RELS 6030 Introduction to Human Rights
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Introduces students to historical and contemporary debates around human rights. Drawing on scholarship from disciplines such as history, anthropology, sociology, political philosophy, religious studies, and literature, students will review case studies in order to bring different scholarly perspectives to bear on human rights claims in a globalized world.

RELS 6040 Augustine and Aquinas
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

(Same as PHIL 6040.) Selected works of the major religious philosophers of the Middle Ages with emphasis on their views on topics such as God, sin, human nature, free will, faith, and politics.

RELS 6080 Religious Dimensions in Human Experience
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Examines religions as integral aspects of human cultures. Integrates theoretical and methodological approaches to religious studies that center on human experiences, expressions, practices and beliefs with examples from particular historical and geographical locations. Topics and source materials may include material culture, archaeology, visual culture, literature, aesthetics, film and ethnography.

RELS 6090 Jesus Inside and Outside the Gospels
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Comparative study of portrayals of Jesus as they have evolved over the past two millennia. Topics may include the differences between the Synoptic and Johannine materials, non-canonical gospels, the way Jesus is depicted in texts from other religions (e.g., Qur’an, Gandhi’s “What Jesus Means to Me”), and visual depictions of Jesus, including in modern media such as film and the internet.

RELS 6100 Religious Studies Study Abroad
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Provides students with opportunities to study religious life and practice outside of the United States. Includes travel to selected sites for visitation and study led by faculty familiar with the site’s history and religious significance. Also includes direct supervision of students’ on-the-ground experience of religious life around the globe. Open to majors and non-majors. No foreign language necessary; instruction will be in English. Enrollment must be approved by program director.

RELS 6150 Religion, Nation, and Law
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

This course will explore and dissect the relationship and roles between religion, law, and nation-building. The course will explore nation-states and empires, secularism, the relationship between `religious to the `secular in the particular context of law. The course will also examine comparison of the legal recognition of religious minorities and personal status legal systems in empires and nation-states.

RELS 6200 Religions in America
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Religion in the United States, from colonial times to the present. Introduces historical and social contexts for religion as well as the impact of religions, which may include Native American religions, African-American religions, Christianity, Islam, and Asian religions.

RELS 6225 Psychology and Religion
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

This course will survey the fields of psychology and religious studies. Addressing this tension, our course is designed to create a constructive, respectful dialogue between both perspective. Can we conceive ways in which religious behavior and the study of religion may inform, or even construct, psychological theory Conversely, how do psychological perspectives and cognitive science tell a richer, deeper story of what is happening in religious experiences We will consider postmodern and qualitative critiques to such investigations, as well as the emerging field in “explaining” religion through cognitive science and evolutionary theory. This course will also consider Eastern forms of religious expression and spirituality.

RELS 6240 Death and the Afterlife
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Introduction to the general beliefs and practices associated with death and the afterlife in several world religious traditions. Topics may include religious perspectives on the process of dying, treatment of the body, methods of grieving, views of suicide and martyrdom, and contemporary issues surrounding death and the afterlife.

RELS 6245 Cognitive Foundations of Religion
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

This course will explore the neural foundations and cognitive mechanisms of religious behavior and experiences. This course will also look at the evolutionary development of religion, the more recent findings in cognitive processing of particular religious beliefs, and the neural imaging of religious experiences.

RELS 6250 African-American Religion
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

(Same as AAS 6090.) Survey of the development of African-American religion from colonial times to the present, including an examination of both theological arguments and spiritual experiences.

RELS 6255 Religion, Race, Nation
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

From colonialism to black nationalism to globalization, how do the three issues of religion, race, and nation affect each other How has religious thought dealt with issues of race, and how has the concept of race been shaped by religious thought How do racial and religious communities differ We will approach these questions using theory, world literature, and film.

RELS 6260 Religion and Literature
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

(Same as ENGL 6260.) Examines how religious institutions, beliefs, and values have been presented in and challenged within novels. Readings include works by authors from various religious communities as well as theoretical work done by scholars working in the field of religion and literature.

RELS 6270 Women and Religion
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

(Same as WGSS 6370.) Multicultural exploration of the role of women and female divinities in diverse religious traditions; readings from ancient myths to contemporary feminist theology.

RELS 6281 Racial Thought in Religion and Philosophy
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

This course will evaluate the logic of racial thought, its presence in religion and philosophy, and the difficult process of countering the resulting forms of racism that structure minds and lives.

RELS 6290 Pilgrimage
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Exploration of the central role played by pilgrimage in world religious traditions, including study of its vital social and religious functions. Examples from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, as well as theoretical readings on the phenomenon of pilgrimage.

RELS 6295 Religion, Sport and Spirituality
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

A comparative study of the ancient and modern Olympics with an emphasis on the religious character of these games. Questions explored may include: why were the games shut down by the newly Christianized Roman Empire for religious reasons, and why were they revived in the nineteenth century.

RELS 6301 Animals and Religion: Between Animals and Gods
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Are people born to sort, organize, classify, and order their environments? Do we impose order on nature, or do we observe an order inherent in nature? To what degree are our systems of classification culturally dependent? How do people negotiate competing ways of ordering the world? In this course, you will explore questions like these in relation to two populations against which we humans define ourselves: animals and gods.

RELS 6400 Internship in Religious Studies
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Supervised worked coupled with academic instruction. Students may propose internships they have been able to arrange (although these must be approved by the department faculty member supervising the internship and the undergraduate or graduate director, as appropriate). Students may also choose from several internship opportunities established by the department, including internships in the media, non-profit administration, business, and government.

RELS 6450 Modern Judaism
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Key issues and historical events shaping Judaism in the modern world, including Zionism, the development of Jewish denominations, the Holocaust, Middle East conflict, women’s roles in Jewish life, and the development of Judaism in the United States. No previous knowledge of Judaism is required; all readings are in English.

RELS 6460 Judaism in the South
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Examination of the historical and cultural development of Judaism in the American south. Topics may include Jewish immigrants, issues of assimilation, Jews and the Civil War, Jewish involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, the Leo Frank case, the Temple bombing in Atlanta, and contemporary issues in Southern Jewish life.

RELS 6465 Religion in the American South
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Examines the historical and cultural development of Religion in the American South. Students will explore the increasing religious diversity in the New South and discuss the ways in which southern religious values have shaped conversations on race, sex, gender, politics, nationalism, science, and social reform.

RELS 6470 Martin Buber: His Thought and Influence
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

An exploration of Buber’s writings on subjects such as Hasidic folklore, Asian thought, dialogical philosophy, and Middle Eastern politics, with consideration of how his work has been received both inside and outside of Jewish circles.

RELS 6480 Modern Islam: Tradition & Transformation
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

The purpose of this course is to understand the Islamic tradition in the contemporary world through a study of its history, society, institutions, as well as its various relationships to non-Muslim societies and cultures. The task is to try to gain familiarity with the multiple manifestations and transformations of Islam from the pre-modern to the modern periods, with an emphasis on the changes brought about by the rise of European hegemony and colonial modernity. As a survey, the course will review broad socio-historical patterns in order to give students the ability to better assess a range of contemporary issues related to Islam as well as provide a basis through which further investigations can be made.

RELS 6490 Topics in Judaism
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Examination of selected topics in Judaism. May be repeated if topic varies.

RELS 6500 Ethics of Violence
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

In this course we will work our way through theoretical, ethnographic and fictional texts in order to explore the different ways in which violence has been examined as a dimension of human experience.

RELS 6570 Special Topics in Islam
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Investigation of a specific theme, figure(s), or text(s) within Islam, such as Islamic ethics, historical portrayals of Muhammad, or the Nation of Islam. May be repeated if topic varies.

RELS 6580 Life of Muhammad
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Study and contrast of various perspectives of the life of the Prophet Muhammad, including medieval Muslim hagiographies, medieval European polemics, and modern reinterpretations by both Muslims and non-Muslims.

RELS 6615 Introduction to Buddhism in Asia and the West
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

This course offers a selective historical survey of the Buddhist traditions in India, Southeast Asia, Tibet, China, Japan, and North America. Topics include the life and image of Buddha, the four noble truths, the philosophy of emptiness, the discipline of meditation, ethics and popular practice, devotional cults, and the concept of nirvana.

RELS 6620 Introduction to Daoism, Confucianism, and the Religions of China
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Selective historical survey of the Daoist, Confucian, Buddhist, and folk traditions of China. Topics will include gods and goddesses, ritual, questions, of human nature, ethics, death and the afterlife, and mysticism.

RELS 6625 Introduction to Zen Buddhism, Shinto, and the Religions of Japan
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Selective thematic survey of the Shinto, Buddhist, and folk traditions of Japan, with a special emphasis of Zen Buddhism. Topics include attitudes toward nature, the interpenetration of religion and the arts, monasticism and meditation practices, modern Zen philosophy, new religious movements, and the influence of the West.

RELS 6628 Topics in Asian Religion
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Investigation of a selected topic within Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, and/or Japanese religion. Possible topics include classical Taoist philosophy, new religions in Japan, Tibetan Buddhist texts, and human rights in Asian religion. May be repeated if topic varies.

RELS 6630 Comparative Study of Mysticism
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

In-depth study of mystical texts and traditions, with special attention given to theoretical and methodological inquiry. Readings drawn from a range of traditions and historical periods, as well as from works in contemporary critical theory in the study of religion.

RELS 6645 Religion & Sex in Pop Culture
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Explores religion and sexuality in forms of American popular culture such as music, television, motion pictures, fashion, print/nonprint media, and the internet. Students will also examine how popular culture has shaped religious debates about sexuality and been shaped by religious values.

RELS 6650 Religion and Ethics
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Study of the relation between religion and morality, including both Eastern and Western religious perspectives. Topics may include such issues as warfare, social justice, sexual ethics, and issues in modern medicine.

RELS 6680 War, Peace, and Religion
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Comparative study of attitudes towards war and peace in major religious traditions. Topics may include the Christian just-war tradition; Islamic notions of jihad; Buddhist renunciation and pacifism; the writings of Gandhi; nuclear arms and the status of noncombatants; civil disobedience and conscientious objection; and religiously motivated terrorism.

RELS 6690 Secularism, Liberalism and Religion
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Exploration of the role of religion and religious values in the modern, secular state with an emphasis on the past thirty years. Topics may include the defense of the principles of modern Liberalism from within religious traditions and critiques made by communitarians, Marxists, and Neo-Traditionalists.

RELS 6700 Issues in Religious Studies
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Examination of a selected topic in religion. May be repeated if topic varies, but only six credit hours may be applied toward the major.

RELS 6890 Religion On-site in Atlanta
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Introduces students to various local sites that express religious communities’ traditions and practices in Atlanta. Provides instruction to students at local sites integrated with lectures and readings that explore the history and diversity of Atlanta’s religious communities. Students will learn from on-site lectures presented by lead and guest instructors; from relevant historical documents; and from contemporary literature (secondary scholarship, relevant websites and blogs, community-published material). Students will be trained to integrate information from these sources and analyze them from an academic, critical perspective.

RELS 8200 Pro-seminar in Advanced Theory and Method
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Intensive seminar on theoretical and methodological issues in the academic study of religion. Specific attention to questions of what “religion” is, how it can be most appropriately conceptualized and studied, and how various research and interpretive methods can be applied.

RELS 8210 Seminar in Religious Studies
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Religious thinker or topic, such as Matthew Fox, Sri Aurobindo, gnosticism, or religious pluralism. May be repeated once if topic varies.

RELS 8950 Directed Readings
Credit Hours 1.0 - 3.0
Prerequisites consent of instructor
Description

Designed to provide students with the opportunity to do more advanced work in an area of their choice. Not to be used as a substitute for topics normally covered in other graduate courses. May be repeated once for credit.

RELS 8960 Research in Religious Studies
Credit Hours 3.0 - 12.0
Description

Does not count toward degree requirements. Authorization required. May be repeated for credit.

RELS 8970 Teaching Religious Studies
Credit Hours 6.0
Description

Does not count toward degree requirements. Preparation course for teaching, covering syllabus design, making up tests, grading papers, and other classroom techniques. Prerequisite for being a graduate teaching assistant. May be repeated with approval of graduate director.

RELS 8980 Teaching Practicum
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Does not count toward degree requirements. Apprenticeship in teaching for graduate teaching assistants under faculty supervision. Required for all graduate teaching assistants in their first semester of teaching. May be repeated for credit with approval of graduate director.

RELS 8985 Advanced Teaching Practicum in Religious Studies
Credit Hours 3.0 - 12.0
Description

Does not count toward degree requirements. Apprenticeship in teaching for advanced graduate teaching assistants under faculty supervision. Required for all graduate teaching assistant in their seond and subsequent semesters of teaching. GTAs learn how to document and collect materials for Teaching Portfolio. May be repeated for credit.

RELS 8998 Prospectus Research and Writing
Credit Hours 3.0
Description

Students enrolled in this course will complete the research required to writing a Masters thesis prospectus that conforms to the guidelines established by the Department. Students whose prospectuses are approved by the faculty may continue in the thesis research and writing process. This course is not required of students wishing to present a prospectus, but it does give students credit for preparing the prospectus. It does not count toward the thesis track degree requirements. Permission from the instructor and Director of Graduate Studies is required.

RELS 8999 Thesis Research
Credit Hours 1.0 - 6.0
Description