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Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Religion and Culture (RLCL)

RLCL 1004: Investigations in Religion and Culture

Introduction to the study of religion and culture through multiple academic approaches in humanities and social sciences. Critical investigations of appropriate issues through scholarly collaboration, with emphasis on reading, discussion, and undergraduate research skills. (3H,3C)

RLCL 1024: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Areas 2 & 7, CLE
The nature of "religion," approaches to understanding "religion," traditional and contemporary features of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in their cultural contexts, including their manifestations in the USA and their involvement in critical issues in a global context. (3H,3C).

RLCL 1034: Religion and the Modern World

Area 2, CLE
Modern challenges to traditional religion in cultural contexts and responses to these challenges, including conservative, liberal, and radical responses; science and religion; issues of race and gender; church and state issues. (3H,3C).

RLCL 1044: Religious Ethics

Area 2, CLE
Influential representative social and religious ethical perspectives from the mid-sixties to the present; ethical reasoning on current pressing and perennial social issues based on historical and ethical analysis of case studies; theoretical assumptions about morality as the relation between justice and the good. (3H,3C).

RLCL 1134 (HUM 1134) (CLA 1134): Introductory Humanities:
The Ancient Mediterranean World

Ancient Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman cultures through their embodiments in the arts, literature, history, philosophy, and religion. Emphasis on the interrelationships among the various forms of cultural expression and material and intellectual encounters among diverse groups in the ancient Mediterranean world. (3H,3C)

RLCL 1214 (HUM 1214): Introductory Humanities: The Medieval World

Area 2, CLE
The medieval synthesis in Western European thought and the transition to the world of the Renaissance. Emphasis on the interrelationships among the arts, literature, philosophy, history, religion, and science, and encounters among diverse groups in the medieval world. (3H,3C)

RLCL 1904: Religion and Culture in Asia

Area 2, CLE

Historical and geographical overview of diverse religious/cultural traditions in Asia. Investigation of the categories “religion” and “culture” and their interactions in Asia. Examination of different methodological and interdisciplinary approaches and their integration, with emphasis on critical thinking about the complexities of studying religion and culture in Asia. (3H,3C)

RLCL 2004: Case Studies in Religion and Culture

Significant case studies in the study of religion and culture with an emphasis on influential and emerging research. Focused engagement with humanities and social sciences research grounded in analysis, comparison, and evaluation of relevant case studies. Pre: 1004. (3H,3C)

RLCL 2104 (GR 2104): Greek New Testament

Readings from the New Testament in Greek, with attention to grammatical analysis, historical background, and other clues to interpretation. May be repeated with different content for a maximum of 9 credits. Prerequisite: GR 1106. (3H,3C).

RLCL 2124: Religion in American Life

Area 2, CLE
The role of religion in American life in selected periods from the original settlements to the present. The influences of religious institutions and movements in American history and the impact of the "American experience" on religious life and expression. (3H,3C).

RLCL 2134 (JUD 2134): Judaism: A Survey of History, Culture, and Heritage

Area 2, CLE
A thematic and historical introduction to ancient, medieval, and modern Judaism, up to the founding of the State of Israel. Themes will include monotheism, exile, mysticism, Kabbala, Hasidism, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and Judaism in Israel and America. (3H,3C)

RLCL 2144 (AFST 2144): African Religions

The role of religious (or belief) systems in African societies, especially the three predominant religious traditions in Africa: the so-called African Traditional Religions, Islam, and Christianity; the universe of religious systems and religious experiences and processes of Africa, in particular, sub-Saharan Africa; critical examination of the mythic stature of Africa's "religions" within Western cultural (and scholarly) world views and institutions. (3H,3C).

RLCL 2204 (WGS 2204) (AFST 2204): Race and Gender in Religion and Culture

Introduction to how race and gender influence and are influenced by religion and culture. Overview of approaches to categories of diversity, particularly race and gender, in religious and cultural traditions. Utilization of humanistic and social scientific approaches to investigate geographically variable historical and/ or contemporary case studies.(3H,3C)

RLCL 2324: Islam

The rise of Islam under the Prophet Muhammad in Arabia and its spread across Asia and Africa. The development of Islam in the Middle Ages and its resurgence in the 20th century. (3H,3C).

RLCL 2414 (JUD 2414): Hebrew Bible/ Old Testament

Area 2, CLE
Introduction to the academic study of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament); a variety of scholarly approaches to the Bible, including historical-critical, literary, and gender studies methods. Emphasis on developing skills in critical thinking, reading, and writing about the Bible. (3H,3C).
 

RLCL 2424: New Testament

Area 2, CLE
Introduction to the academic study of the New Testament; a variety of scholarly approaches to the New Testament, including historical-critical, redaction critical, and literary methods. Emphasis on developing skills in critical thinking, reading, and writing about the New Testament as a way of understanding the faith and history of early Christianity. (3H,3C).
 

RLCL 2464 (STS 2464) (AAEC 2464): Religion and Science

Area 7, CLE
Exploration of the relationships between religion and science in the western tradition. Topics include: basic frameworks for relationships between religion and science, types of human knowledge and truth, historical and cultural contexts and institutions, science and technology as religion, evolution, ecology, and contemporary issues. (3H, 3C)

RLCL 2504 (HUM 2504): Introduction to American Studies

Methodology and tools of American Studies, emphasizing interrelations among social, cultural, and technological history, values, and artistic creation. Intensive study of a specific topic or period in American culture since 1850. (3H,3C)

RLCL 3014 (WS 3014): Women and Gender in Islam

An examination of women and gender in Islam from a variety of perspectives including Muslim women in Islamic history, normative constructions of the role of women in Islam, and women's role in contemporary Muslim societies. Understandings of women in classical Islam; feminist and reformist approaches; and Western constructions of the "rights of women in Islam." (3H, 3C).

RLCL 3024: Religion and Literature

Area 2, CLE
Analysis of literary works and critical debates in such areas as: pilgrimage, myth, disaster, and transcendence. Students will make presentations, develop their own research projects, and design sessions--with short reading assignments--later in the semester. As a final project, students will assemble a portfolio charting their work in the course. (3H,3C).

RLCL 3034 (HUM 3034) (COMM 3034): Theories of Pop Culture

Relationships of popular culture to communication; ways to classify, analyze, and evaluate popular culture; history of main themes with emphasis on the United States; culture evolution of the electronic revolution.(3H,3C)

RLCL 3204 (COMM 3204) (HUM 3204): Multicultural Communication

Exploration of communication in various cultural groups through the medium of performance. Emphasis on understanding cultural differences and similarities in styles of communications, aesthetics, worldviews, and values.(3H,3C)

RLCL 3214: Relgion and Culture in India

Area 2, CLE
Interaction of religion and culture from Indus Valley civilization to the present; Brahmanism and Hinduism, the Buddha and his teachings, Parsis, Jains, Sikhs, and their respective literatures and rituals; modern reforms and recent trends. (3H,3C).

RLCL 3224: Religions of China and Japan

Area 2, CLE
Religious movements in East Asia with reference to specific situations in China and Japan; Confucianism, Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism, Vajrayana, Shinto, Japanese Folk Religions, the "New Religions" of Japan; recent trends. (3H,3C).
 

RLCL 3404 (JUD 3404): Torah and Tradition

Detailed study of the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah or Pentateuch. Scholarly approaches will include historical-critical research; comparative mythology; form and canon criticism; gender and literary studies; and the reception of these books in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and beyond. Prerequisite: 2414 (3H, 3C).
 

RLCL 3414: Jesus and the Gospels

Area 2, CLE
Academic study of the four canonical gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John; several scholarly methodologies; the problem of the historical Jesus; noncanonical gospels. Prerequisite: 2424. (3H,3C).
 

RLCL 3424: Paul and His Interpreters

Area 2, CLE
Academic study of the New Testament letters by or attributed to Paul; historical, literary, and theological context of the letters; classic and contemporary interpreters. Prerequisite: 2424. (3H,3C).

RLCL 3494 (JUD 3494) (HIST 3494): The Holocaust

This course provides a historical account, a psychological analysis, and an occassion for philosophical contemplation on the Holocaust. We will examine the deliberate and systematic attempt to annihilate the Jewish people by the National Socialist German State during World War II. Although Jews were the primary vicitms, Gypsies, the handicapped, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and political dissidents were targeted; we will discuss their fate as well. The class will be organized around the examination of primary sources: written accounts, photographs, film, and personal testimony. (3H,3C)

RLCL 3504 (HUM 3504) (HIST 3504): Age of the Crusades

The origins and development of religious violence examined from an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective; the place of that phenomenon in medieval society.  Christianity, Islam, Judaism and their interactions in the medieval world. (3H, 3C).

RLCL 3544 (JUD 3544) (PSCI 3544): The State of Israel, A Political History

This course provides a survey on the political history of the State of Israel and highlights major themes uniquely characterizing the specific events surrounding its establishment and its first 50 years of existence. Additionally, the course will add a comparative dimension by using the political history of Israel as a case study to discuss major themes in political science such as democracy, government, political economy, etc. PRE: 2134 or PSCI 1024. (3H,3C)

RLCL 3704 (JUD 3704) (HUM 3704): Christians, Jews, & the Idea of Judeo-Christianity

The relationship between Judaism and Christianity through time and the idea of Judeo-Christianity, all examined from an interdisciplinary academic perspective; the problems of the "separation" of Judaism and Christianity in antiquity and the Middle Ages and the religious and cultural implications of the relationship between Jews and Christians in the modern world. (3H,3C)

RLCL 4034 (HUM 4034) (COMM (4034): Functions of Popular Culture

Popular culture as a humanistic discipline; emphasis on archetypes, formulas, and genres; the function of ideas, images, and icons on the popular imagination. (3H,3C)

RLCL 4124 (SOC 4124) (WGS 4124): Topics in Culture

Uses sociological, anthropological, as well as artistic and humanist paradigms to analyze culture. Discusses 20th and 21st century cultural trends. Analyzes the implications of social context for cultural artifacts such as art. Topics are variable. Example topics include the cultural construction of race and the culture of the nineteen sixties. Course may be repeated with different course content for up to 6 credits. Junior or Senior standing.
Pre: SOC 1004 or SOC 1014 or AFST 1714 or AINS 1104 or RLCL 1004 or RLCL 2004 or WGS 1824. (3H, 3C)

RLCL 4324: Topics in Religion and Culture

Selected topics from the religions and cultures of the world and their interactions. May be taken three times for credit with different topics. Pre: 2004. (3H,3C).

RLCL 4424: Islam and the Modern World

The most significant issues facing the contemporary Islamic world, with a focus on the Islamic resurgence and the concept of Jihad. The variety of ways in which Muslims re-formulate the Islamic tradition as a response to the pressures of modernity. 

Appalachian Studies (APS)

APS 1704 (HUM 1704): Introduction to Appalachian Studies

Area 2, CLE
Traces the idea of Appalachia in American and world consciousness and its expression in the humanities and social sciences. Through comparison with other cultural groups, explores humanistic problems of cultural identity, race and ethnicity, globalization and place-based economic relations, and the bio-cultural impact of massive natural resource extraction. (3H,3C)

APS 3464 (AHRM 3464) (GEOG 3464) (HD 3464) (HUM 3464) (SOC 3464) (UAP 3464): Appalachian Communities

The concept of community in Appalachia using a multidisciplinary approach and experientail learning. Interrelationships among geographically, culturally, and socially constituted communities, pulic policy, and human development. Pre: Junior Standing. (3H,3C)

APS 4034 (SOC 4034): Appalachian Languages and Cultures

An empirical examination of how Appalachian speech both reflects and constitutes regional cultures. Emphasis is on applying sociological and anthropological methods and theories to the study of language in use. (3H,3C)

APS 4094 (SOC 4094): Appalachian Community Research

Undergraduate participatory community research as applied to issues of cultural heritage, sustainability, and identity. Students engage in projects defined by community groups and organizations as being critical to their well-being, continuity, or growth. Emphasis is on developing concepts of civic professionalism and developmental democracy. (3H,3C)

APS 4404 (HUM 4404): Appalachian Folk Cultures

Area 2, CLE
Examination of informal learning systems, non-commodified socioeconomic systems, and traditional aesthetic expressions in Appalachia. Investigation of cultural resistance to globalized market economies as expressed in traditional artifacts and customs. Pre: Junior standing. (3H,3C)

APS 4414 (HUM 4414): Issues in Appalachian Studies

Topics course that examines major issues affecting sustainability and continuity of contemporary Appalachia. Focus is on problems of exploitation of human and natural resources. Comparison is made to other mountain communities worldwide. Specific topics vary. May be repeated one time with different topics. Pre: HUM 1704. (3H,3C)

Please see also the Appalachian Studies page

Humanities (HUM)

HUM 1134 (RLCL 1134) (CLA 1134): Introductory Humanities:
The Ancient Mediterranean World

Ancient Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman cultures through their embodiments in the arts, literature, history, philosophy, and religion. Emphasis on the interrelationships among the various forms of cultural expression and material and intellectual encounters among diverse groups in the ancient Mediterranean world. (3H,3C)

HUM 1214 (RLCL 1214): Introductory Humanities: The Medieval World

Area 2, CLE
The medieval synthesis in Western European thought and the transition to the world of the Renaissance. Emphasis on the interrelationships among the arts, literature, philosophy, history, religion, and science, and encounters among diverse groups in the medieval world. (3H,3C)

HUM 1324: Introductory Humanities: The Modern World

Area 2, CLE
The shifts in thought and values over the past century in the Western imagination. Emphasis on the interrelationships among the arts, literature, philosophy, history, religion, and science, and encounters among diverse groups in the modern world. (3H,3C)

HUM 1604: Introduction to the Humanities in the Arts

Area 2, CLE
Explores the verbal, visual, and aural arts of several important periods in Western history, setting them in the context of their times. Introduces the structural principles of each art form. (3H,3C)

HUM 1704 (APS 1704): Introduction to Appalachian Studies

Area 2, CLE
Traces the idea of Appalachia in American and world consciousness and its expression in the humanities and social sciences. Through comparison with other cultural groups, explores humanistic problems of cultural identity, race and ethnicity, globalization and place-based economic relations, and the bio-cultural impact of massive natural resource extraction. (3H,3C)

HUM 2104 (AINS 2104) (COMM 2104): Oral Traditions and Cultures

Examination of the world's great oral traditions, both ancient and contemporary. Emphasis on performance contexts, relationships among multicultural traditions, including American Indian oral traditions, and the relationships among orality, literacy, technology, media, and culture. (3H,3C)

HUM 2204: Humanities and the Arts: The Creative Process


Explores the theory and the experience of the creative process. Studies both essays on the process of creative activity and examples of its product. Includes a personal creative project. (3H,3C)

HUM 2444 (CLA 2444) (ENGL 2444): Ancient Greek and Roman Mythology

Survey of Ancient Greek and Roman mythology and modern interpretations. In English. No knowledge of Ancient Greek or Latin required. Not for credit toward a Latin Minor. (3H,3C)

HUM 2504 (RLCL 2504): Introduction to American Studies

Methodology and tools of American Studies, emphasizing interrelations among social, cultural, and technological history, values, and artistic creation. Intensive study of a specific topic or period in American culture since 1850. (3H,3C)

HUM 2514 (SOC 2514): Asian American Experience

Area 3, CLE
Critical overview of diverse Asian-American experience, the complexity of minority status, and meaningful citizenship in the USA. Topics include different historical tracks of various Asian ethnicities, experience of racism, activism, cultural adaption and conflict, and economic survival and success. (3H,3C)

HUM 3034 (RLCL 3034) (COMM 3034): Theories of Pop Culture

Relationship of popular culture to communication; ways to classify, analyze, and evaluate popular culture; history of main themes with emphasis on the United States; cultural evolution of the electronic revolution. (3H,3C)

HUM 3044: Topics in Humanities and the Arts

Focuses on interdisciplinary topics involving interrelationships among various arts and/or artists. Explores the religious and/or cultural impacts of arts and/or artists on societies and of societies on artistic expression. Investigates humanistic debates about the nature of art. May be taken a maximum of 3 times for credit with different topics. (3H,3C)

HUM 3204 (RLCL 3204) (COMM 3204): Multicultural Communication

Area 7, CLE
Exploration of communication in various cultural groups through the medium of performance. Emphasis on understanding cultural differences and similarities in styles of communication, aesthetics, worldviews, and values. (3H,3C)

HUM 3464 (APS 3464) (AHRM 3464) (GEOG 3464) (HD 3464) (SOC 3464) (UAP 3464): Appalachian Communities

The concept of community in Appalachia using an interdisciplinary approach and experiential learning. Interrelationships among geographically, culturally, and socially constituted communities, public policy, and human development. Pre: Junior standing. (3H,3C)

HUM 3504 (RLCL 3504) (HIST 3504): Age of the Crusades

The origins and development of religious violence examined from an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective; the place of that phenomenon in medieval society.  Christianity, Islam, Judaism and their interactions in the medieval world. (3H, 3C).

HUM 3704 (RLCL 3704) (JUD 3704): Christians, Jews, and the Idea of Judeo-Christianity

The relationship between Judaism and Christianity through time and the idea of Judeo-Christianity, all examined from an interdisciplinary academic perspective; the problems of the "separation" of Judaism and Christianity in antiquity and the Middle Ages and the religious and cultural implications of the relationship between Jews and Christians in the modern world. (3H,3C)

HUM 4034 (RLCL 4034) (COMM 4034): Functions of Popular Culture

Popular culture as a humanistic discipline; emphasis on archetypes, formulas, and genres; the function of ideas, images, and icons on the popular imagination. (3H,3C)

HUM 4104: Explorations in Advanced Humanities Topics

In-depth study of special interdisciplinary topics. Topics vary but involve a close and extensive study of the interrelationship between important cultural ideas and movements, and formative myths and values, and their expression in several of the following forms: literature, philosophy, religion, art, music, drama. May be taken only once for credit. (3H,3C)

HUM 4404 (APS 4404): Appalachian Folk Cultures

Area 2, CLE
Examination of informal learning systems, non-commodified socioeconomic systems, and traditional aesthetic expressions in Appalachia.  Investigation of cultural resistance to globalized market economies as expressed in traditional artifacts and customs. Pre: Junior Standing. (3H,3C)

HUM 4414: Issues in Appalachian Studies

Topics course that examines major issues affecting sustainability and continuity of contemporary Appalachia. Focus is on problems of exploitation of human and natural resources. Comparison is made to other mountain communities worldwide. May be repeated 1 time with different topics. Pre: 1704. (3H,3C)

Judaic Studies (JUD)

JUD 1104 (HEB 1104): Introduction to Hebrew Language, Civilization, & Culture

Fundamentals of Modern Hebrew language with emphasis on grammar, reading, composition, and conversation. For students with no prior knowledge of the language. (3H,3C)

JUD 1114 (HEB 1114): Accelerated Elementary Hebrew Language

Complementary introduction to the fundamentals of Modern Hebrew language with continued emphasis on grammar, reading, composition, and conversation. This course is for students who have completed 1104 or with permission from instructor. 1114 is a four-credit course with a self-instruction component that demands student time outside of class. Pre: 1104. (3H,2L,4C)

JUD 2134 (RLCL 2134): Judaism: A Survey of History, Culture, and Heritage

Area 2, CLE
A thematic and historical introduction to ancient, medieval, and modern Judaism, up to the founding of the State of Israel. Themes will include monotheism, exile, mysticism, Kabbala, Hasidism, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and Judaism in Israel and America. (3H,3C)

JUD 2414 (RLCL 2414): Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

Area 2, CLE
Introduction to the academic study of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament); a variety of scholarly approaches to the Bible, including historical-critical, literary, and gender studies. Emphasis on developing skills in critical thinking, reading, and writing about the Bible. (3H,3C)

JUD 3404 (RLCL 3404): Torah and Tradition

Detailed study of the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah or Pentateuch. Scholarly approaches will include historical-critical research; comparative mythology; form and canon criticism; gender and literary studies; and the reception of these books in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and beyond. Prerequisite: 2414 (3H, 3C).

JUD 3494 (RLCL 3494) (HIST 3494): The Holocaust

This course provides a historical account, a psychological analysis, and an occassion for philosophical contemplation on the Holocaust. We will examine the deliberate and systematic attempt to annihilate the Jewish people by the National Socialist German State during World War II. Although Jews were the primary vicitms, Gypsies, the handicapped, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and political dissidents were targeted; we will discuss their fate as well. The class will be organized around the examination of primary sources: written accounts, photographs, film, and personal testimony. (3H,3C)

JUD 3544 (RLCL 3544) (PSCI 3544): The State of Israel, A Political History

This course provides a survey on the political history of the State of Israel and highlights major themes uniquely characterizing the specific events surrounding its establishment and its first 50 years of existence. Additionally, the course will add a comparative dimension by using the political history of Israel as a case study to discuss major themes in political science such as democracy, government, political economy, etc. PRE: 2134 or PSCI 1024. (3H,3C)

JUD 3704 (RLCL 3704) (HUM 3704): Christians, Jews, and the Idea of Judeo-Christianity

The relationship between Judaism and Christianity through time and the idea of Judeo-Christianity, all examined from an interdisciplinary academic perspective; the problems of the "separation" of Judaism and Christianity in antiquity and the Middle Ages and the religious and cultural implications of the relationship between Jews and Christians in the modern world. (3H,3C)

JUD 4424: Advanced Topics in Jewish Culture, History and Thought

Selected topics in Jewish culture, history and thought. Possible topics include: the Philosophy of Maimonides, Spinoza, Buber, Kabbalah, Hasidism, The American Jewish experience in the first half of the 20th century, or "Oriental" Jewish art and folklore. Two JUD courses or senior standing required. (3H,3C)

1000-Level

RLCL 1004: Investigations in Religion and Culture

Introduction to the study of religion and culture through multiple academic approaches in humanities and social sciences. Critical investigations of appropriate issues through scholarly collaboration, with emphasis on reading, discussion, and undergraduate research skills. (3H,3C)

RLCL 1024: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Areas 2 & 7, CLE
The nature of "religion," approaches to understanding "religion," traditional and contemporary features of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in their cultural contexts, including their manifestations in the USA and their involvement in critical issues in a global context. (3H,3C).

RLCL 1034: Religion and the Modern World

Area 2, CLE
Modern challenges to traditional religion in cultural contexts and responses to these challenges, including conservative, liberal, and radical responses; science and religion; issues of race and gender; church and state issues. (3H,3C).  

RLCL 1044: Religious Ethics

Area 2, CLE
Influential representative social and religious ethical perspectives from the mid-sixties to the present; ethical reasoning on current pressing and perennial social issues based on historical and ethical analysis of case studies; theoretical assumptions about morality as the relation between justice and the good. (3H,3C).

RLCL 1134 (HUM 1134) (CLA 1134): Introductory Humanities:
The Ancient Mediterranean World

Ancient Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman cultures through their embodiments in the arts, literature, history, philosophy, and religion. Emphasis on the interrelationships among the various forms of cultural expression and material and intellectual encounters among diverse groups in the ancient Mediterranean world. (3H,3C)

RLCL 1214 (HUM 1214): Introductory Humanities: The Medieval World

Area 2, CLE
The medieval synthesis in Western European thought and the transition to the world of the Renaissance. Emphasis on the interrelationships among the arts, literature, philosophy, history, religion, and science, and encounters among diverse groups in the medieval world. (3H,3C)

RLCL 1904: Religion and Culture in Asia

Historical and geographical overview of diverse religious/cultural traditions in Asia. Investigation of the categories “religion” and “culture” and their interactions in Asia. Examination of different methodological and interdisciplinary approaches and their integration, with emphasis on critical thinking about the complexities of studying religion and culture in Asia. (3H,3C)

 


APS 1704 (HUM 1704): Introduction to Appalachian Studies 

Traces the idea of Appalachia in American and world consciousness and its expression in the humanities and social sciences. Through comparison with other cultural groups, explores humanistic problems of cultural identity, race and ethnicity, globalization and place-based economic relations, and the bio-cultural impact of massive natural resource extraction. (3H,3C)

 


HUM 1134 (REL 1134) (CLA 1134): Introductory Humanities:
The Ancient Mediterranean World
 

Ancient Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman cultures through their embodiments in the arts, literature, history, philosophy, and religion. Emphasis on the interrelationships among the various forms of cultural expression and material and intellectual encounters among diverse groups in the ancient Mediterranean world. (3H,3C)

HUM 1214 (REL 1214): Introductory Humanities: The Medieval World

Area 2, CLE
The medieval synthesis in Western European thought and the transition to the world of the Renaissance. Emphasis on the interrelationships among the arts, literature, philosophy, history, religion, and science, and encounters among diverse groups in the medieval world. (3H,3C)

HUM 1324: Introductory Humanities: The Modern World

Area 2, CLE
The shifts in thought and values over the past century in the Western imagination. Emphasis on the interrelationships among the arts, literature, philosophy, history, religion, and science, and encounters among diverse groups in the modern world. (3H,3C)

HUM 1604: Introduction to the Humanities in the Arts

Area 2, CLE
Explores the verbal, visual, and aural arts of several important periods in Western history, setting them in the context of their times. Introduces the structural principles of each art form. (3H,3C)

HUM 1704 (APS 1704): Introduction to Appalachian Studies

Area 2, CLE
Traces the idea of Appalachia in American and world consciousness and its expression in the humanities and arts. Through comparison with other cultural groups, explores humanistic problems of cultural identity, assumptions, change, and manipulation. (3H,3C)


JUD 1104 (RLCL 1104) (HEB 1104): Introduction to Hebrew Language, Civilization, & Culture 

Fundamentals of Modern Hebrew language with emphasis on grammar, reading, composition, and conversation. For students with no prior knowledge of the language. (3H,3C)

JUD 1114 (RLCL 1114) (HEB 1114): Accelerated Elementary Hebrew Language

Complementary introduction to the fundamentals of Modern Hebrew language with continued emphasis on grammar, reading, composition, and conversation. This course is for students who have completed 1104 or with permission from instructor. 1114 is a four-credit course with a self-instruction component that demands student time outside of class. Pre: 1104. (3H,2L,4C)

2000-Level

APS, HUM, JUD, and RLCL

2964: Field Study

Pass/Fail only. Variable credit course.

2974: Independent Study

Variable credit course.

2984: Special Study

Variable credit course.


RLCL 2004: Case Studies in Religion and Culture 

Significant case studies in the study of religion and culture with an emphasis on influential and emerging research. Focused engagement with humanities and social sciences research grounded in analysis, comparison, and evaluation of relevant case studies. Pre: 1004. (3H,3C)

 

RLCL 2104 (GR 2104): Greek New Testament 

Readings from the New Testament in Greek, with attention to grammatical analysis, historical background, and other clues to interpretation. May be repeated with different content for a maximum of 9 credits. Prerequisite: GR 1106. (3H,3C).
 

RLCL 2124: Religion in American Life

Area 2, CLE
The role of religion in American life in selected periods from the original settlements to the present. The influences of religious institutions and movements in American history and the impact of the "American experience" on religious life and expression. (3H,3C).
 

RLCL 2144 (AFST 2144): African Religions

The role of religious (or belief) systems in African societies, especially the three predominant religious traditions in Africa: the so-called African Traditional Religions, Islam, and Christianity; the universe of religious systems and religious experiences and processes of Africa, in particular, sub-Saharan Africa; critical examination of the mythic stature of Africa's "religions" within Western cultural (and scholarly) world views and institutions. (3H,3C).

RLCL 2234 (WGS 2234) (AFST 2204): Race and Gender in Religion and Culture

Introduction to how race and gender influence and are influenced by religion and culture. Overview of approaches to categories of diversity, particularly race and gender, in religious and cultural traditions. Utilization of humanistic and social scientific approaches to investigate geographically variable historical and/ or contemporary case studies.(3H,3C)

RLCL 2324: Islam

The rise of Islam under the Prophet Muhammad in Arabia and its spread across Asia and Africa. The development of Islam in the Middle Ages and its resurgence in the 20th century. (3H,3C).

RLCL 2414 (JUD 2414): Hebrew Bible/ Old Testament

Area 2, CLE
Introduction to the academic study of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament); a variety of scholarly approaches to the Bible, including historical-critical, literary, and gender studies methods. Emphasis on developing skills in critical thinking, reading, and writing about the Bible. (3H,3C).
 

RLCL 2424: New Testament

Area 2, CLE
Introduction to the academic study of the New Testament; a variety of scholarly approaches to the New Testament, including historical-critical, redaction critical, and literary methods. Emphasis on developing skills in critical thinking, reading, and writing about the New Testament as a way of understanding the faith and history of early Christianity. (3H,3C).

RLCL 2464 (STS 2464) (AAEC 2464): Religion and Science

Area 7, CLE
Exploration of the relationships between religion and science in the western tradition. Topics include: basic frameworks for relationships between religion and science, types of human knowledge and truth, historical and cultural contexts and institutions, science and technology as religion, evolution, ecology, and contemporary issues. (3H, 3C)
 

RLCL 2504 (HUM 2504): Introduction to American Studies

Methodology and tools of American Studies, emphasizing interrelations among social, cultural, and technological history, values, and artistic creation. Intensive study of a specific topic or period in American culture since 1850. (3H,3C)

 


HUM 2104 (AINS 2104) (COMM 2104): Oral Traditions and Cultures 

Examination of the world's great oral traditions, both ancient and contemporary. Emphasis on performance contexts, relationships among multicultural traditions, including American Indian oral traditions, and the relationships among orality, literacy, technology, media, and culture. (3H,3C)

HUM 2204: Humanities and the Arts: The Creative Process


Explores the theory and the experience of the creative process. Studies both essays on the process of creative activity and examples of its product. Includes a personal creative project. (3H,3C)

HUM 2444 (CLA 2444) (ENGL 2444): Ancient Greek and Roman Mythology

Survey of Ancient Greek and Roman mythology and modern interpretations. In English. No knowledge of Ancient Greek or Latin required. Not for credit toward a Latin Minor. (3H,3C)

HUM 2504 (RLCL 2504): Introduction to American Studies

Methodology and tools of American Studies, emphasizing interrelations among social, cultural, and technological history, values, and artistic creation. Intensive study of a specific topic or period in American culture since 1850. (3H,3C)

HUM 2514 (SOC 2514): Asian American Experience

Area 3, CLE
Critical overview of diverse Asian-American experience, the complexity of minority status, and meaningful citizenship in the USA. Topics include different historical tracks of various Asian ethnicities, experience of racism, activism, cultural adaption and conflict, and economic survival and success. (3H,3C)


JUD 2134 (RLCL 2134): Judaism: A Survey of History, Culture, and Heritage

Area 2, CLE
A thematic and historical introduction to ancient, medieval, and modern Judaism, up to the founding of the State of Israel. Themes will include monotheism, exile, mysticism, Kabbala, Hasidism, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and Judaism in Israel and America. (3H,3C)

JUD 2414 (RLCL 2414): Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

Area 2, CLE
Introduction to the academic study of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament); a variety of scholarly approaches to the Bible, including historical-critical, literary, and gender studies. Emphasis on developing skills in critical thinking, reading, and writing about the Bible. (3H,3C)

3000-Level

APS, HUM, JUD, and RLCL

3954: Study Abroad

Variable credit course.


RLCL 3014 (WS 3014): Women and Gender in Islam 

An examination of women and gender in Islam from a variety of perspectives including Muslim women in Islamic history, normative constructions of the role of women in Islam, and women's role in contemporary Muslim societies. Understandings of women in classical Islam; feminist and reformist approaches; and Western constructions of the "rights of women in Islam." 

RLCL 3024: Religion and Literature

Area 2, CLE
Analysis of literary works and critical debates in such areas as: pilgrimage, myth, disaster, and transcendence. Students will make presentations, develop their own research projects, and design sessions--with short reading assignments--later in the semester. As a final project, students will assemble a portfolio charting their work in the course. (3H,3C).

RLCL 3034 (HUM 3034) (COMM 3034): Theories of Pop Culture

Relationships of popular culture to communication; ways to classify, analyze, and evaluate popular culture; history of main themes with emphasis on the United States; culture evolution of the electronic revolution.(3H,3C)

RLCL 3204 (COMM 3204) (HUM 3204): Multicultural Communication

Exploration of communication in various cultural groups through the medium of performance. Emphasis on understanding cultural differences and similarities in styles of communications, aesthetics, worldviews, and values.(3H,3C)

RLCL 3214: Relgion and Culture in India

Area 2, CLE
Interaction of religion and culture from Indus Valley civilization to the present; Brahmanism and Hinduism, the Buddha and his teachings, Parsis, Jains, Sikhs, and their respective literatures and rituals; modern reforms and recent trends. (3H,3C).

RLCL 3224: Religions of China and Japan

Area 2, CLE
Religious movements in East Asia with reference to specific situations in China and Japan; Confucianism, Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism, Vajrayana, Shinto, Japanese Folk Religions, the "New Religions" of Japan; recent trends. (3H,3C).

RLCL 3404 (JUD 3404): Torah and Tradition

Detailed study of the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah or Pentateuch. Scholarly approaches will include historical-critical research; comparative mythology; form and canon criticism; gender and literary studies; and the reception of these books in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and beyond. Prerequisite: 2414 (3H, 3C).

RLCL 3414: Jesus and the Gospels

Area 2, CLE
Academic study of the four canonical gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John; several scholarly methodologies; the problem of the historical Jesus; noncanonical gospels. Prerequisite: 2424. (3H,3C).
 

RLCL 3424: Paul and His Interpreters

Area 2, CLE
Academic study of the New Testament letters by or attributed to Paul; historical, literary, and theological context of the letters; classic and contemporary interpreters. Prerequisite: 2424. (3H,3C).

RLCL 3504 (HUM 3504) (HIST 3504): Age of the Crusades 

The origins and development of religious violence examined from an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective; the place of that phenomenon in medieval society.  Christianity, Islam, Judaism and their interactions in the medieval world. (3H, 3C).

RLCL 3704 (JUD 3704) (HUM 3704): Christians, Jews, & the Idea of Judeo-Christianity

The relationship between Judaism and Christianity through time and the idea of Judeo-Christianity, all examined from an interdisciplinary academic perspective; the problems of the "separation" of Judaism and Christianity in antiquity and the Middle Ages and the religious and cultural implications of the relationship between Jews and Christians in the modern world. (3H,3C)


APS 3464 (AHRM 3464) (GEOG 3464) (HD 3464) (HUM 3464) (SOC 3464) (UAP 3464): Appalachian Communities 

The concept of community in Appalachia using a multidisciplinary approach and experientail learning. Interrelationships among geographically, culturally, and socially constituted communities, pulic policy, and human development. Pre: 2000-level course in any cross-listing department. (2H,3L,3C)


HUM 3034 (RLCL 3034) (COMM 3034): Theories of Pop Culture 

Relationship of popular culture to communication; ways to classify, analyze, and evaluate popular culture; history of main themes with emphasis on the United States; cultural evolution of the electronic revolution. (3H,3C)

HUM 3044: Topics in Humanities and the Arts

Focuses on interdisciplinary topics involving interrelationships among various arts and/or artists. Explores the religious and/or cultural impacts of arts and/or artists on societies and of societies on artistic expression. Investigates humanistic debates about the nature of art. May be taken a maximum of 3 times for credit with different topics. (3H,3C)

HUM 3204 (RLCL 3204) (COMM 3204): Multicultural Communication

Area 7, CLE
Exploration of communication in various cultural groups through the medium of performance. Emphasis on understanding cultural differences and similarities in styles of communication, aesthetics, worldviews, and values. (3H,3C)

HUM 3464 (AHRM 3464) (GEOG 3464) (HD 3464) (SOC 3464) (UAP 3464): Appalachian Communities

The concept of community in Appalachia using an interdisciplinary approach and experiential learning. Interrelationships among geographically, culturally, and socially constituted communities, public policy, and human development. Pre: Junior standing. (3H,3C)


JUD 3404 (RLCL 3404): Torah and Tradition 

Detailed study of the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah or Pentateuch. Scholarly approaches will include historical-critical research; comparative mythology; form and canon criticism; gender and literary studies; and the reception of these books in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and beyond. Prerequisite: 2414 (3H, 3C).

JUD 3494 (RLCL 3494) (HIST 3494): The Holocaust

This course provides a historical account, a psychological analysis and an occassion for philosophical contemplation on the Holocaust. We will examine the deliberate and systematic attempt to annihilate the Jewish people by the National Socialist German State during World War II. Although Jews were the primary vicitms, Gypsies, the handicapped, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses and political dissidents were targeted; we will discuss their fate as well. The class will be organized around the examination of primary sources: written accounts, photographs, film, and personal testimony. (3H,3C)

JUD 3544 (RLCL 3544) (PSCI 3544): The State of Israel, A Political History

This course provides a survey on the political history of the State of Israel and highlights major themes uniquely characterizing the specific events surrounding its establishment and its First 50 years of existence. Additionally, the course will add a comparative dimension by using the political history of Israel as a case study to discuss major themes in political science such as democracy, government, political economy, etc. PRE: 2134 or PSCI 1024. (3H,3C)

JUD 3704 (RLCL 3704) (HUM 3704): Christians, Jews, and the Idea of Judeo-Christianity

The relationship between Judaism and Christianity through time and the idea of Judeo-Christianity, all examined from an interdisciplinary academic perspective; the problems of the "separation" of Judaism and Christianity in antiquity and the Middle Ages and the religious and cultural implications of the relationship between Jews and Christians in the modern world. (3H,3C)

4000-Level

APS, HUM, JUD, and RLCL

4964: Field Study

Pass/Fail only. Variable credit course.

4974: Independent Study

Variable credit course.

4984: Special Study

Variable credit course.

4994: Undergraduate Research

Variable credit course.


RLCL 4034 (HUM 4034) (COMM (4034): Functions of Popular Culture

Popular culture as a humanistic discipline; emphasis on archetypes, formulas, and genres; the function of ideas, images, and icons on the popular imagination. (3H,3C)

RLCL 4124 (SOC 4124) (WGS 4124): Topics in Culture

Uses sociological, anthropological, as well as artistic and humanist paradigms to analyze culture. Discusses 20th and 21st century cultural trends. Analyzes the implications of social context for cultural artifacts such as art. Topics are variable. Example topics include the cultural construction of race and the culture of the nineteen sixties. Course may be repeated with different course content for up to 6 credits. Junior or Senior standing.
Pre: SOC 1004 or SOC 1014 or AFST 1714 or AINS 1104 or RLCL 1004 or RLCL 2004 or WGS 1824. (3H, 3C)

RLCL 4324: Topics in Religion and Culture 

Selected topics from the religions and cultures of the world and their interactions. May be taken three times for credit with different topics. Pre: 2004. (3H,3C)

RLCL 4424: Islam and the Modern World

The most significant issues facing the contemporary Islamic world, with a focus on the Islamic resurgence and the concept of Jihad. The variety of ways in which Muslims re-formulate the Islamic tradition as a response to the pressures of modernity. 


APS 4034 (SOC 4034): Appalachian Languages and Cultures 

An empirical examination of how Appalachian speech both reflects and constitutes regional cultures. Emphasis is on applying sociological and anthropological methods and theories to the study of language in use. (3H,3C)

APS 4094 (SOC 4094): Appalachian Community Research

Undergraduate participatory community research as applied to issues of cultural heritage, sustainability, and identity. Students engage in projects defined by community groups and organizations as being critical to their well-being, continuity, or growth. Emphasis is on developing concepts of civic professionalism and developmental democracy. (3H,3C)

APS 4404 (HUM 4404): Appalachian Folk Culture

Examination of informal learning systems, non-commodified socioeconomic systems, and traditional aesthetic expressions in Appalachia. Investigation of cultural resistance to globalized market economies as expressed in traditional artifacts and customs. Pre: Junior standing. (3H,3C)

APS 4414 (HUM 4414): Issues in Appalachian Studies

Topics course that examines major issues affecting sustainability and continuity of contemporary Appalachia. Focus is on problems of exploitation of human and natural resources. Comparison is made to other mountain communities worldwide. Specific topics vary. May be repeated one time with different topics. Pre: HUM 1704. (3H,3C)


HUM 4034 (RLCL 4034) (COMM 4034): Functions of Popular Culture 

Popular culture as a humanistic discipline; emphasis on archetypes, formulas, and genres; the function of ideas, images, and icons on the popular imagination. (3H,3C)

HUM 4104: Explorations in Advanced Humanities Topics

In-depth study of special interdisciplinary topics. Topics vary but involve a close and extensive study of the interrelationship between important cultural ideas and movements, and formative myths and values, and their expression in several of the following forms: literature, philosophy, religion, art, music, drama. May be taken only once for credit. (3H,3C)

HUM 4404 (APS 4404): Appalachian Folk Cultures

Area 2, CLE
Examination of informal learning systems, non-commodified socioeconomic systems, and traditional aesthetic expressions in Appalachia.  Investigation of cultural resistance to globalized market economies as expressed in traditional artifacts and customs. Pre: Junior Standing. (3H,3C)

HUM 4414 (APS 4414): Critical Issues in Appalachian Studies

Topics course that examines major issues affecting sustainability and continuity of contemporary Appalachia. Focus is on problems of exploitation of human and natural resources. Comparison is made to other mountain communities worldwide. May be repeated 1 time with different topics. Pre: 1704. (3H,3C)


JUD 4424: Advanced Topics in Jewish Culture, History and Thought 

Selected topics in Jewish culture, history and thought. Possible topics include: the Philosophy of Maimonides, Spinoza, Buber, Kabbalah, Hasidism, The American Jewish experience in the first half of the 20th century, or "Oriental" Jewish art and folklore. Two JUD courses or senior standing required. (3H,3C)

 


 

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Contact Us

Department of Religion and Culture
Lane Hall 112, Virginia Tech (0227)
280 Alumni Mall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: 540-231-6551
Fax: 540-231-7013
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Chair, Department of Religion and Culture

Prof. Brian Britt
111 Lane Hall (0227)
Phone: 540-231-6551
Email