Religious Studies Requirements

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The minimum number of hours required for completion of the major is 36. No courses in other departments are required to complete this major. It is expected, however, that every student will take at least some of their major coursework outside of Comparative Studies, as the Religious Studies major is interdisciplinary and cross‐departmental by design. Typically, students will take between 6 and 21 credit hours across the College of Arts and Sciences and, occasionally across multiple colleges, at both lower and upper division levels. All majors are required to write at least a major senior paper; a senior thesis is highly recommended. 

I. Core Courses (12 credit hours)

  • RELSTDS 2370: Introduction to Comparative Religion OR RELSTDS 2102.02: Comparative Sacred Texts
  • RELSTDS 3972: Theory and Method in the Study of Religion
  • COMPSTD 3990: Approaches to Comparative Studies (or a comparable alternative, with advisor’s approval)
  • RELSTDS 4970: Religious Studies Capstone OR COMPSTD 4990: Senior Seminar in Comparative Studies
     

II. Individual Religious Traditions Courses (9-15 credit hours)

Courses in this category focus on specific traditions and/or geographic regions. Majors should take courses that treat three different traditions and/or regions—for example: a course in Christianity, Judaism or Islam; a course in South Asian or East Asian religions; and a course in indigenous, ancient, or newly emergent religions. Courses not listed below may be made to count toward this requirement, with advisor's approval.

Arabic

  •  ARABIC 5701: The Qur'an in Translation

Classics

  • CLAS 3401: Ancient Greek Religion
  • CLAS 3404: Magic in the Ancient World
  • CLAS 3405: Christians in the Greco‐Roman World
  • CLAS 3408: Ancient Roman Religion

Comparative Studies

  • COMPSTD 4822: Native American Identity

English

  • ENGLISH 2280: The English Bible

Hebrew

  • HEBREW 2700: The Hebrew Bible in Translation
  • HEBREW 3210: Kabbalah and the Jewish Mystical Tradition (cross-listed as JEWSHST 3210, RELSTDS 3210)

History

  • HISTORY 2220: Introduction to the History of Christianity
  • HISTORY 2221: Introduction to the New Testament: History and Literature 
  • HISTORY 2351: Early Islamic Society, 610‐1258
  • HISTORY 2375: Islamic Central Asia
  • HISTORY 2450: Ancient and Medieval Jewish History, 300 BCE-1100 CE
  • HISTORY 2451: Medieval and Early Modern Jewish History, 700-1700 CE
  • HISTORY 2452: Modern Jewish History, 1700-Present
  • HISTORY 3218: Paul and His Influence in Early Christianity
  • HISTORY 3219: Historical Jesus
  • HISTORY 3227: Gnostics and Other Early Christian Heresies
  • HISTORY 3229: History of Early Christianity
  • HISTORY 3245: The Age of Reformation
  • HISTORY 3470: Messiahs and Messianism in Jewish History

History of Art

  • HISTART 3005: Christian Art
  • HISTART 4421: Medieval Art

Jewish Studies

  • JEWSHST 2201: Introduction to Jewish Culture, Thought, and Practice
  • JEWSHST 3210: Kabbalah and the Jewish Mystical Tradition (cross-listed as HEBREW 3210, RELSTDS 3210)

Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

  • NELC 3230: Introduction to Shi'i Beliefs and History
  • NELC 3501: Introduction to Islam
  • NELC 3508: Sufism

Philosophy

  • PHILOS 2120: Asian Philosophies
  • PHILOS 3111: Introduction to Jewish Philosophy

Religious Studies

  • RELSTDS 2222: From Ishtar to Christ: The History of Mediterranean Religions
  • RELSTDS 3210: Kabbalah and the Jewish Mystical Tradition (cross-listed as HEBREW 3210, JEWSHST 3210)
  • RELSTDS 3671: Religions of India
  • RELSTDS 3672: Native American Religions
  • RELSTDS 3673: The Buddhist Tradition
  • RELSTDS 4872: Varieties of Christianity
  • RELSTDS 4873: Contemporary Religious Movements in Global Context (cross-listed as INTSTDS 4873)
  • RELSTDS 5871: The Japanese Religious Tradition
     

III. Comparative/Interdisciplinary Courses (9-15 credit hours)

Courses in this category are comparative or interdisciplinary in approach, covering multiple traditions and/or themes, and so exemplifying the approach of religious studies as a field. Courses not listed below may be made to count toward this requirement, with advisor’s approval.

African-American and African Studies

  • AFAMST 4342: Religion, Meaning, and Knowledge in Africa

Classics

  • CLAS 3401: Ancient Greek Religion   
  • CLAS 3404: Magic in the Ancient World

Hebrew

  • HEBREW 2367.01: Scripture and Script: The Bible in Contemporary Arts, Media, and Literature
  • HEBREW 3704: Women in the Bible and Beyond

History

  • HISTORY 3045 American Religious History
  • HISTORY 3214: Women, Gender, and Sexuality in the History of Christianity
  • HISTORY 3680: Religion and Law in Comparative Perspective (cross-listed as RELSTDS 3680)

Medieval and Renaissance Studies

  • MEDREN 2666: Magic and Witchcraft in the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

  • NELC 2680: It's The End of The World!: Apocalypticism in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam
  • NELC 3201: Muslims in America and Europe: Migration and Living Between Worlds

Philosophy

  • PHILOS 2120: Asian Philosophies
  • PHILOS 2860: Science and Religion (cross-listed as RELSTDS 2670)
  • PHILOS 5850: Philosophy of Religion

Religious Studies

  • RELSTDS 2102.01: Literature and Religion
  • RELSTDS 2102.02: Comparative Sacred Texts
  • RELSTDS 2222: From Ishtar to Christ: The History of Mediterranean Religions
  • RELSTDS 2670: Science and Religion (cross-listed as PHILOS 2860)
  • RELSTDS 2677: Religion and Environmentalism
  • RELSTDS 3666: Magic in the Modern World
  • RELSTDS 3671: Religions of India
  • RELSTDS 3678: Religion and American Culture
  • RELSTDS 3679: Popular Culture and World Religion
  • RELSTDS 3680: Religion and Law in Comparative Perspective (cross-listed as HISTORY 3680)
  • RELSTDS 4873: Contemporary Religious Movements in Global Context (cross-listed as INTSTDS 4873)
  • RELSTDS 4875: Gender, Sexuality, and Religion

Sociology

  • SOCI 3467: Sociology of Religion
     

IV. Research Course

For those enrolling in RELSTDS 4970 or COMPSTD 4990 as their capstone course, at least one course that you take toward the requirements for Section 2 (Individual Religious Traditions Courses) or Section 3 (Comparative/Interdisciplinary Courses) must be a research course approved by your advisor. The work you do in the course you identify as your research course will be the foundation for the project you develop in RELSTDS 4970 or COMPSTD 4990.


Majors in Religious Studies are encouraged (but not required) to fulfill their GEC foreign language requirement in a language relevant to one of the traditions represented in the minor program (for example, Arabic for Islam, Greek for Christianity, Chinese or Sanskrit for Buddhism, Hebrew for Judaism).

If you have questions about the major, or have found a course that you think might work for the major but which does not appear on the lists above, please contact Professor Melissa Curley.


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