• REST-102C P2 Intro Roman Catholicism (3)

    A presentation of the various options of belief, history, worship, moral action, views of the Church, and ways of life present in Roman Catholicism.

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
  • REST-116D P2 Asian Religions (3)

    A comparative examination of the evolution of the philosophical and religious traditions of Asia. The main focus is on India, China, and Japan, with some attention to Korea and Southeast Asia. Our goal is to appreciate the way different peoples of Asia have thought about?and continue to think about?the most profound questions of the meaning of life, the nature of death, and their social roles. Cross-listed with HIST 116D.

    Attributes: ISRS P2 YLIB
  • REST-121 P2 Abrahamic Religions (3)

    This course is an introduction to three of the major religions of the world, namely Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They claim Abraham as their ancestor either in the physical or the spiritual sense. The course will attempt to discover the most basic beliefs held in common by the three faiths, while addressing the serious differences present between them. Several fundamental topics, such as monotheism, revelation inspiration and human authorship of the sacred texts, moral codes, and community organizations, will be addressed through the reading and discussion of selected scriptural texts and later non-canonical writings.

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
  • REST-123 P2 What is Religion? (3)

    This course introduces religious studies and its auxiliary disciplines and explores the various aspects of religion in human experience. Topics studied include the nature and types of religious experience; religious texts and mythology; and religious ritual, doctrine, ethics, social organization, and development. Examples from various world religions will be employed to illustrate these dimensions of the sacred.

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
  • REST-130 P2 Ethics in Action (3)

    This course will provide students with a solid foundation of ethical principles, values, and norms, as well as the fundamentals of practical moral reasoning. Students will apply this knowledge through a careful analysis of case studies in professional, cross-cultural, international, and religious ethics.

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
  • REST-132 P2 The Problem of Evil (3)

    The primary purpose of this course is to allow students to become aware of the problem of evil in the world and in each person’s life, the different perceptions of evil by several religions of the world, and the response/confrontation of evil each religion offers in a uniquely powerful way. Selected readings from scriptural and non-scriptural texts will be the basis of both the class discussions and essays, meant to give a clear articulation of the problem and of the solutions proposed to confront it.

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
  • REST-150 P5 What is the Bible? (3)

    Peoples around the world read the Bible in their contexts. Their global contexts influence how interpreters read the Bible. In this course, students will be introduced to biblical stories using historical-criticism and cultural-criticism. The course will be concerned with both the context out of which the biblical stories emerged and the context of its interpreters. By looking at a selection of biblical stories and their interpretations, students will discover some of the ways that the Bible is read in different cultural settings around the globe ? in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, as well as in the United States. In the process, students will become conscious of the contextual nature of how they read.

    Attributes: P5 YLIB
  • REST-152D CC World Religions (3)

    An inquiry into the meaning of man’s religious life, based on a historical and theological introduction to his great religions, ancient or living: Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist, Islamic, Judaic, and Christian.

    Attributes: CC YLIB
  • REST-155 P2 What is Meditation? (3)

    This course introduces meditation and mindfulness as sourced in the Buddhist tradition and further developed in contemporary Western society, comparing Buddhist, Christian, Insight, and other mindfulness paradigms. Participants will have opportunity to begin their own meditation practice. No prior knowledge of Buddhism or meditation required.

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
  • REST-173D CC Religions of America (3)

    The course explores the beliefs, teachings, practices, and institutions of several religious traditions in America from indigenous peoples, such as the Iroquois and the Pueblo, to uniquely American religions, such as the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Unitarian Universalists, Scientology, and others. In exploring the religions of America, students will consider how religious and social cultures influence and shape each other and why American culture is particularly conducive to the development of religious expression and thought.

    Attributes: AMHU CC YLIB
  • REST-176C P2 Intro to Christianity (3)

    An introduction to the academic study of the Christian tradition, this course is designed to acquaint students with Christianity’s relationship to Judaism, scholarly methods of study, and central biblical and theological concepts as these relate to, and are in dialogue with, philosophical, historical, and theological questions of value and commitment.

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
  • REST-177D CC Values,Leaders&Relig (3)

    Leadership is about envisioning a future for ourselves and others and working with them to make that vision a reality. Values are religious, aesthetic, legal, economic, and political goods that shape our past, present, and future. Religion is a fundamental human activity that links values to ways of life that can either help or hinder human flourishing – depending upon how it’s interpreted and applied. This course is designed to help students understand the relationships between values, leaders, and religion through an in-depth exploration of great religious leaders (e.g., Moses, Jesus, Confucius, Muhammad, Dietrich Bonhoeffer).

    Attributes: CC YLIB
  • REST-178C P2 Intro To Judaism (3)

    An introduction to rabbinic, messianic, mystical, and philosophical alternatives within Talmudic, medieval, and modern Judaism; ways of dealing with evil, salvation, the search for order, and community.

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
  • REST-179C P2 Intro To Islam (3)

    A study of the background, origins, doctrines, laws, lifestyles, and traditions of Islam.

    Attributes: ISRS P2 YLIB
  • REST-183D P5 Church & Culture (3)

    This course has as its goal to explore the interrelationship between Christianity and contemporary culture. Students examine the cultural changes that have shaped our understanding of ourselves and our world in light of the Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World and related documents. Students discover the causes of conflicts between Christian and secularist worldviews and learn to value the contribution of each perspective on human life in the 21st Century.

    Attributes: P5 YLIB
  • REST-199C RW Research-Based Writing (3)

    Students learn the basics of writing an academic research paper in this discipline. Emphasis is on elements of persuasive argumentation, the inclusion of more than one perspective on an issue, the proper use and documentation of sources, and revision. Students also learn how to make an effective oral presentation of their research. Department-determined topic may change from semester to semester and is likely to include literary texts as primary materials. Restricted to freshmen and transfers. Note: 199C courses may not be taken for credit more than once.

    Attributes: RW YLIB
    Restrictions: Including: -Class: Freshman, Sophomore
  • REST-217C P3 Psychology of Religion (3)

    The past two decades have shown a growing interest among psychologists in the constructs of “religiosity” and “spirituality” as important components of a healthy functioning personality. Goals of this course include: examining the various psychological approaches (psychoanalytic, behaviorist, humanist) as they have been used to understand the religious experience; developing an appreciation of the scientific method as applied to the study of religion; reviewing the empirical relationships found between religiosity, personal health, and well-being; exploring one’s own unique spiritual/religious journey, with insights gained from course materials. Cross-listed with PSYC 217C.

    Attributes: P3 YLIB
    Restrictions: Including: -Class: Junior, Sophomore, Senior
  • REST-225 P2 Lost Christianities (3)

    Jesus of Nazareth left no known writings, and yet he was and continues to be one of the most influential and divisive figures in human history. Disagreements about Jesus began shortly after his death, as his followers tried to sort out and clarify the meaning of his life, death, and resurrection for their lives. The result was a fascinating period of theological creativity, controversy, and conflict among various Christian groups that were all struggling for survival. The course will explore the writings and development of these rival Christianities (e.g., Jewish Christianity, Marcionism, Gnostic Christianity), the infighting and power struggles that ensued, and how one form of Christianity (i.e., Proto-Orthodox Christianity) eventually became dominant. In examining this dynamic period in Christian history, students will reflect upon and consider how studying the birth of Christianity has informed and advanced their own thinking about religion as a dimension of human experience and as a cultural activity. Students will also consider how social institutions develop and evolve and what that process means for civil liberties in a culturally diverse society.

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
    Restrictions: Excluding: -Class: Freshman
  • REST-228C P2 The Church (3)

    This course explores from both sociological and theological perspectives what is meant when Christians refer to their corporate life as “the church.” In seeking to understand churches both from within their broader religious and social contexts as well as from Catholic and ecumenical perspectives, contemporary issues affecting the church’s self-understanding are also examined as well as what intelligent and committed participation in the church’s life might mean today for its members.

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
  • REST-233 P2 Irish Hist&Spirituality (3)

    The Celts moved across Europe to found a place of refuge in the land of Eire. This mysterious land was rich in traditions and stories that allowed the Celts to integrate their own culture with their new home. Later, when the Roman Catholic Church reached its shores, the people adopted some of the stories, myths, and customs to express the experience of the Gospel message. The Church?s prayer, liturgy, and rites found a treasure in the Irish culture. This course will use the tools of history, religion and the arts to study this fascinating phenomenon. Emphasis will be on the early history, but an overview of more recent events will situate contemporary spirituality.

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
  • REST-235 P2 Catholics in America (3)

    A history of the role that Roman Catholics played in the story of the United States (1492-present). The course will examine the religious perspectives which Roman Catholic explorers, immigrants, intellectuals, and the laity brought to a developing philosophy and social history in the New World. Cross-listed with AMST 235.

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
  • REST-250C P2 History of Papacy (3)

    Concerns the development of the papacy and its role in world history. Examines the major historical, doctrinal, and theological justifications of the independent papacy in a global context from its origins with the pontificate of Leo I to that of John Paul II. Covers material from the late Roman and Medieval, Renaissance, Modern, and Contemporary periods. Cross-listed with HIST 250C.

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
  • REST-252C P5 The Old Testament (3)

    A historical, literary, and theological introduction to the sacred text of the Hebrew Scriptures. While recognizing it to be essentially a record of faith, students are informed of its development and importance within its own social context. Particular attention is given to the Torah and the Former Prophets.

    Attributes: P5 YLIB
  • REST-255D P2 Women in Christianity (3)

    Women were some of the most ardent supporters of Jesus and the early Jesus movement, but as the church developed, women found themselves increasingly marginalized and excluded from leadership roles. This course examines the cultural, political, and religious forces that led to women’s marginalization and their response to it, from biblical times to the present. Through readings, films, lectures, and classroom discussions, students will examine the status and role of women in the Christian tradition, the richness of women’s religious thought, and the ways in which women have contributed to and radically challenged Christianity in a variety of historical and theological contexts.

    Attributes: P2 WGST YLIB
  • REST-256 P5 World Scriptures (3)

    This course introduces students to multi-cultural perspectives through a careful reading of religious texts from a variety of world traditions, e.g. Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist, Shinto, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, as well as those of new(er) religious movements (Falun Gong, Baha?i, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Christian Science, Unification Church). By exploring doctrinal, ethical and ritual elements of these traditions as found in sacred texts, students will gain broad exposure to different worldviews

    Attributes: P5 YLIB
  • REST-257D CC Religious Experiences (3)

    This course examines the phenomenon of religious experience from interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives with an eye toward comparing and contrasting these with the religious backgrounds and experiences of participants.

    Attributes: CC YLIB
  • REST-258D P5 Studies in the Qur’an (3)

    This course focuses on the major themes of the Qur’an. The Muslims believe that the Qur’an is revealed from God to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel. The Qur’an speaks about God; His creation, man, woman, and society; prophethood and prophecy and prophets of God; nature; the world and hereafter;Satan and evil; death and dying; and hell and heaven. All these topics are important to the study of religion, including world religions: Judaism and Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism. In the teaching of this course, references are made to other religions, and students are exposed to a comparative study of other disciplines to understand the phenomenon of religion and its contribution to world culture and civilization.

    Attributes: P5 YLIB
  • REST-262C P5 New Testament (3)

    A historical, critical, literary, and theological survey of the books written by first- and second-century Christians that ultimately became the New Testament. Although very diverse one from the other, all New Testament books focus on the centrality of Jesus of Nazareth as the one in and through whom God reconciled the world to Himself. The main focus of the course includes the reading and discussion of selected New Testament texts.

    Attributes: P5 YLIB
  • REST-264C Love in the New Testament (3)

    God’s love for humankind is the solid foundation on which the New Testament (the Christian Scriptures) is firmly built. Humans’ love for God and neighbor flows from God’s love. The course focuses on New Testament texts addressing the theme of “love” and aims at raising one’s awareness and appreciation of them.

    Attributes: YLIB
  • REST-266C Christian Beatitudes (3)

    This course aims at a fuller understanding of the deep meaning of the Beatitudes proclaimed by Jesus. The Beatitudes are recorded both in the Gospel of Matthew and in the Gospel of Luke; we study the similarities and the differences between the two received texts in their relation to the original proclamation. Due consideration is given to the Jewish background, whose influence is visible in both versions of the Beatitudes. A look at the contemporary pagan world brings to light the sharp contrasts between its beatitudes and those spoken by Jesus. Finally, their meaning and importance for the Christians of today is addressed.

    Attributes: YLIB
  • REST-268C P5 Who is Jesus? (3)

    An examination of the person Jesus through the eyes of first-century Christians as reflected in the New Testament and in the contemporary understanding of Jesus. This course seeks to engage the student in the process of understanding the Christian encounter with Jesus Christ.

    Attributes: P5 YLIB
  • REST-272P CC Martin & Malcolm (3)

    Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., were prominent religious advocates of Black Liberation. Their names and ideals still motivate countless Americans. Representative texts of both men are studied to understand their religious insights in light of the history of the Civil Rights Movement during the second half of the 20th century. Cross-listed with HIST 272P.

    Attributes: AMUS CC HINA YLIB
  • REST-275C P2 Christian Sacraments (3)

    This course approaches the Christian sacraments from a variety of standpoints, including the historical development of a sacramental ethos within Christian traditions; contemporary developments in sacramental theology; theological understandings surrounding the individual sacraments; the ritual context of sacramental celebrations, and pastoral issues affecting the sacraments today. The course employs an interactive approach which combines class discussion, student presentations, and instructor’s input.

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
  • REST-280D The Black Church (3)

    A survey course that introduces students to the African American Christian religious tradition. This course covers the exploration of the lives, words, and deeds of its most influential builders, from the colonial period to the present. Cross-listed with AFAM 280D.

    Attributes: AMHU YLIB
  • REST-282P Black Church Issues (3)

    Students explore views of the Black Church on contemporary social issues and challenges (homosexuality, gender equity, race relations) faced in reference to church doctrine, traditions, and beliefs. Cross-listed with AFAM 282P.

    Attributes: AMHU WGST YLIB
  • REST-284D P2 Morality & Contmp Soc (3)

    A search for the meaning of an authentic Christian morality with a consideration of its personal foundation in Jesus and its related problems: freedom, authority, law, conscience, sin; its values: life, person, love, worship, responsibility; its goal: death, judgment, bodily resurrection.

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
  • REST-286D P2 Crime&Justice/America (3)

    Justice has meant life and property for some, disgrace for others. In the name of justice, some favor capital punishment to protect their own lives and property; in the same name, others ask that their needs be met. Most people are content to let justice be done. Rarely have people agreed about the meaning of justice across social lines. The same people have even redefined justice on the occasion of a changed social position. This course examines notions of crime, punishment, and justice in light of biblical and postbiblical Christian and Jewish understandings of justice.

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
  • REST-289P CC Alienatn & Powerless (3)

    The Roman Catholic Church has responded to the alienation and powerlessness of people in different ways at different times. Within the last century, many Church documents outline a theory of social justice. With particular attention to the American experience, this course explores and critiques the Church’s response to the poor, both nationally and internationally.

    Attributes: CC YLIB
  • REST-290C P1 Saints in Film (3)

    Saints come from all cultural sources: African, American, Asian, Australian, and European. Representing all walks of life, ages, and ethnic groups, artistic images of “saints” in film present a variety of understandings as to what constitutes holiness and the path to it. This course explores the notion of “holiness” as understood by holy persons in their life and writings and as portrayed by filmmakers.

    Attributes: P1 YLIB
  • REST-299C P1 Biblical Themes/Opera (3)

    The Bible has been a great source of inspiration for Western literature, music, and art. Everyone has some knowledge of its impact on literature and the visual arts, but only a few may know how widespread and deep it has been on Western music. This course offers the opportunity to study biblical stories and themes as expressed by librettists and composers in Western lyrical operas and oratorios.

    Attributes: P1 YLIB
  • REST-301 P2 Law and Ethics (3)

    The relationship between law and ethics has long been debated. Most famously in the American context, legal scholars H.L.A. Heart and Lon Fuller outlined the basic positions. Hart argued that law and ethics are entirely separate phenomena; Fuller that law is and should be based on common morals. The course will pursue this central question through a series of current issues and case studies. Topics include patient, marital, and property rights; freedom and establishment of religion; and capital punishment. Leading case law in these areas will form the bulk of course materials. Class meetings will be conducted in a variety of formats, including lecture, discussion, video presentation, and small group work.

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
    Restrictions: Excluding: -Class: Freshman
  • REST-325 P5 Spirituality & Health (3)

    Modern medicine and the healing professions are forging new partnerships within the fields of science, religion and spirituality. Medical science and religion can be partners when dealing with health issues, but are there also difficulties? What is spirituality? Can one’s spirituality affect one’s health? Can I explain my spirituality and use it to live a healthier life? How can I assist another (e.g., patient, client, friend) identify their needs and find the necessary tools to make responsible decisions about health issues? These are but a few questions the students will explore as they build their own partnerships between medical science and spirituality.

    Attributes: P5 YLIB
  • REST-338 P2 Morality in Leadership (3)

    This course will encourage students to search for principles that can provide the foundations for making moral individual and systemic decisions. After a broad introduction to ethics and moral philosophy, the students will explore possible applications in workplaces locally and globally. It will particularly address the moral dimensions of leadership by combining a study of moral principles with case studies to illustrate their practical application.

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
  • REST-340D P2 Feminism & Religion (3)

    What does women’s religious experience contribute to human understanding of the sacred and the moral conduct of life? What happens when women’s experience is not fully integrated into religious traditions and cultures? How do religious institutions enhance and hinder women’s opportunities for development? This course addresses such questions through contemporary Jewish, Christian, and Muslim women’s writings. The roles, insights, and self-understanding of women are considered with emphasis upon feminist scholarship in the modern North American context.

    Attributes: P2 WGST YLIB
  • REST-352D P5 Marriage&Sexuality (3)

    The confrontation of man’s existential situation with traditional marital and sexual models and norms. Concentration is given to an analysis of current developments in the areas of monogamy, pre- and post-marital sexuality, divorce and remarriage, homosexuality, contraception, abortion, sterilization, and the family.

    Attributes: P5 WGST YLIB
    Restrictions: Including: -Class: Junior, Sophomore, Senior
  • REST-361C The Prophets (3)

    This course offers an opportunity to read and analyze selected texts from the prophetic books of the Hebrew Scriptures, focusing primarily on their historical background, their compositional history, their literary characteristics, and their theological message. A very important aspect of the study will be the discovery of the men after whose name these books are known to both Jewish and Christian readers.

    Attributes: YLIB
  • REST-364C Letters Of Paul (3)

    A critical study of the Acts of the Apostles and of selected letters of Paul in which a variety of literary, lexical, historical, and theological questions is addressed.

    Attributes: YLIB
  • REST-365C Parables Of Jesus (3)

    The parables of Jesus have fascinated hearers and readers for about 2000 years. What is it that makes them so special and challenging? The course looks at the parables primarily as expressions of poetic fiction, as windows to a world that can be revealed through images and metaphors rather than fully discussed. It looks at the parables recorded in the four canonical gospels with a critical eye in an effort to recover the original voice of the rabbi from Nazareth. It also considers the gospel writers’ own interpretation of the parables and their use for pastoral purposes.

    Attributes: YLIB
  • REST-366C P2 Is God Just? (3)

    A study of the Hebrew Scriptures’ Book of Job and the challenge it poses to theological assumptions and beliefs still held by its author’s contemporaries. To put it into brief questions: Why do innocent people suffer? Why do many people die before they have had a chance to live? Or with a different spin on it – Why is it that the wicked frequently live so prosperously?

    Attributes: P2 YLIB
  • REST-386D Morality in Business (3)

    A study of the moral dimensions of the economic and business professions. The course is designed to combine a study of moral principles with case studies to illustrate their practical application. Special emphasis is focused on the basic rights and duties of management and labor in the private enterprise system and the role of government regulations in domestic and international economic life.

    Attributes: YLIB
  • REST-387D P2 Medical Ethics&Society (3)

    This course examines religious and moral themes in medicine with emphasis on the difficult ethical questions facing today’s healthcare providers and patients. Among the issues considered are assisted reproduction, the end of life, genetic research, and the healthcare system.

    Attributes: HHUM P2 YLIB
  • REST-390C P1 Jesus In Film (3)

    Artistic images of Jesus in film present a variety of understandings of Jesus of Nazareth, a figure of faith and history. Teacher, healer, savior, judge, Messiah, revolutionary, ascetic, prophet, and superstar are some ways film has envisioned Jesus. The course investigates the relationship of the Jesus of Christian tradition with the Jesus of Hollywood’s imagination.

    Attributes: P1 YLIB
  • REST-397 Seminar (3)

    Special Topics: An occasional course dealing with topics of interest especially to Religious Studies majors and minors in consultation with relevant faculty.

    Attributes: YLIB
  • REST-466C Gospel of John (3)

    A study of the Johannine Gospel, focusing on questions of authorship, literary characteristics, and theological issues.

    Attributes: YLIB
  • REST-472 History of Theology (3)

    The beginning of theology in the scriptures and early Christian thought; the historical causes of its evolution to the present. Study and analysis of patristic, scholastic, modern, and contemporary theologians and their methods of theological inquiry.

    Attributes: YLIB
  • REST-481D Central Christian Mysteries (3)

    A theological investigation of the mysteries of God: Father, Word, and Spirit; Creation; Incarnation; Redemption; and Resurrection. An analysis of the biblical data, man’s developing understanding of these mysteries historically, and the contemporary challenges to present dogmatic expressions with a view to the significance of these mysteries for the meaning of Christian life today and for the future.

    Attributes: YLIB
  • REST-485 Catholic Heritage Roots (3)

    Offered in the spring semester, the students study the archaeology, history, and geography of Israel and Rome to prepare for a two-week on-site experience of these two key locations in the Catholic tradition with guided tours and lectures. A written daily journal and reflection to incorporate the experience with the Catholic heritage is required in addition to shorter research papers during the semester. Additional fees for travel will apply. Permission of the instructor is required to register.

    Attributes: YLIB
  • REST-496 Independent Study (1 TO 3)

    Reading and research projects in the broad areas of religious studies: general, biblical, historical, and theological. Under the direction of a department member, students will prepare and follow a schedule of readings, conferences, research, writing, and oral presentations. Completion of the Independent Study/Tutorial Authorization form is required.

    Attributes: YLIB ZCAP ZCIV ZRES
    Pre-requisites: GPA >=2.75

Religious Studies

For More Information

Fr. William Graf
Department Chair
(585) 385-8251

(585) 385-8064