Undergraduate Catalog 2019-2021

RELI - Religion

RELI 1111 Intro to World Religion

A beginning study of major world religions, with focus on living aspects of traditional and modern religious movements.

3

RELI 3500 Buddhist Traditions in Asia

Buddhism from its origins in India and its thought, practices, and institutions in Asia up to the present.

3

RELI 3510 South Asian Buddhism

A broad introduction to Buddhism from its beginnings in India and its spread throughout South Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Nepal) in pre-modern times until the modern period.

3

RELI 3520 Tibetan Buddhism

Buddhism from its initial arrival into Tibet and its thought, practices, and institutions in Tibet and the Tibetan cultural area up to the present.

3

RELI 3530 Zen Buddhism

Zen Buddhism from its origins as Chan Buddhism in China to its transmission to Korea and Japan and the evolution of its thought, practices, and institutions in China, Korea, and Japan, and its coming to America.

3

RELI 3600 Hindu Religious Traditions

Hinduism from its origins in South Asia and its thought, practices, and institutions in South Asia and elsewhere up to the present.

3

RELI 3610 Religion, Media and Culture

This course will explore the varieties of media as vehicles for discussing, showcasing, or critiquing religion. This includes "the media" (news), media as platforms (print, TV, Web, etc.), and online religious practice. This course will address questions such as: Are regional variations of religion becoming more globalized? how do media shape the ways we view religious traditions outside our own? How do new methods of communications, socialization, and organization affect religious institutions or religious practice? Are all religious traditions able to have a "virtual" presense? Students will be blogging as well as writing traditional essays.

3

RELI 3700 Religion and Science Fiction

Science and religion have a historically contentious relationship, usually being posited as polar opposites: reason vs faith, rational through vs emotion, etc. Yet science fiction and religion come together quite easily and effectively, to discuss pertinent religious and ethical topics which speak to our present and future as humanity. From the progression of technology and medicin, to the possibilities of contact with alien civilizations, science fiction is perhaps the most effective literary genre for engaging discourses of religion and philosophy. This course will examine the relationship between science fiction and religion, exploring the common themes at which the two intersect and methods by which science fiction critiques, explores, or disseminates religious ideas through fiction, film, and other media.

3

RELI 3950 Special Topics

Consideration of topics in which courses are not otherwise offered, but for which there is current need.

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RELI 4105 Religion and the Body

Religion, arguably the most important element of culture, is often 'practiced," "enacted," or "performed" through physical means. This course will examine the role of the body in a number of traditions and contexts -- from how one dresses or gestures -- to less visible modes such as celibacy or ecstatic trance. The goal of this course is to consider the manifest ways in which the body is employed in religious traditions as well as look at individual traditions and case studies for specific examples of embodied religious practice. The first half of the course will look at broader themes of religion and the body (ritual, sexuality, performance, clothing, so forth). The second half of the course will focus on individual traditions or case studies, and a general introduction to each religion will be presented at the start of those weeks.

3

RELI 4110 Islam in the Modern World

Islam is the second largest religion in the world, and shares a rich history with the other Abrahamic faiths of the Middle East. Yet, it is frequently exotified or vilified, especially as it comes in conflict with "Western" culture -- despite the numerous contributions Islam has made to civilization, science, and art. This course will provide an introduction to Islam's history, beliefs, and practices, as well as examine the philosophy and literature of the tradition. We will be looking at imperialism, Orientalism, globalization, feminism, mysticism, and modernity as the tradition evolves and spreads into the global religion it is today.

3

RELI 4115 Liberation Theology

Liberation theology explores the relation between Christian theology and social justice. It is studying theology from the perspective of the oppressed and the disadvantaged. In this course we will look at various recent theologies of liberation: Latin American, Black, Feminist, and Queer.

3

RELI 4120 Economics of Buddhism

Buddhism has traditionally been viewed by many as the premier example of a "world renouncing" religion because of its monastic vows of voluntary poverty and charity. However, a critical examination of early Buddhist textual and archaeological evidence seems to reveal a much more sympathetic view towards the world of business and finance in ancient South Asia. We assess whether or not a liberal liberation theology has any impact on premodern market liberality. Class

3

RELI 4200 Myst, Magic and Ecstatic Rel

This course will look at the mystical side of religion, where the ecstatic and magical aspects are central to religious practice. From dance, to spirit possession, to euphoric trance, mysticism taps into the more embodied and esoteric sects of many world religions and native traditions. This course will be reading religious studies theorists in the area of ecstatic religion, as well as primary texts found in Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and other spiritual traditions.

3

RELI 4405 Comparative Religion

A comparative survey of major world religions through study of their scriptures and basic writings.

3

RELI 4940 Independent Study

Prior approval of department chairperson is required. Investigation of a topic of special interest, with reports to the instructor.

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