Courses that fulfill
General Education Requirements:
- (A-AP) = Arts - Applied
- (A-TH) = Arts - Theoretical/Historical
- (A-AR) = Analytical - Abstract Reasoning
- (A-QR) = Analytical - Quantitative
- (D-D) = Diversity - Domestic
- (D-I) = Diversity - International
- (D-L) = Diversity - Language
- (ES) = Earlham Seminar
- (IE) = Immersive Experience
- (RCH) = Research
- (SI) = Scientific Inquiry
- (W) = Wellness
- (WI) = Writing Intensive
- (AY) = Offered in Alternative Year
*REL 150 EARLHAM SEMINAR (4 credits)
Offered for first-year students. Topics vary. (ES)
*REL 155 HEBREW SCRIPTURES (4 credits)
An examination of the religion of Israel expressed in selected portions of the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) in light of the results of modern critical study and within the context of ancient Near Eastern culture and history. Prerequisite: An Earlham Seminar or consent of the instructor. Also listed as JWST 155. (WI, D-I)
REL 160 FRIENDS COLLOQUIUM (1 credit)
Once a week hour-long discussion of a Quaker text, past or present.
*REL 165 NEW TESTAMENT (4 credits)
A close reading of the entire New Testament, with the goal of understanding its messages in historical context. Attention given to various theories of interpretation, the theological and ethical import of scripture, other influential and suppressed early Christian writings, the role of women in the Jesus Movement, and cultivation of one's own informed perspective. (D-I)
*REL 171 SACRED TRADITIONS OF INDIA (4 credits)
An encounter with the poets, pilgrims, gurus, gods, goddesses and ordinary devotees of major Indian Traditions including Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism. Explores the sacred texts of the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita; the epic Ramayana; everyday worship practices at home, the temple and on the road; contemporary sages; and Hindu nationalism. Includes several films, including Gandhi and Kundun. (D-I) (AY)
*REL 172 BUDDHIST TRADITIONS: CONTEMPORARY MASTERS
The Buddha taught radical inquiry into the nature of the self, the world and suffering. This discussion-based practicum will be guided by the teachings of contemporary masters and the lives of current practitioners to conduct one's own inquiries in a Buddhist style. Students will practice a variety of forms of meditation and reflection, read and discuss writings from the Theravada, Mahayana and Tantric traditions, called "The Three Turnings of the Wheel," and view films and documentaries that embody Buddhist worldviews. Also listed as JPNS 172. (D-I) (AY)
*REL 180 ISLAM (4 credits)
Topics include the early community and the life of Muhammad, portions of the Qur'an, the historical development of Islamic civilization, Sufism and issues in the contemporary Islamic world (such as the role of women, the nature of jihad and Islam's relationship to other religions). (D-I) (AY)
*REL 210 QUAKERISM (3 or 4 credits)
An introduction to the Quaker movement and its key figures and historical turning points. Focuses on the distinctive aspects of Quaker theology, including the range of views and the current areas of debate. Students become familiar with aspects of worship, business procedures and the testimonies as they are currently being practiced by Quakers "in the neighborhood" and around the world. (WI when taken for 4 credits.)
*REL 230 HISTORY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCES (4 credits)
Survey of central historical events, people, and faith perspectives that have shaped African American (or “Black”) religious experiences in the United States. This course will pay particular attention to 1) the prominent roles that African American women and men of faith have played in the communal survival and wellbeing of Black folk and 2) the role of Black faith as a catalyst for the social, political and cultural transformation of American society. General historical terrain covered in the course includes the Middle Passage and “New World” Slavery; The Great Awakening and later revivals; Emancipation; Reconstruction; migration and urbanization; Jim/Jane Crow; Civil Rights; and Black Nationalism/Black Power. In addition to surveying the religious experiences of African Americans within major Protestant denominations, some attention will be paid to African American Catholicism, Pentecostalism, “sects” and “cults,” Judaism, Caribbean religion(s) in the U.S., Islam, and Black humanism. Also listed as AAAS 230. (D-D) (AY)
REL 243 ISLAM AND FILM (4 credits)
This course explores Islam as portrayed in selected films, most from regions with a historically significant Muslim population, and some from the West. Through the films and readings students will explore gay and lesbian life in various Muslim countries, women’s roles in Afghanistan under the Taliban, relationships between historically Muslim countries and the West, tensions between Muslim, non-Muslim culture in India and Pakistan, and more. Prerequisite: Earlham Seminar. Also listed as FILM 243.
*REL 286 JUDAISM (4 credits)
An introduction to the major texts, themes, ritual practices, and holidays of the Jewish tradition from its inception to the present. The course is divided up into three main sections: 1) the Jewish textual tradition; 2) the Jewish liturgical calendar; and 3) Jewish life-cycle events and daily practices. By looking at a variety of accounts of the tradition – textual, theological, autobiographical, ethnographic - we will examine the similarities and differences between Judaism as it is presented “on the page” and the way it is understood and practiced by Jews today. We will also consider some themes and events in twentieth-century Jewry including the Holocaust, the creation of the State of Israel, and Jewish participation in the feminist movement. Also listed as JWST 286 (D-I)
*REL 299 RELIGION AND CULTURE OF HIP HOP (4 credits)
Bringing to bear written texts, music, film and other media sources, this course explores the definition and moral significance of Hip Hop as a religious and cultural phenomenon within popular culture. Specific issues explored in this course include the syncretism of religious symbols and sensibilities in Hip Hop; the racial, ethnic, sex-gendered, and class dynamics of Hip Hop; as well as the language and aesthetics of Hip Hop. Also listed as AAAS 299 and FILM 299. (D-D)
REL 301 RELIGION MAJORS AND MINORS COLLOQUIUM (1 credits)
Discussions will focus on the intersections amoung courses in Religion and courses in other disciplines with religious content or implications. Meet once a week during fall semester. Required for majors and minors in Religion. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing and above.
REL 305 SEMINAR (4 credits)
Topics determined by the instructor. Recent topics have included: Ethics of Jesus; Quakers and the Mystical Traditions, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X (El Hajj Malik El Shabazz); Black and Womanist Theology; Topics in Islam; Religions of the African Diaspora; Quaker Women; “Human Nature” and Social Change. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing and above.
*REL 310 IS RELIGION "T(t)RUE"? (4 credits)
A critical survey of influential modern proposals concerning the nature, function and value of religion in human life. Engages students in close primary and secondary readings and analysis of (representative) major figures and themes in the global study of religion, both academically and confessionally. Incorporates resources from philosophy, theology, the social sciences and cultural studies. Prerequisite: Earlham Seminar I & II, and consent of the instructor for non-Religion or Philosophy majors and minors. (D-I)
REL 315 BIBLICAL SEMINAR (4 credits)
An advanced textual study and exegesis in one or more biblical books, or study in biblical theology. Biblical courses at Earlham School of Religion may be credited under this listing.
REL 320 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION (4 credits)
A philosophical investigation into the phenomenon of religion, including an examination of the problems of meaning and truth in religious language and praxis. Also listed as PHIL 320.
REL 325 RELIGION AND PSYCHOLOGY (4 credits)
An exploration of intersections between religion and psychology with attention to the nature of self and wholeness in multiple traditions, "West" and "East." Topics will typically include Western psychologies and science of mind in dialogue with the Hindu understandings of Soul and Buddhist theories of consciousness. Prerequisite: Earlham Seminars I & II and one Religion course or consent of the instructor. (AY)
*REL 330 CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND MORAL VISION (4 credits)
A critical examination of the social functions and theories of contemporary criminal justice in the United States. Special attention to the collateral social consequences of the "prison industrial complex," paramilitary policing and the death penalty. Fosters moral interpretations that contribute to popular movements for positive change. Prerequisites: Earlham Seminar I & II. Also listed as AAAS 330 and PAGS 331. (D-D) (AY)
*REL 342 HISTORICAL CHRISTIANITY (4 credits)
Contemporary popular and scholarly religion has become immersed in recent years in "the Jesus wars." In this course students will examine what they can know about Jesus from original sources of his time; read and compare recent accounts of Jesus as political revolutionary, Gnostic teacher of Wisdom, and divine Lord of the universe; and assess for themselves based on the evidence who they believe this man really was and is. Students will watch films about Jesus outside of class. Prerequisite: Earlham Seminar and at least one course in Religion or consent of the instructor. (WI) (AY)
REL 360 WORLD FAITHS, WORLD NEWS (4 credits)
Considers the religious aspects of crucial current events, explores emerging religious movements, analyzes ongoing developments within religious groups world-wide, and tries to make (some) sense of it all. Topics typically include: cyber-ethics, fundamentalism, religious pluralism, liberation theologies, post-modern critiques of religion and New Religious Movements. Required of Religion majors. Prerequisite: Coursework or experience in Religion, Peace and Global Studies, Politics, Journalism, or activism with consent of the instructor. Also listed as PAGS 360.
*REL 380 RELIGIONS OF EAST ASIA (4 credits)
An exploration of the religious and philosophical thought and practice of East Asia, including Popular, Shinto, Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist traditions as manifested in the classical periods of cultural development as well as contemporary society. Prerequisite: One course in Religion (preferably in World Religions), one course in Japanese Studies or consent of the instructor. Also listed as JPNS 380. (D-I)
*REL 425 RELIGIOUS RESPONSES TO WAR AND VIOLENCE (4 credits)
Considers the impact of Asian religions and Jewish and Christian teachings on social conflict, and the history of teachings on war, social violence and nonviolent resistance, with case histories from the Quakers, Gandhi and other figures. Prerequisites: One course in both Religion and History, Sociology/Anthropology or Psychology. (D-I) (AY)
REL 440 FEMINIST / WOMANIST THEOLOGY (4 credits)
Traces the histories of women in the church and explores the emergence of feminist/womanist theology in the 20th century. Focuses on current feminist/womanist thought and action in today's societies. Also listed as AAAS 440 and WGSS 440. (AY)
REL 481 INTERNSHIPS, FIELD STUDIES AND OTHER FIELD EXPERIENCES (1-3 credits)
REL 482 SPECIAL TOPICS (4 credits)
Selected topics determined by the instructor for upper-level study.
REL 483 TEACHING ASSISTANTS (1-3 credits)
REL 484 FORD/KNIGHT RESEARCH PROJECT (1-4 credits)
Collaborative research with faculty funded by the Ford/Knight Program.
REL 485 INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-3 credits)
Investigation of a specific topic conceived and planned by the student in consultation with a faculty supervisor. Culminates in a comprehensive report prepared in the style of a thesis or research paper.
REL 488 SENIOR CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE: RESEARCH SEMINAR (4 credits)
A two-semester research seminar designed to provide an informative, structured and supportive group environment for the preparation and oral defense of a major research project in the study of religion. Class time devoted to identifying, developing and accomplishing this project in conversation with one another and faculty. The paper and oral interview fulfill the Senior Capstone. Prerequisite: Senior standing or consent of the instructor.