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Courses

(This list of courses may not be up to date. Please see the latest General Catalog for a complete list of current courses.)

RELI 023. Hebrew Bible (4) The Hebrew Bible is a central book of western culture, serving as a foundation for Judaism and Christianity. This course surveys the biblical literature, familiarizes students with critical methods for the study of the Bible, situates the Bible within the literature and culture of the ancient Near East, and discusses the religion of ancient Israel. Issues of history and archaeology will also be addressed.

RELI 025. New Testament and Christian Origins (4) This course offers a socio-historical and literary introduction to the writings of the earliest Christians. It will emphasize the importance of the historical context of these writings and will investigate the ways these texts fit into Mediterranean cultures. Topics include: the Jewish origins of the “Jesus movement;” the formation of early Christian communities and their varying patterns of belief and practice; the development of oral and written traditions about Jesus, especially in the gospels and letters of Paul; and various images of Jesus and their significance. Students will learn how to read ancient texts closely, gain an understanding of the various methods of scholarly biblical interpretation, and learn how to evaluate these interpretations critically.

RELI 027. Portraits of Jesus (4) In this course, we will examine some of the different “Jesuses” that have emerged from the “Quest for Jesus” through the ages, including historical studies, art, and literature. Was Jesus an itinerant, charismatic teacher? A healer and miracle-worker? A social revolutionary? Or is he an ahistorical figure on whom we have projected our own needs and desires for two millennia?

RELI 034. Introduction to Religion (4) What is religion? Is it a belief in God? Is it a realization of the limits of human powers? Is it a set of moral laws and regulations, or all of the above? But how about religions which do not have moral laws? How about religions where there is no God? Then, what is religion, indeed? This course will explore the beginning of human activities associated with religion such as calendars and myths. Then, it will move on to its more pronounced forms such as rituals of birth, death, hunting and healing known in Neolithic cultures. It will then discuss the main world religions which have evolved from these initial religious impulses. Methods by which scholars study religions, impacts which religious beliefs had upon human societies and the future of human spirituality present another set of problems which will be dealt with in the progression of this course.

RELI 035. Judaism (4) A basic introduction to Judaism covering its history, beliefs and customs with an emphasis on understanding the Jews of today. (Supported by grants from the Jewish Chautauqua Society and from Temple Israel.)

RELI 043. Social Ethics (4) This course will examine several contemporary problems in social ethics from the standpoint of religious traditions and philosophical perspectives. It will introduce ethical and religious concepts and consider such issues as affirmative action, pacifism and just war, civil disobedience, and capital punishment. We will discuss what selected thinkers say about such issues, and how they reach their conclusions in light of their theological, philosophical, and anthropological convictions.

RELI 044. Sex, Sin, and Salvation (4) This course will explore and analyze sexuality and gender in terms of ethics and religion. The course will focus on historical and contemporary Christian perspectives, with some attention to other religious traditions and philosophical perspectives. Topics will include such issues as sexual ethics, homosexuality, sexuality and spirituality, gender roles and connections between gender and ethical perspectives.

RELI 070. Religion and American Culture (4) An examination of the way in which religion has contributed to the shaping of American political, social and cultural life, and the way in which the American experience has in turn shaped religion. It will move from the colonial experience through the awakenings,” to the emergence of new religions and cults, the revolutions of the sixties, the revival of conservative Christianity in the American political spectrum and ecology as the “new awakening.”

RELI 120. Wisdom in Biblical Literature (4) This course will introduce the student to the biblical books of Proverbs, Job, and Qohelet (Ecclesiastes). These books share the common thread of teaching people how to live skillfully and have incited controversy for millennia. We will read these books in English, examine and discuss the major themes, literary structures, cultural contexts, and issues in interpretation that surround these books, and reflect upon their significance for several communities of readers in various periods of history. In order to situate these Israelite books within their ancient cultural contexts, we will have opportunity to read and discuss wisdom texts from the neighboring cultures of Egypt and Mesopotamia. And, in order to appreciate the position of these books within wisdom tradition, we will also look at some wisdom writings from Israel not included in the biblical canon.

RELI 124. Ancient Judaism (4) We will survey ancient Judaism from roughly 539 BCE until the Islamic era (c. 600 CE), emphasizing the ideological importance of the destruction of the second temple in 70 CE. Readings and discussion in primary texts (e.g. Enoch, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Maccabees, the Talmud, Mishnah, and various midrashim) will complement our historical investigation.

RELI 126. Ancient Israel in Its Historical Context (4) This course will focus on the historical and cultural context in which ancient Israel arose and flourished-from the early Iron Age (c. 1200 BCE) to the beginning of the Hellenistic period (323 BCE). In the first part of the course, after surveying the geography and political history of the ancient Near East from 2000-320 BCE, we will critically examine the historical rise and existence of Israel in its larger geo-political context. Special consideration will be given to understanding the relationship of archaeological, politico-historical, and biblical evidence. In the second part of the course we will turn our attention to “everyday life” in ancient Israel, that is, to various social and material elements of ancient Israelite culture (e.g., family structure, buildings, vocational activities, art and music, literacy, etc.) as reconstructed from archaeological and biblical evidence. We will apply what we learn to various biblical topics and/or texts.

RELI 128. Social Topics in Early Christianity (4) A study of one or more social issues prominent during the early stages of Christianity. Topics will vary according to the interests of faculty and students.

RELI 130. The Christian Tradition (4) An historical and theological analysis of Christian thought and practice. Content will vary depending upon instructor. It may, for example, focus on Christian origins in Greek and Hebrew culture, the Reformation Era, or issues of theological reinterpretation for the 21st century.

RELI 134. World Religions (4) An examination of fundamental religious questions as developed in major religions of the world including primal religious experiences in African, Australian and Native American traditions. Also special attention to Islam, in context with other Abrahamic traditions, as the fastest growing religion in the world. Some attention will be given to historical development and to major personalities, but attention will center on the religious questions as developed in each religious system.

RELI 135. Asian Religious Traditions (4) A study of the traditional religions of India, China, Tibet and Japan, attempting to delineate the spirituality, beauty, and wisdom of these traditions. It will trace the rich historical and cultural heritages of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism, the Taoist ways of achieving harmony in the world, and the melding of nature and ritual life in Shinto. Each semester one or two of these religions will be studied in depth to investigate how they influence society, politics and culture in the countries where they spread. The academic approach is supplemented by practical learning of meditation, energy-regulations and ritual.

RELI 140. Religion and Politics (4) This course will explore the relationships between religious convictions and political thought and action. The course will concentrate on selected eastern or western religious traditions. Topics of discussion may include the state, individual liberty, economics, and war. Readings will introduce historical and contemporary religious and philosophical perspectives.

RELI 142. Business Ethics (4) This course will critically examine some of the social, ethical, economic, and religious foundations of business activity, and consider some of the contemporary problems with, and possibilities for, business practice. Course topics may include: an historical analysis of the rise of capitalism; religious views of economics and responses to capitalism; the role of business in the larger society; the relationship between the individual and the organization; and the prospects for human community in a capitalist system.

RELI 145. Biomedical Ethics (4) A study of the complex issues emerging from the revolutionary developments in biology and medicine, including human experimentation, abortion, genetic manipulation, in vitro fertilization, death and dying, health care delivery, and organ transplants.

RELI 146. Technology, Ethics, & Religion (4) This course will offer historic, philosophical, and religious perspectives on science and technology. It will endeavor to help students understand the impact of science and technology on our moral and religious traditions and institutions, and how those traditions and institutions in turn impact science and technology. It will consider how technology addresses social problems, and the benefits, possibilities, and further problems that it produces.

RELI 152. Confucian Traditions (4) This course will examine moral, political, philosophical and religious aspects of various Confucian traditions beginning from Confucius and Mencius to Han and Song dynasties Confucianism to modern Du Weiming’s school. No prerequisite is necessary, however, this course is not recommended to freshmen.

RELI 171. Religion and Cinema (4) A study of the way religious ideas, institutions and figures are presented on film. The course involves screening and analyzing various films. The scope of the course will be international and intercultural, but the majority of the images will inevitably be Western. The course intends to demonstrate the power of cinematic images to define, enrich and sometimes pervert the religious sensibility.

RELI 172. Biblical Themes in Literature (4) A reading course in the Bible and the ways in which Biblical themes have informed representative texts in Western literature. A comparison of the Biblical world view with that of later ages by reading such authors as Dante, Camus, Hemingway, and John Updike.

RELI 196. Religious Studies Seminar (4) Capstone seminar for majors. Focus of the study will vary from year to year according to interests of faculty and students (e.g. Religion and Nature, Christian Church Fathers, or Buddhism & Christianity).

Classics-in-English

CLAS 051. Classical Mythology (4) An introductory survey of the Greek and Roman myths of major importance in Western literature, art and music. May focus upon Greek mythology against the background of Roman, or Roman mythology against the background of Greek.

CLAS 100. History of Ancient Greece (4) An introductory survey of the social, economic, political and military history of ancient Greece, from the very first Greeks and the age of the Homeric heroes to the legacy of Alexander the Great. We will focus on Greece and the Greeks as the mainstream culture, with marginal groups - such as women, slaves, non-citizens, and other ethnic groups - providing the context for the development of an exclusively Greek cultural identity. Offered in alternate years.

CLAS 102. History of Ancient Rome (4) An introductory survey of the social, economic, political and military history of ancient Rome, from the legendary founder hero Aeneas to the height of Rome under the emperors. We will focus on Rome and the Romans as the mainstream culture, with marginal groups - such as women, slaves, noncitizens, and other ethnic groups - providing the context for the development of an exclusively Roman cultural identity. Offered in alternate years.

CLAS 110. Greek Literature in Translation (4) An introductory survey of the literature of ancient Greece, read in English translation. Works studied will be representative of the extraordinary literary achievement of Greece in the genres of epic, tragedy, comedy, history, philosophical dialogue, and lyric poetry. Attention will be given to the perennial importance which the themes and questions raised have had for subsequent western literature. Offered in alternate years.

CLAS 112. Latin Literature in Translation (4) An introductory survey of the literature of ancient Rome, read in English translation. Works studied will include the genres of comedy, epic, rhetoric, lyric poetry, history, the novel, and satire. Particular focus will be on these works’ continued relevance and the extensive influence which Rome had on later western thought and literature. Offered in alternate years.

CLAS 115. Topics in Mythology and Religion (4) In depth study of particular aspects of Greek and Roman mythology and religion. Students are expected to write about and discuss various topics, relevant to the ways that mythology and religion informed ancient life and/or has continued to influence modern culture. Prerequisite: CLAS 051 or permission of the instructor.

CLAS 120. Sexuality in Greek Society (4) An introductory survey of the sexual attitudes and gender roles of women and men in ancient Greek society. We will focus on the suppression of female sexuality and the channeling of male sexuality, in the different places and times of ancient Greece, from the Homeric heroes and their women to the heirs of Alexander the Great. Offered in alternate years.

CLAS 122. Sexuality in Roman Society (4) An introductory survey of the sexual attitudes and gender roles of women and men in ancient Roman society. We will focus on the subordination, exploitation, and suppression of male and female sexuality from the charter society of Aeneas to the politics and economy of the Roman Republic, and the philosophies and religions of the Roman Empire. Offered in alternate years.

CLAS 130. Greek Art and Architecture (4) An introductory survey of the art and architecture of ancient Greece from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic period. While exploring the stylistic development of Greek sculpture, painting and architecture, we will examine what this art can tell us about the ancient Greeks and how extensively it has influenced our world. Offered in alternate years.

CLAS 132. Roman Art and Architecture (4) An introductory survey of the art and architecture of ancient Etruria and Rome from 600 B.C. to the 4th century A.D. We will explore the role of Roman art and architecture and its Etruscan influences in Roman life and history. Attention will be given to examples of Roman influence that surround us today. Offered in alternate years.

CLAS 197. Senior Research Project (4) The culminating experience for Classics majors. Students will select a topic of personal interest and, with the supervision of faculty experienced in that area of study, will learn about traditional and current research methods and produce an original work. This will demonstrate the student’s ability to formulate a relevant question, conduct necessary research, synthesize information, think critically and communicate these results in a manner appropriate to a graduate. Prerequisite: permission of the department, dependent on the student’s ability to complete the requirements for graduation.

Greek

GREK 011a. First-Year Ancient Greek, First Semester (4) Beginning training in the basic language skills of reading and writing, with attention to aspects of ancient Greek culture and the influence of ancient Greek on English vocabulary. Offered every fall.

GREK 011b. First-Year Ancient Greek, Second Semester (4) Continued training in reading and writing skills, study of ancient Greek culture and English vocabulary derived from Greek, with appropriate readings from classical Greek authors. Offered every spring. Prerequisite: GREK 011a or permission of the instructor.

GREK 023. Intermediate Greek, Third Semester (4) Selected readings with attention to grammar as needed. Students have the option of reading in appropriate Classical authors such as Herodotus or Plato, or in the Greek New Testament. Prerequisite: GREK 011B, equivalent or permission.

GREK 025. Intermediate Greek, Fourth Semester (4) Selected readings with attention to grammar as needed. Students have the option of reading in appropriate Classical authors such as Homer or the Greek dramatists, or in Koine Greek. Prerequisite: GREK 023, equivalent or permission.

GREK 127. Advanced Greek (4) Readings suited to the abilities and interests of the students. Attention to grammar and prose composition as needed. May be taken more than once with different content. Prerequisite: GREK 025 or equivalent.

Latin

LATN 011a. First-Year Latin, First Semester (4) Beginning training in the basic language skills of reading and writing, with attention to aspects of Roman culture and the influence of Latin on modern languages. Offered every fall.

LATN 011b. First-Year Latin, Second Semester (4) Continuation of training in the basic reading and writing skills; appropriate readings from Latin authors. Offered every spring. Prerequisite: LATN 011a.

LATN 023. Intermediate Latin, Third Semester (4) Selected readings from prose authors. Attention to grammar as needed; simple composition exercises. Prerequisite: LATN 011b, equivalent or permission.

LATN 025. Intermediate Latin, Fourth Semester (4) Selected readings from Vergil’s Aeneid or other authors suited to the needs and interests of the students. Attention to grammar as needed. Prerequisite: LATN 023, equivalent or permission.

LATN 127. Advanced Latin (4) Readings suited to the abilities and interests of the students. Attention to grammar as needed; practice in prose composition. May be taken more than once with different content. Prerequisite: LATN 025 or equivalent.

LATN 151. Intensive Latin for Language Students (4) A comparative study of Latin and its relationship to modern European languages. Reading of selected texts. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

Additional Courses

RELI 087. Internship (2-4)

GREK 093. Special Topics (4)

LATN 093. Special Topics (4)

CLAS 191. Independent Study (2-4)

GREK 191. Independent Study (2-4)

LATN 191. Independent Study (2-4)

RELI 191. Independent Study (2-4)

CLAS 193. Special Topics (4)

RELI 193. Special Topics (4)