Spring 2024

Course Code Title/Instructor Meets
RELG 101-01 Religion: What it is, How it Works, Why it Matters
Instructor: Andrea Lieber
Course Description:
The course introduces students to methods in the study of religion and to major world religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The approach in the course is comparative and interdisciplinary.
03:00 PM-04:15 PM, MR
ALTHSE 207
RELG 107-01 Jews, Christians and Pagans in the Time of Jesus
Instructor: Peter Schadler
Course Description:
Cross-listed with JDST 107-01. A critical examination and attempt to understand the New Testament as the written traditions which articulated the faith, expectations, and actions of the early Christians as they responded within Jewish and Greek culture to the historical events of their day, and especially as they responded to the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth. This course is cross-listed as JDST 107.
12:30 PM-01:20 PM, MWF
EASTC 411
RELG 109-01 Religions of Asia
Instructor: Blayne Harcey
Course Description:
Topics that compare religions geographically (e.g., Religions of the Middle East; Religions of Asia; Religions of Africa), in terms of elements of religion (e.g., Myth and Ritual; Religious Experiences; Religion and Society), or in the ways that religions respond to contemporary issues (e.g., Religion and Capitalism; Religion and Race; Religion and Gender).
10:30 AM-11:45 AM, TR
EASTC 411
RELG 116-01 Religion, Nature, and the Environment
Instructor: Jodie Vann
Course Description:
This course explores how various religious and spiritual traditions have understood, conceptualized, and interacted with the natural world. Incorporating from both conventional religions (such as Catholicism, Judaism, and Buddhism) as well as newer spiritual forms (like Contemporary Paganism), the course provides a comparative survey of the relationships between religiosity and nature. Themes under examination include notions of human dominion, stewardship, panentheism, and naturalism. Students will consider how religious ideologies have shaped conceptions of nature, and how changing understandings of the natural world have challenged religious ideas.
09:00 AM-10:15 AM, TR
DENNY 311
RELG 240-01 Women, Gender and Judaism
Instructor: Andrea Lieber
Course Description:
Cross-listed with JDST 240-01 and WGSS 201-08. This course examines issues of gender in Jewish religion and culture. Starting with the representation of women in the Bible and other classical Jewish texts, we study the highly differentiated gender roles maintained by traditional Jewish culture, and examine the role American feminism has played in challenging those traditional roles. We will also study gender issues in contemporary Israeli society, such as the politics of marriage and divorce, public prayer and gender in the military. Some knowledge of Judaism and Jewish history is helpful, but not required as a prerequisite for this course. This course is cross-listed as JDST 240.
01:30 PM-02:45 PM, MR
ALTHSE 207
RELG 260-01 The Problem of Evil
Instructor: Peter Schadler
Course Description:
What is evil? Can people be evil? This course will examine a series of case studies in literature, history, and psychology as a means to considering the problem of evil, and religious responses to it. While Christian stories will feature prominently, we will also look at stories from other religious traditions, and what these have to say about evil and the turning away from it. Part of the goal of the course will be to try and understand why humans radically change their lives and how they respond to apparent instances of evil.
01:30 PM-02:45 PM, TF
DENNY 311
RELG 260-02 Dialogue and Difference
Instructor: Peter Schadler, Jeff Engelhardt
Course Description:
Cross-listed with PHIL 113-01.
10:30 AM-11:45 AM, TR
DENNY 110
RELG 318-01 Cults and Communes
Instructor: Jodie Vann
Course Description:
While the religious history of the U.S. is largely understood through a Christian lens, numerous experimental religious communities have also shaped our cultural landscape. In this course, well examine a broad selection of these communities, paying particular attention to the complex reasons for their emergence, their unique ideological characteristics, and in many cases, the factors and results of their ends. Students should expect to encounter somewhat familiar (that is, infamous) cults like Jonestown, but also less well-known groups such as the Unarians. Well explore such questions as: What contributes to a group or community being labeled as cult? What influences people to join and remain within fringe religious groups? Students may be surprised to learn the religious connections of some familiar cultural elements. Did you know, for example, that corn flakes cereal was invented to curb sexual urges? Or that the Lincolns held sances in the White House? Explore the weirder side of American religious history and gain a deeper understanding of the relationships between religion, culture, and American identity.
01:30 PM-04:30 PM, W
EASTC 108
RELG 500-01 Thesis in Religious Cults
Instructor: Jodie Vann
Course Description:

RELG 500-02 Scientific Dialogue in Religion and Spirituality
Instructor: Peter Schadler
Course Description:

RELG 550-01 The QAnon Conspiracy as a New Religious Movement
Instructor: Jodie Vann
Course Description:

RELG 550-02 Coming of Age on the Big Screen: Portrayal of Bar and Bat Mitzvahs in American Film and Television
Instructor: Andrea Lieber
Course Description: