Lower Division Courses
Spring 2010. An introduction to the variety of religious experience and expression, and the methods by which religion is studied. Topics may include: the relationship between faith and belief; the role of symbol, myth and ritual; the nature of religious authority; personal and non-personal models of the Ultimate; the function of sacred texts; the influence of religion on personal and social behavior; the challenge of religious pluralism and the impact of secularism. (HUMANITIES)
Spring. A thematic exploration of the nature and function of religion, using texts and insights from a variety of religious traditions. Topics may include the experience of the Sacred, the necessity of symbol and myth, the interpretation of sacred scriptures, the problem of evil, the "dark side" of religion, religion in American culture, the connections between the "religious" and the "secular", the catastrophe of relativism, and the possibilities for inter-religious conversation, understanding and appreciation. (HUMANITIES)
Fall. A survey of the books of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) in relation to their social, historical and cultural settings in the ancient Near East. In addition, the role and impact of that literature in Jewish and Christian faith communities are addressed. (HUMANITIES)
Spring. A survey of the books of the New Testament in relation to their socio-historical context within Jewish and Hellenistic culture. (HUMANITIES)
Fall. An introduction to the variety of religious experiences and expressions found in the Buddhist tradition, and the methods by which they are studied. Topics may include: the sense of 'religion' in Buddhism; the function of sacred scripture and its interpretation; the relation of ritual, practice and doctrine in comparison to Western religion; the place of the religious community in wider society; the rise of modernist interpretations of Buddhism in contemporary Asia and the West. (HUMANITIES and CULTURAL DIVERSITY)
Winter. An investigation of the similarities and differences in how theology and the sciences function, and an exploration of ways that conversation between them might be possible, encouraged and made mutually beneficial. The course examines the impact of such conversations in addressing shared, intertwined issues, such as ecological concerns, the understanding of the self, the nature of reality, the origin and diversity of life, and cosmic origins. Majors/minors in the sciences are especially invited to enroll. (HUMANITIES)
Fall, winter, spring. Prereq.: Permission. Research studies in religion for qualified students. This course will not fulfill the Liberal Arts Core requirement for independent work. See independent study guidelines.