[Back]

Undergraduate Course Descriptions 2010-2011
Last updated 10/8/2010


02425/Religion (REL)

 

General Education

0802. Race & Identity in Judaism (3 s.h.) RCI: GD.

Investigate the relationship between race and Judaism from Judaism’s early period through today, looking both at how Jews have understood their own racial identity and how others have understood Jews’ racial identity. You will explore the idea of racial identity in Judaism in order to examine the complex network of connections between racism and anti-Semitism, as you read primary and secondary texts in Jewish philosophy and history and in the study of race and racism. We hope to illuminate these complex issues as well as to engage with them on a personal and political level, examining the relationship between issues of race, religion, identity, and social justice and injustice, and inquiring into how we, as informed citizens in a global society, can affect change for the better.

Note: This course fulfills the Race & Diversity (GD) requirement for students under GenEd and Studies in Race (RS) for students under Core.

Students cannot receive credit for this course if they have successfully completed any of the following: Jewish Studies 0802/0902 or Religion 0902.

0803. The Art of Sacred Space (3 s.h.) RCI: GA.

Where do people go to communicate with the divine? Explore with us where and how people of the many different cultures of the Greco-Roman world communicated with their gods. Why are graves and groves considered sacred space? When is a painting or sculpture considered sacred? Whom do the gods allow to enter a sacred building? Can a song be a prayer or a curse? How can dance sway the gods? Why do gods love processions and the smell of burning animals? The journey through sacred space in Greco-Roman antiquity will engage your senses and your intellect, and will reveal a mindset both ancient and new.

Note: This course fulfills the Arts (GA) requirement for students under GenEd and Arts (AR) for students under Core.

Students cannot receive credit for this course if they have successfully completed G+R CL 0803/0903, or ART H 0803.

0811. Asian Behavior & Thought: Four Asian Models Shaping Your Action (3 s.h.) RCI: GB.

We incessantly engage ourselves in doing things. We are beings-at-doing. We define ourselves by the kind of actions we perform. How we act or conduct ourselves is shaped by the kind of self we construct for ourselves. And that self is shaped by the society into which we happen to be born. Self-identity, which is socially and culturally constructed by our experiences and interactions with others, carries a personal as well as an interpersonal meaning. Learn the four Asian paradigmatic cases of self-identity and examine your self in light of them.

Note: This course fulfills the Human Behavior (GB) requirement for students under GenEd and Individual & Society (IN) for students under Core.

Students cannot receive credit for this course if they have successfully completed any of the following: ASIA ST 0811, CR LANG 0811, PHILOS 0811, Chinese 0811, Japanese 0811 or Religion 0911.

0833. Race & Poverty in the Americas (3 s.h.) RCI: GD.

The transatlantic slave trade was one of the most brutal and momentous experiences in human history. Attitudes toward Latino, Caribbean, African, and Asian immigrants in the United States today can only be fully understood in the contexts of slavery and the “structural racism,” “symbolic violence” (not to mention outright physical violence), and social inequalities that slavery has spawned throughout the region. Although focusing primarily on the United States, we will also study the present entanglements of poverty and race in Brazil, Haiti, and other selected nations of “The New World,” placing the U.S. (and Philadelphia in particular) experience in this historical context.

Note: This course fulfills the Race & Diversity (GD) requirement for students under GenEd and Studies in Race (RS) for students under Core.

Students cannot receive credit for this course if they have successfully completed REL 0933, LAS 0833/0933, ANTHRO 0833, or SOC 0833.

0863. Religion in the World (3 s.h.) RCI: GG.

Learn about the major religious traditions found worldwide today: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and several indigenous traditions. Examine the beliefs, practices, and values of these groups in order to understand the worldviews and ways of life of the people who practice them. Our interdisciplinary analysis and interpretation of specific examples of religious experience will help shed light on the overall meaning of religion and human existence. We will carefully consider examples while also focusing on particular thematic issues, like cosmology and ritual. Develop appreciation for the religious vibrancy and diversity that exist in human cultures while you actively engage in the learning process through class presentation, class participation, paper-writing, and a self-selected field trip.

Note: This course fulfills the World Society (GG) requirement for students under GenEd and International Studies (IS) for students under Core.

Duplicate Credit Warning: Students may take only one of the following courses for credit; all other instances will be deducted from their credit totals: Religion 0863, 0963, 1101, C053, Asian Studies 0863, Critical Languages 0863, or Philosophy 0863.

0876. Religion in Philadelphia (3 s.h.) RCI: GU.

The argument is sometimes made that religion in dense urban spaces is characteristically very different from religion as it appears elsewhere. A study of religion in Philadelphia provides numerous ways to explore that idea, especially since the city encompasses a variety of ethnic and immigrant groups, encouraging the generation of new and hybrid forms of religious life that are less possible in smaller populations. Learn how ideas of toleration and freedom, the urban environment, and immigration helped to define the role of religion in the life of this city. Study various religious traditions as they are manifested in the greater Philadelphia area and look at the influences religion has had on the fabric of Philadelphia’s history and cultural life including politics, art, education, journalism and popular culture. You will visit and write about various religious sites and institutions.

Note: This course fulfills the U.S. Society (GU) requirement for students under GenEd and American Culture (AC) for students under Core.

Duplicate Credit Warning: Students cannot receive credit for Religion 0876 if they have successfully completed Religion 0976, 1003, 1903, C052, H092, History 0876 or 0976.

General Education Honors

0902. Race & Identity in Judaism (3 s.h.) RCI: GD.

Investigate the relationship between race and Judaism from Judaism’s early period through today, looking both at how Jews have understood their own racial identity and how others have understood Jews’ racial identity. You will explore the idea of racial identity in Judaism in order to examine the complex network of connections between racism and anti-Semitism, as you read primary and secondary texts in Jewish philosophy and history and in the study of race and racism. We hope to illuminate these complex issues as well as to engage with them on a personal and political level, examining the relationship between issues of race, religion, identity, and social justice and injustice, and inquiring into how we, as informed citizens in a global society, can affect change for the better. (This is an Honors course.)

Note: This course fulfills the Race & Diversity (GD) requirement for students under GenEd and Studies in Race (RS) for students under Core.

Students cannot receive credit for this course if they have successfully completed any of the following: Jewish Studies 0802/0902 or Religion 0802.

0911. Honors Asian Behavior & Thought: Four Asian Models Shaping Your Action (3 s.h.) RCI: GB.

We incessantly engage ourselves in doing things. We are beings-at-doing. We define ourselves by the kind of actions we perform. How we act or conduct ourselves is shaped by the kind of self we construct for ourselves. And that self is shaped by the society into which we happen to be born. Self-identity, which is socially and culturally constructed by our experiences and interactions with others, carries a personal as well as an interpersonal meaning. Learn the four Asian paradigmatic cases of self-identity and examine your self in light of them.

Note: This course fulfills the Human Behavior (GB) requirement for students under GenEd and Individual & Society (IN) for students under Core.

Students cannot receive credit for this course if they have successfully completed any of the following: ASIA ST 0811, CR LANG 0811, PHILOS 0811, Chinese 0811, Japanese 0811 or Religion 0811.

0933. Honors Race & Poverty in the Americas (3 s.h.) RCI: GD.

The transatlantic slave trade was one of the most brutal and momentous experiences in human history. Attitudes toward Latino, Caribbean, African, and Asian immigrants in the United States today can only be fully understood in the contexts of slavery and the “structural racism,” “symbolic violence” (not to mention outright physical violence), and social inequalities that slavery has spawned throughout the region. Although focusing primarily on the United States, we will also study the present entanglements of poverty and race in Brazil, Haiti, and other selected nations of “The New World,” placing the U.S. (and Philadelphia in particular) experience in this historical context. (This is an Honors course.)

Note: This course fulfills the Race & Diversity (GD) requirement for students under GenEd and Studies in Race (RS) for students under Core.

Students cannot receive credit for this course if they have successfully completed REL 0833, LAS 0833/0933, ANTHRO 0833, or SOC 0833.

0963. Honors Religion in the World (3 s.h.) RCI: GG.

Learn about the major religious traditions found worldwide today: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and several indigenous traditions. Examine the beliefs, practices, and values of these groups in order to understand the worldviews and ways of life of the people who practice them. Our interdisciplinary analysis and interpretation of specific examples of religious experience will help shed light on the overall meaning of religion and human existence. We will carefully consider examples while also focusing on particular thematic issues, like cosmology and ritual. Develop appreciation for the religious vibrancy and diversity that exist in human cultures while you actively engage in the learning process through class presentation, class participation, paper-writing, and a self-selected field trip.

Note: This course fulfills the World Society (GG) requirement for students under GenEd and International Studies (IS) for students under Core.

Duplicate Credit Warning: Students may take only one of the following courses for credit; all other instances will be deducted from their credit totals: Religion 0863, 0963, 1101, C053, Asian Studies 0863, Critical Languages 0863, or Philosophy 0863.

0976. Honors Religion in Philadelphia (3 s.h.) RCI: GU.

The argument is sometimes made that religion in dense urban spaces is characteristically very different from religion as it appears elsewhere. A study of religion in Philadelphia provides numerous ways to explore that idea, especially since the city encompasses a variety of ethnic and immigrant groups, encouraging the generation of new and hybrid forms of religious life that are less possible in smaller populations. Learn how ideas of toleration and freedom, the urban environment, and immigration helped to define the role of religion in the life of this city. Study various religious traditions as they are manifested in the greater Philadelphia area and look at the influences religion has had on the fabric of Philadelphia’s history and cultural life including politics, art, education, journalism and popular culture. You will visit and write about various religious sites and institutions.

Note: This course fulfills the U.S. Society (GU) requirement for students under GenEd and American Culture (AC) for students under Core.

Duplicate Credit Warning: Students cannot receive credit for Religion 0976 if they have successfully completed Religion 0876, 1003, 1903, C052 or H092, History 0876 or 0976.

Lower Division Courses

1001. Religion and Society (3 s.h.) F S. RCI: IN.

(Formerly: REL C054.)

Religion and Society serves as the introductory course that all majors and minors in Religion must take. This course deals with such issues as: What is the nature of religion? What impact does it have on personal identity, social life, and political structures? What ethical issues arise out of the tensions between religion and society? Emphasis on contemporary Western society and forms of religion. Some historical background provided.

Note: This course can be used to satisfy the university Core Individual & Society (IN) requirement. Although it may be usable towards graduation as a major requirement or university elective, it cannot be used to satisfy any of the university GenEd requirements. See your advisor for further information.

1002. Racial Justice: A Religious Mandate for Obedience and Revolt (3 s.h.) F S SS. RCI: RS.

(Formerly: REL R055.)

This introductory course on race and religion examines the emergence and development of religious faith and social protest thought, in order to propose critical options that foster emancipatory practices in the contemporary struggle for racial justice.

Note: This course can be used to satisfy the university Core Studies in Race (RS) requirement. Although it may be usable towards graduation as a major requirement or university elective, it cannot be used to satisfy any of the university GenEd requirements. See your advisor for further information.

1003. Religion in America (3 s.h.) F S SS. RCI: AC.

(Formerly: REL C052.)

A historical and sociological study of practices and beliefs of various religious groups that have shaped American culture, with special attention to ethnic and racial minorities, and to women, as well as to traditional main-line groups and newer movements.

Note: This course can be used to satisfy the university Core American Culture (AC) requirement. Although it may be usable towards graduation as a major requirement or university elective, it cannot be used to satisfy any of the university GenEd requirements. See your advisor for further information.

1004. Religion and the Arts (3 s.h.) S. RCI: AR.

(Formerly: REL C081.)

Focuses on the artistic expression of theological themes in a given religious tradition. Students explore the varieties of art in that tradition, learning to recognize the plastic (architecture, sculpture, metal), visual (painting, glass, fabric), and musical art forms. Analyzing how these forms function in prayer, liturgy, and theology is of primary importance. In addition, the fundamental questions of how the religion deals with the tension between iconic/aniconic, eternal/finite, and divine/human are covered. Course also deals with what religious art means in a secular context.

Note: This course can be used to satisfy the university Core Arts (AR) requirement. Although it may be usable towards graduation as a major requirement or university elective, it cannot be used to satisfy any of the university GenEd requirements. See your advisor for further information.

1005. Introduction to Asian Religions (1 s.h.)

(Formerly: RELIGION 0050.)

Prerequisite: Recommendation by APP instructor.

A companion course to Religion 1102 (C050) for first-term freshmen. This course provides guidance with the assignments of the core course. Emphasis is on reading, listening, speaking, and writing within the context of the core course. Assistance is also given in the continued development of English-language skills, especially academic reading and the acquisition of a general academic vocabulary.

Note: Offered at Temple University Japan only.

1101. Introduction to World Religions (3 s.h.) F S SS. RCI: IS.

(Formerly: REL C053.)

Cross Listed with Asian Studies 1101 (C053).

Introduction to the major world religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam) as a way of coming to know and appreciate the world-views of other cultures. Attention to beliefs, values, and practices of these religions as ways of dealing with the issues basic to human life.

Note: This course can be used to satisfy the university Core International Studies (IS) requirement. Although it may be usable towards graduation as a major requirement or university elective, it cannot be used to satisfy any of the university GenEd requirements. See your advisor for further information.

1102. Introduction to Asian Religions (3 s.h.) F S SS. RCI: IS.

(Formerly: REL C050.)

Cross Listed with Asian Studies 1102 (C050).

Introduction to the major Asian religious, philosophical, and cultural traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto) with emphasis on the cultural roots of each religious tradition, the analysis of its principal teachings and practices, and the major cultural expressions in religious art, ritual, poetry, music, and scriptures.

Note: This course can be used to satisfy the university Core International Studies (IS) requirement. Although it may be usable towards graduation as a major requirement or university elective, it cannot be used to satisfy any of the university GenEd requirements. See your advisor for further information. In addition to meeting the university Core International Studies requirement, this course meets the Non-Western/Third World IS requirement for Communication Sciences majors. Please note the recent update to the Core IS requirement at www.temple.edu/vpus/resources/coreupdates.htm#coreisupdate.

1401. Introduction to Western Religions (3 s.h.) F S SS. RCI: IS.

(Formerly: REL C051.)

This course will study the major Western religious beliefs, values, and practices from their origins in Africa, Europe, and the Near East through the rise and development of the culturally and religiously related traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Attention will also be given to the influence of Western religious ideas and institutions upon issues and movements in the contemporary world scene.

Note: This course can be used to satisfy the university Core International Studies (IS) requirement. Although it may be usable towards graduation as a major requirement or university elective, it cannot be used to satisfy any of the university GenEd requirements. See your advisor for further information.

1902. Honors Introduction to Asian Religions (3 s.h.) F S SS. RCI: IS.

(Formerly: REL H090.)

Cross Listed with Asian Studies 1902 (H090).

Introduction to the major Asian religious, philosophical, and cultural traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto) with emphasis on the cultural roots of each religious tradition, the analysis of its principal teachings and practices, and the major cultural expressions in religious art, ritual, poetry, music, and scriptures.

Note: This course can be used to satisfy the university Core International Studies (IS) requirement. Although it may be usable towards graduation as a major requirement or university elective, it cannot be used to satisfy any of the university GenEd requirements. See your advisor for further information. In addition to meeting the university Core International Studies requirement, this course meets the Non-Western/Third World IS requirement for Communication Sciences majors. Please note the recent update to the Core IS requirement at www.temple.edu/vpus/resources/coreupdates.htm#coreisupdate.

1903. Honors Religion in America (3 s.h.) F S SS. RCI: AC.

(Formerly: REL H092.)

A historical and sociological study of practices and beliefs of various religious groups that have shaped American culture, with special attention to ethnic and racial minorities, and to women, as well as to traditional main-line groups and newer movements.

Note: This course can be used to satisfy the university Core American Culture (AC) requirement. Although it may be usable towards graduation as a major requirement or university elective, it cannot be used to satisfy any of the university GenEd requirements. See your advisor for further information.

Upper Division Courses

2000. Topics in Religious Studies I (3 s.h.) S.

(Formerly: REL 0100.)

The topic for this course changes each semester. Consult the instructor or an advisor in the Religion Department for specific details.

2001. Women in Religion and Society (3 s.h.) SS.

(Formerly: REL 0301.)

Cross Listed with Women’s Studies 2001 (0271).

A study of both the roles and understanding of women in major premodern and modern religious traditions, particularly of the West, including an investigation of the authoritative writings and practices of the various traditions.

2002. Religion and Human Sexuality East & West (3 s.h.) S.

(Formerly: REL 0350.)

The goal of this course is to examine the attitudes and practices of the major world religions regarding human sexuality. Topics to be covered will include marriage and procreation, and such controversial issues as abortion, homosexuality and sexual activity outside of marriage.

2006. Death and Dying (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0343.)

This course focuses upon dying and bereavement in today’s cultural and medical environment, and then on death, mourning and immortality from the perspectives of the world’s religious traditions. We will examine psychological, ethical and philosophical perspectives on the process of dying, care for the dying, and issues of mourning. What are the principle beliefs and practices about personal identity, the nature of God or ultimate reality, death and post-death existence?

2096. Death and Dying (3 s.h.) F S SS. RCI: WI.

(Formerly: REL W343.)

Concepts, attitudes, and practices associated with death and dying in the major religious traditions and in literature, philosophy, and psychology. Contemporary implications for related fields such as medicine, psychiatry, social work, and education.

2101. Religions of India (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0106.)

Cross Listed with Asian Studies 2101 (0162).

An introduction to the foundations, the nature, and the principles of classical Hinduism. An introduction to the fundamentals of Buddhism and Jainism.

2102. Introduction to Buddhism (3 s.h.) F.

(Formerly: REL 0122.)

Cross Listed with Asian Studies 2102 (0122).

Introduction to the historical development of Buddhism in relation to other East Asian religions. Topics include the Four Noble Truths of basic Buddhism and the Hinayana-Mahayana controversy over the Buddhist Dharma and practice, as well as the development of Buddhist thought throughout Asia.

2201. Chinese Religions — Confucius to Mao (3 s.h.) S.

(Formerly: REL 0116.)

Cross Listed with Asian Studies 2201 (0165).

Critical study of the development of Chinese religions from the time of Confucius to Mao, including the problem of ideological continuity in contemporary China (Maoist Marxism versus Confucianism).

2301. Introduction to Zen Buddhism (3 s.h.) F.

(Formerly: REL 0115.)

Cross Listed with Asian Studies 2301 (0168).

This course surveys the historical development of Zen Buddhism as it unfolds in India, China, and Japan, and focuses on the examination of the nature of satori experience. It analyzes its existential meaning from perspectives of therapy, Zen practice, and philosophy.

2401. Religion in the Ancient Near East (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0202.)

This course will explore the religion of the pre-Biblical Near East. We will read texts from Akkadian, Egyptian, Ugaritic, Phoenician, and Mesopotamian cultures and civilizations. Special emphasis will be put on the differences and competing aspects of these religions with Israelite religion.

2402. Foundations of Judaism (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0221.)

In this course students will explore Judaism from a variety of perspectives: historical, religious, literary, artistic, and cultural. What constitutes “Judaism” in a variety of contemporary expressions will be an organizing question for the class.

2403. What Is Judaism? (3 s.h.) S.

(Formerly: REL 0224.)

Cross Listed with Jewish Studies 2403 (0110).

Introduction to the variety of rituals, customs, and practices of the Jewish people in a historical context. Compares and contrasts liberal and traditional Jewish religion with Zionism. Contemporary Jewish novels, poetry, and drama.

2405. Introduction to Afro-Jewish Studies (3 s.h.)

Cross Listed with African American Studies 2405, Jewish Studies 2405.

This course will introduce students to the study of African and African-Diaspora Jews. Students will examine and critically assess the various past and present methods used to study Africana Jewish communities. The research and readings will provide students with a basic introduction to Afro-Jewish history, culture and religion. It will also analyze the effects of race and racism on the construction of Afro-Jewish identities.

2406. Introduction to the Bible (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0240.)

Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). What is the Bible? Where did it come from? How can there be so many different interpretations of the Bible? This course provides an examination of the historical, archeological, literary, and religious backgrounds of the Old Testament.

2408. Jewish Secularism/Jewish Civilization I (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 2801 (0182).)

Cross Listed with Jewish Studies 2408.

Judaism is most often studied as a religious entity, despite the fact that much of Jewish experience does not fit into the rubric and discourse of religion. This course will consider the history of the concept “secularism” and its development in modernity, and will then consider what secularism has meant for Jews in particular. This is the first course of a two-semester sequence. It treats the emergence of Judaism and Jewishness in the modern world, up to the 20th century. Students will be introduced to recent critical work on the construction of “Religion” in the Enlightenment and with it, the “secular/religious” binary. The course will historicize and contextualize the ways that despite Jewish adherence to the notion of Judaism as a religion in the West in the modern period, Jewishness has always exceeded the bounds of this definition. Building on recent work by Baird, Pellegrini and Jakobsen as they rethink “secularism” for the 21st century, students will be asked to rethink Jewish history in other than religious terms. This new conceptual material will provide the framework for reading the classic texts of modern Jewish thought produced up to the end of the 19th century.

2409. Jewish Secularism/Jewish Civilization II (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 2802 (0183).)

Cross Listed with Jewish Studies 2409.

Judaism is most often studied as a religious entity, despite the fact that much of Jewish experience does not fit into the rubric and discourse of religion. This course will consider the history of the concept “secularism” and its development in modernity, and will then consider what secularism has meant for Jews in particular. This is the second course of a two-semester sequence. It covers the development of Jewish thought and community life of the 20th century, starting with the massive wave of Eastern European Jewish immigration that has defined contemporary Judaism in America. We will discuss issues such as: the presumption of religious pluralism in America to the exclusion of other forms of cultural and social identification; and the roots of Yiddish Jewish Secularism in Eastern Europe and how this secular form of modern Jewish identification was unable to adapt itself to American cultural expectations about Jewishness as a religion. Through a careful reading of this particular secular Jewish movement and its demise in America, students will be asked to reconsider how contemporary notions of Jewishness as an ethnicity, a culture, a politics and a way of life continue to challenge dominant U.S. cultural definitions of Judaism as a religion, definitions that rely on Protestantism as the true model of “religion.” Students will be asked to reconsider how assimilation was played out in the West, in the U.S. as well as Western Europe in terms of religious toleration and the implications of this failed assimilation for contemporary Jewish practices of identification.

2447. Kabbalah and Mysticism (3 s.h.) S.

(Formerly: G+R CL 0147.)

Cross Listed with Hebrew 2447 and Jewish Studies 2447.

Introduction to the basic concepts, worldview and psychology of the Kabbalah. Mystical experiences and spiritual practices of the Kabbalists are situated within the context of comparative mysticism.

2496. Introduction to the Bible (3 s.h.) F S SS. RCI: WI.

(Formerly: REL W240.)

Cross Listed with Jewish Studies 2496 (W221).

Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). What is the Bible? Where did it come from? How can there be so many different interpretations of the Bible? This course provides an examination of the historical, archeological, literary, and religious backgrounds of the Old Testament. This course is designed as a Writing Course for the University, so the assignments will reflect the writing requirements.

2501. Introduction to the New Testament (3 s.h.) F S.

(Formerly: REL 0241.)

This course is an introduction to the cultures, histories, and texts of the Mediterranean world that directly influenced the composition of the New Testament. The class explores canonical and extra-canonical texts, from Jewish, Greek, Roman, and Gnostic sources, that helped inform the varieties of early Christianities.

2502. Jesus in the Gospels (3 s.h.) F.

(Formerly: REL 0256.)

This course explores differences and similarities in various depictions of Jesus in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John, addressing these questions: Who was Jesus for them? Why does each author emphasize different teachings or aspects of Jesus? What is the image of Jesus that each author wants to convey? The class will also read ancient, extra-canonical texts about Jesus, and several classic literary works on Jesus, giving many different perspectives on Jesus.

2596. What Is Christianity? (3 s.h.) S. RCI: WI.

(Formerly: REL W253.)

The development of the Christian religion from the Bible to today. What are the principal beliefs of Christianity? How did they come to be so? What have been the major criticisms of Christianity? How can we understand the variety of Christian churches as they face the modern world?

2602. Islam in America (3 s.h.) F.

(Formerly: REL 0208.)

This course deals with Islam in the United States, including the history, practice, lifestyles, and experiences of American Muslims. Islam in America is presented in all its variety, with special attention to Philadelphia, which is a major center of American Islam. The contribution of both African American Muslim movements and recent immigrant Muslim groups is covered.

2606. Introduction to Islam (3 s.h.) S.

(Formerly: REL 0200.)

Cross Listed with Asian Studies 2606 (0260).

A general survey of the religion of Islam, including history, beliefs, sacred texts (Qur’ân and Hadîth) and their interpretation, religious law, Sûfism, philosophy, art, and science. Particular attention also is given to actual Muslim practice and to Islam as a way of life.

2696. Introduction to Islam (3 s.h.) S. RCI: WI.

(Formerly: REL W200.)

Cross Listed with Asian Studies 2696 (W260).

A general survey of the religion of Islam, including history, beliefs, sacred texts (Qur’ân and Hadîth) and their interpretation, religious law, Sûfism, philosophy, art, and science. Particular attention also is given to actual Muslim practice and to Islam as a way of life.

2701. Introduction to African American Religion (3 s.h.) F.

(Formerly: REL 0151.)

Examines African American religion in the context of four periods of African American history: the exercise of slave religious leadership in the “invisible church”; during the post-Emancipation period (1863-1900), the development of institutionalized Black religion, that is, the Black church; in the period of northern immigration (1916-1945), the evolution of many aspects of Black liturgy - especially Black gospel music; and the civil rights struggle of the 1960s and ’70s.

2702. Religion in Contemporary Africa (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0154.)

This course draws upon leading scholarly literature on religion in post-colonial Sub-Saharan Africa. Substantive examples will be drawn from South Africa, Ghana, Senegal, Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo to understand the role of religion in the creation of and the struggle against poverty, political turmoil, civil war, and the AIDS epidemic.

2900. Honors Topics in Religious Studies I (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0192.)

For description, see the Honors section of the course schedule of the semester.

2996. Honors Death and Dying (3 s.h.) F S SS. RCI: WI.

(Formerly: REL H393.)

Concepts, attitudes, and practices associated with death and dying in the major religious traditions and in literature, philosophy, and psychology. Contemporary implications for related fields such as medicine, psychiatry, social work, and education.

3000. Topics in Religious Studies II (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0101.)

Arranged each semester, please consult with the instructor.

3001. Earth Ethics (3 s.h.) F S.

(Formerly: REL 0304.)

Cross Listed with Environmental Studies 3001.

What ethical relationship do human beings have to the natural world? What cultural and religious values, conceptions, and assumptions have shaped human interactions with the environment? Through also examining practical issues such as sustainability, technology, and urban living, students will assess individual life-styles and alternative visions of the good life on planet Earth.

3002. Philosophy of Religion (3 s.h.) F.

(Formerly: REL 0326.)

Issues in philosophy of religion, including the nature of religion, the relation between reason and faith, concepts of God and proofs of the existence of God, religious and mystical experience, the nature of religious language, the problem of evil, the relation of religion to morality, concepts of death and immortality, conflicting truth-claims of different religions, and interreligious dialogue.

3003. Religion and Psychology (3 s.h.) F.

(Formerly: REL 0341.)

Course examines major psychological thinkers’ views on religion’s origins, functions, and meanings. What personality factors create and sustain religiousness? Some attention to the formation of new religious groups as well as individual spiritual life.

3004. Religion and Science (3 s.h.) S.

(Formerly: REL 0359.)

This course offers a historical examination of the relationship of religion and science, leading up to current debates. A variety of views are considered, ranging from those who have viewed the relationship in terms of conflict, to those who see the two as operating in separate spheres, to those who believe that each influences the other in important and often beneficial ways.

3005. Martyrs and Suicides: Religion and Self-Chosen Death (3 s.h.)

Prerequisite: Junior standing and at least one previous Religion course.

This course investigates the way religious traditions have both extolled and condemned self-chosen deaths, and how they have drawn lines that carefully distinguish the honorable and heroic from the cowardly, sinful, and crazy among those who choose their own deaths. This topic will be examined from within a variety of traditions, using a range of methods: theological, philosophical, historical, social scientific.

3082. Independent Study (3 s.h.) F S SS.

(Formerly: REL 0393.)

Prerequisite: Departmental permission.

Individual research project with a specific faculty member. Permission of the professor the student wishes to work with must be given in writing, and registration is completed in the Religion Department.

3101. Yoga & Tantric Mysticism (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0110.)

Cross Listed with Asian Studies 3101 (0163).

This course introduces the students to the history, philosophy, literature, and culture of Classical Indian Yoga and Tantra traditions.

3201. I-Ching, Tao, and Ch’an/Zen (3 s.h.) S.

(Formerly: REL 0117.)

Cross Listed with Asian Studies 3201 (0164).

This course covers selected topics in the history of Taoist ideas and religious practice, which have broadly influenced China for two and a half millennia. Discussion topics include: symbols and divination; the philosophy of Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu; the interaction between Taoism and Ch’an/Zen Buddhism; the Taoist/Ch’an influence on the Chinese literary tradition and ideals of beauty; the Taoist view on ch’i energy, meditation, sexuality, and the good life; and Taoism/Zen in America today.

3222. Sociology of Religion (3 s.h.)

Prerequisite: Any lower level course or 2000-level sociology course.

Cross Listed with Sociology 3222.

This course examines the role of religion in constructing human realities. It emphasizes how human understandings of the world and of reality are constructed socially through collective action with religion playing a prominent role. It looks at how religion influences individual and collective action; the intersection of religion with politics and media; religion’s connection to race, gender, class, and sexual orientation; and the connection between religion and science.

3301. Japanese Religions (3 s.h.) F.

(Formerly: REL 0119.)

Cross Listed with Asian Studies 3301 (0161).

An introduction to Japanese religions, their origins and development in the social, cultural, and intellectual history of Japan. Religions covered are: Shinto, Japanese Buddhism, folk religions, Japanese Confucianism, and the New Religions. Some attention to the expression of Japanese spirituality in the fine arts, martial arts, festivals, and rituals.

3302. Japanese Buddhism (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0120.)

Cross Listed with Asian Studies 3302 (0167).

This course is an introduction to Japanese Buddhism, covering some of the major Buddhist figures including Kukai, Dogen, Shinran, Hakuin, Takuan, and Myoe. In order to understand how Japanese Buddhism accepted Indian and Chinese Mahayana Buddhism, the course traces some of the prominent conceptual frameworks of Mahayana Buddhism which were developed in India and China. The methodological orientation of the course is philosophical or intellectual.

3401. Modern Trends in Judaism (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0223.)

This course will examine Modern and Contemporary visions and versions of Jews, Judaism and Jewish cultural expression. It will present a combination of sociological, philosophical and historical accounts of how Judaism is performed and understood in the Modern and Contemporary period. Content will vary as the course is taught thematically looking at key trends in the period in various locations across the globe.

3403. Biblical Archaeology (3 s.h.) F.

(Formerly: REL 0226.)

An introduction to the history, theory, and methods of Near Eastern Archaeology and its relation to Biblical Studies. Tracing the history of Biblical Archaeology from its roots in the treasure hunters of the 18th century down to the present, we will examine the changing philosophy of archaeology, and the evolving techniques of excavation, by studying several sites and archaeologists.

3404. Dead Sea Scrolls (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0227.)

This class will introduce the students to the texts found in Qumran and their implications for the fields of Biblical studies and New Testament studies. In addition to reading the texts, the students will be introduced to archeology and the technological innovations that science has brought to bear in the reconstruction of the texts and in their publication.

3405. Judaism and Literature (3 s.h.) S.

(Formerly: REL 0234.)

Cross Listed with Jewish Studies 3221 (0223).

Readings of various Jewish literatures focusing on America and issues of immigration and cultural assimilation.

3407. Jews, America and Sports (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0238.)

Cross Listed with Jewish Studies 3407.

While Jews are often seen as “the people of the book,” they are also a “people of the body.” This course will locate sports in the history and sociology of American Jewish life. The first section will look at the history of Jews in relationship to athletics and body image. The course will then focus on the American experience to understand sports in the American context, looking not only at the major sports that Jews have been involved with (baseball, boxing, basketball and track), but also how immigration, urbanization, gambling, assimilation, and anti-Semitism have played roles in how Jews have been involved in sports. We will examine questions about ethnicity and race, gender (both masculinity and women’s participation) and class, and the business of sport. A third section will examine the arena of international affairs, especially the 1936 Olympics, and the role of sports in Israel, and the Israel-America relations as experienced through U.S. participation in the Maccabiah games. We will end by looking at sports in the Jewish imagination and the life of contemporary Jews through a study of business, literature and life experience. The course will encourage students to think in new ways about the Jewish connection to sports. It will require weekly writing assignments and several projects in the Philadelphia Jewish community.

3411. The Philosophies of Judaism (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0225.)

Cross Listed with Political Science 3411 (0270) and Jewish Studies 3411 (0211).

Close study of works by one or more Jewish and political philosophers, stressing their relevance to an understanding of contemporary politics and issues of Jewish identity, culture, and religion.

3501. History of Christianity I (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0245.)

This semester-long course will cover the beginnings of Christianity from its Jewish roots in the 1st century and finish in the 12th century. We will take geographic, theological, cultural, and institutional approaches to the study of the history of Christianity. The course will explore issues of the formation of the New Testament, heresies and doctrines, asceticism and monasticism, and the differences political power had on various Christian groups.

3502. Global Pentecostalism (3 s.h.) F S.

(Formerly: REL 0257.)

The meteoric rise of Pentecostalism throughout the world in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has been so impressive that some scholars speak of it as a “new Reformation.” This course is a comparative historical and anthropological investigation of this important development in world Christianity, with specific substantive units of analysis drawn globally and locally; i.e., from Africa, Asia, and Latin American and from Philadelphia.

3601. The Islamic State (3 s.h.) S.

(Formerly: REL 0203.)

This course examines both the classical theory and modern theory and practice of self-described Islamic states in the modern world. Main focus is on the Middle Eastern area.

3602. Women in Islam (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0205.)

This course will explore the issues confronting women in the religion of Islam and how the surrounding cultures, Indian, Arab, Egyptian, American, Eastern European, Indonesian, African (to name a few) react to these issues. Topics of Feminism, Imperialism, Westernization, and endemic religious culture will organize the course. The syllabus will include Islamic female and male authors on these topics.

3603. Islamic Mysticism (3 s.h.) F.

(Formerly: REL 0207.)

Introduction to the doctrines, practices, and history of Sufism. Analysis of the nature of mystical experience and Sufi principles. The course also includes a survey of Sufi literature and will discuss the brotherhoods, their relationship with orthodoxy, and al-Ghazali’s synthesis.

3701. Traditional Religions of Africa (3 s.h.) F SS.

(Formerly: REL 0157.)

This course is an interdisciplinary analysis and evaluation of selected readings on African religions that have not only survived but migrated across several continents, attracting a growing following in the contemporary societies of North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

3702. African Religions and New World Culture (3 s.h.) S.

(Formerly: REL 0158.)

Cross Listed with LAS 3702.

African religion and culture continues to exist in the religious and cultural life of African Americans. Using an interdisciplinary approach, we will examine African American religion, folklore, literature, music, and communication in order to assess the continuation and transformation of African culture in the world-view of African Americans.

3882. Independent Study (2 s.h.) F S SS.

(Formerly: REL 0391.)

Prerequisite: Departmental permission.

Individual research project with a specific faculty member.

3900. Honors Topics in Religious Studies (3 s.h.) RCI: HO.

(Formerly: REL H192.)

The topic of this course changes each semester that it is taught, since different professors teach it. Check the course offerings online each semester.

3901. Honors Contemporary Religious Thinkers (3 s.h.) RCI: HO.

(Formerly: REL H329.)

This course explores work of various thinkers from different World Religions organized around themes of cosmology, theology, ethics, mysticism, and global politics.

3904. Honors Earth Ethics (3 s.h.) RCI: HO.

Cross Listed with Asian Studies 3904, Environmental Studies 3904.

What is, or should be, our relation to the natural world? Especially since we are presently living in a modern urban environment, have we perhaps outgrown nature? Is it something we have mastered? Is it primarily a luxury of sorts that we can go to for periodic enjoyment or relaxation? On the other hand, why do we seem to be in a burgeoning environmental crisis? Is it just greed? Too many people? Insufficient technology? How did we get to where we are? Or more immediately--and perhaps deeply--what fundamental beliefs, attitudes, and values shape our everyday actions, how we perceive and use (or misuse) the earth? What creative alternatives can we find, and how can we apply them? In addressing these kinds of questions we will explore both Western and Asian ways of conceiving and interacting with the natural world, past and present. Our approach will also be interdisciplinary, including materials from art, film and literature, as well a range of academic disciplines.

Note: This is an University Honors course.

4000. Topics in Religious Studies I (2 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0102.)

The topic for this course changes each semester. Consult the instructor or an advisor in the Religion Department for specific details.

4001. Existentialism: Secular and Religious (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0330.)

This course will explore Existentialism from its beginnings in the 19th and 20th century through its changes and different directions in contemporary society. Authors such as Sartre, Camus, Dostoyevsky, Rorty, Stout, and others will be read.

4002. Religion and the Arts (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0346.)

This course is designed to explore the nexus of Religion and Art both philosophically and aesthetically. Various theories of aesthetics will be analyzed and compared. Focuses on the artistic expression of theological themes in a given religious tradition. Students explore the varieties of art in that tradition, learning to recognize the plastic (architecture, sculpture, metal), visual (painting, glass, fabric), and musical art forms. Analyzing how these forms function in prayer, liturgy, and theology is of primary importance. In addition, the fundamental questions of how the religion deals with the tension between iconic/aniconic, eternal/finite, and divine/human are covered. Course also deals with what religious art “means” in a secular context.

4003. Comparative Mysticism East and West (3 s.h.) F.

(Formerly: REL 0368.)

In this class the students will be introduced to the mysticism of certain eastern religions and certain western religions, which will be determined by the instructor. They will be chosen from Japanese Buddhism, Hinduism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam. The students will read primary texts from these traditions. Understanding the practice of mysticism in these traditions, as well as the theoretical systems that support these practices -- in a comparative framework -- will organize the readings and the lectures for the semester.

4010. Topics in Religious Studies (3 s.h.)

The topic changes each semester. See the course schedule for the topic in a specific semester.

4082. Independent Study (3 s.h.) F S SS.

(Formerly: REL 0394.)

Prerequisite: Departmental permission.

Individual research project with a specific faculty member. Permission of the professor the student wishes to work with must be given in writing, and registration is completed in the Religion Department.

4096. Capstone Seminar in Religion (3 s.h.) F S. RCI: WI.

(Formerly: REL W370.)

Prerequisite: Religion majors only. Students must have completed at least 5 major courses prior to taking this course. Minors by permission of instructor.

This course is designed to be the final culminating class experience for undergraduate Religion majors at Temple. The topic of the course is: “Theories of Religion and Secularism.” The course first will consider the history of the terminology, ideology, and underlying theories about religion and those concepts that religion has been defined against from ancient times to the present, but mainly concentrating on modern western discourses, which are those that have primarily informed the prevailing definitions. Second, we will consider various theories currently challenging or seeking to modify this received tradition of religious studies. In doing this, we will also consider the relations of the field of religious studies with other academic fields as well as with current public discourses, especially those in our country, but also to some extent those in the rest of the world.

Note: Capstone course in major. Starting fall 2009 the Capstone will be offered both fall and spring semesters. Students must have completed at least 5 major courses prior to taking this course.

4406. Secular Study of Ancient Jewish History: Between the Torah and the Talmud (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0362.)

Cross Listed with Jewish Studies 4406 (0360).

Ancient Jewish history is usually narrated as if Jews went directly from Torah to Talmud, with nothing in between. Such an account privileges the authoritative religious developments and the leadership first, of the priests who collated the core of the Torah, and second, of the early Rabbis, who collated the Mishnah, the earliest strata of the Talmud. This course explores the explosive and intriguing history between these two religious moments, and in doing so, rejects the religious chronology as the basis of historiography. The history and textual materials from these periods in Jewish History raise many of the perennial themes that have come to inform Jewish social life over the centuries. In fact, during this period in which Jews first become Jews, these issues arise for the first time: exile, political decentralization, disagreements between Jews about what constitutes the parameters of the Jewish community; peoplehood, nation, and the boundaries of group identity, intermarriage, conversion, and the movement of Jewish identity from a territory-based definition to an ethnic definition, to a definition based in piety.

4411. Secularism: Jewish and Muslim Women (3 s.h.)

Prerequisite: Students are strongly encouraged to have at least one upper level Jewish Studies, Religion or Women’s Studies course, more than one of these courses is preferred.

Cross Listed with Jewish Studies 4411 & Women’s Studies 4411.

In its three-hundred-year history as a Western concept, secularism is often defined as the opposite of religion. Religious women have alternately found western secularism to be a source of liberation (as it grants them greater civil rights) and a source of oppression (as it putatively shrinks the religious sphere). In creating feminisms through Jewish and Muslim experience, feminisms that are both secular and religious, these religious women have complicated the meanings of secularism. They have also challenged the notion that feminism is necessarily secular. This course looks at examples of Jewish and Muslim women’s lives and feminist thought in the US, Europe, and the Middle East. The course will compare and contrast the feminism of these two groups of religious women, in order to more fully understand the role of concepts like secularism, feminism, and religion.

4882. Independent Study (1 to 4 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0395.)

Individual study with a specific faculty member. Permission of the professor the student wishes to work with must be given in writing, and registration is completed in the Religion Department.

4900. Honors Topics in Religious Studies II (3 s.h.)

(Formerly: REL 0193.)

For description, see the Honors section of the course schedule of the semester.

4901. Honors Comparative Philosophy of Religion (3 s.h.) S. RCI: HO.

(Formerly: REL H397.)

An introduction to comparative philosophy of religion, Asian and Western. After asking what is meant by “comparative philosophy of religion,” we will focus on comparative philosophical study of basic concepts and issues in Western and Asian religious traditions. For example: concepts of divine or ultimate reality; arguments for the existence of an ultimate reality; the relation of faith and reason; critiques of religion; the problem of evil; concepts of personal destiny and immortality; the relation of religion to morality; religious and mystical experience; the nature of religious language; the problem of conflicting truth-claims and religious pluralism.


[Back] [Top]
Last updated 10/8/2010