2021-2022 Academic Catalog

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Religious Studies (RLST)

RLST 5010 -  Comparative Religious Systems  (3 Credits)  

A cross-cultural analysis of religious belief and behavior. Emphasis is placed on religions found among non-Western cultural groups and includes consideration of how major religions of the world are manifested on local levels. Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree majors. Cross-listed with ANTH 4130, 5130, RLST 4010. Max hours: 3 Credits.

Grading Basis: Letter Grade

Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree Majors

RLST 5020 -  Sociology of Religion  (3 Credits)  

This course introduces students to the nature and functions of religion in society, emphasizing western religions in the U.S. Students will develop and apply an understanding of classic and modern sociological theories of religion to current events and disciplinary developments. Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree majors. Cross-listed with SOCY 4610, SOCY 5610, RLST 4020. Max hours: 3 Credits.

Grading Basis: Letter Grade

Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree Majors

RLST 5030 -  Race, Religion and Belonging in the United States  (3 Credits)  

Race/ethnicity and religion are conconstitutive social and cultural formations that have played a fundamental part in determining the boundaries of belonging of the United States. In this course, students will interrogate when, why and how race/ethnicity and religion have been used to delineate borders, determine citizenship, navigate legal classifications, dictate social mobility, and regulate economic possibilities. We will analyze both primary sources ‐such as sermons, reality TV shows, court cases and graphic images‐as well as scholarly writing to explore how formations of race and religion have shaped notions of belonging in the US nation‐state, thereby constructing the boundaries of the state itself. Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree majors. Cross-listed with ETST 4030, ETST 5030, RLST 4030, HIST 4209 and HIST 5029. Max hours: 3 Credits.

Grading Basis: Letter Grade

Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree Majors

RLST 5040 -  Psychology of Religion  (3 Credits)  

Examines the theories developed by some of the great names in the field of psychology and their approaches to religion. Questions addressed include why people become religious, how religion functions in their lives, religious experience and assessment of the validity of religious claims. Key theorists studied include: William James, Sigmund Freud, Carl G. Jung, Abraham Maslow and Erich Fromm. Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree majors. Cross-listed with RLST 4040. Term offered: spring. Max hours: 3 Credits.

Grading Basis: Letter Grade

Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree Majors

RLST 5060 -  Philosophy of Religion  (3 Credits)  

Nature of religion and methods of studying it. Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree majors. Cross-listed with HUMN 5600, PHIL 4600, 5600, RLST 4060, and SSCI 5600. Term offered: summer. Max hours: 3 Credits.

Grading Basis: Letter Grade

Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree Majors

RLST 5160 -  Mysticism  (3 Credits)  

Explores the mystical strains within the world's great religious traditions. Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mystics did not always express the same beliefs and attitudes as mainstream adherents. When mystics are placed side-by-side, amazing similarities appear. One cannot always tell whether a given mystical statement is Hindu, Jewish, Sufi, or Christian. This class examines these mystical traditions, East and West. Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree majors. Cross-listed with RLST 4160. Term offered: spring. Max hours: 3 Credits.

Grading Basis: Letter Grade

Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree Majors

RLST 5300 -  Myth and Symbol  (3 Credits)  

Approaches the field of classical Greek mythology and religion from the perspective of Jungian archetypal theory. The deities of the ancient Greeks are presented as archetypal patterns with universal correlates elsewhere in world religions. A foundation in C. G. Jung's archetypal theory will be offered to ground the course material. Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree majors. Cross-listed with RLST 4300. Term offered: spring. Max Hours: 3 Credits.

Grading Basis: Letter Grade

Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree Majors

RLST 5360 -  Freudian and Jungian Perspectives in Dream Analysis  (3 Credits)  

Focuses on the phenomenon of dreams in a way that differs distinctly from the traditional approach to the subject in the field of psychology. "Spiritual" approaches to dreams are examined, as well as some major theorists on dreams, especially the work of Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung. Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree majors. Cross-listed with RLST 4360. Term offered: fall. Max hours: 3 Credits.

Grading Basis: Letter Grade

Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree Majors

RLST 5400 -  Differing Concepts of God  (3 Credits)  

God, Gods, and Goddesses have been imagined in many different modes, forms, aspects, and guises throughout human history. This course investigates Paleolithic models of God, the Great Goddess of the Neolithic era, the Gods of mythological traditions, Biblical God, the abstract God of the philosophers, the God of the pantheists, the deists, and the God of the mystics. Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree majors. Cross-listed with RLST 4400, PHIL 4650 and 5655. Term offered: fall. Max hours: 3 Credits.

Grading Basis: Letter Grade

Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree Majors

RLST 5420 -  Goddess Traditions  (3 Credits)  

Explores the many forms which Goddesses have assumed through history, including the Neolithic Great Mother and her heiresses in the ancient Mediterranean cultures, such as: Isis, Ishtar, Demeter, Hecate, Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena and others, and their parallels in India. Goddess traditions have encompassed a full spectrum from virgins to Great Mothers to dark underworld Goddesses of death and destruction. Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree majors. Cross-listed with RLST 4420 and WGST 4420/5420. Term offered: spring. Max Hours: 3 Credits.

Grading Basis: Letter Grade

Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree Majors

RLST 5440 -  Concepts of the Soul  (3 Credits)  

Asks the questions: What is the nature of the human being? What makes us "human?" Do humans have a "soul?" What is its nature? Is it different from the "spirit?" What is its ultimate fate? Examines the various theories put forward by philosophers of both Eastern and Western traditions. Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree majors. Cross-listed with RLST 4440 and PHIL 4470, 5470. Term offered: spring. Max hours: 3 Credits.

Grading Basis: Letter Grade

Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree Majors

RLST 5460 -  Death and Concepts of Afterlife  (3 Credits)  

Examines how the major religious traditions approach the issue of death. Where the Egyptians were fascinated by death, their Mesopotamian and Hebrew neighbors saw no kind of experience continuing after death. Concepts of the Final Judgment Day and the end of the world follow in Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam, while Indian religions developed a sophisticated theory of reincarnation and the "art of dying." Finally, we will turn to Chinese belief in ancestral spirits. Restriction: Restricted to Graduate level students. Cross-listed with RLST 4460. Term offered: fall. Max Hours: 3 Credits.

Grading Basis: Letter Grade

Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree Majors

RLST 5462 -  Islam in Modern History  (3 Credits)  

This course studies Islamic thought and practice over the last two centuries in terms of major historical processes that have operated at local, national, and global scales. Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree majors. Cross-listed with RLST 4462, HIST 4462, HIST 5462. Term offered: fall. Max hours: 3 Credits.

Grading Basis: Letter Grade

Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree Majors

RLST 5480 -  Perspectives on Good and Evil  (3 Credits)  

Examines "problem of evil" as formulated in the philosophical tradition. Presents classical formulation of the problem, traditional solutions & classical critiques of each answer. Considers perspectives of various religious orientations, which deal differently with the question of suffering. Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree majors. Cross-listed with PHIL 4480/5480, RLST 4480. Term offered: fall. Max hours: 3 Credits.

Grading Basis: Letter Grade

Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree Majors

RLST 5500 -  Religion and Politics  (3 Credits)  

Exploration of: (1) theoretical perspectives on the relationship between religion and politics; (2) causes of and justifications for the historical development of the Western separation of "church and state;" (3) contemporary responses to and analyses of this separation; and (4) several current debates about public policy in America that reveal tensions between these two spheres. Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree majors. Cross-listed with PSCI 4057, 5057 and RLST 4500. Max hours: 3 Credits.

Grading Basis: Letter Grade

Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree Majors

RLST 5710 -  Women and Religion  (3 Credits)  

A sociological exploration of the contemporary roles of women in religion. Course examines American and world religious groups with an eye to women's involvement. Considers how women have changed these traditions as they take on leadership roles and discusses the tensions that arise within these traditions as a result of their expanded participation. Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree majors. Cross-listed with HUMN 5710, SSCI 4710/5710, WGST 4710/5710, RLST 4710. Max hours: 3 Credits.

Grading Basis: Letter Grade

Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree Majors

RLST 5730 -  Whores and Saints: Medieval Women  (3 Credits)  

Studies how women are presented in texts, as well as works by women. Investigates the roles open to women and societal attitudes toward women, who were considered seductresses, saints, scholars and warriors in the middle ages. Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree majors. Cross-listed with ENGL 4510/5510, RLST 4730 and WGST 4510/5510. Max hours: 3 Credits.

Grading Basis: Letter Grade

Restriction: Restricted to Graduate and Graduate Non-Degree Majors

RLST 5880 -  Directed Research  (1-6 Credits)  

Students will engage in original research projects supervised and mentored by faculty. Students must work with faculty prior to registration to develop a proposal for their project and receive permission to take this course. Note: Students must submit a special processing form completely filled out and signed by the student and faculty member, describing the course expectations, assignments and outcomes, to the Graduate School for approval. Term offered: fall, spring, summer. Repeatable. Max Hours: 6 Credits.

Grading Basis: Letter Grade

Repeatable. Max Credits: 6.