Theology & Religious Studies 97 is a prerequisite for any upper-division theology and religious studies course; however, only a passing grade in TRS 97 is required, not a minimum grade of C-.
100 Topics in Christian History
An investigation of a topic in Christian history not covered by the regular offerings of the department. Topics are announced prior to registration each semester. May be repeated for credit when content changes. Prerequisite: TRS 97.
101 Origins of Christianity
The Christian religion begins its story with only a few dozen followers of a crucified man in the first century – backwater, uneducated, and unlikely to survive very long in a Mediterranean world dominated by much more powerful religious systems. Yet, within less than three centuries, Christianity would overwhelm the Roman Empire and beyond, building an elaborate theological and ecclesiastical system that would last until the present day. This course examines the rise of this Christian movement, focusing on such topics as Gnosticism, martyrdom, and the development of Christian ideas about Jesus. Prerequisite: TRS 97.
102 The Middle Ages
The European Middle Ages was a world dominated by monks, popes, and mystics. Life was an uninterrupted struggle between heaven and hell, life and death, priests and kings. This course is an introduction to the major figures, events, and movements of this period from the fall of Rome to the dawn of modernity. Students will have the opportunity to explore the great pillars of medieval religion – monasticism, papalism, theology, and mysticism – as well as delve into the darker side of the Crusades and the burning of heretics. Prerequisite: TRS 97.
Every age of Christian history has been marked by the call for religious reform – renewing both the personal lives of each believer and the institutional structures that endure through the centuries. However, such a universal passion for reform took on special importance in the 15th and 16th centuries, a period that has come to be known as The Reformation. This course explores the variety of reforming voices, Protestant and Catholic, that shaped the future of Christianity, giving special attention to the major theological and political issues that dominated the time. Prerequisite: TRS 97.
104 Challenge of Modernity
The challenge of modern times for Christina faith means boht Chrisitianity's challenge from modernity and her challenge to it. How has an old faith with the wrinkles of millennia coexisted, commingled, contended with the new and even shrill cry that we dare to know, that we find truth for ourselves, that we revolt and be free, and that no church or creed or state stand in the way of such freedom, truth, and knowledge? The various critiques of religion which have emerged since the Enlightenment have raised issues which call into question the possibility of Christian faith. This course will explore several of those issues (especially regarding the doctrines of God, creation, incarnation, and grace) in order to appreciate the truth and relevance of the critiques. It will then consider how responsible persons today can express the Christian faith in such a way as to take account of the critiques. Prerequisite: TRS 97.