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This course examines the role of ethical theory in the development of bio-medical ethics. Topics will be analyzed from the perspective of the health care professional as well as the patient, and will include end-of-life care, genetics, reproductive technologies, and medical research. Cross-listed as NURS 330. Six credits.
This course will explore continuity and change in modern Indian religion. After an introduction to contemporary Indian secular democracy, we will explore traditional Indian religion as a living phenomenon and review basic elements of traditional Hinduism. We will examine the contribution of various change-makers to the evolution of Indian religious tradition and traditional Indian responses to the challenges created by Buddhism, Islam, British colonization, the partition of India, and Indian secular democracy itself. Through this examination, we will consider the influence of important modern Indian thinkers and modern Indian religious movements including India’s experience of fundamentalism. Prerequisite: RELS 110 or permission of the instructor. Six credits.
This course examines diverse images of the feminine, both human and divine, in the philosophy, mythology and experience of women in Hinduism and the Buddhism of India and Tibet. It concentrates on the roles of Hindu and Buddhist women by means of historical and phenomenological approaches, and it promotes reflection on the interaction of gender, culture and religious identity in these societies as well as in our own. Prerequisite: RELS 110 or 100 or WMNS 200. Cross-listed as WMNS 397. Three credits.
An examination of Mary in the New Testament and the development of ideas concerning her status as Mother of God. Students will explore depictions of Mary in art and literature, and examine the ways in these images have both shaped and reflected ideas about women. The continuing devotion to Mary in the modern world including ongoing interest in Marian shrines, apparitions, and movements will be discussed. Cross-listed as WMNS 323. (RELS 323 and 325 replace RELS 320.) Three credits.
This course investigates women’s participation in early Christian groups from the time of Jesus’ ministry to the 6th century. Christian women’s lives will be compared to those of women in Jewish and Greco-Roman societies. Students will analyze New Testament and other early Christian writings, read feminist scholarship, and examine such issues as women’s leadership and violence against women. Cross-listed as WMNS 325. (RELS 323 and 325 replace RELS 320.) Three credits.
In our time religion seems to be increasingly connected with violence, rather than peace. The course examines whether this is the case and whether there is an inherently violent element in religion, which has passed unnoticed until now. The course will use as its guide the thought of René Girard. The analyses will take us through Greek, Roman, Jewish, Christian and Islamic religions as a way to find the religious underpinnings to concepts such as sacrifice, scapegoating, lynching, and global violence. Prerequisite: RELS 100 or 110 or 120 or permission of the instructor. Three credits.
A study of the archeology of the ancient Near East, beginning with the emergence of farming around 8000 BCE, this course covers the birth of civilization in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) and Egypt (ca. 3100 BCE). It then traces the development of civilization in these two areas, as well as in Syria-Palestine, to the Iron Age, ca. 1200 BCE. Cross-listed as ANTH 360. Six credits.
Christians are to be united in faith, and yet there are divisions in Christianity. What are the doctrinal, historical and political issues still dividing Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant Christians? What concrete measures have been taken in the contemporary theological landscape towards the restoration of Christian unity? These issues will be studied in light of both official documents of various churches and contemporary grassroots movements. Three credits.
An introduction to the archeology and texts, especially the Bible, which are used to reconstruct aspects of the social, economic, and religious life of ancient Israel and Judah. Students will explore pertinent artifactual and textual evidence from ca. 1300 BCE to 100 CE, learning that archeological and biblical evidence must be treated with precision. Cross-listed as ANTH 360. Six credits.
This course explores the history of ancient Israel and Judah from their origin to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Students will examine the geography, culture, and historical milieu that gave rise to the Old Testament and Hebrew Scriptures, and discuss the major persons and events in ancient Israel and Judah. Six credits.
While many histories of Israel and Judah depend on biblical narratives, contemporary scholars question the use of the Bible as the principal source for understanding the social world of ancient Israel, and look instead to other Near Eastern texts and documents, and to archeology, anthropology, and sociology. This course will examine current debates on the place of biblical narratives, other ancient texts, and archeology in the study of ancient Israel and Judah. Three credits.
Examines the development of Christianity from its beginnings in the 1st century to its acceptance as the official religion of the Roman Empire in the 4th century. Students will learn about early Christian beliefs and practices, and explore the challenges faced by the first Christians. Topics include community organization, persecution, martyrdom, Gnosticism, and women in the church. (RELS 363 and 365 replace RELS 360.) Prerequisite: RELS 100 or 110 or 120. Three credits.
This course will focus on the spirituality of the formative years in the development of Christian thought, beginning with the legalization of Christianity in 313 CE and ending with the Reformation. Students will see how some of the most searching and intelligent men and women in both the western and eastern churches have wrestled with the question of how it is possible to know God. (RELS 363 and 365 replace RELS 360.) Three credits.
This course will explore the social and political dimensions of contemporary Islam. The current Islamic revival will be viewed within the context of renewal and reform in Islamic history. Students will analyze case studies (including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, and Pakistan) and examine such issues as the re-assertion of Islam in politics, Islamic fundamentalism, and the status of women in today’s Islam. Six credits.
A history of Christianity during the Reformation period. The course pays close attention to the transformation during this time of new Christian groups into the Anglican, Presbyterian, Mennonite, Baptists and Lutheran churches. Topics include Luther and Calvin, critical events, prominent Protestant women, and new creeds. (RELS 383 and 385 replace RELS 460). May be taken as credit in history. Prerequisite: One of RELS 100, 110, or 120. Three credits.
This course delves into the history of Christianity in North America from the colonial period to the 20th century. It covers revivalism, mission activity, the ecumenical movement, the charismatic movement, and the birth of new Christian churches. Other topics include the social gospel, the feminist movement within the churches, and the impact of Vatican II on North American Catholicism. (RELS 383 and 385 replace RELS 460.) Prerequisite: RELS 100 or 110 or 120. Three credits.