Other OSU Courses on the Study of Religion


There are a number of courses offered at The Ohio State University to study religion beyond those explicitly offered for credit toward the Religious Studies major in the Department of Comparative Studies. The lists of courses below are being offered in the Spring 2018 term, and may be considered for major/minor credit on the basis of first consulting with the current Chair of the Religious Studies major, Dr. Sarah Johnston (johnston.2@osu.edu).


Environment and Natural Resources


MWF 11:30-12:25 | G. Hitzhusen 

This course examines the development and influence of religious environmental values and their impact on environmental citizenship in America; Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist & Christian environmental perspectives; stewardship, eco-justice and creation spirituality.


Religion, Revolution, and Retreat in Seventeenth-Century Literature


R 9:10-12:10 | H. Hamlin

The first European Revolution exploded in England in the seventeenth century. After years of Civil War the New Model Army of the Puritan Parliament defeated supporters of King Charles I, and the king was tried and publicly beheaded for crimes against the state. For over a decade England was a Puritan Commonwealth ruled by zealots who expected the Apocalypse in their lifetimes. The world was turned upside down, shaking up a storm of radical religious and political ideas. New sects sprang up across the country: Baptists, Presbyterians, Quakers, Levellers, Diggers, Ranters, Familists, Fifth Monarchists, Grindletonians, Philadelphians, Muggletonians, and Dissenters of all sorts, along with more mainstream Puritans and traditional Anglicans. Much of the most powerful and exciting literature of the period expressed, questioned, and explored religious ideas.

We will read some of the great metaphysical poems of John Donne, George Herbert, Henry Vaughan, and Thomas Traherne, radical pamphlets by Gerard Winstanley, John Reeve, and Abiezer Coppe, the religious autobiography of the physician Thomas Browne, Religio Medici, and John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, written while he was in the Bedford Jail for illegal preaching, and one of the most popular books in English literary history. Women also saw opportunities in these revolutionary times, and we will read poems by Aemelia Lanyer, Hester Pulter, and the author of Eliza’s Babes, as well as prophecies by Lady Eleanor Davies, Anna Trapnel, and Mary Cary. We’ll talk about religious ideas (and their social and political implications) and the interpretation of the Bible, as well as literary matters like poetic form, rhetorical styles, and allegorical narrative. We may also ask what these centuries-old religious expressions mean for us in twenty-first century America. Can devotional poems be read in a secular context, or is this eavesdropping on personal prayers? What is the difference between a divinely-inspired mystic and a victim of delusion and madness? Can both produce great literature? Finally, was the English Revolution the birth of religious liberty or an efflorescence of zealous extremism shut down by the secular Enlightenment?***



Engaging Time


MW 12:45-2:05 | L. Kaye / T. Rudavsky

This course will explore the concept, meanings and uses of time from philosophical and Near Eastern and Judaic cultural perspectives, incorporating comparisons with time in contemporary arts, literature and sciences.




Research Seminar in Late Antiquity—Literary Forgery in the Early Christian Tradition


TBD | J. Harrill

Advanced research and writing on selected topics in Late Antiquity.


Judaism in the Greco-Roman World

HISTORY 7881 (Cross listed as NELC 7880)

TBD | M. Swartz

Although this is a 7000-level course, advanced undergraduates are welcome to enroll at the 5000-level.




Introduction to Philosophy of Religion: Theism vs Atheism


TR 11:10-12:30 | S. Brown / J. Jorati 

This course has two instructors: one of whom is a theist and the other an atheist. Together we will explore arguments for and against believing in God. Topics include: classical arguments for theism (ontological, cosmological, teleological), the problem of evil, the afterlife, and the problems of living together amidst religious disagreement.