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This is an unofficial list of courses that will be offered in Religious Studies in Fall 2024. It is strictly for the use of expanded course descriptions. For the complete official course offerings, please consult the My.UIC portal.

For a list of all courses and general course descriptions, please see the UIC Academic Catalog.

Fall 2024 Courses Heading link

RELS 101 – Introduction to World Religion
On Campus, TR 12:30-1:45
Instructor: Dr. Laura Dingeldein
Our world is filled with religions: nearly 85% of people around the globe identify as members of a religion. In this course you will learn how to analyze—from an academic perspective—these people, the religions with which they affiliate, and their activities on both local and global stages. We will examine not only the general histories and wide-ranging practices of so-called “world religions,” but also Chicago-based religious people and events from the past 150 years.
World Cultures

JST 102 / RELS 126 – Introduction to Jewish History
On Campus, TR 2:00-3:15
The Jewish People today comprise approximately one quarter of one percent of the world’s population. Despite their small numbers, their  influence on religion and culture has been remarkable. This course will survey the history of the Jews primarily from a secular/academic perspective, that is, not as the sacred history of the people of the Bible, but as a socio-political phenomenon.
Individual and Society; Past

JST / RELS / HIST 117 – Understanding the Holocaust
On Campus, TR 2:00-3:15
Instructor: Dr. Elizabeth Loentz
Individual and Society; Past

CST / RELS / CL 128 – The Jesus Movement and the New Testament
On Campus, TR 3:30-4:45
Instructor: Dr. Laura Dingeldein

RELS 130 – Introduction to Islam
On Campus, TR 11:00-12:15
Instructor: Scott Doolin
Both the fastest growing religion in the world and the frequent subject of misunderstanding and suspicion, Islam is a significant feature of the modern landscape. This course explores various facets of Islamic religion (beliefs, practices, history, society) from its origins in seventh-century Arabia to its status as a multicultural and global religious expression today.
World Cultures

RELS/HIST 177 – Middle Eastern Civilization
Asynchronous Online + On Campus F discussion
Instructor: Dr. Junaid Quadri
Past; World Cultures

RELS 230 – Islam and the Challenges of Modernity
On Campus, TR 12:30-1:45
Instructor: Scott Doolin
Muslims have understood and responded to modernity in a variety of ways, spanning from the late colonial period down to our contemporary moment. This course examines the thought of major Muslim intellectual figures in this time period alongside social, religious, and political movements in their encounter and response to modernity. Some of the themes we will explore include: What is modernity and is it neutral? Is Islam inside/outside of, or before/after modernity? Is Islam to be preserved or reformed in light of modernity? Do the challenges of modernity uniquely apply to Islam?
World Cultures

RELS 233 – South Asian Religions
On Campus, MW 3:00-4:15
Instructor: Dr. Darcie Price-Wallace
South Asia has been both the birthplace of many religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism) and home to many others (Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam). In this course, you will study the histories, values and cultures associated with many of these religions traditions and the various ways they have interacted and encountered one another throughout history. No previous background required.

RELS 243 – The Archaeology of Buddhism
On Campus, MW 9:30-10:45
Instructor: Dr. Mitch Hendrickson
If the Buddha believed in impermanence, why are there so many buildings and statues dedicated to his ideas?
This course examines the origins, development and social impact of Buddhism across premodern Asia. Focusing on archaeological, architectural, and art historical evidence, we will discuss the cultural impulses (e.g., economic, political) that enabled Buddhism to become the primary religion in early India and the numerous factors that enabled its subsequent and rapid spread into China and Southeast Asia. The class will be of interest to students wanting to understand how philosophical ideas become manifest in the material world and how the material world in turn shapes our conceptions of the universe.

RELS 279 – The Qur’an: A Historical and Cultural Approach
On Campus, TR 3:30-4:45
Instructor: Dr. Mustafa Kaya
The Qur’an is believed by over a billion Muslims to be God’s revelation to the world. Due to its importance, over the centuries, it has generated an enormous amount of commentaries with various approaches and interpretations. This course is an introduction to both the scripture itself (its content and themes) and the way it has been understood by Muslims (and others) throughout history. A particular focus of the course will be on major resources for the study of the Qur’an, both online and in print.

Past Course Descriptions Heading link