Agenda Item FA 12-07

Submitted by the Academic Programs Committee

COAS (Undergraduate) - Philosophy & Religious Studies

New Degree Courses & Programs of Changes (1 packet)

02/02/12: Passed

02/09/12: Approved

Log Number: 201108-50

Philosophy & Religious Studies  - Undergraduate

 

Add a new degree-major program

Bachelor of Arts - Religious Studies Major

 

Summary of the Changes:

A new Religious Studies major was approved by the BOT/BOG on March 15, 2011. The current request is to include the requirements of the new major in the catalog.

Emphases: The Major, cross cultural in content and interdisciplinary in approach, will allow students to pursue the academic study of religion in its socio-historical cultural context. The Major will emphasize familiarity with the theoretical approaches to religion, such that students will understand the assumptions implicit in the category of religion; methodological approaches to the study of religion, such that students will be able to draw on scholarly tools in their efforts to understand the worldviews of others; and a level of literacy with regard to the worlds' major religious traditions. 
Total Number of Credit Hours: Religious Studies majors will take 30 credit hours, spread among four categories (prerequisites, methods, traditions and topics) and a Senior Seminar Capstone. Religious Studies majors will also be encouraged to participate in a study abroad experience. 
Overall Purpose: Religious Studies, as an academic discipline, fits squarely within the liberal arts tradition emphasizing clear thinking and writing as well as other tools with which to understand and appreciate the growing diversity present in our world. As an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, Religious Studies explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," Religious Studies seeks an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve. In the process of coming to understand how seemingly foreign systems of meaning makes sense to those who hold them, students come to see the ways in which their own taken-for-granted assumptions look to someone who encounters them for the first time. 

(Click here to view the Program of study)

 

 

Terminate an existing course Selected Topics Jewish Studies REL Junior (3xxx) 607
Termination of this course is required due to the creation of the new curriculum for the new Religious Studies Major.

Add a new course Introduction to the Study of Religion
(3 crs)
REL Junior (3xxx) XXX

Prerequisites:
REL3102: CD- Religion as Culture
AND REL2300: CD-Comparative Religion
Co-requisites:
None

Course Description:

Understood as an advanced course in theory and method, this course will help students bring together the various theorists important to the academic study of religion whom they have studied previously in their course work for the Religious Studies major and help them understand the development of Religious Studies as an academic discipline.

Add a new course Senior Seminar Capstone (3 crs) REL Senior (4xxx) XXX

Prerequisites:
REL2300: CD-Comparative Religion
AND REL3102: CD- Religion as Culture
AND REL3XXX: Introduction to the Study of Religion
Co-requisites:
None

Course Description:

This course should bring together the theoretical and methodological skills developed in the major and apply them to a specific area of data that could vary by instructor and/or by student interest. 
This is as an undergraduate thesis course. Students will learn how to put together their own research project within a supportive setting. Students will select their own topic and spend most of their time working on it. Class sessions will be oriented towards identifying research methods and then strategies for honing a research project and getting it to its final product. 
The skills developed and, at the culmination of the course, demonstrated, will be those skills the Religious Studies Major is designed to foster: clear writing, thinking, the ability to engage systematically with theoretical models and the ability it see the world through the eyes of someone else.

Add a new course Selected Topics: Christianity (3 crs) REL Junior (3xxx) XXX

Prerequisites:    
None
Co-requisites:    
None

Course Description:

The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will focus on the Christian Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and others in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve.

Add a new course Selected Topics: Judaism (3 crs) REL Junior (3xxx) XXX

Prerequisites:    
None
Co-requisites:    
None

Course Description:

The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will focus on the Jewish Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and others in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve.

Add a new course Selected Topics: Islam (3 crs) REL Junior (3xxx) XXX

Prerequisites:    
None
Co-requisites:    
None

Course Description:

The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will focus on the Muslim Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and other in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve.

Add a new course Selected Topics: Hinduism (3 crs) REL Junior (3xxx) XXX

Prerequisites:    
None
Co-requisites:    
None

Course Description:

The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will focus on the Hindu Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and other in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve.

Add a new course Selected Topics: Buddhism (3 crs) REL Junior (3xxx) XXX

Prerequisites:    
None
Co-requisites:  

None
Course Description:

The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will focus on the Buddhist Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and others in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve.

Add a new course Advanced Selected Topics: 
Judaism
 (3 crs)
REL Senior (4xxx) XXX

Prerequisites:    
None
Co-requisites:    
None

Course Description:

The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will be an advanced study on some aspect(s) of the Jewish Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and other in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve.

Add a new course Advanced Selected Topics: Christianity (3 crs) REL Senior (4xxx) XXX

Prerequisites:    
None
Co-requisites:    
None

Course Description:

The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will be an advanced study on some aspect(s) of the Christian Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and other in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve.

Add a new course Advanced Selected Topics: 
Islam (3 crs)
REL Senior (4xxx) XXX

Prerequisites:    
None
Co-requisites:    
None

Course Description:

The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will be an advanced study on some aspect(s) of the Muslim Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and others in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve.

Add a new course Advanced Selected Topics: 
Hinduism
 (3 crs)
REL Senior (4xxx) XXX

Prerequisites:    
None
Co-requisites:    
None

Course Description:

The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will be an advanced study on some aspect(s) of the Hindu Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and others in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve.

Add a new course Advanced Selected Topics: 
Buddhism
(3 crs)
REL Senior (4xxx) XXX

Prerequisites:    
None

Co-requisites:    
None

Course Description:

The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will be an advanced study on some aspect(s) of the Buddhist Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and others in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve.