Traditions and Cultures
- One course from the following list:
- One course from the following list:
Elements and Issues
- Three courses, one course from three of the following headings
Religion and Culture
METHODS AND APPROACHES IN THE STUDY OF RELIGION
A study of the methods, theories, and philosophical approaches used to describe what is termed "religion" in the West. The course will focus on the central questions, key authors, and historical movements that have influenced the field of religious studies. Formerly REL 208.
THE JEWISH EXPERIENCE
An introductory course offering a basic understanding of Judaism as the historic and evolving religious expression of the Jewish people, surveying the basic aspects of traditional Jewish life and thought as well as the people's many-sided experience of the modern world.
THE CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE
An introductory course surveying the range of traditions that have emerged within the Christian movement, and offering an historical perspective on the life and thought of Christian communities, and their prospects for the future.
THE AMERICAN RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
Major religious movements in America with emphasis upon the development of religious pluralism. Impact of religious beliefs and values upon American culture.
THE LATINO RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE IN THE UNITED STATES
An examination of the diverse nature of Latino religion, from its indigenous roots to its institutional forms, within the social and political context of American culture.
THE AFRICAN AMERICAN RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
An examination of the religious experience of African Americans and its African precursors through historical and literary resources, reflecting this people's distinctive past and its interactions with other elements of American culture. Formerly REL 215.
THE ISLAMIC EXPERIENCE
An introduction to major recurrent religious themes and alternative models of religious interpretation and authority in Islam's manifold expressions, from the life of Muhammad and the Qur'an, to popular ritual and spirituality and the Islamic humanities.
THE AFRICAN RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
A survey of the varieties of African religious practice and thought.
INDIGENOUS RELIGIONS OF NORTH AMERICA
An introductory exploration of the close ties particular religious traditions of Native North America have with their own distinctive historical realities, geographic-celestial topographies, and political and social structures. Considers variety of oral, written, ritual, visual and archaeological texts.
ISLAM IN GLOBAL CONTEXTS
A study of Islam's developments in various global contexts, including Arabian beginnings, the Middle East, Central, Eastern and Western Europe, China, the former Soviet States and South Africa, with a focus on the impacts that these cultures and Islam have had on each other.
RELIGION AND GLOBALIZATION
An examination of the moral, religious, and social dimensions of the phenomenon of globalization. Through a critical assessment of both the positive and the negative dimensions of globalization, students will seek to understand more fully the ethical implications of globalization for economics, culture, and society.
RELIGION AND POLITICS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
An exploration of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as they develop and interact in the Middle East, historically and in terms of contemporary religious and political issues. Includes a study of personal narratives of people from Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities.
A survey of the varieties of Hindu practice and thought. Hinduism in India and throughout the world will be examined.
A survey of the varieties of Buddhist practice and thought. Different forms of Buddhism throughout the world will be examined.
RELIGION IN CHINESE HISTORY, SOCIETY AND CULTURE
An exploration of the Chinese religious landscape, focusing on social and practical dimensions of Chinese religion, such as state rituals and private cults, liturgies and individual practices of Taoist priests and adepts, politico-religious ideas that inspired popular messianic movements throughout Chinese history, and interrelations of Buddhist and Taoist clergies and institutions in the state.
HINDU THOUGHT AND CULTURE
Hinduism is one of the world's oldest religions, but it is also the world's most diverse religion. Despite its variety, certain themes have remained throughout the ages--karma and ethical responsibility, liberation from the bonds of worldly existence through yoga and devotion, communication with the divine through ritual, and the many forms, male and female, that God can take. This course traces the development of Hinduism from 5000 years ago to the present, with emphasis on change and continuity in those themes.
BUDDHIST THOUGHT IN CULTURAL CONTEXT
A study of Buddhism from its beginnings as a "non-orthodox" renunciant and monastic movement in ancient India, through its development into a myriad of religious expressions and practices, philosophical tendencies, and social forms over its twenty-five hundred year history.
RELIGION IN JAPANESE HISTORY, SOCIETY, AND CULTURE
Explores the specific interplay between religion and culture in Japan. Taking historical and cultural factors into account, it considers prehistoric Japanese religion, ancient imperial myths, the assimilation of Buddhism, Confucianism, and continental (Chinese/Korean) culture, the religious and aesthetic worlds of the court nobility and the warrior class, popular mountain cults, the revival and systematization of Shinto, the impact of western culture, Japanese ultranationalism, and the religious situation in the post-war period.
TRADITIONS OF CHINESE POPULAR CULTURE
Promotes an understanding of Chinese worldview and life in the perspective of the common Chinese people from ancient to modern times. Based on historical and modern texts in translation, some historical and ethnographic studies, as well as visual and aural materials, the course explores gender and generational relations and conflicts, ancestor veneration, the worlds of ghosts and gods, festivals, art, and entertainment, but also aspects of misery and social unrest. Although the course will draw largely on popular and entertaining sources, it will also pay attention to historical developments, the relationship between popular and elite traditions, as well as sociological and anthropological issues arising from these contexts.
THEMES IN CATHOLIC SOCIAL THOUGHT (CROSS-LISTED WITH CTH 183)
An initial, systematic examination of major themes in modern Catholic social thought. Cross-listed as CTH 183.
RELIGION AND ETHICS I
Analytic and normative approaches to ethics in Western philosophical and Christian traditions.
ETHICAL WORLDS: MORAL ISSUES ACROSS CULTURES
An exploration of religion and ethics from a comparative and international perspective. Ethical dimensions of diverse world religious traditions will be investigated within their own particular historical and cultural contexts, and students will be asked to consider and evaluate their own ethical orientations in the light of these studies.
RELIGION AND ETHICS II
Analytic and normative approaches to ethics in a non-Christian tradition, such as Judaism, Islam or African traditional religions.
CONTEMPORARY MORAL ISSUES
A study of the relations between religious beliefs and moral action to be carried out through an examination of the ethical and moral response of various religious traditions to selected moral issues such as war and peace, sexual behavior, etc.
TECHNOLOGY, ETHICS, AND SOCIETY
An examination of the impact of modern technologies on society with particular attention paid to ethical issues.
RELIGIOUS ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL LIFE
A study of the ethical dimensions of contemporary professional life from the standpoint of religious traditions and values, focusing primarily on medicine, law and business.
BUSINESS, ETHICS AND SOCIETY (CROSS-LISTED WITH MGT 228)
This course will examine the nature and purpose of economic life and contemporary commerce as understood from the perspective of religious and secular communities, as well as the ethical implications that flow from the various worldviews. Sections of the course critically examine the thought of different religious traditions on specific business-related issues, placing a variety of religious discourses into direct conversation with secular voices regarding ethical business conduct. Cross-listed as MGT 228.
WRD 103 or HON 100 or HON 101 is a prerequisite for this class.
MEDICINE, ETHICS AND SOCIETY
Moral and ethical issues arising in contemporary biomedical advances and in health care from the perspectives of Religious Studies and of Philosophy.
THE IDEA OF 'EVIL"
This course will try and answer the question what is evil? In religious traditions is evil a relative term? Or is it a universal absolute? Does evil exist independently, or is it a result of the absence of good? How do religious traditions deal with the notion of evil? After we look at the religious, philosophical, historical, conceptualization of evil and how different religious traditions deal with it, the class will look at evil in popular culture (anthropological understanding of evil). How does the popular imagination understand evil? How do they depict and imagine evil (in film, and in literature)? Are these universalities or are they cultural relativism? How has popular culture dealt with evil? Finally the course tries to see if there is any connection with the popular imagination and religious traditions when it comes to evil.
THE BODY & HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS:DIVERGENT MEANINGS, CONFLICTING VALUES
Love and sexuality in biblical and nonbiblical religions, examined cross-culturally, conceptually, and ethically.
RELIGION AND SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT
An investigation of the ways in which various religious traditions engage the social order. Traditions, persons and movements that form the focus of the course will vary from section to section. The course will integrate theory and practice in studying forms of religious engagement. All students will perform some service to a community or within a community organization or agency.
Sophomore standing is a prerequisite for this class.
ROMAN CATHOLIC SOCIAL THOUGHT IN CONTEXT
A study of Roman Catholicism's understanding of its relation to the social world, including such matters as the relation between Church and State, the moral authority of the Church, and of its teaching on such issues as social ethics, politics and economics.
PILGRIMAGE, RELIGION AND POPULAR CULTURE
How has the role of pilgrimage evolved from antiquity to the present age, and how can the phenomenon of pilgrimage provide a modern window into how a people define what is spiritually significant? Might the phenomenon of pilgrimage, as it is found in nearly every religious tradition, provide a common language and thus a means for building bridges across boundaries of religious difference? This course examines pilgrimage as a religious, cultural, historical and ethical phenomenon. Using methodologies developed in the study of religion, ethics, anthropology and popular culture, this course will introduce students to pilgrimage as it is practiced in expressions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The aim of this course is to explore some of the competing typologies and events associated with the formal study of religious ritual and then apply these learnings to modern cultural phenomena, work that will prepare students for the project of constructing their own pilgrimages.
ROMAN CATHOLIC MORAL TRADITIONS
This course examines various moral topics within a Roman Catholic framework. Papal pronouncements, Magisterial statements, Episcopal texts, the works of influential theologians, and critical voices both within and beyond the Church will be critically examined. Special attention will be paid to the method of moral argumentation.
TOPICS IN RELIGIOUS ETHICS
Examines methods and content of religious ethics. Specific topics for current offering are noted in the current schedule.
FEMINIST ETHICS (CROSS-LISTED WITH WGS 310/410 & MLS 477)
An investigation of theoretical issues regarding women's moral experiences and of feminist ethical arguments combatting various forms of oppression.
MORAL PHILOSOPHY AND ETHICS IN CHINA
An exploration of Chinese ethics the philosophical, religious and socio-political traditions which shaped them and were formed by them. Considers the major philosophical schools of China's classical age--Confucianism, Monism, Taoism, and Legalism--with Han dynasty cosmology, the ethical orientations of the Taoist and Buddhist religions, neo-Confucianism, and also the traumatic encounter with western power and thought. Addresses comparative issues concerning traditional Chinese values in relation to western views, particularly in terms of modern relations between China (and East Asia) and the west.
Focuses upon the ideas and practices of a radical movement for the transformation of Christianity and for social justice that originated in the "Basic Christian Communities" of Latin America and spread from there to North America and the Third World. Entails either an Applied Research or Service Learning component.
DEBATES ABOUT GOD
A study of classical and contemporary arguments regarding the existence and meaning of "God," as developed in a variety of theistic traditions.
BLACK INTELLECTUAL TRADITIONS
An introduction to Black intellectual traditions which emerge from and inform Black religious traditions and which have religious and/or liberation content. Thinkers and content vary.
MYSTICISM IN RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS
This course will look at the phenomena of mysticism, its doctrines and practices, in various religious traditions. It will also look at how various forms of mysticism have influenced the religious traditions with which they associated, (e.g. how Sufism has impacted Islamic religion, civilization and society.) The course will then look at the present situation of mysticisms in regard to religious traditions and to broader societies.
FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION
A study of various understandings of "forgiveness" and "reconciliation" in several religions and cultures. The nature and dynamics of forgiveness and reconciliation will be examined both theoretically and in relationship to specific conflicts. Cross-listed with PAX 252.
DEATH AND ITS BEYOND: EXPERIENCE, MYTH AND RITUALS
Religious attitudes and practices responding to the phenomena of death and dying, studied cross-culturally, conceptually and ethically.
ROMAN CATHOLIC THEOLOGICAL THINKING
A study of the Roman Catholic tradition of "faith seeking understanding'' examining the content and the process of emergence of Catholic beliefs about such matters as God, sin, Jesus Christ, revelation, the church and eschatology. Cross-listed with CTH 243.
ROMAN CATHOLIC LITURGY (CROSS-LISTED WITH CTH 231)
A study of the emergence, meaning and dynamics of ritual in the Roman Catholic tradition.
ROMAN CATHOLIC SPIRITUAL LITERATURE
A study of the foundational religious experiences that underlie the Roman Catholic tradition, of the narratives they generate, and of their representations in various media such as poetry, music, myths, sacred legends and apologetic stories.
ISLAMIC LAW (SHARIAH) AND AMERICAN CULTURE
An intensive study of the many dimensions of religious liberties in a pluralist society. Explores the language of constitutional and political discourse generally, and the ways in which language affects an understanding of the First Amendment. Includes case studies on particular religious communities and their encounters with American law.
TOPICS IN RELIGIOUS THOUGHT
Examines specific methods, issues, and/or movements in religious thought. Specific topics for current offering are noted in the current class schedule.
An exploration of women's experience as a primary resource and norm for theology, focusing on themes of inclusion, exclusion, representation and liberation in particular social, political and historical contexts.
INTERPRETING SACRED TEXTS
A survey of the formation, use and interpretation of sacred texts by religious and secular communities.
LITERATURE AND THE SACRED
Variable topics. How human beings across cultures express their intimations of ultimate meaning in a variety of genres ranging from aphorisms and autobiographies to mythic and fictional narratives.
ANCIENT ISRAEL: HISTORY, LITERATURE, AND RELIGION (CROSS-LISTED AS CTH 212)
The development of Judaism from Moses to the Rabbinic era with special attention to social and historical questions. Cross-listed as CTH 212.
THE NEW TESTAMENT (CROSS-LISTED WITH CTH 213)
An introduction to the historical-critical investigation of the New Testament. Topics include the earliest Christian writings (letters of Paul), the production of "gospels" about Jesus, and the development of early churches in the context of ancient history and society.
VARIETIES OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY
An examination of multicultural diversity in early Christianity through a study of materials excluded from the New Testament canon; Christian apologists defending the church against pagan intellectuals and Roman imperial magistrates; comparisons of early Christian fiction and ancient Greek novels; and an examination of Gnostic writings.
PAUL AND HIS INFLUENCE IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY
A critical study of Paul's literary remains as primary sources for reconstructing the development of the Christian movement, focusing on Paul's communities, ethics and theology. Early interpretations and assessments of Paul will also be considered.
VARIETIES OF JUDAISM IN THE GREEK AND ROMAN WORLD
An examination of Judaism from the Jews' return from Babylonian exile in 538 BCE to the promulgation of the Mishnah in 200 CE, with a focus on the Roman period. The Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as concepts of the Messiah, the resurrection of the dead, the final judgment and the idea of the "Bible" will be studied.
THE HISTORICAL JESUS
An investigation of the early Christian Gospels and other sources for reconstructing the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The relation of historical reconstruction and religious interpretation, and the significance of conflicting interpretations of Jesus, will also be considered.
LITERATURE AND RELIGION IN JAPAN
Focuses on the pervasive influence of religious thought and sentiment on Japanese literature from ancient to modern times and explores the intricate relationship between religion, aesthetics, and the arts in Japanese culture. Considers original works including ancient Japanese mythology and poetry, the memoirs of court ladies and Buddhist hermits, romance, epics, folktales and social satire, with attention to their historical, social, religious and social dimensions, as well as to the individual experience expressed in them.
LITERATURE AND RELIGION IN CHINA
Focuses on the interpretation of literature and religion in China. Considers original works of literature and explores the religious origins of Chinese script and writing itself, poetry and mystical philosophy, cosmology and revealed scripture, popular tales, ballads, plays and novels, and the reworking of contemporary Chinese American authors of their literary and religious heritage, with attention to their historical, social, religious and social dimensions, as well as to the individual experience expressed in them.
THE BIBLE GOES TO THE MOVIES
This course examines the interaction of the Bible and Hollywood movies by considering how stories, ideas, and themes from the Bible have been portrayed in movies. Specific biblical texts will be analyzed in their historical context and in relation to contemporary movies.
JUDAISM IN ANTIQUITY
This course traces the history of Israelite and Jewish culture and religion from their origins in the world of the Ancient Near East in the second millennium BCE until the rise of Islam in the seventh century CE. We will critically examine the meaning and mutual relationship of such categories as ?ancient Israelite? religion, ?biblical? religion, and ?early Judaism.? We will also discuss the history of religious institutions, texts, and practices, as well as the dynamics of continuity and change in ancient Israelite and Jewish society. This course will pay special attention to the complex relationship that exists between history and collective memory as constructed through texts and rituals.
WOMEN IN THE BIBLE
An examination of the historical role of women in the Bible and the contemporary concerns of feminist theology, women's spirituality and ethical issues arising from the contemporary application of these biblical texts to women's experiences.
THE QUR'AN AND ITS INTERPRETERS (CROSS-LISTED WITH IWS 271)
A study of the origin, transmission, and interpretation of the Qur'an.
MUSLIM WOMEN IN TEXTS (CROSS-LISTED AS IWS 272)
Explores major current approaches to the study of Muslim women, focusing on the Qur'anic conversation on women, on the commentaries provided by men, and on the emerging voices of Muslim women and non-Muslims.
CLASSICAL TEXTS IN JUDAISM
An advanced analysis of selected Jewish texts.
TEXTS, HISTORY, AND ISLAM
An advanced analysis of selected Islamic texts.
TOPICS IN RELIGIOUS TEXTS
Examines methods and meanings in the study of religious texts. Specific topics for current offering are noted in the current class schedule.
RELIGIOUS WORLDS IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
An examination of the nature and function of religion in human life. An exploration of common patterns underlying the variety of religious experience and expression.
RELIGION AND POPULAR CULTURE
An exploration of various forms of popular culture and their intersection with diverse religious traditions and ethical concerns. The course also examines the marketing in mass media of religious themes in popular culture.
SLAVERY, RACE AND RELIGION
This class examines religious arguments, from the 1500's through the 1700's, for and against slavery. Students will investigate different historical and theoretical definitions of slavery. Students will also gain an introduction to the relationship between slavery, evangelicalism, capitalism, and Enlightenment moral philosophy.
PSYCHOLOGY AND RELIGION
Psychological factors operative in acquisition, formation and development of religious expression and commitment.
RELIGION IN SOCIETY
Sociological study of religious groups, institutions, behavior, and belief systems in human life and society.
RELIGION AND POLITICS IN THE UNITED STATES
Variable topics. Explores the interplay of religion, politics and culture in the United States, focusing on citizenship and religious identity in the USA's multicultural, multiethnic, multireligious society. Various sections will focus on different particular religious communities and themes, such as the Religious Right and the Religious Left, the political activities of particular communities, and the challenges of interreligious dialogue.
RELIGION AND THE ARTS
Variable topics. How human beings across cultures express their comprehension and experience of ultimate meaning in a variety of artistic forms.
WELLNESS AND DISEASE IN RELIGIOUS PERSPECTVE
A study of notions related to human "health," "well-being" and "disease" in various religio-cultural situations. Physical, mental and spiritual health -- individual and communal -- will be considered. The significance of "plague," especially AIDS, as socio-religious and spiritual events will be critically examined.
RELIGION AND POLITICAL CONFLICT
An examination of the role of religions and religious movements in political conflicts. Particular sections will examine the relationship of religions to violence and peacemaking in different areas of the world.
COLONIZATION, RELIGION AND RESISTANCE
This course will explore the religious traditions and cultural identities of some of the peoples native to the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania; problems they have with the "civilized" world and their potential solutions to them.
ISLAM IN THE UNITED STATES (CROSS-LISTED WITH IWS 266)
An examination of the story of Islam in the United States in three historical periods: antebellum America, the first half of the 20th century, and the latter half of the 20th century. Explores Muslim slave life; the possibilities of retentions of Islam in slave culture; the religious, social/economic, and political life of Muslims at the beginning of the 20th century; the emergence of Islamic thought in the U.S. through an overview of the works of Ismail as-Faruqi, Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Fazlur Rahman.
JESUS ACROSS CULTURES
A study of the multiple and diverse (primarily theological, but also literary, artistic and philosophical) historical and contemporary images of Jesus, as a way of understanding the diversity of this tradition and of its impacts on society, and of understanding the issue of plurality or diversity itself in religious traditions.
WOMEN AND RELIGION
A study of the historical and contemporary roles and contributions of women within major religious traditions, especially Christianity and Judaism.
ROMAN CATHOLICISM'S ENCOUNTER WITH OTHER RELIGIONS
A study of how Roman Catholicism understands and responds to other religious traditions, other ways of being religious, and how the encounter with those other traditions affects Roman Catholicism's understanding of itself and its teachings.
LOOKING FOR GOD IN LATIN AMERICA
An examination of religious traditions such as Catholicism, indigenous religions, and Protestantism in Latin America, with special focus on how these traditions have been transplanted and reshaped upon entry into varied Latino communities in the United States. Historical analyses of the Latin American roots of these traditions will provide contextualization for the ongoing examination of transnational religious cultures in the U.S.
THEORIES OF CULTURE AND RELIGION
An investigation of the cultural study of religion. Considers classical, modern and postmodern approaches from a variety of traditions and academic disciplines. Uses a variety of materials such as oral and written texts and visual artifacts, as well as the works of major theorists.
THEORIES OF RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY
An interdisciplinary investigation into the nature of religious experience drawing on the fields of anthropology, psychology, sociology, and theology.
TOPICS IN RELIGION AND CULTURE
Examines particular issues in the relationship between religion and culture. Specific topics for current offering are noted in the current class schedule.
YOGA AND TANTRA
An examination of the history, philosophy and cultural meaning of body-oriented liberative techniques as they developed on the Indian subcontinent and Himalayan region in Hinduism and Buddhism. Students registering for this course are expected to have studied one or both of these traditions in courses such as REL 142, 143, 242, or 243, or in other courses. Background in theory is also useful.
SEXUALITY, GENDER AND RELIGION: CROSS-CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES
A consideration of religion and feminism in differing cultural contexts using a comparative perspective. While the course will consider selected Western viewpoints, its emphasis will be on a sampling of different emerging feminisms of non-Western religious traditions.
RELIGION IN THE CONTEMPORARY UNITED STATES
An advanced examination of traditional communities and contemporary movements in the United States.
THE CULTURE OF AMERICAN CATHOLICS
How has the unique experience of immigration shaped the American Catholic Church from the colonial period to the 21st century? How did the idea of "the Church" as an authoritative hierarchy come about in the mid-20th century, and how has that notion been challenged by immigrant communities, as well as artists and intellectuals? Drawing on the disciplines of history, sociology, anthopology, cultural theory, literature and the arts, this course looks at those who built the church and those who challenged and changed it. (Course is cross-listed as REL 384, CTH 384 and MLS 464.)
RELIGIOUS STUDIES - OFF CAMPUS
Religious Studies credits earned off-campus. Topics vary.
RELIGIOUS STUDIES, OFF-CAMPUS
Religious Studies credits earned off-campus. Topics vary.
FOREIGN STUDY IN RELIGION
Under this number, students taking courses in religion or theology as part of a DePaul-sponsored program of study abroad may receive Religious Studies credit when approved in advance by the director of the Foreign Studies Program and the chair of the Religious Studies Department.
INTERNSHIP IN RELIGIOUS STUDIES
Open only to students working on Religious Studies major or minor concentrations. For more information contact the department chair. .
Religious Studies majors who wish to undertake a special project of independent study are encouraged to apply. Student works towards completion of a special project under the direction of a project coordinator and faculty committee of three. Student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.000 overall, 3.100 in Religious Studies courses, and permission of the department chair.