Majors, minors + certificates

Bachelor of Arts in African American and African Diaspora Studies and Religious Studies (AAADRELBA)Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies

Students on Summer 2019, Fall 2019, or Spring 2020 requirements.

Description

The Interdepartmental Bachelor of Arts in African American and African Diaspora Studies and Religious Studies gives students the opportunity to explore and examine the intersection of religion and its influences in African American life and culture. Foundational courses provide a strong base knowledge of global religious traditions and ideas, along a breadth of knowledge of the historical, cultural, and artistic contributions and influences of people of African descent.

Major requirements

The major requires at least 42 credit hours, including the requirements listed below.

  1. African American and African Diaspora Studies Courses. 21 credit hours, of which at least 12 credit hours must be at the 300–499 level, including:
    1. Introductory course. One (1) course from the .
      • Required for the major. The culture of blacks in America viewed from a broad interdisciplinary approach, employing resources from history, literature, folklore, religion, sociology, and political science. (3 credit hours.)
    2. African American History. One (1) course from the .
      • History of blacks in the United States. Slavery, abolitionism, Reconstruction, and post-Reconstruction to 1900. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 355 or HIST-A 355. (3 credit hours.)
      • R: AAAD-A 355. 1900 to the present. Migration north, NAACP, Harlem Renaissance, postwar freedom movement. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 356 or HIST-A 356. (3 credit hours.)
    3. African American Literature. One (1) course from the .
      • African American writing before World War II, with emphasis on critical reactions and analyses. Includes slave narratives, autobiographies, rhetoric, fiction, and poetry. (3 credit hours.)
      • R: AAAD-A 379. The black experience in America as it has been reflected since World War II in the works of outstanding African American writers: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. (3 credit hours.)
    4. Focal area. Nine (9) additional credit hours taken from courses in any of the three focal areas:
      • Arts
      • P: Consent of instructor by audition. R: Previous dance training desirable but not essential. Emphasis on ethnic and jazz traditions, although other genres are regularly performed. Repertoire varies from semester to semester. Participation in on- and off-campus concerts, workshops, and lecture demonstrations required. May be repeated individually or in combination with AAAD-A 110 or AAAD-A 120 for a maximum of 12 credit hours. (2 credit hours.)
      • Open to summer Groups Program students only. Through a musical/theatrical piece chosen for study and performance, students are encouraged to explore and develop their abilities and to experience growth and motivation that comes from participating in a unified and motivating group experience. (2 credit hours.)
      • The ensemble performs music composed by, for and about blacks, including spirituals, gospel, art songs, and excerpts from operas and musicals. Repertoire varies from semester to semester. Participation in on- and off-campus concerts, workshops, and lecture demonstrations required. No audition required. Students meet the first day of class prepared to sing. Vocal evaluations and part assignments will be done during class. Ability to read music is desirable but not essential. May be repeated individually or in combination with AAAD-A 100 or AAAD-A 120 for a maximum of 12 credit hours. (2 credit hours.)
      • An exploration of the relationships among musics of West and Central African people and their descendants in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Emphasis placed on the conceptual and aesthetic continuities between musical expression in Old and New World contexts—a uniformity which exists because of shared African cultural ancestry. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 112, FOLK-E 112, or FOLK-F 112. (3 credit hours.)
      • P: Consent of instructor by audition. Introduces the richness and depth of black popular tradition through authentic performance practices. Repertoire varies from semester to semester. Participation in on- and off-campus concerts, workshops, and lecture demonstrations required. Ability to read music desirable but not essential. May be repeated individually or in combination with AAAD-A 100 or AAAD-A 110 for a maximum of 12 credit hours. (2 credit hours.)
      • Introduction to the history, culture, music, and body movements of dances in the African American and African Diaspora tradition with a focus on African-derived dances, primarily from Cuba, Puerto Rico, and America. Instruction through classroom lectures, discussions, videos, readings, and movement sessions. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines black female creativity in the United States from colonial times through the present. Studies art and creativity under slavery, nineteenth-century pioneering artists, racial and gender stereotypes in visual culture, the Harlem Renaissance, WPA art, civil rights and Black Power movements, feminist art, abstraction, conceptual and performance art, vernacular art, postmodernism, and black feminist futurism. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines representations of racial identity in American visual culture from the colonial period through the present. Focuses on evolving conceptions of European American, Native American, African American, Asian American, and Mexican American identities. Considers the political and social climate in which art was made, its consumption, and its place within existing histories. (3 credit hours.)
      • Investigates the complex relationship between photography and the African Diaspora from the invention of photography in 1839 through the present. Focuses on a range of photographic genres. Provides historical and theoretical reflections on photography of and by black people by considering the political and social climate in which these images were made, their consumption, and their place within existing histories. Emphasizes image making in the United States with occasional reference to African and European photography. (3 credit hours.)
      • Images of blacks in films, mainly American, from before "The Birth of a Nation" (1915) to the 1950s. Course will include segments as well as complete feature films (also "race films" when available), shorts, cartoons, and documentaries viewed in historical perspective. (3 credit hours.)
      • Problems raised by proliferation of films acted, authored, directed, and/or produced by blacks. Exploration of legitimacy of "black film aesthetic" and its reception by various segments of the black community. (3 credit hours.)
      • Images of blacks as reflected in American drama from 1767 to 1945. Selected dramas of both white and black playwrights, such as Isaac Bickerstaffe, William Wells Brown, Eugene O'Neill, and Richard Wright, who depicted blacks on the stage. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 283 or AAAD-A 383. (3 credit hours.)
      • Survey of cultural, social, and political attitudes that influenced blacks in the development of and participation in blues, jazz, urban black popular music, and "classical" music. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines rap music and hip hop culture as artistic and sociocultural phenomena with emphasis on historical, cultural, economic, and political contexts. Topics include the coexistence of various hip hop styles, their appropriation by the music industry, and controversies resulting from the exploitation of hip hop as a commodity for national and global consumption. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 295, FOLK-E 295, or FOLK-F 295. (3 credit hours.)
      • A chronological survey of Black popular music from 1945-2000: rhythm and blues, soul, funk, disco, hip hop, and their derivative forms. Emphasis placed on the context for evolution and the contributions of African Americans to the development of a multi-billion dollar music industry. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 297, AAAD-A 397, FOLK-E 297, FOLK-F 397, or MUS-M 397. (3 credit hours.)
      • Acquaints students with dancers and choreographers from the African American and African Diaspora who choose to communicate historical, political, recreational, and social themes through the modern, jazz, ballet, tap, and traditional (African and Caribbean) forms of dance and the expressive nature of movement from the black perspective and experience. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines the historical and contemporary portrayals of African Americans in Hollywood and in independent narrative film focusing on the social and political functions of film, its legitimization of race, and its oppositional formations, interventions, and practices. Considers how film mediates and interrogates race and social relations in American society. (3 credit hours.)
      • Considers visual artistic production (painting, sculpture, photography, and film) during the Harlem or "New Negro" Renaissance, a period in which African American artists sought radical reconceptualizations of self and community through visual and literary expression. (3 credit hours.)
      • Considers visual artistic production (painting, sculpture, photography, and film) during the American Civil Rights and Black Power Movements. (3 credit hours.)
      • P: AAAD-A 120. Focuses on music industry concerns related to the ensemble's live presentations of Black popular music. Explores how Black popular music is manifested within the broader context of the music industry. Readings explore music industry structures and practices (copyright law, publishing, creative production, etc.) that directly impact African American artists' creative output and livelihood. May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit hours individually or in combination with AAAD-A 338 and AAAD-A 339. (2 credit hours.)
      • P: AAAD-A 100. Students learn dance technique and experience performance from the perspective of the African American and African diaspora. Students perform in choreographic works created by the director and in works produced from student collaborative projects. May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit hours individually or in combination with AAAD-A 337 and AAAD-A 339. (2 credit hours.)
      • P: AAAD-A 110. Through meetings with the instructor, students may complete a research project, and develop advanced-level choral leadership skills in vocal techniques, advanced sight reading, and intermediate piano skills. Students will organize and perform in small ensembles to demonstrate their abilities to perform Black choral music. May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit hours individually or in combination with AAAD-A 337 and AAAD-A 338. (2 credit hours.)
      • P: Junior or senior standing. Examines rap music as artistic and sociological phenomena with emphasis on its historical and political contexts. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 345, AAAD-A 489, FOLK-F 345, or FOLK-F 389. (3 credit hours.)
      • A survey of the artistic traditions of the African in the New World, from the period of slavery in North and South America through contemporary African American and expatriate black American artists. (3 credit hours.)
      • A study in cross-cultural stereotyping as evidenced in the film medium. Analysis of Native American, Asian, black, Hispanic, and Jewish groups. Features, shorts, and animations screened to illustrate the "classic" stereotypes of each group and to demonstrate their impact on American society. (3 credit hours.)
      • Images of blacks as reflected in American drama from 1945 to the present. Emphasis on the contributions of black playwrights such as Lorraine Hansberry, Langston Hughes, Imamu Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Ted Shine, and Ed Bullins. (3 credit hours.)
      • P: AAAD-A 283, AAAD-A 379, AAAD-A 380, AAAD-A 383, or AAAD-A 384; or consent of instructor. Contributions of blacks to the theatre in America. Reading and discussion of selected dramas and critiques with opportunities for involvement in the oral interpretation of one or more of the plays. (3 credit hours.)
      • This course surveys the development of Motown Record Corporation, Detroit Era (1959-1972). Through lecture, discussion, guided listening, and visual experiences, the course studies the musical works, creative processes, business practices, historical events, media, technology, and sociocultural factors that contributed to Motown's identity as a unique artistic and cultural phenomenon. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 388, AAAD-A 389, or FOLK-E 388. (3 credit hours.)
      • Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 393 or MUS-M 393. (3 credit hours.)
      • A chronological survey of sacred and secular African American musical traditions in North America from the African past to the present. Emphasis placed on context for evolution, musical processes and aesthetics, interrelationships among genres and musical change, issues of gender, and music as resistance. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 394, FOLK-E 394, or MUS-M 394. (3 credit hours.)
      • A survey of contemporary jazz and soul (rhythm and blues) music and musicians in the United States. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 395 or MUS-M 395. (3 credit hours.)
      • A study of black music and musicians in the United States with emphasis on the black composer in contemporary music. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 396 or MUS-M 396. (3 credit hours.)
      • Historical and critical overview of films produced by African American women from the 1940s to the present. The course emphasizes how black women filmmakers combine their creative abilities with a desire to capture dominant issues that affect black women's lives in America. (3 credit hours.)
      • An in-depth investigation of Negro spirituals and gospel music, with some treatment of the traditions of lining-out and shape note singing. Examination of genres will address and integrate both the musical and the sociocultural perspectives. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 496 or FOLK-E 496. (3 credit hours.)
      • Literature
      • Examines historical texts and introduces them and tropes emphasized by writers to articulate issues of freedom, identity, and salvation as perceived by blacks in diaspora communities. Teaches students how to relate literary works to historical and cultural contexts and how to think critically about ideas, images, and master narratives as presented by African American writers and writers of the black diaspora. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines recent literary texts and introduces students to transnational themes and tropes emphasized by black writers to articulate issues of freedom, identity, and salvation; utilizes interdisciplinary methods to teach students how to appreciate literary artistry; relate literary works to historical and cultural contexts; and think critically about ideas, images, and master narratives as presented by African American writers and writers of the black diaspora. (3 credit hours.)
      • Representative African American writings including poetry, short story, sermons, novels, and drama. (3 credit hours.)
      • A survey of autobiographies written by black Americans in the last two centuries. The course emphasizes how the autobiographers combine the grace of art and the power of argument to urge the creation of genuine freedom in America. (3 credit hours.)
      • An examination of black poetry from Dunbar to the present, emphasizing the emergence, growth, and development of black consciousness as a positive ethnic identification. (3 credit hours.)
      • R: AAAD-A 379 or AAAD-A 380. Analysis of the African American novel from the Harlem Renaissance to the present: genesis, development, and current trends. Emphasis on traditions arising out of the black experience and on critical perspectives developed by black critics and scholars. (3 credit hours.)
      • History, Culture, and Social Issues
      • P: Groups student; and residence in Atkins Living Learning Center. Examines the impact of African American history and culture on the nation as a whole and on the international community. (1 credit hour.)
      • Exploration of the development of racism and racial ideologies in the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, and South America from colonial times to the present. Emphasizes the interaction among cultural, political, and economic factors in shaping patterns of conflict and collaboration, domination and resistance. (3 credit hours.)
      • A comparative perspective on American race relations, specifically the similarities and differences of the struggles against Jim Crow in America and against apartheid in South Africa. In both places, the late twentieth century witnessed a revolt against the legal and philosophical framework of white supremacy. (3 credit hours.)
      • A comparative study of the cultural, historical, and socioeconomic life patterns of African Americans and Diaspora-based Africans in the United States. (3 credit hours.)
      • The course will explore black participation in the formal structures of American government and in the processes by which these structures are accessed. Black participation in local, state, and federal government arenas will be focused upon, and the political benefits to the black community of these involvements will be assessed. (3 credit hours.)
      • Interdisciplinary examination of salient aspects of black women's history, identity, and experience, including policies, cultural assumptions, and knowledge systems that affect black women's lives. While the primary focus is North America, the lives of black women in other cultural settings within the African Diaspora are also examined. (3 credit hours.)
      • Communicative experiences of black Americans, including black dialect, language and ethnicity, interracial communication, recurring themes, spokespersons in black dialogue, and sociohistorical aspects of black language and communication. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 238 or CMCL-C 238. (3 credit hours.)
      • An interdisciplinary study of how members of four minority groups—Native Americans, Asian Americans, blacks, and Hispanics—combine their struggle for social justice with their desire to maintain their own concepts of identity. (3 credit hours.)
      • The church's role as a black social institution from slavery to the present, its religious attitudes as expressed in songs and sermons, and its political activities as exemplified in the minister-politician. (3 credit hours.)
      • A seminar, primarily designed for sophomores and juniors, directed toward critical analysis of selected topics germane to the future socioeconomic and political position of African Americans. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examination of the historical participation and contributions of African Americans in sport. Students study African American sports pioneers and the social conditions affecting their participation. Period studied includes pre-slavery to the civil rights era (1500 to 1960s). (3 credit hours.)
      • The impact of African American sports heroes, famous teams, and annual sporting events on the shaping of African American culture and the combating of American racism. (3 credit hours.)
      • African American culture in the United States viewed in terms of history (antebellum to present) and social change (rural to urban). Use of oral traditions and life histories to explore aspects of black culture and history. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 292, AAAD-A 392, or FOLK-F 354. (3 credit hours.)
      • R: 3 credit hours of literature. The common and divergent experiences of African-American, Afro-Caribbean, and African travelers to the "City of Light," from eighteenth-century New Orleans Creoles to twenty-first-century youth of African descent, as seen through literature, performance, film, and other arts. Issues of colonization, expatriation, immigration, exile, the Harlem Renaissance and "negritude," race and diaspora, transnationalism. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 304 or CMLT-C 363. (3 credit hours.)
      • This course is an interdisciplinary and comparative study of historical, cultural, and political issues related to Africa and the African Diaspora (the Americas and Europe). Emphasis will also be on team teaching using IUB faculty. Course will be of interest to students in all university departments and schools. (3 credit hours.)
      • Comparative colloquium that explores the recent literature on racial connections between "the local" and "the global" in contemporary American experience. Through immersion in the new "transnational" critiques of the United States, students analyze texts that describe African, Asian, European, indigenous, and Latino sensibilities about culture, homelands, belonging, and exclusion. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines several aspects of the classical, indigenous, and modern political/social bondage. (3 credit hours.)
      • A research seminar, primarily designed for juniors and seniors, directed toward critical analysis of selected topics germane to the future socioeconomic and political position of African Americans. Reading and discussion of relevant texts, studies, and articles. Includes theory construction, research design, and data collection. (3 credit hours.)
      • Legal evolution of civil rights and analysis of specific relevant legal decisions that stimulated social change (the role of slavery, racial segregation, inequality of educational opportunity, and voting laws). (3 credit hours.)
      • Examination of the history, development, and manifestation of feminist consciousness among African American women. The course is particularly concerned with how black women's lived experience defines that consciousness, and the differing impact it has among various groups of black women, and in their larger social, political, and cultural communities. (3 credit hours.)
      • Explores the process, patterns, and paradoxes of the incorporation of individuals and groups identified and/or perceived as "immigrants" from a comparative-interdisciplinary perspective. Focuses on persons from "sending" countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia to the United States. Also examines developments in other labor-importing, postindustrial countries such as France and England in relation to the people who settle there. (3 credit hours.)
      • Consequences of the black diaspora in North America; shifting views of blacks toward their native continent; analysis of current geographic, economic, and political relationships. (3 credit hours.)
      • Advanced study and analysis of selected issues and problems within the African American and African Diaspora experience utilizing interdisciplinary interpretation through analytical reasoning and philosophical discussions. Varied topics primarily in the areas of history, politics, sociology, anthropology, and economics. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • Advanced study and analysis of selected issues and problems within the African American and African Diaspora experience utilizing interdisciplinary interpretations through analytical reasoning and philosophical discussions. Varied topics primarily in the areas of dance, music, film, theatre and drama, and literature. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines the fight for civil rights by protest organizations such as Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, and Congress of Racial Equality; the emergence of black leaders such as King, Farmer, and Malcolm X; the challenge posed by Black Power advocates in the Black Panthers and Black Muslims; and the changes in American society made by the black revolution. (3 credit hours.)
      • An examination of the historical roles, structures, the impact of black protest strategies, and the origins of black movements to assess their impact on communities in Africa and in the diaspora. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examination of the influence of race, gender, and class from a perspective of power and culture. Use of interdisciplinary sources, including essays, fiction, art, and social science research to examine how different social groups vie for representation, self-definition, and power in different social and cultural settings. (3 credit hours.)
      • Histories, theories, policies, and citizen, state, corporate, nonprofit sector models of transforming past and present societies divided by race, ethnicity, gender, class, caste, tribe, and religion through restorative and distributive justice movements and policies such as civil rights, affirmative action, reparations, and reconciliation tribunals. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines the economic, social, cultural and political development of black families residing primarily in rural areas of southern US prior to 1970. Primary attention given to institutional development, race relations, population, and migration. (3 credit hours.)
      • A survey study of national, cultural, and cross-cultural persuasion in theory and practice. Credit given for only one of AAAD-A 427 or CMCL-C 427. (3 credit hours.)
      • Focuses on crime reporting in America, addressing the question of whether or not the media distort the picture of crime. In particular, this course explores the mass media treatment of African Americans in the coverage of crime. (3 credit hours.)
      • Education of black Americans and its relationship to the African American experience. Trends and patterns in the education of black Americans as they relate to the notions of education "for whom and for what." (3 credit hours.)
      • Contemporary racial problems in American society with regard to law and constitutional principles of basic freedoms and associated conflicts. Effects of societal norms and impact of racism. (3 credit hours.)
  2. Religious Studies Courses. 21 credit hours, with no more than one 100-level course counting toward the minimum and with at least 12 credit hours in courses at the 300–499 level (other than REL-X 370, REL-X 371, REL-X 498 and REL-R 499), including:
    1. Area C. One (1) course from the .
      • Selected topics, issues, and movements in American religions. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • American religious institutions and public policy. Religious liberty. Religious communities as political forces on selected issues, e.g., war, poverty, racism. Credit given for only one of REL-C 220 or REL-R 271. (3 credit hours.)
      • Explores American Jewish history from its beginnings to the present through primary source readings, documentary films, and historical readings. Credit given for only one of HIST-H 259, JSTU-J 259, or REL-C 230. (3 credit hours.)
      • Selected topics and movements in American religions. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • Through reading, watching, and creating superhero stories, course explores what such stories may have to say about religion, spirituality, science, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, class and age in American culture. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines the varieties of African American religions, especially Christianity, Islam, Yoruba, Vodun, and Humanism, from the colonial era to the present. Methodologies will also be critically examined. Credit given for only one of REL-C 320 or REL-R 321. (3 credit hours.)
      • Explores the spectrum of Jewish thought on race and ethnicity from historical and regional perspectives. Addresses the questions "Are Jews white?" and "Are Jews a race?" looking at both contemporary and historical sources to see how the answers differ in relation to the specific racial landscapes of particular times and places. Credit given for only one of JSTU-J 310 or REL-C 323. (3 credit hours.)
      • A comparative study of the role religious narratives and beliefs have played in the shaping of racial and ethnic boundaries. (3 credit hours.)
      • Assesses the causes, nature, and implications of evangelical influence from the Great Awakening to the present. Credit given for only one of REL-C 330 or REL-R 337. (3 credit hours.)
      • Offers a theoretical and comparative survey of the emergence of religious traditions. Groups may include early Christianity, early Islam, Nichirin Shoshu, Mormonism, Tenrikyo, the Nation of Islam, Scientology, Falun Gong, and the Branch Davidians. Credit given for only one of REL-C 335 or REL-R 334. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines selected American disasters (e.g., 9/11, the sinking of the Titanic) to consider how diverse populations at different historical moments in American history have sought to understand disaster. Considers events in their historical, social, and political contexts and interprets them to understand more fully the religious ideas, beliefs, practices, and disputes in play among representative groups. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines the relationship between American religion and sex from the early 1600s to the 21st century. Readings include culture theory, contemporary literature, missionary documents, theological tracts, and legal documents from early and contemporary periods. Students are encouraged to draw upon the resources of the Kinsey Institute archives. Credit given for only one of REL-C 355 or REL-R 391. (3 credit hours.)
      • A selected topic such as American Catholicism in the twentieth century, religion and nationalism in America, or the problem of race and the American churches. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours in REL-C 401 and REL-R 434. (3 credit hours.)
      • What is the meaning of illness and healing? Is religion good or bad for health? How should healthcare providers respond to patients' religious beliefs? What is the relationship between complementary and alternative medicine or prayer and religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, or Christianity? This course is ideal for pre-med, pre-law, business/management, and other interested students. (3 credit hours.)
      • An examination of the religious thought of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X in the context of American religious cultures. Credit given for only one of REL-C 420 or REL-R 438. (3 credit hours.)
    2. Area A, Area B, Area D. One (1) course at the 200–499 level chosen from two of the remaining three areas:
      • Area A—Africa, Europe, and West Asia
      • Selected issues and movements in African, European, and West Asian religions. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • Development of the beliefs, practices, and institutions of ancient Israel from the patriarchs to the Maccabean period. Introduction to the biblical literature and other ancient Near East documents. Credit given for only one of REL-A 210 or REL-R 210. (3 credit hours.)
      • What is the "New Testament"? This introductory course considers both literary and historical approaches to the literature of the New Testament, with particular emphasis on the Gospels and Pauline literature. Topics include the concept of "canon," the history of reception and interpretation, gender and sexuality in early Christian literatures, the Apocryphal Gospels, and relationships between early Judaism and early Christianity. Credit given for only one of REL-A 220 or REL-R 220. (3 credit hours.)
      • The development of post-biblical Judaism; major themes, movements, practices, and values. Credit given for only one of JSTU-J 230, REL-A 230, or REL-R 245. (3 credit hours.)
      • Explores the sacred texts of Judaism after the Bible. Considers how tradition works; how people created new religious knowledge after the Bible was canonized; why some texts are considered sacred, while others are not. Includes a variety of sacred texts, including Mishnah, Talmud, Midrash, and Kabbalah. Credit given for only one of JSTU-J 220 or REL-A 235. (3 credit hours.)
      • Surveys history of Christianity from Jesus's healings and exorcisms in the first century up through the global expansion of diverse Christian communities in the modern world. Credit given for only one of REL-A 250 or REL-R 247. (3 credit hours.)
      • Introduction to the religious world of Islam: the Arabian milieu before Muhammad's prophetic call, the career of the Prophet. Qur'an and hadith, ritual and the pillars of Muslim praxis, legal, and theological traditions; mysticism and devotional piety, reform and revivalist movements. Credit given for only one of REL-A 270 or REL-R 257. (3 credit hours.)
      • No prior knowledge of Islam required. Explores the role of sex and gender in shaping the lives of Muslims. Focuses on the experiences of Muslim women, men, as well as people who inhabit non-normative genders and sexualities. Investigates the ways in which Muslims negotiate and respond to the sexual politics of the times in which they live. (3 credit hours.)
      • Selected topics and movements in African, European, and West Asian religions. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • A survey of the various religions in the ancient Near East (Egypt, Babylon, Persia) and the Greco-Roman worlds. Attention will be paid to ritual, philosophy, and community formation. Credit given for only one of REL-A 305 or REL-R 318. (3 credit hours.)
      • The prophetic movement and its relationship to religious, social, and political traditions and institutions in the ancient Near East. The thought of major prophetic figures in Israel, such as Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel. Credit given for only one of REL-A 315 or REL-R 310. (3 credit hours.)
      • Explores the interactions and so-called parting of the ways between Jews, Christians, and other religious groups in Roman Palestine and Sasanian Persia from the first through seventh centuries C.E. Pays special attention to the portrayals of Christians in Jewish literature such as the Mishnah and Talmud. Credit given for only one of JSTU-J 316 or REL-A 316. (3 credit hours.)
      • The development of Jewish traditions from circa 400 BCE to 200 CE in their linguistic, geographical, and cultural diversity. Discusses emergence of scripture, apocalyptic traditions, place in Hellenistic and Roman cultures, relationship with early Christianity, and emergence of Judaism as a religion. Credit given for only one of JSTU-J 317 or REL-A 317. (3 credit hours.)
      • The rabbis of late antiquity were masters of the Bible who produced a corpus of writings in which they interpret holy scriptures. These writings, known as rabbinic literature, remain to this day the foundation of normative Jewish behavior and traditions. This course explores what these rabbis believed and how they interpreted the Bible. Credit given for only one of JSTU-J 320 or REL-A 318. (3 credit hours.)
      • Comparative and analytical study of traditions about Jesus: their development and function in various historical periods, social contexts, and intellectual traditions. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • Life and thought of Paul in the context of first-century Christian and non-Christian movements. Development of radical Paulinism and anti-Paulinism in the second century; their influence on the formation of Christianity. Credit given for only one of REL-A 321 or REL-R 325. (3 credit hours.)
      • The history and literature of Christianity from the late third century to the early seventh century. Topics include Christianity and the state, gender and sexuality, asceticism, monasticism, Christianity and culture. Credit given for only one of REL-A 325 or REL-R 327. (3 credit hours.)
      • The origins and development of varieties of the monastic life in ancient and early medieval Christianity; social forms of monastic groups, ascetic practices, types of spirituality. Credit given for only one of REL-A 326 or REL-R 323. (3 credit hours.)
      • The development of Jewish mystical practice and thought from the Middle Ages to the present, thirteenth-century Spanish Kabbalah, sixteenth-century Safed, Sabbatianism, Hasidism, contemporary manifestations of mysticism. Credit given for only one of REL-A 335 or REL-R 341. (3 credit hours.)
      • The history and literature of western Christianity during the Middle Ages. Credit given for only one of REL-A 350 or REL-R 330. (3 credit hours.)
      • The history and literature of western Christianity from the Reformation to the present. Credit given for only one of REL-A 351 or REL-R 331. (3 credit hours.)
      • Introduction to the doctrines, spirituality, and practice of Orthodox Christianity as expressed in various cultural and national contexts. Particular attention is paid to Orthodox asceticism, monasticism, parish life, theology, and religious rivalry within the confession. (3 credit hours.)
      • Considers representations of women and the feminine in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and literature of early Judaism and Christianity. Explores how these texts have been interpreted in the history of Western culture, and how they continue to shape attitudes about women, gender, and sexuality in the contemporary world. Credit given for only one of JSTU-J 375 or REL-A 375. (3 credit hours.)
      • Students gain understanding of how Muslims have traditionally interpreted the texts of revelation (Qur'an and Hadith) through the development of practical "hands-on" methods. Designed to resemble classes in theology, jurisprudence, and law in a medieval Islamic college. Credit given for only one of REL-A 380 or REL-R 378. (3 credit hours.)
      • Selected problems in ancient Israelite religion, such as pre-Yahwistic religion, Israel's cultic life, royal theology and messianism, the wisdom movement, sectarian apocalyptic. (3 credit hours.)
      • The myth, ritual, and beliefs of the ancient Gnostics and related Christian and non-Christian movements of the late Roman empire: classic Gnostic scripture, Valentinus and his followers, the School of St. Thomas, Basilides, the Corpus Hermeticum, and the possibility of Gnosticism in the New Testament. Credit given for only one of REL-A 426 or REL-R 425. (3 credit hours.)
      • Special topics such as problems in Jewish mystical tradition, the nature of religious community, charismatic leadership, religious biography. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours in REL-A 430 and REL-R 445. (3 credit hours.)
      • Controversial issues in the history of Catholicism from Martin Luther's critique of the church's corruption to recent court cases indicting the church's response to sex abuse cases. Examines the place of Catholicism in the modern imagination as well as key historical figures and events. (3 credit hours.)
      • Studies the concepts of sex and gender in modern Judaism through categories including law, ritual, and theology. Uses gender theory to explore historical and contemporary struggles over interpretations of traditional Jewish texts. Discusses Jewish ideas about masculinity, femininity, human bodies, and their places in religious life. Credit given for only one of REL-A 440 or REL-R 421. (3 credit hours.)
      • Significant figures, issues, and movements in the history of Christianity examined in their social and religious contexts, with attention to their continuing religious and cultural impact. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours in REL-A 450 and REL-R 430. (3 credit hours.)
      • Selected topics on Islamic law, philosophy, theology, and mysticism. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours in REL-A 470 and REL-R 456. (3 credit hours.)
      • Develops students' understanding of the central theological issues in Muslim thought as they were developed by various groups and individuals over the last 1,300 years. Credit given for only one of REL-A 480 or REL-R 468. (3 credit hours.)
      • Explores the ways in which sacred biography is used in various contexts to develop theories of authority and history. Applies theories and methods of textual interpretation to the earliest known biography of the Prophet Muhammad (d. 632 C.E.). Credit given for only one of REL-A 485 or REL-R 467. (3 credit hours.)
      • Area B—South and East Asia
      • Selected issues and movements in South and East Asian religions. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • Introduction to the basic beliefs and practices of Buddhism from its beginnings to the present. Special attention to the life and teachings of the founder, significant developments in India, and the diffusion of the tradition to East Asia, Central Asia, and the West. Credit given for only one of REL-B 210 or REL-R 250. (3 credit hours.)
      • Beliefs, rites, and institutions of Hinduism from the Vedic (c. 1200 B.C.) to modern times: religion of the Vedas and the Upanishads, epics and the rise of devotional religion, philosophical systems (Yoga and Vedanta), sectarian theism, monasticism, socioreligious institutions, popular religion (temples and pilgrimages), modern Hindu syncretism. Credit given for only one of REL-B 220 or REL-R 255. (3 credit hours.)
      • Introduction to religion in premodern and contemporary China. Examines the concept of religion, the notion of religious identity, and various debates that have shaped religious traditions (Confucians, Daoists, Mohists, Chinese Buddhists, Confucian-Muslims) in China. (3 credit hours.)
      • Selected topics and movements in South and East Asian religions. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • Adaptation and assimilation of Buddhism in East Asia, early philosophical and ritual schools, social issues, Tiantai synthesis of Mahayana Buddhism, devotional Buddhism, Ch'an/Zen school of meditation, impact of Buddhism on East Asian cultures and arts. Credit given for only one of REL-B 310 or REL-R 350. (3 credit hours.)
      • This class explores the rise and circulation of tantric practices, ideas, and texts among Indian and Tibetan Buddhists. The class also considers the advantages and limitations of various approaches that modern scholars have taken in their attempts to make sense of these practices, ideas, and texts. (3 credit hours.)
      • Introduction to the goddesses in Hindu traditions, including Lakshmi, Saraswati, Sita, Radha, Parvati, Durga, Kali, Ganga, and Sitala. Focus on the mythology, iconography, cultic practices, embodied forms, and theology associated with these goddesses. Credit given for only one of REL-B 320 or REL-R 348. (3 credit hours.)
      • Historical view of the officially sanctioned roles for women in several religious traditions in South Asia, and women's efforts to become agents and participants in the religious expressions of their own lives. Credit given for only one of INST-I 380, REL-B 330, or REL-R 382. (3 credit hours.)
      • An exploration of Buddhist art and its multiple social and ritual contexts, with particular attention given to works produced in India and Tibet. Designed to provoke reflection on the roles played by images in the religious life of Buddhist communities and in other religions over time. (3 credit hours.)
      • A consideration of the nature and meaning of religion in South Asia using film as the lens to explore the South Asian continuum running from the sacred to the secular. Credit given for only one of REL-B 335 or REL-R 388. (3 credit hours.)
      • Religious movements in Japan, with emphasis on the development of Shinto, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, and the rise of the "new religions." Credit given for only one of REL-B 360 or REL-R 357. (3 credit hours.)
      • An introduction to the early development of Chinese thought, from ancient divination to the religious, ethical, and political theories of classical Confucianism, Mohism, and Daoism. Focuses on debates over human nature and self-cultivation, the nature of the cosmos, and the proper ordering of society. Readings are in English translation. Credit given for only one of EALC-E 374, REL-B 374, REL-R 368, or PHIL-P 374. (3 credit hours.)
      • Selected topics such as Mahayana Sutra literature, Buddhist cult practice, Indian Buddhist inscriptions, PrajñåpÃ¥ramitÃ¥ thought, or Zen in Korea and Japan. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours in REL-B 410 and REL-R 450. (3 credit hours.)
      • Seminar examines several major questions on Buddhism in a global context. How do popular media such as manga, film, and fiction, shape and change our understandings of Buddhism? What does it mean for a human being, a given practice, or a particular object to be "Buddhist"? What do Buddhist doctrine and practice have to say about how we perceive and participate in popular culture? (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines ideas, methods, and practices of seminal importance for Buddhist philosophical traditions in and beyond the Indian subcontinent. Explores how certain Buddhist thinkers have asked and attempted to answer questions regarding the self, reality, knowledge, conduct, and liberation. (3 credit hours.)
      • Selected topics such as Upanishadic thought, the Bhagavad Gita, Advaita Vedanta, Hindu ethics, monastic traditions, Hindu soteriology. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours in REL-B 420 and REL-R 458. (3 credit hours.)
      • Addresses the divergent ways in which Buddhists have understood the figure of the Buddha and the nature of Buddhahood. Draws from a number of primary texts in translation, concentrating principally (although not exclusively) on Indian Buddhist materials. (3 credit hours.)
      • Selected topics within the Chinese religious traditions. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours in REL-B 440 and REL-R 469. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examination of a selected theme, movement, or period in the religious history of China, Japan, or Korea. Topics might include interactions of traditions, new religions in Japan, or religious change in Sung China. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours in REL-B 460 and REL-R 452. (3 credit hours.)
      • Area D—Theory, Ethics, and Comparison
      • Study of spirits and their interaction with human beings in the material world. Exploration of shamanism, spirit mediumship and prophecy—not simply as oddities on the margins of what is properly religious, but as central to how religion and modernity are defined. (3 credit hours.)
      • Selected issues and movements in theory, ethics, and comparison. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • Deep ecology seeks fundamental transformations in views of world and self. It claims that there is no ontological divide in the forms of life and aims for an environmentally sustainable and spiritually rich way of life. This course is an introductory examination of Deep Ecology from a religious studies perspective. Credit given for only one of REL-D 250 or REL-R 236. (3 credit hours.)
      • Selected topics and movements in theory, ethics, and comparison. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines major critics of religion, including Spinoza, Hume, Marx, and Freud. Credit given for only one of REL-D 301 or REL-R 333. (3 credit hours.)
      • Interpretation of the human condition and destiny in contemporary religious and antireligious thought. Topics can include study of a major figure (e.g., Kierkegaard) or movement (e.g., peace studies). May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours in REL-D 310 and REL-R 340. (3 credit hours.)
      • Different ways of relating psychological concepts and data from personality theory to the study of religion and theology. Topics include psychoanalytic interpretation, existential psychology, and psychohistorical study of religious leaders. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours in REL-D 315 and REL-R 365. (3 credit hours.)
      • Christian ethics from the New Testament through the early modern period. Readings include first- and second-century authors, patristic fathers, Augustine, Bernard, Abelard, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Anabaptists, Vitoria, Locke, among others. First of a two-semester sequence. Credit given for only one of REL-D 330 or REL-R 374. (3 credit hours.)
      • Christian ethics from the New Testament through the early modern period. Readings include first- and second-century authors, patristic fathers, Augustine, Bernard, Abelard, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Anabaptists, Vitoria, Locke, among others. Second of a two-semester sequence. Credit given for only one of REL-D 331 or REL-R 375. (3 credit hours.)
      • Studies sacred spaces, landscapes, heritage, and tourism in an attempt to answer such questions as: What is a sacred place? What is the difference between pilgrimage and tourism? How are sacred places made, unmade, and transformed? Resources include pilgrimage diaries, travel literature, music, and film. Incorporates visits to local sacred sites. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines questions about human nature, finitude, the meaning of suffering, and appropriate uses of medical technology in the face of natural limitations, such as disease and death, that humans encounter. Issues include prenatal/genetic testing, transhumanism, enhancement technologies, cloning, euthanasia, and organ transplantation. Judeo-Christian and cross-cultural perspectives on illness are considered. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • Exploration of relationships between religious worldviews and environmental ethics. Considers environmental critiques and defenses of monotheistic traditions, selected non-Western traditions, the impact of secular "mythologies," philosophical questions, and lifestyle issues. Credit given for only one of REL-D 350 or REL-R 371. (3 credit hours.)
      • Religious problems confronting Jews and Judaism in our own time: women and Judaism, the impact of the Holocaust on Judaism, contemporary views of Zionism, religious trends in American Judaism. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 12 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • By closely reading relevant classic works from Western and East Asian cultures, students examine ideas of friendship, benevolence, and love. Questions include: What are the varieties of love and friendship? Is romantic love uniquely Western? Is compassion for others natural to human beings? Could true benevolence require actions that appear cruel? Credit given for only one of REL-D 365 or REL-R 377. (3 credit hours.)
      • Explores how religious traditions interact with literary and visual artifacts. Focuses on one or more regions and artistic forms. Examines such issues as representation, presence, visibility, gender, genre, syncretism, etc. in religious and artistic contexts. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits in CMLT-C 345 and REL-D 369. (3 credit hours.)
      • Specific topics regarding gender in Western religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; studies of specific historical periods; or feminist critiques in theology and ethics. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines how literature furthers and also critiques religious agendas. Studies specific genres (e.g., poetry, fiction, epic, diaries) with an eye to the interplay between religious realities and literary expressions in specific cultural contexts (e.g., medieval Hindu devotion or twentieth-century North American counter-culture). May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • Eastern and Western religions on a selected subject such as time and the sacred, sacrifice, initiation. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours in REL-D 380 and REL-R 360. (3 credit hours.)
      • Examines the messianic phenomenon as central to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Focuses on Jewish messianism. Christianity and Islam will be employed to compare and contrast how this idea developed in two competing religions. Studies the history of the idea, its relationship to orthodoxy and heresy, and its political implications. Credit given for only one of REL-D 385 or REL-R 307. (3 credit hours.)
      • Considers discourses on the body, sexuality, and the construction of gender in a number of religious/intellectual traditions. The precise religions/traditions considered vary and may include Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and various philosophical traditions. Studies the import of these discourses and our analyses of them for contemporary thinking about the body, gender, and sexuality. (3 credit hours.)
      • Selected focus on major movements and issues in religious thought. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours in REL-D 410 and REL-R 462. (3 credit hours.)
      • Intensive study of a selected problem in religion and society such as religion and American politics, war and conscience, medical ethics. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
      • An introduction to recent debates on the nexus between religious experience and communities, and various forms and technologies of mediation. Combines perspectives on religion and ritual with scholarship on media, media consumption, and critical theory. Readings also include an array of ethnographic studies of religiously-inspired movements in South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East. Credit given for only one of REL-D 485 or REL-R 411. (3 credit hours.)
    3. Religious Studies at the 400 level. One (1) course in Religious Studies (3 credit hours) at the 400–499 level (other than REL-X 498 and REL-R 499).
    4. Seminar. One (1) course from the .
      • Limited to majors. Investigation of a theme or topic in the study of religion, with close attention to method, theory, and history of the discipline. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (3 credit hours.)
  3. GPA, Minimum Grade, and Other Requirements. Each of the following:
    1. At least 18 credit hours in the major must be completed in courses taken through the Indiana University Bloomington campus or an IU-administered or IU co-sponsored Overseas Study program.
    2. At least 18 credit hours in the major must be completed at the 300–499 level.
    3. Except for the GPA requirement, a grade of C- or higher is required for a course to count toward a requirement in the major.
    4. A GPA of at least 2.000 for all courses taken in the major—including those where a grade lower than C- is earned—is required.
    5. Exceptions to major requirements may be made with the approval of the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies, subject to final approval by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Bachelor of Arts requirements

The Bachelor of Arts degree requires at least 120 credit hours, to include the following:

  1. College of Arts and Sciences Credit Hours. At least 100 credit hours must come from College of Arts and Sciences disciplines. No more than 62 of these credit hours can come from the major.
  2. Upper Division Courses. At least 42 credit hours (of the 120) must be at the 300–499 level.
  3. College Residency. Following completion of the 60th credit hour toward degree, at least 36 credit hours of College of Arts and Sciences coursework must be completed through the Indiana University Bloomington campus or an IU-administered or IU co-sponsored Overseas Study program.
  4. College GPA. A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.000 is required for all courses taken at Indiana University.
  5. CASE Requirements. The following College of Arts and Sciences Education (CASE) requirements must be completed:
    1. CASE Foundations
      1. English Composition: 1 course
      2. Mathematical Modeling: 1 course
    2. CASE Breadth of Inquiry
      1. Arts and Humanities: 4 courses
      2. Natural and Mathematical Sciences: 4 courses
      3. Social and Historical Studies: 4 courses
    3. CASE Culture Studies
      1. Diversity in the United States: 1 course
      2. Global Civilizations and Cultures: 1 course
    4. CASE Critical Approaches: 1 course
    5. CASE Foreign Language: Proficiency in a single foreign language through the second semester of the second year of college-level coursework
    6. CASE Intensive Writing: 1 course
    7. CASE Public Oral Communication: 1 course
  6. Major. Completion of the major as outlined in the Major Requirements section above.