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Western Kentucky University

Religious Studies Courses

Religion Courses

 

RELS 100 THE NEW TESTAMENT. 3 HOURS.

An introduction to the historical, literary, and cultural approaches to the New Testament with a view toward understanding and interpretation. 

RELS 101 THE OLD TESTAMENT/HEBREW SCRIPTURES. 3 HOURS.

An introduction to the historical, literary, and cultural approaches to the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) with a view toward understanding and interpretation. 

RELS 102 INTRODUCTION TO RELIGIOUS STUDIES. 3 HOURS.

An introduction to religious studies providing methodological bridges between traditions and addressing major beliefs, ethical practices, symbols, and social institutions of several religions. 

RELS 103 RELIGIONS OF ASIA. 3 HOURS.

Introduction to the history, doctrines, and practices of the major religions of India, China and Japan.

RELS 202 RACIAL JUSTICE. 3 HOURS.

An examination of (1) the major perspective that came together to form the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s; (2) the accomplishments and failures of that movement; and (3) the issues of racial justice that remain today.

RELS 300 THE LIFE OF JESUS. 3 HOURS.

An investigation of the nature, content, and major interpretations of the sources for the life and teachings of Jesus. 

RELS 301 LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF PAUL. 3 HOURS.

A study of the life and thought of Paul in its historical and cultural setting; concentration on the principal themes in Pauline thought which have been influential in Christian tradition.

RELS 302 BUDDHISM. 3 HOURS.

Introduction to the history, fundamental doctrines, and practices of the three main Buddhist traditions (Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana) in their global contexts.

RELS 303 HINDUISM. 3 HOURS.

A study of the central beliefs, ethical practices, symbols, and institutions of the Hindu traditions, examining patterns of its unity, diversity, and encounter with modernity.

RELS 304 JUDAISM. 3 HOURS.

A survey of Jewish religious traditions, Jewish history and literature from the Greco-Roman period to the present.

RELS 305 CHRISTIANITY. 3 HOURS.

A survey of the doctrines, ethical codes, rituals, and institutions of the three main Christian traditions: Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, and Protestantism.

RELS 306 ISLAM. 3 HOURS.

Terminology, history, social institutions, beliefs, rituals, ethical systems, and world views associated with the religious tradition of Islam. Examination of the West's views of Islam and Islamic views of the West.

RELS 307 NATIVE AMERICAN RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS. 3 HOURS.

A survey of North American Indian religious traditions from European contact to present, including beliefs, practices, and cultural institutions.

RELS 308 EAST ASIAN RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS. 3 HOURS.

Introduction to the history, fundamental doctrines, and practices of the three classical East Asian traditions: Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Attention will be directed toward how the traditions became interpreted in China, Korea, and Japan.

RELS 311 THE QUR'AN. 3 HOURS.

An introduction to the Qur'an and its contemporary and historical roles in the lives of Muslims as well as in their societies and cultures.

RELS 312 ANCIENT NEAR EAST TEXTS. 3 HOURS.

The course surveys a broad number of ancient Mesopotamian and other Western Asian genres of literature which shed light upon the literary remains of Israel found in the Hebrew Scriptures. Included are cosmologies, cosmogonies, flood narratives, prophecies, historical annals which deal with the kings of Israel and Judah, wisdom literature, theodicy, omen texts and others.

RELS/PHIL 315 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or religious studies.

A systematic study of such problems as the nature and existence of God, the relation of faith and reason, human nature and destiny, immortality, evil, and the problem of religious language.

RELS 317 CONFUCIANISM. 3 HOURS.

A survey of the evolution of Confucian thought, from the ethical and ritual considerations of Confucius, through the scholastic self-cultivation of Zhu Xi, to the ecological and gender concerns of modern New Confucians.

RELS 318 DAOISM. 3 HOURS.

A survey of the evolution of Chinese Daoism, from its appearance as a philosophical school c. 400 BCE, through its later iterations in a variety of religious organizations.

RELS 320 RELIGIONS OF THE MIDDLE EAST. 3 HOURS.

A thematic study of Judaism, Eastern Christianity, and Islam as these religions are practiced in Middle Eastern societies today. There is a focus on the concept of sacred place and on the ways in which this concept links the ancient past of the tradition with its modern expression.

RELS/PHIL 323 SOCIAL ETHICS. 3 HOURS.

Perspectives and issues involved in the public pursuit of justice in a religiously and philosophically diverse society. Cross'listed as PHIL 323. One short field trip.

RELS 324 CHRISTIANITY IN AFRICA. 3 HOURS.

The development of Christianity in Africa from the first century to the present, with special emphasis on the post-colonial period.

RELS 325 RELIGION IN CONTEMPORARY AMERICA. 3 HOURS.

A study of the ways religion is understood and expressed by varying segments of American society.

RELS 326 SECOND TEMPLE JUDAISM. 3 HOURS.

Introduction to the history, literature, and religion of the Jewish people from the beginning of the Persian period (mid-6th c. B.C.) to the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-135 A.D.).

RELS 330 RELIGION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH. 3 HOURS.

Survey of the religious cultures of the American South from the colonial period to the present. The course will look at a variety of religious expressions in institutional life, thought, literature, and music.

RELS 333 WOMEN AND RELIGION. 3 HOURS.

The examination of primary and secondary sources on women's contributions to western and non-western religious thought.

RELS 382 BIBLICAL LANGUAGES I. INTRODUCTORY HEBREW. 3 HOURS.

A study of the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of Biblical Hebrew. May be taken either as a foreign language course or as a free elective. May be taken either as a foreign language course or as a RELS elective.

RELS 383 BIBLICAL LANGUAGES II. INTERMEDIATE HEBREW. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: RELS 382.

Further development of an understanding of the fundamentals of the Hebrew language with special attention to the reading of selected portions of the Hebrew Bible. May be taken either as a foreign language course or as a RELS elective.

RELS 384 BIBLICAL LANGUAGES III. INTRODUCTORY GREEK. 3 HOURS.

A study of the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of Koine Greek. May be taken either as a foreign language course or as a free elective. May be taken either as a foreign language course or as a RELS elective.

RELS 385 BIBLICAL LANGUAGES IV. INTERMEDIATE GREEK. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: RELS 384.

Further development of an understanding of Koine Greek with readings in the New Testament and Hellenistic literature. May be taken either as a foreign language course or as a RELS elective. 

RELS 390 INTRODUCTORY PALI I. 3 HOURS.

A study of the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of the Pali language with a stress on reading primary textual material from a variety of Pali sources.

RELS 391 INTRODUCTORY PALI II. 3 HOURS.

Further study of the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of the Pali language with a stress on reading a wide variety of canonical, commentarial and post-canonical texts.

RELS 399 STUDY ABROAD. 3 HOURS.

Supervised study of religion in a study abroad program. May be repeated for different study abroad locations.

RELS 401 RELIGIOUS STUDIES SEMINAR. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One religious studies course or permission of instructor.

A seminar with rotating topics designed primarily for advanced students in religious studies. May be repeated for different topics.

RELS 403 POSTCOLONIAL CHRISTIANITY. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One RELS course or permission of instructor. The study of postcolonial interpretations of Christianity in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

RELS 408 RELIGION AND ECOLOGY. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One religious studies course or permission of instructor.

The study of different religious perspectives on ecology.

RELS 426 DEAD SEA SCROLLS. 3 HOURS.

Introduction to the discovery, authentication, contents, and main ideas of the Dead Sea Scrolls; the community that produced them; the controversies that have surrounded them; and the archaeology of the nearby ruins.

RELS 430 CHRISTIANITY TO 1517. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: RELS 100 or 102, and one history course.

An investigation of the development of Christian thought and institutions from the first century of the Church until the Reformation.

RELS 431 CHRISTIANITY FROM 1517 TO THE PRESENT. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisites: RELS 100 or 102 or 305, and one history course.

An investigation of the development of Christian thought and institutions from the beginning of the Reformation to the present.

RELS 496 SENIOR SEMINAR. 1 HOUR.

Prerequisite: Senior major in religious studies or consent of instructor.

A capstone course designed for senior religious studies majors. Students will complete projects that demonstrate their research, writing, and analytical skills. Content areas of the seminar will vary by semester and instructor.

RELS 499 RESEARCH IN RELIGIOUS STUDIES. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: Open only to religion majors with a 3.0 grade point average in their senior year. Directed study and research in one area of religious studies. (on demand)

RELS 500 THEORY AND METHOD IN THE STUDY OF RELIGION. 4 HOURS.

Prerequisite: Graduate student or permission of instructor.

An introduction to key theoretical and methodological approaches to the comparative study of religion--including sociological, psychological, anthropological, textual and other approaches.

RELS 510 SEMINAR IN RELIGIOUS LITERATURE. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: Graduate student or permission of instructor.

Selected literature from one or more major religious traditions. May be repeated with different topics.

RELS 520 SEMINAR IN RELIGIOUS HISTORY. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: Graduate student or permission of instructor.

Significant topics, movements, or events in the development of one major religious tradition. May be repeated with different topics.

RELS 530 SEMINAR IN RELIGIOUS THOUGHT. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: Graduate student or permission of instructor.

Selected topics or thinkers from one or more major religious traditions. May be repeated with different topics.

RELS 598 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN RELIGION. 1-3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Directed study and research in selected topics in religious studies. May be repeated for up to 6 hours.

RELS 599 THESIS WRITING. 1-3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: RELS 602.

Directed research and writing toward the completion of a masters thesis. May be repeated for up to 6 hours.

RELS 601 GRADUATE SEMINAR IN RELIGIOUS STUDIES. 4 HOURS.

Prerequisite: Graduate student in Religious Studies or consent of the instructor.

An intensive study of one or more central aspects of religion, focusing on one or more religious traditions. Content areas of the seminar will vary by semester and instructor. May be repeated for up to 12 hours.

RELS 602 THESIS AND PROJECT DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR. 1 HOUR.

Prerequisite: Graduate student in Religious Studies.

A forum for graduate students in Religious Studies to facilitate the development of thesis or project proposals. This course may not be repeated.

RELS 603 THESIS AND PROJECT CAPSTONE COLLOQUIUM. 1 HOUR.

Prerequisite: Graduate student in Religious Studies.

A forum for graduate students in Religious Studies to facilitate the completion of theses or projects. Includes a concluding colloquium for the public presentation of work. This course may not bne repeated.

RELS 610 TEACHING PRACTICUM IN RELIGIOUS STUDIES. 1 HOUR.

Prerequisite: Graduate teaching assistant in Religious Studies or permission of instructor.

A forum for graduate students to learn about curriculum design and pedagogy for courses in Religious Studies and to discuss their current work with students. Repeatable for up to 4 hours.

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 Last Modified 9/24/14