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Religion Curriculum


The religion major provides students with a foundation in the study of religious traditions and in the analysis of the complex roles religion has played and continues to play in world cultures.

10 courses 

Three methodological courses:  any 100-level RELG course,  RELG
410 (Interpreting Religion), and RELG 490 (The Senior seminar)

Two courses in Western traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)

Two courses in other religious traditions (e.g., Hinduism, Buddhism, Native American religions)

Three courses focusing on a particular religious tradition, related religious texts, or the cultural dynamics shaped by religion


Six courses including any 100-level RELG course and RELG 410 (Interpreting Religion)

Suggested curricular flow through the major

The Religion major may be completed in a variety of ways. While there are several core courses that develop foundational knowledge in key areas, the flexible curriculum gives you the freedom to focus on the area of study you find most compelling. We ask that you take at least one course at the 100 level, that you take at least two courses involving Western religious traditions (Christianity, Judaism, or Islam) and two in other traditions, that you take three courses on a particular tradition or on a particular theme, and finish with the two senior seminars (410 and 490). Some courses may count for more than one of these requirements, and there is no prescribed order. You will work closely with your departmental faculty advisor to design your major.

The following suggested program is just one example of how a student with a special interest in Asian religion might fulfill the major requirements over four years.

First Year
RELG 101
RELG 222

Sophomore Year
RELG 117
RELG 221
RELG 207
RELG 301

Junior Year
RELG 303
RELG 311
RELG 326
RELG 329

Senior Year
RELG 309
RELG 330
RELG 410
RELG 490

For information regarding the suggested guidelines, please feel free to contact a Religion faculty member.

Independent study and independent research

According to their special interests, students often develop and pursue Independent Study projects with members of the faculty. Among the projects recently undertaken have been Liberation Theology in Latin America, Abraham and Monotheism, The Hindu Temple, Martin Luther King, Jr., C. S. Lewis, Hopi Kachinas, Tibetan Views on Death, Spirituality and Activism, Women and Religion, and Philosophical Theology.


Students are eligible for Honors in Religion if they (1) complete the courses in the Religion major with at least a 3.25 GPA and (2) complete a thesis in the Senior Seminar (RELG 490) that in the opinion of the Department is an exemplary piece of academic writing.

Students who wish to complete a more in-depth project may register for RELG 550 (independent research) in the fall of their senior year and continue the work on this project during the Senior Seminar in the spring.

Opportunities for off-campus study

Students have regularly taken Junior Year Abroad programs in Scotland, England, Germany, France and Israel. The college also participates in the CIEE Program in Hyderabad, India.


All 100-level courses, regardless of their specific content, provide students with a basic introduction to the academic study of religion. Sophomores and juniors may take a 200-level course as their first course in religion, and seniors are encouraged to begin at this level. 200-level courses are more specific than 100-level courses but are not necessarily more difficult. 300-level courses are discussion-oriented seminars open to students who either have at least one previous course in religion, have junior or senior status, or have the permission of the instructor.

101 Religion: What it is, How it Works, Why it Matters
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.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, Global Diversity, Humanities

107 Jews, Christians and Pagans in the Time of Jesus
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.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, Humanities, Judaic Studies Elective, Religion - Western Traditions

108 God in America
The course chronicles the relationship between religious ideas and cultural context from the founding of the first colonies through the rise of the Religious Right and New Age movements. Our journey will be guided by several key metaphors that have characterized the religious ethos of America: America as "The Promised Land"; America as the "land of opportunity", as the "melting pot." We will use primary sources, including fiction, poetry, and film.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, Humanities, Religion - Western Traditions, US Diversity

109 Topics in Comparative Religion
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).
Attributes: Humanities

111 From Abraham to Al-Qaeda: Jews, Christians, and Muslims from their Origins to the Present
This course will survey relations between Jews, Christians, and Muslims, from their origins up to the present day, with heavy attention to the premodern period, and to those areas under the political control of Muslims. We will, however, also consider the relations between these three in the modern period, and how the beliefs of these three groups have coincided and collided to generate specific tensions between them.
Attributes: Global Diversity, Humanities, INST Middle East/N Africa Crse, MEMS Elective, Middle East Humanities, Social Sciences, Sustainability Connections

112 Religion & the Internet
Religion is everywhere on the web. How do online religious communities and social media reshape traditional religious identities and practices such as prayer, meditation, evangelism and pilgrimage? How are traditional religious institutions responding to the challenges and possibilities presented by technology? How are traditional systems of authority being challenged in an age when access to information is more democratic than ever? In this course, we will explore these questions, and engage with the many theoretical parallels between religious systems and life in the digital age.
Attributes: Humanities

116 Religion, Nature, and the Environment
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.
Attributes: ENST Humanities/Arts (ESHA), Humanities, Religion - Other Traditions, Sustainability Investigations

117 Religion and Contemporary Issues
Religion remains a very strong force in the contemporary world and most people are guided in their moral decision-making by the principles of their faiths. In this course, students will learn about the nuances of several issues of great current importance and will explore the ways in which the important values of the world’s major religious traditions have been brought to bear on them. Topics may vary from one iteration to the next, but will include issues such as globalization, war, terrorism, ecology, animal rights, abortion, euthanasia, suicide, capital punishment, incarceration, sexual orientation, or the good society.
Attributes: Global Diversity, Humanities, Religion - Other Traditions

127 Spiritual Dimensions of Healing
The effect of the mind on the body, long a principle of systems of healing around the globe, is again being recognized in modern medicine. This course will be concerned with "integrative medicine" and related topics, such as ancient systems of healing, shamanism in contemporary cultures, the relationship between religious faith and recovery from illness, the appropriation of traditional healing methods by medical professionals and New Age alternative healing practitioners, yoga, meditation and health, the Holistic Medicine movement in the West, and the Positive Psychology movement in the West.
Offered every two years.
Attributes: Global Diversity, Humanities, NRSC Non-Div 3 Elective, Religion - Other Traditions

203 Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament in Context
A critical examination and attempt to understand the literature and the antecedent traditions remembered and formulated by the ancient Israelites in terms of their own views of God. This literature is interpreted in the context of events and cultures of the ancient Near East.
This course is cross-listed as JDST 203.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, Humanities, Judaic Studies Elective, Religion - Western Traditions

204 Judaism
A basic course in the history, basic beliefs and practices, and modern manifestations of Judaism as a religion. The course concerns itself with the interactions of Judaism and other world religions, notably Christianity.
This course is cross-listed as JDST 204.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, Humanities, INST Middle East/N Africa Crse, Judaic Studies Elective, Religion - Western Traditions

206 Jews and Judaism in the United States
Traces the history of Jewish immigration to America and how the American experience has produced and nurtured new forms of Judaism, notably Reform and Conservative. The course concentrates on the last hundred years of American history and includes such topics as anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and Israel.
This course is cross-listed as JDST 206.
Attributes: AMST Representation Elective, AMST Struct & Instit Elective, Appropriate for First-Year, Humanities, Religion - Western Traditions, US Diversity

209 The Age of Faith: Medieval Europe Between Church and State
This survey course will study the development of European civilization during the period c.400 to 1500 with special attention to the rise of the papacy and religious conflict. It will consider the impact of such events as the decline of the Roman Empire, the Germanic invasions, the development of Christianity and the Church, the emergence of feudalism, the expansion of Islam and the Crusades, and the creation of romantic literature.
Attributes: Humanities, INST European Course, MEMS Elective, Social Sciences

211 Religion, Fantasy, and Science Fiction
An exploration of the religious and mythological dimensions of traditional and modern fantasy literature. Our explorations will be guided by three interdependent themes: the nature of the divine, the nature of the human, and the nature of the moral life.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, Humanities, Religion - Western Traditions

212 History of Christianity: From Margin to Center
The course traces the emergence of Christianity from its beginnings as a minority sect in the first century to the height of its influence in the 14th century. Special attention will be given to cultural and aesthetic influences on the emerging Church.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, Humanities, MEMS Elective, Religion - Western Traditions

215 Jewish Environmental Ethics
Since the 1960's many writers on environmental issues have blamed our contemporary environmental crises in part on a so-called "Judeo-Christian" worldview, rooted in the Hebrew Bible. Such writers assert that the biblical heritage shared by these two religious traditions advocates an unhealthy relationship between humanity and nature, one in which human beings are destined to conquer the earth and master it. In this course we will explore Jewish perspectives on nature and the natural world through close readings of biblical and other classical Jewish theology, history and ritual practice, we will also examine the ways in which this motif is re-conceptualized in modern secular contexts (ie, Zionism, and the kibbutz movement). We will conclude by studying contemporary varieties of Jewish environmental advocacy. In addition to texts focused specifically on Judeo-Christian traditions, the syllabus will include other classic works of Environmental ethics foundational to the field of Environmental studies.
Offered every three years in rotation with the offering of ENST 111. This course is cross-listed as JDST 215.
Attributes: ENST Humanities/Arts (ESHA), Ethics Elective, Humanities, Judaic Studies Elective, LAWP Ethics Elective, Religion - Western Traditions, Service Learning

216 Native American Religions
A survey of some major religious phenomena in the relatively recent histories of selected Native American traditions with emphasis on the tribal religions of North America and the religions of the civilizations of Mexico and Central America.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, ENST Humanities/Arts (ESHA), Humanities, Religion - Other Traditions

218 Religion and Popular Culture
This course examines various dimensions of the relationship between religion and popular culture in the U.S. Increasingly, peoples’ ideas about reality, moral systems, and identity are as impacted by pop culture as they are by traditional modes of religious meaning-making. Using film, television, theater, music, the internet, and more as primary sources, students will develop critical skills for thoughtful engagement of contemporary cultural landscapes. They will do so by applying cultural studies approaches including feminist theory, critical race theory, performance theory, and more to these familiar sources.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences

219 History of the Jews
Willing or not, Jews have participated in world history since the dawn of civilization in the Middle East, ca. 3000 b.c.e. This course surveys the part Jews have played, concentrating on the interplay between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
This course is cross-listed as JDST 219.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, Humanities, Religion - Western Traditions

221 Hinduism
A study of the dominant religion of south Asia that focuses on the contemporary "embodiment" of religion in culture. This course will explore ways in which religion permeates the Hindu cycle of life, shapes choices such as occupation and marriage partner, and infuses Indian arts. It will ask whether the variation in these patterns over time, among regions of India, in city and country, and among different groups, are diverse "Hinduisms" that nevertheless contain a vital unity.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, Humanities, INST Asia Course, Religion - Other Traditions

222 Buddhism
A study of Asia's most influential religion that focuses on the contemporary "embodiment" of religion in culture. This course will explore ways in which Buddhists have used visual arts, music, drama, asceticism, devotion, etc., to attain spiritual goals and express enlightenment. It will look at both monastic and popular Buddhism, concentrating on South and Southeast Asia but with some reference to East Asia and the West.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, Ethics Elective, Global Diversity, Humanities, INST Asia Course, Religion - Other Traditions

223 Eating the Text: Tasting Jewish and Israeli Food Through Literature, Film, and …the Mouth
All human beings are connected to food; some are growing it, others preparing or cooking it, and all are eating it. Food is essential for life, but it is also a source of pleasure, a celebration of the senses and the spirit. Food is also knowledge. The biblical story of Eve eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden, tells us “knowledge might begin with the mouth, with the discovery of the taste of something, knowledge, and taste go together” (Hélène Cixous). Food is also a culture. It represents the diverse traditions of societies, communities, and families. In this course, we will “taste” food through Jewish and Israeli literature, films, and theoretical texts. We will explore the diverse cultural traits and traditions of the Jewish and Israeli cuisines by reading and writing about them, as well as tasting them. We will visit the Dickinson Farm and will prepare and cook meals together. We will share traditional family recipes and explore their historical backgrounds. “To write about food is to write about the self,” claims Anne Goldman. Students will have the opportunity to write about food and to discover new aspects about themselves. Our course will be like a community of diverse cultures that mirrors the Dickinson community and the world.
This course is cross-listed as JDST 223.
Attributes: Food Studies Elective, Humanities, Judaic Studies Elective

224 Kabbalah: Healing the Soul, Repairing the Cosmos
Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical doctrine, is a rich tradition of esoteric teaching and practices that have been a vital part of Judaism since late antiquity. The Kabbalistic term “Tikkun Olam, “i.e., repairing/mending the world/universe, became popular for its environmental, social and cultural implications. The Kabbalists believe that by healing one’s soul and by doing good deeds in the world, one has a significant influence and impact on the divine. The microcosm and the macrocosm are mirroring each other and linked in the bond of creation. The course traces the history of Jewish mysticism in four continents, Asia, Africa, Europe, and America, and introduces major trends in Jewish mysticism. We will focus on Kabbalistic meditation and its practice, food and sustainability, interpretation of dreams and white magic, spiritual music, death and reincarnation, feminism and gender issues. We also explore Hasidic tales that attribute the power to reveal and to heal, alongside contemporary expressions of Kabbalistic topics in literature and movies. The course includes guest lectures and other activities and special events, including a visit to a synagogue.
This course is cross-listed as JDST 224.
Attributes: Global Diversity, Humanities, Judaic Studies Elective

229 Religions of East Asia
An introduction to the formative role of religious consciousness in the development of the cultures of China and Japan.
Attributes: East Asian Humanities Elective, Global Diversity, Humanities, INST Asia Course, Religion - Other Traditions

232 Religion in American Politics
This class will provide students with an overview of the role of religion in American politics. Students will become more familiar with the dynamics of a complex and diverse United States through in-depth study of the political differences that define several major religious groups. The political intersections between religion, race, gender, sexual orientation and class will be explored, helping students to think critically about political power. Other topics will include important aspects of constitutional law as they pertain to religious rights, and the various ways in which religion influences public policy.
This course is cross-listed as POSC 232.
Attributes: AMST Struct & Instit Elective, Humanities, Political Science Elective, Social Sciences, US Diversity

233 Israeli Cinema
Israeli cinema has become increasingly diverse, critical, and multicultural and is often at the cutting edge of the Israeli cultural scene. Films provide an interesting lens to explore questions about Israeli life and identity: What was the experience of growing up in post-independence Israel? How were Holocaust survivors and new immigrants from Arab countries received during that period? What made kibbutz life distinct and how has it changed overtime? How is the impact of war and the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict depicted in film? What is the role of gender in the construction of Israeli identity and how has the portrayal of Israeli men, women, and LGBT identities changed overtime? What are the distinct issues facing Orthodox and Ultraorthodox Israelis? How are marginalized groups (Israeli Arabs, Middle Eastern Jews, Russian Jews and Ethiopian Jews) portrayed in film?
The course discusses trends and processes in Israeli cultural history and in current Israeli society, as represented in Israeli films from the 1960s to present day Israel. Screenings of Israeli films are a central part of the course. Films from present day Israel, including the most recent, as well as from earlier decades, create the ideological and cultural universe that the course illuminates.
This course is cross-listed as JDST 233.
Attributes: FMST Mid East Cultural Persp, Humanities, INST Middle East/N Africa Crse, Judaic Studies Elective, Middle East Humanities

234 Love, Sex and Hebrew Texts (in Translation)
This course is a comprehensive study of masterpieces of Hebrew literature in translation, especially about love from different periods, origins, and genres. The literary survey includes Biblical love stories and love poetry, love and sexuality in Jewish mysticism, love and desire poems of the Middle Ages, and various fiction and poetry of modern Hebrew literature from the early 20th century to the present. The students will read translated short novels, short stories, poetry, academic books and articles, and other research materials about Hebrew literature. Students will watch some Israeli films about primary Hebrew authors and their cultural world. Sessions will be divided into discussions of assigned readings, and presentations on the historical background of each period, and literary and biographical background of the various authors.
This course is cross-listed as JDST 234.
Attributes: Humanities, INST Middle East/N Africa Crse, Judaic Studies Elective, Middle East Humanities

240 Women, Gender and Judaism
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.
Attributes: AMST Struct & Instit Elective, Appropriate for First-Year, Humanities, Judaic Studies Elective, WGSS Intersect/Instit/Power

243 Dead Sea Scrolls
The discovery of a cache of ancient scrolls in 1947 in caves near the Dead Sea led to a revolution in the study of Second Temple Judaism and Christian origins. This course will focus on these texts, situating them in the context of the history of Judaism from the Hellenistic period through the first century C.E. What do they reveal about beliefs and institutions of the Essenes, the enigmatic community which produced them? What was life like at Qumran, the Essene community's center? How did the sect start, how did it differ from mainstream Judaism, and what was its vision of the future? What possible connections existed between the Essene community and the emergence of Christianity? How have the Dead Sea scrolls contributed to the study of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament?
This course is cross-listed as JDST 243.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, Humanities, Judaic Studies Elective, Religion - Western Traditions

250 Topics in Religion and Culture
(e.g., Goddess and Devotee; Women & Religion; Sexuality and Spirituality; Women's Ways of Believing)
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, Humanities

259 Islam
An introduction to Islamic beliefs and practices in their classical forms: rituals, law, mysticism, and other topics. The course will consider aspects of Islamic cultures and societies in medieval and modern times.
This course is cross-listed as HIST 259 and MEST 259.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, Global Diversity, Humanities, INST Middle East/N Africa Crse, MEMS Elective, Religion - Western Traditions, Social Sciences

260 Topics in Religious Traditions
(e.g., Islam; Shamanism; Apocrypha)
Prerequisite dependent upon topic.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, Humanities

270 Middle Eastern Christianity: Its Rich Past, Its Uncertain Future
Since its inception Christianity has existed in the Middle East. There it expanded even before it attained legal status in the early fourth century. There it experienced both consolidation and division as a result of the ecumenical councils. There it has been interacting with Islam for fourteen centuries. There it has encountered the various forms of Western Christianity that encroached on its territory. And there it is struggling to survive despite continual emigration, cultural marginalization, and increasing persecution. In this course we will trace the evolution of the Christian communities in the Middle East (Assyrian, pre-Chalcedonian and Chalcedonian Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant), analyze contemporary challenges to their survival, and examine their diasporic displacement, especially to western Europe and North America.
This course is cross-listed as RELG 270.
Attributes: Humanities, Middle East Humanities, Religion - Western Traditions

301 Buddhism in Tibet
Tibetan Buddhism is probably the world's most varied and complex religion, combining elements of everything found in late Indian Buddhism-huge monastic universities, esoteric rituals involving seemingly bizarre practices, an enormous pantheon of enlightened beings, demons, and others, devotional cults, sublime art-with wild and wooly indigenous Tibetan shamanism and some aspects of Chinese religions. The course examines the development of Buddhism in Tibet as well as its increasing interest and influence in the West.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, Humanities, Religion - Other Traditions

303 Buddhist Ethics
Buddhism is a non-theistic religion whose ideal is human perfection, described as a state of contentment, happiness, wisdom, love, and compassion. Because this ideal involves the perfection of virtue as well as the attainment of insight, ethics in Buddhism are particularly important. This course will examine ethics in various Buddhist traditions, compare Buddhist ethics to those of other religions, consider Buddhist ethics in the light of the psychology of moral judgments and the findings of cognitive sciences, and reflect on how Buddhists might approach income inequality, environmental degradation and climate change, war and violence, discrimination against women, and contested social issues such as reproductive rights, euthanasia, suicide, and animal rights.
Attributes: Ethics Elective, Global Diversity, Humanities

307 Heretics, Pagans, and Martyrs: Formation of Religious Identities in Late Antiquity
What is a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew? This course will explore the concept of the “other” in early Christianity, and how Christian identities were formed in dialogue with the surrounding pluralistic landscape. Attention will be paid to early definitions of “heresy” in the ancient world, and how these definitions were appropriated by theologians in the Latin and Greek world of Late Antiquity to suit their own needs. What kinds of movements were considered “heresies,” and why? How did Christians, Muslims and Jews understand who they were, and what made them different from others in the first eight centuries AD? We will begin briefly in the Ancient World, and proceed through the study of how Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Pagan groups characterized each other, ending after the rise of Islam. The formation of Christian identities, as well as the boundary lines created to preserve such identities, are central themes in this course.
Attributes: Global Diversity, Humanities, MEMS Elective, Middle East Humanities, Social Sciences

309 Christian Spiritualities
This course will situate the development of various Christian spiritualities against the backdrop of Christian history, from apostolic Christianity to the present day. Even though emphasis will be given to analysis of key texts, consideration will also be given to the ways in which Christian spiritualities have found expression in liturgy, art, music, cinema, and social movements. We will also consider how various Christian spiritualities continue to shape the lives of people in the United States, especially in south central Pennsylvania.
Offered every two years.
Attributes: Religion - Western Traditions

310 Topics in Myth
(e.g., Comparative Mythology; Myths of Creation)
Prerequisite dependent upon topic.
Attributes: Humanities

311 Buddhism and the Environment
Although protection of the environment is not a Buddhist goal per se, it is involved in the quest for enlightenment. The course will apply the Buddhist perspective to questions about the relations between humans and the rest of nature, to specific environmental problems, to the tradeoffs between human good and protection of other species, and to consumption and consumerism.
Offered every two years
Attributes: ENST Humanities/Arts (ESHA), East Asian Humanities Elective, Global Diversity, Humanities, INST Sustain & Global Environ, Religion - Other Traditions

312 Topics in Christianity
(e.g., Contemporary Roman Catholic Thought; Medieval Mysticism; Christianity in Crisis; Augustine of Hippo; Eastern Orthodoxy)
Prerequisite dependent upon topic.
Attributes: Humanities, Religion - Western Traditions

314 Topics in Religious Ethics
(e.g., Bonhoeffer, Peace and War; God and Evil; Religion and Ecology; Contemporary Christian Ethics)
Prerequisite dependent upon topic.
Attributes: Humanities

316 Topics in Judaic Studies
(e.g., Twentieth Century Jewish Thought; Principles and Topics in Jewish Law)
This course is cross-listed as JDST 316. Prerequisite dependent upon topic.
Attributes: Humanities, Religion - Western Traditions

318 Topics in Religion & Culture
(e.g., Religion and Science; Encounters with Death; Liberation Theologies)
Prerequisite dependent upon topic.
Attributes: Humanities

320 Topics in Indian Religions
(e.g., Hindu Theology; Buddhist Tantra; Enlightenment in Comparative Perspective)
Prerequisite dependent upon topic
Attributes: Humanities, Religion - Other Traditions

326 Contemplative Practices in Asia
Buddhism, Hinduism, and Daoism have ancient and rich traditions of spiritual practices. This course will examine methods of mind training and the philosophy that undergirds them.
Attributes: Religion - Other Traditions

329 Buddhism in China and Japan
A study of the many phenomena of Chinese and Japanese Buddhism: historical development, socio-cultural context, personalities, texts, practices, thought, and aesthetics.
Attributes: Appropriate for First-Year, East Asian Humanities Elective, Humanities, INST Asia Course, Religion - Other Traditions

330 Topics in East Asian Religions
(e.g., Zen; Confucianism and Taoism; Chinese Folk Religions)
Prerequisite dependent upon topic
Attributes: East Asian Humanities Elective, Humanities, Religion - Other Traditions

335 New American Religious Diversity
Until relatively recently, religious diversity in the U.S. meant Protestant, Catholic and Jewish. With changing immigration patterns since the latter half of the 20th century, religious diversity in the American context has to take into account other world religious traditions, such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and others. Furthermore, new immigrants from Asia, Africa and Latin America have brought their own distinctive Christian practices, whether joining existing American congregations or forming ethnically distinct congregations. This course will examine the experience of these emergent religious communities within the nexus of social and cultural processes-examining the dynamic interplay of religion and communities in the context of immigration and defining a place within the American experience.
Offered every two years.
Attributes: Humanities, US Diversity

410 Interpreting Religion
An advanced introduction to some fundamental issues of theory and method in the academic study of religion. Selected religious phenomena will be examined using the perspectives such as those of the history of religions, psychology, sociology, anthropology, philology, philosophy, and theology. Emphasis will be placed upon methods of research and styles of writing in the study of religion.
Attributes: Humanities, Writing in the Discipline

490 Senior Seminar
Advanced investigation of methods and critical perspectives for the study of religion with a focus to be determined by the instructor. Writing enriched.
Prerequisite: 410 or permission of the instructor.