Professors: Hughes, Gaber, Johnson (Chairperson)
Assistant Professor: Knauth
Part-time Instructors: Adams, Gilmore, McNassor
A major in Religion consists of 10 courses, including:
A. Two courses in comparative religions—REL 110 Introduction to World Religions,
plus one of the following:
REL 121 After Death and Dying
REL 210 Judaic Studies: From the Exodus to the Romans
REL 212 Islam
REL 225 Asian Religions
REL 320 Topics in Comparative Religions
HIST 232 The Rise of Islam
B. Two courses in analysis of scriptures—REL113 Old Testament Faith and History or
REL 114 New Testament Faith and History, plus one of the following:
REL 333 Old Testament Women
REL 337 Biblical Topics
REL 433 The Sayings of Jesus
C. One theology/ethics course selected from the following:
REL 211 Judaic Studies: Talmud to Today
REL 222 Protestantism in the Modern World
REL 230 Psychology of Religion
REL 331 Christian Social Ethics
PHIL 227 Religion & Reason
PHIL 228 Philosophy and the Environment
PHIL 302 Medieval Philosophy
No more than four 100 level courses may be applied toward the major,
and at least two courses must be numbered 320 or above. At least seven courses must be taken in the department. Up to three of the following courses may be counted toward fulfilling the major requirements: GRK 221, 222; HEBR 221, 222; HIST 232; PHIL 227, 228, 302.
Seniors must (1) select, expand upon, and submit for department review a significant paper, written in an upper-level course, that concerns theology or ethics, analysis of scriptures, or the comparative study of religion; and (2) submit a portfolio of writing during the first month of their final semester. The portfolio must include four major papers from Religion courses and an essay in self-understanding. (3) Seniors will also arrange an oral defense with the department faculty, consisting of an assessment interview occurring during the last two months of the final semester.
REL 120 is strongly recommended for pre-ministerial students after their first year, regardless of
The following Religion courses satisfy the cultural diversity requirement: REL 110, 210, 211, 212, 225, 226, 320, 323, 328, and 333.
The following courses, when scheduled as W courses, count toward the writing intensive requirement: REL 230, 323, 331, 333, 337, and 433.
A minor in Religion consists of one course from REL 110, 113 or 114 and four religion courses
numbered 200 or above. At least one course must be taken from REL 110, 210, 211, 212, 225, or
An interdisciplinary minor in Biblical Languages requires the completion of GRK 101, 102, HEBR 101, 102, and two from GRK 221, 222, HEBR 221, 222.
INTRODUCTION TO WORLD RELIGIONS
Designed for the beginning student, this course examines what it means to be religious, especially within the major traditions of the world. Issues addressed include the definition of religion, the meaning of ritual and symbolism, and ecstatic phenomena. Attention is paid to significant developments within the major religious traditions.
OLD TESTAMENT FAITH AND HISTORY
A critical examination of the literature within its historical setting and in the light of archaeological findings to show the faith and religious life of the Hebrew-Jewish community
in the Biblical period, and an introduction to the history of interpretation with an emphasis on contemporary Old Testament criticism and theology.
NEW TESTAMENT FAITH AND HISTORY
A critical examination of the literature within its historical setting to show the faith and religious life of the Christian community in the Biblical period, and an introduction to the history of interpretation with an emphasis on contemporary New Testament criticism and theology.
DEATH AND DYING
A study of death from personal, social and universal standpoints with emphasis upon what the dying may teach the living. Principal issues are the stages of dying, bereavement, suicide, funeral conduct, and the religious doctrines of death and immortality. Course includes, as optional, practical projects with terminal patients under professional supervision. Only one course from the combination of REL 120 and 121 may be used for distribution.
AFTER DEATH AND DYING
An examination of the question of life after death in terms of contemporary clinical studies, the New Testament resurrection narratives, the Asian doctrine of reincarnation, and the classical theological beliefs of providence and predestination. Prerequisite: REL 120 is recommended but not required. Only one course from the combination of REL 120 and 121 may be used for distribution. Alternate years.
JUDAIC STUDIES: FROM THE EXODUS TO THE ROMANS
An examination of the Jewish vision of the foundation stories, the history, and the impact of
events upon the Jewish world-view. The sources of the Bible are examined in detail, and the
changing self-perception of the Israelites is a major focus. Ultimately this period is formative in
what will become the Jewish People. Alternate years.
JUDAIC STUDIES: TALMUD TO TODAY
An examination of the development of Jewish traditions from the destruction of the second
temple in 70 C.E. to the present day. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between the
living situations of Jews in the Diaspora to the development of interpretation of Jewish law. Alternate years.
A comprehensive examination of the many religious dimensions of Islam, including the life of Muhammad, key textual sources such as the Quran and Hadith, basic beliefs and practices, Sufism, Muslim theology, differences between Sunni and Shi’ite interpretations of the faith, the historical evolution of Islam and its interaction with other cultures, and the theological and socio-political roots of the recent worldwide resurgence of Islam. Alternate years.
PROTESTANTISM IN THE MODERN WORLD
An examination of Protestant thought and life from Luther to the present against the backdrop of a culture rapidly changing from the 17th century scientific revolution to Marxism, Darwinism, and depth psychology. Special attention is paid to the constant interaction between Protestantism and the world in which it finds itself. Alternate years.
A phenomenological study of the basic content of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Chinese Taoism with special attention to social and political relations, mythical and aesthetic forms, and the East-West dialogue. Alternate years.
A study of the role of archaeology in reconstructing the world in which the Biblical literature originated with special attention given to archaeological results that throw light on the clarification of the Biblical text. Also, an introduction to basic archaeological method and a study in depth of several representative excavations along with the artifacts and material culture recovered from different historical periods.
EARLY HISTORY AND THEOLOGIES OF CHRISTIANITY
This course traces the development of Christianity from the early Jesus movements up to the post-Constantinian, institutional Church. Issues addressed include early apostolic preaching, the formation of the New Testament canon, the structuring of the community, and controversies regarding the person and nature of Christ, the trinity, the nature of salvation, and the sacraments.
PSYCHOLOGY OF RELIGION
A study into the broad insights of psychology in relation to the phenomena of religion and religious behavior. The course concentrates on religious experience or manifestations rather than concepts. Tentative solutions are sought to questions such as: What does it feel like to be religious or to have a religious experience? What is the religious function in human development? How does one think psychologically about theological problems? Alternate years.
TOPICS IN COMPARATIVE RELIGIONS
A topics course with a comparative religions focus. Prerequisite: REL 110. Topics will vary from year to year and may be repeated for credit with consent of instructor.
THE HELLENISTIC-ROMAN CULTURAL WORLD
A survey of historical, cultural, and religious aspects of the eastern Mediterranean world that helped shape the development of second-temple Judaism and early forms of Christianity. Topics include political history, patronage and other Roman social structures, education, rhetoric, literature, philosophy, and Hellenistic-Roman modes of religious expression, including Judaism, the mysteries, and imperial religion.
HISTORY AND CULTURE OF THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST
A study of the history and culture of Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Syria-Palestine, and Egypt from the rise of the Sumerian culture to Alexander the Great. Careful attention is given to the religious views prevalent in the ancient Near East as far as these views interacted with the culture and faith of the Biblical tradition.
CHRISTIAN SOCIAL ETHICS
A study of Christian ethics as a normative perspective for contemporary moral problems
with emphasis upon the interaction of law and religion, decision-making in the field of biomedical practice, and the reconstruction of society in a planetary civilization. Alternate
OLD TESTAMENT WOMEN
An in-depth study of a variety of biblical texts and themes relevant to the roles and character of women in the Old Testament, including selections from Genesis, Ruth, Esther, Song of Songs, Proverbs (esp. ch. 31), and the songs of Deborah and Miriam. Excerpts from the prophecies of Hosea and Ezekiel are also considered. Alternate years. Prerequisite: REL 113 or 114, or
consent of instructor.
An in-depth study of Biblical topics related to the Old and New Testaments. Recently offered
titles include Exodus, King David, Kingship Ideologies, and The Gospels of Mark and Thomas. Prerequisite: REL 113 or 114, or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit with consent of instructor when topics are different.
THE NATURE AND MISSION OF THE CHURCH
A study of the nature of the Church as “The People of God” with reference to the Biblical, Protestant, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic traditions.
Participation in an approved archaeological dig or field school program, usually in the Near East or Mediterranean region. Includes instruction in excavation techniques, recording and processing of artifacts. A survey of excavation and research and the use of archaeology as a tool for elucidating historical and cultural changes. Special fees apply. May Term or Summer Sessions only. Cross-listed as ANTH and as ARCH 401. Students desiring credit toward the Religion major or humanities distribution requirement should register for REL 401.
THE SAYINGS OF JESUS
An exploration of the ways in which early followers understood the nature and person of Jesus of Nazareth through their appropriation and interpretation of his teachings. An examination of the means and methods by which the teachings of Jesus were passed down from community to community and adapted to changing social and theological contexts in the first centuries of the Christian era. Prerequisite: REL 113 or 114, or consent of instructor. Alternate years.
INTERNSHIP (See index)
Interns in religion usually work in local churches, hospitals, or other religion-based organizations or programs under the supervision of the pastor, chaplain, or supervisor and a member of the faculty.
INDEPENDENT STUDY (See index)
Current study areas are in the Biblical languages, Biblical history and theology, Biblical archaeology, comparative religions, and the ethics of technology.
INDEPENDENT STUDY FOR DEPARTMENTAL HONORS (See index)
Greek, Hebrew, and Latin satisfy the Modern and Ancient Language Study distribution requirement, not the humanities distribution requirement.
Greek is not offered as a major. An interdisciplinary minor in Biblical Languages requires the completion of GRK 101, 102, HEBR 101, 102, and two from GRK 221, 222, HEBR 221, 222.
BIBLICAL GREEK GRAMMAR AND READINGS I
Fundamentals of Biblical Greek grammar, with an emphasis on the writings of the Greek New Testament. Alternate years.
BIBLICAL GREEK GRAMMAR AND READINGS II
Continuation of fundamentals of Biblical Greek grammar, with readings from selected passages of the Greek New Testament. Introduction to the use of lexicons, library resources, and the critical apparatus of the UBS Greek New Testament for word study and exegesis. Prerequisite: GRK 101 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Alternate years.
READINGS IN THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS
A comparative study of the synoptic tradition in Greek. Prerequisite: GRK 102 or equivalent.
READINGS IN THE PAULINE EPISTLES
Selected readings from the letters of Paul in Greek with a focus on the translation of one letter in its entirety. Prerequisite: GRK 221 or equivalent. Alternate years.
Hebrew is not offered as a major. An interdisciplinary minor in Biblical Languages requires the completion of GRK 101, 102, HEBR 101, 102, and two from GRK 221, 222, HEBR 221, 222.
BIBLICAL HEBREW GRAMMAR AND READINGS I
Fundamentals of Biblical Hebrew grammar and readings of selected passages of the Hebrew Bible. Alternate years.
BIBLICAL HEBREW GRAMMAR AND READINGS II
Continuation of fundamentals of Biblical Hebrew grammar and readings of selected passages of the Hebrew Bible. Introduction to the use of lexicons, library resources, and the critical apparatus of BHS for word study and exegesis. Prerequisite: HEBR 101 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Alternate years.
READINGS IN BIBLICAL HEBREW NARRATIVE
A critical reading of the Hebrew text of selected narrative portions of the Old Testament with special attention being given to exegetical questions. The texts read vary from year to year. Prerequisite: HEBR 102 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Alternate years.
READINGS IN THE PROPHETIC BOOKS AND WISDOM LITERATURE
A critical reading of the Hebrew text of selected portions of Old Testament prophecy and wisdom literature, with special attention being given to poetic texts and to exegetical questions. The texts read vary from year to year. Prerequisite: HEBR 221 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Alternate years.
Latin is not offered as a major.
LATIN GRAMMAR AND READINGS I
Fundamentals of classical Latin grammar and readings of selected passages from Latin authors.
LATIN GRAMMAR AND READINGS II
Continuation of fundamentals of classical Latin grammar and readings of selected passages from Latin authors. Prerequisite: LAT 101 or equivalent, or consent of instructor.
LATIN READINGS AND CULTURE I
Readings in a variety of classical Latin texts, including a brief grammar review. Prerequisite:
LAT 102 or equivalent, or consent of instructor.
LATIN READINGS AND CULTURE II
Readings in a variety of classical Latin texts, including the study of Latin inscriptions.
Prerequisite: LAT 221 or equivalent, or consent of instructor.