CCPS Religion Course Descriptions

100 Level Courses
RELG 109: Introduction to the Study of Religion. 3 hours.

Religion and religious ideas are central to all cultures and societies, including our own. This course will look at the broad range of cultural forms we have come to call religion, examine how these forms shape cultures and societies, and finally, by examining what these forms have in common and how they differ, we will determine what it is we study when we study religion.

200 Level Courses
RELG 202: Religions of the World: Middle Eastern. 3 hours.

A comparative study of the major ideas of those religions most directly related to and influencing the West: Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.

RELG 203: Introduction to the Bible. 3 hours.

An introductory study of the Hebrew scriptures and the Christian New Testament with attention to the literature of these sacred texts, the historical circumstances of their development and the methods of textual interpretation.

RELG 204: Introduction to History of Christianity. 3 hours.

An introductory survey of the history of Christianity. Attention is given to the Early Church Fathers, the Medieval era, the Reformation, the church’s response to the Enlightenment and the Contemporary period.

RELG 205: The Life and Teachings of Jesus. 3 hours.

A study of the person, work and teaching of Jesus as reflected in the Biblical records with some attention given to later and current interpretations of His life.

RELG 206: Eastern Religions and Philosophies. 3 hours.

An introduction to Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Specifically, the course focuses on the systems of value that emerge from these traditions, and where appropriate, compares and contrasts them with the value systems of Western traditions. The conceptual framework guiding this examination incorporates the tradition’s overall world view, conception of God or ultimate reality, its understanding of the origin, nature and destiny of the cosmos and of human beings, diagnosis of the human condition and prescription for attaining the ultimate goal or purpose of human life.

RELG 207: Introduction to Homiletics. 3 hours.

Prerequisite: RELG 203.
This course introduces students to the practice of preparing and delivering a sermon in the context of a worship service. By the end of the course participants should be able to organize, draft and deliver a basic sermon in connection to the use of liturgy and scripture, as well as have a strong grasp of the most formative schools of thought at work in current homiletic discourse and practice. Students will also be asked to examine how sermonic form and structure might vary within the context of different religion traditions and styles of worship.

RELG 208: Life and Teachings of Paul. 3 hours.

An in depth study of the history, themes, and theologies developed by Paul in his letters, and by the Early Churches as they engaged with his writings.

RELG 270: Who is Jesus?. 3 hours.

This course is devoted to understanding the multi-faceted historic and contemporary conversations about the identity, nature and influence of Jesus of Nazareth. It is divided into four sections. In the first, differing images of Jesus from the New Testament are examined. In the second, attention is given to the diverse theological understandings of Jesus throughout history. Part three examines currents in thought about Jesus from the contemporary period. Part four gives students the opportunity to share own research and findings into the question of Jesus’ identity.

RELG 275: Does God Exist?. 3 hours.

This course is designed to help students explore the question of divinity from a theological, philosophical and historical perspective. Students are introduced to the arguments for the existence of God as well as the arguments — both historic and contemporary — for atheism and agnosticism. Attention is given to images of God from historic religious traditions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Some focus is also directed to the Eastern interpretations. The course gives special attention toward the close to contemporary reinterpretations of God language. Finally, all students are given the opportunity to chart their own journey through this material in a closing intellectual biography.

RELG 283: Hispanic Religious Traditions in the U.S.. 3 hours.

This course is primarily a survey of the roles and functions of various forms of these religious traditions in the diverse communities of Hispanic peoples in North America. We will look at the various forms of these religious traditions in North America and the United States and how they have influenced culture both in the Hispanic community and society as a whole. In addition to looking at how Hispanic religious traditions influence Christian theology and forms of worship, we will also observe the intersection of life, economics, politics, etc. with religion through readings, discussions, films, music, and, if time allows, visits to local churches and/or relevant nonprofit agencies.

RELG 290, 390, 490: Selected Topics. 1-3 hours.

Selected Topics are courses of an experimental nature that provide students a wide variety of study opportunities and experiences. Selected Topics offer both the department and the students the opportunity to explore areas of special interest in a structured classroom setting. Selected Topics courses (course numbers 290, 390, 490) will have variable titles and vary in credit from 1-3 semester hours. Selected Topic courses may not be taken as a Directed Study offering.

RELG 291, 391, 491: Research. Variable hours.

Many academic departments offer special research or investigative projects beyond the regular catalog offering. Significant responsibility lies with the student to work independently to develop a proposal for study that must be approved by a faculty mentor and the appropriate department chair. The faculty member will provide counsel through the study and will evaluate the student’s performance. Sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible. Students must register for research (291, 292, 391, 392, 491 or 492) to receive credit and are required to fill out a Permission to Register for Special Coursework form. It is recommended that students complete not more than 12 hours of research to apply toward the baccalaureate degree.

300 Level Courses
RELG 309: Christian Ethics. 3 hours.

This course explored the biblical resources for Christian moral decision-making, examines the historical development of moral theology (from the early church through the twentieth century) and addresses selected moral issues.

RELG 310: The Bible, Sex and Sexuality. 3 hours.

This course explored the Bible through theories of anthropology, sociology, and cultural criticism. It looks specifically at stories in the Bible that concern marriage, sex, and violence.

RELG 368: Twentieth Century Christian Thought. 3 hours.

An examination of the works of some of the major Christian thinkers of the twentieth century in their response to the intellectual and cultural movements of the times.

RELG 380: African American Religions in the United States. 3 hours.

This course is primarily a historical survey of the roles and functions of religion in the diverse communities of African peoples in North America. We will begin with a very brief look at African religions. We will then look at the various forms these religions take in the slave communities and in the abolitionist movements. Religion continues to be an integral component of African-Americans throughout the wars, the great depression, through the struggle for human rights, and of course, today. We will observe the intersection of life, economic, politics, etc. with religion through readings, discussions, films, music, and, if time allows, visits to local churches.

RELG 385: From Babylon to Berlin: A History of Anti-Semitism. 3 hours.

This course seeks to engage students in a critical consideration of the social and religious/theological implications of Nazi Germany’s “war against the Jews,” the intentional and calculated destruction of some 6 million European Jews (accompanied by the enormous suffering and losses experienced by other “undesirable” groups) which is referred to as the Shoah, or Holocaust. In order to do this, students will consider those events and perceptions that allowed the Holocaust to come about, particularly the development of racial anti-Semitism and religious anti-Judaism, which traces part of its lineage back to diasporic Judaism, the Christian scriptures, and to Christian theological perspectives, values, and actions of the early and medieval church. We will explore the behaviors and teachings of the church, its leaders, and lay adherents during the holocaust, as well as the religious motivations for the extraordinary courage displayed by those Christians who risked their lives to save Jews and others. We will ask, to what degree did these early writings influence the anti--Jewish propaganda of the Third Reich? Finally, we will consider post--holocaust reactions of both Jews and Christians and ask, has the event of the Jewish holocaust caused fundamental change in the relationship between those in power or those in the center, and those who are considered “other?” This question would consider directly issues that emerge around race, sexual orientation, class, and gender.

RELG 397, 497: Internship. Variable hours.

Interns must have at least 60 credit hours, completed appropriate coursework and have a minimum GPA of 2.5 prior to registering for academic credit. Also, approval must be obtained from the student's faculty sponsor and required forms must be completed by the deadline. Note: *Architecture, Music Therapy and Education majors do not register internships through Career Planning & Development. These students need to speak with his/her advisor regarding credit requirements and options. S/U Grading.