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Religious Studies - Courses

Religious Studies Courses

The second digit in the Religious Studies courses indicates the general content of the course. Courses with second digits at or below three (3) indicate a course with biblical focus or orientation. Those courses with second digits at or above eight (8) reflect a broader religious focus. Those courses with second digits between four (4) and seven (7) have a focus on Christian studies.

RS1003 The Themes of the Bible

CREDIT HOURS: 3

The Bible is foundational to Western literature, religion, law, history, and general culture. Basic biblical literacy is, therefore, a fundamental element of a liberal arts education. This course introduces students to the Bible by means of an overview of its basic content and major themes.

RS1403 The Christian Way

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course introduces students to the Christian way of life. It furnishes students with a comprehensive and integrated understanding of the basic beliefs, practices, concerns, heritage, epistemology, and mission of Christianity.

RS2003 The Old Testament and Its Context

CREDIT HOURS: 3

A comprehensive introduction to the Old Testament in its cultural and historical context, this course is designed to provide a survey of each of the books in the Old Testament. Topics such as canon, text, languages, and translations of the Old Testament will also be treated. A major focus of the course will be understanding the overall message (the big picture) of the Old Testament.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, 1403 or permission of the Registrar.

RS2033 The New Testament and Its Context

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course aims to introduce students first to the political and religious history of the second-temple period and secondly to the literature of the New Testament. It seeks to answer for each New Testament book the following questions: Who wrote it? For whom was it written? When was it written? Where was it written? What was written? Why was it written?

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403 or permission of the Registrar RS2103

RS2103 The Pentateuch

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course is an introduction to the main contents of the first five books of the Bible. Although questions of authorship, text, and history of interpretation are considered, the main emphasis is with the themes of the Pentateuch and the understanding of the biblical material in its ancient near eastern context.

PREREQUISITE: RS1003 or permission of the Registrar

RS2123 Psalms

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course is designed to examine in some detail the literature that has been named the hymnbook of ancient Israel and the early Church. There will be an examination of such topics as the origin and authorship of the Psalms in Israelite worship, generic categories of the psalms, and theological themes. The course will also consider the history of interpretation of the Psalter.

PREREQUISITE: RS1003 or permission of the Registrar

RS2203 Life of Jesus

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course is intended as a historical reconstruction of the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth. Necessarily, Jesus will be understood against the background of the religious thought and practices of his time.

RS2223 The Early Church

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course will examine the history, structure, development, and growth of the early church as described in the Book of Acts. It will also include an analysis of such related themes as religious competitors of early Christianity, the Jewish world of the first century, and the social world of the Roman Empire in the first century.

RS2403 The Spiritual Disciplines of Christianity

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course examines the spiritual disciplines of the Christian faith. Students will discover how variations of these disciplines have been exercised and emphasized over the span of Christian history.

PREREQUISITE: Enrollment in the Claystone Program

RS2406 Mission Praxis

CREDIT HOURS: 6

Through guided participation before, during and after at least eight weeks of intensive cross-cultural learning and mission experiences (international, First Nations, and inner-city), students learn through experience and guided reflection.

COREQUISITE: Enrollment in the Claystone Program; ID/RS2873

RS2523 A Survey of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course offers a survey of the major western religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, three faiths that account for approximately half of the world’s population. In this course attention is devoted to the historical background and development of each tradition, to the sacred texts and important traditions, and to the study of a number of contemporary expressions of these faiths.

RS2613 Introduction to Christian Thought

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course introduces students to the basic beliefs of Christianity, the basis of these beliefs in the Bible, and their historical development. It also considers their relevance to contemporary worldviews.

RS2733 Survey of Eastern Philosophy

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course pursues a study of the philosophies of India and China including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism.

CROSSLISTING: PH2733

RS2823 World Religions

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course surveys the history, beliefs, and practices of the world’s major religious traditions beyond Christianity. It introduces students to the heritage and discipline of the academic study of religion.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403

RS2873 Introduction of Global Missions

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course will explore global missions, serving as an introduction for students who may be considering a cross-cultural mission experience. It will introduce the theology of missions and provide an overview of the history of global missions from 1850 to today. It will examine contemporary issues facing the mission movement including the following: the AIDS epidemic, the indigenous church and contextualization of the gospel, and how these issues affect the strategies used in modern missions. CROSSLISTING: ID2873

RS3053 Themes and Theology of the Old Testament

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course is designed to be part two for RS2003, The Old Testament and its Context. Students will be introduced to the broad themes and theology of the Old Testament within the historical, political, and religious contexts of the Ancient Near East.

PREREQUISITE: RS2003

RS3063 Themes and Theology of the Old Testament

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course is designed to be part two for RS2033, The New Testament and Its Context. In the course, students will be introduced to the broad themes and theology of the New Testament within the historical, political, and religious contexts of the time period. They will be exposed to the academic, literary, and theological study of the New Testament.

PREREQUISITE: RS2033

RS3073 The Intertestamental Period

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course is designed to examine the period spanning the Old and New Testaments. Both political and religious history will be foci of this course.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403, RS2003, RS2033

RS3103 The Art of Biblical Narrative

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course will introduce and develop a literary approach to biblical narrative, highlighting and drawing attention to a wealth of examples in the process. We will focus on general literary features such as plot, character, point of view, creation of suspense and intrigue, and irony.

PREREQUISITES: Any two courses of RS1003, RS2003, or RS2033

RS3113 Israelite Prophecy

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course examines the phenomenon of Old Testament prophecy. It explores the meaning of prophecy, characteristics and function of prophecy, and the emergence and development of prophecy in ancient Israel in its historical context. In addition, one prophetic book will be examined exhaustively.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403

RECOMMENDED: RS2003

RS3123 Wisdom Literature

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the Wisdom Literature of the Bible, with specific focus on Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes. The course will not only provide a detailed survey of the contents of these books, it will examine the meaning of “wisdom,” the social location of the wisdom movement in Israel, and wisdom literature in Mesopotamia and Egypt in order to understand more clearly the significance and role of Israelite wisdom literature.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403

RECOMMENDED: RS2003

RS3163 Israel’s History: I Kings

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course will carefully study the material in I Kings, systematically working through each portion of text on a chapter-by-chapter basis. Moreover, passages from the books of Samuel and Chronicles will also be considered, where applicable.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403

RS3233 Pauline Studies

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course provides an extensive look into the life and the thought of the apostle Paul.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403

RECOMMENDED: RS2033

RS3243 The Letter to the Hebrews

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course is designed as an exegetical study of the New Testament text known as the Letter to the Hebrews. The Jewish religious-historical background of the contents of the letter will be explored as a means of understanding it more fully.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403

RECOMMENDED: RS2033

RS3253 The General Epistles

CREDIT HOURS: 3

The purpose of this course is to investigate the New Testament texts known as the General Letters: James; I and II Peter; I, II, and III John; and Jude. Their background and teaching will be considered.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403

RECOMMENDED: RS2033

RS3303 Jesus as Teacher

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course is an exploration of the teaching methods of Jesus considering his aims, his cultural setting, his community’s history, and his social location as a rabbi. Teaching is a task requiring contextualization. It involves authority, in contrast to the thought of some who wish a truly ‘free’ school. Jesus’ employment of lecture methods, his use of memorable sayings and of parables, and his personal modelling demands the attention of educators schooled in active learning methods.

CROSSLISTING: ED3703

PREREQUISITE: Education student or permission of the Registrar

RS3323 Eschatology

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course surveys the history of Christian thought in the light of Scripture to explore the doctrine of the “last things,” including heaven, hell, the new heavens and new earth, the intermediate state, and other topics.

RS3343 Romans

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course will be an exegetical and theological study of Paul’s letter to the Romans including an investigation into the background and structure of the letter.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403

RS3383/3393 Directed Studies in Biblical Studies

CREDIT HOURS: 3

These courses are available for students when their interests and the professors’ expertise allow for a more in-depth tutorial approach. Students must be highly capable and must have completed upper level prerequisite courses in the area of the directed study.

PREREQUISITE: Permission of the Registrar

RS3403 Christian Spirituality

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course will explore the biblical, theological, and historical dimensions of Christian spirituality from the writings of selected thinkers from the early church until the present. Students will be encouraged to reflect academically and personally in order to enhance their own spiritual practice.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403

RS3463 Introduction to Biblical Archaeology

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course will introduce basic archaeological method and explore how archaeological findings can clarify and illustrate the meaning and historical background of Biblical texts.

PREREQUISITES: Any two courses of RS1003, RS2003, or RS2033

RS3483 Perspectives on the World Christian Movement

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course offers an introduction to world mission in four essential principles: the biblical imperative for evangelization, issues in communicating the gospel across cultures, the Christian movement’s expansion from the apostles to the present, and components for strategic planning in the movement’s global mission.

PREREQUISITES: Any four 2000-level courses

RS3493 Biblical Perspective on Social Justice

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course will focus on the idea of social justice. The course will begin with an examination of the Bible and its references to social justice. Using this biblical foundation, the course will explore and critique different Christian perspectives of social justice through the centuries. Students will be asked to integrate course information into a personal statement/philosophy of social justice.

PREREQUISITE: Education student or six credit hours of Religious Studies

RS3533 The Church In Scripture and Society

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course provides an understanding of the Church as revealed in the New Testament. It focuses on passages which delineate the formation, nature, and purpose of the Church. Consideration will be given to the Church as both organism and organization, and it will challenge students to explore the form and role of the Church in contemporary society.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403

RS3583/3593 Directed Studies in Christian Studies

CREDIT HOURS: 3

These courses are available for students when their interests and the professors’ expertise allow for a more in-depth tutorial approach. Students must be highly capable and must have completed upper level prerequisite courses in the area of the directed study.

PREREQUISITE: Permission of the Registrar

RS3633 God and Evil

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course introduces the main elements of the problem of evil as conceived in Western philosophy and theology. The course will locate the problem in terms of the world’s major religions and philosophical traditions, and then concentrate on the answers provided by Abrahamic monotheism in general and Christianity in particular–and their secular counterparts.

CROSSLISTING: PH3043

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403

RS3703 Apologetics

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course will offer instruction on the contemporary task of defending and commending the faith: the cultural context of apologetics today; the nature and objective of apologetics; and advice on engaging in apologetics faithfully and effectively.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403, RS2003, RS2033

RS3713 Christianity and Natural Science

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course involves a study of the historical development of natural sciences and the relationship of science to the Bible, Christian theology, and the institutional church.

PREREQUISITES: HI1113, HI1123, RS1003, RS1403

RS3803 The Reformation in Europe

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course examines the development of Protestantism as a social, economic, political, and religious reaction to the status quo of European society.

CROSSLISTING: HI3643

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403

RS3813 Philosophy of Religion

CREDIT HOURS: 3

A critical examination of philosophic religious problems including proof for God’s existence, the validity of religious language, conflicting truth claims, revelation, evil, and immorality.

CROSSLISTING: PH3813

PREREQUISITES: Six credit hours in Philosophy

RS3823 Sociology of Religion

CREDIT HOURS: 3

Examines the major issues and trends in contemporary religion from the perspective of the social sciences. Particular emphasis is placed on the analysis of religion in Canada.

CROSSLISTING: SO3823

PREREQUISITES: Six credit hours in Sociology

RS3863 Psychology of Religion & Spirituality

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course acquaints students with the fundamental elements needed to understand the role of religion in normal psychological functioning. It includes the study of topics such as the construction of personal narratives; worldviews; moral, ethical, and spiritual development; the formation of “god concepts”; and even the psychology of witness testimony and scriptural formation.

CROSSLISTING: PS3863

PREREQUISITES: PS1013, PS1023

RS3883 Intellectual History of Science and Religion (1600-1980)

CREDIT HOURS: 3

From theory to paradigm, from the telescope to the atom and beyond (with selected study of Copernicus, Newton, Darwin, biblical archaeology, Einstein, and Hawking), this course examines the Proofs Scientific, in their historical contexts, as marshalled for and against religion. Field trips to museums are included. (This course is normally offered in conjunction with the Crandall Oxford Study Programme.)

CROSSLISTING: HI3883

PREREQUISITES: HI1113, HI1123

RS3903/3923 Directed Studies in Religious Studies

CREDIT HOURS: 3

These courses are available for students when their interests and the professors’ expertise allow for a more in-depth tutorial approach. Students must be highly capable and must have completed upper level prerequisite courses in the area of the directed study.

PREREQUISITE: Permission of the Registrar

RS4003 Post-Exilic Writings

CREDIT HOURS: 3

The post-exilic period witnessed the production of new kinds of literary and theological works. The largest of these works is I and II Chronicles, and they will provide the primary text readings for this advanced seminar course which will center around close analysis of the biblical text and relevant secondary material.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403, RS2003

RS4013 The Making of the Old Testament

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course will look at the journey of ancient writings of the Old Testament from their first forms in various writings and records to their final form in the manuscripts of the Middle Ages.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403, RS2003

RS4043 The Book of Genesis

CREDIT HOURS: 3

Genesis is not only the chronological beginning of Scripture but the foundational beginning as well. This course is intended as an intensive introduction to the text. Major issues of interpretation will be considered as students work through the text.

PREREQUISITES: RS2003, 2033

RS4053 I Samuel

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course will feature a close reading of the book of I Samuel, and an exploration of various literary and theological issues which the text intends to raise for its audiences. Points of study will include the role of the monarchy in Israel, the office of the prophet, and the contours of leadership for God’s people. Other questions will include: Why is Saul rejected? Is Samuel an unbiased prophet? What are the qualities in the young David that set him apart as a king? What dynamics of human relationships are emphasized in the text? This course provides ample opportunity for reflection on the nature of biblical narrative, the portraits of key personalities, and the profound level of artistic and theological sophistication in this stretch of material.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403, RS2003

RS4063 II Samuel

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course will feature a close reading of the book of II Samuel, and an exploration of various literary and theological issues which the text intends to raise for its audiences. The book of II Samuel unfolds complex issues of monarchy and leadership, and also confronts readers with a number of transitions in David’s life. David’s life presents readers with a tapestry of interpretative and theological possibilities. This course provides ample opportunity for reflection on the nature of biblical narrative, the portraits of key personalities, and the profound level of artistic and theological sophistication in this stretch of material.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403, RS2003

RS4113 Biblical Theology of Old and New Testaments

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course covers the concept of biblical theology not just historically as it has developed into a discipline of biblical studies but practically as well. During the course a specific theme or a cluster of themes will be traced throughout the Old and New Testaments. Frequently alongside a major theme which is explored, major biblical theologies written by scholars will also be studied.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403

RS4133 The Drama of I Kings

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course undertakes a close reading of I Kings, with attention to historical context, literary design, and theological importance for the Hebrew Bible. It will explore a range of issues raised in key works of historiography in the Hebrew Bible.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS2003

RS4333 Pneumatology

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course will introduce students to the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Students will study His place in the Godhead, and His work as the Vicar of Christ on earth, including His work in the world, the church, and the believer. From the Old and New Testaments, students will seek to understand such issues as names, titles, symbols, anointing, baptism, filling, fruit, gifts, indwelling, and sealing. This course will seek to relate these issues to both historical and contemporary manifestations of the Holy Spirit.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403, RS2003

RS4383/4323 Advanced Directed Studies in Biblical Studies

CREDIT HOURS: 3

These courses are available for students when their interests and the professors’ expertise allow for a more in-depth tutorial approach. Students must be highly capable and must have completed upper level prerequisite courses in the area of the directed study.

PREREQUISITE: Permission of the Registrar

RS4583/4593 Advanced Directed Studies in Christian Studies

CREDIT HOURS: 3

These courses are available for students when their interests and the professors’ expertise allow for a more in-depth tutorial approach. Students must be highly capable and must have completed upper level prerequisite courses in the area of the directed study.

PREREQUISITE: Permission of the Registrar

RS4603 Advanced Seminar: Christian Thought

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course offers students the opportunity to engage a sharply focused subject, whether a theological theme, author, school of thought, or work. Emphasis will be placed on reading, conversation, research, and writing and may also involve presentation.

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403, RS2003, RS2033, RS2613

RS4803 Religion and Violence

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course offers an examination of religion and violence in modern society, and it focuses on the following: religious militancy, apocalypticism, cults, mutilation, sacrifice, torture, martyrdom, self-mortification, genocide, terrorism, land disputes, hate crimes, and clergy sexual abuse.

CROSSLISTING: SO4003

PREREQUISITES: SO1013, SO1023

RS4813 Themes in Canadian Religious History

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This seminar-style course will focus upon selected religious themes in 19th and 20th century Canada. Topics will vary from year to year and may include the role of religion in regional development, politics, economics, secularization, gender formation, consumerism, and education. Students are encouraged to identify themes of interest for their major research projects.

CROSSLISTING: HI4813

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403, RS2003, RS2033 plus six additional credit hours in Religious Studies

RS4823 Milton

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course provides an intensive study of the major poetry and prose of John Milton (1608-74) with a particular emphasis on his theology.

CROSSLISTING: EN4823

PREREQUISITES: RS1003, RS1403; EN2013, EN2023

RS4833 Evangelicalism in Canada

CREDIT HOURS: 3

This course begins with the necessary task of defining evangelicalism. It then examines evangelicalism in contemporary Canada primarily through the use of social theory and survey research. The beliefs, practices, attitudes, and demographics of evangelicals and the organizations that support the evangelical subculture are discussed.

PREREQUISITE: RS3823

RS4913/4923 Advanced Directed Studies in Religious Studies

CREDIT HOURS: 3

These courses are available for students when students’ interests and the professors’ expertise allow for a more in-depth tutorial approach. Students must be highly capable and must have completed upper level prerequisite courses in the area of the directed study.

PREREQUISITE: Permission of the Registrar

RS4996 Thesis

CREDIT HOURS: 6

Certain exceptional students, upon request prior to the completion of their third year, may be granted permission to write a thesis as an element to their Honours degree requirements.

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