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RELIGIOUS STUDIES

RS 111 Introduction to Religious Studies (3)
A critical examination of religion as a human endeavor through examinations of different religious perspectives from historical, anthropological and/or sociological standpoints. Through the academic study of religion, students will become conversant with major themes, issues, figures and phenomena. CORE-II.

RS 117 World Religions (3)
Both a historical and a critical look at human religious experience through a study of the world's many religious traditions. Topics include the varieties of religious belief including those beliefs regarding ideas of the holy and sacred, scriptures, myths, symbols, rituals and morality. CORE-II.

RS 221 Philosophy of Religion
Classical and contemporary arguments for understanding the existence, nature and reality of God. We will analyze and evaluate contemporary conceptions of divinity, humanity and spirit as well as related issues in the philosophy of religion: evil, immortality, relationships between faith and reason, the nature of religious experience and conceptions of the religious subject. CORE-II. FA.

RS/WS 225 Catholicism (3)
This course explores the history and fundamental beliefs of Catholics on God, Christ, the Spirit, scripture, liturgy, the Sacraments, and the Church. We will also examine contemporary trends and issues such as peace and justice, women, and ecumenism within the Catholic tradition. CORE-II.

RS 227 Images of Jesus (3)
A critical study of the religious, cultural and historical images representing ancient and contemporary understandings of Jesus. CORE- II.

RS 231 Christianity (3)
This course will address origins and major events in the history of Christianity and its different cultural expressions throughout the world, spanning from the time before Jesus' birth through the present period. The study of Christianity will be approached as an incredibly widespread, diverse, multi- purposed, multi-vocal, and global phenomenon. Topics to be addressed include the historical figure of Jesus; the rise of Christianity as a local and global phenomenon; the political, social, and cultural role of Christianity throughout a variety of locales; and how Christianity has been an instrument of both defeat and power for underrepresented groups. CORE-II.

RS 233 American Religious History (3)
Religion's role in forming U.S. culture and ideals. Survey of mainstream traditions, the particular experiences and contributions of African-Americans and Latinos as well as the unique influences of selected individuals and groups. CORE-II.

RS 251 Islam (3)
Through formative, classical, and contemporary interpretations of Islamic history and religion, this course will analyze diverse Islamic understandings of fundamental doctrines of Islamic faith, the nature of religious experience, the nature of God, and the life and significance of Muhammad. CORE-II.

RS 252 Judaism (3)
Situating ancient and contemporary interpretations of Jewish history, politics and religion together, this course will analyze and explore many of the following aspects of Judaism: diverse understandings of the relationship between the Hebrew Bible and Jewish communities, beliefs and rituals within religious practice, the role of women within Judaism, conceptions of Jewish identity as well as the nature of God, religious experience, divine revelation and religious authority. CORE-II.

RS/IS 311 Peace Studies (3)
This course provides an interdisciplinary (religious studies, communication, philosophy, sociology, history, and economics) approach to achieving peace on a personal, local, national, and international level. The focus is on developing practical strategies for creating peace and living peacefully in a global society. CORE-II & CORE-III.

RS/IS 317 Catholicism in Latin America (3)
Explores the religious and political history of Latin America. This course will highlight church teachings and structures responding to the needs and demands of various social groups within the population. Attention to ways in which art, architecture, and literature have expressed ideologies. Prerequisite: One course in Religious Studies. CORE-II & CORE-III.

RS/WS/IS 319 Women, Religion and Community in the U.S. (3)
This course will examine women and religion and how the interaction of religious and gender ideology helped shape experiences and create women's communities within a variety of religious traditions in the U.S. We will view religious experience through a multicultural lens which includes the perspectives of African-American, Native American, Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant women and some women founders of American and international religious groups. CORE- II & CORE-III.

RS 327 Liberation Theology (3)
Twentieth-century theologies of liberation with emphasis on the contributions of some of the following: Native American, Latin American, Asian, African-American, and African. Communication Intensive course.

RS/IS 343. The 3R's: Race, Religion and Reform in American Education (3)
This interdisciplinary course will encompass the disciplines of American religious history and education. The course will focus on ethnic and racial relations as they have interfaced with religious diversity and evolved in American education. Educational reform movements that have attempted to address these topics, as well as gender and class issues, will also be explored. CORE-II & CORE-III.

RS/IS 360 Issues of Social Justice (3)
Drawing from the perspectives of Catholic Social Teaching and Social Work practice, this course explores the concept of social justice and examines the intercultural skills needed to address issues of social justice with individuals and communities. Through a cultural immersion experience abroad, students will be engaged with local communities and participate in community- based learning opportunities in order to develop, practice and assess the intercultural skills needed in working towards social justice on a local-global scale. Prerequisite: Completion of all Level I and 15 hours of Level II course requirements. CORE-II & CORE-III.

RS/IS 368 Christianity in Film (3)
Christianity in Film is a cross-disciplined investigation of the interaction between Christianity (both as a formal social institution and its cultural manifestations) and the global film industry. The course will focus on the widespread themes through which cinematographers have portrayed the world's largest religion, along the way uncovering the flexibility of Christianity as a force interacting with and being impacted by culture. The course will grapple with the great diversity of Christian representations in film, including topics such as the following: the figure of Jesus; Catholic and Protestant theologies; Christian concepts of good, evil, and morality; and popular cultural forms of Christian discourse. CORE-II & CORE-III.

RS/PL 380. Special Topics. (1-3)
Selected topics to be determined by the department.

RS/PL 480. Special Topics. (1-3)
Selected topics to be determined by the department.

RS/PL 485. Practicum. (3)
Experience in one of the specialized areas of Religious Studies, with departmental guidance and supervision.

RS/PL 490. Directed Studies. (3)
Approved and directed in-depth study of a specific area of Religious Studies, according to student need and interest. Prerequisite: Permission of department.

RS/PL 499. Senior Seminar. (3)
Students from both Religious Studies and Philosophy work through a global theme, analyzing and evaluating issues and problems within that theme from the perspectives and methodologies of both disciplines. Meets the Capstone course and Communication Intensive requirement in the major. Prerequisite: Permission of department.

Avila University
11901 Wornall Road, Kansas City, MO 64145
800.462.8452
Religious Studies & Philosophy
Ken Parsons, Ph.D., Chair, Religious Studies & Philosophy
816.501.2407