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Department of History, Political Science & Philosophy
College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

 

PROGRAMS
History
Philosophy
Political Science
Religion

Black Studies Minor
Pre-Law Certificate

Religion Program Requirements & Course Descriptions

Religion Major

Required Courses (3 credits each):
REL 204 – Introduction to Phenomenology of Religion
REL 231 – Comparative Religious Ethics or
REL 202 – Religious Ethics
REL 302 – Philosophy of Religion
REL 303 – Religion and American Culture
REL 309 – Comparative Religions
REL 341 – Theology
REL 380 – Sacred Texts
REL 402 – Religion Seminar

Select Three Electives (3 credits each):
REL 166 – The Religion of the Old Testament
REL 188 – The Life and Teachings of Jesus
REL 204 – Introduction to Religious Phenomena
REL 301 – Modern Religious Thought
REL 303 – Religion in American Culture
REL 307 – African-American Religion
REL 310 – Martin Luther King, Jr.
REL 340 – Ideologies of Black Liberation
REL 345 – Spirituality of World Religions
REL 348 – Liberation Theologies
REL 399 – Topics in Religion
REL 401 – Major Religions of the World
REL 495 – Independent Study/Research

Total 33 credits

Religion Minor

Select three of the following (3 credits each):
REL 202 – Religious Ethics
REL 302 – Philosophy of Religion
REL 309 – Comparative Religions
REL 341 – Theology
REL 380 – Sacred Texts
Select two electives as listed above:
Total 15 credits

Religion Course Descriptions

REL 166 Religion of the Old Testament
This course covers the religious history of the Hebrews from 2000 B.C. to the Christian era with special emphasis on the conceptions of God and man. Attention is given to the influence of social and political history on Hebrew religion and ethics.

REL 188 Life and Teachings of Jesus
This course is an introduction to the life and teachings of Jesus. The course includes a study of the background of the life of Jesus, and an analysis of his teaching methods and the content of his message.

REL 200 Introduction to Religion
This course is an introduction to the study of religion and its influence on contemporary culture. The course deals with the leaders, basic beliefs, and practices of three major world religions: Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity. The course is designed to enable the student to understand religion as a vital part of the human experience.

REL 202 Religious Ethics
The ethics of Jesus, Aquinas, Calvin, Bennett, Niebuhr, and other religious thinkers are studied with special reference to the challenge of contemporary culture to theological ethics.

REL 204 Introduction to Religious Phenomena
This course I an introduction to the various religious modes and the several approaches to the study of religion. The student will be introduced to various methodological approaches to the study of religions, including Western religions, early African religion, Islam, and Buddhism.

REL 231 Comparative Religious Ethics
This course explores the ethics of the major religions of the world. The intent is to develop the ability to recognize distinctive elements of the moral consciousness arising in each tradition. The course also makes an inquiry into the relation between religious convictions and religious ethics, and the extent to which these religions might find common ground in specific areas of moral concern: rights, violence, and respect for life.

REL 250 History of Christianity I
Students will be introduced to the rise of Christianity. Biographical material relating to important figures, major themes, defining moments, and ideas will be identified. The theological debates and subsequent schisms will be examined; the growth of Christian institutions, popular piety, sects and heterodox groups will also be examined.

REL 251 History of Christianity
Students will be introduced to the historical and cultural settings in which developments occurred. The impact of the Reformation on the Church, important figures, major themes, defining moments, and ideas will be identified. Major characteristics of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Protestantism and Roman Catholicism will be examined. The growth of Christian institutions, popular piety, ecumenism, sects and heterodox groups are covered as well.
REL 301 Modern Religious Thought
This course surveys the major Western religious traditions, from the Nineteenth Century to the present, with special emphasis on science and religion, theology and culture, theology of liberation, and Black theology.

REL 302 Philosophy of Religion
This course is designed to acquaint students with not only the classical but also the current state of the debate in philosophy of religion. The course is intended to familiarize students with philosophical issues in religion. Both Western and non-Western religions presuppose respective basic philosophies, which are analyzed in this course. The course deals with theistic religions, nontheistic religions, Western, African, and Easter religions. It considers their metaphysics, ethics and existence.

REL 303 Religion in American Culture
This course studies the relation of religion to culture in American life, both its institutional and non-institutional forms. Special attention is given to the religious significance of symbols and myths in American culture. It deals with the role of religious traditions: Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Judaism, in terms of their historical development and contemporary significance.

REL 307 African American Religion
This course studies the role religion has played in the struggle of African Americans to survive in a hostile environment. Special attention will be given to its folk expression in sermon and song, its leading personalities, its institutionalization, and its function in the civil rights movement of the mid-twentieth century.

PHL 309 Comparative Religions
This course compares doctrines, rituals, beliefs, and practices of world religions.

REL 310 Martin Luther King, Jr.
This course studies the life and thought of America’s greatest proponent of the “Theology of Action,” in relation to his religious heritage, socioeconomic milieu, and the Black African American revolt of the mid-Twentieth Century through the 1960s.

REL 314 Topics in Religion
This course studies topics in religion not covered in other courses. Topics vary.

REL 341 Theology
This course is designed to acquaint students with classical and current systematic theology; it familiarizes students with theological issues. The course deals with a variety of theologies covering Western, African, Asian, and Eastern perspectives. It considers metaphysics, existence and ontology.

REL 380 Sacred Texts
This course studies selected scriptures from various religious traditions, including the study of such topics as history, doctrinal teachings, ethical systems, methods of organization, worship, devotion, ritual and meditation.
It pays special attention to the meaning of holiness, authority, inspiration and life.

REL 401 Major Religions of the World
This course covers the historical development and chief writings of such ancient and modern religions as Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, and Christianity, Islam and African Traditional Religion.

REL 402 Seminar in Religion
This course investigates the basic methods used in the study of religion and their application to significant problems in religion. The selection of problems to be studied will vary from year to year. Primarily Juniors and Seniors majoring in religion thought other qualified students may enter through the consent of the Department.

REL 495 Independent Study (1-4 credits)

 

 

 

 

Religion Home

Religion Program Requirements & Courses

Religion Faculty

Faculty Profiles

Dr. Gwinyai H. Muzorewa

Dr. Melvin Leaman

 

College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

 

 

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484-365-8000

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