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Principal Course Distribution Requirement

Principal courses offer introductions to the breadth of disciplines in the College. They acquaint students with the subject matter in an area, with the types of questions that are asked about that subject matter, with the knowledge that has been developed and is now basic to the area, and with the methods and standards by which claims to truth are judged.

Students must complete courses in topical groups in three major divisions (humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences). For the B.A., three courses are required from each division, with no more than one course from any topical group. The B.G.S. requires two courses from each division, with no more than one from any topical group. To fulfill the requirement, a course must be designated as a principal course according to the codes listed below.

These are the major divisions, their topical subgroups, and the codes that identify them:

Humanities

  • HT: Historical studies
  • HL: Literature and the arts
  • HR: Philosophy and religion

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • NB: Biological sciences
  • NE: Earth sciences
  • NM: Mathematical sciences
  • NP: Physical science

Social Sciences

  • SC: Culture and society
  • SI: Individual behavior
  • SF: Public affairs

No course may fulfill both a principal course distribution requirement and a non-Western culture or second-level mathematics course requirement. Laboratory science courses designated as principal courses may fulfill both the laboratory science requirement and one of the distribution requirements. No free-standing laboratory course may by itself fulfill either the laboratory science requirement or a principal course requirement. Students should begin taking principal courses early in their academic careers. An honors equivalent of a principal course may fulfill a principal course requirement.

View all approved principal course distribution courses »

Non-Western Culture Requirement

A non-Western culture course acquaints students with the culture, society, and values of a non-Western people, for example, from Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, or Africa. Students must complete one approved non-Western culture course.

One approved non-Western culture course is required. Occasionally courses with varying topics fulfill the non-Western culture course requirement. See the Schedule of Classes for details. These courses are coded NW.

View all approved non-Western culture courses »

Transfer and Earned Credit Course Codes

These codes are used to evaluate transfer credit and to determine which academic requirements a course meets.

  • H: Humanities
  • N: Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • S: Social Sciences
  • W: World Civilization and Culture
  • U: Undesignated Elective Credit (course does not satisfy distribution requirement)

All Religious Studies courses

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A beginning course in modern Israeli Hebrew. Essentials of grammar, syntax and conversational practice; elementary reading and writing. Note: Students with other previous experience in Hebrew must take a placement exam. LEC
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A continuation of HEBR 110. Note Students with other previous experience in Hebrew must take a placement exam. Prerequisite: HEBR 110. LEC
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Further development of language skills: listening comprehension, oral efficiency, intermediate grammar and syntax, reading and writing. Note: Students with other previous experience in Hebrew must take a placement exam. Prerequisite: HEBR 120. LEC
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A continuation of HEBR 210. Note: Students with other previous experience in Hebrew must take a placement exam. Prerequisite: HEBR 210. LEC
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This course introduces students to the grammatical structure and vocabulary of biblical Hebrew. It includes basic biblical passages for students to translate into English and analyze. LEC
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This is a continuation of Hebrew 230. It continues the study of the grammatical structure and vocabulary of biblical Hebrew, and includes biblical texts for students to translate and analyze. Prerequisite: HEBR 230 or permission of the instructor. LEC
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An introduction to Hebrew literature from the nineteenth through the twentieth centuries. The emphasis is on the development of basic interpretive skills, as well as an understanding of basic literary movements, genres, and concepts of this period. Not open to native speakers of Hebrew. Prerequisite: HEBR 220 or equivalent. LEC
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A course designed to improve oral, audio and writing proficiencies in Modern Hebrew through reading and discussion of poems, Israeli newspaper articles and other selected materials. Not open to native speakers of Hebrew. Prerequisite: HEBR 220, with a grade of "B" or better recommended, or permission of the instructor. LEC
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Continued study in Modern Hebrew via poems, short stories, Israeli newspaper articles and electronic media. The course is designed to strengthen linguistic skills, enrich vocabulary and further the study of grammar and syntax. Not open to native speakers of Hebrew. Prerequisite: HEBR 330, with a grade of "B" or better recommended or permission of the instructor. LEC
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Enhancement of oral proficiency in Hebrew at the intermediate level via guided discussions and communicative practices. Prerequisite: HEBR 330 or HEBR 340 or permission of the instructor. LEC
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Independent study and directed reading on special topics. Permission of the instructor who will supervise the student's work is required. Not open to native speakers of Hebrew. Prerequisite: HEBR 200 or equivalent. IND
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An introduction to modern standard Hindi that emphasizes acquisition of basic language skills (speaking, comprehension, reading and writing) through a combination of lecture, drill, and work with the Devanagari script. LEC
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A continuation of Beginning Hindi I that builds on basic skills of speaking and comprehension, and the writing and reading of the Devanagari script developed in Beginning Hindi I. Prerequisite: HNDI 110 or placement exam that establishes a level of proficiency in Hindi suited to Beginning Hindi II. LEC
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Enhancement of speaking, comprehension, reading and writing abilities in modern standard Hindi, with emphasis on grammar. Readings will be introduced from representative genres of Hindi literature. Prerequisite: HNDI 120 or placement exam that establishes a level of proficiency in Hindi suited to Intermediate Hindi I. LEC
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Enhancement of speaking, comprehension,reading and writing abilities in modern standard Hindi, with emphasis on grammar. Readings will be introduced from representative genres of Hindi literature. Prerequisite: HNDI 210 or placement exam that establishes a level of proficiency in Hindi suited to Intermediate Hindi II. LEC
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Investigation of special topics on Hindi culture, language and literature at the undergraduate level. May be repeated for credit when topic varies. LEC
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Enhancement of speaking, comprehension, reading and writing abilities in Hindi. Readings are introduced from representative genres of Hindi literature. Prerequisite: HNDI 220 or placement exam that establishes a level of proficiency in Hindi suited to Advanced Hindi I. LEC
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Enhancement of speaking, comprehension, reading and writing abilities in Hindi. Readings are introduced from representative genres of Hindi literature. Prerequisite: HNDI 310 or placement exam that establishes a level of proficiency in Hindi suited to Advanced Hindi II. LEC
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This course introduces students to new subject matter, perspectives, and/or interdisciplinary approaches to Jewish Studies. Topic, instructor, and prerequisite to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. LEC
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The course focuses on the narratives through which Jews made sense of their lives under the impact of the forces of modernity, beginning in the "old world," and moving through the 19th century and into the 20th. The goal is to analyze how the imagination of Jewish writers was captured by the changes in social structures such as new educational, residential and occupational opportunities, leading to increased interactions with the gentile society. Students read and discuss literary works based in the shtetl in revolutionary Russia, and in America. We will also look at memoirs and letters written by ordinary Jews. All assigned texts will be in English. LEC
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Jews and Slavs have shared territory from the Middle Ages to the present day. The contact between these culturally and linguistically distinct groups have shaped many centuries of Eastern European history - from the extreme violence of the pogroms to long periods of peaceful coexistence and cooperation. "Jews and Slavs" examines the history and cultural geography of Slavic-Jewish contact from the perspectives of both groups. Through literature, film, journalism, and folklore, students learn about the profound influence Jews and Slavs have had on each other, the uneasy feelings that accompanied their interactions, and the creative and fascinating impact their interaction had on both cultures. (Same as SLAV 318.) LEC
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By examining the modern concept of Yiddishkeit (Jewishness), this course explores Jewish secularism as a set of modern intellectual, literary, and cultural practices that redefined the relationship between the secular and religious in literature, music, theatre, art, humor, and foodways. This interdisciplinary course draws on theoretical approaches from history, cultural studies, religious studies, folklore, and linguistics to examine the different secularizing cultural practices of the Jews in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in North America. LEC
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This course explores the variety of ways in which American Jews create Jewish identities as individuals and groups. It traces the emergence of the various current divisions within Judaism: Reform Judaism (which by definition, implies Orthodoxy), then Conservative Judaism, and then the later development of Reconstructionist Judaism. The course also explores other contemporary options for being Jewish: cultural Jews, secular Jews, unaffiliated Jews, religious Jews, and gay or lesbian or transgendered Jews. LEC
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In this class, we view films in English, Yiddish, Hebrew and Russian (with subtitles) to explore issues of Jewish identity, culture, and religion. We discuss important historical and cultural processes such as the break-up of the shtetl life, immigration to America, Zionism, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, as well as the friction between religious and secular ways of life, and learn to apply our understanding of these processes to film analysis. LEC
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Investigation of a special topic or project selected by the student with advice, approval, and supervision of the Faculty Advisor in Jewish Studies. Such study may take the form of directed reading or special research. Regular reports to and conferences with the advisor are required. A final research report will be required. Course may be taken more than once; total credit not to exceed 6 hours. Open only to students pursuing a minor in Jewish Studies. IND
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Required for Honors in the minor. The honors version of JWSH 490. Open only to students pursuing a minor in Jewish Studies. IND
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Examination of special topics in Jewish Studies. Topic and instructor to be announced in Schedule of Classes. May be repeated if topic varies. LEC
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Jewish folklore is extraordinarily rich and varied. From folktales to riddles, from legends about the exalted rabbis to irreverent jokes, folklore is central to the Jewish way of life. This course traces the extent to which oral elements appear in traditional Jewish literary texts such as the Bible; read and discuss folktales, and examine minor genres such as proverbs, riddles and jokes. Topics include the supernatural beings of Jewish folklore dybbuks, seductive female demons, and golems. Students acquire theoretical tools with which to analyze folklore (Jewish or otherwise), read stories, watch movies, and collect samples of folklore from informants. LEC
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Intensive study of a selected topic from interdisciplinary areas in Jewish Studies. Topic, instructor, and prerequisite to be announced in Schedule of Classes. LEC
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This course introduces students to the academic study of religions. It acquaints students with key methods and issues in religious studies, and provides an introductory survey of selected religions. Not open to students who have taken REL 105. LEC
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This course introduces students to the academic study of religions. It acquaints students with key methods and issues in religious studies, and provides an introductory survey of selected religions. Open only to students in the University Honors Program or by permission of instructor. Not open to students who have taken REL 104. LEC
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A basic introduction to religion in India, China, and Japan with emphasis upon religions that affect the modern period. Not open to students who have taken REL 108/EALC 108. (Same as EALC 105.) LEC
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A basic introduction to the major religious traditions of the Near East, Europe, and the Americas, with an emphasis on their development through the modern period and their expressions in contemporary life. Not open to students who have taken REL 109. LEC
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A basic introduction to religion in India, China, and Japan, with emphasis upon religions that affect the modern period. Open only to students in the University Honors Program or by permission of instructor. Not open to students who have taken REL 106/EALC 105. (Same as EALC 108.) LEC
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A basic introduction to the major religious traditions in the Near East, Europe, and the Americas, with an emphasis on their development through the modern period and their expressions in contemporary life. Open only to students in the University Honors Program or by permission of instructor. Not open to students who have taken REL 107. LEC
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An introduction to the literature of the Bible, exploring the relationships among the various types of literature present and the function of each type in the history and religious life of the people who produced and used them. Cannot be taken concurrently with REL 311 or REL 315. Not open to students who have taken REL 125. LEC
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An introduction to the literature of the Bible, exploring the relationships among the various types of literature present and the function of each type in history and religious life of the people who produced and used them. Open only to students in the University Honors Program or by permission of instructor. Not open to students who have taken REL 124. LEC
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A broad introduction to religion in American culture. This class emphasizes the well-established religions with large followings (viz. Judaism, Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism). Some attention is also given to other religions active in America. Other topics covered include the relationship of church and state, religion in ethnic and racial minority groups, and women and religion. Not open to students who have taken REL 172. (Same as AMS 290.) LEC
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Honors version of REL 171. A broad introduction to religion in American culture. This class emphasizes the well-established religions with large followings (viz. Judaism, Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism). Some attention is also given to other religions active in America. Other topics covered include the relationship of church and state, religion in ethnic and racial minority groups, and women and religion. Not open to students who have taken AMS 290. Open only to students in the University Honors Program or by permission of instructor. LEC
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This course is designed for the study of special topics in Religious Studies. Credit for coursework must be arranged through the Office of KU Study Abroad. May be repeated for credit if content varies. LEC
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A study of the development of the Hebrew Bible from its earliest stages of oral tradition to its canonization with an emphasis on the relationship of the historical, intellectual, and cultural contexts shaping that development. Prerequisite: REL 124 or permission of instructor. LEC
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An examination of the literature produced by early Christians. In addition to New Testament texts, the course includes a broad range of diverse texts produced by early Christians, Jews, and others. Prerequisite: REL 124 or permission of instructor. LEC
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Analyzes a selection of the core texts, teachings, and practices of Jewish religious traditions in terms of classical and contemporary understanding. LEC
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A study of the Talmud and the main lines of its reception and interpretation from Late Antiquity through Modernity in Rabbinic literature and the broader context of Western religion and philosophy. Prerequisite: REL 104, REL107, or REL124/125, or permission of the instructor. LEC
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A survey of religious traditions among selected Native American peoples. Topics include religious freedom, ritual activity, cultural narrative (myth) kinship, healing practices, ecology, government relations, impact of colonization, impact of missionization, contact between cultures, and secularization. Not open to students who have completed REL 331. (Same as ISP 330.) LEC
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A survey of religious traditions among selected Native American peoples. Topics include religious freedom, ritual activity, cultural narrative (myth) kinship, healing practices, ecology, government relations, impact of colonization, impact of missionization, contact between cultures, and secularization. Open only to students in the University Honors Program or by permission of instructor. Not open to students who have completed REL 330. (Same as ISP 331.) LEC
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Survey of the development of religious institutions and ideas in America from colonial times to the present. Emphasis is given to the mainstream religious traditions (Protestant, Catholic, Jewish), but attention is also paid to other phenomena, including nonwestern and native American religions. LEC
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The nature of mystical experience and reflection as expressed in selected mystical literature of the world's religions. LEC
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An examination of contemporary writings to explore the authors' presuppositions concerning the nature of God, the nature of human beings, the meaning of good and evil, the significance of human existence, and the means of attaining fulfillment or salvation. LEC
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An introductory examination of the history, doctrines, and practices of Christianity. Selected readings from the creeds, papal decrees, and major Christian theologians. LEC
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REL 350: Islam (3) NW / H / W
Origins of Islam; the Prophet Muhammad; the Holy Koran; religious symbols and moral mandates; historical developments. (Same as AAAS 349.) LEC
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A historical and geographical survey of the Buddhist tradition from its origins in India to modern day developments in the three major regional Buddhist cultures of Southeast Asia, Tibet, and East Asia (China, Korea, and Japan). Prerequisite: Prior coursework in Asian studies or permission of instructor. LEC
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Specific issues of conflict between the values of certain religious groups and those of the larger society. Includes problems of church and state, birth control and abortion, civil disobedience and dissent, education, war and peace, and "civil religion." LEC
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Historical study of the interpretation of the religion clauses of the First Amendment with special reference to the questions of establishment, the free exercise of religion, freedom of religious belief, worship, and action, and religion and the public schools. Not open to freshmen. (Same as HIST 373.) LEC
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The nature of the self in its individual and social dimensions. Self experienced and expressed in sexuality. Survey of viewpoints in religious literature. LEC
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Historical study of the interpretation of the religion clauses of the First Amendment with special reference to the questions of establishment, the free exercise of religion, freedom of religious belief, worship, and action, and religion and the public schools. Open only to students in the University Honors Program or by permission of the instructor. (Same as HIST 375.) LEC
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A study of the conflicts between secularists and religionists, between Zionists and synagogue representatives, and the patterns of compromise in American Jewish life. Questions of Americanism and Jewish survival, support for the State of Israel, and the bureaucratic structure of rabbinical training and philanthropy in America will be raised. LEC
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Introduction to religious viewpoints on individual and social ethics. Influence of religious thought on the making of moral decisions, and on value development. Examined in relation to specific moral issues. LEC
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Honors version of REL 377. Introduction to religious viewpoints on individual and social ethics. Influence of religious thought on the making of moral decisions, and on value development. Examined in relation to specific moral issues. Open only to students who have been admitted to the University Honors Program or by permission of instructor. LEC
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This course will consider, from a philosophical perspective, some of the problems in religion which arise in the development of "Natural Theology" broadly conceived. (Same as PHIL 350.) LEC
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This course is designed for the study of special topics in Religious Studies equivalent to courses at the 300 to 600 level at KU. Coursework must be arranged through the Office of KU Study Abroad. May be repeated for credit if content varies. LEC
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Topic, instructor, prerequisite and hours of credit to be announced in Schedule of Classes. Particular subject matter any given semester responding to student interest and taking advantage of special faculty competence. Class discussion, readings, and individual projects. LEC
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Investigation of a special topic or project selected by the student with advice, approval, and supervision of an instructor. Such study may take the form of directed reading or special research. Individual reports and conferences. May be repeated, with maximum cumulative credit of four hours. Course taken for one hour of credit may not be used to fulfill College distribution requirement. Prerequisite: One previous course in religious studies at the University of Kansas and permission of instructor. IND
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A close reading of classic texts of Asian religions in English translation, with emphasis on their construction and reception as sacred "scripture" in both their indigenous Asian contexts and in the post-colonial West. No prior knowledge of Asia is required, although some background is desirable. LEC
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An examination of the treatment of religious themes through the medium of film and an examination of the attitudes of religious organizations toward films and film production. Selected films will be viewed and analyzed from the perspectives taken within religious studies. LEC
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This course consists of a spring break study in a Muslim country, meeting with women's NGOs and other women's groups and visiting sites of significance to women. Preparatory class sessions focusing on assigned readings precede the study abroad trip and a concluding class session follows it. A research paper is required. LEC
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A study of pop songs, television, comics, and other idioms of popular culture from different parts of the Muslim world, with attention to Muslims' sense of humor, tragedy, aesthetics, and pertinent issues of the day. (Same as AAAS 450.) LEC
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A study of the phenomenon of visions, their expression in various media, and theories of visionary experience from the humanities and social sciences, with a particular emphasis on critically evaluating the relationship between the visionary experience and its expression. (Same as HWC 464). LEC
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An examination of how illness and health have been conceptualized, expressed, and explored in Western literature and art, as well as a consideration of issues of illness and health from the perspectives of philosophy and religious studies. (Same as HWC 468). LEC
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Theories and elements of love in a variety of types of relationships, with attention to religious ethical traditions and social and behavioral sciences. Includes small group discussions and application to personal experience. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above. LEC
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Examination of symbols, images, scriptures, rites and teachings that define gender in various religious traditions. (Same as HWC 477.) LEC
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Examination of symbols, images, scriptures, rites, and teachings defining women's roles in various religious traditions. Prerequisite: Open only to students in the University Honors Program, or by permission of instructor. LEC
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A capstone course for religious studies majors to survey methods and theories in religious studies. Prerequisite: Religious Studies major or permission of the instructor. LEC
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Required for Departmental Honors. May be taken more than once; total credit not to exceed 6 hours. Prerequisite: Open only to candidates for degree with departmental honors and with consent of the student's research supervisor. IND
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This course provides directed readings for students in either primary or secondary texts related to religious studies utilizing material in languages other than English. IND
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Topic and instructor to be announced in Schedule of Classes. Enables qualified students to participate in current research interests of faculty and/or pursue specific current topics. May be offered by different instructors under different subtitles, and may be taken more than once if subject matter varies sufficiently. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. LEC
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A historical survey of millenarian movements (the belief in imminent, total, ultimate, this-worldly, collective salvation), with particular attention to their psychological, sociological, and political dimensions. (Same as POLS 504.) Prerequisite: POLS 301 or honors equivalent or for non-majors completion of Western Civilization requirement, or consent of instructor. LEC
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Survey of religious thought and practice in India from the Vedic period to the present. LEC
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Survey of religious thought and practice in China from the Shang to the People's Republic. (Same as EALC 508.) LEC
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Survey of religious thought and practice in Japan from the Jomon period to the present. (Same as EALC 509.) LEC
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Survey of religious thought and practice in Korea from the Three Kingdoms period to the present. Prerequisite: REL 106/EALC 105; EALC 104; or permission of instructor. LEC
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Contemporary research in the history and literature of earliest Christianity including most of the following: (1) the use of critical method, (2) philosophical and theological contexts, (3) sociological analyses, (4) interpretation of archaeological data (5) papyrology and the medieval manuscript tradition, (6) relations between Christians and the Roman government, (7) relations between Christians and Jews, (8) development of diverse literary genres, and (9) the origins of gnosis and Christian gnosticism. Prerequisite: REL 124 or permission of instructor. LEC
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A study of the archeological evidence and texts from the Dead Sea area that provide primary evidence for Jewish religious belief and practice in the Greek and Roman periods (ca. 250 B.C.E. - 135 C.E.). Prerequisite: REL 124 or consent of instructor LEC
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A study of the basic features of Egyptian history, culture, and religion from the beginning of the Pharaonic period (ca. 3500 B.C.E.) to the rise of Greek rule in Egypt (ca. 350 B.C.E.). Prerequisite: A principal course in Religious Studies or consent of instructor. LEC
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This course examines the ways Jews and Christians have interacted with and characterized one another at various points in their histories. Special emphasis is placed on the gradual separation of the two religious traditions in the 1st-4th centuries. LEC
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A study of the basic features of Mesopotamian history, culture and religion from the origins of writing (ca. 3500 B.C.E.) to the rise of Greek rule in the region (ca. 350 B.C.E.). Prerequisite: A principal course in religious studies or consent of instructor. LEC
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Biographical issues related to the Apostle Paul, his teachings in relation to Greek and Jewish thought as exemplified in his letters, and his reception by later diverse Paulinists. Prerequisite: REL124/125, or REL 315. LEC
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This course covers the major political, literary, and theological developments in Christianity from the first century through Augustine in the early fifth century, including: (1) the development and significance of the New Testament canon, (2) relations between Christians, Jews, and the Roman government, (3) the nature of orthodoxy and heresy, and the rise of the major gnostic systems, (4) the growth of the orthodox network, (5) theological debates and councils, and (6) the biography and theology of Augustine and his influence on the medieval church. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above. LEC
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Study of religious thought, practice, and institutions of Christianity with an emphasis on the examination of primary documents. LEC
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Study of religious thought, practice, and institutions of Islam with an emphasis on the examination of primary documents. (Same as AAAS 532.) LEC
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A study of ritual theory and a comparative study of ritual activity among selected religious traditions. May be taken more than once if content differs sufficiently. LEC
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A study of the history and institutions of Islam in Africa. Emphasis will be placed on the impact of Islam on African traditional religions and African civilization in general; the historiographical traditions of Islam in Africa. (Same as AAAS 542.) LEC
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Focusing on issues of gender, this course follows major religious developments in the Islamic tradition. Also examines how Muslim women have impacted those developments. LEC
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An examination of major developments in classical Islamic literature in the Middle East and beyond, with attention to the poetic and prose works (in translation) that emerged from them. (Same as AAAS 552.) LEC
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A reading and media-rich survey of institutional, ritual, literary, educational, and exegetical practices that have shaped the lives of Buddhists in China, past and present. Alterities within the Buddhist tradition, and interactions with other religious options, are considered. (Same as EALC 555.) LEC
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This course examines movements of renewal and reform in the Islamic world today. Also studies the conditions that gave rise to calls for reform throughout the Muslim majority world, as well as the impact reform movements have had on the practices and beliefs of Muslims today. LEC
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This course deals analytically and synoptically with religion in Britain from the Reformation to the present with special reference to the Church of England, and focuses on the themes of ecclesiology, ecclesiastical polity, and political theology. It is essentially an examination of religious history from a perspective of history of ideas. (Same as HIST 558.) LEC
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This course deals analytically and synoptically with religion in Britain from the Reformation to the present with special reference to the Church of England, and focuses on the themes of ecclesiology, ecclesiastical polity, and political theology. It is essentially an examination of religious history from a perspective of the history of ideas. Open only to students in the University Honors Program or by permission of instructor. (Same as HIST 559.) LEC
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An introduction to individual Jewish thinkers and collective projects from Philo to the present, including The Talmud and Midrash, Middle Age and Early Modern Jewish philosophical and Talmudic rationalism and mysticism. Considers such thinkers as Spinoza, Cohen, Soloveitchik, Rosenzweig, and Levinas. LEC
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A study of the major intellectual sources of the Jewish tradition from the Mishna, Talmud, Midrash, prayerbook, philosophers, the Zohar, and the Shulchan Aruch. Prerequisite: A course in Religious Studies numbered 300 or above. LEC
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