Religious Studies and Theology

Religious Studies and Theology Department

Maeve M. O'Donovan, Ph.D., Chair
Brian D. Berry, Ph.D.
Wakoh Shannon Hickey, Ph.D.
Henrietta L. Wiley, Ph.D.
LaReine Mosely, Ph.D.

Degrees offered

Major
Minor

Campuses

Main Campus

Religion touches every aspect of life, and religious studies can help us think more deeply and carefully about all the big issues humans face: love, death, suffering, power, violence, justice, morality, sex, family, money, community, the divine, and the meaning of life. The Religious Studies Department, part of the School of Arts and Sciences, offers a major and minor to students in the Women's College and the College of Adult Undergraduate Studies. The Religious Studies program is based on four pillars: biblical studies, systematic theology, religious ethics, and religious issues (practical theology and religion and culture).

Women's College and College of Adult Undergraduate Studies

Grounded in Roman Catholic and ecumenical Christian traditions, we actively engage in dialogue with other world religions. Women's contributions to spirituality, religious thought and history, as well as the ecumenical and interfaith aspects of the discipline, are woven into the program and are treated in greater depth in courses devoted exclusively to these topics. The program stresses critical thinking and respect for the religious commitments of all persons, and also is seen as a step toward transforming society. Graduates are ordained ministers, religion teachers, guidance counselors, parish educators, directors of religious education, pastoral and youth ministers, campus ministers, hospital chaplains, parish music ministers, leaders in diocesan offices, and employees of Catholic Charities.

In addition to the major, the religious studies department offers minors in Religious Studies and participates in Catholic Studies, Justice and Peace Studies and Women’s Studies, as well as providing a track within the liberal arts major (seven courses for the primary track or five for the supporting track).

Transfer credits from the religious studies or theology department of an accredited college or university will be accepted after assessment by the chair of the religious studies department. Credits should have been earned since 2000.

The general education requirement includes two courses in religious studies, one of which must be at the 300- or 400- level. To fulfill the general education requirement in values, a student may take any of the following courses: RST-303, 304, 306, 331, 345, 411.

The following courses satisfy the general education requirement at the 300- or 400-level: RST-300, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 311, 312, 315, 316, 317, 325, 331, 340, 341, 345, 347, 360, 361, 370, 401, 405, 409, 411, 415, 421, 424, 427, 430, 431, 432, 433, 450, 452, IDS-340.

Religious studies courses that satisfy the general education requirement in cross-cultural studies are: RST-311, 331, 345, 350, 360, 361, 401 (depending on topic), 427, 450, 452.

Religious studies courses that satisfy the general education requirement in gender studies are: RST-305, 308, 340, 341, 390, 411.

All courses credited toward the major or minor must be completed with a grade of C or higher.

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Programs of Study

The religious studies major provides the student with proficiency in four categories: biblical studies, systematic theology, practical theology/religion and culture, and religious ethics.

The curriculum requirements of 45 credits are as follows.

Required Courses for a Major in Religious Studies

Biblical Studies (12 credits)

RST-201 Introduction to Biblical Studies (3)
RST-315 Old Testament (3)
RST-317 New Testament (3)

One of the following:
RST-308 Gender and Power in the Book of Genesis (3) 
RST-309 Revelation and the Apocalyptic Imagination (3)
RST-316 Psalms (3)
RST-430 Topics in Pauline Theology (3)

Systematic Theology (12 credits)

RST-312 Sin and Grace (3)
RST-325 Jesus Christ (3)

Any two of the following:
RST-307 Trinity: Images of God (3)
RST-415 Church (3)
RST-421 Christian Worship (3)

Practical Theology/Religion and Culture (12 credits) 

Students are required to choose one course from practical theology and one from religion and culture.

Practical Theology 

RST-305 Marriage and Family (3)
RST-341 Theology of the Body (3)
RST-347 Introduction to Spirituality (3)
RST-409 Death and Dying (3)
RST-431 Teaching Religion to Adolescents (3)
RST-432 Faith Development of Children and Adolescents (3)
RST-433 Teaching Religion to Children (3)

Religion and Culture

RST-300 American Catholicism (3)
RST-311 World Religions (3)
RST-360 Islam (3)
RST-361 African American Religions (3)
RST-427 Study Tour (3)
RST-445 Islamic Perspectives on Peace and Conflict (3)
RST-450 Judaism, Christianity and Islam (3)
RST-452 Buddhism and Christianity (3)
Students are also required to complete any two other courses from either practical theology or religion and culture.

Religious Ethics (9 credits)

RST-303 Christian Ethics (3)

Any one of the following:
RST-304 Christian Social Ethics (3)
RST-345 Justice and Peace (3)

Any one of the following:
RST-306 Christian Bioethics (3)
RST-331 Comparative Religious Ethics (3)
RST 411H Catholic Women Theologians

For those planning to seek catechist certification from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, it is recommended that at least one course from RST-431, 432 and 433 be selected.
Religious studies majors and minors are encouraged to choose RST-427 Study Tour. Internships in religious studies are also available.

Capstone Experience

The religious studies capstone experience provides students with the opportunity to reflect on their religious studies program and synthesize what they have learned. The capstone experience has three related components: a capstone preparation workshop and compilation of a portfolio, an interview with department faculty, and a presentation to department faculty, current religious studies students and alumnae. It is required of all religious studies majors and is typically completed during the student's final semester. The capstone experience earns 1 credit.

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Required Courses for a Minor in Religious Studies

The curriculum requirements of 21 credits are as follows:

RST-201 Introduction to Biblical Studies (3)
RST-315 Old Testament or RST-317 New Testament (3)
One systematic theology course (3)
One practical theology or religion and culture course (3)
One religious ethics course (3)
Any two other courses from departmental offerings (6)

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Fall Spring 
First year      
IDS-100 Perspectives in Education 3 RST-300/400-level course 3
ENG-101 College Writing 3 Foreign Language 3
Foreign Language 3 General Education/Electives 9
RST-201 Intro. Biblical Studies 3 [15 credits]  
General Education/Electives 3    
[15 credits]      
Second year      
RST-300/400-Level Courses 9 RST-300/400-Level Courses 9
General Education/Electives 6 General Education/Electives 6
[15 credits]   [15 credits]  
Third year      
RST-300/400-Level Courses 9 RST-300/400-Level Courses 6
General Education/Electives 6 General Education/Electives 9
[15 credits]   [15 credits]  
Fourth year      
RST-300/400-Level Course 3 RST-300/400-Level Course 3
General Education/Electives 12 General Education/Electives 12
[15 credits]   [15 credits]  

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Courses

RST-101 Dogmatic Theory I

RST-102 Dogmatic Theory II

RST-201 Introduction to Biblical Studies

Introduces the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures of the Judeo-Christian tradition, exploring their historical and literary contexts, as well as interpretations of religious meaning. Presents modern methods of biblical study, including Roman Catholic, Protestant and Jewish scholarship. Fulfills general education requirement for 200-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-202 Religion Exper of Mankind

RST-203 Christian Religion Exper

RST-204 Christian Religion Exper

RST-210 Intro Paul & Writings

RST-271 Hrs:theologicl Invstgat

RST-299 DA Religious Studies-Lower

Degree Audit

RST-300 American Catholicism

Studies Roman Catholicism in the United States. Topics include the history of American Catholic self-understanding; the influence of the Catholic Church on politics, education and social issues; and an examination of American Catholic socio-religious issues. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [ 3 credits ]

RST-303 Christian Ethics

Presents a historical overview of Christian ethics as presented by the Bible, Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin and contemporary figures. Examines selected topics in sexual ethics, bioethics and social ethics. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and values. [3 credits]

RST-304 Christian Social Ethics

Provides students with an opportunity to understand and evaluate various Christian positions on a range of contemporary moral issues related to life in society. Examines selected topics in economic ethics, social ethics and political ethics. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and values. [3 credits]

RST-305 Marriage & Family

Explores marriage as a covenant, human institution and Christian sacrament. Issues include sexuality, human intimacy, responsible parenting and family life. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and gender studies. [3 credits]

RST-306 Christian Bioethics

Provides students with an opportunity to understand and evaluate various Christian positions on a range of contemporary moral issues related to biology, technology and medicine. Examines selected topics in the ethics of reproduction, genetics and research, end-of-life care, and the allocation of scarce resources. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and values. [3 credits]

RST-307 The Question of God

Studies the three persons of God in the Christian tradition from the viewpoint of contemporary scholarship. Historical, biblical and contemporary images of the three persons of God are considered. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-308 Gender and Power in the Book of Genesis

Examines the book of Genesis in depth both in its historical context and its interpretive history. Explores how gender is constructed in the book of Genesis and the impact of that construction on identity, social status, and interpersonal relationships. Considers the questions of what it means to be a man or a woman and whether these definitions are fixed or dynamic. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and gender studies. [3 credits]

RST-309 Revelation and the Apocalyptic Imagination

Examines the book of Revelation and its historical context and evaluates its interpretation over time. Explores the dynamics of apocalyptic theology from early Judaism to the present, and considers whether and how one can read Revelation responsibly. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-310 Church History

A study of the growth of Christianity from its beginnings to the time of the Great Reform. It will focus especially on those persons and events whose influence shaped the churches of today and whose ideas are at the root of many contemporary faith questions.

RST-311 World Religions

Considers the concept of God and perennial religious questions as found in such religions as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Judaism. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and cross-cultural studies. [3 credits]

RST-312 Sin and Grace

Presents a historical overview of traditional Christian understandings of original sin and grace as presented by the Bible, Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther and the Council of Trent. Explores contemporary interpretations of original sin and grace by Roman Catholic, Protestant, feminist and liberation theologians. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-315 Old Testament

Explores the origin of the books of the Hebrew scriptures, also known as the Old Testament, in light of the history and culture of the people who produced them. Students will be able to identify major themes and characters and will become familiar with the relevant scholarly methodology. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-316 Psalms

Introduces the major types of psalms, their origins and their artistry, and the major biblical themes they encompass. Also discusses the continuing interpretive life of the psalms in Jewish and Christian worship, art, and literature. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-317 New Testament

Examines the literature of the early Christian church with an emphasis on content and composition in light of the history and culture of the people who produced them. Students will be able to identify major themes and characters and will become familiar with relevant scholarly methodology. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-318 Biblical Archaeology

Introduces essential knowledge of the documented history and material culture of the ancient Near East with particular focus on the land of ancient Israel. Also provides an introduction to the theories and methods of the discipline of archeology. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [ 3 credits ]

RST-320 Caregiving at the End of Life Honors: Caregiving at the End of Life

Explores a variety of theories and methods for carefiving at the end of life, and is designed for both nursing and non-nursing students. The course will explore the medicalization of death, structural inequalities in access to medical care, palliative and hospice care for people facing terminal illness, and clinical dimensions of death and dying. Course will focus on contemplative practices that enable caregivers to care for themselves and provide effective support for patients and their loved ones. Course will introduce various religious and spiritual perspectives on dying, death, and the afterlife, and learn about rituals for grief and mourning. Fulfills general education requirement in 300-400 level RST. [ 3 credits ]

RST-325 Jesus Christ

Studies the person and work of Jesus Christ from the viewpoint of contemporary scholarship. The course explores the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and his central significance for Christian faith as found in the Christian scriptures, in the history of Christological doctrine, and in contemporary Christology. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-327 John's Gospel and Epistles

Studies the biblical literature traditionally attributed to the disciple John, and considers the continuing interpretive life of these texts both inside and outside the Christian tradition. Emphasis is on the historical developments of the ancient "community of the beloved disciple" and the historical roots of that community. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-330 Comparative Religious Studies

A study of the ethics of major world religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The possibility of a global ethics based on the world religions wil also be explored. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills General Education Requirement Cross-cultural Studies and Values and 300/400 level course. 3 credits.

RST-331 Comparative Religious Ethics

Provides students with the opportunity to understand and evaluate various religious positions on a range of contemporary moral issues. Examines Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist perspectives on selected topics in sexual ethics, bioethics and social ethics. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies, values and cross-cultural studies. [3 credits]

RST-340 Women in World Religions

Provides the opportunity for students to evaluate the impact of world religions upon women in Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Students will engage primary and secondary source material to better understand the historical and theological contexts within which the world religions view women. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and gender studies. [3 credits]

RST-341 Theology of the Body

An exploration of the meaning of life lived in a human body. Topics include: creation in the image of God, freedom and person, gender and vocation, theobiology and sexuality. Primary attention is given to the impact of body theology on women's self-understanding. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and gender studies. [3 credits]

RST-345 Justice and Peace

Analyzes contemporary issues of justice and peace, including classism, racism, sexism and violence. Topics such as world hunger, terrorism and heterosexism will be considered from personal, communal and global perspectives within the context of theological and moral teachings of various religious traditions. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies, values and cross-cultural studies. [3 credits]

RST-347 Introduction to Spirituality

Considers the question: Are all persons spiritual by nature? This course explores the meaning and practice of spirituality in contemporary society, considering various religious traditions as well as newly developing forms of spiritual practice. Topics include diverse meditation practices, gender-based spirituality and spirituality for the sake of justice. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-350 Liberation Theologies: Black, Latin And Feminist

Examines Christian doctrine through the lens of liberation in black, Latin and feminist contexts. Considers historical, socio-political and theological perspectives. Gives particular attention to the situation of women. Prerequisite RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and cross-cultural studies. [ 3 credits ]

RST-355 Women in the Present and in the Judeo-Christian Tradition

Probes the mythical, biblical, theological and ecclesial influences under which women have lived through the centuries, as well as the prospect of a transformed future based on contemporary movements in church and state. Service-learning course. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [ 3 credits ]

RST-360 Islam

Examines the foundation, beliefs and practices of this major religion. Issues include the place of women in Islam, the world-wide spread of Islam and the challenges of modernism. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies and cross-cultural studies. [3 credits]

RST-361 African American Religions

Studies African-American Christianity in the United States, historically and experientially. The course explores African and slave roots, historical and political contexts, the centrality of Jesus and the Bible, and themes of liberation and protest. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and cross-cultural studies. [3 credits]

RST-370 Christian Hope

Presents an historical overview of the Christian understanding of hope. The course will explore themes central to the Christian theological tradition's understanding of death, resurrection, heaven, hell and the fulfillment of history from personal and communal perspectives. Focus will be given to biblical origins, historical developments, and contemporary interpretations. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-377 Honors: Heritage: Civilization and the Jews

Examines the historical, religious and cultural development of the Jewish people from beginnings in the land of Israel, contacts with Christianity and Islam, flowering in Spain and expulsion from Spain to the arrival of Jews in the Americas, the Holocaust and the State of Israel. Prerequisites: Morrissy scholar or permission and RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/ 400 level religious studies. [ 3 credits ]

RST-378 Holocaust

RST-390 Contemporary Spirituality

Considers the question: Are all persons spiritual by nature? This course explores the meaning and practice of spirituality in contemporary society, considering various religious traditions as well as newly developing forms of spiritual practice. Topics include diverse meditation practices, gender-based spirituality for the sake of justice. Open to Accelerated College students only. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and gender studies. [3 credits]

RST-399 DA Religious Studies-Upper Le

Degree Audit

RST-401 Topics in Religion

Investigates one specific topic, significant movement or writer, providing an opportunity to consider a matter of interest in depth. May be taken more than once on different topics. Recent courses included: Jewish Thought and Culture, DaVinci Code: Fact or Fiction, and Life and Legacy of Pope John Paul II. Prerequisite: RST-201. Can fulfill general education requirement in cross-cultural studies (depending on topic) and 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-403 Problems in Discrimination and Prejudice

Studies the nature of discrimination and prejudice with emphasis on their theological and moral implications for Christians today. Forms of discrimination such as those manifested in racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and ageism are treated. Service-learning course. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400 level religious studies, gender studies, cross-cultural studies and values. [ 3 credits ]

RST-405 Protestantism, Catholicism and Judaism in the United States

Investigates the origin and teachings of the main Protestant churches in the United States and their impact upon the development of American conscience and life. Discusses the effects of immigration, with particular emphasis on the arrival of Jews and Roman Catholics. Considers relationship of immigration, religion and politics, particularly since World War II. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400 level religious studies. [ 3 credits ]

RST-406 Fundamentalism

Following a historical review of the Evangelical roots of American Protestant Fundamentalism, the student will examine some of the crucial stances of this interdenominational religious movement: its unqualified acceptance and obedience to the Bible; its inroads into the political arena; its focus on the apocalyptic end of the world and how Fundamentalists maintain their faith despite outside pressures

RST-409 Death and Dying

Examines the phenomena and meanings attending death. What do religion and science tell us about the process of death? What are the various historical and contemporary beliefs about afterlife? The course focuses on dying persons, survivors, health care professionals and providers of death-related services. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-411 Honors: Catholic Women Theologians

Critically engages recent influential works by major Catholic women theologians in the United States, such as Elizabeth Johnson, Margaret Farley, and Lisa Sowle Cahill. Specific topics to be considered include the theology of God, sexual ethics, bioethics, and social ethics. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements in 300-400 level RST, values and gender studies; Morrissy students only. [ 3 credits ]

RST-415 Church

Presents an historical overview of the development of traditional Christian understandings of the nature and function of the church as presented by the New Testament, Augustine of Hippo, Martin Luther, the First Vatican Council, and the second Vatican Council. The course will explore contemporary interpretations of the church by Roman Catholic, Protestant, feminist, liberation, and non-Western theologians. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-421 Christian Worship

Provides opportunities for studying and experienc-ing the diversity within worship practices among Christians. The course examines the history of worship from pre-Christian times to the present with an emphasis on communal rituals such as baptism and communion. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-424 Creation, Ecology and Theology

Reinterprets various Christian doctrines considered through the lens of ecology and the contemporary ecological crisis. Doctrines examined include creation, the human person, God, sin and redemption. Service-learning course. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-427 Study Tour

Provides opportunities to visit and study regions of importance for religious studies. Tours are organized and directed by members of the department and offered periodically in summer and winter. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and cross-cultural studies. [3 credits]

RST-430 Topics in Pauline Theology

Explores the apostle Paul's life, mission, and letters, as well as his historical and social context. Examines the development of his theology on such topics as faith, law, salvation, spirituality, and life in community. Considers the diversity of the early Christian Church and how others eceived and interpreted Paul's message. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-431 Teaching Religion to Adolescents

Explores the spiritual and religious development of faith in the life of adolescents. The course draws upon studies in spirituality, psychology and sociology to determine the optimal approach for assisting teens in their religious and moral choices. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-432 Faith Development of Children and Adolescents

Explores the development of religious and spiritual understanding in the lives of children until they reach young adulthood. We will examine various ways that parents, teachers and others can engage in meaningful conversation or teaching with children about matters of faith. While the course focuses on Christian religious tradition, individuals may consider other faith traditions in the required research. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-433 Teaching Religion to Children

Provides opportunities to practice teaching religious and moral content to children. The practical application is based on the study of spiritual and religious development of faith in the lives of children from pre-school to middle school ages. The course prepares parents, catechetical instructors and elementary school teachers to approach religious topics suitably and at age-appropriate levels. Pre-requisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-438 Catechetical Theory

A survey of the history and evolution of catechetical theory in the Church with emphasis on post-Vatican development and current positions and trends.

RST-442 Ecumenical Spirit

The course examines developments in the fractured faith community from tentative beginnings to the present with its hopes and challenges. In recent times, new movements in the Protestant, Orthodox and Roman Catholic communities have altered the climate of contemporary Christianity and paved the way for facing future challenges.

RST-445 Islamic Perspectives on Peace And Conflict

Focuses on the teachings of Islam on peace from the Qur'an and the Sunnah (words and deeds of Muhammad). Considers also the contradictory passages in the Qur'an and Sunnah about peace and conflict, the interpretation of Islam in various parts of the world today, and the practice of Islam by extremists and fundamentalists. Examines in depth the meaning of "jihad," often misinterpreted as "holy war." This course will explore some tenets of Islamic religion and thought in the context of Islamic history and Middle Eastern Culture. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and cross-cultural studies. [3 credits]

RST-450 Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Examines the three faiths that claim Abraham as their father from historical, contemporary, scriptural, and cultural perspectives. Looks at origins as well as theological similarities and differences, using the Bible and the Qur'an as well as other sources. Prerequisite: RST 201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and cross-cultural studies. [3 credits]

RST-452 Buddhism and Christianity

Introduces the Christian and Buddhist traditions in comparison with each other, as valuable paths to God. Examines the wisdom sayings of Buddha and Jesus, as well as parallel concepts such as Christian self-kenosis and Buddhist emptiness. Prerequisite: RST 201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and cross-cultural studies. [3 credits]

RST-460 Capstone Experience

Provides students with the opportunity to reflect on their religious studies program and synthesize what they have learned. The capstone experience has three related components: a portfolio preparation workshop and compilation of a portfolio, an interview with department faculty, and a presentation to department faculty, current religious studies students and alumnae. Required of all religious studies majors and liberal arts majors with a primary track in religious studies, and typically completed during the student's final semester. [1 credit]

RST-463 Independent Study

Provides an opportunity for individual study of an area or topic of special interest in religious studies. Usually involves research under the guidance of a faculty member of the department. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-465 Directed Readings: Selected Topics in Religion

Provides an opportunity for individual study of an area or topic of special interest in religious studies. Usually involves regular discussions of written works with a faculty member of the department. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-471 Honors: Theological Investigations

Engages students in the exploration of current scholarship about a person, event or topic of religious or theological significance. The topic for spring 2013 will be Catholic Women Theologians. Prerequisite: Morrissy scholar or permission. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400 level religious studies. [3 credits]

RST-501 Topics in Religious Studies

RST-527 Study Tour

RST-533 Jerusalem, Holy City of Three Religions

Explores the power of religious symbolism and the history of the city from the time of Abraham to the present (some 3,700 years). The course also takes a quick glance at the geographical factors that have affected the city?s fate and concentrates on the reasons that Jews, Christians and Muslims call it the Holy City. Texts, ancient and modern, archeological, sociological and religious, will help us to understand the rootedness of Judaism, Christianity and Islam in "Jerusalem the Golden." Each student will choose a topic for an oral presentation and research paper. [ 3 credits ]

RST-543 Religion and Society

Presents contemporary approaches to religious social ethics in North America, for example, Christian realism, Christian pacifism, liberation theology, Catholic social thought, Jewish social ethics, and Islamic social ethics. Explores the diverse ways these approaches understand and evaluate issues related to war and peace and economic justice. [ 3 credits ]

RST-550 Scripture and Interpretation

Introduces the history of biblical interpretation and gives special emphasis to the intersection of Roman Catholic interpretation and modern critical scholarship. This course deepens familiarity with different kinds of biblical texts and the various ways of bringing out the meaning of those texts. [ 3 credits ]

RST-551 Christian Theology

This course surveys basic theological topics such as faith and revelation, Jesus and salvation, the triune God, church and sacraments, and sin and grace, with an emphasis on theological method. It attends to various contextual influences upon contemporary Catholic systematic theology, including historical consciousness, global suffering, and cultural and religious pluralism. [ 3 credits ]

RST-552 American Catholic Identity

This course explores Catholic identity within the framework of Roman Catholicism in the United States. It examines the historical formation of Catholic self-understanding in the context of American culture, from colonial times to the present, and considers present challenges to Catholic identity, including religious pluralism in the United States. [ 3 credits ]

RST-553 Spirituality of Christian Life

This course examines Christian life through study of the historical and theological developments of communal worship and the nature and practice of spirituality. Topics include prayer, sacraments, spiritual practice and faith-based outreach examined through the lens of Roman Catholic history and tradition. [ 3 credits ]

RST-554 Justice and Peace Education

This course explores contemporary social issues through the lens of Catholic social teaching. In addition to theological examination of issues related to justice and peace, the course will explore practical methods for introducing and deepening education for social justice in the classroom, the school, and the larger community. [ 3 credits ]

RST-555 Christian Ethics

This course provides an introduction to contemporary theological ethics through an examination of basic approaches, including divine command ethics, natural law ethics, liberation ethics, and virtue ethics. It explores selected applied issues in sex and gender ethics, bioethics, economic ethics, and political ethics from both Roman Catholic and Protestant perspectives. [ 3 credits ]

RST-571 Rel Perspectives on Aging

Students examine perspectives of major religions on adulthood and the aging process. Camparative study is made of religious approaches to questions and problems such as the meaning of life and human morality, personal loss in old age, intergenerational responsibilities, and other life-issues in middle and late adulthood. Students explore how different religions enable men and women to live full lives. 3 credits.