Religion (REL) Courses

REL2001 Comparative Study of World Religions

This course introduces students to the world’s great religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Focus of the course is interdisciplinary and includes history, sociology, philosophy, psychology and textual/cultural analysis of each religion’s literature in relation to these religions. The course highlights the diversity and commonalities of religious experience and expression as religions face 21st-century challenges. Students examine both the specific contexts and conditions in which a variety of religious traditions exist in the global era.
Prerequisite(s): ENG1020 or ENG1024 or English placement.
Offered at Charlotte, Online, Providence
3 Semester Credits

REL3100 Food, Philosophy and Religion

This course examines the role of food, alcohol, eating and cooking in the world’s major philosophies and religions and the belief systems of antiquity and of many indigenous cultures in the Americas, the Arctic, Africa and Oceania, past and present. The course begins with a study of the religions and philosophies of animistic, pantheistic and polytheistic cultures in the ancient world and in historical and contemporary indigenous communities. The course ends with an investigation of how food’s role in religious practice has changed over time to accommodate such forces as urbanization, industrialization and immigration. Among the topics to be covered are sacred and taboo foods, food as an object of sacrifice, fasting, the role of food and dining in the formation of religious identities and communities, monastic cuisines and dining practices, and food as a representation of the cosmos. Throughout this course, comparisons among religious traditions and between traditional practices and contemporary practices are drawn.
Prerequisite(s): ENG1021 or ENG1027.
Offered at Charlotte, Providence
3 Semester Credits