Florida State University General Bulletin 1998-1999

FSU Homepage Office of the Registrar On-Line Registration 1997-1999 Graduate Bulletin Table of Contents

Academic Departments and Programs (course descriptions)


Department of Religion

College of Arts and Sciences

Chair: John Kelsay;
Professors: Kelsay, Sandon;
Service Professors: Jones, Moore;
Associate Professors: Erndl, Levenson, Bartholomeusz;
Assistant Professors: Burkes, Lusthaus;
Courtesy Professor: Angell;
Professors Emeriti: Carey, Rubenstein, Wellborn

Since its founding in 1965, the Department of Religion at The Florida State University has been a leader among Americas public institutions in the academic study of religion. The department offers instruction in the religious traditions of the world and the religious dimensions of human life. While covering a wide range of religious phenomena and the interaction of religion with other cultural forms, there are particular concentrations in the religions of western antiquity, religions of Asia, religion in Europe and the Americas, and religion, ethics and philosophy.

Located in the humanities area of the College of Arts and Sciences, the department participates actively in the University’s liberal studies program. A number of religion courses are approved for humanities credit in liberal studies and for literature and multicultural requirements. The department is committed to offering several liberal studies honors courses and honors augmented courses each semester. Members of the department regularly teach in the Bryan Hall living and learning community. Our students are encouraged to take advantage of the University’s international programs, especially those in London and Florence.

A concentration in religion provides the opportunity to acquire a broad liberal arts education, as the study of religion involves exposure to a wide variety of different cultural expressions and methods of analysis. While some religion majors and minors go on to graduate work and positions in the various areas of religion and religious studies, the issues and methods encountered are applicable to a number of different professional fields and interests.

The department is housed in Dodd Hall. The facilities of the department includes a small library of standard reference works for the use of religion students.

College Requirements

Please review all college-wide degree requirements summarized in the College of Arts and Sciences section of this General Bulletin.

Degree in Religion

Major

To complete a bachelor of arts (BA) degree with a major in religion, a student must take (in addition to other college requirements) thirty (30) semester hours of religion courses. For purposes of the major requirement, religion courses are divided into the following three (3) areas:

Western: REL 2121, 2213, 2243, 3128, 3146, 3194, 3293r, 3363, 3370, 3430, 3505, 3600, 4203r, 4290r, 4320r, 4323, 4324, 4511, 4541, 4564, 4611, 4613, 4996r;

Asian: REL 2315, 2350, 3316, 3335, 3337, 3340, 3342, 3345, 3350, 4304r, 4333, 4348, 4355, 4913r, 4990r, 4994r;

Issues and Approaches: REL 3112, 3142, 3145, 3160, 3170, 3177r, 3191; PHI 3700.

Note: the areas in which REL 3936r, 4190r, 4491r, 4905r and 4932r fall depend on the topic. Students should inquire at the department office for a current list of all courses and their areas.

Majors will choose either the extensive option (two [2] courses from each of the three areas, and electives) or the intensive option (four [4] courses from one area and one [1] from each of the other two, and electives). At least six (6) courses must be at the 3000/4000 level, of which two (2) must be at the 4000 level. Majors must take at least one religion course with a seminar format (either a course listed as a seminar or one approved as such by the departmental Director of Undergraduate Studies). In some cases, with the approval of the departmental Director of Undergraduate Studies, up to two courses from other departments may count toward a religion major (PHI 3700 counts as a course offered by the Department of Religion). Courses in which the student receives a grade below C will not be counted toward the major.

Minor

Religion majors must complete twelve (12) semester hours in an approved departmental field.

Honors in the Major

The Department of Religion offers an honors program in religion to encourage talented juniors and seniors to undertake independent and original research as part of the undergraduate experience. For requirements and other information, see the University Honors Program and Honor Societies section of this General Bulletin.

Joint Major in Religion and Classics

The departments of Religion and Classical Languages, Literature, and Civilization cooperate in a joint major designed for students with a special interest in religion in the ancient world. Students interested in this program should discuss it with the undergraduate director of either department.

Cooperation with Other Programs and Departments

Because religion touches many facets of human life, the study of religion is inherently interdisciplinary. The department therefore participates in a number of interdepartmental programs, including the following: American Studies, Asian Studies, Black Studies, Humanities, Women’s Studies, and Peace Studies. In addition, students of religion will find related courses in other departments, including Anthropology; Art History; Classical Languages, Literature, and Civilization; English; History; Philosophy; and Sociology. Students undertaking a major or minor in religion should discuss such courses with the director of undergraduate studies in religion.

Minor in Religion

Students wishing to minor in religion must take a minimum of twelve (12) semester hours of credit. At least six (6) semester hours of credit must be earned in courses at the 3000 level or higher. Courses in which the student receives a grade below C will not be counted toward the minor. As they develop their minor, students should consult with the director of undergraduate studies in religion.

Definition of Prefixes

PHI Philosophy
REL Religion

Undergraduate Courses

REL 2000. Introduction to Religion (3). An introduction to the study of religion which covers a wide range of religious phenomena from the major religious traditions of the world.
REL 2121. Religion in the United States (3). An examination of the scope and nature of religious movements and institutions in the United States.
REL 2213. Introduction to the Old Testament (3). The history, religious thought, and social institutions of ancient Israel as reflected primarily in its literature.
REL 2243. Introduction to the New Testament (3). An introduction to the writings of the New Testament in the context of the historical development of early Christianity.
REL 2300. World Religions (3). A survey of the major living religious traditions of the world, with attention to their origins in the ancient world and their classic beliefs and practices.
REL 2315. Religions of South Asia (3). History and culture of the religious traditions of South Asia. A study of the manifestations of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Sikhism, and Christianity in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
REL 2350. Religions of East Asia (3). An introduction to the history, thought and practice of religion in China, Korea, and Japan. Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and popular religious traditions from ancient through modern times are covered.
REL 3112. Religion and Literature (3). Examination of diverse reflections of the religious element in selected literary works.
REL 3128r. Topics in Religion in the Americas (3). Prerequisite: REL 2121 or instructors consent. May be repeated to a maximum of six (6) semester hours.
REL 3142. Religion, the Self, and Society (3). Interpretation of religious phenomena by the major social theorists of modern times. The course is divided into two parts: 1) the psychology of religion and 2) the sociology of religion.
REL 3145. Gender and Religion (3). A consideration of the impact of gender on religion. Includes cross-cultural studies, theoretical works, and gender issues within religious traditions.
REL 3146. Women and the Bible (3). Prerequisite: REL 2213 or 2243. This course will examine female figures and images of the Bible, while surveying the various approaches to feminist modes of analysis.
REL 3160. Religion and Science (3). A study of the history, methods, and theories of science and religion noting points of conflict, mutual limitations and strengths, methodological similarities and dissimilarities, and common involvements leading to a more informed dialogue concerning their interaction.
REL 3170. Religious Ethics and Moral Problems (3). A discussion of contemporary moral problems such as deception, sexual activities and relations, and capital punishment from the standpoints of major religious traditions.
REL 3177r. Topics in Ethics (3). Consideration of themes and problems in modern ethics. May be repeated to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.
REL 3191. Death and Dying (3). Practical and theoretical perspectives on the critical dimensions of death as it is experienced in modern society.
REL 3194. The Holocaust (3). An examination of the origins, the process, and the consequences of the destruction of the European Jews during World War II.
REL 3293r. Topics in Biblical Studies (3). Prerequisite: REL 2213, 2243 or instructors permission. Selected topics dealing with biblical writings in their ancient historical contexts and/or their interpretation in later periods. May be repeated to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.
REL 3316. South Asian Religion and Politics (3). Prerequisite: REL 2315. The intersection of religion and politics in South Asia. A study of the political rhetoric of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
REL 3335r. Hindu Texts and Contexts (3). A study of selected Hindu scriptures, their commentarial traditions, and their religious and cultural contexts. Topics vary; may include devotional (bhakti) poetry, Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, etc. May be repeated to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.
REL 3337. Goddess, Women, and Power in Hinduism (3). Female power in Hindu cosmology, mythology, and society. A study of Hindu goddesses, women, and female symbolism and the multifaceted relationship among them.
REL 3340. The Buddhist Tradition (3). A survey of the Buddhist tradition from its beginnings through the modern period. Some attention to its contemporary forms.
REL 3342. Chinese Buddhism (3). A study of the history, thought, and practice of Chinese Buddhism, through readings in Tiantai, Huayan, Chan, and Pure Land materials.
REL 3345. Zen Buddhism (3). The thought, practice and history of Zen in China, Korea, and Japan from its beginnings to the present day.
REL 3350. Religious Traditions of East Asia (3). A survey of the religious traditions of East Asia, including Taosism, Confusianism, Family and Civil Religion, and Shinto, with some attention to the varieties of East Asia Buddhism.
REL 3363. The Islamic Tradition (3). An introduction to the basic terms and history of the religious tradition of Islam.
REL 3370. Afro-Caribbean Religions (3). A survey of the roots and current manifestations of the religions of the African diaspora, with a focus upon both the Caribbean and Latin America. Special attention will be given to Voudou and Santeria.
REL 3430. Issues and Thinkers in Western Religious Thought (3). An introduction to the Western tradition of religious thought as illustrated by the writings of some of its greatest representatives. Readings in such primary sources as Augustine, Dante, Erasmus, Luther, Pascal, Hegel, and Kierkegaard.
REL 3505. The Christian Tradition (3). The major beliefs, practices, and institutional forms of Christianity in historical perspective.
REL 3600. The Jewish Tradition (3). A survey of the varieties of institutional structures, beliefs, and religious practices of post-Biblical Judaism in their historical contexts.
PHI 3700. Philosophy of Religion (3). Philosophical analysis of major problems in religion: religious language, faith, revelation, existence and nature of God, immortality. Also offered by the Department of Philosophy.
REL 3936r. Special Topics in Religion (1-3). May be repeated to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.
REL 4190r. Undergraduate Religion and Culture Seminar (3). Problems and issues in religion and culture. Topics vary. Intended for advanced undergraduate students. Permission of the instructor required. May be repeated to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.
REL 4203r. Readings in Classical Hebrew Texts (1-3). Prerequisite: HEB 2230 or instructor consent. Intensive work on specific religious texts in classical Hebrew (ancient or medieval). Choice of texts will vary. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours.
REL 4290r. Undergraduate Biblical Studies Seminar (3). Advanced work in Biblical studies for undergraduates. Topics vary. Permission of the instructor required. May be repeated to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.
REL 4304r. Undergraduate History of Religions Seminar (3). Problems and issues in the history of religions. Topics vary. Intended for advanced undergraduate students. Permission of the instructor is required. May be repeated to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.
REL 4320r. Tutorial in Greek Religious Texts (1-3). Selected readings in Greek of Jewish, Christian and other religious texts from the ancient world. A basic knowledge of Greek grammar is presumed. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours.
REL 4323. Religions of the Ancient Near East (3). The religious traditions of the ancient Near East, including Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Syria/Palestine, from earliest historical times to the onset of the Hellenistic age.
REL 4324. Religions of the Graeco-Roman World (3). The religions of the Graeco-Roman world with special emphasis on traditional religious forms, mystery religions, and developments in philosophy. Some attention will be given to Judaism, Christianity, and Gnosticism in their broader social, cultural, and historical contexts.
REL 4333. Modern Hinduism (3). Selected topics on the Hindu tradition in 19th and 20th century India. Includes modern Hindu thinkers, reform movements, popular religion, Hindu nationalism, and pluralism. Attention also to Hindu-inspired religious movements outside India and to other topics of student interest.
REL 4348. Seminar in Indian Buddhist Philosophy (3). A seminar exploring Buddhist philosophy from the time of Buddha through the medieval Buddhist logicians. Selections from the Nikayas, Najarjuna, Yoyacara, and Buddhist epistemologists will be studied.
REL 4355. Seminar in Taoism (3). A seminar investigating the primary texts, central ideas and history of the Lao-Chuang Taoist tradition.
REL 4491r. Undergraduate Religious Thought Seminar (3). Topics vary. Intended for advanced undergraduate students. Permission of the instructor required. May be repeated to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.
REL 4511. Christianity in Late Antiquity (3). Christian thought, institutions, lifestyles, and literature in their social, cultural, and historical contexts from the time of Jesus to the early middle ages.
REL 4541. Modern Protestantism (3). The development of the Protestant traditions in the modern era. The course will emphasize the innovative responses made in Protestant thought and practice to the key developments in culture and society.
REL 4564. Modern Roman Catholicism (3). The Catholic Church from the Council of Trent to the present day; special consideration given to Vatican II, current problems, and leading thinkers.
REL 4611. Judaism in the Graeco-Roman World (3). A history of the Jews and the development of Jewish religious ideas, literature, institutions and practices from the Maccabean Revolt to the Redaction of the Babylonian Talmud.
REL 4613. Modern Judaism (3). The development of Judaism as a religious and cultural phenomenon in Europe, North America, and the Middle East from the European Enlightenment to the birth of the State of Israel.
REL 4905r. Directed Individual Study (1-3). Supervised reading and research on selected topics. May be repeated to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.
REL 4913r. Tutorial in Classical Chinese Religious Texts (3). Prerequisite: 1 year Chinese language or familiarity with written Chinese. Readings in Chinese of selected religious texts. Topics will vary. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours.
REL 4932r. Honors Work (3). Students completing this program are awarded their diploma With Honors in Religion. Interested students should consult with the director of the program. May be repeated to a maximum of nine (9) semester hours.
REL 4990r. Tutorial in Pali (1-3). A study of the grammar, vocabulary and style of the Pali canon to better understand both Buddhist philosophical concepts and the culture of ancient Buddhist India. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours.
REL 4994r. Tutorial in Sanskrit Texts (1-3). Prerequisite: SAL 4101 or its equivalent. Readings in Sanskrit of selected religious texts. Topics will vary. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours.
REL 4996r. Tutorial in Latin Religious Texts (1-3). Readings in Latin of selected religious texts. Topics will vary. A basic knowledge of Latin grammar is presumed. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours.

Graduate Courses

REL 5035. Seminar: Introduction to the Study of Religion (3).
REL 5195r. Seminar: Religion and Culture (3).
REL 5204r. Readings in Classical Hebrew Texts (1-3).
REL 5291r. Tutorial in Near Eastern Languages and Literature (1-3).
REL 5297r. Seminar: Biblical Studies (3).
REL 5305r. Seminar: History of Religions (3).
REL 5326. Religions of the Ancient Near East (3).
REL 5329. Religions of the Graeco-Roman World (3).
REL 5336. Modern Hinduism (3).
REL 5346. Seminar in Indian Buddhist Philosophy (3).
REL 5356. Seminar in Taoism (3).
REL 5486. Religious Thought in America (3).
REL 5497r. Seminar: Religious Thought (3).
REL 5515. Christianity in Late Antiquity (3).
REL 5522r. Tutorial in Greek Religious Texts (1-3).
REL 5535. Christianity in Early Modern Europe (3).
REL 5545. Modern Protestantism (3).
REL 5565. Modern Roman Catholicism (3).
REL 5612. Judaism in the Graeco-Roman World (3).
REL 5616. Modern Judaism (3).
REL 5906r. Directed Individual Study (1-3).
REL 5911r. Supervised Research (1-3). (S/U grade only.)
REL 5917. Tutorial in Classical Chinese Religious Texts (3).
REL 5937r. Special Topics in Religion (3).
REL 5940. Supervised Teaching (3). (S/U grade only.)
REL 5991r. Tutorial in Pali (13).
REL 5995r. Tutorial in Sanskrit Texts (1-3).
REL 5997r. Tutorial in Latin Religious Texts (1-3).
REL 6176r. Seminar: Ethics and Politics (3).
REL 6298r. Seminar: Scriptures and Interpretation (3).
REL 6498r. Seminar: Religious Thought (3).
REL 6596r. Seminar: Religious Movements and Institutions (3).

For listings relating to graduate course work for thesis, dissertation, and masters and doctoral examinations and defense, consult the Graduate Bulletin.

RESEARCH AND EVALUATION: see Educational Research

RESEARCH DESIGN AND STATISTICS: see Educational Research

RHETORIC: see English