Religion Course Descriptions

REL 100: Introduction to Religion
3 Semester Credit Hours

This course will formulate a definition of and reason for religion.  It will probe the way religions claim to “know” about the sacred, and the way that modernism has challenged these claims.  Religion will be examined from the perspectives of brain science, politics and social sciences.  Offered every semester.

REL 102: Survey of Christian Traditions
3 Semester Credit Hours

This is a survey of doctrines and concepts in the Christian religion.  Students will examine and critically evaluate the variety of Christian viewpoints about topics such as God, Jesus the Christ, salvation and eschatology. Offered every semester.

REL 251: Biblical Greek I
3 Semester Credit Hours

This course enables the student, after two semesters, to read most portions of the New Testament in its original language.  Emphasis is placed on Greek vocabulary and grammar.  Offered on an irregular basis.

REL 252: Biblical Greek II
3 Semester Credit Hours

A continuation of REL 2371.  Offered on an irregular basis.

REL 261: Biblical Hebrew I
3 Semester Credit Hours

This course enables the student, after two semesters, to read most portions of the Old Testament in its original language.  Emphasis is placed on Hebrew vocabulary and grammar.  Offered on an irregular basis.

REL 262: Biblical Hebrew II
3 Semester Credit Hours

A continuation of REL 261.   Offered on an irregular basis.

REL 300: Topics in Religion
1-3 Semester Credit Hours

This course permits advanced study of religion.  Subject matter will vary.  Topics might include courses in non-Christian religions or study of contemporary issues in religion.  Prerequisites:  REL 100 or permission of the instructor.  Offered on an irregular basis.

REL 303: The Bible in Its Context
3 Semester Credit Hours

This course surveys the entirety of the biblical canon in relation to its historical context as a foundation for considering the reading of biblical texts in contemporary contexts.  No prerequisites.  Offered in the Fall of even numbered years.

REL 340: Topics in Comparative Religion
3 Semester Credit Hours

An in-depth comparison of multiple religious traditions with a particular focus that will rotate between Food Traditions in Major World Religions, Pilgrimage in Asian Traditions, and Experiences of the Divine in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  No prerequisites.  Offered in the Spring of odd-numbered years.

REL 343: Abrahamic Faiths
3 Semester Credit Hours

This course is a study of the three great religious traditions that call Abraham their father, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This course is designed to highlight the diversity of human cultures and their response to the sacred as well as their interaction with the modern world. Prerequisite: REL 100 or 102.  Offered every Fall.

REL 344: Eastern Religious Traditions
3 Semester Credit Hours

The course provides an overview of Eastern religious traditions such as Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Chinese Religion, etc.  Differences and commonalities between these religious traditions will be explored through a critical examination of their ethical concepts and value systems, beliefs, and rituals. Offered every Spring.

REL 365: Selected Old Testament Writings
3 Semester Credit Hours

Selected texts from the Old  Testament. Offered in the Spring of even-numbered years on a rotation with REL 366 and REL 377.

REL 366: Selected New Testament Writings
3 Semester Credit Hours

This course permits advanced study of selected New Testament literature.  Topics might include an in-depth study of letters attributed to Paul, literary study of ancient narratives about Jesus, or research on the historical Jesus.  Offered in the Spring of even-numbered years on a rotation with REL 365 and REL 377.

REL 377: The Bible and Literature
3 Semester Credit Hours

Explores the Bible’s artistic value and some literary art that it has inspired.  Students will examine the major biblical genres, including creation myth, origin myth, lyric poetry, prophetic poetry, didactic parable and wisdom literature.  Students will study significant examples of western literature that reveal profound influence from biblical language, imagery, plots, or themes.  This combination of ancient, medieval and modern literature will stimulate consideration of historical and cultural factors that play a role in the production, preservation and transmission of literature.  Cross-listed with ENGL 377.  Prerequisite: REL 100 or permission of the instructor. Offered in the Spring of even-numbered years on a rotation with REL 365 and REL 366.

REL 381: Topics in Religion and Society: Religion and Pop Culture, Religion and Gender, OR Religion and Ecology
3 Semester Credit Hours

An exploration of the function of religion in its social context. The focus of this course will rotate between religion and gender, religion and ecology, and religion and popular culture. No prerequisites. Offered in the Fall of odd-numbered years.

REL 400: Religion Research
1-3 Semester Credit Hours

Supervised study and research in religion according to student needs.  Prerequisite: The consent of the instructor.