism. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
A historical survey of the family of Hindu religious traditions. This course traces the development of Hindu scriptures, rituals, philosophies, and ethics from the ancient to the contemporary world. Concepts such as karma, yoga, and reincarnation will be put in the broader contexts of Hindu dharma (religious law), theism, and ritual.

RELI 203. Hinduism and Film. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
A survey of Indian cinema and Hinduism, exploring early Hindu mythological films, the underlying religious messages of popular "secular" films, and the influence of Hindu worship practices on Indian cinema.

RELI 205. Hebrew. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Essentials of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of Biblical Hebrew. Includes readings of narrative portions of the Hebrew Bible and additional texts in Hebrew.

RELI 207. Holocaust: (1) Event and Reception. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
During the Holocaust more than six million Jews, one third of the Jewish population of the world, were systematically killed. We study the event, reflections by major thinkers and scholars, and the aftermath of the Holocaust.

RELI 209. Israel: Land, People, and Tradition. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Spring Semester; Lecture hours:3
Study of the complex relationship between Judaism and the sacred traditions of the Jews as related to the Land of Israel including the cultural situation and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

RELI 210. Judaism. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
A survey of Jewish religious traditions, addressing major historical developments (e.g., biblical, rabbinic, and modern periods) and basic rituals and theological issues (e.g., "chosenness", covenant, salvation).

RELI 211. Women In Judaism. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Spring Semester; Lecture hours:3
Survey of Jewish texts and films that focus specifically on women or use feminine imagery; considers feminist and historical-critical interpretations of the evolving role of Jewish women. Crosslisted as WMST 211.

RELI 212. Christianity. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
A broad introduction to Christianity, including a survey of Christian scripture, various Christian doctrines and beliefs, and major traditions of thought and practice within Christianity.

RELI 213. God, Suffering, and Evil. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
An investigation into the problem suffering and evil pose for western religious and Christian reflection on the existence and nature of God.

RELI 214. God, Nature, and Knowledge. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Study of various philosophical, religious, and scientific theories regarding the concept of divine nature, human nature, and non-human nature.

RELI 215. Essentials of Christian Thought. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
A survey of major topics in Christian thought, including God, creation, human nature, sin, salvation, the Christian life, the church, the status of other religions, and the future of human history and the world.

RELI 216. Philosophy of Religion. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
Problems for rational inquiry arising from the claims and practices of religious faith, e.g., the nature of religious language, arguments for the existence of God, the concept of evil. Prerequisite: PHIL 100 or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as PHIL 223.

RELI 217. Catholicism. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
A broad survey of Roman Catholicism, including its main beliefs and practices, within the larger context of the history of Christianity and the history of Christian thought.

RELI 218. Christian Ethics. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Major trends in Christian ethics, with particular attention to the diversity of sources and methods used by Christian thinkers to reflect on moral issues.

RELI 219. Contemporary Religion: Race, Gender, and Sexuality. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Through historical, political, and sociological analysis, this course will study how sexuality, race, and gender issues are affecting contemporary religious thought. Crosslisted as WMST 219.

RELI 220. Comparative Ethics. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
An examination of the symbols, concepts, beliefs, and practices of a variety of religious traditions and their role in providing ethical guidance for human life. Special attention will be given to critical methods of comparative analysis and their application to diverse traditions.

RELI 221. God and Morality. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
An overview of Western religious ethics, focusing on the relation between religion and morality, the connection between ideas of human selfhood and moral goodness, and the uses of argument to justify religious and moral claims.

RELI 222. Images of Jerusalem. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
This is a writing class (W2) focusing on Jerusalem (Israel), its history, as a pilgrimage site, and the three Western religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) in the city.

RELI 223. History Western Religious Thought. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
A survey of the major religious ideas and problems which have shaped the Western intellectual tradition. Topics to be explored include conceptions of God, theories of human nature, and the relation between religious belief and cultural values.

RELI 224. Global Religions and the Politics of Pluralism. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
This interdisciplinary course explores the presence and practice of global relations and analyzes the cultural and political challenges of religious pluralism. Students will examine a wide variety of religious traditions, assess how minority religions negotiate issues of acculturation, and evaluate the political problems often created by religious diversity. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

RELI 225. Religion and Literature. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Examination of the religious, philosophical, and ethical quandaries confronting human beings through the study of literary works. Themes may include autobiography and the construction of identity; the nature of human freedom, love, and aspiration; the problems of evil, suffering, and alienation; the experience of moral conflict; and other topics.

RELI 226. Environmental Ethics. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
A survey of the major theories of environmental ethics, with particular attention to the challenge of developing an ethic commensurate with increasing human power. Crosslisted as ENST 236.

RELI 227. Bioethics: Issues in Ethics, Medicine, and the Life Sciences. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Systematic study of the moral and social implications of practices and developments in medicine and the life sciences including abortion, human experimentation, genetic intervention, behavioral control, death and dying.

RELI 228. Religions in the Modern World. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
An examination of how religious communities respond to contemporary issues such as nationalism, secularism, atheism, culture and history of a group. The formation of religious identities and institutions in contexts of cultural diversity and pluralism will be discussed.

RELI 229. The Ethics of Consumption. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
Analysis of ethical issues related to human consumption, such as world hunger, poverty, environmental destruction, and the effects of consumerism on human values and interactions.

RELI 230. End of Nature, Posthuman Future. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
Analysis of ethical issues related to human technological interventions (both environmental and medical), and their implications for our changing conceptions of nature and human nature.

RELI 233. Global Feminism and Religion. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
This course examines the relationship between developments in feminist thought and movements in various parts of the world and the array of religious ideologies and practices in those societies. Crosslisted as WMST 233.

RELI 234. Issues of Religion and Culture. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3,Other:1; Repeatable
Focus on interdependence of religion and cultural phenomena: ideology; alienation; formation of world view; understandings of time and space; relation between church and state; faith and science.

RELI 235. Religion and Popular Culture. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course examines the relationship of religion to contemporary popular culture, both in how religion is portrayed (in music, movies, sports, and consumer culture) and how it is replicated (in ritual, myth, and morality).

RELI 237. Judaism in Film. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
This is an introduction to Judaism in Film. Judaism has been characterized as a culture, a civilization, a philosophy, a nation, an ethnic group, and a religion. In this introductory class we will discuss ritual, ethical and historical issues.

RELI 239. Queering (Christian) Theology. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
This course explores the relationship between queer theories, sexuality studies, and Christian theology. In addition to the concepts of gender, race and sexuality, it offers a survey of major topics in Christian thought, including God, love, justice, sin, and salvation. Crosslisted as WMST 239.

RELI 240. Perspectives in Religion and Science. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Survey of theories, topics, and problems involved in understanding the historically evolved and complex relationship between western religion and science and their respective truth claims.

RELI 241. Religion and the Loss of Traditional Faith. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Examination of new approaches (linguistical, philosophical, and hermeneutical) that challenge traditional Western religious ideas and the role of faith in contemporary world. Emphasis is on intersection of religion and critical theory.

RELI 242. Religious Naturalism. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
This course will examine some of the diverse perspectives and ideas associated with religious naturalism. Students will explore the ways religious naturalists reconceptualize traditional concepts (God or supernatural theism), and examine their various approaches to understanding evil, morality, human nature, and humans' connectivity to nature.

RELI 243. Religions of South Asia. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Focused study of one or more South Asian religious traditions. This course centers on South Asian religions and on topics that may include, but will not be limited to: Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Islam in Pakistan and India, and Buddhism in Tibet, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

RELI 244. Religions of East Asia. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
Focused study on one or more East Asian religious traditions. This course centers on religions and on topics that may include, but will not be limited to: Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, Shinto, and new East Asian religious movements. Crosslisted as EAST 244.

RELI 245. Religions of China. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
An introduction to the religious traditions of China through study of their origins, basic beliefs, practices and values, historical development, as well as their interaction and involvement with politics, culture, society and each other. Focus on the three major traditions - Confucianism, Daoism, and Chinese Buddhism. Crosslisted as EAST 252.

RELI 246. Religions of Japan. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Other:1
An introduction to the religious traditions of Japan through study of their origins, basic beliefs, practices and values, historical development, as well as their interaction and involvement with politics, culture, society, and each other. Focus on Shinto and the various forms of Japanese Buddhism. Crosslisted as EAST 253.

RELI 247. Epic India: Comics, Films, Text. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
Survey of the great Indian religious epics, focusing on the place of these stories in classical India, and how they are retold in new times and places as they are recast in new media.

RELI 248. Religions of the African Diaspora. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
This course examines the historical development of African-derived or African-inspired religions in the African diaspora, including in the United States. It also examines the expansion and appropriation of major world religions into particular African diaspora communities. Crosslisted as WMST 248.

RELI 249. Pilgrimage in South Asia. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Spring Semester; Lecture hours:3
An exploration of the sacred spaces of South Asia and the religious journeying practices of Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and others in the Indian subcontinent.

RELI 276. Judaism and Masculinity. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Theories of Judaism masculinity and maleness appiled to the bodies of atheletes; Jewish/Black bodies; the body of soldiers; stereotyping; human and divine bodies; Jewish feet, nose, ideal bodies.

RELI 279. Judaism and Law. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Explores the cultural and ethical complexities of Jewish Law in the U.S., Europe, and the unique legal system of the state of Israel.

RELI 280. Religion and Constitutional Law. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
This course explores the developing relationship between religion and American constitutional law, focusing on historic documents and Supreme Court decisions relating to the First Amendment.

RELI 281. Religion and American Politics. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course explores the historical relationship of religion and American politics, focusing on the impact of religion in both domestic and foreign policy.

RELI 307. Post-biblical Literature. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
A survey of Jewish post-biblical literature and thought which may include one or more of the following: the literature of the Second Temple period and rabbinic literature (Pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls, Targum, Josephus, Mishnah-Tosefta, Midrash, Talmud, as well as contemporary phenomena) in their religious, historical, literary, and cultural contexts. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as UNIV 307.

RELI 310. Topics in Religion and Law. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
This course will examine aspects of the relationship between religion and law in global, regional, tradition-based, and/or historical contexts. Prerequisite: junior or senior status only. Open to others by permission of the instructor.

RELI 311. Spirituality and Mysticism. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
This course studies the nature, role and meaning of mysticism and spirituality for Western audiences by focusing on different models, practices, and accounts. We will examine the social/cultural variables that influence mystical quests; concepts of truth, reality, and transcendence implied in diverse mystical experiences and spiritual practices; and the role of the body in spiritual practices. Prerequisite: not open to first-year students.

RELI 315. Topics in American Religion. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
This course will examine specific topics in American religion including in-depth analyses of religious movements and traditions in America. Prerequisite: junior or senior status only. Open to others by permission of the instructor.

RELI 316. Topics in Religion and Culture. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
This course will examine the interrelation between religion and cultural phenomena in diverse contexts of human experience. Prerequisite: junior or senior status only. Open to others by permission of the instructor.

RELI 317. Cultivating the Self. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course is an upper-level seminar on the idea of self-cultivation as a central theme in religious and philosophical reflection. Students will explore different meanings of the idea of self-cultivation as a practice of training the self's energies to attain an ideal of human excellence in a variety of traditions (including, e.g., Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and western philosophical perspectives). Prerequisite: junior or senior status only. Open to others by permission of the instructor.

RELI 318. Jewish Thought. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3
Text-based class: cultural influences upon Jewish thought and practice in major Jewish books, traditional and contemporary Judaism, from Philo to Derrida: Human existence and identity.

RELI 320. Individual Studies In Religion. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:Varies; Repeatable
Guided investigations. Open to qualified students with some previous study of religion who wish to pursue individual programs of study in the field. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

RELI 321. Introduction to Jewish Law. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3
Jewish law: function, ethical and philosophical principles. Major sources: Bible, Rabbinics, Interpretations (Commentaries & Codifications), science. Applications to contemporary legal issues.

RELI 325. Major Religious Thinkers. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
The thought, historical setting, and influence of one or more classical religious thinkers, e.g., Paul the Apostle, Augustine, Kierkegaard, Confucius, Rosenzweig, Gandhi.

RELI 326. Major Religious Movements. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Origins, beliefs, and significance of selected religious communities and movements, e.g., Mysticism, Modern Catholicism, Evangelicalism, Monasticism, Religious Socialism.

RELI 330. Theories of Religion. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
An exploration of theoretical models and methods employed in the study of religion. Readings will be from major texts, which may include sociological, psychological, anthropological, and phenomenological approaches, along with recent challenges to such theories from thinkers of feminist, postmodern, and postcolonial perspectives. Prerequisite: junior or senior status only. Open to others by permission of the instructor.

RELI 350. Honors Thesis. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Honors thesis. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

RELI 400. Senior Seminar - Culminating Experience. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
The Senior Seminar (a one-semester topical course) is required for all majors in Religious Studies, and is designed to give majors an opportunity to integrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired, and to hone their research, writing, and oral skills, through the production of a significant research project. Prerequisites: open to seniors in Religious Studies only.

RELI 411. The Male Body in Judaism. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
Investigates the male body from Jewish and comparative perspectives: the body of athletes; Jewish/Black relations; theories of masculinity; the body of soldiers; stereotyping; human and divine bodies. Prerequisites: junior or senior status and permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as UNIV 327.

RELI 412. Messianism and Madness. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3
Judaism and Jewish sectarianism include numerous Messianic figures: from Jesus to Messiah Ephraim; Shabbetai Zvi; Zionism; kabbalistic, midrashic, philosophical, Hassidic, and contemporary ideas of redemption.

Faculty

Professors: Maria A. Antonaccio, Rivka Ulmer, Carol Wayne White

Associate Professor: Karline M. McLain (Chair)

Assistant Professors: Brantley Gasaway, Stuart Young

Visiting Assistant Professor: Andrew Black