Social Sciences: Religious Studies

Religious Studies is the study of religions and religious phenomena from an academic perspective, drawing on a number of academic disciplines, such as anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, political science, and history. In the past, this type of interdisciplinary study was called comparative religion and history of religions. To obtain a minor in Religious Studies, one completes at least 18 hours from any RSK course or from the following: ENGK 341 (when the focus is Religion and Film), HSTK 329, PLSK 355, or SOCK 404. See Courses link for further information.


Religious Studies (RSK)

304-3 World Religions. (3-0) A study of the philosophical, ethical, and social dimensions of the religions of the world. Focuses on major religions but lesser known ones may be included. The course will emphasize the diversity of religious experience and traditions.

410-3 Myth and Ritual. (3-0) Examines the religious beliefs and practices of small-scale societies based upon ethnographic literature.

412-3 Psychology of Religion. (3-0) Introduction to the major issues, theories, and psychological approaches to the study of religion. llluminates the role of religion in the formation of meaning systems and as motivation for behaviors. Explores psychological accounts for religious impulses and phenomena and addresses the practice of pastoral counseling.

415-3 Philosophy of Religion. (3-0) lntroduction to the major issues and theories of the philosophical study of religious concepts and phenomena. Topics include the relationship between religion and philosophy, concepts of God, religious experience, miracles, the claims of religions, the problem of evil, and religious ethics.

420-3 Religious Terrorism. (3-0) Examines the religious motivations, support, and tactics behind the phenomena of domestic and foreign terrorism.

430-3 Religions of the Middle East. (3-0) Examines the history, beliefs, practices, and conflicts behind the major religious traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

485-3 Special Topics. (3-0) Examines major topics in the area of Religious Studies. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

500-3 Introduction to Religious Studies. (3-0) Examines religion as an aspect of culture in a postmodern, diversified, global community. Introduction to the concepts used in the academic study of religion. Surveys the major religious traditions and the history of the discipline.

English (ENGK)

341-3 Cultural Studies. (3-0) This course explores an array of diverse cultural and historical contexts through literature produced outside the common British and American traditions. It qualifies as a Religious Studies minor course when the topic is Religion and Film. Prerequisites: ENGL 111, 112, and 6 hours sophomore ENGL.

History (HSTK)

329-3 Church and State. (3-0) This course is a survey of church-state relations in U.S. history. The course examines the role religion has played in American political life, culture, and society.

Political Science (PLSK)

355-3 Religion and Politics. (3-0) This course focuses on the historic development of church-state relations in the United States, the evolution of church-state constitutional law, and the impact of this history and law on the current political environment. Particular attention will be given to the role played by religion in political campaigns, local politics, and interest group activities.

Sociology (SOCK)

404-3 Sociology of Religion. (3-0) An examination of the basic principles of religion, religious belief, and practice as a sociological concept. Attention will be given to the relationship of religion to the progress and stability of the social order.