Contact Us
Dr. Lynn E. Mitchell, Director
Religious Studies
University of Houston
260 McElhinney Bldg.
Houston, TX 77204-5020
Phone: (713) 743-3987
Email: lemitchell@uh.edu

Ms. Tamara Cobb,
Academic Advisor
Email: tncobb@uh.edu
Phone: (713) 743-2474
FAX (713) 743-8346
232 McElhinney
Houston, TX 77204-5020

Course Catalog

Courses: Religious Studies (RELS)
College: Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

RELS 1301: Introduction to Religious Studies
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: ENGL 1304 or equivalent. A thematic and comparative approach to the study of religion as an aspect of human experience, including ritual, sacred language, ethics, salvation, and the problem of evil from the perspective of various disciplines. At least one Western and one non-Western religion will be examined.

RELS 2310: The Bible and Western Culture I
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: ENGL 1304 or ENGL 1310 . Bible as a primary document of Western culture, basic to the understanding of the western philosophical, literary, cultural, and scientific tradition. Focus on ideas developed in Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and their literary, philosophical and political impact.

RELS 2311: The Bible and Western Culture II
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: ENGL 1304 or ENGL 1310 . Bible as a primary document of Western culture, basic to the understanding of the western philosophical, literary, cultural, and scientific tradition. Focus on ideas developed in the New Testament and their literary, philosophical and political impact.

RELS 2330: Judaism (formerly RELS 3310)
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: ENGL 1304 or equivalent. Judaism from the post-biblical era to the present, including ancient, medieval, and rabbinic literature, philosophy, and mysticism; Jewish responses to modernity and the Holocaust; American and Israeli Judaism

RELS 2335: Rabbinic Biblical Interpretation
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: ENGL 1304 or equivalent. Exploration of Rabbinic biblical interpretation in its socio-historical, literary, and theological contexts, including primary sources in translation, intertextuality, the nature of interpretation and role of biblical interpretation in contemporary society.

RELS 2340: Intro to Hinduism 
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: ENGL 1304 or ENGL 1310.  Historical andconceptual introduction to Hinduism: ancient and classical forms in addition to their modernmanifestations, including the forms these traditions take in the United States.

RELS 2350: Intro to Islam 
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: ENGL 1304 or ENGL 1310.  Introduction to Islam from itsorigins in the Koran, the Hadith, the Sunna, to its later interpreters; impact of Muslimideas on politics, law, and culture in diverse societies.

RELS 2360: Intro to Buddhism 
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: ENGL 1304 or ENGL 1310.  Introduction to Buddhist thought,practice, culture(s), and history. Traces the historical development of Buddhism and examines avariety of Buddhist traditions. 

RELS 2396: Selected Topics in Religious Studies
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: ENGL 1303 or equivalent. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

RELS 2397: Selected Topics in Religious Studies
Cr. 3 per semester. (3-0). Prerequisite: consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

RELS 3330: Christianity
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: ENGL 1304 or equivalent. Christianity from the post-biblical era to the present, including church fathers, heresies, medieval Christian philosophy, Greek and Latin churches, the reformation, modern and American Christianity.

RELS 3350: Islam
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: ENGL 1304 or equivalent. Islam from its origins in the Koran, the Hadith, the Sunna, to its later interpreters; impact of Muslim ideas on politics, law, and culture in diverse societies.

RELS 3370: The Bible and Modern Science
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: : ENGL 1304 or equivalent. Detailed study of the reciprocal influence of modern science and the interpretation of the Bible. Critical examination of contemporary theories of their relationship.

RELS 3375: Christianity and Ethics
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: : ENGL 1304 or equivalent. Comparison of ethics from a Christocentric perspective and a philosophical perspective. Relationship between Christian thought and western philosophical traditions with regard to classical and contemporary moral issues and their relation to current political and social issues.

RELS 3380: Introduction to Asian Religions
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: : ENGL 1304 or equivalent. Survey of religious and philosophical traditions of Asiafocusing on the traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, Jainism, Shinto, and Sikhism.

RELS 3381: Global Hinduism
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: : ENGL 1304 or equivalent.  Examine diversity of Hindu practices outside India; compare Hindu practices /beliefs around world; introduce paradigms, theories in religious studies, anthropology, sociology to understand how local /global cultures shape communities and religious practicesRELS 3385: Buddhism 

Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: : ENGL 1304 or equivalent. Buddhist thought, practice, culture(s), and history. Traces the historical development of Buddhism and examines a variety of Buddhist traditions such as Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, Chan Buddhism, Pure Land, and American Buddhism.

RELS 3390: Hinduism and Jainism
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: : ENGL 1304 or equivalent. Historical and conceptual introduction to Hinduism and Jainism: ancient and classical forms in addition to their modern manifestations, including the forms these traditions take in the United States.

RELS 3396: Selected Topics in Religious Studies
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: ENGL 1304 or equivalent. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

RELS 3397: Selected Topics in Religious Studies
Cr. 3 per semester. (3-0). Prerequisite: ENGL 1304 or equivalent. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

RELS 4320: Religion and Personality
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: ENGL 1304 or equivalent. Tracking the evolution of human consciousness using symbols and myths, found particularly in Hebrew and Christian scared stories. Using the viewpoint of Jungian depth psychology, this course reveals the structure and dynamic of the Psyche.

RELS 4360: Clash of Civilizations
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: ENGL 1304 or equivalent. Reading and critical analysis of the so called "clash of civilizations" debate focusing on how religion contributes to the clash and the putative possibility that religion might contribute to the amelioration of the problem.

RELS 4396: Selected Topics in Religious Studies
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: ENGL 1304 or equivalent. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

RELS 4396: Islamic Spirituality
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: ENGL 1304 or equivalent. This course is intended to study the theology and practice of Islamic Spirituality (in particular Sufism) in historical context. The course will cover the implications of Sufism for contemporary Muslim societies and their relation to the non-Muslim world. Special emphasis will be put on the importance of interfaith dialogue for the future of interfaith relations and how an emphasis on the spiritual dimension of faiths may play a positive role in the contemporary world. The life and works of important historical Sufi figures such as Rumi will be examined as well as influential modern teachers such as Gulen in the light of Qur’an, the Islamic Prophetic tradition as well as recent western thought.

RELS 4396: Islamic Philosophy of Science
Cr. 3. (3-0). Prerequisite: ENGL 1304 or equivalent. This course is an introductory study of philosophy of science in perspective of Islam as a religion that provides an efficient concept of truth through which scientific enterprise, natural and social, can be conducted with a total convenience as it could in the history of Islamic civilization. Instead of appealing to the problematic concept of Islamic science, the course rather emphasizes the promise of a philosophy of science based on a humane methodology according to Islam. The course deals in a concise manner with scientific method, both actual and ideal, the relation of science to religion in general, the prospect of science in respect of Islam, and Islamic worldview as an ideal context of science.