Course Descriptions | Spring 2015 Schedule | Fall 2014 Schedule

The list of course descriptions available through the Department of Religion (below) can also be found in the UH Manoa course catalogue. Courses that meet the UH Manoa General Education Core and Graduation requirements are identified with one of the following designations at the end of the course description:

FGC - Foundation Requirement in Global and Multicultural Perspectives
DH - Diversificaion Requirement in Humanitites
DS - Diversification Requirement in Social Sciences

Course Descriptions
Undergraduate | Graduate

REL 150 Introduction to the World’s Major Religions (3)
Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shinto, Taoism and indigenous traditions of Hawai‘i and/or Oceania. FGC

REL 151 Religion and the Meaning of Existence (3)
Basic ideas and issues in contemporary religious thought about the meaning of existence. DH

REL 200 Understanding the Old Testament (3)
Developing beliefs and practices of Hebrew religion as set forth in the Old Testament. Meaning of its faith for the modern world. DH

REL 201 Understanding the New Testament (3)
Origin and development of early Christian message as set forth in the New Testament; special attention to Jesus and Paul. DH

REL 202 Understanding Indian Religions (3)
Historical survey of the teachings and practices of major religious traditions of India. DH

REL 203 Understanding Chinese Religions (3)
Taoist, Confucian, Buddhist and folk beliefs and practices in their social and historical context. Repeatable one time. DH

REL 204 Understanding Japanese Religions (3)
Broad survey, with primary focus on Shinto, Buddhist, and modern sectarian movements, analyzed in relation to social and cultural themes of major historical periods. DH

REL 205 Understanding Hawaiian Religion (3)
Major teachings and practices from ancient times to present, their cultural influence; analysis of religious texts; relation to other traditions of Oceania and to Christianity. DH

REL 207 Understanding Buddhism (3)
Survey of major forms and practices. DH

REL 208 Understanding Judaism (3)
Survey from origin to modern times; emphasis on Jewish thought in Talmudic and medieval periods. DH

REL 209 Understanding Islam (3)
Historical survey of the beliefs and practices of Islam as a world religion, including the prophet Muhammad, scriptures, philosophy and science, theology, law, major sectarian movements, relations with other religious traditions, and fundamentalism. (Alt. years) DH

REL 210 Understanding Christianity (3)
History of ideas concentrating on events, persons, and issues with the greatest impact on the evolution of Christianity. DH

REL 300 The Study of Religion (3)
Definitions and functions of religion; methodologies by which it is studied; relationship to other areas of human culture. Pre: 150 or consent. DH

REL 303 Creation and Evolution (3)
An exploration of interactions between science and religion with a focus on cosmogonies. Pre: 150 or consent. DH

REL 308 Zen (Ch’an) Buddhist Masters (3)
Study of lives, teachings, practices of Zen masters in China, Japan, Korea, and the West. Pre: one of 150, 203, 204, 207; or consent. DH

REL 310 Global Christianity (3)
Christianity as a transcultural religion, through the study of Christian art, literature, ritual, and theology in diverse cultures; including the Near East, Africa, Latin America, and the Pacific. Pre: 150, 201, or 210; or consent. (Once a year) DH

REL 333 Cults and New Religions (3)
Study of cults and new religious movements in America, the Pacific, and East Asia; examining types, causes, and functions of these movements. Pre: 150 or consent. DH

REL 348 Religion, Politics, and Society (3)
Exploration of the diverse approaches and perspectives that American religious groups embrace with respect to some of the more controversial and diverse elements of contemporary American life. Pre: 150 or 151, or consent. DH

REL 351 Christian Ethics in Modern Life (3)
The meaning of Christian faith for the moral life with reference to contemporary moral issues. Pre: 150 or 151, or consent. DH

REL 353 Witches and Witchcraft (3)
Persecution of witches, witchcraft in Europe, 1300–1700, examined as crisis of church and theology; origins, effects on church and society. Pre: one of 201, HIST 151, HIST 152, PSY 100, or consent. DH

REL 356 Women and Religion (3)
Examining roles of, and attitudes toward, women in major religious traditions through autobiographies, films, and primary texts. Pre: 150 or ANTH 152 or WS 151. (Cross-listed as ANTH 356 and WS 356) DH

REL 361 Love, Sex, and Religion (3)
Love and sex as themes in religions of Asia and the West. Pre: 150 or consent. DH

REL 363 Religion and Art (3)
The uses of art in religion are studied with historical examples. Pre: 150 or consent. DH

REL 383 Mysticism East and West (3)
Mystic traditions of the West from desert monasticism to Renaissance mystics compared with those of South and East Asia. Pre: one of 150, 202, 203, 204; or consent. DH

REL 390 Hawaiian Gods: Pele, Kamapua‘a (3)
The traditions and practices related to two major indigenous gods will be studied by the interpretation and analysis of primary texts. Pre: 205 or consent. DH

REL 394 On Death and Dying (3)
Aspects of death and dying; relation to our culture and society, to understanding of each other and of ourselves. Pre: 150 or 151 or consent. DH

REL 399 Directed Reading (3)
Pre: one 200-level REL course and consent.

REL 409 Life and Teachings of Jesus (3)
Critical study of synoptic gospels and of extra-Biblical sources. Pre: 201 or 210, or consent. DH

REL 422 Anthropology of Religion (3)
Cults, legends, millennial movements, myths, possession, rituals, sacred healing, shamanism, sorcery, spirits, symbolism, witchcraft, and other forms of religious and symbolic expression and experience, from small scale to highly urban societies. Pre: ANTH 152. (Cross-listed as ANTH 422) DH

REL 431 Health/Medicine in Religion (3)
Issues of health and disease in the light of religious beliefs and practices. Pre: 150 or consent. DH

REL 443 Anthropology of Buddhism (3)
Selected aspects of national, regional and local manifestations of Buddhism are explored through the perspective of anthropology with an emphasis on the daily lives of monks, nuns and lay persons in their socio-cultural contexts. Pre: 207, 422, 475, or consent. (Alt. years) (Cross-listed as ANTH 443)

REL 444 Spiritual Ecology (3)
Lectures and seminars provide a cross-cultural survey of the relationships between religions, environment and environmentalism. Pre: junior standing or consent. (Alt. years) (Cross-listed as ANTH 444) DS

REL 445 Sacred Places (3)
Lectures and seminars provide a cross-cultural survey of sites which societies recognize as sacred and their cultural, ecological and conservation aspects. Pre: junior standing or consent. (Alt. years) (Cross-listed as ANTH 445) DS

REL 452 Sociology of Religion (3)
Seminar on research in sociological aspects of religious sectarianism, historical and current; special reference to Hawai‘i. Pre: SOC 300 or consent. (Cross-listed as SOC 455) DS

REL 475 Seminar on Buddhism (3)
Selected historical, thematic, and textual research topics in Buddhism; topics and geographical focus to be announced each semester. Pre: one of 150, 204, 207; or consent. DH

REL 476 Taoism in China (3)
Seminar on religious Taoism, its historical development and its role in the present-day context. Pre: 203 or consent. DH

REL 480 Field Methods in Religion (3)
Introduction to theoretical and methodological approaches to doing fieldwork in the study of religion. Application of these in studying Hawai‘i’s diverse religious environment. Pre: 300 or consent.

REL 490 Buddhism in Japan (3)
Major features and trends in thought, institutions, and practices in the context of Japanese history and culture, 6th–20th century. Pre: 204 or 207, or consent. DH

REL 492 Polynesian Religions (3)
Introduction to field, comparison of several traditions; beliefs and practices from analysis of texts. Historical interactions with Christianity. Pre: 150, 205; or consent. DH

REL 495 Seminar in Religion (3)
Topics pre-announced each semester. Pre: upper division standing or consent. Repeatable one time. DH

REL 499 Directed Reading or Research (V)
Repeatable up to six credits. Pre: consent of instructor and department chair.

Graduate Courses

Prerequisites for all courses 500 and above are graduate standing and consent.

REL 500 Master’s Plan B/C Studies (1)
Enrollment for degree completion. Pre: master’s Plan B candidate with consent.

REL 600 History and Theory of the Study of Religion (3)
Survey of development of history of religions; application of methodologies from anthropology, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology.

REL 625 Applied Methods in the Study of Religion (V)
Practicum in methods of research, argument, and discourse in scholarly writing about selected topics in religious studies. Repeatable up to four credits. A-F only. Pre: 600 and restricted to graduate students in Religion only; or consent.

REL 630 Practicum in Field Research in Religion (3)
Independent field study of an Asian or Polynesian religion at an appropriate academic or religious institution abroad or in Hawai‘i. Repeatable one time. Pre: 600, 6 credits of area studies, and consent of graduate chair and instructor.

REL 650 Seminar on Western Religions (3)
Historical, theoretical and methodological issues in the study of Western religious traditions. Repeatable two times. A-F only. Pre: 600 or consent.

REL 661 (Alpha) Seminar on East Asian Religions (3)
Selected historical, thematic, and textual research topics in East Asian religions and traditions: (B) Chinese religions; (C) Japanese religions; (D) East Asian Buddhism. Repeatable up to six credits for (D), up to nine credits for (B) and (C). Pre: 661B or 661C for (D).

REL 662 (Alpha) Seminar on South Asian Religions (3)
Selected historical, thematic, and textual research topics in Indian religious traditions: (B) Indian religions; (D) Indian Buddhism. Repeatable up to three credits for (B).

REL 663 (Alpha) Seminar in Polynesian Religions (3)
Selected historical, thematic, and textual research topics in Polynesian and Hawaiian religious traditions: (B) Polynesian religions; (C) Hawaiian religion. Repeatable up to nine credits for (B) and (C).

REL 680 (Alpha) Pedagogy in Religion (3)
Theory, preparation, and practice in the teaching of religious studies at the community college level: (B) teaching religion; (C) teaching religion practicum. Pre: 650 for (B); 600, 650 and (B) for (C).

REL 695 Topics in Religious Studies (3)
Topics in the study of religion with special emphasis on theoretical approaches and concerns. Specific topics to be preannounced. Repeatable one time. Pre: 600 or consent. (Alt. years)

REL 699 Directed Reading and Research (V)

REL 700 Thesis Research (V)
Pre: consent of thesis chair.

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