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RELIGION (REL)


REL 106 - EXPLORING THE BIBLE

Prerequisite: None

An introductory study in which students gain an overview of the Bible, engage in literary analysis of Biblical texts and explore the Bible’s contemporary relevance. College-level writing skills are required. Meets Core credit for Religion.

Credit: 3


REL 107 - EXPLORING WORLD RELIGIONS

Prerequisite: None

An introductory exploration of historical developments, beliefs and practices in selected Eastern and Western world religious traditions. Since students will be introduced to methods for analyzing and interpreting sacred texts, college-level writing skills are required. Meets Core credit for Religion.

Credit: 3


REL 109 - EXPLORING CHRISTIAN ETHICS

Prerequisite: None

An introductory exploration of principles, movements and topics of Christian theological ethics. This course guides students through complex questions of moral reasoning and some of the Biblical, historical and theological resources used to address them. Topics may include immigration, homosexuality and same-sex marriage, forgiveness and reconciliation, justice, war, and abortion. College-level writing skills are required. Meets Core credit for Religion.

Credit: 3


REL 208 - EXPLORING CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

Prerequisite: None

An introduction to the central doctrines of the Christian faith that is both critically respectful of classic theological traditions and critically open to the new voices and emphases of recent theologies. Students will become familiar with systematic theological categories and develop interpretive skills through the careful reading, analysis and discussion of theological texts.

Credit: 3


REL 213 - LIFE AND LETTERS OF PAUL

Prerequisite: None

Examination of Saul/Paul through a careful study of the Book of Acts and the letters attributed to Paul, aided by useful secondary sources. Of interest are not only the social and theological concerns addressed by the apostle Paul but also the ways in which his teachings apply to the contemporary world.

Credit: 3


REL 214 - CHRISTIAN FORMATION & LIFE CALLING

Prerequisite: None

Investigates how Christians grow in faith, understanding and commitment, and considers how to encourage and nurture such growth. Explores the biblical, theological, historical and cultural foundations of Christian formation and life calling; identifies and analyzes specific practices and connections between Christian formation and other areas of the Christian life such as worship, service, and mission.

Credit: 3


REL 220 - TAKING HUMAN LIFE

Prerequisite: None

Deals with the questions of whether it is permissible to take human life and if so, what the conditions might be that warrant or limit such behavior. Examines the issues of euthanasia, abortion, capital punishment, suicide and warfare from literary, philosophical, social, scientific, and religious perspectives, mainly from the Judeo- Christian viewpoint. Meets Core credit for humanities.

Credit: 3


REL 231 - HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY TO THE REFORMATION

Prerequisite: REL 106

Focuses on the history of Christianity from the 1st to the middle of the 17th century. Emphasis will be primarily on the social context within which Christianity developed, and secondarily on Christian thought during the period.

Credit: 3


REL 232 - HISTORY OF MODERN CHRISTIANITY

Prerequisite: REL 106

Focuses on the history of Christianity from the mid-17th century to the present. Emphasis will be primarily on the social context within which modern Christianity developed, and secondarily on Christian thought through the period. Meets Core credit for humanities.

Credit: 3


REL 233 - HISTORY OF RELIGIONS IN AMERICA

Prerequisite: REL 106

Focuses on the history of religions in America from the mid-16th century to the present. Emphasis will be primarily on the social context within which American religions developed and secondarily on American religious thought during the period.

Credit: 3


REL 234 - HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN WORSHIP

Prerequisite: None

This course investigates the history of Christian worship from the New Testament church to the present day. The course will concentrate on the actual experience of worship for regular churchgoers and so will pay attention to material culture, art, music and architecture as well as the social, political, philosophical and theological contexts within which Christian worship developed.

Credit: 3


REL 240 - JEWISH RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS

Prerequisite: Core religion course

This course deals with a question that is central to all Jewish religious traditions: how do written and oral traditions combine to create the fabric of contemporary Jewish life? This question will be explored through selected Rabbinic writings and methods of Jewish Biblical interpretation, as well as distinctive Jewish religious practices and observances within the major movements in contemporary Judaism. Meets Core credit for humanities.

Credit: 3


REL 250 - UNDERSTANDING ISLAM

Prerequisite: None

An investigation of the basic beliefs and practices in Islam as they are understood and observed in various parts of the world. The course approaches Islam by focusing upon the ways that oral and written traditions combine with cultural factors to create the fabric of contemporary Islamic life. Topics include the foundations of Islam, the sources of legislation in Islam (Qur’an and Hadith), central ritual observances and social aspects of Islam in the contemporary world. Meets Core credit for humanities.

Credit: 3


REL 260 - SHORT TERM MISSIONS

Prerequisite: None

REL 260 explores the development, theology, and practice of international short-term, mission trips; introduces students to culture theory; and provides students with opportunities to develop skills in cross-cultural understanding and communication with particular cultures. Students will have opportunities to interview participants, organizers, and leaders in the STM field in person and/or through technology. Meets CCI credit when completing the course with instructor-approved short-term mission and the corresponding CCI narrative.

Credit: 3


REL 301 - TOPICS IN RELIGION

Prerequisite: None

An in-depth study of a particular topic in religion that is not covered in the regularly scheduled religion courses, for example, foundations for Biblical study in OT Hebrew and NT Greek, contemporary issues in political theology and selected theological themes. The course will feature frequent writing assignments and in-depth reading on the subject matter. May be repeated for credit as topics change.

Credit: 3


REL 304 - ADVANCED OLD TESTAMENT

Prerequisite: REL 106

An in-depth study of the Hebrew Scriptures focusing on selected sections and themes. Students will conduct literary analyses of OT texts while also examining ways in which narratives of the Hebrew Bible are used to formulate Jewish and Christian theology and ethics.

Credit: 3


REL 305 - ADVANCED NEW TESTAMENT

Prerequisite: REL 106

An in-depth study of the New Testament focusing on the four canonical Gospels. Students will conduct literary analyses of NT texts while also examining how these documents provide evidence for the early Jesus traditions and other developments in the early Christian communities.

Credit: 3


REL 307 - WORLD RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS: EAST AND WEST

Prerequisite: REL 106 or REL 107

An advanced inquiry into selected topics within Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Special focus will be placed on primary texts (the Tanakh, the Qur'an, the Bhagavad Gita and selected Buddhist scriptures) as we examine the world views and ethical teachings that have developed in each tradition.

Credit: 3


REL 308 - FAITH AND SOCIETY

Prerequisite: Core religion course

This course introduces students to several of the major, current topics within political theology--from liberalism's and democracy's champions and detractors, to the role of religious commitments in a pluralist society, to how the Bible is used and read differently in different political contexts, to questions of gender and post-colonialism. In addition, students will develop interpretive skills through the careful reading, analysis, and discussion of texts in contemporary political theology. Meets Core credit for humanities.

Credit: 3


REL 311 - YOUTH MINISTRY

Prerequisite: None

An examination of the characteristics of contemporary youth and youth culture including an analysis of the implications of these characteristics for the church. Emphasis is placed on the practical aspects of organizing, planning, and implementing church and para-church youth ministries.

Credit: 3


REL 320 - LEGACY OF PETER & PAUL IN ITALY

Prerequisite: None

This course combines the literary analysis of early Christian and medieval texts with an eight-day study abroad experience in Italy centering on the cities of Rome, Assisi and Florence. Students gain an understanding of major theological, historical and cultural developments within Roman Catholicism by focusing on the legacies of the apostles Peter and Paul, by tracing themes in the medieval Catholic church and by identifying ways in which these apostles and their writings continue to be relevant in contemporary times. Meets Core credit for humanities.

Credit: 3


REL 340 - RELIGION AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN AMERICA

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor when offered with a required service learning (SL) component

This course examines the involvement and non-involvement of churches and people of faith in the movement for civil rights in the United States. Contextualized in the History of America's racialized society, both African American and white religious responsibilities for, and responses to, social injustice are examined through the reading of autobiographies, primary documents, and secondary sources. Meets Core credit for humanities.

Credit: 3


REL 341 - WORLD CHRISTIANITY, CULTURE AND MISSION

Prerequisite: None

An exploration of post-colonial Christianity and Christianity outside the cultural west through the lenses of particular cultural contexts, culture theory, and the history, theology, and practice of Christian mission. Includes practicing skills for cultural proficiency and enabling students to become citizens aware of their global responsibilities.

Credit: 3


REL 375 - UNDERSTANDING ISRAEL

Prerequisite: None

A multi-disciplinary course which may be offered in conjunction with a trip to Israel that features the study of biblical geography; biblical history; the story of Christianity, Judaism and Islam in what is now the modern State of Israel; and contemporary social and political issues in Israel. Religion elective and/or Study Away/CCI. (Students who participate in the Israel trip and satisfactorily complete the CCI narrative receive CCI credit.)

Credit: 3


REL 400 - SEMINAR IN CHRISTIAN LITERATURE

Prerequisite: Core religion course

Acquaints the student with the rich heritage of Christian literature. Selected writings from the theological, devotional and general literary work of Christian writers are read and discussed.

Credit: 3


REL 401 - SEMINAR IN CHRISTIAN ETHICS

Prerequisite: REL 106 or REL 109

This is an advanced course in religious ethics focusing on primary source readings of Christian ethics in the 20th century from authors such as Niebuhr, Ramsey, Yoder, and Hauerwas, examining their methodologies, religious contexts, theological assumptions, and anthropological conclusions, and how these affect their treatment of particular issues.

Credit: 3


REL 404 - SEMINAR IN CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

Prerequisite: REL 106 or REL 109

The careful reading and interpretation of primary source materials in Christian theology. The goals are familiarization with contemporary Christian theology and the acquisition or sharpening of research and writing skills for use in future graduate work, pastoral ministry, or independent study.

Credit: 3


REL 497 - RELIGION THESIS SEMINAR

Prerequisite: Core religion course

A guided opportunity to research and write a paper on a topic of interest in their area of concentration.

Credit: 3