2017-18
Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

Religious Studies (RSP)

Classics

338 MFAC
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14261
Ph: 716-645-2154
F: 716-645-2225
W: www.classics.buffalo.edu
Roger D. Woodard
Program Director

The Learning Environment

*Not a baccalaureate degree program

Instruction in the Religious Studies Program is delivered through lecture courses and seminars taught in departments from across the College of Arts and Sciences. Class sizes range from approximately 200+ for UB Curriculum courses such as Myth and Religion in the Ancient World to an intimate setting in seminars treating topics such as the Gospel and Apocalypse of John, Hebrew Prophets, and Islamic Cultural History. Owing to the individualized nature of the major, independent study opportunities are plentiful and interaction with faculty is robust.

This area of study is available as a special major through the College of Arts and Sciences and must be approved by the Special Majors Committee.

The goal of the program is to provide the student with the intellectual tools necessary for the academic investigation of religion and religious texts, and allow the student a degree of specialized study in a specialized area of religion or religious history.

About Our Facilities

Courses within the Religious Studies Program are taught in a variety of classroom settings that span UB’s North Campus. Almost all classrooms are equipped with up-to-date instructional technologies that provide students with an enhanced learning environment.

About Our Faculty

As Religious Studies is a cross-disciplinary program at UB, the faculty involved in working with majors is housed in many different departments of the College of Arts and Sciences. These departments include American Studies, Anthropology, Art History, Asian Studies, Classics, English, Geography, History, Jewish Studies, and Philosophy. The areas in which the faculty specializes constitute a diverse and rich array of religious inquiry, addressing traditions such as these: Buddhism, Confucianism, comparative Indo-European religion and myth, early Christianity, Greek and Roman religion and myth, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, religious traditions of Native American peoples, and shamanism. Most faculty teaching courses relevant to the special major in Religious Studies hold a professorial rank; approximately two or three adjunct faculty and as many teaching assistants also provide instruction in RSP courses.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit the Classics faculty website for additional information about our faculty.

RSP Courses


  • RSP 105LEC New Testament Greek I
    Lecture

    Introduces Ancient Greek, focusing on essential grammar and readings using a variety of simple early Christian texts. Also deals with Greek?s linguistic and historical background and the cultural milieu in which the New Testament documents were created. Prepares the student for additional work in Ancient Greek. Same as GR 105.

    Credits: 5
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 106LEC New Testament Greek II
    Lecture

    Continues the introduction of Ancient Greek, focusing on essential grammar and readings using a variety of simple early Christian texts. Also deals with Greek?s linguistic and historical background and the cultural milieu in which the New Testament documents were created. Prepares the student for additional work in Ancient Greek. Same as GR 106.

    Credits: 5
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 113LEC Myth and Religion in the Ancient World
    Lecture

    Provides an introduction to the mythology of the Greeks and Romans. In addition to considering the myths themselves, we study how they have been employed by ancient through contemporary cultures as reflected in areas ranging from religious and social practice to works of art and architecture.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 114LEC Myths Dreams & Fantasies
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 198SEM UB Seminar
    Seminar

    The one credit UB Seminar is focused on a big idea or challenging issue to engage students with questions of significance in a field of study and, ultimately, to connect their studies with issues of consequence in the wider world. Essential to the UB Curriculum, the Seminar helps transition to UB through an early connection to UB faculty and the undergraduate experience at a comprehensive, research university. This course is equivalent to any 198 offered in any subject. This course is a controlled enrollment (impacted) course. Students who have previously attempted the course and received a grade of F or R may not be able to repeat the course during the fall or spring semester.

    Credits: 1
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
    Other Requisites: Students who have already successfully completed the UB seminar course may not repeat this course. If you have any questions regarding enrollment for this course, please contact your academic advisor.
  • RSP 199SEM UB Seminar
    Seminar

    The three credit UB Seminar is focused on a big idea or challenging issue to engage students with questions of significance in a field of study and, ultimately, to connect their studies with issues of consequence in the wider world. Essential to the UB Curriculum, the Seminar helps students with common learning outcomes focused on fundamental expectations for critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and oral communication, and learning at a university, all within topic focused subject matter. The Seminars provide students with an early connection to UB faculty and the undergraduate experience at a comprehensive, research university. This course is equivalent to any 199 offered in any subject. This course is a controlled enrollment (impacted) course. Students who have previously attempted the course and received a grade of F or R may not be able to repeat the course during the fall or spring semester.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
    Other Requisites: Students who have already successfully completed the first year seminar course may not repeat this course. If you have any questions regarding enrollment for this course, please contact your academic advisor.
  • RSP 200LEC Christian Apologetics
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 201LEC Israel & Anc Near East
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 202LEC Israel & Emerg of Judaism
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 203LEC Intro to Judaism
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 204SEM Seminar in Jewish Ethics
    Seminar

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 205LEC Hist Geog & Arch of Israel
    Lecture

    Credits: 5
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 207LEC GENDER, JUDAISM, SOCIETY
    Lecture

    This course explores the role of gendering in Judaism over time and space, using a variety of primary texts and theoretical models.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 210LEC Introduction to the Old Testament
    Lecture

    Introduces the traditions of the Hebrews throughout the patriarchal narrative of Genesis; the law corpus in Exodus; and the early history in Judges, Samuel, and Kings. Studies texts in the context of history and literature of the ancient Near East.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Spring
  • RSP 211LEC Introduction to Catholicism
    Lecture

    Introduces the history, beliefs, and practices of Catholic Christianity. Examines issues in contemporary Catholicism and its relationship to American society.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 213LEC World Religions
    Lecture

    This course introduces the world's religious systems and their cultural bases, including Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam. In this course we will examine the expression of some primary characteristics of religion in primary sources from a variety of religious traditions. We will focus specifically on the ways in which ideas about the sacred are formed and how they are used to order experience, with a focus on space, time, and story. All of these, in turn, are part of imagining deity. We will then look at how these ordering concepts are used to formulate guidelines for daily life, as expressed in scripture, ritual, cosmogony, conceptions of the deity, and ethics.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Spring
  • RSP 214LEC The American Jewish Woman
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 215LEC Art of the Middle Ages
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 216LEC World Religions
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 218LEC Jesus: His Life and History
    Lecture

    Investigates the life and history of Jesus. As we explore the facts, opinions, and meaning attendant to the Historical Jesus, we examine the difficulties of such an intellectual and historical inquiry, review the controversies consequent to this famous scholarly pursuit, and assess our own position and thinking.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 220SEM Christian Spirituality
    Seminar

    Classic thinkers of Christianity, examines spirituality and spiritual formation. Analysis of the writings of devotional, mystic, and intellectual writers from five periods of Christian history, coving approximately 30 major contributors.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Fall
  • RSP 223LEC Western Church History
    Lecture

    Examines the development of the Christian church in western European history from Pentecost to the start of the Enlightenment. Covers material in three major divisions of time: the ancient church (to A.D. 600), the medieval church (600-1517), and the Reformation church (1517-1700). Emphasizes the important leaders and issues of each era.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 224LEC American Church History
    Lecture

    Surveys the Christian church's background and development in American history from the first establishment to the present era. Emphasizes major individuals associated with the American church, and covers material in four major divisions: the colonial era (1607-1789), the national era (1790-1860), the federal era (1861-1919), and the modern era (1920-present).

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 225LEC Modern Jewish Thought
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 226LEC Early Christian Literature
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 229LEC Medieval Judaism
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 230LEC Modern Jewish History
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 231LEC Paul and the Early Church
    Lecture

    Considers Paul's first letter to the Corinthians (1st Corinthians) and early church struggles for orthodoxy.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 237LEC History of Israel& Zionism
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 242LEC New Testament Literature and Thought
    Lecture

    Selected topics chosen from the New Testament: the incarnation's significance, sacrifice, resurrection, apocalyptic expectation, and so forth.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 244SEM Workshop in New Testament
    Seminar

    Examines the first-century Christian church's development in Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, and Rome. Also explores non-Pauline New Testament literature and pseudo-epigraphic works, such as the Book of Enoch, letters of Ignatius, Gospel of Thomas, Shepherd of Hermes, and the Apologetics.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 245LEC Gospel of Luke and Acts
    Lecture

    Engages in a comprehensive study of Luke's gospel-its literary structure, characteristics, primary sources, and content followed by an intensive investigation of his account of the spread of Jesus's gospel by the early disciples in Acts, primarily Peter and Paul.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 246SEM Gospel of John and Apocalypse
    Seminar

    Undertakes a comprehensive study of the fourth gospel, including its authorship, time, and situation of composition; and its unique theological perspective. By way of comparison and contrast, the course examines the book of Apocalypse or Revelations.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 247LEC Surv Christian Theology
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 249SEM Biblical Interpretation
    Seminar

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 253LEC Jewish,Christian,Islamic Ethics
    Lecture

    How similar is Jewish, Christian and Islamic thought? Do they share a common ethics? This course will examine some central thinkers and works within each tradition, while comparing and contrasting different perspectives on God, the prophet, sacred texts, ethics, free will and tolerance for those of other faiths.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 254LEC Interpreting the Old Testament: the Great Jewish Commentators
    Lecture

    How did Jews interpret the Bible before biblical criticism? We will examine the different methodologies of classic interpreters such as Rashi, Nachmanides, Ibn Ezra, Gersonides, Arama and Abravanel through the varied approaches of midrash, philosophy, philology and mysticism. Topics to be discussed include creation, leadership, ethics, sexuality, religious polemics, time, history, and Mosaic authorship.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 255LEC Jewish Folklore and Magic
    Lecture

    This course explores Jewish Folk narratives and practices.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 260LEC Introduction to Christian Ethics
    Lecture

    Considers specific ethical issues in light of the message of Jesus, the Christian concept of love, how ethical decisions are made, and the role of Jesus in ethics.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 262LEC Tops in Hebrew Lang & Lit
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 265LEC Read Hebrew Bible
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 281SEM Religious Aesthetics Sem
    Seminar

    This course is about religion, bodies, and beauty. Specially, it focuses on ideas about the human relation to the material world, to the embodied self and to other bodies as a site for human relation to the divine, and aesthetics, or the conditions for appreciating and valuing these relations. We'll examine Hebrew and Arabic literature of Muslim Spain, because of its emphasis on these themes, because of its importance to the formation of medieval culture and to modern conceptions about embodiment and beauty.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 282LEC Christianity in Western Culture
    Lecture

    Explores the interplay and cross-fertilization of European cultures and the various branches of the Christian religion; examines these in a historical and contemporary context.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 283LEC Holocaust & Jewish Law
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 284LEC Israel & Jewish Thought
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 285SEM Jewish Law
    Seminar

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 286LEC CS Lewis
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 288SEM Old Testament Prophets
    Seminar

    Using Biblical texts, studies the prophetic vision of the Old Testament and relates it to the realities of life of Israel's people personally, as well as socially and politically.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 314LEC Philosophy of Religion
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 322LEC Northern Renaissance Art
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 339LEC Bible As Literature
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 384SEM Maimonides: Life & Works
    Seminar

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 388LEC Islamic Cultural History
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 390SEM New Test Wksp Pauline Let
    Seminar

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 394LEC Topics in Asian Studies
    Lecture

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 396LEC Religion and Science in Jewish Thought
    Lecture

    What is the relationship between science and religion? Is science true and religion merely a myth? We will examine this question through an examination of the writings of classical, medieval and modern Jewish thinkers. This course is both for science and humanities students.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • RSP 499TUT Independent Study
    Tutorial

    Credits: 1 - 4
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies

Classics

338 MFAC
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14261
Ph: 716-645-2154
F: 716-645-2225
W: www.classics.buffalo.edu
Roger D. Woodard
Program Director
Published: October 17, 2017 03:21:30 PM