Religious Studies (RL)

RL-210 Control of Life & Death (2 credits)

The student develops and reflects on multiple perspectives (moral/ethical, legal, scientific, and religious) dealing with issues concerning life and death that arise out of contemporary science, medicine, technology, and worldviews. She analyzes and responds to artistic and humanistic works that express the human experience of suffering and death; examines the moral and religious reasoning supporting positions on critical moral issues (e.g., abortion, euthanasia); analyzes Christian attitudes, beliefs, rituals related to death and dying; and reflects theologically on the processes of grief and dying. The student also analyzes the moral systems of selected moral theologians. She applies their systems of selected moral theologians. She applies their systems to particualar issues, comparing and evaluating them in light of their Christian foundations and implications for Christian living.

Prerequisite(s): FA-110 or LA-230 completed; HUM-150 completed; CM-120 completed.(LA 222 or LA 223 completed for Weekend students). Preference given to students req to take this course if enrollment exceeds limit.

RL-211 Catholic Imagination:Persp/Catholic (2 credits)

The student examines the living heritage of the Catholic religious tradition. Through study of the faith as it finds expression in the Scriptures and in the teachings and practices of the Church in historical and cultural contexts as well as in artistic and theological works over time, she analyzes current issues as they affect her own spirituality and that of the Church and society.

Prerequisite(s): AH 110 & AH 150 completed. CM-125 completed. (LA 221 completed for Weekend students) Preference given to students required to take this course if enrollment exceeds limit.

RL-213 Spirituality in Action (2 credits)

The quest for the transcendent, the search for God, has set generation after generation on a religious journey. The student explores personal accounts of religious experience for insight into the quest. The course integrates art, literature, and film with personal accounts to bring the humanistic tradition into dialogue with personal experience. The student has the opportunity to pursue her own understanding of religious experience.

Prerequisite(s): FA-110 & HUM-150 completed; CM-125 completed. (LA 223 completed for Weekend students). Preference given to students required to take this course if enrollment exceeds limit. Offered in Spring Term only.

RL-214 Images of Jesus: Past & Present (2 credits)

Offered Fall Term only. This course introduces the student to the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth and the myriad responses to him throughout history. Using hermeneutical frameworks, the student analyzes the Gospel traditions and writings of Paul in order to obtain a clear picture of the earliest protraits of Jesus in his Jewish context. Using the Christological Councils, the formation of creeds, and traditional teachings as frameworks, she traces the evolution of beliefs about Jesus. She studies how these beliefs have been portrayed artistically in a variety of historical and cultural settings. Finally, the course addresses contemporary questions that impact belief in Jesus.

Prerequisite(s): FA-110 or LA-230 completed; HUM-150 completed; CM-125 completed. (LA 222 or LA 223 completed for Weekend students) Preference given to students req to take this course if enrollment exceeds limit.

RL-250 Judaism, Christianity, Islam (4 credits)

In this course students will explore the three monotheistic religions--Judaism, Christianity and Islam. One-third of the course will be devoted to each religion, and four broad themes--monotheism, salvation, ethics and community--will be probed in each religious traditions. The themes will allow the students to compare and contrast the three religions. The course will introduce the students to the scriptures of the three faiths--the Hebrew Scriptures, the New Testament and the Quran. The students will also explore how the three faiths have developed historically and how they have interacted with each other throughout history from their beginnings down to the present. HFA-210/310 course.

Prerequisite(s): FA-110 or LA-230 completed; HUM-150 completed; CM-125 completed. (LA 222 or LA 223 completed for Weekend students). Preference given to students req to take this course if enrollment exceeds limit.

RL-251 Asian Religions (4 credits)

You will have the opportunity to explore religious scriptures, rituals, art expressions, tenants and philosophies of Asian countries, including China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia in order to gain some familiarity with the Asian world of religious meaning. Among the religions and cultures you will explore are the following: Chinese-Buddhism, Marxism; Japan-Shinto and various forms of Buddhism; Southeast Asia-Buddhism and Shamanism, with special emphasis on Hmong and Laotian cultures. An important component of the course will be some exploration of the ways that people of the above name countries carry out their religious practices in the American context.

Prerequisite(s): FA-110 or LA-230 completed; HUM-150 completed; CM-125 completed. (LA 222 or LA 223 completed for Weekend students) Preference given to students required to take this course if enrollment exceeds limit.

RL-252 Medical Ethics (4 credits)

Being human includes our biological-physical selves as living organisms, and our rational selves, which includes our thoughts, emotions, spirituality and philosophic outlook on life and its meaning. As individuals and societies we are faced with medical decisions and situations that impact or are impacted by diverse social, cultural, religious, and personal contexts that reflect a variety of different values and ethical points of view. Sometimes people's differing viewpoints conflict when medical decisions must be made, raising important and enduring questions, which might include: When does life begin and end? What does science tell us about these questions? What does one think about end of life care and physician-assisted suicide? What are the diverse perspectives on abortion, the death penalty, and war? How do we address issues surrounding access to medical care, and how do wealth and poverty affect illness? What is the responsibility of government and corporate interests toward health and medical ethics? What values do we associate with life and death? What do the major philosophical and religious traditions say about life, death, and what happens at death? How do our philosophic and religious views impact our decisions with regard to health care? In this course we will take a holistic approach to addressing medical-ethical questions from the perspectives of biology, philosophy, and religious studies. We will address medical ethical issues using key abilities. For example, we will engage the diverse global perspectives that impact medical ethics in varied social, ethnic, and religious contexts; and examine aesthetic expressions of life and death in literature, art and film. We will explore the values that impact medical-ethical decisions. Students will clarify and demonstrate their own ethical perspectives through reading, writing, listening and speaking. The course will be jointly taught by faculty from Biological Sciences and Philosophy, or Biology and Religious Studies.

Prerequisite(s): FA-110 or LA-230 completed; HUM-150 completed; CM-125 completed; SC-112 or SC-118 or SC-119 or SC-120 completed. (LA 222 or LA 223 completed and LA 283 completed for Weekend students) Preference given to students required to take this course if enrollment exceeds limit.

RL-297 Independent Study (0 credits)

The student, with the approval of her advisor, indentifies her area of special study and her learning goals. She designs her learning strategies, selects a mode of assessment, and formulates the evaluative criteria for demonstration of goal achievement.

RL-310 Religious Experience/Myth & Symbol (2 credits)

The student examines the symbolic and mythical structures of religion, the nature and function of myth, and recurrent mythological themes (good and evil; birth, death, and rebirth; the individual and the community; the divine and the human). She works toward the resolution of critical questions in the theory of myth and in the ritual expression of myth in religious belief and practice. She discerns and responds aesthetically to mythical meanings in verbal and visual images. She interprets symbols through historical experience and its expressions in artistic form. And she makes judgments that lead to the development and articulation of her own theory of myth. The student who specializes in religious studies will, in addition, analyze the nature and function of the sacramental system of the Christian community as the ritual expression of its belief system. She applies the theoretical framworks of selected systematic theologians to the sacraments as experienced in Scripture, in church tradition, and in contemporary life.

Prerequisite(s): Communication Level 3 ICM completed; one course in HFA-210 elective completed. (LA 221, LA 222 or LA 223 completed for Weekend students) Preference given to students required to take this course if enrollment exceeds limit.

RL-311 Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke (2 credits)

The central question of this course is "Who is Jesus of Nazareth?" The student explores this question by examining the primary sources, the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, each of whom has a unique view of Jesus. By confronting these diverse views, the student has the opportunity to formulate her own understanding of who Jesus is.

Prerequisite(s): One Communication Level 3 ICM & one HFA-210 elective completed. Preference given to students required to take this course if enrollment exceeds limit.

RL-313 Moral Theology (2 credits)

The student examines and evaluates a variety of frameworks for ethical decision making and their historical and sociocultural sources; she analyzes the factors that constitute ethical problems; she applies a variety of frameworks to ethical problems; and she considers the consequences of ethical decisions.

Prerequisite(s): One Communication Level 3 ICM completed; One course in HFA-210 elective completed. Preference given to students required to take this course if enrollment exceeds limit.

RL-314 The World's Religions (2 credits)

In this course the student explores the diversity of religious expressions from around the world. She uses the frameworks of religious studies as an aid to the analysis of major world religions. She explores the art expressions of particular religious cultures and refines her response as her knowledge of each religion develops. She examines the values of the religion she studies and considers the implications of these values for the societies in which they are immersed. She uses her growing knowledge to inform her decisions about moral issues that emerge in her studies.

Prerequisite(s): Communication Level 3 ICM completed; one course in HFA-210 elective completed. Preference given to students required to take this course if enrollment exceeds limit.

RL-315 Asian Religions (2 credits)

The student explores the diverse belief systems of East Asia-China and Japan-and Southeast Asian-Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. She uses the frameworks of religious studies and her own academic field in order to more completely understand how life is made meaningful for these cultures through religion. By examining the arts, scriptures, rituals, beliefs, and values of Asian people, the student builds an understanding of the very foundation of select Asian cultures. Some of the religions and cultures addressed in the course are as follows: Tibetan, Cha'n, Pure Land, and Falun-Dafa Buddhism; Japanese Shinto; Hmong religion and culture; Laotian Buddhism; folk religions; and others.

Prerequisite(s): Communication Level 3 ICM completed; one course in HFA-210 elective completed. Preference given to students required to take this course if enrollment exceeds limit.

RL-350 Biblical World View (4 credits)

Offered Fall Term only. The student examines the rich diversity of the Bible and its underlying worldview. She traces the biblical worldview through the books of the Bible, looking for patterns. In the process she gains a broad understanding of biblical history, some skills in interpretation, and a familiarity with major biblical figures.

Prerequisite(s): One Communication Level 4 ICM completed.

RL-375 Religion in America (4 credits)

Offered Fall Term only. The student examines the current dialogical encounter between religious traditions and movements in America and in the world. She relates these religious perspectives to their current social and political environments, analyzes political and liberation theologies in light of their contexts, and considers special issues arising out of national and international relations and policies (e.g., war and peace, allocation of resources).

Prerequisite(s): One Communication Level 4 ICM completed. RL Majors: Completion of two RL-310 series courses. RL Supports: Completion of one RL-310 series course. Open to ELS students.

RL-385 Studies in Ethics: Theory & Practice (4 credits)

The student examines a variety of frameworks for ethical decision making and their historical and sociocultural sources. She selects and analyzes ethical problems arising out of her own interests, and applies to them the frameworks she has learned. She evaluates and responds to ethical positions taken by her classmates.

RL-397 Independent Study (0 credits)

The student, with the approval of her advisor, identifies her area of special study and her learning goals. She designs her learning strategies, selects a mode of assessment, and formulates the evaluative criteria for demonstration of goal achievement.

RL-399 Formal Introduction to Advanced Work (0 credits)

The Advanced-Level Event marks a significant accomplishment for each student as she proceeds into the work of her major department. When a department determines that a student is ready for advanced work within a discipline, the student is invited to participate in a ceremony that is both a celebration and an explanation of future requirements of the major and support areas. She registers for this experience at a point determined by her major department: for most majors the registration is connected to the taking of a particular course. Students and faculty gather for an afternoon during Mid-semester Assessment Days. Following a general program, students meet in departmental sessions with their faculty to discuss advanced outcomes, department courses, advising procedures, and so on.

RL-410 Sr Relious Studies Seminar: Spirituality (4 credits)

The student examines a variety of exegetical and theological approaches (e.g., historical-critical, socio-scientific, philosophic) in their application to selected theological topics. She develops some skill in using tools of biblical and theological interpretation through her analysis of the development of major Christian beliefs. She focuses on her own formulation of a coherent understanding of the essentials of the Christian faith through the convergence of the biblical tradition, theological development in the Church, the contemporary world, and her personal faith life.

Prerequisite(s): For RL Majors & ELS supports. Communication Level 4 ICM completed.

RL-413 Religion External Assessment (0 credits)

This assessment provides the major in religious studies the opportunity to demonstrate her achievement of the outcomes of the major. The student engages in a simulation requiring aesthetic discernment, analytic understanding of basic religious concepts, moral sensitivity and responsibility, and application of religious themes to a particular profession. She relates her support areas to her studies in religion by giving a final oral presentation to a designated audience. Finally, she does a written analysis of her thinking and decision making through the course of the assessment. This activity is scheduled during the mid-semester assessment week of the student's final semester.

Prerequisite(s): Senior RL Majors in their final semester.

RL-475 Rel Studies Design: Christian Ministry (4 credits)

The student develops a theology of church and ministry, based on the biblical, theological, and ethical heritage of the Christian faith. She engages in theological and historical reflection on an area of Christian ministry specific to her career choice and examines the aesthetic, psychological, and educational foundation essential to this profession. Focusing on the ethical dilemmas of professional practice, she analyzes courses of authority and modes of moral decision making and works toward the integration of her personal belief and value system with the ethics, in theory and practice, of the profession.

Prerequisite(s): For RL Majors: HUM-350 series, RL-350 and RL-375 completed. For other majors or ELS option students: Contact instructor if interested. Offered as an independent study.

RL-483 Advanced Internship Seminar (2 credits)

Based on her personal, academic, and professional goals and interests, the student does individual fieldwork at a job setting related to art and art applications. Her placement may involve planning and mounting exhibitions at an art museum, helping to maintain the permanent collection at a public museum, or learning the casting process in a foundry. An on-campus interdisciplinary seminar accompanies the internship, and helps her develop her professional abilities and effectively transfer classroom skills to the working world.

Prerequisite(s): Departmental consent, confer with advisor. Contact Internship Office for details and placement assistance.

RL-497 Independent Study (2 credits)

The student, with the approval of her advisor, identifies her area of special study and her learning goals. She designs her learning strategies, selects a mode of assessment, and formulates the evaluative criteria for demonstration of goal achievement.