Religion Courses

REL 210   "Greek Myth and the Hero" (IT)

Cross-listed with Greek and Roman Studies 210

REL 221   "The World of Jesus" (CHC)

Studies Judaism from the exile by the Babylonians to the Jewish War.  Focuses on the Jewish reaction to three historical events: the destruction of Solomon's temple, the desecration of the second temple by the Greeks, and its destruction by the Romans.  Reconstructs the religious and political climates which resulted from these historical struggles and which provided ground for the beginning of Christianity.  Offered in alternate years.

REL 294   "Jesus and the Gospels" (IT)

Explores the various portraits of Jesus in the gospel literature of the New Testament and the extra-canonical traditions. By approaching the literature from a historical-literary perspective, we will reconstruct each gospel's interpretation of Jesus and, finally, the "historical" Jesus himself. Offered in alternate years.

REL 318   (cross-listed with HIST 318 and REL 318)  "Blood Rites and Mystery Cults" (CH)

Ancient Roman religion was uniquely open to foreign influence while respecting its own customs.  This course will examine how the Roman people demonstrated this quality as they adopted or adapted new religious ideas and traditions from the beginnings of the Roman monarchy in 753 BCE to the fifth century CE.  Offered occasionally.  May Term.

REL 322   "Judaism and Christianity in the Greco-Roman World"

This course examines the development of Judaism and Christianity during the Roman period from 167 BCE-312 CE.  We will study pivotal moments in the development of Judaism and Christianity to see how these religions were affected by the Roman Empire and also how these religions affected the course of Western history.

REL 323   "Christian Controversies and Creeds" (IT)

Traces the development and meaning of the major doctrinal traditions which gained authoritative status within the ancient Church from the bible to the Council of Chalcedon.  We will understand these traditions to be the result of dialogue, contention, and controversy between various groups of Christians.  Offered in alternate years.

REL 324   "Sexuality and Christianity" (AV)

Studies the development of attitudes toward sexuality and the body in many varieties of Christianity in order to understand the origins, complexity, and continuation of the religious sanctification of sexism in our society. Offered occasionally.

REL 325   Lost Books of the Bible (IT, W)

This course examines writings from antiquity that were omitted from the Bible such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, The Book of Enoch, and the Gospel of Thomas and considers the complex reasons why these writings were omitted and what they might mean for us today. Offered in alternate years.