Religious Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Courses and Syllabi

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.

Select a course code: Select a semester:

Religious Studies Fall 2016

Undergraduate

100-Level Courses in RELI

RELI 100: The Human Religious Experience (3 Credits)

Examines main forms of religious expression as embodied in several important religious traditions in contemporary world. Investigates religious experience; myth and ritual; teachings and scripture; ethical, social, and artistic aspects of religion; and nature and function of religion in human society. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Schedule Type: Lecture

Read More »

6 Sections Currently Scheduled »

200-Level Courses in RELI

RELI 211: Religions of the West (3 Credits)

Focuses on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam from historical, comparative, and cross-cultural perspectives. May also include modern developments of those faiths such as Mormonism and Baha'ism, as well as Zoroastrianism and religions of ancient Near Eastern cultures. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

Read More »

2 Sections Currently Scheduled

  • Section 001 — Randi L Rashkover — Planetary Hall (formerly Science & Tech I) 122
  • Section 002 — John Turner

RELI 212: Religions of Asia (3 Credits)

Surveys religions of India, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and the religions of the Far East, China, and Japan, including Daosim, Confucianism, Shinto, from origins to present. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

Read More »

2 Sections Currently Scheduled

RELI 235: Religion and Literature (3 Credits)

Explores the relationship between religion and literature in different times and cultures, the influence of religion on literary works, and how literature expresses major religious themes such as death and immortality, divine will and justice, suffering and human destiny, and religion and state. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Literature
Schedule Type: Lecture

Read More »

5 Sections Currently Scheduled »

RELI 240: Death and the Afterlife in World Religions (3 Credits)

Explores how selected world religions address the universal experience of death and express their beliefs in an afterlife. Focuses on the scriptures, beliefs, rituals and customs of selected world religions as they reflect each tradition's response to the most basic question about human destiny - how human beings face death and attempt to transcend it. May not be repeated for credit.
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

300-Level Courses in RELI

RELI 315: Buddhism (3 Credits)

Surveys Buddhist religious traditions. Includes historical development of Buddhism in India, China, and Japan, examining both Theravada and Mahayana traditions; philosophical and religious significance of Buddhism; and social and political implications of Buddhist traditions in South Asian and East Asian countries. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

RELI 337: Mysticism: East and West (3 Credits)

Comparative treatment of major expressions of mysticism in East and West through exploration of various ways of understanding mystical experience. Readings and discussion emphasize one or more of the Eastern (Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zen) and Western (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) traditions. May not be repeated for credit.
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

RELI 360: Religion and Politics (3 Credits)

Explores the roles of religion in contemporary political life in the United States and abroad. Emphasizes religion in current political debates. Includes history, political theory, sociology, and theology to present a comprehensive understanding of the topic. May not be repeated for credit.
Schedule Type: Lecture

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

RELI 363: Catholicism (3 Credits)

Focuses on the beliefs of the over one billion Roman Catholics in today's world. Probes the history, doctrine, symbols, rituals, practices, and material culture of the world's largest church. Considers Catholicism's dialog with secularism and discusses controversies and challenges facing the church today. May not be repeated for credit.
Recommended Prerequisite: 3 credits in religious studies or philosophy or permission of instructor
Schedule Type: Lecture

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

RELI 375: Qur'an and Hadith (3 Credits)

Explores two primary sources of Islamic belief and practice: Qur'an and Hadith. Discusses thematic structure and literary quality, and examines theological and moral issues. Also introduces various methods of interpretation and critical analysis applied to texts in both Islamic and Western scholarship. Lecture and discussion. May not be repeated for credit.
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Recommended Prerequisite: 3 credits in philosophy and religious studies, or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

  • Section 001 — Maria M Dakake — Nguyen Engineering Building 1107

RELI 376: Special Topics in Religious Thought (3 Credits)

Selected topics from a philosophical perspective. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 12 credits.
Recommended Prerequisite: 3 hours of Religious Studies or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

RELI 387: Islam, Democracy, and Human Rights (3 Credits)

Evaluates the political and religious goals of Muslim societies and governments, and whether these goals are conducive to the development of democratic institutions to promote democratic cultures and explicit support for human rights, as well as to these societies' full integration in an international order founded upon secularism and modernism. May not be repeated for credit.
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

400-Level Courses in RELI

RELI 490: Comparative Study of Religions (3 Credits)

Cross-cultural examination of comparative aspects of religious phenomena. Examines significance of religious phenomena from diverse religious and cultural perspectives, and investigates patterns of religious phenomena that have appeared in world cultures and civilizations. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Synthesis
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Recommended Prerequisite: 9 credits in religious studies including RELI 211 and RELI 212, or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

Topics in RELI

RELI 376: Special Topics in Religious Thought (3 Credits)

Selected topics from a philosophical perspective. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 12 credits.
Recommended Prerequisite: 3 hours of Religious Studies or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

RELI 420: Seminar (not currently offered) (3 Credits)

Senior seminar on a specific topic of relevance to religious studies. Content varies. Notes: May be repeated when topic varies. Students with other majors may be take the course if the topic is sufficiently close to their field of study. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 12 credits.
Specialized Designation: Writing Intensive in the Major
Recommended Prerequisite: Major in religious studies with 60 credits including 9 credits or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture

Graduate

600-Level Courses in RELI

RELI 630: Approaches to the Study of Religion (3 Credits)

Examines study of religion as academic discipline. Evaluates various intellectual approaches and methods used in study of religious phenomena. May not be repeated for credit.
Registration Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students with a class of Advanced to Candidacy, Graduate, Non Degree or Senior Plus.

Enrollment is limited to Graduate, Non-Degree or Undergraduate level students.

Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.

Schedule Type: Lecture

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

RELI 644: Islamic Texts and Contexts (3 Credits)

Introduces foundational Islamic texts; scholarly traditions of commentary, criticism and analysis on these texts; and application and significance of these texts in contemporary Islamic discourses. May not be repeated for credit.
Registration Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students with a class of Advanced to Candidacy, Graduate, Non Degree or Senior Plus.

Enrollment is limited to Graduate, Non-Degree or Undergraduate level students.

Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.

Schedule Type: Seminar

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

  • Section 001 — Abdulaziz Sachedina — Robinson B204

Topics in RELI

RELI 591: Special Topics in Religious Studies (not currently offered) (3 Credits)

Topics in religious studies selected by importance in the field and pertinent to the role of religion in society and culture. Emphasis on historical, interdisciplinary, and cross-cultural issues. Notes: May be repeated when topic is different with permission of department. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 12 credits.
Registration Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students with a class of Advanced to Candidacy, Graduate, Non Degree or Senior Plus.

Enrollment is limited to Graduate, Non-Degree or Undergraduate level students.

Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.

Schedule Type: Lecture

RELI 633: Ethical Perspectives of World Religions (not currently offered) (3 Credits)

Examines how perceptions of ultimate reality shape ethical values and behaviors of various religious traditions. Addresses problems in interpretation of authoritative foundational teachings in contemporary contexts. Special attention to non-Western religions. May be repeated within the degree for a maximum 9 credits.
Registration Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students with a class of Advanced to Candidacy, Graduate, Non Degree or Senior Plus.

Enrollment is limited to Graduate, Non-Degree or Undergraduate level students.

Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.

Schedule Type: Lecture

RELI 635: World Religions in Transition and Transformation (not currently offered) (3 Credits)

Explores transitions and transformations in selected world religions as they respond to and influence forces of cultural change, social values, and the crises of history. Fresh or modified constructions of the sacred and their relationship to world and humans will be examined. May be repeated within the degree for a maximum 6 credits.
Registration Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students with a class of Advanced to Candidacy, Graduate, Non Degree or Senior Plus.

Enrollment is limited to Graduate, Non-Degree or Undergraduate level students.

Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.

Schedule Type: Lecture

RELI 642: Sacred Language, Scripture, and Culture (not currently offered) (3 Credits)

Explores how sacred languages and scriptures develop in major global religious traditions: study of grammar, syntax, and morphology of sacred languages; issues of inspiration, authority and canon. Also examines cultural dimensions of sacred language. Notes: May be repeated once when languages are different. May be repeated within the degree for a maximum 6 credits.
Registration Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students with a class of Advanced to Candidacy, Graduate, Non Degree or Senior Plus.

Enrollment is limited to Graduate, Non-Degree or Undergraduate level students.

Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.

Schedule Type: Lecture