Religious Studies Courses

Code Course Name Description Credits
RST 112 Modern Belief

An introduction to religious belief in general and Christian belief in particular. Topics explored are religious experience and knowledge, the impact of contemporary society upon belief, personal and communal belief, the developmental nature of belief, doubt, approaches to God, basic Christian beliefs regarding God, Jesus, Church, the Bible, prayer and sacraments, and other religions.

3
RST 201 Introduction to the Bible

Involves readings of selected books of the Bible in the context of their religious, literary, and historical setting, utilizing the tools of modern biblical scholarship, with an eye to ascertaining their meaning for people of today.

3
RST 203 Biblical Themes

A study and discussion of select themes as they appear in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. Themes for consideration are revelation, religious history, creation, covenant, Passover, love, and sin.

3
RST 204 Jesus and the Gospels

A critical study of the Gospels, stressing their similarities and differences; authorship, structure and major concerns; and the portrait of the Jewish Jesus of Palestine revealed therein.

3
RST 205 Seminar: Readings in the Theology of Radical Human Existence

A reading and discussion course dealing with fundamental issues of human existence, including the reality of God, faith, suffering, compassion, death, abortion, capital punishment, poverty, aging, sanctity, love, prayer, sin, racism, war, conscience, the will of God, heaven and hell.

3
RST 207 The Parables of Jesus

An historical-critical study of Jesus’ parables, their setting in his ministry and in the theologies of the synoptic writers, with reference to their relevance for believers today.

3
RST 213 Jesus in Contemporary Perspective

A many faceted look at Jesus the Christ under the light of contemporary biblical and theological scholarship. Issues examined include, among others, his divinity, human consciousness, connection with the Essenes, death and resurrection, redemptive work, and place within the Trinity.

3
RST 214 The Church Today

An analysis of the meaning of Church—its biblical beginnings, its new self-understanding in terms of Vatican II, its post-conciliar development. Major issues which both help and hinder community life will be discussed.

3
RST 215 Foundations of Christian Morality

Intended to established the foundations for moral decision-making within a Christian context and emphasize such core concepts as the Commandments, ethical imperative, conscience, law, ethics of Jesus, and social justice.

3
RST 216 Social Morality: National Issues

Involves a critical look at current social conditions in the U.S.A. and their justice implications. Issues such as poverty, the penal system, immigration, homelessness, and urban/rural problems will be addressed.

3
RST 217 Introduction to Eastern Religions

A study of Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, focusing on the lives of their founders (where applicable), major scriptures, beliefs, duties and ethical ideals, characteristic features, and concepts of salvation and means thereto.

3
RST 218 Contemporary Judaism

Includes an analysis of Judaism’s major theological and ethical concepts, and a survey of its basic religious practices and customs.

3
RST 219 Contemporary Protestantism

An introduction to the theology of some contemporary Protestant theologians; a discussion of Protestant worship, baptism, and ordination; an exploration of selected ethical issues.

3
RST 220 Paths of Belief

An historical investigation into the major beliefs of humankind. The course explores the beginnings of Indian religion, Buddhism, Hinduism, the Biblical sources of monotheism, Judaism, Islam, Jesus and Christian origins, Catholicism, Protestantism, and the modern criticism of religion.

3
RST 221 Christian Marriage

An exploration of marriage as covenant, sacrament, and commitment, including such topics as communication, responsible parenthood, and contemporary challenges to marriage.

3
RST 225 Sacraments in Practice

Focuses on the history and experience of the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, reconciliation, and anointing of the sick, with particular emphasis on postVatican II sacramental theology.

3
RST 226 Christian Spirituality

A study of the meaning of Christian spirituality as the essential way of life for a people called to union with God, self, others, and the earth. Attention will be given to key themes, such as discipleship, solitude, solidarity, and relationships of love and service.

3
RST 230 Political and Liberation Theologies

Explores the theological implications of a world structured with acute divisions of wealth and power around the globe. National and international viewpoints of both privileged and oppressed groups will be considered. The spirituality of hope is also studied.

3
RST 233 Christian Social Morality: A Global Perspective

Designed to help students analyze and propose moral considerations for the construction of a just and peaceful relationship among nations today. Concepts stressed include global village, justice, development, trade aid, economic order, and life styles.

3
RST 234 Women and Religion

An examination of the impact of various religions on woman – her self-image, her development, her “place” in secular and religious society. Special attention will be given to how the Judeo-Christian tradition affects the image of woman.

3
RST 235 Death and Afterlife - Contemporary Perspectives

An examination of the human quest for immortality as it has emerged in various cultures and in different historical periods. Special emphasis is placed on the Christian mysteries of death and afterlife, and their impact upon present belief and practice.

3
RST 338 National/Local Service Program

The program offers students the opportunity to observe and participate in service to the poor and needy on the national and local levels; preceded and followed by a period of reflection and research. Requires approval of chairperson.

Requires approval of chairperson.

3
RST 339 International Service Program


spring

The program offers students the opportunity to observe and participate in the culture and Church of a Third World country; preceded and followed by a period of reflection and research. Requires approval of chairperson.

Requires approval of chairperson.

3
RST 340 Seminar: Religion and Education

Intended to help students formulate, through readings, presentations, and discussions, a theory of and an approach to religious education best fitted to meet the needs of today’s Christian community. Prerequisites: RST 112 and one 200-level course. Requires approval of chairperson.

Prerequisites: RST 112 and one 200-level course. Requires approval of chairperson.

3
RST 342 Seminar: Church Ministry

Intended to help students develop an understanding of church ministry and explore select forms of ministry, including those of youth minister, director of religious education and teacher of religion. Prerequisites: RST 112 and one 200-level course. Requires approval of chairperson.

RST 112 and one 200-level course. Requires approval of chairperson.

3
RST 443 Directed Field Experience

Affords students an opportunity to observe, study, and work in a specific area of church ministry during the senior year. May involve local transportation and malpractice insurance for which the student is responsible. Prerequisite: RST 340 or RST 342.

Prerequisite: RST 340 or RST 342.

3
RST 444 Senior Research

Involves researching a selected topic and producing a paper under the guidance of a faculty director. Finished work to be discussed with a panel of Religious Studies faculty.

Finished work to be discussed with a panel of Religious Studies faculty.

3
RST 499 Independent Study

Involves student initiated, faculty directed study and research in accordance with University and department guidelines. Requires approval of chairperson.

Requires approval of chairperson.

3
RST HH112 Modern Belief


fall

An honors approach to RST 112 Modern Belief. Description under RST 112.

3
RST HH215 Foundations of Christian Morality

An honors approach to RST 215 Foundations of Christian Moraility. See description for RST 215.

3
RST HH478 Honors Thesis

For students who are writing their honors theses in the area of religious studies. Requires approval of the chairperson and Honors Program director.

Requires approval of the chairperson and Honors Program director.

3
RST HH499 Independent Study

For students who are active in the Honors Program. Involves student initiated, faculty directed study and research in accordance with University and department guidelines. Requires approval of the chairperson and Honors Program director.

Requires approval of the chairperson and Honors Program director.

3