RELIGION 327. (3) STUDIES IN CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY. Intensive study of selected issues in contemporary Christian theology or Biblical studies. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102. RELIGION 328. (3) WEALTH AND POVERTY IN THE CHRISTIAN TRADITION. This course explores questions of wealth, consumption, stewardship, poverty and work, using various traditions within Christianity. It further aims to use the resources of these traditions to examine current issues in this area, such as hunger and disease, international debt, the prosperity gospel and lending practices. It considers evidence from the Bible, as well as stances taken by the church and its critics throughout history. Typical authors include Clement of Alexandria, Chrysostom, Calvin, Weber, Rauschenbusch, John Schneider, Rand, Paul VI and Wendell Berry. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102. RELIGION 329. (3) CHRISTIAN ETHICS AND TECHNOLOGY. The extraordinary technological innovations of the last fifty years have affected nearly every aspect of daily life. As heavily discussed as these new technologies are, there has been little fundamental reflection on the ethical questions raised by the sweeping changes brought on by the technological revolution. This course explores and critiques the technological revolution from the broad standpoint of Christian ethics in order better to understand the social effects, both positive and negative, of the new technologies, and strives to begin to work out constructive ethical responses to those effects. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102. RELIGION 425. (3) SEMINAR IN THEOLOGY AND ETHICS. A seminar on a focused topic in theology or ethics that prepares students for a significant exercise in research. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. COURSES IN AMERICAN AND HISTORICAL STUDIES RELIGION 231. (3) RELIGION IN AMERICAN LIFE I. An historical survey of religion in American life and thought to 1870. Topics include the influence of Puritanism, the character of American religious freedom, slave religion, and the interaction between religion and social reform. Prerequisite: none.
RELIGION 232. (3) RELIGION IN AMERICAN LIFE II. An historical survey of religion in American life and thought since 1870. Topics include American religious pluralism, immigrant religion, religious responses to social issues, and the character of modern American religious experience. Prerequisite: none. RELIGION 238. (3) RELIGIOUS AUTOBIOGRAPHY. In this course students consider the nature of religion and the human religious quest as expressed in autobiographical texts from a variety of religious traditions, as well as versions that express the “loss of faith” or the “problem of belief.” They will also write their own autobiographical texts, which explore their own experience of religion and others’ expressions of religious life. Students also examine critically the nature, social uses, and ethics of memory, as well as consider the reliability of autobiographical reconstruction. Finally, students examine how autobiography is intended to persuade readers for particular ends, such as conversion, social justice, political/cultural reform, religious purity or identity, or religious reflection. Prerequisite: none. RELIGION 245. (3) PERSPECTIVES IN THE STUDY OF RELIGION. This course is a survey of the development of the discipline of religion from the 19th century to the present. By reading classical and current theorists, students are introduced to the methodology, theoretical debates, and approaches within the discipline of religion as they have historically developed. Students also consider how (and whether) one can academically define and investigate the phenomenon of “religion.” Emphasis is on seminal figures in the discipline, including James Frazer, Emile Durkheim, Mary Douglas, Mircea Eliade, and Clifford Geertz, as well as their contemporary critics. Prerequisite: none. RELIGION 334. (3) RELIGION AND ETHNICITY IN AMERICA. An examination of the relationship between religious and ethnic identity in the context of American culture. Topics include theoretical approaches to religion and ethnicity, debates over the designation of “American,” and consideration of how race, class, and gender affect ethno-religious identity. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102.