- Linfield College
Religious Studies

Religious Studies Courses

For more information, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

RELS-110  Approaches to Religion
Introductory course in the academic study of religion. Required for majors and minors. 4 credits. (UQ or GP)

RELS-111  Judaism, Christianity & Islam
Introduction to the academic study of the three main Abrahamic religions. Themes include historical and contemporary interrelations among Muslims, Christians and Jews; their core beliefs and practices; sacred literature; gender and the body. 4 credits. (UQ or GP)

RELS-115  Religious Ethics
Formation and meaning of religious ethics in contemporary life. Human responsibility, community, racism, sexism, violence, war. 4 credits (UQ or GP or US)

RELS-120  Old Testament
Literature of the Old Testament: its form, content, historical development, and interpretation. 4 credits. (UQ or VP)

RELS-130  New Testament
Literature of the New Testament: its form, content, historical development, and interpretation. 4 credits. (UQ or VP)

RELS-140  The Holy Qur'an
Literature of the Qur'an: its form, content, historical development, and interpretation. Course designed especially for students with some familiarity with Old and New testament narrative. Provides students an opportunity for further study of the major world faith that is Islam. 4 credits. (UQ or VP or GP)

RELS-160  Philosophy East & West (also Listed As Phil 160)
Comparative introductory study of major philosophical traditions of east and west: ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of religion. 4 credits. (UQ or GP)

RELS-200  New Testament Greek
Study of Greek grammar; readings from the New Testament; use of exegetical tools. With RELS 201 (Greek Readings), meets the language requirement for the BA. 5 credits.

RELS-201  Greek Readings
Greek from the New Testament, Stoic authors, Hellenistic Jewish texts, and early church fathers. Prerequisite: RELS 200. 3 credits.

RELS-202  Hebrew I
Elements of Hebrew grammar. Language tapes and class exercises to give the student experience in spoken, elementary, Modern Hebrew; readings from prose sections of the Hebrew Bible. With RELS 203, meets the language requirement for the B.A. 5 credits.

RELS-203  Hebrew II: Readings in Bible
Selected passages from the prose and poetry of the Hebrew Bible. Prerequisite: RELS 202. 3 credits.

RELS-204  Sanskrit I
Introduction to Sanskrit language: Reading, writing, pronunciation basic grammar. Fulfills BA language requirement when completed with RELS 205. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. 4 credits.

RELS-205  Sanskrit II
Continuation of first-year Sanskrit. Continued study of basic grammar necessary to begin reading Sanskrit literature. Fulfills BA language requirement when completed with RELS 204. Prerequisite: RELS 204 or consent of instructor. 4 credits.

RELS-218  Buddhism
Selective introduction to prominent Buddhist traditions of Asia and contemporary West. Introduction to basic Buddhist doctrines, practices, institutions and material culture. Analysis of Buddhist sacred literature with attention to historical context and contemporary lived realities. 4 credits. (UQ or GP)

RELS-219  Hinduism
Introduction to the Hindu tradition in South Asia and beyond. Analysis of representative selections of literature and film alongside ethnographic accounts of contemporary practice. Basic doctrines and practices; institutions and identity formation; tradition and modernity; nationalism and globalization. 4 credits. (UQ or GP)

RELS-220  Christianity
Prominent people, movements, and doctrines within Christianity. Special attention to primary source materials and biographies. 4 credits. (UQ or VP)

RELS-230  Religious Thinkers
Exposition of contemporary theologians through primary reading sources. 4 credits. (UQ)

RELS-254  Folklore and Mythology (also Listed As ANTH 254)
Comparative anthropological study of traditional oral literature: myths, legends, folktales, riddles, proverbs, jokes. Dynamics of folklore, its creation, performance, and transmission; functions of folklore and myth in diverse cultures, including the contemporary United States. 4 credits.

RELS-306  Religion and Nature (also Listed As ENVS 309)
Examination of how people have conceived the relationship between humanity and the natural world, and how people have found religion in nature. Topics include historical, ethical, and philosophical questions, as well as contemporary environmental and ecological concerns. Selections may be drawn from Asian religions (Buddhist, Hindu, Daoist, Shinto, etc.), Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam), indigenous (native American, African) traditions, or other traditional or non-traditional selections. Opportunities for experiential learning and for students to articulate and evaluate their own perspectives. 4 credits. (UQ or GP)

RELS-309  Old Testament Prophets
Historical and critical analysis of selected Old Testament Prophetic literature, focusing on form, content, historical development and interpretation. May focus on a single Prophet, like Isaiah, or introduce several Prophets. Special attention to primary source materials. 4 credits. (UQ or VP).

RELS-310  History of Religion of The Middle East (also Listed As HIST 310)
Prominent periods and events in the formation and development of the three major religious traditions of the Middle East: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Historical context, the prophet, conquest and empire, crisis and disaster, Holy Text. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or higher. 4 credits. (UQ or VP or GP)

RELS-315  Politics and Religion (also Listed As POLS 315)
Examination of the relationship between politics and religion in varying contexts: theories of the role of religion in government and society, religious social movements, contemporary political controversies involving religion. Prerequisite: one of POLS 201, POLS 210, POLS 220, RELS 110, RELS 115, or consent of instructor. 4 credits.

RELS-320  Pilgrimages: Sacred Journeys
A study of the role and practices of pilgrimages in major religious traditions. Exploration of symbolic pilgrimages including the use of labyrinths. Relevance for personal practice and sacred journeys. 4 credits. (UQ or GP)

RELS-325  Forgiveness and Reconciliation
A study of the theology, role and practices of forgiveness in four major religious traditions: Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Includes examination of forgiveness, revenge, reconciliation and restorative justice. Case studies will focus on individuals, group/cultures, and national contexts. Relevance for personal practice will be explored. 4 credits. (UQ)

RELS-330  History of Religion in America (also Listed As HIST 330)
History of prominent religious experiences in America. Protestant empire, Native American presence, minority appropriation, post-Christian responses. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or above. 4 credits. (UQ or VP or US)

RELS-340  Monks and Mystics
Study of western monasticism and the way of the mystic. Focus on Trappists, their community and spiritual disciplines. Visits to Trappist Abbey, dialogue with monks. Additional trip to Brigittine monastery and Benedictine convent. Academic reflection and personal exploration. 4 credits. (UQ)

RELS-342  Women in Religion (also Listed As GENS 342)
Examination of the depictions of women and roles that women play in selected religious traditions. May focus on the depiction of women in a religious tradition's sacred literature or the practices and roles of women in particular historical or contemporary religious contexts. Special attention to primary source materials. 4 credits. (UQ)

RELS-360  Dead Sea Scrolls
The discovery, content, and historical context of the Dead Sea Scrolls. What the Scrolls tell us about Second Temple Judaism, the origins of Christianity, the history of the biblical text, the Qumran community. Making the scrolls available to the general public. Not open to those who have taken INQS 125 "The Dead Sea Scrolls." 4 credits. (UQ or VP)

RELS-365  John and The Gnostic Gospels
Examination of the Gnostic Christian texts discovered at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, as context for the Gospel of John. Topics include: the variety of early Christian communities; roles of women in early Christian churches; the so-called Q document; the politics of Christian canon formation; the Gospel of John as an orthodox response to Gnostic Christians. Not open to those who have taken INQS 125 "John and the Gnostic Gospels." 4 credits. (UQ or VP)

RELS-367  Scribes and Schools: Recording Ancient Wisdom
The invention of the alphabet. How the Bible became a book. The Canaanite origin of the Biblical God. How to read a Northwest Semitic inscription. The ancient world of the patriarch Abraham. 4 credits. (UQ)

RELS-373  Buddhist Literature
Reading Buddhist texts as literature; understanding the nature, purposes, and forms of Buddhist literature; Buddhist narrative genres; Buddhist past-life stories; Buddhist miracle tales; traditional and modern Buddhist poetry; Buddhist literature and philosophy. Specific textual focus may vary from semester to semester. Topics may include narrative and identity; gender dynamics in Buddhist literature; narrative and ritual performance; narrative and practices of self-cultivation. 4 credits. (UQ or CS or GP)

RELS-382  Mahayana Buddhism
Origins and historical development of Mahayana Buddhism. Close reading and analysis of Mahayana Buddhist literature. Prerequisite: Previous coursework in Religious Studies recommended. 4 credits. (UQ or GP)

RELS-383  Tibetan Buddhism
Introduction to Buddhism of Tibet and the Tibetan diaspora communities, particularly in India and the Himalayan region (Nepal, Bhutan, etc.), as well as that of westerners (Americans, Europeans, Australians, etc.) who identify themselves as Buddhist within a specifically Tibetan tradition. Basic Tibetan Buddhist doctrines and practices, institutions and identity formation, historically and in a contemporary context. 4 credits. (UQ or GP)

RELS-435  Death & Dying
American ways of death and dying. Cultural immorality, obscenity, confrontation, technicalities, realities, living. 4 credits. (UQ)

RELS-439  Peer Instruction: Religious Studies
Advanced opportunity for outstanding students to assist faculty members in the classroom. Normally the student will function as a tutor in a language course or introductory content course. Focus on course content and pedagogy. Prerequisites: application and consent of instructor. 1-4 credits. (S/U) (EL)

RELS-480  Independent Study
Independent study for students of advanced standing under the supervision of departmental faculty. Prequisite: consent of instructor. 1-5 credits.

RELS-485  Senior Seminar
First course of departmental capstone sequence. Examination of academic approaches to the understanding of religious phenomena. Focus on theories and methods of analysis. Leads to completion of a proposal for the senior thesis. Prerequisite: Departmental permission required. 4 credits.

RELS-487  Internship
Individualized learning in applied religion through working in a church, synagogue, temple, or other institution related to a denomination or ecumenical group. Letter grades. Prerequisite: consent of department. 4 credits. (EL)

RELS-490  Senior Thesis
Second course of departmental capstone sequence. Advanced research and writing in consultation with one or more members of the department. Prerequisites: RELS 485 and senior standing. 4 credits. (MWI)

Any Questions? If you are interested in learning more about the curriculum at Linfield, please contact the Office of Admission at (800) 640-2287 or email admission@linfield.edu. An admissions counselor will be happy to answer your questions or put you in touch with a faculty member.

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