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300 RELIGION COURSES – SPRING 2015

349-01 – Recent American Religion – JAPINGA – TR – 1:30-2:50 – ChpB14

364-01 – Philosophical Theology – MULDER R 6:00-8:50 PM – LH121
(cross-listed as Philosophy 331-01; all students should register for Philosophy 331)
In this course we’ll have a look at some classical views of God and arguments for God’s existence, and some challenges to religious faith. Under the latter heading, we’ll consider some issues like the problem of divine foreknowledge, the problem of evil, faith and reason, miracles, and some problems associated with religious diversity. We’ll finish by exploring some themes in philosophical theology on particular Christian doctrines like Trinity, Incarnation, Atonement, petitionary prayer, whether there is a hell, and whether there is a purgatory. We will focus on what these various doctrines are supposed to mean, whether challenges to them can be met, and if so, how. Some of our voices will be from Christians or theists, and others will be from skeptics or atheists. Students from any perspective on these matters are most welcome.

369-01 – Reading Scripture Theologically – ORTIZ – TR – 12:00-1:20 – MM239
What is the key to understanding scripture? What is the relationship between scripture and tradition? Where do contemporary academic approaches to analyzing scripture, such as the historical, critical method, fit into a faithful Christian interpretation of the Bible? How should we read scripture in its divine and human dimensions? This course is an introduction to a theological approach to reading scripture. It seeks to provide students with the basic tools for interpreting the Bible form the heart of the Church. We will approach scripture as the inspired word of God, written in the words of men, which was revealed for the sake of drawing us into a loving union with God and neighbor.

389-01 – Texts and Tales of India – WILSON - MWF 12:00-12:50 – MM243
From a distance, the only reliable means we have for studying the region of a foreign culture is the written texts that are produced by this culture. For India, this has mean that we have tried to understand the religions of India through the formal written texts of the Vedas, the Mahabharata, the Puranas, and the texts of the great philosophers of India. These texts certainly help us understand something, but a visit to India causes us to conclude that there is a lot going on around us that is not explained in the formal texts of India.
What has been missing is the almost silent voice of the common person in India. Our western methodologies lead us to texts and the texts separate us from the common people. The anthropologist Robert Redfield drew a distinction between the Great Tradition that is found in the formal texts and the Little Traditions that are found variously among the people. In the past I have restricted myself to investigating the Great Tradition. In this class, we will explore the Great Tradition to an extent, but mainly as a backdrop against which we will try to understand the Little Traditions. Our access to the Little Traditions will be the Folktale.