RS 600 Research in the Study of Religion 3 CR
This course prepares the student for graduate-level work in religion. It introduces students to the classic theories that have shaped religious studies and a range of methodological approaches that are used in this field. The course provides opportunities to apply various research methods to student’s own areas of interest, and to write for publication in religious studies and theology.
RS 610 Philosophical Frameworks for Religion and Theology 3 CR
Focuses on contemporary methods for the investigation of religion and prepares the student for graduate-level work.
TRS 500 Modern Biblical Criticism & Gospels 3 CR
This course is an introduction and examination of the synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John. The course will explore contemporary methods used by scholars and the Church to interpret these texts.
TRS 501 Introduction to the Old Testament 3 CR
Development of the major traditions of the Hebrew Bible. Authorship of these traditions, why they were written and what historical circumstances they were responding to.
TRS 502 Introduction to the New Testament 3 CR
This course will examine the New Testament texts, methods of interpretation, cultural and historical setting of the texts, and the varied theologies expressed by these foundational Christian texts.
TRS 504 Letters of Paul 3 CR
An introduction to Paul of Tarsus, his writings and his theology.
TRS 601 Death and Resurrection of Jesus 3 CR
Investigates what can be known of the historical Jesus through a proper methodological examination of the sources. Special emphasis is on the parables of Jesus.
TRS 602 The Historical Jesus 3 CR
Traces the development of the traditions of the death and resurrection of Jesus as they are found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
TRS 603 The Gospel of John 3 CR
A critical interpretation of the Gospel of John.
TRS 604 New Testament Ethics 3 CR
This course is an examination of the ethical legacy of the New Testament.
Theology and Spirituality
TRS 520 Introduction to Catholic Theology 3 CR
This course will explore the nature of Catholic theology and offer an introduction to the basic domains and methods of Catholic theology.
TRS 521 Understanding Theology 3 CR
An introduction to the nature and role of theology. Investigates both academic, or “public,” theology and confessional, or “church-centered,” theology.
TRS 522 Faith and Reason in the Catholic Tradition 3 CR
This course investigates the relationship between faith and reason. In what ways are faith and reason compatible and what is the history of the interaction between theology and academic disciplines such as those in the natural and social sciences?
TRS 523 Sacraments 3 CR
Explores the history of the sacraments, the theology behind them and their role in contemporary Catholic life.
TRS 530 History of Christianity I 3 CR
How the central doctrines of Christianity have developed with focus on the first five centuries.
TRS 531 History of Christianity II 3 CR
A survey of how central Christian doctrines shaped Christianity through the middle ages and beyond.
TRS 532 Classics of Western Spirituality 3 CR
Great spiritual masters of the Western religious traditions (e.g., John of the Cross, Theresa of Avila, Ignatius Loyola, Teilhard de Chardin, Martin Buber and Thomas Merton).
TRS 533 Women in Christianity 3 CR
A theological, textual and gender-based examination of women in the history of Christianity, incorporating critical analysis of texts written about and byChristian women. Topics include the image of women and woman's spirituality in the Bible, writings of the Church Fathers, mystics, sectarian movements, and the feminist reconstruction of tradition.
RS 542 Medieval Theology 3 CR
A critical examination of central doctrines of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam as they developed during the Middle Ages. This course analyzes particular modalities of theological expression such as mysticism, sacred art/architecture, and women's visionary writings.
TRS 620 Christology 3 CR
Examines the theological interpretation of Jesus as the Christ in the history of the Christian tradition.
TRS 621 The Church: Roman Catholic Perspectives 3 CR
An investigation of Catholic thinking and teaching about the nature of the Church.
TRS 622 Theology and the Human Person 3 CR
The course explores the theological conception of the human person in the light of Christian revelation. It engages questions such as what is a human person? In what way is a human person like God and Christ? What do we mean by human nature, sin, grace and free will? Can the traditional Christian view of the human person accommodate modern scientific notions of humanity?
TRS 623 The Christian Trinity 3 CR
This course will examine the Christian theological conception of God as a trinity of persons. How has this theological understanding of God developed over time? How does theology explain the Christian worship of one God who is also three?
TRS 624 Eschatology 3 CR
This course will investigate the varied aspects of Christian eschatology, the unfolding of the future, in relation to the cosmos and to the individual. When, how, and why does the world end and where does the individual fit into all this? Topics covered include theological discussions of time, the future, the human soul, death, the intermediate stage, and the journey of the Christian community and the human family into the future.
RS 625 Faith and Science 3 CR
This course explores the history and interaction between Catholic theology and science over the past few centuries. This course investigates the interaction between faith, reason, science, theology and philosophy in the medieval, modern, and contemporary Catholic/Christian context. Specific topics include the interaction between faith and science through the history of cosmology, development of the idea of evolution, ecology, and technology.
TRS 626 Constructing the Concept of God 3 CR
Imaginative construction of a concept of God appropriate for modern life.
TRS 627 Contemporary Roman Catholic Thought 3 CR
Various thinkers and movements that have shaped contemporary Roman Catholic life and thought, including Karl Rahner, the Second Vatican Council and liberation theology.
TRS 628 Contemporary Protestant Thought 3 CR
Some of the most important Protestant theologians of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Kierkegaard, Schleiermacher, Barth and Tillich.
TRS 630 Mysticism 3 CR
This course introduces the student to the dimension of spirituality known as mysticism, through readings in and critical analysis of mystical texts of the world's religions, including Tao the Ching, the Hindu Upanishads, Zohar and other Kabbalistic texts, the poets of Sufism, and Christian mystics from the history of Christianity.
TRS 631 Monasticism 3 CR
An examination of the rise and practice of monasticism in the Christian tradition.
TRS 632 Monks, Hermits and Warriors 3 CR
Monks, Hermits, and Warriors is designed to introduce students to the dimension of the Christian faith often termed “the religious life.” As such, it traces the historical development of monasticism in the Latin West and explores its various manifestations. More than just history, though, our course ponders questions that delve into theology and spirituality. What motivates an individual to embrace such a life? What, for that matter, constitutes the religious life? What are its aspirations, purposes, and benefits – both personally and within the larger, social context? The course begins with some theoretical and historical background and proceed through the historical eras of late antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Reformation, early modernity, and modernity. There will be extensive use of both primary and secondary sources to engage some of the major movements, figures, and ideals that have characterized the consecrated life.
TRS 633 Medieval Theology 3 CR
TRS 635 Women in Celtic Christianity 3 CR
This course examines the complex encounter between women and the diverse religious traditions of Celtic spirituality and Celtic Christianity within the context of the historical transition from pre-Christian to Christian Celtic spirituality. Focusing on the "forgotten voices" of Celtic women who bear their own witness to their spiritual experiences, religious devotions and beliefs, the course also explores contemporary spirituality from the work of Celtic women religious thinkers and teachers, artists and practioners, who offer robust interrogations of traditional religious understanding.
TRS 636 Catherine and Theresa 3 CR
Catherine of Siena (14th cen.) and Teresa of Avila (16th cen.), the first two women Doctors of the Church, are esteemed for enriching the life of the Catholic Church and women's spirituality with their theological writings and their distinctive spiritual gifts. The course includes close readings of their political, spiritual and theological writings as well as the additional exploration of both women in the context of their respective historical and religious milieus. The course also examines Dominican (Catherine) and Carmelite (Teresa) spirituality.
TRS 637 Spiritual Teachers & Thinkers 3 CR
Explores the representative spiritual teachings and religious writings of a specific spiritual thinker from the history of the world’s religions. Examples of such religious teachers include Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart, George Fox, Thomas Merton, Rumi, and Martin Buber.
TRS 638 Theology & Native Irish Spirituality 3 CR
Celtic Christianity is a tradition rich in its own history and particularities within the broader culture of the Western Church, and so it is certainly worthy of a focused exploration. The course will include a study of the general history and theological peculiarities of the Celtic Church within Celtic cultures and geographies, with a particular focus on Irish spirituality and Irish Christianity.
TRS 540 Foundations of Christian Ethics 3 CR
TRS 541 History of Christian Ethics 3 CR
The ethical reflections of some of the most influential Christian thinkers from the Church Fathers to the present (e.g., Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and Martin Luther) applied to various important topics of ethical debate in Christian history (e.g., the notion of just war).
TRS 542 The Catholic Social Justice Tradition 3 CR
TRS 543 Ethics in World Religions 3 CR
TRS 640 Bioethics 3 CR
Introduces students to the methods and principles of biomedical ethics, and explores several ethical issues in medical practice and health care policy. The theoretical frameworks employed include religious-ethical perspectives in Christianity and some other religious traditions, as well as philosophical and social critiques and proposals. Major topics covered include euthanasia, reproductive technologies, human cloning, consent for experimentation and allocation of health care resources.
TRS 641 Religion, War & Peace 3 CR
An examination of various attitudes toward war and peace embraced by Christian tradition and other religions.
TRS 642 Human Rights 3 CR
Human rights are highly valued and praised by citizens and nations around the world. They are seen as essential to human well being and happiness and as a framework for a common morality among humankind. The United Nations Universal Declaration claims that recognition of human rights is “the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” Religious leaders likewise pay high tribute to human rights—for instance, the Catholic Church enumerated a list of universal and inalienable rights in the 1960s that is quite similar to the UN Declaration.
TRS 643 Justice and Philanthropy in Catholic Thought 3 CR
Explores the content, sources, and methods of Catholic social thought (CST). Investigates its relevance to social-ethical problems in both the United States and the global community, with particular attention to issues of equality and inequality, economic rights and development, globalization, and philanthropy. Provides students the opportunity to develop initial skills of social entrepreneurship.
TRS 644 Virtue Ethics 3 CR
Virtue ethics is about the development of good moral character for living a fulfilled life. One of the oldest approaches to ethics in Western philosophy and Christian ethics, this theory has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years. Virtue been an important concept both for revivifying Christian and Catholic ethics and for studying comparative religious ethics. The course investigates the philosophy and theology of virtue throughout history; the value of the social and natural sciences for understanding virtue; and the social applications of virtue ethics.
TRS 645 Religion & Environmental Justice 3 CR
World Religions & Comparative Studies
TRS 560 Introduction to Eastern Religions 3 CR
Explores history, beliefs and practices of Hinduism,Buddhism and other religions of India, China andJapan and the emergence of the contemporary NewAge movement.
TRS 561 Islam 3 CR
A theological and phenomenological exploration of beliefs, practices, and symbology of Islam, incorporating extensive readings from the Qur'an, the hadith and shari'a, and Sufism. This course analyzes contemporary topics such as religion and gender, and religion and politics.
TRS 562 Judaism 3 CR
This course will provide a broad understand of the key components of Judaism. Topics to be covered include Biblical foundations, historical development, theological considerations, rituals and symbols, calendar and holidays, prayer, life cycle events and contemporary denominations. The course will explore the role of God in the life of Jews past and present and compare and contrast the meaning of Judaism then and now.
TRS 563 Symbol, Myth and Ritual 3 CR
Notions of symbol, myth and ritual, as well as an introduction to the use of symbols, myths and rituals in a wide variety of religious traditions.
TRS 564 Ancient Cults and Religions 3 CR
Explores the beliefs, practices, and teachings of ancient world religions including: cultic practices and sacred texts of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia; the mystery cults of the ancient Greco-Roman civilizations, and the mythologies and religious practices of pre-Christian northern Europe (Scandinavia) and ancient Iran. The focus of study is on the sacred writings of the religions, with emphasis on such major topics as deities and divine powers, rituals of birth and death, gender studies, and the relationships between ancient faith traditions and the emergence of monotheism.
TRS 570 Religion in America 3 CR
TRS 571 Death & Dying in World Religions 3 CR
All religious traditions have regarded the process of dying and the result of bodily death as significant events—as natural but also sacred states of being that impart to earthly life its deepest meaning and value. Course explores religious beliefs about, and practices developed around, human dying, death and any subsequent conditions of existence.
TRS 572 Celtic Religious Tradition 3 CR
The course is concerned with the mythic history ofIreland, and “beginning” of the Irish, and the traditionsby which the Irish have come to identifythemselves and give meaning to their world.Students study the religious function of socialinstitutions; gods, goddesses and ruling powers;holy places; feasting and sacrifice; spirits andancestors; and the other world. The class alsolooks at the role of women in these traditions andwhat these traditions mean with regard to suchissues as our own estrangement from the naturalorder. The continuation of “myth” in modernIreland is also studied in this course.
TRS 573 Women in Islam 3 CR
TRS 574 Women in Religion 3 CR
An analysis of women's role in Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam—both historical and contemporary—using theories and methods of gender study.
TRS 575 Religion and Sexuality 3 CR
Examines the relationship between religion and sexuality in various world religions. Topics include asceticism vs. eroticism; defining normality and deviance; sex as a means to challenge or maintain the social order; religious responses to the changing sexual morality in contemporary Western society.
TRS 576 Women in American Religion 3 CR
A critical analysis of women and religion within the context of American history and culture. This course examines religious writings/narratives by Native American women, and American women in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The impact of race, class, history, and/or ethnicity upon religious experience is also explored in the writings of feminist, Womanist (African-American) and Mujerista (Latina) theologians.
TRS 663 Religions, Health and Healing 3 CR
Explores theories and practices of healing in Eastern, Western and Primal religions. Examines research on connections between religion and health and efficacy of alternative and spiritual therapies.
TRS 664 Pilgrimage & Spiritual Journeys 3 CR
Introduces the religious ritual of pilgrimage, the theologically and spiritually inspired journey in time and over space towards sacred centers and holy sites. The course explores the role of pilgrimage in several religions and from several methodological angles, as well as the place of pilgrimage in contemporary, secular society.
TRS 666 Religion & Nature 3 CR
TRS 667 Interreligious Dialogue 3 CR
TRS 668 Contemporary Religious Thinkers 3 CR
Representative writings of a specific religious thinker. Focus is on the work of either an important theologian or a contemporary scholar of religion. Consult the course instructor for the topic.
TRS 669 Christian-Jewish Understanding 3 CR
This course examines the historical and theological relationship between Judaism and Christianity beginning at the time of Jesus, which resulted in the separation of and misunderstanding between Christians and Jews through the Patristic period, Renaissance, Middle Ages, until the present time. Particular attention is paid to the recent positive studies in interreligious understanding advanced by the Second Vatican Council.
Historical and Cultural Studies
TRS 582 Film Seminar: Religion in Film 3 CR
Examines the “religious dimensions” of a wide range of films. The course considers both subject matter and style/techniques.
TRS 583 North American Christianities 3 CR
This course will study the history and character of four “restorationist” Christian movements born or nurtured in North America: Shakers, Mormons, Adventists, and Christian Scientists. These movements all originated in the United States in the 19th century, and each produced a text that is a supplement to the Christian Scriptures. The course will study how these movements grew and changed from their earliest moments, how they shared concerns in wider United States society, and how they differed from that mainstream society at the same time.
TRS 584 Cults, Sects and New Religious Movements 3 CR
Explores beliefs and practices of new religions in America, including Mormonism, Unification Church, Christian Science, Scientology, Theosophy, New Age, Neopaganism and UFO cults. Presents both sociological and theological approaches to understanding new religions.
TRS 681 Evangelicalism 3 CR
TRS 683 Holocaust, Genocide and Religion 3 CR
Analysis of the Holocaust and other 20th century genocides (Rwanda, Bosnia) with a focus on religion within the context of genocide: cause, victim, rescue. The course examines the personal accounts of religious leaders, perpetrators, victims and resisters, and inquires into the theological examination of evil and suffering.
TRS 684 Religious Themes in Contemporary Fiction 3 CR
Explores the religious dimensions in the fiction of writers such as Cynthia Ozick, John Cheever, Toni Morrison and Italo Calvino.
Special Topics/Independent Study
RS 599 Special Topics in Religion 3 CR
Designates new or occasional courses capitalizing on a timely topic, a faculty member's particular interest, an experimental alternative to existing courses, etc.