Course Descriptions: Religious Studies (REL)

General education courses are marked with an asterisk (*).


*1000 Religions of the World (3) Primarily for non-majors. Credit will not be given for this course and REL 1015. Survey of the religions of the world such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and indigenous religious traditions.

1001 Beginning Hebrew (4) See HEBR 1001.

*1002 Beginning Hebrew (4) See HEBR 1002.

1004 Old Testament (3) Credit will not be given for this course and REL 1007. Scholarly study of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) against the background of the history and religious life of ancient Israel.

*1005 New Testament (3) Credit will not be given for this course and REL 1006. Introduction to the history, religion, and literature of early Christianity from about 30 to 150 CE; emphasis on the writings of the New Testament and the methods by which scholars study them.

*1007 HONORS: Old Testament (3) Same as REL 1004, with special honors emphasis for qualified students. Credit will not be given for this course and REL 1004.


*2000 Introduction to the Study of Religion (3) Thematic introduction to the academic study of religion; ways of being religious; forms of religious literature; beliefs and rituals; the place of religion in human life.

*2001 Faith and Doubt (3) Intellectual sources of religious doubt; alternatives to traditional Judeo-Christian religion, including existentialism, Freudianism, and psychological behaviorism.

*2003 Intermediate Hebrew (4) See HEBR 2003.

*2004 Intermediate Hebrew (4) See HEBR 2004.

*2006 HONORS: Jesus in History and Tradition (3) Primarily for honors students and students concentrating in religious studies. Ideas about Jesus from antiquity to the present, including the modern quest for the historical Jesus.

*2027 Asian Religions (3) Survey of the history, beliefs, and practices of the major religions of Southern and Eastern Asia, focusing on Hinduism, Buddhism, and the religions of China and Japan.

2028 Philosophy of Religion (3) Same as PHIL 2028. Meaning of religion as a pervasive phenomenon in human societies; faith and reason, nature of divinity, arguments for and against God's existence, religious knowledge and experience, morality and cult, the problem of evil.

*2029 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (3) Survey of the history, beliefs, and practices of these three related religions.

*2033 American Religions (3) Introduction to religions in America.

2034 Indigenous Religions (3) Introduction to the religions of the indigenous peoples or “First Nations” of the Americas, Africa, and Australia.

2120 The Holocaust (3) Responses of Judaism and the Christian church to Nazi Germany's killing of the Jews; issues about God, human morality, Western civilization, and modernity.


3000 Christianity (2) Advanced survey of the global history of Christianity, with in-depth analysis of the diversity of Christian beliefs and practices throughout the world.

3004 Archaeology and the Bible (3) Also offered as ANTH 3004. Major figures and discoveries influencing the historical study of the Bible; emphasis on results of excavations and discovery of written documents and inscriptions.

3010 Special Topics in Religious Studies (3) May be taken for a max. of 12 hrs. of credit when topics vary.

3030 Topics in Mysticism (3) May be taken for a max. of 6 sem. hrs. of credit when topics vary. Studies of the literature and practices of particular mystical traditions, such as Christian, Kabbalistic, Sufi, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Afro-Caribbean, or the shamanistic traditions of the Americas, or Tibet and Central Asia.

3033 Native American Religions (3) Survey of native North American religious traditions from prehistory to the present; including issues of conversion and Christianization, freedom of religion, and gender.

3051 Apocalypse: Then and Now (3) Ideas about the end of the world from antiquity to the present; emphasis on the book of Revelation and its continuing influence.

*3090 Comparative Mythology (3) See CLST 3090.

3092 Fundamentalisms and Religious Nationalism (3) Also offered as INTL 3092. Investigates how the phenomenon of fundamentalism manifests itself in combinations of religion and politics in various countries around the world as a response to “modernity.”

3100 Judaism (3) Religious texts, faith, and practice in Judaism, from antiquity to the present.

3102 American Catholic History (3) Roman Catholicism in its North American context: the European heritage; immigration; political, intellectual, and devotional life.

3104 Ancient Hebrew Prophets (3) Prophetic movement in ancient Israel; different modern interpretations of prophecy.

3124 The Literature of the English Bible (3) Also offered as ENGL 3124.

3203 Religion and Parapsychology (3) Extraordinary human experiences such as faith healing, death and dying, exorcism, apparitions, and witchcraft, examined from the perspective of religious phenomenology, philosophy, and psychology.

3300 Women and Religion (3) Role of women in the religions of the world.

3786 The Religion of Islam (3) Also offered as INTL 3786. Introduction to the major religious and cultural dimensions of the Islamic world, both those that express its diversity and those that express its continuity; emphasis on the development of classical Islamic institutions and ideas, the diverse forms of Islamic religious and cultural life over the past fourteen centuries as the Islamicate tradition has spread around the world.


4001 South Asian Society, Polity, and Culture (3) See INTL 4002.

4010 Selected Topics in Religious Studies (3) May be taken for a max. of 12 hrs. of credit when topics vary.

4011 The Age of Reformation (3) See HIST 4011.

4012 History of Modern Christian Thought (3) Prereq.: one religious studies course. Also offered as HIST 4012. Major figures in the history of Christian thought from the Reformation through the 19th century.

4014 Questions in Jewish Thought (3) See PHIL/HIST/GERM 4014. This is a survey of the major questions of Jewish thinkers in the Modern Period, such as, how new ideas about identity and religiousness emerged, how the social changes influenced the view of Jews and Judaism and how the Holocaust has altered everything.

4018 Religion and Healing (3) Analysis of cultural and religious influences on the concepts of illness and health and the relationship of body and mind in cross-cultural perspective, including bio-medicine and a range of Asian healing paradigms.

4031 Comparative Religions (3) See ANTH 4031.

4032 Religion, Gender, and Society (3) Also offered as ANTH 4032. Examination of the link between religious ideas and gender formulations within simple and complex societies and certain religious communities.

4035 Women & Buddhism (3) Buddhist concepts of women in comparative socio-historical contexts. Critical analyses of practices, teachings, and interpretive frames.

4050 A History of God (3) Traces the development of the concept of God from antiquity to the present.

4079 Geography of Religion (3) See GEOG 4079.

4096 The Modern Middle East (3) See HIST 4096.

4097 Political Theology (3) See POLI 4097.

4124 Studies in African Diaspora Religions (3) Also offered as AAAS 4124. May be taken for a max. of 6 hrs. of credit when topics vary. Analysis of religious beliefs, rituals, and practices and their roles in the lives of African Diaspora peoples.

4125 History of Ancient Israel (3) Also offered as HIST 4125. Israelite history from its beginnings to the Christian era; readings from biblical and other ancient Near Eastern texts.

4161 History of Religion in the United States (3) See HIST 4161.

4171 Religion in Southern Culture (3) Religion as a component of Southern history and culture; emphasis on the religious culture of Louisiana.

4191 Religions of China and Japan (3) See HIST 4191.

4200 Special Topics in American Religion (3) Advanced examination of special topics in American religion.

4227 Contemporary Christian Thought (3) Major theologians and theological movements of the 20th century.

4236 Studies in Literature and Religion (3) See ENGL 4236.

4301 Theories of Religion (3) Theories about the origin, nature, and function of religion from the social sciences and other disciplines.

4500 Seminar in Biblical Studies (3) Prereq.: one course in Biblical studies. May be taken for a max. of 6 hrs. of credit when topics vary.

4505 The Rise of Christianity (3) Also offered as HIST 4505. An introduction to the history, literature, and religion of ancient Christianity from its beginnings in first-century Palestine to its establishment as the mandated religion of the Roman Empire under Justinian in the sixth century.

4507 Topics in the History of Christianity (3) Also offered as HIST 4507. Prereq.: permission of instructor. May be taken for a max. of 9 sem. hrs. of credit when topics vary.

4600 Hinduism (3) Prereq.: REL 2027 or consent of instructor. A survey of Hinduism from its origins to the present.

4800 Buddhism (3) Prereq.: REL 2027 or consent of the instructor. A survey of Buddhism from its origins to the present.

4850 Buddhist Psychology (3) Buddhist conceptions of mind, self, psyche, and personhood in comparison to Western views of the same.

4928 Medieval Philosophy (3) See PHIL 4928.

4939 Kierkegaard (3) See PHIL 4939.

4990 Independent Reading and Research (1-3) Open to advanced students with prior approval of faculty member who will direct the course. Student is responsible for selecting area of reading and research and gaining agreement of faculty member to direct the course. May be taken for a max. of 6 hrs. of credit when topics vary.


7990 Independent Study (3) May be taken for a max. of 6 sem. hrs. of credit when topics vary.