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Undergraduate - Religious Studies Minor

CALL FOR PAPERS

 

Religious Studies, Liberal Arts, and the Public University.

 

A conference at Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, April 10-11, 2015.

 

The conference will examine religious studies methods, curriculum, pedagogy, and ethos in terms of the field’s relationship to two key social locations, the liberal arts and the public university. Proposals are invited for papers and presentations on this theme. The organizers are particularly interested in the following topics: the intersection or disjunction of religious studies methods with the fields of humanities and social sciences; what religious studies contributes to liberal education; disciplinary ethos in the context of public universities bound by the First Amendment; the public university as fertile context for religious studies as an analytical discipline; history of religious studies at public universities; curricular and pedagogical challenges of religious studies in both liberal arts and public university contexts; the departmental model and its alternatives, especially the presence of religious studies as part of multidisciplinary departments; the articulation of the value of religious studies in an age of austerity; and particular challenges for religious studies in online or hybrid pedagogy. Proposals falling under the conference title but not specifically listed here will also be considered. Please send proposals (250 word maximum) by email attachment to Professor Rebecca Raphael at rr23@txstate.edu by January 15, 2015.

Various religious symbols

 Description

The minor in Religious Studies is an interdisciplinary minor requiring 18 hours of coursework from the list below.  Students may request the inclusion or substitution of other courses to be counted for this minor (see department chair). Students should also check with each department for any course prerequisites.

 

Courses

REL 1310 Introduction to Religious Studies : An introduction to the methods and history of religious studies as a field of the academic humanities. The course will utilize social, scientific, philosophical, and historical approaches to studying religion. Selected beliefs and practices common to several religions will provide case studies for methodological practice.

REL 2310 Hebrew Scriptures: Survey of the Old Testament: An introduction to the contemporary academic study of the Hebrew Bible.

REL 2315 Christian Scriptures: Survey of the New Testament: An introduction to the contemporary academic study of the New Testament including apocryphal and post-canonical works.

REL 2321 Founders, Prophets and Saints: Critical analysis of the life, works, and thought of a major religious figure, e.g. Jesus, Paul, Luther, St. Teresa, Maimonides, the Baal Shem Tov, Mohammad, al-Ghazzali, Rumi, Buddha, Gandhi. May be repeated for credit.

REL 3360 Eastern Religions: A survey of the major religious traditions originating in Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Shinto. Basic doctrines and practices will be covered in an historical framework. Some attention will be given to related Asian movements, e.g. Jainism, Sikhism, and Confucianism.

REL 3364 Western Religions: A survey of the major religious traditions originating in the Middle East: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Basic doctrines and practices will be covered in an historical framework. Some attention will be given to related Near Eastern, Greco-Roman, and Persian materials.

REL 3366 Advanced Studies in Western Religion: Study of the history, doctrines, and rituals of one of the major Western traditions. This course can be taught as introduction to Christianity, introduction to Judaism, or introduction to Islam; or it may focus on some movement within these.

REL 4388 Problems in Religion: Independent study of specific topics in religion.

ANTH 3305 Magic, Ritual and Religion: An examination of magic and religion in cultures of the world with an emphasis on recent works dealing with mysticism and the occult.

ANTH 3332 Myths and Moundbuilders: This course presents an anthropological approach to Native Americans of the Southeastern United States, their culture and beliefs.

ARTH 2302 Renaissance to Modern Art: A survey of art history from the fourteenth century through the nineteenth century.

ENG 3329 Mythology: Study of myths in ancient cultures, mythic patterns in modern literature, and Hollywood as a mythmaker.

HIST 4318 Special Topics in Interpretations of Modern European History: A study of conflicting historical interpretations of several major topics in Modern European history, e.g., Napoleon, Italian Unification, the origins of World War I. Topics and instructors will vary from semester to semester.

HON 3392 Immortality: Can it be shown that it is reasonable (unreasonable) to believe in life after death? What is alleged to survive death? What must a person be like to survive death? Is reincarnation plausible? The course will consist of attempts to answer these questions with rational arguments.

HON 3390H The Problem of Evil: Is it reasonable to believe in an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good God, despite the appearance of pointless evil? The course is an examination of attempts to answer this question with rational arguments.

PHIL 3317 Science and Religion: An examination of modern science and Western religion, and an analysis of the issues and ideas involved in the relationships between them.

PHIL 3318 Reason, God and Nature: An analysis of the concept of God, terms predicated on God, and theological propositions. An attempt to determine the nature of religious utterances in comparison with those of everyday life, scientific discovery, morality and imaginative expression.

PHIL 4388 Problems in Philosophy: Independent study of specific problems in philosophy. Open to students on an individual or small group basis by arrangement with the Department of Philosophy.

POSI 3306 Religion and American Public Life: An examination of the ways in which religious beliefs and groups have influenced the course of the American democratic experience; and the ongoing debates in constitutional law and democratic theory regarding the proper role of religion in American public life.

POSI 4313 Islamic Law and Politics: This course is a study of the law, origins, development, divisions, and politics of Islam. Special emphasis will be given to law, political thought, history, and the culture of the Middle East. Topics covered include Muslim law and political institutions, the Arab and Persian roles in Islam; the Islamic Community as a political system; major points of the Islamic faith and their political significance and the political and historical significance of Muslim mysticism.