University of Maine at Farmington 2018-2019 Catalog

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  REL 100H - Introduction to the Study of Religion

Religion matters. Religion is everywhere. Religion touches and affects all things. It is arguably the most powerful force at work in the world today, shaping individual lives and political revolutions. It affects the way we humans (even irreligious humans) eat, think, love, and die. This course explores religion as a vital facet of human experience and culture. We try to figure out what this religious thing is all about. This is not a course on “world religions”, but rather an exploration of a few of the most compelling explanations for the existence of religion.  We take up several classic, constructive, and critical theories of religion to expand the range of our interpretations. Issues of gender, power, and social location receive regular attention. Every semester.

Credit: 4

  REL 110H - Introduction to World Religions

Historical and comparative study of beliefs, cultic practices, institutions and cultural impact of many of world's great religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Shinto, Zoroastrianism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity. Every semester.

Credit: 4

  REL 245 - Religion and the Making of American Identity

This course explores the crucial role played by religion in the formation and ongoing transformation of American identity. In what ways has religion shaped the conversation about who counts as a "real" American - and how has that conversation changed over time?  How has religion inspired certain founding principles of Americanism: manifest destiny, all men are created equal, separation of church and state, in God we trust? How has religion shaped American political and economic life? How has religion been a tool of both oppression and liberation in America? In addition to exploring American interpretations of ancient religions (i.e. Christianity, Judaism, etc.), we'll examine a few homegrown religions, such as Mormonism, Scientology, and the Nation of Islam. Prerequisite(s): Any Philosophy or Religion course or at least Sophomore Status. Every year.

Credit: 4

  REL 277 - Topics in Religion

The study of a specialized topic not offered in the usual curriculum. Varies. 

Credit: 2-4

  REL 345 - Early Christian Literature

This course will be an exploration of many of the earliest extant Christian texts. It will involve a close reading of the New Testament Gospels in order to confront the complex issues and problems they present for scholars. Attention will then turn to a number of other texts, commonly referred to as Gnostic Gospels and Infancy Narratives, in order to explore their thorny relationships with the canonical four, as well as with one another. Prerequisite(s): REL 100H and one other REL course. Every three years.

Credit: 4

  REL 377 - Topics in Religion

Intensive study of a single topic in Religion. Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor. Varies.

Credit: 4

  REL 397 - Independent Study in Religion

An opportunity for motivated students to explore topics of particular interest not offered in the curriculum or to pursue offered topics in greater depth. Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor and students must submit a completed independent study form. (Pass/Fail option) Varies. 

Credit: 1-4

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