Haag Hall, Room 204
5120 Rockhill Road
(816) 235-5704 or 5854
Fax: (816) 235-5542
rel-st@umkc.edu
http://cas.umkc.edu/Religious_Studies

Mailing Address
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Center for Religious Studies
Haag Hall 204
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

Program Director:
Dr. Gary L. Ebersole

Professor:
Dr. Gary L. Ebersole (History/Religious Studies)

Associate Professor:
Dr. Jeffrey S. Bennett (Sociology/Anthropology)

Assistant Professors:
Dr. David Freeman (History)
Dr. Christopher Cantwell (History)

Description of Program

The Center for Religious Studies offers an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural and socio-historical approach to the study of religion. The Center is a consortium of several area institutions of higher education that have pooled their resources to participate in the UMKC Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program. Students in religious studies are introduced to the many dimensions of religious belief, practice and expression found in human cultures across time and space.

In addition to graduate courses, the Center offers a number of undergraduate courses on topics such as gender and religion, women and religion, the anthropology of religion, and religion in America. Related courses relevant to the study of religion will be found under the listings of other departments and programs.

Courses

RELIG-ST 100 Introduction To Comparative Religion Credits: 3

An introduction to the major religious traditions of the world and small group or tribal religions. Emphasis on the comparative study of selected myths, rituals, types of religious specialists, and types of religious communities.

RELIG-ST 306 History of Christianity to the Middle Ages Credits: 3

This course examines the historical and theological development of Christianity from its origins to the High Middle Ages. The main themes follow the mechanisms and conditions shaping Christianity's expansion into a major social, institutional, and intellectual force with a focus on patterns of crisis and reform. This course is based on the study of primary sources (both texts and objects) and modern scholarship.

Cross Listings: HISTORY 306A.

RELIG-ST 307 History of Christianity from Middle Ages to Present Credits: 3

This course examines the historical and theological development of Christianity from the High Middle Ages to the present. The main themes follow the mechanisms and conditions shaping Christianity's expansion into a major social, institutional, and intellectual force with a focus on patterns of crisis and reform. This course is based on the study of primary sources (both texts and objects) and modern scholarship.

Cross Listings: HISTORY 307A.

RELIG-ST 400 Special Topics In Religious Studies Credits: 1-3

Special topics in religious studies which are not offered regularly. The focus of the course varies by semester and instructor.

RELIG-ST 400A Special Topics In Religious Studies Credits: 1-3

RELIG-ST 400B Special Topics In Religious Studies Credits: 1-3

RELIG-ST 400C Special Topics In Religious Studies Credits: 1-3

RELIG-ST 400D Special Topics In Religious Studies Credits: 1-3

RELIG-ST 400E Special Topics In Religious Studies Credits: 1-3

RELIG-ST 400F Special Topics in Religious Studies Credits: 1-3

RELIG-ST 401 Religion in America Credits: 3

An in-depth examination of selected aspects of the history of religions in America from the colonial periods to the present. Special emphasis will be given to methodological issues in the study of American religious history.

RELIG-ST 402 Religion and Colonialism in Latin America Credits: 3

The study of selected aspects of the history of religions in the Americas. Primary focus is on the complex ways that European, Native American African religions helped to structure and negotiate the experiences and the significance of cultural contact and colonialism through lived worlds of meaning.

RELIG-ST 403 Vision, Dreams and Prophesies as Religious Phenomena Credits: 3

This course explores the ways visions, dreams, and prophesies have acquired religious significance in Western and non-Western contexts from the ancient period to the present.

RELIG-ST 404 Gender and Religion Credits: 3

Cross-cultural and comparative study of how religious groups create and transmit gender roles and expectations.

RELIG-ST 467 Myth And Ritual Credits: 3

Myth and "ritual" have long been fundamental categories in the study of religion. This course will briefly survey some of the major theories and approaches to the study of myth and ritual from the Enlightenment to the present. The course will not only trace the shifting meanings of "myth" and "ritual", but will critically evaluate the utility of diverse approaches to the study of religious phenomena designated by these terms. Reading will include theoretical works, as well as selected case studies.

RELIG-ST 484 Sacred Narratives and Texts Credits: 3

This course addresses the "social lives" of sacred narratives and texts in selected religions of the world. Areas of study include methods of exegesis in different religious traditions, orality and literacy (including the reoralization of written text), the canonization process, text as amulets, reading and meditative practices and techniques, and narratives and the arts. The course is comparative, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary in nature.

RELIG-ST 487 Contemporary Approaches to the Study of Religion Credits: 3

This course which is the second installment in a two course series, charts the historical development of religious studies as an academic discipline, paying particular attention to the models, methods and assumptions that have informed it past and present. In this course, particular emphasis will be placed upon the ways the objects and aims of religious studies have shifted from the Second World War to the present.

RELIG-ST 493 Sex & Religion: The Erotic & The Anti-Erotic In Comparative Persp Credits: 3

This course is designed to highlight issues related to the various ways in which religions of the world have integrated, embraced, or repressed one of the most basic human experiences sexual expression.

Cross Listings: RELIG-ST 5593.

RELIG-ST 494RS Death In The History Of Religions Credits: 3

As a biological "fact," death would appear to be a human universal. Yet, human beings have imagined--and, thus experienced--the meaning of death in many diverse ways in different cultures and over time. This course explores the conceptualization and representation of death and dying, as well as the ritual activities surrounding death, found in selected religious communities. The goal is to gain insight into how people have sought to (re) create a world of meaning in the face of death and to gain a critical perspective on our own contemporary situation.

RELIG-ST 495RS Time And Space In The History Of Religions Credits: 3

Time and space are essential components of the lived worlds of human beings, yet the cultural and historical constructions of these are remarkably diverse and, moreover, are subject to change. This course is a cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and comparative exploration of the constructions and experiences of time and space found in selected religious communities and historical periods. In addition, it investigates the pivotal role the categories of "sacred and profane time and space" have played in theorizing religion and in the study of religious myths and rituals in the modern period.

RELIG-ST 496RS The Body In The History Of Religions Credits: 3

The human body is the site of extensive imaginal and ritual activities in all religious traditions. This course explores some of the diverse ways religious communities have imagined and experienced the human body, as well as how the body had been manipulated and worked on in an effort to transform the human situation in the world.

RELIG-ST 497RS Special Topics And Readings Credits: 1-6

Intensive reading and/or research in an area selected by the student in consultation with the instructor. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

RELIG-ST 5500 Special Topics In Religious Studies Credits: 1-3

Special topics in religious studies. The focus of the course will vary by semester and instructor.

RELIG-ST 5500A Special Topics In Religious Studies Credits: 1-3

RELIG-ST 5500B Special Topics In Religious Studies Credits: 1-3

RELIG-ST 5500C Special Topics In Religious Studies Credits: 1-3

RELIG-ST 5500D Special Topics in Religious Studies Credits: 1-3

RELIG-ST 5500E Special Topics In Religious Studies Credits: 1-3

RELIG-ST 5500F Special Topics In Religious Studies Credits: 1-3

RELIG-ST 5501A Religion In America Credits: 3

An in-depth examination of selected aspects of the history of religions in America from the colonial period to the present. Special emphasis will be given to methodological issues in the study of American religious history.

RELIG-ST 5502 Religion & Colonialism in Latin America Credits: 3

The study of selected aspects of the history of religions in the Americas. Primary focus is on the complex ways that European, Native American Africans religions helped to structure and negotiate the experiences and the significance of cultural contact and colonialism through lived worlds of meaning.

RELIG-ST 5503 Visions, Dreams, and Prophesies as Religious Phenomena Credits: 3

This course explores the way visions, dreams, and prophesies have acquired religious significance in Western and non-western contexts from the ancient to the present.

RELIG-ST 5504 Gender and Religion Credits: 3

Cross-cultural and comparative study of how religious groups create and transmit gender roles and expectations.

RELIG-ST 5506 The History of Christianity to the Middle Ages Credits: 3

This course examines the historical and theological development of Christianity from its origins to the the High Middle Ages The main themes follow the mechanisms and conditions shaping Christianity's expansion into a major social, institutional and intellectual force with a focus on patterns of crisis and reform. This course is based on the study of primary sources ( both texts and objects) and modern scholarship.

Cross Listings: HISTORY 5506A.

RELIG-ST 5507 The History of Christianity from the Middle Ages to the Present Credits: 3

This course examines the historical and theological development of Christianity from the High Middle Ages to the present. The main themes follow the mechanisms and conditions shaping Christianity's expansion into a major social, institutional and intellectual force with a focus on patterns of crisis and reform. This course is based on the study of primary sources ( both texts and objects) and modern scholarship.

Cross Listings: HISTORY 5507A.

RELIG-ST 5508 Anthropology of Religion Credits: 3

This course explores the ways anthropologists have gone about studying religion from the opening decades of the 20th century to present. The course introduces students to the diversity of human religious expression and experience through anthropological literature and to the diversity of anthropological expression especially as it has been revealed in social scientific studies of religious life. The course is designed to generate a critical dialogue about the special role that religion has played in the ongoing anthropological engagement with "other" societies and cultures over time.

RELIG-ST 5510 Religions Of The World Credits: 3

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the major religions of the world, as well as to selected small-group religions. Our goal will be to learn to appreciate the similarities and differences in the structure and history of these religions. A primary focus will be on using the categories of the history of religions to examine and analyze the various dimensions of religion (e.g., historical, sociological, ritual, mythological, aesthetic). In addition, methodological issues of comparison will be addressed.

RELIG-ST 5567 Myth and Ritual Credits: 3

Myth and "ritual" have long been fundamental categories in the study of religion. This course will briefly survey some of the major theories and approaches to the study of myth and ritual from the Enlightenment to the present. Will not only trace the shifting meanings of "myth" and "ritual," but will critically evaluate the utility of diverse approaches to the study of religious phenomena designated by these terms. Reading will include theoretical works, as well as selected case studies.

RELIG-ST 5584RS Sacred Narratives And Texts Credits: 3

This course will study the "social lives" of sacred narratives and texts as they circulate within religious communities. Among the topics to be studied are methods of exegesis in different religious traditions, orality and literacy (including the reoralization of written texts), the canonization process, the emergence of interpretive specialists, text as amulets, reading and meditative practices and techniques, and narratives and the arts. The course is comparative, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary in nature.

RELIG-ST 5586RS Methodological Approaches To The Study Of Religion Credits: 3

This course examines the various disciplines that undertook the critical, objective study of religion beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century and continuing into the present. The course examines how the disciplines of the social sciences and humanities emerged in the last century and how the study of religion emerged from its roots in Jewish scholarship and Christian theology to be included under the umbrella of the humanities and social sciences. The historical development of religious studies as a historical and intellectual contexts.

RELIG-ST 5587 Contemporary Approaches to the Study of Religion Credits: 3

A survey of major scholars and theorists of religion from 1950 to the present, with an emphasis on significant shifts in the field.

RELIG-ST 5587RS Research Seminar Credits: 3

Students in this course will produce a major research paper under the direction of the instructor: a self-contained thesis chapter, an article for publication or the equivalent.

RELIG-ST 5592 Cults Sects, And New Religious Movements Credits: 3

In this course, students will experience: (a) a variety of methods for analyzing and understanding new religious movements in society: sociological, historical, and textual; (b) an introduction to the broad spectrum of religious beliefs which exist (and flourish) outside the cultural mainstream; and (c) an introduction to some of the means by which dominant religious and secular culture has confronted the presence of NRMs-e.g., deprogramming exit counseling, and theologically oriented countermovement.

RELIG-ST 5593 Sex And Religion Credits: 3

The course is designed to highlight issues related to the various ways in which religions of the world have integrated, embraced, or repressed one of the basic human experiences sexual expression. This is an elective course designed for graduate students with Religious Studies either as their coordinating or co-discipline. This is an advanced seminar, and as such does assume a certain measure of theoretical familiarity and background of study.

RELIG-ST 5594RS Death In The History Of Religions Credits: 3

As a biological "fact," death would appear to be a human universal. Yet, human beings have imagined--and, thus experienced--the meaning of death in many diverse ways in different cultures and over time. This course explores the conceptualization and representation of death and dying, as well as the ritual activities surrounding death, found in selected religious communities. The goals are to gain insight into how people have sought to (re) create a world of meaning in the face of death and to gain a critical perspective on our own contemporary situation.

RELIG-ST 5595RS Time And Space In The History Of Religions Credits: 3

Time and space are essential components of the lived worlds of human beings, yet the cultural and historical constructions of these are remarkably diverse and, moreover, are subject to change. This course is a cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and comparative exploration of the constructions and experiences of time and space found in selected religious communities and historical periods. In addition, it investigates the pivotal role the categories of "sacred and profane time and space" have played in theorizing religion and in the study of religious myths and rituals in the modern period. Time and space are essential components of the lived worlds of human beings, yet the cultural and historical constructions of these are remarkably diverse and, moreover, are subject to change. This course is a cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and comparative exploration of the constructions and experiences of time and space found in selected religious communities and historical periods. In addition, it investigates the pivotal role the categories of "sacred and profane time and space" have played in theorizing religion and in the study of religious myths and rituals in the modern period.

RELIG-ST 5596RS Body In The History Of Religions Credits: 3

The human body is the site of extensive imaginal and ritual activities in all religious traditions. This course explores some of the diverse ways religious communities have imagined and experienced the human body, as well as how the body had been manipulated and worked on in an effort to transform the human situation in the world.

RELIG-ST 5597RS Non-Thesis Research/Reading Credits: 1-6

Individual direction of student reading or research by selected, consenting faculty. This course can be taken only when faculty supervision is unavailable in colloquia or seminars.

RELIG-ST 5598RS Seminar In The History Of Religions Credits: 3

Advanced graduate seminar on a selected topic or problem in the History of Religion. Topic varies, but the seminar will have a methodical or theoretical focus. May be repeated for credit when topic is different.

RELIG-ST 5680RS Doctoral Colloquium Credits: 3

This course will examine the writings and theories of major scholars in a particular area of Religious Studies. The authors, works and intellectual currents which form the basis of the colloquium will vary from semester to semester depending upon the professor's expertise and design for the course.

RELIG-ST 5687RS Doctoral Research Seminar Credits: 3

Students in this course will produce a major research paper under the direction of the instructor. This shall consist of a self-contained chapter of the dissertation or a work of publishable quality. May be repeated for credit.

RELIG-ST 5697RS Doctoral-Level Independent Readings Credits: 1-6

Individual reading under the supervision of members of the Religious Studies Doctoral faculty and adjuncts in preparation for the Comprehensive Examination for the Ph.D.

RELIG-ST 5699RS Dissertation Credits: 1-15

Course credits in dissertation.

RELIG-ST 5899 Required Graduate Enrollment Credit: 1