The nature, content, and problems of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, with attention given to historical data, literary forms, and ancient Near Eastern cultural backgrounds.
Offered every even-numbered year.
The origin and development of the phenomenon of prophecy as it existed throughout the history of ancient Israel.
Origins of the religion of ancient Israel, its emergence from and continuities with ancient West Semitic religion and culture. Historical and comparative methods, emphasizing current knowledge of Near Eastern history and religions contemporary with ancient Israel.
Offered every odd-…
Course covers the biblical books that are not covered in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible Literature (the narrative books) and Prophetic Literature of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (the prophets). Included are poetry (Psalms), wisdom (Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes), and the Five Scrolls (Song of Songs…
Study of a particular book, theme, or period in the Hebrew Bible (Tanak, Old Testament), focusing on both the Bible in its context in the ancient Near East and its influence in later literature and history. Study of the Biblical text through archaeological, theological, literary, and historical…
Portrayals and views of women, and women's views, in the Hebrew Bible and related literature. The selection of texts will highlight a particular set of themes each semester.
A selection of Iconic female agents mainly in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, their characterization, their social worlds, and the use to which the writers put these, in the context of ancient literature.
Offered spring semester every even-numbered year.
Apocalyptic literature from its origins in the sixth and fifth centuries BCE down to its flourishing in Hellenistic and Roman times. Texts to be studied include Isaiah 24-27, 40-66, Zechariah 9-14, Joel, Malachi, Daniel, I Enoch, IV Ezra, Baruch, Qumran material, Mark 13 and the Book of…
The interaction of Jewish history and Western civilization, with emphasis upon the development of Jewish religion in the biblical, rabbinic, and modern periods.
The background and legacy of the destruction of European Jewry from 1933 to 1945. Topics include: the historical context, Holocaust art, literature, and film, the reactions of rescuers and bystanders, and theological issues raised by the Holocaust.
An examination of what it means, and has meant, to be a Jew in the United States, with emphasis upon the historical experience and religious expressions of American Jews.
Offered every odd-numbered year.
This course treats issues in which law and religion meet, overlap, and conflict within Israel. Topics include medical issues (end-of-life, abortion, surrogacy), religious control disputes, the restriction of non-Orthodox movements, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Readings include primary…
Examines biblical law in its background in legislative traditions starting in the 3rd millennium BCE. Also examines how law codes relate to one another, changing social realities and administration. Also, how legal history reflects religion and social theory in antiquity.
Examines Judaism and Jews with reference to internal and external relationships in particular historical and contemporary contexts. Topics may include religion, theology, community, interfaith relations, literature, social location, and even internal Jewish heterodoxy from the birth of Judaism…
The nature, content, and problems of New Testament literature, with particular attention given to its canonization and textual transmission.
Although primarily a study of what Jesus taught, attention is given to the literary and environmental background of his teaching, the historical life of the teacher, and the contemporary validity of what he taught.
An historical-exegetical study of the life and letters of Paul, the relation between Acts and the Pauline epistles, early non-Pauline Gentile Christianity, Pauline theology, and its lasting impression on Christianity.
Offered spring semester every odd-numbered year.
The political, social and religious influences on the New Testament writings. Special attention is given to intertestamental Judaism and Hellenistic and Roman religion as background to New Testament Christianity.
A study of the four New Testament gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). An examination of the genre of these writings, their historical contexts, theories about their formation, their primary themes, methods used for interpreting them, and signficant scholarly interpretations of these books…
Examines some critical issues and key themes associated with the Gospel of John, includes an extensive examination of the full text of the gospel with reference to several commentaries, and devotes some attention to the epistles of John.
Offered spring semester every even-numbered year.…
Study of a particular book, theme, period, or method in the field of New Testament Studies/Early Christianity.
Not offered on a regular basis.
Students will read through selections from the Greek New Testament or Septuagint in Greek. While attention will be given to issues of interpretation, the course will focus on Greek translation, grammar, and syntax.
Offered every year.
The doctrine of the Trinity is one of the most unique and fundamental aspects of Christian theology. This course provides a survey of trinitarian discourse from its ancient roots and medieval developments through its 20th-century revival and contemporary formulations and practical implications…
In an era marked by profound and often deepening environmental, social, and economic crises, we are challenged to seek sustainable solutions to these issues. This course surveys, analyzes, evaluates, and applies ways in which various Christian thinkers and communities define these local and…
A survey of the leading theologians of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations of the sixteenth century.
Offered fall semester every odd-numbered year.
The development of Christian thought from the first through the fourteenth century as expressed in the writings and practices of the Christian community and its leading thinkers.
The development of Christian thought from the fifteenth century to the present as expressed in the writings and practices of the Christian community and its leading thinkers.
An examination of major themes in Roman Catholic theology, with emphases on the United States and how Catholic theology differs from Protestant theology.
An exploration of the theology of sex and marriage in Christianity from the patristic period to the contemporary church.
The relationship between women and Christianity, particularly concerning matters involving gender equality in church and society.
An exploration of biblical and other literature in the first five hundred years of Christianity focused on examining women's participation and leadership.
Major and innovative religious organizations, ideas, movements, and personalities as they express themselves in particular religious settings as well as the manner in which they have influenced other aspects of American culture.
An introduction to some of the major issues in Christian feminist theology, including both critical and constructive feminist approaches to the doctrine of God, Christology, and theological anthropology.
Examination of the meaning of being "human" in the past, present, and future. Emphasizing contemporary scientific, philosophical, and theological sources, the course is framed around the question of how Christian thinkers today understand Homo sapiens as a species that has evolved to bear the…
An examination of American religious beliefs, practices, and organizations from an anthropological perspective.
Focuses on the theological history of anthropology, illuminates deeply held theological assumptions that humans make about the nature of reality, and illustrates how these theological assumptions manifest themselves in society.
A biographical survey of significant Catholic figures in the Americas whose faith, thought, and actions continue to shape our cultural landscape in the realms of cinema and television, politics, economics, morality, and religion. A multi-media approach showcases figures from Martin Sheen to…
The religious traditions of African Americans from Colonial times to the present; major religious movements, personalities, and ideas and their relationship to various aspects of American culture.
The origins, growth, and current practices of religion in the American South. The interaction between religion and other aspects of Southern culture, such as racial and gender concerns, education, Darwinian science, temperance, and politics.
Biblical interpretation in black America from 1865 to the present.
Examines the relationship between the Civil Rights Movement and religion through the words and activities of Martin Luther King, Jr. during the 1950s and 1960s and poses questions regarding the continuing impact of religion on the quest for racial freedom and vice versa.
An examination of the history of selected Caribbean religions from the European conquest to the twentieth century. Haitian Vodou, Cuban Santería, Jamaican Rastafarianism, and Spiritism will receive special attention. An exploration of the cultural processes (creolization, syncretism, etc.) that…
Islam as a religious and sociocultural phenomenon. The fundamental principles of the Islamic faith, Qu'ran, the Sunna of Muhammad, Islamic sectarianism, Islamic law, theology, and mysticism, and themes in Islamic art. The course will also survey Islam in its various forms throughout the world.…
Islamic scholarship from the eighth through the fourteenth centuries. Principal topics covered will include the Qur'an and Qur'anic exegesis, the Hadith tradition, Islamic law, theology, philosophy, and Sufi mysticism.
Islamic modernism and revivalism as a response to Western cultural penetration since the eighteenth century. Subjects covered will include Sufi reformism, Wahhabism, the Salafiyya movement, Islamic "Fundamentalism," the Iranian Revolution, women's rights, and Western perceptions of Islam.
Islamic mysticism, both as a set of metaphysical doctrines and as it is expressed in religious practices. Particular attention will be given to the doctrinal development of Sufism, its literature, major figures, and the process of consciousness transformation.
Offered every odd-numbered…
Historical, thematic study of the Islamic sacred text, the Koran, including textual history, its compilation, and the stages that led to its printed form. There will also be an introduction to basic technical terms of the Koranic sciences, Koranic hermeneutics, and Arabic script and phonology.…
Historical, thematic, detailed study of the life of Mohammad, the prophet of Islam, from earliest sources. An examination of biographical (sirah) material, the Transmitted Traditions (hadith), and debates about the Traditions. The introduction to Arabic script and phonology will permit students…
The major genres of Islamic literature and its principle concepts, covering Qur'anic, hadith, legal and political literature, philosophy, theology, historiography, hagiography, and poetry, emphasizing the Medieval period and mystical prose and poetry primarily in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish.…
An examination of Islam and Islamic culture in Morocco. The course covers basic Islamic beliefs and practices and the most significant aspects of Islamic culture in Morocco, such as music, art, and architecture.
This is a maymester summer abroad program and will thus entail, with the…
The nature of early primitive religions and the main outlines of the chief living religions of the world. The method will be both historical and analytical.
Buddhism from its origin in the life and teachings of the Buddha through the period of philosophical ferment in India, and its thought and institutions in the East and the West up to the present.
Confucianism and its place in traditional Chinese religion, thought, and culture. Emphasis on the teachings of foundational thinkers such as Confucius, Mencius, and Hsun-tzu.
Taoism and its place in traditional Chinese religion, thought, and culture. Emphasis on the classical texts, Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu; the evolution of the later Taoist religion; and the many varieties of Taoist spirituality.
Religion in Japan from earliest times to the present, with emphasis upon Shinto, the domestication of Buddhism, and the relationship of religion to the Japanese state and "national identity." Particular attention given to the development of Zen in Japan.
Offered every odd-numbered year.…
The variety of ritual practices employed by Buddhists around the world. An examination of both ritual studies generally and Buddhist rituals in specific.
An in-depth study of Hinduism. The philosophy, ritual, iconography, literature, architecture, and social theory of Hinduism, a form of religion and culture that have dramatically shaped the history of South Asia and beyond.
Focus is on Gandhi's life, work, and teachings examining his historical context; central religious and ethical ideas; campaigns toward nonviolent social transformation and Indian independence; his roles as religious thinker, social reformer, and political strategist; the cross-cultural reach of…
The meaning, nature, and validity of religious discourse, beliefs, and practices, involving theories concerning the existence and nature of God and humanity's relation to God.
The basic contours of thought and practice of selected Indian religions, including the Vedas, Upanishads, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sufism, Sikhism, and the epic and poetic traditions.
The aims, methods, and content of theology as related to the theistic religions of humanity.
The relation of theology to philosophy, science, technology, and the arts, with special attention to the theological attempts to deal with the impact of science and technology upon culture and civilization.
What do religions say about women? What do women say about religions? This class will examine women’s lives in a variety of religious traditions around the world.
An examination of religious themes in literature, focusing on religion generally, not a particular religion. The Enlightenment challenge to religion and literature's dealings with that challenge; identity in modern and postmodern fiction and world, community and modernity; and orthodox and…
A survey of popular Christian readings highlighting contemporary Christian theological debates and their relationships to historical Christian doctrine.
Offered fall semester every even-numbered year.
An exploration of various topics linking the languages of science and religion in the ancient world. For example, the relationships among Babylonian astrology and omenology, and Biblical and Greek thought, in the 8th-6th centuries BCE (the "Axial Age"), focusing on cosmology. Socially…
The social, cultural, and economic influences on canon formation and on canon reformation in various cultures. The valences of canon in such environments and its impact on society.
The study of classical Sanskrit through an emphasis on reading texts. As such, it is an examination of both the religious language and literature of India.
A continuation of Sanskrit for Religious Studies I. It further examines the elements of classical Sanskrit through an emphasis on reading texts and continues treatment of both the religious language and literature of India.
Diasporic movement, sustainability, modifications, syncretic tendencies of African Derived Religions in the Americas, especially Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, and North America.
Examination of African doctrines, death, muses of death, categories of death, rites, final judgment, reincarnation, and the ancestral cult.
Anthropological approaches to the world's major religions as they relate to complex societies.
Not offered on a regular basis.
Special topics in Native American Studies.
Individual reading and study in Native American Studies under the direction of a project director.
Directed study. Will support new certificate in Native American Studies.
Topics and problems concerning Judaism, with emphasis upon extensive reading in primary sources and individual and/or group research projects. Selection of topics will vary with instructor and interest of students.
Topics and problems concerning Christianity, with emphasis upon extensive reading in primary sources and individual and/or group research projects. Selection of topics will vary with instructor and interest of students.
Topics and problems concerning religions of the Americas with emphasis upon extensive reading in primary sources and individual and/or group research projects. Selection of topics will vary with instructor and interest of students.
Topics and problems concerning indigenous religions and/or other religious studies with emphasis upon extensive reading in primary sources and individual and/or group research projects. Selection of topics will vary with instructor and interest of students.
Not offered on a regular basis…
Topics and problems concerning religions of India, China, and Japan, with emphasis upon extensive reading in primary sources and individual and/or group research projects. Selection of topics will vary with instructor and interest of students.
9 hours lab per week. Not offered on a…
Research while enrolled for a master's degree under the direction of faculty members.
Independent research under the direction of a faculty member.
Advanced supervised experience in an applied setting. This course may not be used to satisfy a student's approved program of study.
Thesis writing under the direction of the major professor.
Independent research and thesis preparation.
Materials, techniques, and objectives for teaching introductory undergraduate courses in religious studies. Particular attention given to presenting lectures, leading discussions, constructing examinations, incorporating instructional technology, and dealing with issues of classroom management…
An examination of religions historically and today as global phenomena: communities and traditions with changing and interacting boundaries. Focuses on religion in plural societies, diasporas, and transnational religions; on the Ancient Near East, Africa, China, Japan, and the Americas; and on…
Canons in all dimensions, a field with unbroken ground. Case studies involve canon formation and institutionalization; canon's social effects, among them bonding and stratification; its impact on intellectual development, and hermeneutics. Redefining and engaging so multivalent a subject invites…
Examines religion and globalization covering an introduction to the history of and the discourse on globalization and contemporary theorists and issues emerging in religion from globalization. Readings such as Giorgio Agamben, Oserhammel and Petersson, and Eboo Patel.
An examination of religion and culture in North, Central, Caribbean, and South America, focusing on the following six themes: religion and colonization; religion and cultural contact and interactions; religion and conflict; religion and popular culture; religion, science, and technology; and…
Examination of fundamental beliefs and practices of African traditional religion in traditional and contemporary settings depicting transitional dynamics, religious significance, and relevance in global religious traditions.
A study of religious traditions in Africa with focus on advents, contacts, common grounds in religious beliefs, practices, and teachings. Referencing African Traditional Religion, Christianity, and Islam, this course examines themes such as faith, worship, concepts of creation, sin, salvation,…
An in-depth survey and examination of the identification, origins, formations, and developments of African Derived Religions outside the African Continent. It focuses on the religious and social emancipation and identity issues fostered by the religions in their different locations, particularly…
Major issues in Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) and/or New Testament research. Pentateuchal criticism, prophecy, apocalyptic movements, wisdom literature, the history of Religion of Ancient Israel, the text of the New Testament, the canon of the New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Jesus, and Paul.…
A major field or issue in Judaic studies such as Rabbinic literature, Jewish Mysticism, or Post-Holocaust Theology, or a particular Jewish thinker or school of thought. Some topics will require a reading knowledge of Hebrew.
1 hours lecture and 2 hours lab per week. Offered every odd-…
Major issues in Islamic studies, Qur'anic exegesis, Islamic law, philosophy, history, literature, hadith, sectarianism, and Sufism.
1 hours lecture and 2 hours lab per week. Offered every even-numbered year.
Issues in one or more religions of South or East Asia, focusing on textual, historical, and/or interpretive problems.
1 hours lecture and 2 hours lab per week. Not offered on a regular basis.
The life, thought, and religious activities of a selected major or innovative Christian leader and his/her impact on the development of Christianity.
Traditional and contemporary problems and topics in theology. Substantive and methodological issues will be addressed.
The works of Christian theologians both past and present. Substantive and methodological issues will be addressed.
1 hours lecture and 2 hours lab per week. Offered every odd-numbered year.
Major issues in arts, literature, and religion with concentration on cultural and theoretical literature. The course may involve a topic or concentrate on one or several key theorists in the study of religion and the arts.
Major topics in the philosophy of religion, such as the nature and existence of God, the problem of evil, and the character of religious discourse.
Major issues in religion research. Topics will vary according to the area of discussion. Such areas will include biblical studies, religious history and philosophy, rabbinics, Islamics, Buddhism, canonical criticism.
Theories, methodologies, and issues involved in the academic study of religion. This course is required of graduate students in religion and open to students in other departments.
Research while enrolled for a doctoral degree under the direction of faculty members.
Independent research under the direction of a faculty member.
Dissertation writing under the direction of the major professor.
Independent research and preparation of the doctoral dissertation.
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UGA Course Schedules (Searchable)
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