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Undergraduate Catalog 2014-2015

Approved Courses

The following list includes undergraduate courses that have been approved as of May 2014.  Courses added after that date do not appear in this list.  Courses eliminated after that date may still appear.  Not every course is offered regularly.  Students should consult the Schedule of Classes at www.testudo.umd.edu to ascertain which courses are actually offered during a given semester.


Number   Eligibility
000-099   Non-credit course
100-199   Primarily freshman course
200-299   Primarily sophomore course
300-399   Junior, senior course not acceptable for credit toward graduate degrees
386-387   Campus-wide internship courses; refer to information describing Experiential Learning
400-499   Junior, senior course acceptable for credit toward some graduate degree
500-599   Professional School course (Dentistry, Architecture, Law, Medicine) or post-baccalaureate course
600-899   Course restricted to graduate students
799   Master Thesis credit
899   Doctoral Dissertation credit


Use the search box below to view the approved courses.

Courses in "RELS-Religious Studies"

RELS - Religious Studies

RELS 120 Islamic Civilization (3) Also offered as: HIST120. Credit only granted for: HIST120 or RELS120. Introduction to society and culture in the Middle East since the advent of Islam: as a personal and communal faith; as artistic and literary highlights of intellectual and cultural life; and as the interplay between politics and religion under the major Islamic regimes.

RELS 170 Greek and Roman Mythology (3) Also offered as: CLAS170. Credit only granted for: CLAS170 or RELS170. Additional information: This course cannot be taken for language credit. An introduction to the mythology of ancient Greece and Rome. This course is particularly recommended for students planning to major in foreign languages, English, history, the fine arts, or journalism. Taught in English.

RELS 216 What is Religion? (3) Credit only granted for: HIST216, or RELS216. Formerly: HIST216. What is religion, and what approaches best allow us to understand it? Students will explore a variety of approaches to religion (possibly including sociology, psychology, phenomenology, gender studies, and cognitive approaches, among others) in the course of exploring five to eight major religious traditions. Close attention to religious diversity will provide students with a context for asking what really counts as "religion" and why.

RELS 219 Special Topics in Religious Studies (3) Repeatable to 9 credits if content differs. Special topics in Religious Studies

RELS 236 Philosophy of Religion (3) Also offered as: PHIL236. Credit only granted for: PHIL236 or RELS236. A philosophical study of some of the main problems of religious thought: the nature of religious experience, the justification of religious belief, the conflicting claims of religion and science, and the relation between religion and morality.

RELS 250 Fundamental Concepts of Judaism (3) Also offered as: JWST250, PHIL234. Credit only granted for: JWST250, PHIL234, or RELS250. A conceptional introduction to Judaism, analyzing its fundamental concepts from both analytical and historical perspectives. Discussion of "normative" Judaism as well as other conceptions of Judaism. Topics include: God, the Jewish people, authority, ethics, the sacred and the profane, particularism and universalism.

RELS 264 Introduction to the New Testament (3) A historical and literary introduction to the New Testament focusing on the context of the authors and the development of earliest Christianity.

RELS 269 Special Topics in Study Abroad II (1-6) Repeatable to 15 credits if content differs. Special topics course taken as part of an approved study abroad program.

RELS 289 New Explorations in Religious Studies (3) Investigation of critical and innovative responses in Religious Studies. Although the topic will vary, the course will encourage intellectual exploration by students of fundamental problems and critical methods.

RELS 319 Special Topics in Religious Studies (1-3) Repeatable to 6 credits if content differs. Special topics in the study of religious history, literature, culture, and thought.

RELS 340 Europe in the Making: The Early Medieval West (A.D. 300-1000) (3) Also offered as: HIST330. Credit only granted for: HIST330 or RELS340. From one empire to another: Rome to Charlemagne. This period is approached as a crucible in which classical, Christian, and Germanic elements merged, yielding new experimental syntheses. This course will deal with issues of authority, cultural trends, and the formation of group solidarity.

RELS 341 Europe in the High Middle Ages: 1000-1500 (3) Also offered as: HIST331. Credit only granted for: HIST331 or RELS341. Medieval civilization in the 11th through 15th centuries. Emphasis on cultural and political developments of the high Middle Ages with study of the principal sources of medieval thought and learning, art and architecture, and political theory prior to the Renaissance.

RELS 342 Renaissance Europe (3) Prerequisite: HIST112 or HIST111; or permission of instructor required. Also offered as: HIST332. Credit only granted for: HIST332 or RELS342. Intellectual developments in Italy and Northern Europe from 1300 to 1550 and their influence on the arts and religion; social and economics trends, including the rise of the commercial economy in cities; the family and the role of women in society; expansion of Europe overseas and the beginnings of colonization; emergence of the state and consequent changes in political theory.

RELS 343 The European Reformations (3) Prerequisite: HIST112 or HIST111; or permission of instructor. Also offered as: HIST333. Credit only granted for: HIST333 or RELS343. Examination of developments in European religion between 1450 and 1700; the late-medieval Church and its critics; rise of Protestant thought in Germany and its spread throughout Europe; reform efforts in the Catholic Church; religious wars and violence and their impact on state and society; consequences of religious reform in society and its impact on the family and women.

RELS 346 History of Religion in America (3) Prerequisite: HIST255, HIST211, HIST156, HIST254, HIST213, HIST157, or HIST210; or permission of instructor. Also offered as: HIST306. Credit only granted for: HIST306 or RELS346. A history of religion, religious movements, and churches in America from the early Colonial period to the present, with special attention to the relation between church and society.

RELS 369 Special Topics in Study Abroad III (1-6) Repeatable to 15 credits if content differs. Special topics course taken as part of an approved study abroad program.

RELS 370 Ancient Greek Religion: Gods, Myths, Temples (3) Also offered as: CLAS330. Credit only granted for: CLAS330 or RELS370. Survey of Greek religious ideas and practices as they evolve from the Bronze Age to the early Christian period.

RELS 371 Roman Religion: From Jupiter to Jesus (3) Also offered as: CLAS331. Credit only granted for: CLAS331 or RELS371. Survey of the major institutions of Roman state and private religion and of the diverse religions, including Judaism and Christianity, practiced in the Roman empire.

RELS 384 Anthropology of Religion (3) Prerequisite: ANTH260; or permission of instructor. Restriction: Must not have completed ANTH364. Also offered as: ANTH364. Credit only granted for: ANTH364, ANTH688R, or RELS384. Comparative study of religion in social, cultural, polilitical, and economic context. Combines the history of schools of interpretation with a survey of theoretical alternatives and a focus on selected case studies.

RELS 400 Methods and Theories in the Study of Religion (3) Also offered as: RELS600. Credit only granted for: RELS400, RELS419T,RELS600, or RELS619T. Formerly: RELS419T. An exploration of scholarly approaches to the study of religion. The modern history of the secular study of religion, social dynamics, textual formations, and ritual practices.

RELS 419 Advanced Topics in Religious Studies (3) Recommended: RELS216. Repeatable to 9 credits if content differs. The contemporary study of religion in which topics may address specific religious traditions, regional or historical developments, or methodological and theoretical issues.

RELS 430 Dead Sea Scrolls (3) Credit only granted for: JWST429Q, RELS419Q, or RELS430. Formerly: RELS419Q. A study of the Dead Sea Scrolls in their ancient and modern settings, and in terms of contemporary scholarly interpretations of their meaning. Interpretations of the historical significance of these documents, their connections to ancient Jewish sectarian movements, and their implications for our understanding of Judaism, Christianity, and the history of the Bible.

RELS 499 Independent Study in Religious Studies (1-3) Prerequisite: Permission of ARHU-Meyerhoff Program & Center for Jewish Studies. Repeatable to 6 credits if content differs. An advanced independent research project for qualified students, supervised by a faculty member, on a topic not ordinarily covered in available courses.

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