Chair: Michael Walsh; Professors: Marc Epstein, Lawrence H. Mamiya; Associate Professors: E.H. Rick Jarowab, Lynn R. LiDonnici, Michael Walsh; Assistant Professors: Jonathon S. Kahn, Christopher White; Adjunct Instructor: Margaret Leeming; Senior Lecturer: Tova Weitzman.
- ab On leave 2010/11
Requirements for the Concentration: A minimum of 11 units, including Religion 200 and 271. Three seminars are required (two 300-level courses and the Senior Seminar, Religion 300). Students are required to take Religion 200 and 271 by the end of their junior year and highly recommended that they take these courses in their sophomore year. Students are expected to pursue a program of study marked by both breadth and depth. Of the 11 units required for the concentration, normally no more than two may be at the 100-level. However, students may petition for an additional 100-level to be counted toward the concentration. No more than 1 unit of fieldwork and/or independent study courses may count toward the concentration. After declaring a concentration in Religion, no courses taken under the Non-Recorded Option serve to fulfill the requirements.
Senior-year Requirements: All Seniors are required to take Religion 300, the Senior Seminar, in the Fall semester of their senior year.
Thesis Option: If a senior elects to do a thesis and has departmental approval they can do so by completing Religion 301. The thesis option is a year-long undertaking and should develop the work begun in the Senior Seminar. Students who complete a thesis are eligible for departmental honors. The Senior Seminar receives a letter grade. The Senior Thesis is graded Distinction, Satisfactory, or Unsatisfactory. Petitions for exemption from these requirements, granted only in special circumstances, must be submitted to the chair in writing by the first day of classes in the A semester of the senior year.
Requirements for the Correlate Sequence: The Religion Department offers a correlate sequence in the study of religion which allows students to pursue study in an area of significant interest outside of their field of concentration. The sequence requires 6 units, 1 unit at the 100-level, 3 at the 200-level and two seminars at the 300-level. After declaring a correlate sequence in Religion, no courses taken under the Non-Recorded Option serve to fulfill the requirements.
100a. Religion, Media & American Popular Culture (1)
How does the mass media change religious values and behaviors? How might we understand the relationship between American Christians and American culture? Has sports, television or entertainment replaced religion? Is popular culture hostile to faith-or is it religious in wholly new and unexpected ways? In this course we explore these questions by looking in detail at American television, film, popular literature and the internet. We also examine how specific religions and religious symbols are expressed in popular culture, what happens when traditional religions borrow pop cultural forms or ideals, and how the American media is abetting a trend towards religious eclecticism and hybridity. Mr. White.
Two 75-minute meetings.
101. An Examined Life: Religious Approaches to Enduring Questions (1)
Is religion best described as a personal, inward experience or as a communal, social activity? This course explores the classical approaches to the study of Religion that have developed over the course of the twentieth century. Mr. Kahn.
150a. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (1)
(Same as Jewish Studies 150) An historical comparative study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The course focuses on such themes as origins, development, sacred literature, ritual, legal, mystical, and philosophical traditions, and interactions between the three religions. Mr. Epstein (a), Ms. LiDonnici (b).
Two 75-minute meetings.
Fulfills the Freshman Writing Seminar Requirement during the spring semester only (b).
152b. Religions of Asia (1)
(Same as Asian Studies 152) This course is an introduction to the religions of Asia (Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Zen, Shinto, etc.) through a study of practices, sites, sensibilities, and doctrines. The focus is comparative as the course explores numerous themes, including creation (cosmology), myth, ritual, action, fate and destiny, human freedom, and ultimate values. Mr. Walsh.
Open to all students except seniors.
187a. Religion and the Arts (1)
Both religion and visual culture share a preoccupation with the transcendent and the inexpressible and also with the quotidian and down- to-earth. We explore various aspects, spiritual and political, of the interdependence of art and religious culture from the dawn of human consciousness through postmodernity. We discuss the representation (and the prohibition of the representation) of divinity; points of contact between religion, gender and art; artworks that "come to life;" a variety of queer and marginal worlds; cultures on the edge; divine sexuality in pre-modern art and in modern oblivion; ways in which aspects of visual and material culture can be read as "texts;" and the re-orientation of traditional forms in modern and postmodern contexts. Our aim will be to learn new ways of seeing art and new ways of thinking about religion and religious culture. Mr. Epstein.
Fulfills the College Requirement for a Freshman Writing Seminar.
200b. Regarding Religion (1)
The study of religion is a methodological process of self-discovery, through which both individuals and modern society become conscious of the underlying attitudes and predispositions involved in the phenomenon of religion itself, and in academic inquiry about it. In this course we study and critique the basic approaches to the unique problems presented by the study of religion, tracing the ways they continue to affect processes of thought and interpretation today. Mr. Kahn.
Required for all majors.
205b. Religion and Its Critics (1)
Some say it is impossible to be both a modern and a religious person. What are the assumptions behind this claim? The course explores how religion has been understood and challenged in the context of Western intellectual thought from the Enlightenment to the present. Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud, and Buber are some of the thinkers whom we study. Mr. Kahn.
206a. Social Change in the Black and Latino Communities (1)
(Same as Africana Studies and Sociology 206) An examination of social issues in the Black and Latino communities: poverty and welfare, segregated housing, drug addiction, unemployment and underemployment, immigration problems and the prison system. Social change strategies from community organization techniques and poor people's protest movements to more radical urban responses are analyzed. Attention is given to religious resources in social change. This course is taught to Vassar students and incarcerated men at the Otisville Correctional Facility. Mr. Mamiya.
210a. Secularism and Its Discontents (1)
Is there a distinct realm called the secular, which is free of and from the religious? As sons and daughters of the Enlightenment, we've come to think that there is. What sort of philosophical and historical moments have led to the public insistence on a non-religious space? What projects in ethics, politics, and identity have the insistence on the secular authorized? This class both analyzes and contests modern assumptions about secularism and the religious, and asks whether the ideals of secularism have materialized. Is it possible or even desirable to create realms scrubbed free of the religious, in our politics, in our public institutions, or in ourselves? Mr. Kahn.
211b. Religions of the Oppressed and Third-World Liberation Movements (1)
(Same as Africana Studies 211) A comparative socio-historical analysis of the dialectical relationship between religion and the conditions of oppressed people. The role of religion in both suppression and liberation is considered. Case studies include the cult of Jonestown (Guyana), the Iranian revolution, South Africa, slave religion, and aspects of feminist theology. Mr. Mamiya.
215. Religion and the Arts (1)
An exploration of various aspects, spiritual and political, of the interdependence of art and religious culture from the dawn of human consciousness through post modernity. May be taken more than once for credit when content changes. Mr. Epstein.
Prerequisite: 1 unit in religion or by permission of instructor.
216a. Religion and the Civil Rights Movement (1)
(Same as Africana Studies 216) This course examines the ways in which religious beliefs, practices, and institutions helped to shape the modern Civil Rights Movement. Topics include theologies of non-violent resistance, spirituals and freedom songs, religion and gender in the movement, critiques of religious motivated activism, and of non-violent resistance. Mr. Mamiya.
217b. Film, Fiction and the Construction of Identity -- Israeli and Palestinian Voices (1)
(Same as Jewish Studies 217b and Hebrew 217b) This course explores the emergence and consolidation of collective identities in modern Israel and Palestine. Through a close examination of Israeli and Palestinian literary texts in translation and select movies students are introduced to an array of competing and complementing narratives that Israelis and Palestinians have relied on to understand themselves and their relationship to the other. Special attention is given to issues related to class, gender, ethnicity, religion and ideology. Ms. Weitzman.
218. Spiritual Seekers in American History & Culture 1880-2008 (1)
This course examines the last 120 years of spiritual seeking in America. It looks in particular at the rise of unchurched believers, how these believers have relocated "the religious" in different parts of culture, what it means to be "spiritual but not religious" today, and the different ways that Americans borrow from or embrace religions such as Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. We focus in particular on unexpected places of religious enchantment or "wonder" in our culture, including how science and technology are providing new metaphors for God and spirit.
219. New and Alternative Religious Movements in the United States (1)
All religions, new and old, have a beginning, and all religions change over time. Even the most established and popular religions today, like Islam and Christianity, began as small, marginalized sects. In this class, we think carefully about how religions develop and change by examining closely religious movements in one of the most vibrant religious nations in world history, modern America. We study radical prophets, doomsday preachers, modern messiahs, social reformers and new spiritual gurus and we talk about how their new religious movements developed and interacted with more mainstream religious currents in nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. This course proceeds in a roughly chronological fashion, beginning with new and alternative religions in the nineteenth century and moving on to more recent groups. Some of the questions we consider as we proceed are: Why do new religions begin? Why do people join them? How do they both challenge and conform to wider American norms and values? How should the American legal system respond to them? How do more mainstream believers respond to them? Mr. White.
220a. Text and Traditions (1)
Study of selected oral and written texts and their place in various religious traditions. May be taken more than once for credit when content changes.
Topic for 2010/11 Religion and Magic in Mediterranean Antiquity. Religion and magic are often defined in opposition, but in actuality the boundaries between them are fluid and unclear if any such boundaries even exist. Focusing on evidence from early Judaism, early Christianity, ancient Egyptian, and Greco-Roman traditions, in this class, we will focus on the beliefs and practices that people defined as magic, sorcery, necromancy and witchcraft, but also as compulsive ritual, prayer and religion. How have these texts affected both popular and scholarly definitions of religion and magic? Ms. LiDonnici.
221. Voices from Modern Israel (1)
(Same as Jewish Studies 221 and Hebrew 221) An examination of modern and postmodern Hebrew literature in English translation. The course focuses on Israeli voices of men, women, Jews, Arabs, Ashkenazim and Sephardim, to investigate such topics as memory, identity, alienation, the "other," community, and exile. Authors may include Yizhar, Yehoshua, Oz, Grossman, Kanafani, Almog, Katzir, Liebrecht, Ravikovitch, Zelda, Zach, Amichai, Darish and el-Kassim. Ms. Weitzman.
225b. The Hebrew Bible (1)
(Same as Jewish Studies 225) The Bible is one of the most important foundational documents of Western civilization. This course surveys the literature of the Hebrew Bible (Christian ‘Old Testament') within the historical, religious and literary context of ancient Israel and its neighbors. What social and religious forces created these books, and how did they shape the lives of the ancient Israelites, their descendants, and all those they influenced for three thousand years? All texts are read in English translation. Ms. LiDonnici.
227a. The Kingdom of God and the Empire of Rome (1)
(Same as Jewish Studies 227) This course examines the conflicts, social movements, theologies, texts and individuals that shaped early Christianity during its formative period, from the first through the fifth centuries CE. How did the ecstatic mysticism of a small, obscure minority group become the official religion of the Roman Empire? How did this "success" affect the way Christianity developed afterward, and its attitude toward difference, heresy, and authority? Ms. LiDonnici.
230b. Creole Religions of the Caribbean (1)
(Same as Africana Studies 230) The Africa-derived religions of the Caribbean region—Haitian Voodoo, Cuban Santeria, Jamaican Obeah, Rastafarianism, and others—are foundational elements in the cultural development of the islands of the region. This course examines their histories, systems of belief, liturgical practices, and pantheons of spirits, as well as their impact on the history, literature, and music of the region. Ms. Paravisini-Gebert.
231. Hindu Traditions (1)
(Same as Asian Studies 231) An introduction to the history, practices, myths, ideas and core values that inform Hindu traditions. Beginning with the pre-Vedic period, the course traces major religious practices and developments up to and including the contemporary period. Among topics examined are yoga and upanishadic mysticism, the spiritual paths (marga) of action (karma) knowledge (jnana) and love (bhakti), the worship of (and ideologies surrounding) gods and goddesses, and issues of gender, caste, and ethnicity in both pre- and postmodern times. Mr. Jarow.
Prerequisite: Religion 152 or by permission of instructor.
233. Buddhist Cultures (1)
(Same as Asian Studies 233) An introduction to Buddhist traditions, beginning with the major themes that emerged in the first centuries after the historical Buddha and tracing the development of Buddhist thought and practice throughout Asia. The course examines how Buddhist sensibilities have expressed themselves through culturally diverse societies, and how specific Buddhist ideas about human attainment have been (and continue to be) expressed through meditation, the arts, political engagement, and social relations. Various schools of Buddhist thought and practice are examined including Theravada, Mahayana, Tantra, Tibetan, East Asian, and Zen. Mr. Walsh.
Prerequisite: Religion 152 or by permission of instructor.
235. Religion in China (1)
(Same as Asian Studies 235a) An exploration of Chinese religiosity within historical context. We study the seen and unseen worlds of Buddhists, Daoists, and literati, and encounter ghosts, ancestors, ancient oracle bones, gods, demons, buddhas, dragons, imperial politics, the social, and more, all entwined in what became the cultures of China. Some of the questions we will try to answer include: how was the universe imagined in traditional and modern China? What did it mean to be human in China? What is the relationship between religion and culture? What do we mean by ‘Chinese religions’? How should Chinese culture be represented? Mr. Walsh.
240. The World of the Rabbis (1)
(Same as Jewish Studies 240).
243b. Islamic Traditions (1)
An exploration of Islamic history, with special attention to issues of prophecy, religious leadership, mythology and sacred scriptures. Among the topics examined are Islamic law, theology and philosophy, as well as the varied expressions of Islamic religious values and ritual, especially Shi'ism, Sufism, and orthodox Sunnism. Particular attention is given to women in Islam and to Islamic architecture. Ms. Leeming.
Prerequisite: Religion 150, 152, or by permission of instructor.
250. Across Religious Boundaries: Understanding Differences (1)
The study of a selected topic or theme in religious studies that cuts across the boundaries of particular religions, allowing opportunities for comparison as well as contrast of religious traditions, beliefs, values and practices. May be taken more than once for credit when the content changes.
Topic for 2010/11b: Interpreting Religious Fits, Trances and Visions. This course is an introduction to ways of understanding and interpreting religious experiences. The course analyzes religious experiences from a variety of (mostly American) contexts, with attention to how religious people themselves describe experiences and how scholars try to account for them. It examines moments of sudden conversion, insight or inspiration, nature mysticism, and ritual practices that are performed by Muslims, Christians, and others. Mr. White.
255a. and b. Western Mystical Traditions (1)
Textual, phenomenological and theological studies in the religious mysticism of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. May be taken more than once for credit when content changes.
Topic for 2010/11a: Sufism. Through a selection of medieval and modern primary sources in translation, fiction that uses Sufism as its subject matter and also secondary source studies this class introduces the subject of Sufism or Islamic Mysticism. The course begins with a brief introduction to Islam. In conjunction with the study of material from early, medieval and modern Sufis the course examines foundational concepts in Islam that have shaped and continue to shape the ideas, beliefs and practices of Sufism. Some of the major themes we encounter in the class are monotheism, creation, God, love, cooking, drunkenness, poetry, ritual, and ecstasy. Ms. Leeming.
Topic for 2010/11b: Tours of Heaven and Hell. The literature of the ascent to Heaven and descent to Hell in Jewish and Christian society, as presented by those themes as near-and after-death experiences, angels and demons, heaven and hell in art, Gan Eden and Gehinnom in Jewish Kabbalah and Christian Qabala, and alternative heavens and hells in postmodernity. Mr. Epstein.
Not offered in 2010/11b.
Prerequisite: one 100-level course or by permission of instructor.
266b. Religion in America (1)
What are the major cultural and intellectual forces shaping religions in America? How have religious Americans encountered people of other faiths and nationalities? Why have they seen America as both a promised land and a place of bondage, conflict or secularization? What are the main ways that religious Americans think about faith, spirituality, religious diversity and church and state? How might we understand the complexity of these and other issues in a country of so many different religious groups---Protestant, Jewish, Catholic, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim? Mr. White.
Prerequisite: 1 unit in religion, or by permission of instructor.
267. Religion, Culture and Society (1)
(Same as Sociology 267) An examination of the interaction between religion, society, and culture in the work of classical theorists such as Freud, Marx, Durkheim and Weber, and in the writings of modern theorists like Berger, Luckman, Bellah, and Geertz. Students learn to apply theoretical concepts to the data of new religious movements in American society. Mr. Mamiya.
Prerequisite: 1 unit at the 100-level in religion, 1 unit at the 100-level in anthropology or sociology, or by permission of instructor.
268. Sociology of Black Religion (1)
(Same as Africana Studies 268 and Sociology 268) Mr. Mamiya.
271b. Departmental Colloquium (1/2)
Joint exploration for majors of methods in the study of religion. The department, Mr. Walsh.
One weekly two-hour period during the first half of the semester.
290a or b. Field Work (1/2 or 1)
Supervised field work in the community in cooperation with the field work office. The department.
By permission, with any unit in religion as prerequisite and work in other social sciences recommended.
298a or b. Independent Work (1/2 or 1)
Prerequisite: One semester of appropriate intermediate work in the field of study proposed.
Permission of instructor required.
300a. Senior Seminar (1)
An exploration of critical issues in the study of Religion. Mr. Walsh.
Senior Religion majors only.
One 2-hour meeting.
301b. Senior Thesis (1/2)
Written under the supervision of a member of the department; taken in the
310. Politics and Religion: Tradition and Modernization in the Third World (1)
(Same as Africana Studies 310) An examination of the central problem facing all Third-World and developing countries, the confrontation between the process of modernization and religious tradition and custom. Along with social, economic, and political aspects, the course focuses on the problems of cultural identity and crises of meaning raised by the modernization process. Selected case studies are drawn from Africa and Asia. Mr. Mamiya.
Prerequisite: Sociology/Religion 261 or Africana Studies 268, or 2 units in Religion or Africana Studies at the 200-level, or by permission of instructor.
315a. Religion and American Culture (1)
Advanced study in selected aspects of the history of religions in the United States. May be taken more than once for credit when the content changes.
320b. Studies in Sacred Texts (1)
Examination of selected themes and texts in sacred literature. May be taken more than once when content changes.
Topic for 2010/11 Satan. (Same as Jewish Studies 320) Satan is a multifaceted symbol: a binary opposite for the ultimate good (however this is defined); a tricky lawyer whose job is to trip us up; a countercultural figure representing rebellion against hegemonic power, our feelings about that rebellion, or sometimes the power itself. In literature, rhetoric and the imagination, Satan is also a useful stand-in for our enemies, taking on their shape and opinions which sometimes look just like our own. In this seminar, we trace the development of the figure of Satan through biblical, early Jewish, early Christian, early modern and contemporary sources. Ms. LiDonnici.
Prerequisites: I unit at the 200 level or permission by the instructor.
330a. Religion, Critical Thought and Politics (1)
Advanced study in selected aspects of religion and contemporary philosophical and political theory. May be taken more than once for credit when content changes.
Topic for 2010/11a: Unquantifiable Goods: Religio-Political Intersections. This seminar in religious ethics will examine the way certain goods of human life; i.e., grief, love, hope, reverence, beauty, anger, human rights, resist easy quantification and are deeply relevant to our public lives together. How do humans struggle to articulate and express these goods to each other? Given that these goods are not facilely quantifiable, how are they appropriately expressed publically
and politically? Texts by Reinhold Niebhur, Hannah Arendt, Albert Camus, and Cornel West will all be considered. Mr. Kahn.
340. Women in the Classical Jewish Tradition (1)
345. Violent Frontiers: Colonialism and Religion in the Nineteenth Century (1)
(Same as Asian Studies 345) What is the relationship between religion and colonialism and how has this relationship shaped the contemporary world? During the nineteenth century the category of religion was imagined and applied in different ways around the globe. When colonialists undertook to ‘civilize' a people, specific understandings of religion were at the core of their undertakings. By the mid-nineteenth century, Europe's territorial energy was focused on Asia and Africa. Themes for discussion include various nineteenth-century interpretations of religion, the relationship between empire and culture, the notion of frontier religion, and the imagination and production of society. Mr. Walsh.
346. Studies in Jewish Thought and History (1)
(Same as Jewish Studies 346) Advanced study in selected aspects of Jewish thought and history. May be taken more than once for credit when the content changes.
Prerequisites: 1 unit at the 200 level or permission of instructor.
350b. Comparative Studies in Religion (1)
An examination of selected themes, issues, or approaches used in illuminating the religious dimensions and dynamics within particular cultures and societies, with attention to the benefits and limits of the comparative method. Past seminars have focused on such topics as myth, ritual, mysticism, and iconography. May be taken more than once for credit when content changes.
Topic for 2010/11b: 51 Science, Religion and Mysticism: A History of Anglo-American Speculation about Infinity, the Fourth Dimension and Alternate Universes, 1850-2009.
This course examines the cultural history of American and British speculations about infinity, other dimensions and the physical and metaphysical energies that undergird the universe. We examine the history of math and physics, how American and British religious thinkers appropriate this scientific literature, and how ideas about infinite spatial dimensions are taken up in popular novels, science fiction and fantasy. There are no prerequisites for this course. Mr. White.
Topic for 2010/11b: 52 Foundational Islamic Texts: Qur'an, Hadith and Tafsir.
Without assuming prior knowledge of the Islamic textual and interpretive traditions, this course begins with an introduction to the Qur'an as an historical, literary, and devotional text in Islam. With this firm grounding, the course spends the remainder of the semester exploring interpretive traditions of the Qur'anbeginning with the prophet Muhammad's own explanations of the revelation and moving through examples of medieval and modern tafsir or interpretation of the Qur'an (including traditional, islamist, Sufi and feminist exegesis). The final portion of the class traces some of the results of these exegetical traditions in the production of fiqh or Islamic jurisprudence. While this course does not require its participants to have a background in Islam, some knowledge of Islam or another religious textual tradition would be helpful. Ms. Leeming.
355a. The Politics of Sacred Space (1)
This course examines the relationship between notions of spatial and temporal orientation and connects these to the fundamental importance of sacrality in human action and existence. Some of our questions include: what is sacred space? What is a sacred center? How are places made sacred through human action? To what extent is sacrality a matter of emplacement? What role does sacred space play in local and global environments? Mr. Walsh.
380. American Prophets, Radicals and Religious Revolutionaries (1)
This course introduces students to American prophets, utopian reformers and religious revolutionaries who have shaped modern American history. We explore how these American reformers draw on religious symbols to justify violence, buttress visions of revolution or critique dominant American values. Under what circumstances is violence permissible? Can revolution be morally or religiously justified? Does religion make society (and democracy in particular) more or less stable? Do religious visions promote or prevent violence? What kinds of personal qualities (virtues) must Americans cultivate in order to hold together a society where the people rule? This class looks at a spectrum of reformers, from religious feminists and environmentalists on the left to Christian Fundamentalists and others on the right. Mr. White.
384. The Literature of India (1)
385. Asian Healing Traditions (1)
(Same as Asian Studies 385) This seminar offers a comprehensive view of the traditional medical systems and healing modalities of India and China and examines the cultural values they participate in and propound. It also includes a "laboratory" in which hands-on disciplines (such as yoga and qi-gong) are practiced and understood within their traditional contexts. From a study of classical Ayur Vedic texts, Daoist alchemical manuals, shamanic processes and their diverse structural systems, the seminar explores the relationship between healing systems, religious teachings, and social realities. It looks at ways in which the value and practices of traditional medical and healing systems continue in Asia and the West. Mr. Jarow.
Prerequisites: Religion 231 or permission of instructor.
386. Exodus and Revolution: Violence and Religious Narrative (1)
(Same as Africana Studies 386) This seminar will explore the way a single biblical story, the story of the Israelite exodus from Egypt, has influenced politics, literature, and identity formation. Central to the class will be political philosopher Michael Walzer's claim that the Exodus provides a paradigm of social democratic politics. We will interrogate Walzer's claim by examining the story's in an array of contexts. We will consider the role that Exodus played in the construction of American political identity and Latin American liberation theology. Particular attention will be paid to the role of Exodus in African American political and religious traditions. Finally, the class will broach more theoretical questions about the role of violence and religion in creating conceptions of nation and peoplehood. Does the demand for a paradigm, particularly a paradigm like Exodus with its emphasis on chosenness and messianism, produce distasteful politics in the process? Mr. Kahn.
388. The Spiritual Gifts of Modern India (1)
(Same as Asian Studies 388) Since Swami Vivekananda brought the message of "raja yoga" to the Parliament of World Religions on the shores of Lake Michigan in 1893, a number of spiritual teachers from India have achieved notoriety on the world stage and have had a major impact in the formulation of a world and secular "spirituality" in our time. Through phenomenological and historical studies, as well as through close reading and study of primary texts, this course considers the works of these major figures, including Sri Aurobindo, Ramana Maharshi, Ananda Mayi Ma, and Bhagavan Sri Osho Rajneesh. Mr. Jarow.
Prerequisites: Religion 152 and/or 231, or permission of instructor.