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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Religious Studies (RL ST)

RL ST 004 (GH;US;IL) (CAMS 004, J ST 004) Jewish and Christian Foundations (3) Introduction to the perspectives, patterns of worship, morality, historical roots, and institutions of the Judaeo-Christian traditions; their relationships to culture.

RL ST (CAMS/J ST) 004 Jewish and Christian Foundations (3)
(GH;US;IL)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

Jewish and Christian Foundations seeks to help students better understand the Bible as the scriptural background for both Judaism and Christianity. Some people believe the Bible is "scripture," self communicated by God to humanity. To others, this text is a compendious collection of poetry, historical writing, law, myth, and mystical writings, which stems from the religious, political, and cultural milieu of the ancient Near East. Some people believe this is a book designed to bring people to belief in the power and reality of the god discussed in these writings. For others, the book is a source of both unity and division among people in the world, and must be treated as ambiguous in nature. Still others see the biblical text as the single most important collection of literature to have shaped the religious, political, and imaginative contours of western civilization. This course focuses on selected portions of the biblical text, representing diverse strands of historical remembrances, interpreted and re-interpreted in light of critical historical events, and serving, first as an oral, and later as a written account of the life, beliefs, and hopes of Jewish and Christian peoples. Readings from both the Hebrew Bible (the Christian "Old Testament") and the Christian scriptures (the "New Testament") will be used. RLST/CAMS/J ST 004 provides a broad discussion of the origin of both Judaism and Christianity within a historical and geographical framework. The principle teachers, writers, and "founders" are discussed, including Moses, Isaiah, David, Ezra, Jesus, Peter, and Paul. Students are challenged to read and understand these important writings which have interpreted the human condition and which have oriented generations of people towards a transcendent referent associated with love and loyalty. Evaluation methods may include two hour examinations, a final examination, and two short writing assignments. The examinations are not cumulative. Class participation will also be a factor in overall evaluation for the final grade. RL ST/CAMS/J ST 004 may be used to fulfill requirements for the Religious Studies, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Jewish Studies major/minor. Finally, students will be challenged to evaluate and respond to the literature as it touches on human experience experiences which all people share regardless of their personal religious affiliation.


General Education: GH
Diversity: US;IL
Bachelor of Arts: Humanities
Effective: Summer 2005

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.