C050. Introduction to Asian Religions (3 s.h.) FS Core: IS

Crosslisted with: Asian Studies 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: The Honors form of this course is H090.

C051. Introduction to Western Religions (3 s.h.) FS Core: IS

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.

C052. Religion in America (3 s.h.) FS Core: AC

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: The Honors form of this course is H092.

C053. Introduction to World Religions (3 s.h.) FS Core: IS

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.

C054. Religion and Society (3 s.h.) FS Core: IN

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.

R055. Racial Justice: A Religious Mandate for Obedience and Revolt (3 s.h.) FS Core: RS

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.

C081. Religion and the Arts (3 s.h.) S Core: AR

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.

0100. Topics in Religious Studies I: Women in Chinese Religion (3 s.h.) S

The course focuses on the images, roles, and experience of women in Chinese religions: Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Topic discussions include: gender concepts, norms, and roles defined by each tradition; the body image and feminine symbols; and the biographies and narratives of women recorded in Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist literature.

0106-W106. Religions of India (3 s.h.) S Core: WI

Crosslisted with: Asian Studies 0162.

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

0115. Introduction to Zen Buddhism (3 s.h.) F

Crosslisted with: Asian Studies 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.

0116. Chinese Religions—Confucius to Mao (3 s.h.) S

Crosslisted with: Asian Studies 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).

0117. I-Ching, Tao, and Ch’an/Zen (3 s.h.) S

This course covers selected topics in the history of Taoist ideas and religious practice, which have broadly influenced China for two and a half millenia. 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.

0118. Chinese Buddhism (3 s.h.) FS

Crosslisted with: Asian Studies 0166.

The history and schools of thought and practice of Buddhism in China, from the introduction of Buddhism to China from India and its interaction with the classical religions of China (Confucianism, Taoism), the rise of the major schools of Chinese Buddhism (Tien Tai, Hua Yen, Chan (Zen), and Pure Land).

0119. Japanese Religions (3 s.h.) F

Crosslisted with: Asian Studies 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.

0122. Introduction to Buddhism (3 s.h.) F

Crosslisted with: Asian Studies 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.

W122. Introduction to Buddhism (3 s.h.) F Core: WI

Crosslisted with: Asian Studies 0122.

See Religion 0122.

0151. Introduction to African American Religion (3 s.h.) F

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.

0157. Traditional Religions of Africa (3 s.h.) F

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.

0158. African Religions and New World Culture (3 s.h.) S

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.

0200. Introduction to Islam (3 s.h.) S

Crosslisted with: Asian Studies 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.

W200. Introduction to Islam (3 s.h.) S Core: WI

Crosslisted with: Asian Studies 0260.

See Religion 0200.

0203. The Islamic State (3 s.h.) S

Crosslisted with: History 0315.

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.

0207. Islamic Mysticism (3 s.h.) F

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.

0208. Islam in America (3 s.h.) F

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.

0222. Philosophy of Judaism (3 s.h.) F

Crosslisted with: Political Science 0322 and Jewish Studies 0211.

An introduction to various medieval and modern Jewish philosophies.

0224. What Is Judaism? (3 s.h.) S

Crosslisted with: Jewish Studies 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.

0226. Biblical Archaeology (3 s.h.) F

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 eighteenth 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.

0234. Judaism and Literature (3 s.h.) S

Crosslisted with: Jewish Studies 0223.

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

W240. Introduction to the Bible (3 s.h.) FS Core: WI

Crosslisted with: Jewish Studies 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? An examination of the historical and religious background of the Old Testament and the various kinds of literature in the Bible.

0241. Introduction to the New Testament (3 s.h.) FS

An introduction to the New Testament including such issues as: how these books came to be called "the New Testament;" the various literary types of "gospel," "epistle," theological tract (e.g. Hebrews), visionary writing (Revelation or Apocalypse); and the outlooks of the various evangelists and Paul.


0253. What Is Christianity? (3 s.h.) S

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?

W253. What Is Christianity? (3 s.h.) S Core: WI

See Religion 0253.

0256. Jesus in the Gospels (3 s.h.) F

An examination of the various interpretations of Jesus and his work in the four gospels and in some non-Biblical works, both ancient and modern. The cultural and historical background of Jesus and the authors of these works are also investigated.

0292. Junior Honors Paper (3 s.h.) FS

Independent study and writing of a major research paper in the area of the student’s special interest.

0293-0294. Senior Honors Thesis I-II (3 s.h. each) FS

A year-long research project of independent study and writing of a substantial research dissertation in the area of the student’s special interest.

0295. Senior Honors Paper (3 s.h.) FS

Independent study and writing of a major research paper in the area of the student’s special interest.

0301. Women in Religion and Society (3 s.h.) SS

Crosslisted with: Woman's Studies 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.

0306. The Holocaust: Resistance and Response (3 s.h.) F

Crosslisted with: Jewish Studies 0305.

This course will ask questions about what it means to resist and respond to the Holocaust. It will do this through: film, art, literature, politics, and theology.

0307. Ethics and Human Institutions (3 s.h.) F

This course focuses on how religion plays a significant role in the lives of ordinary people. Special attention is given to analyzing the moral reasoning, laws, codes, and values that help women, men, and children make ethical decisions in their daily affairs.

0326. Philosophy of Religion (3 s.h.) F

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.

0327. Comparative Philosophy of Religion (3 s.h.) S

Honors version: Religion H397.

An introduction to the comparative philosophy of religion, Asian and Western. Focus on basic concepts and issues such as ultimate reality, faith and reason, critiques of religion, the problem of evil, personal destiny and immortality, religion and morality, religious and mystical experience, the nature of religious language, conflicting truth-claims, and the challenge of religious pluralism.

0341. Religion and Psychology (3 s.h.) F

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.

W343. Death and Dying (3 s.h.) FS Core: WI

Honors version: Religion 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.

0359. Religion and Science (3 s.h.) S

This course offers a historical examination of the relationship 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.

0368 Comparative Mysticism East and West (3 s.h.) F

This course is designed to examine major "mystical" thinkers of both Western and Eastern traditions focusing on the philosophical, psychological and practical implications of their positions, while incorporating the contemporary discussions on the nature of mystical experience.

0391-0392. Independent Study (2 s.h. each) FS

Prerequisite: Departmental permission.

Individual research project with a specific faculty member.

0393-0394. Independent Study (3 s.h. each) FS

Prerequisite: Departmental permission.

Individual research project with a specific faculty member.