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Department of Religious Studies

Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies

Students on Summer 2018, Fall 2018, or Spring 2019 requirements RELBA
The Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies offers students an opportunity to explore and understand the religious traditions of the world, as well as to study expressions of religious life and thought that may not fall within traditional patterns. The program teaches a variety of approaches to the academic study of religion and religion's intersections with other aspects of human society and culture. Students majoring in Religious Studies will not only be better equipped to understand people of different backgrounds, but will also learn about themselves: how their ideas and values were formed, how they differ from others, and the significance of these differences. The skills, knowledge, and attributes gained in the study of religion remain relevant throughout one's professional and private life.


The major requires at least 30 credit hours, including the requirements listed below.
  1. Area A (Africa, Europe, and West Asia). One (1) course:
    • REL-A 202 Issues in African, European, and West Asian Religions
    • REL-A 210 Introduction to the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible
    • REL-A 220 Introduction to the New Testament
    • REL-A 230 Introduction to Judaism
    • REL-A 235 Sacred Books of the Jews
    • REL-A 250 Introduction to Christianity
    • REL-A 270 Introduction to Islam
    • REL-A 275 Sex and Gender in Islam
    • REL-A 300 Studies in African, European, and West Asian Religions
    • REL-A 305 Ancient Mediterranean Religions
    • REL-A 314 Gender and Power in the Hebrew Bible
    • REL-A 315 Prophecy in Ancient Israel
    • REL-A 316 Jews, Christians, and Others in Late Antiquity
    • REL-A 317 Judaism in the Making
    • REL-A 318 Rabbinic Judaism: Literature and Beliefs
    • REL-A 319 Magic and Witchcraft in the Ancient World
    • REL-A 320 Jesus
    • REL-A 321 Paul and His Influence in Early Christianity
    • REL-A 325 Christianity: Christ to Constantine
    • REL-A 326 Early Christian Monasticism
    • REL-A 335 Introduction to Jewish Mysticism
    • REL-A 350 Christianity, 400--1500
    • REL-A 351 Christianity and Modernity
    • REL-A 355 The Right Belief: History of Orthodox Christianity
    • REL-A 375 Women in the Bible
    • REL-A 380 Knowing the Will of God in Islam I: Law
    • REL-A 415 Topics in Ancient Israelite Religion
    • REL-A 426 Gnostic Religion and Literature
    • REL-A 430 Topics in the History of Judaism
    • REL-A 435 Catholic Controversies
    • REL-A 440 Judaism and Gender: Philosophical and Theological Perspectives
    • REL-A 450 Topics in the History of Christianity
    • REL-A 470 Topics in Islamic Studies
    • REL-A 480 Knowing the Will of God in Islam II: Theology
    • REL-A 485 The Life and Legacy of Muhammad
  2. Area B (South and East Asia). One (1) course:
    • REL-B 202 Issues in South and East Asian Religions
    • REL-B 210 Introduction to Buddhism
    • REL-B 220 Introduction to Hinduism
    • REL-B 230 Introduction to Chinese Religion
    • REL-B 300 Studies in South and East Asian Religions
    • REL-B 310 East Asian Buddhism
    • REL-B 315 Tantric Buddhism
    • REL-B 320 Hindu Goddesses
    • REL-B 330 Women in South Asian Religious Traditions
    • REL-B 333 Seeing the Buddha: Buddhist Art of India and Tibet
    • REL-B 335 Bollywood and Beyond: Religion in South Asian Film
    • REL-B 360 Religions in Japan
    • REL-B 374 Classical Chinese Thought
    • REL-B 410 Topics in the Buddhist Tradition
    • REL-B 412 Buddhism and Popular Culture
    • REL-B 414 Buddhist Philosophy in India
    • REL-B 420 Topics in Hindu Religious Traditions
    • REL-B 433 Embodying Nirvana
    • REL-B 440 Topics in Daoism and Chinese Religion
    • REL-B 460 Topics in East Asian Religions
  3. Area C (The Americas). One (1) course:
    • REL-C 202 Issues in Religion in the Americas
    • REL-C 220 American Religion and Politics
    • REL-C 230 American Jewish History
    • REL-C 300 Studies in Religion in the Americas
    • REL-C 303 Superheroes and Religion in American Culture
    • REL-C 320 African American Religions
    • REL-C 323 Jews and Race in the United States
    • REL-C 325 Race, Religion, and Ethnicity in the Americas
    • REL-C 330 Evangelical America
    • REL-C 335 New Religious Movements in the Americas
    • REL-C 345 Disaster in American Religion and Culture
    • REL-C 355 Religion and Sex in America
    • REL-C 401 Topics in American Religious History
    • REL-C 402 Religion, Illness, and Healing
    • REL-C 420 Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X in American Religion
  4. Area D (Theory, Ethics, Comparison). One (1) course:
    • REL-D 201 Shamans, Spirit Mediums and Prophets
    • REL-D 202 Issues in Theory, Ethics, and Comparison
    • REL-D 250 Religion, Ecology, and the Self
    • REL-D 300 Studies in Theory, Ethics, and Comparison
    • REL-D 301 Religion and Its Critics
    • REL-D 310 Contemporary Religious Thought
    • REL-D 315 Religion and Personality
    • REL-D 325 Religions in Practice: Social Theories of Religion
    • REL-D 330 From Christian Ethics to Social Criticism I
    • REL-D 331 From Christian Ethics to Social Criticism II
    • REL-D 339 Pilgrimage and Sacred Landscapes
    • REL-D 340 Religion and Bioethics
    • REL-D 349 Religion, Science Fiction, and Fantasy
    • REL-D 350 Religion, Ethics, and the Environment
    • REL-D 362 Religious Issues in Contemporary Judaism
    • REL-D 365 Friendship, Benevolence, and Love
    • REL-D 369 Religion and the Arts
    • REL-D 370 Topics in Gender and Western Religions
    • REL-D 375 Religion and Literature
    • REL-D 380 Comparative Study of Religious Phenomena
    • REL-D 385 Messianism and Messiahs in Comparative Perspective
    • REL-D 399 Gender, Sex, Bodies, and Religion
    • REL-D 410 Topics in Religious Thought
    • REL-D 430 Problems in Social Ethics
    • REL-D 485 Religion and Media
  5. Majors Seminar in Religion. One (1) course:
    • REL-R 389 Majors Seminar in Religion
  6. Electives. At least five additional courses (15 credit hours) at the 300–499 level (other than REL-X 370 or REL-X 371) and at least one course at the 400–499 level (other than REL-X 498 or REL-R 499).
  7. GPA and Hours Requirements.
    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.