PAR 103. Introduction to Religion (3) Religion as a field of study; major modes of religious expression; chief issues in religious thought and experience; the search for method since the Enlightenment critique; contemporary developments.
PAR 125. Great Books of the World's Religions (3) Selections from classic writings of both Western and Eastern religions, including Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, the Qur'an, and Buddhist and Hindu scriptures. Examination of their central ideas and values as well as their development and acceptance as sacred scriptures.
PAR 225. Women and Religion (3) Images, expectations, and experiences of women in the history of religions. Topics include the importance of gender to the study of religion, women's real or perceived power (or lack of it) within the major classical traditions, and alternative women's religious groups and ideas appearing since the 1970s.
PAR 230. Judaism, Christianity and Islam (3) Survey of the three major Abrahamic faiths; the origins, beliefs and practices of these "people of the Book;" history of their interactions and influence on Western culture.
PAR 231. Primitive and Classical Religions (3) A survey of primitive religion as revealed both in archaeological research and remaining primitive customs; examination of classical faiths of Egypt, Mesopotamia and ancient Europe.
PAR 235. Introduction to the Old Testament (3) Historical study of the Hebrew Scriptures and their cultural background; focus on the values, problems, and perceptions of the human condition reflected in these texts and archaeological data related to them.
PAR 236. Introduction to the New Testament (3) Historical survey of the canonical Christian literature; illustration of contemporary methods of text-criticism, literary-criticism, form-criticism, and redaction-criticism; focus on results of modern scholarship in appreciating the Gospels and their function in the early Christian community.
PAR 238. History of Christianity I: Early and Medieval (3) Survey of the basic development of the Christian church from its foundation to the Protestant Reformation. Emphasis on major thinkers and pivotal events that determined the historical trends.
PAR 240. History of Christianity II: Modern (3) Survey of the history of Christianity from the Reformation to the present. Accent on the contributions of the chief theologians and the particular problems raised by "modernity" since the 17th century.
PAR 242. Religion in America (3) Survey of religious thought and experience from colonial times to the present; representative Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish leaders; Native American and Black American traditions; religious reform and revivalism.
PAR 301. Methods in Religious Studies (3) Prerequisite: Par 103 or 125. Examination of the relation of religion to social and psychological forces, including feminist and post-modern approaches to religion, and issues related to globalization. Topics include addressing the academic study of religion as an enterprise occurring in specific moments of modern intellectual history, and examining ongoing conceptual developments in the field.
PAR 325. Psychology of Religion (3) Prerequisite: PAR 103 or consent of instructor. Selected readings on the nature and types of religious experience, and on theories of personality and consciousness as they relate to religion. Examination of the writings of Freud, Jung, and others.
PAR 330. Religion and Literature (3) The interplay between religion and literature through an exploration of the religious themes, images, and experiences expressed in contemporary and classical world literatures.
PAR 334. Old Testament Literature (3) Analysis and interpretation of a particular part of the Hebrew Scriptures. Topics will vary from one course offering to another. (The Torah; the Prophets; the Writings).
PAR 336. New Testament Literature (3) Analysis and interpretation of a particular part of the New Testament. Topics will vary from one course offering to another. (The Gospels; the Acts of the Apostles; the Johannine works; the Letters of Paul).
PAR 337. Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha (3) Prerequisite: PAR 235 or 236. Analysis of the major Jewish and Christian writings related to but excluded from the Bible, including histories, apocalypses, testaments, prayers, moral tales, and wisdom books.
PAR 340. Philosophy of Religion (3) Prerequisite: PAR 101 or 103. Examination of the basic problems found in Western philosophy concerning religion, including efforts to prove the existence of God, the role of faith and reason, the problem of evil, immortality, religious experience, religious language, and religious pluralism.
PAR 342. Evil and Suffering (3) Prerequisite: PAR 101 or 103 or consent of instructor. Survey of religious and philosophical debates on the nature, origin, and existence of evil and suffering. Examines definitions of and explanations for evil in Eastern, Western, and tribal religions; the problem of evil; and popular culture’s fascination with evil.
PAR 343. Atheism and Unbelief (3) Prerequisite: PAR 101 or 103 or consent of instructor. Survey of beliefs, assumptions, and arguments of atheism and other varieties of unbelief. Examines major atheistic explanations for the phenomenon of religion, and atheism and unbelief within Eastern and Western religions.
PAR 344. Religion and Popular Culture (3) Prerequisite: PAR 101 or 103 or consent of instructor. Examination of the connections between religion and popular texts, films and practices in modern Western society.
PAR 350. Native American Religious Traditions (3) Prerequisite: PAR 103 or 242. Examination of the religious traditions of native peoples of North America with a focus on beliefs, rituals, and contemporary developments.
PAR 351. (HST 351) Religion in Early America (3) Prerequisite: PAR 242 or HST 201. Examination of the role and significance of religion in early American culture and society. Topics include contact between Native American and Euro-American religious traditions, Puritanism, First Great Awakening, religion in the revolutionary era, separation of church and state.
PAR 352. (HST 345) Religion in Antebellum America (3) Prerequisite: PAR 242 or HST 201 or consent of instructor. The influences and meanings of religion in antebellum American society. Topics include Second Great Awakening, expansion of Protestant and Catholic churches, communitarian movements, religious responses to slavery.
PAR 353. (HST 359) Religious Reform in Modern America (3) Prerequisite: PAR 242 or HST 202, or consent of instructor. Religious thought and action concerning social change in modern America. Topics include urban revivalism, labor, civil rights, and peace movements. Emphasis on differing interpretations of scripture, church teachings, and religious identity.
PAR 355. Southern Religion (3) Prerequisite: PAR 103 or consent of instructor. Study of religion in the Old and New South. Topics include Native American religious traditions, religious practices of blacks and whites, evangelicalism and fundamentalism, church involvement in political and social issues.
PAR 362. Archaeology of Ancient Israel (3) Prerequisite: PAR 103 or 235, or consent of instructor. Study of Ancient Israel, its peoples and cultures through archaeological artifacts and analysis of ancient writings.
PAR 370. Tibetan Buddhism (3) Prerequisite: PAR 232 or 248 or consent of instructor. Examination of the Buddhism of Tibet as seen in ethical and social thought, ritual and meditation practice, philosophy, and art.
PAR 372. Religions of India (3) Examination of the religions of India as seen in ethical and social thought, ritual and meditation practice, philosophy, and art. Includes Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism.
PAR 373. Chinese Religions (3) Examination of the history, philosophies, practices, and institutions of Chinese Religions through both primary and secondary scholarship. Although Chinese Buddhism will be included in our discussion, we will focus mainly on the indigenous religions of China -- Confucianism, Daoism, and "popular" or "folk" traditions. In addition to texts, the course will make use of films, online resources, and images.
PAR 374. Japanese Religions (3) Examination of Japanese Religions and their role in Japanese culture and society. In addition to texts, the course will make use of literature, film, anime, manga, and other media.
PAR 400. Colloquium for Majors (3) Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing. An interdisciplinary investigation of various philosophical and religious questions. Themes for study: the problem of evil, the relations of faith and reason, symbolism and language, meaning of freedom, and concepts of determinism. Required of majors in junior or senior year; open to qualified non-majors.
PAR 491. Directed Individual Study (1-3) Prerequisite: Overall GPA of at least 2.00, junior or senior standing, and consent of instructor, department chair and dean. Involves investigation under faculty supervision beyond what is offered in existing courses. For further information, consult the Directed Individual Studies section in the UNCW catalogue.