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College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

Department of Religion and Culture

dancewww.rc.vt.edu

Brian Britt, Chair
Professors: B. Britt; E. Fine; E. Struthers Malbon; M. Saffle
Associate Professors: A. Abeysekara; M. Gabriele; A. Puckett; E. Satterwhite; P. Schmitthenner; R. Scott
Assistant Professors: A. Ansell; M. Murty; Z. Ni
Visiting Assistant Professor: Z. Dresser, R. Gross, R. Soni
Instructors: K. Fung; E. Hahn, M. Goodrum; R. Kauffman; C.J. Roberts; M. Schnitzer; J. Vance


Overview

    The Department of Religion and Culture critically investigates religion, culture, and their relationships by problematizing what is commonly considered self-evident, especially since these subjects are intrinsic to understanding the human condition both locally and globally. In our research, teaching, and engagement, we seek to craft and apply new forms of critical inquiry that advance integrative intellectual thought. These paths of inquiry inform our engagement with students, who become well prepared to understand complex transformations throughout their lives, whether they pursue graduate studies or other life trajectories.

    The department offers an undergraduate degree in Religion and Culture (RLCL) and minors in (alphabetically) American Studies, Appalachian Studies, Asian Area Studies, Humanities and the Arts, Judaic Studies, Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Middle East Studies, Popular Culture, and Religion.

    The department also offers an M.A. in Material Culture and Public Humanities, two graduate certificates--one in Religious Studies and the other in Material Culture and Public Humanities; and participates in the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought (ASPECT) Ph.D. program.

Religion and Culture Major (RLCL)

    The newly approved Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Culture (RLCL) combines the strengths of the Department of Religion and Culture in the humanities and the study of religion in order to provide students with opportunities to examine several of the twenty-first century’s most important global phenomena. Students completing this cutting-edge degree will explore the impact of religion and religious practices on politics, economics, the arts, and everyday life, as well as the impact of cultural shifts in moral and ethical practices, the arts, the dissemination of information and entertainment, and the influence of traditional values and attitudes within our emerging postmodern environment. Graduates will be prepared to contribute as employees and citizens to the state of Virginia, the United States, and indeed the world as all levels of society seek better ways to live and work together in the increasingly diverse contexts of the twenty-first century in which religion and culture will continue to interact in dramatic and changing ways.

    Most students who choose this major are more interested in developing complex problem solving skills, critical thinking, and acquiring a broad education, than in gaining specialized skills for a single occupation.  The global focus of the major affords career opportunities in education, business, government, industry, and the service and non-profit sectors. The major has a strong academic and career advising component.

Degree Requirements

    The requirements for the Religion and Culture major (RLCL) are completed by:

    1. Seven departmental core courses:

      RLCL 1004: Investigations in Religion and Culture
      RLCL 2004: Case Studies in Religion and Culture
      RLCL 1034: Religion in the Modern World
      HUM/RLCL 2504: Introduction to American Studies
      RLCL 3024: Religion and Literature
      HUM/RLCL 3204: Multicultural Communication
      RLCL 4324: Topics in Religion and Culture

    2. Four departmental elective courses, at least one of these at the 3000 level and another at the 4000 level

    3. Two foreign language courses; either two from the following in a single foreign language: 2105, 2106, 3105, 3106, or, at the university level, two introductory semesters of a foreign language (1105-1106) not used to satisfy the admissions requirement
    4. A minor or second major, chosen from any university-approved minor or major
    5. University and College Admissions Foreign Language Requirement
    6. Curriculum for Liberal Education

    A complete checksheet showing all degree requirements in detail is available on the department website and in 115 Lane Hall. 

Study Abroad

    Students are strongly encouraged to complete an approved study abroad program outside of the U.S.  Study abroad programs are occasionally run by faculty in the department.

Honors Program

    Eligible students are encouraged to participate in the University Honors Program. Completing a degree "In Honors" is an excellent way for outstanding students to integrate the knowledge from several disciplines. Honors students have considerable flexibility in completing the degree requirements.

Double Majors

    For information on earning a double major or second degree, contact the Department Chair. Since a requirement for the Religion and Culture major is completing a university minor or second major, students are encouraged to earn a second major.

Religion and Culture Minors

    The department offers the following minors. Additional information about each can be found on our website at www.rc.vt.edu/minors.html. Students in any major may opt to declare them as minors.

American Studies
Appalachian Studies
Asian Area Studies
Humanities and the Arts
Judaic Studies
Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Middle East Studies
Popular Culture
Religion

American Studies

    American studies is an interdisciplinary field that draws upon a number of academic disciplines, including history, literature, and sociology, to consider relationships between culture and society in the United States as it is embedded in global processes and issues.

    Coordinator: Emily Satterwhite

Appalachian Studies

    Appalachian Studies is an academic program supporting teaching, research, outreach, and service on topics pertaining to Appalachia in relation to pertinent transglobal issues. Appalachian Studies faculty focus on these issues from a critical regionalism perspective in which the relationship between these issues and region is considered problematic and open to investigation.

    The minor offers opportunities for community research, internships, and service-learning.

    Director: Anita Puckett

Asian Area Studies

    The interdisciplinary minor in Asian Area Studies focuses on the great cultural traditions of the Middle East, South Asia (including India), East Asia (China, Japan, Korea), Southeast Asia, and Central Asia. Students explore how various Asian traditions explain and represent this experience in literature, philosophy, religion, history, the social sciences, and the arts.

    Coordinators: Zhange Ni and Helen Schneider

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Humanities and the Arts

    The minor in Humanities and the Arts aims to acquaint students with the historical, critical, and practical dimensions of the arts, while simultaneously examining the relation of the arts to other human endeavors (cultural, philosophical, political, religious, scientific, and social).

    Coordinator: Michael Saffle

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Judaic Studies

    Endowed in 1996, the Malcolm and Diane Rosenberg Program in Judaic Studies offers students the opportunity to explore, examine, and critically engage the rich and multifaceted history, religion, and culture of the Jewish people. Judaic culture has significantly contributed to Western and other civilizations.

Coordinator: Rachel Gross

Medieval and Early Modern Studies

    Medieval & Early Modern Studies fosters an interdisciplinary approach to the Medieval and Early Modern Worlds (roughly 300-1700 C.E.).

    Coordinator: Matthew Gabriele

Middle East Studies

    The interdisciplinary minor in Middle East Studies allows students to gain a broad understanding and appreciation of the languages, religions, and cultures of the Middle East and of the region's history and its place in international relations.

    Coordinator: Rachel M. Scott

Popular Culture

    The Minor in Popular Culture provides an understanding of the broadly shared cultures made possible by mass production. Popular culture includes all widely practiced and distributed expressions: news; entertainment; religion; sports; popular art; and styles of decoration, dress, and architecture.

    Coordinator: Emily Satterwhite

Religion

    By examining a diversity of traditions and viewpoints, a program in religious studies provides the resources for an intellectually responsible appraisal of one's own value commitments. A minor in Religion is part of a broad liberal arts education and may lead to graduate study in a variety of fields or to professional training in ministerial or social service vocations.

    Coordinator: Elizabeth Struthers Malbon

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Undergraduate Course Descriptions (APS)

1704 (HUM 1704): INTRODUCTION TO APPALACHIAN STUDIES
Traces the idea of Appalachia in American and world consciousness and its expression in the humanities and social sciences. Through comparison with other cultural groups, explores humanistic problems of cultural identity, race and ethnicity, globalization and place-based economic relations, and the bio-cultural impact of massive natural resource extraction. (3H,3C)

2974: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.

2974H: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Honors Variable credit course.

3464 (AHRM 3464) (GEOG 3464) (HD 3464) (HUM 3464) (SOC 3464) (UAP 3464): APPALACHIAN COMMUNITIES
The concept of community in Appalachia using an interdisciplinary approach and experiental learning. Interrelationships among geographically, culturally, and socially constituted communities, public policy, and human development. Pre: Junior standing. (3H,3C)

4034 (SOC 4054): APPALACHIAN LANGUAGES AND CULTURES
An empirical examination of how Appalachian speech both reflects and constitutes regional cultures. Emphasis is on applying sociological and anthropological methods and theories to the study of language in use. (3H,3C)

4094 (SOC 4094): APPALACHIAN COMMUNITY RESEARCH
Undergraduate participatory community research as applied to issues of cultural heritage, sustainability, and identity. Students engage in projects defined by community groups and organizations as being critical to their well-being, continuity, or growth. Emphasis is on developing concepts of civic professionalism and developmental democracy. (3H,3C)

4404 (HUM 4404): APPALACHIAN FOLK CULTURES
Examination of informal learning systems, non-commodified socioeconomic systems, and traditional aesthetic expressions in Appalachia. Investigation of cultural resistance to globalized market economies as expressed in traditional artifacts and customs. Pre: Junior standing. (3H,3C)

4414 (HUM 4414): ISSUES IN APPALACHIAN STUDIES
Topics course that examines major issues affecting sustainability and continuity of contemporary Appalachia. Focus is on problems of exploitation of human and natural resources. Comparison is made to other mountain communities worldwide. Specific topics vary. May be repeated one time with different topics. Pre: HUM 1704. (3H,3C)

4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.

4974H: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Honors Variable credit course.

4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.

4994H: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Honors Variable credit course.


Undergraduate Course Descriptions (HUM)

1114: INTRODUCTORY HUMANITIES: THE CLASSICAL AGE
The world of classical Athens through its embodiments in the arts, philosophy, politics, history, literature, and religion.  Emphasis on the interrelationships among the various forms of cultural expression and their contributions toward shaping the values and aspirations of the age. (3H,3C)

1134 (CLA 1134) (RLCL 1134): INTRODUCTORY HUMANTIES: THE ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN WORLD
Ancient Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman cultures through their embodiments in the arts, literature, history, philosophy, and religion.  Emphasis on the interrelationships among the various forms of cultural expression and material and intellectual encounters among diverse groups in the ancient Mediterranean world. (3H,3C)

1214 (RLCL 1214): INTRODUCTORY HUMANITIES: THE MEDIEVAL WORLD
The medieval synthesis in Western European thought and the transition to the world of the Renaissance.  Emphasis on the interrelationships among the arts, literature, philosophy, history, religion, and science, and their contributions toward shaping the values and aspirations of the age. (3H,3C)

1324: INTRODUCTORY HUMANITIES: THE MODERN WORLD
The shifts in thought and values over the past century in the Western imagination.  Emphasis on the interrelationships among the arts, literature, philosophy, history, religion, and science, and their contributions toward shaping the values and aspirations of the age. (3H,3C)

1604: INTRODUCTION TO HUMANITIES AND THE ARTS
Explores the verbal, visual, and aural arts of several important periods in Western history, setting them in the context of their times.  Introduces the structural principles of each art form. (3H,3C)

1704 (APS 1704): INTRODUCTION TO APPALACHIAN STUDIES
Traces the idea of Appalachia in American and world consciousness and its expression in the humanities and social sciences. Through comparison with other cultural groups, explores humanistic problems of cultural identity, race and ethnicity, globalization and place-based economic relations, and the bio-cultural impact of massive natural resource extraction. (3H,3C)

2104 (AINS 2104) (COMM 2104): ORAL TRADITIONS AND CULTURE
Examination of the world's great oral traditions, both ancient and contemporary. Emphasis on performance contexts, relationships among multicultural traditions, including American Indian oral traditions, and the relationships among orality, literacy, technology, media, and culture. (3H,3C)

2204: HUMANITIES AND THE ARTS: THE CREATIVE PROCESS
Explores the theory and the experience of the creative process.  Studies both essays on the process of creative activity and examples of its product.  Includes a personal creative project. (3H,3C)

2444 (CLA 2444) (ENGL 2444): ANCIENT GREEK AND ROMAN MYTHOLOGY
Survey of Ancient Greek and Roman mythology and modern interpretations. In English. No knowledge of Ancient Greek or Latin required. Not for credit toward a Latin Minor. (3H,3C)

2504 (RLCL 2504): INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN STUDIES
Methodology and tools of American Studies, emphasizing interrelations among social, cultural, and technological history, values, and artistic creation.  Intensive study of a specific topic or period in American culture since 1850. (3H,3C)

2514 (SOC 2514): ASIAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Critical overview of diverse Asian-American experience, the complexity of minority status, and meaningful citizenship in the USA.  Topics include different historical tracks of various Asian ethnicities, experience of racism, activism, cultural adaptation and conflict, and economic survival and success. (3H,3C)

2964: FIELD STUDY
Pass/Fail only. Variable credit course.

2974: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.

2974H: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.

2984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.

3034 (COMM 3034) (RLCL 3034): THEORIES OF POP CULTURE
Relationship of popular culture to communication; ways to classify, analyze, and evaluate popular culture; history of main themes with emphasis on the United States; cultural evolution of the electronic revolution. (3H,3C)

3044: TOPICS HUMANITIES AND ARTS
Focuses on interdisciplinary topics involving interrelationships among various arts and/or artists. Explores the religious and/or cultural impacts of arts and/or artists on societies and of societies on artistic expression. Investigates humanistic debates about the nature of art.  May be taken a maximum of 3 times for credit with different topics. (3H,3C)

3204 (COMM 3204) (RLCL 3204): MULTICULTURAL COMMUNICATION
Exploration of communication in various cultural groups through the medium of performance.  Emphasis on understanding cultural differences and similarities in styles of communication, aesthetics, worldviews, and values. (3H,3C)

3464 (AHRM 3464) (APS 3464) (GEOG 3464) (HD 3464) (SOC 3464) (UAP 3464): APPALACHIAN COMMUNITIES
The concept of community in Appalachia using an interdisciplinary approach and experiential learning. Interrelationships among geographically, culturally, and
socially constituted communities, public policy, and human development. Pre: Junior standing. (3H,3C)

3504 (HIST 3504) (RLCL 3504): THE AGE OF THE CRUSADES
The origins and development of religious violence examined from an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective; the place of that phenomenon in medieval society. Christianity, Islam, Judaism and their interactions in the medieval world. (3H,3C)

3704 (JUD 3704) (RLCL 3704): CHRISTIANS, JEWS, AND THE IDEA OF JUDEO-CHRISTIANITY
The relationship between Judaism and Christianity through time and the idea of Judeo-Christianity, all examined from an interdisciplinary academic perspective; the problems of the "separation" of Judaism and Christianity in antiquity and the Middle Ages and the religious and cultural implication of the relationship between Jews and Christians in the modern world. (3H,3C)

3954: STUDY ABROAD
Variable credit course.

4034 (COMM 4034) (RLCL 4034): FUNCTIONS OF POPULAR CULTURE
Popular culture as a humanistic discipline; emphasis on archetypes, formulas, and genres; the function of ideas, images, and icons on the popular imagination.
(3H,3C)

4044: TOPICS IN HUMANITIES AND FILM
This course introduces students to critical issues in film from a humanistic but interdisciplinary perspective, examining its production, consumption, and effects on various societies.  The specific thematic content is variable.  May be taken a maximum of three times for credit with different topics. (3H,3C)

4104: EXPLORATIONS IN ADVANCED HUMANITIES TOPICS
In-depth study of special interdisciplinary topics. Topics vary but involve a close and extensive study of the interrelationship between important cultural ideas and movements, and formative myths and values, and their expression in several of the following forms: literature, philosophy, religion, art, music, drama.  May be taken only once for credit. (3H,3C)

4404 (APS 4404): APPALACHIAN FOLK CULTURES
Examination of informal learning systems, non-commodified socioeconomic systems, and traditional aesthetic expressions in Appalachia. Investigation of cultural resistance to globalized market economics as expressed in traditional artifacts and customs. Pre: Junior standing. (3H,3C)

4414 (APS 4414): ISSUES IN APPALACHIAN STUDIES
Topics course that examines major issues affecting sustainability and continuity of contemporary Appalachia. Focus is on problems of exploitation of human and natural resources. Comparison is made to other mountain communities worldwide. Specific topics vary. May be repeated one time with different topics. Pre: 1704.
(3H,3C)

4964: FIELD STUDY
Pass/Fail only. Variable credit course.

4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.

4974H: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.

4984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.

4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.

4994H: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.



Undergraduate Course Descriptions (JUD)

1104 (HEB 1104): INTRODUCTION TO HEBREW LANGUAGE, CIVILIZATION AND CULTURE
Fundamentals of Modern Hebrew language with emphasis on grammar, reading, composition, and conversation.  For students with no prior knowledge of the language. (3H,3C)

1114 (HEB 1114): ACCELERATED ELEMENTARY HEBREW LANGUAGE
Complementary introduction to the fundamentals of Modern Hebrew language with continued emphasis on grammar, reading, composition, and conversation.  This course is for students who have completed 1104 or with permission from instructor. 1114 is a four-credit course with a self-instruction component that demands student time outside of class.
Pre: 1104. (3H,2L,4C)

2134 (RLCL 2134): JUDAISM: A SURVEY OF HISTORY, CULTURE AND HERITAGE
A thematic and historical introduction to ancient, medieval, and modern Judaism, up to the founding of the State of Israel.  Themes will include monotheism, exile, mysticism, Kabbala, Hasidism, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and Judaism in Israel and America. (3H,3C)

2414 (RLCL 2414): HEBREW BIBLE/OLD TESTAMENT
Introduction to the academic study of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament); a variety of scholarly approaches to the Bible, including historical-critical, literary, and gender studies. Emphasis on developing skills in critical thinking, reading, and writing about the Bible. (3H,3C)

2974: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.

2974H: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.

2984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.

3404 (RLCL 3404): TORAH AND TRADITION
Detailed study of the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah or Pentateuch.  Scholarly approaches will include historical-critical research; comparative mythology; form and canon criticism; gender and literary studies; and the reception of these books in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and beyond. Pre: REL 2414. (3H,3C)

3494 (HIST 3494) (RLCL 3494): THE HOLOCAUST
This course provides a historical account, a psychological analysis, and an occasion for philosophical contemplation on the Holocaust.  We will examine the deliberate and systematic attempt to annihilate the Jewish people by the National Socialist German State during World War II. Although Jews were the primary victims, Gypsies, the handicapped, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses and political dissidents were targeted; we will discuss their fate as well.  The class will be organized around the examination of primary sources: written accounts, photographic and film, personal testimony. (3H,3C)

3544 (PSCI 3544) (RLCL 3544): THE STATE OF ISRAEL: A POLITICAL HISTORY
This course provides a survey on the political history of the State of Israel and highlights major themes uniquely characterizing the specific events surrounding its establishment and its first 50 years of existence. Additionally, the course will add a comparative dimension by using the political history of Israel as a case study to discuss major themes in political science such as democracy, government, political economy, etc.
Pre: 2134 or PSCI 1024. (3H,3C)

3704 (HUM 3704) (RLCL 3704): CHRISTIANS, JEWS, AND THE IDEA OF JUDEO-CHRISTIANITY
The relationship between Judaism and Christianity through time and the idea of Judeo-Christianity, all examined from an interdisciplinary academic perspective; the problems of the "separation" of Judaism and Christianity in antiquity and the Middle Ages and the religious and cultural implication of the relationship between Jews and Christians in the modern world. (3H,3C)

4424: ADVANCED TOPICS IN JEWISH CULTURE, HISTORY & THOUGHT
Selected topics in Jewish culture, history and thought.  The courses will focus on a variety of more advanced and more specific issues than those offered in JUD 3424.  These courses will be held as an in-depth seminar in affiliation with the Honor Student's Program.  Possible topics include: the Philosophy of Maimonides, Spinoza or Buber, or a course dedicated to one of the following topics Kabbalah, Hasidism, The American Jewish experience in the first half of the 20th century, and Oriental Jewish art and folklore.  Two JUD courses or senior standing required.  Alternate years. (3H,3C)

4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.

4974H: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.

4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.

4994H: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.



Undergraduate Course Descriptions (RLCL)


1004: INVESTIGATIONS IN RELIGION AND CULTURE
Introduction to the study of religion and culture through multiple academic approaches in humanities and social sciences. Critical investigations of appropriate issues through scholarly collaboration, with emphasis on reading, discussions, and undergraduate research. (3H,3C)

1014: ASIAN RELIGIONS
The nature of "religion." approaches to understanding "religion," traditional and contemporary features of Asian "religions" (including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto), including their manifestations in the USA and their involvement in critical issues in a global context. (3H,3C)

1024: JUDAISM, CHRISITIANITY, ISLAM
The nature of "religion," approaches to understanding  "religion," traditional and contemporary features of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, including their manifestations in the USA and their involvements in critical issues in a global context. (3H,3C)

1024H: JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM
The nature of "religion" approaches to understanding "religion," traditional and contemporary features of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, including their manifestations in the USA and their involvements in critical issues in global context. (3H,3C)

1034: RELIGION AND THE MODERN WORLD
Modern challenges to traditional and responses to these challenges, including conservative, liberal, and radical responses; science and religion; issues of race and gender; church and state issues.(3H,3C)

1044: RELIGIOUS ETHICS
Influential representative social and religious ethical perspectives from the mid-sixties to the present; ethical reasoning on current pressing and perennial social issues based on historical and ethical analysis of case studies; theoretical assumptions about morality as the relation between justice and the good. (3H,3C)

1134 (CLA 1134) (HUM 1134): INTRODUCTORY HUMANITIES: THE ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN WORLD
Ancient Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman cultures through their embodiments in the arts, literature, history, philosophy, and religion. Emphasis on the interrelationships among the various forms of cultural expressions and material and intellectual encounters among diverse groups in the ancient Mediterranean world. (3H,3C)

1214 (HUM 1214): INTRODUCTORY HUMANITIES: THE MEDIEVAL WORLD
The medieval synthesis in Western European thought and the transition to the world of the Renaissance. Emphasis on the interrelationships among the arts, literature, philosophy, history, religion, and science, and their contributions toward shaping the values and aspirations of the age. (3H,3C)

1904: RELIGION AND CULTURE IN ASIA
Historical and geographical overview of diverse religious/cultural traditions in Asia. Investigation of the categories "religion" and "culture" and their interactions in Asia Examination of different methodological and interdisciplinary approaches and their integration, with emphasis on critical thinking about the complexities of studying religion and culture in Asia. (3H,3C)

2004: CASE STUDIES IN RELIGION AND CULTURE
Significant case studies in the study of religion and culture with an emphasis on influential and emerging research. Focused engagement with humanities and social sciences research grounded in analysis, comparison, and evaluation of relevant case studies. Pre: REL 1004 or HUM 1004 or RLCL 1004. (3H,3C)

2104 (GR 2104): GREEK NEW TESTAMENT
Readings from the New Testament in Greek, with attention to grammatical analysis, historical background and other clues interpretation. May repeated with different content for a maximum of 9 credits. Pre: GR 1106. (3H,3C)

2124: RELIGION IN AMERICAN LIFE
The role of religion in American life in selected periods from the original settlements to the present; the influence of religious institutions and movements in American history and the impact of the "American experience" on religious life and expression. (3H,3C)

2134 (JUD 2134): JEWISH, HISTORY, CULTURE, AND HERITAGE
A thematic and historical introduction to ancient, medieval, modern Judaism, up to founding of the State of Israel. Themes will include monotheism, exile, mysticism, Kabbala, Hasidism, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and Judaism in Israel and America. (3H,3C)

2144 (AFST 2144): AFRICAN RELIGIONS
The role of religious (or belief) systems in African societies, especially the three predominant religious traditions in Africa: the so-called African Traditional Religious, Islam, and Christianity; the universe of religious systems and religious experiences and processes of Africa, in particular, Sub-Saharan Africa; critical examination of the mythic stature of Africa's "religions" within Western cultural (and scholarly) world views and institutions. (3H,3C)

2204 (AFST 2204) (WGS 2204): RACE AND GENDER IN RELIGION AND CULTURE
Introduction to how race and gender influence and are influenced by religion and culture. Overview of approaches to categories of diversity, particularly race and gender, in religious and cultural traditions. Utilization of humanistic and social scientific approaches to investigate geographically variable historical and/ or contemporary case studies. (3H,3C)

2234 (WGS 2234): WOMEN, ETHICS, AND RELIGION
Women's religious ethical formation; the roles and understanding of women in traditional and major modern religious traditions; authoritative writings and practices of various traditions as they focus on issues of sex and gender; gynocentric methods of study of women, ethics, and religion; feminist and womanist approaches to liberation and social change. (3H,3C)

2324: ISLAM
The rise of Islam under the Prophet Muhammad in Arabia and its spread across Asia and Africa. The development of Islam in the middle Ages and its resurgence in the 20th century. (3H,3C)

2414 (JUD 2414): HEBREW BIBLE/OLD TESTAMENT
Introduction to the academic study of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament); a variety of scholarly approaches to the Bible, including historical-critical, literary, and gender studies methods. Emphasis on developing skills in critical thinking, reading, and writing about the Bible. (3H,3C)

2424: NEW TESTAMENT
Introduction to the academic study of the New Testament; a variety of scholarly approaches to the New Testament; including historical-critical, redaction critical, and literary methods. Emphasis on developing skills in critical thinking, reading, and writing about the New Testament as a way of understanding the faith and history of early Christianity. (3H,3C)

2464 (AAEC 2464) (STS 2464): RELIGION AND SCIENCE
Exploration of the relationships between religion and science in the western tradition. Topics include: basic frameworks for relationships between religion and science in historical and cultural context, types of human knowledge and truth, similarities and differences between science and religion, evolution, ecology, and contemporary issues. (3H,3C)

2504 (HUM 2504): INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN STUDIES
Methodology and tools of American Studies, emphasizing interrelations among social, cultural, and technological history, values, and artistic creation. Intensive study of a specific topic or period in American culture since 1850. (3H,3C)

2964: FIELD STUDY
Pass/Fail only. Variable credit course.

2974: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.

2974H: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.

2984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.

3014 (WGS 3014): WOMEN AND GENDER IN ISLAM
An examination of women and gender in Islam from a variety perspectives including Muslim women in Islamic history, normative constructions of the role of women in Islam, and women's roles in contemporary Muslim societies. Understanding of women in classical Islam; feminist and reformist approaches; and Western constructions of the "rights of women in Islam." Pre: 2324. (3H,3C)

3024: RELIGION AND LITERATURE
Analysis of literary works and critical debates in such areas as: pilgrimage, myth, disaster, and transcendence. Students will make presentations, develop their own research projects, and design sessions with short reading assignments later in the semester. As a final project, students will assemble a portfolio charting their work in the course. (3H,3C)

3034 (COMM 3034) (HUM 3034): THEORIES OF POP CULTURE
Relationships of popular culture to communication; ways to classify, analyze, and evaluate popular culture; history of main themes with emphasis on the United States; culture evolution of the electronic revolution.(3H,3C)

3204 (COMM 3204) (HUM 3204): MULTICULTURAL COMMUNICATION
Exploration of communication in various cultural groups through the medium of performance. Emphasis on understanding cultural differences and similarities in styles of communications, aesthetics, worldviews, and values. (3H,3C)

3214: RELIGION AND CULTURE IN INDIA
Interaction of religion and culture from Indus Valley civilization to the present; Brahmanism and Hinduism, the Buddha and his teachings, Parsis, Jains, Sikhs, and their respective literatures and rituals; modern reforms and recent trends. (3H,3C)

3224: RELIGIONS OF CHINA AND JAPAN
Religious movements in East Asia with reference to specific situations in China and Japan; Confucianism, Taoism, Mahayana, Buddhism, Vajrayana, Shinto, Japanese Folk Religions, the "New Religions" of Japan; recent trends. (3H,3C)

3404 (JUD 3404): TORAH AND TRADITION
Detailed study of the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah or Pentateuch. Scholarly approaches will include historical-critical research; comparative mythology; form and canon criticism; gender and literary studies; and the reception of these books in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and beyond. Pre: 2414. (3H,3C)

3414: JESUS AND THE GOSPELS
Academic study of the four canonical Gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke, John; several scholarly methodologies; the problem of the historical Jesus; noncanonical gospels. Pre: 2424. (3H,3C)

3424: PAUL AND HIS INTERPRETERS
Academic study of the New Testament letters by or attributed to Paul; historical, literary, and theological context of the letters; classic and contemporary interpreters. Pre: 2424. (3H,3C)

3494 (HIST 3494) (JUD 3494): THE HOLOCAUST
This course provides a historical account, a psychological analysis, and an occasion for philosophical contemplation on the Holocaust. We will examine the deliberate and systematic attempt to annihilate the Jewish people by the National Socialist German State during World War II. Although Jews were the primary victims, Gypsies, the handicapped, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses and political dissidents were targeted; we will discuss their fate as well. The class will be organized around the examination of primary sources: written accounts, photographic and film, personal testimony. (3H,3C)

3504 (HIST 3504) (HUM 3504): THE AGE OF THE CRUSADES
The origins and development of religious violence examined from an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective; the place of that phenomenon in medieval society. Christianity, Islam, Judaism and their interactions in the medieval world. (3H,3C)

3544 (JUD 3544) (PSCI 3544): THE STATE OF ISRAEL: A POLITICAL HISTORY
This course provides a survey on the political history of the State of Israel and highlights major themes uniquely characterizing the specific events surrounding its establishment and its first 50 years of existence. Additionally, the course will add a comparative dimension by using the political history of Israel as a case study to discuss major themes in political science such as democracy, government, political, economy, etc. Pre: JUD 2134 or PSCI 1024.
(3H,3C)

3704 (HUM 3704) (JUD 3704): CHRISTIANS, JEWS, AND THE IDEA OF JUDEO-CHRISTIANITY
The relationship between Judaism and Christianity through time and the idea of Judeo-Christianity, all examined from an interdisciplinary academic perspective: the problems of the "separation" of Judaism and Christianity in antiquity and the Middle Ages and the religious and cultural implications of the relationship between Jews and Christians in the modern world. (3H,3C)

3954: STUDY ABROAD
Variable credit course.

4034 (COMM 4034) (HUM 4034): FUNCTIONS OF POPULAR CULTURE
Popular culture as a humanistic discipline; emphasis on archetypes, formulas, and genres; the function of ideas, images, and icons on the popular imagination.
(3H,3C)

4074 (HIST 4074): TOPICS IN RELIGIOUS AND INTELLECTUAL HISTORY
Selected topics in the role of religion and intellectual systems in human history. May be repeated with different content. 3 other credit of history and Junior standing or above required. (3H,3C)

4124 (SOC 4124) (WGS 4124): TOPICS IN CULTURE
Uses sociological, anthropological, as well as artistic and humanist paradigms to analyze culture. Discusses 20th and 21st century cultural trends. Analyzes the implications of social context for cultural artifacts such as art. Topics are variable. Example topics include the cultural construction of race and the culture of the nineteen sixties. Course may be repeated with different course content for up to 6 credits. Junior or Senior standing. Pre: SOC 1004 or SOC 1014 or AFST 1714 or AINS 1104 or RLCL 1004 or RLCL 2004 or WGS 1824.
(3H,3C)

4324: TOPICS IN RELIGION AND CULTURE
Selected topics from the religions of the world such as time and the sacred, preliterate religions, women and religion, religion and science, mysticism. May be taken three times for credit with different topics. Pre: 2004. (3H,3C)

4414: TOPICS IN BIBLICAL STUDIES
Selected topics concerning either the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) or the New Testament or both; a specific subject, theme, or biblical book chosen for careful, detailed analysis. Pre: 2424, 3414. (3H,3C)

4424: ADVANCED TOPICS IN JEWISH CULTURE, HISTORY AND THOUGHT
The most significant issues facing the contemporary Islamic world, with a focus on the Islamic resurgence and the concept of Jihad. The variety of ways in which Muslims reformulate the Islamic tradition as a response to the pressure of modernity. Pre: 2324. (3H,3C)

4964: FIELD STUDY
Pass/Fail only. Variable credit course.

4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.

4974H: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.

4984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.

4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.

4994H: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.


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Virginia Tech 2014-2015 Undergraduate Course Catalog and Academic Policies