RS 500 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 501 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.
RS 510 Introduction to the Gospels 3 CR
Provides a brief history of biblical criticism leading up to an in-depth analysis of the achievements of recent biblical research in the area of New Testament studies.
RS 511 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible 3 CR
Examines the development of Hebrew Bible traditions, as well as the historical rise of the people of Israel; the distinctive religious awareness that accompanied it; and Israel's understanding of God, humanity and history.
RS 524 The Gospel of John 3 CR
Provides a critical interpretation of the Gospel of John.
RS 529 Jesus 3 CR
Attempts to recover the words and actions of the historical Jesus through a proper methodological examination of the sources. Special emphasis is given to the parables of Jesus.
RS 530 The Death of Jesus 3 CR
Focuses on the development of the traditions of the death of Jesus that now stand in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Focus is on isolating those factors that influenced development as well as historical matters.
Theology and Spirituality
RS 520 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 by Christian 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 540 Understanding Theology 3 CR
Provides an introduction to the nature and role of theology. This course investigates both academic or “public” theology and confessional or Church centered theology.
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.
RS 543 The Development of Christian Thought 3 CR
Traces the course of the Church's historical and dogmatic traditions from the New Testament period to the Middle Ages.
RS 545 Contemporary Roman Catholic Thought 3 CR
A survey of the various thinkers and movements that have shaped contemporary Roman Catholic life and thought, including Karl Rahner, the Second Vatican Council and liberation theology.
RS 546 Constructing the Concept of God 3 CR
Explores the development of a concept of God appropriate for modern life. Readings reflect various approaches to the God question, and students are asked to critically dialogue with both the lectures and the readings
RS 548 Contemporary Protestant Thought 3 CR
A survey of some of the most important Protestant theologians of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Kierkegaard, Schleiermacher, Barth and Tillich.
RS 567 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 te Ching, the Hindu Upanishads, Zohar and other Kabbalistic texts, the poets of Sufism, and Christian mystics from the history of Christianity.
RS 568 Classics of Western Spirituality 3 CR
Provides a close examination of the writings of one or more of the 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).
RS 601 Roman Catholic Views of the Church 3 CR
Investigates Catholic thinking and teaching about the nature of the Church.
RS 602 The Roman Catholic Sacraments 3 CR
Explores the history of the sacraments, the theology behind them and their role in contemporary Catholic piety.
RS 541 History of Christian Ethics 3 CR
A survey of the most important thinkers and documents in the history of Christian ethical reflection.
RS 589 Religion, War and Peace 3 CR
Examines various religious perspectives on violence, war and the quest for peace.
World Religions & Comparative Studies
RS 513 Comparative Religion 3 CR
A theological and phenomenological exploration of beliefs, practices, and symbologies of world religions, including native/earth-based religions, Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The focus of study is on the sacred writings of those religions, with additional work in their sacred art/architecture, historical movements and contemporary expressions.
RS 514 Introduction to Eastern Religions 3 CR
Explores the religious traditions of Asia, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Shinto. Students are introduced to the beliefs and practices of these traditions in their historical context and to manifestations of Eastern religions in the contemporary United States.
RS 515 Introduction to 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.
RS 517 Introduction to Western Religions 3 CR
Explores the religious traditions of the West including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Students are introduced to the beliefs and practices of these traditions in their historical context and to the emergence of fundamentalism as a response to the challenges these traditions in the modern world.
RS 519 Women in World Religions 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.
RS 522 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.
RS 532 Contemporary Religious Thinkers 3 CR
Examines the selected, representative writings of specific religious thinkers. In any given semester, the course focuses on the work of either an important theologian or a contemporary scholar of religion. (Students should consult the instructor to obtain information concerning the topic for that semester.)
RS 549 Contemporary Jewish Thought 3 CR
Discusses formative thinkers such as Rosenzweig, Buber and Soloveitchik, and significant theological issues such as the significance of the Holocaust in Jewish thought.
RS 550 Introduction to Judaism 3 CR
This introduction to the Jewish tradition examines the religion's history, world view and practice.
RS 561 Symbol, Myth and Ritual 3 CR
Defines the basic categories of symbol, myth and ritual and explores their religious significance. Theoretical analyses of the symbolic imagination are also examined.
RS 575 Mystery of Death 3 CR
Death endures as the one certain and inevitable fact of life. It stands as the reality that cannot be ignored when the question of the meaning of human existence is raised. This course explores the revelatory dimensions of death. Course is taken with the permission of the instructor.
Historical and Cultural Studies
RS 591 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.