Religion, M.A.

COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS

About the Program

The Department of Religion at Temple University offers a 30-credit master's program. For those seeking to qualify for the Ph.D. program at Temple University or other leading universities, it offers intensive training in research methods and in special fields of concentration in religion studies. (Note: Admission to the Temple Ph.D. program requires a separate application and the completion of qualifying examinations not required for the M.A. degree.) For those who plan to teach religious studies in community colleges or high schools, it provides advanced training in methods of research and in-depth study of the world's major religious traditions. For those in various forms of religious ministry, it offers post-graduate training and exposure to the newest research methods and developments for use in understanding their own or other religious and cultural traditions. For those who wish to bring cultural and cross-cultural analytical tools to professions such as business, government, journalism, medicine, and social work, it provides additional training in research methods and graduate-level study in the major world religious and cultural traditions. For qualified persons in the general public, it allows the opportunity to acquire competence in the study of religions, values, and cultures broadly defined, and in areas of special interest to the student.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 3 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Areas of Specialization: The M.A. program offers two concentrations, each of which allows students to choose between the Thesis Option and the Portfolio Option:

  • Religion, Values and Global Cultures, which is built around our Foundations seminars in the world's religious traditions and advanced seminars that permit further study in various Western and Asian religious and values traditions. Courses in the other track may be taken if they draw on materials from one of these religious traditions.
  • Religion, Values and Public Life, which is built around our Foundations seminars in the historical, philosophical, and social-science methods of study in the field of Religion, together with advanced seminars in various areas of the interaction of religion and values in public life, such as interfaith dialogue, race/gender/sexuality and religion, religion and ethics, and religion and the political process. Students taking courses in this concentration may also take courses on related topics in world religions.

Upon entering the program, students choose their area of concentration. While admission requirements and procedures are identical, requirements for the degree vary.

Job Prospects: The master's degree at Temple University is viewed as enhancement of knowledge about religion for those already employed in various professional capacities or as the foundation for pursuit of a Ph.D. degree.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Non-matriculated students may complete three graduate courses before being admitted into the degree program. Credit toward a subsequent degree program at Temple University is limited to 9 credits.

Financing Opportunities: University Fellowships, Graduate Assistantships, and Academic Internships are ordinarily reserved for Ph.D. students.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15

Applications are evaluated together after the deadline.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 3

From Whom: Recommendations should be obtained from former instructors or academic persons who know the applicant best.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration: Applicants are invited to consult with the Graduate Director regarding specific academic preparation.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A baccalaureate degree is required; a degree earned in a Liberal Arts discipline is preferred. Applicants with no Liberal Arts background should consult with the Graduate Director.

Statement of Goals: In 2 to 3 pages, describe your background and specific interests and reasons for pursuing an M.A. in Religion, demonstrating knowledge of the scope and limits of the Department of Religion's offerings and outlook.

Standardized Test Scores:
GRE: Required. Combined scores in the range of 308-340 (new test) or 1,200-1,600 (old test) on the verbal and quantitative sections are expected. The verbal score is weighed more heavily than the quantitative.

TOEFL: 100 iBT or 600 PBT minimum

Resume: Current resume required.

Writing Sample: The writing sample should demonstrate your ability to research and write a scholarly paper. The paper should be no more than 10 pages in length and fully referenced according to a professional, scholarly style manual. It should be in the field of Religious Studies or a closely related area.

Transfer Credit: Courses taken at an accredited institution that are compatible with the offerings at Temple's Department of Religion and graded "B" or better are eligible for transfer credit. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 6.

Test Waivers: The GRE is waived for international students whose native language is not English, but the minimum TOEFL must be achieved and reported.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30

Required Courses:

Foundations Courses12
Advanced Seminars and/or Independent Study12
Additional Courses 16
Total Credit Hours30
1

Students can take 3 to 6 credits of coursework outside the Department of Religion in a cognate field at Temple University.

Language Examination: Reading knowledge of a language relevant to the area of focus is required. However, at the discretion of the student's supervisory committee, this requirement can be waived for those who are planning to do graduate work that does not require foreign language proficiency.

Culminating Events: No later than upon completion of her/his first 18 credits of coursework in either the Religion, Values and Global Cultures concentration or the Religion, Values and Public Life concentration, the student must choose either the thesis or portfolio option:

  • The Thesis Option is recommended for, but not limited to, students intending to apply to a doctoral program or planning to teach at the college level. Six credits must be taken in a 3-credit Independent Study that prepares the student to register the following term for a 3-credit M.A. thesis project under the direction of a thesis advisor. Reading knowledge of a language relevant to the thesis topic and oral defense of the thesis are required.
  • The Portfolio Option is recommended for students to augment their primary area of experience and professional training in fields other than Religion.

Upon choosing an option, the student then selects an advisor for the final project who has primary responsibility for supervising the student's work for the remainder of the program and is the primary reader of the thesis or portfolio. This choice must be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee.

Thesis:
For the Thesis Option, a thesis is required.

Note that the Portfolio Option has no culminating event.

Courses

REL 5000. Special Topics. 1 to 3 Credit Hour.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

REL 5001. Foundations in Philosophy of Religion. 3 Credit Hours.

Considers a selection of classical and modern European and American philosophers and the implications of their views for religious thought. Some of those whose writings are considered may include Hume, Kant, Schleiermacher, Hegel, Kierkegaard, James, Whitehead, Rosenzweig, Gadamer, Ricoeur, Derrida, Irigaray, Habermas, and Foucault. Also may consider non-Western philosophies of religion, for example, those deriving from India or Japan.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 5002. Foundations in Religion and the Social Sciences. 3 Credit Hours.

Introduces students to the discourse of Western social sciences on religion. Examines both modern and postmodern thinkers. Offers extensive readings in Durkheim, Marx and Weber. Then puts these modern theorists into conversation with postmodern critical theory as exemplified by Foucault and Bourdieu.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 5003. Foundations in Textual and Historical Studies in Religion. 3 Credit Hours.

Teaches the issues, methods, and trends emerging in the turbulent world of historical studies. Explores the problems, ideological constraints, and new venues that occur when "religion" is introduced to historical studies. Deals with New Historicism, Cultural Materialism, postcolonial theory, various feminisms, the crisis of narrative history, and various approaches now in vogue for reading ancient texts, 1st through 6th century CE and dealing with Greco-Roman religions, Judaism, and Christianity.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 5004. Foundations in Religion and Psychology. 3 Credit Hours.

Introduces psychological theorizing about the origins, motivations, and aims of religion. Psychological thought will be contextualized, showing how it has been shaped by and in turn reshapes more traditional Western reflection on the nature of persons, symbols, and faith. Simultaneously, psychological perspectives assist Western people to appreciate, interpret, and adapt non-Western forms of religion and practices. In this course, we will read classic theorists, modern revisers, and some recent rethinking and responses to these theorists.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 5006. Foundations in Religion, Race, and Ethnicity. 3 Credit Hours.

Critically engages leading theoretical discussions about the intersection of religion, race, and ethnicity. Serves also as a practicum in relevant social science methodologies and their application in the analysis of a chosen "ethnic" congregation in the Philadelphia area.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 5009. Foundations for the Critical Study of the Hebrew Bible. 3 Credit Hours.

This seminar provides an introduction to the development and application of various critical methods employed in Hebrew Bible scholarship (sometimes called Old Testament scholarship). It will focus on methodological developments from the mid-nineteenth century CE through the present. Knowledge of Hebrew is not required.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 5101. Foundations in Hinduism. 3 Credit Hours.

Both a historical and thematic survey of Hinduism. Attempts to make clear the structures of Hinduism and to explain its internal coherence as well as its apparent inconsistencies. While recognizing that it is impossible to include everything in the study of a religion which covers a time span of 5,000 years and which has existed over a vast geographical area, this course aims at giving comprehensive coverage of the history, traditions, rituals and theologies of Hinduism.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 5102. Foundations in Indian Buddhism. 3 Credit Hours.

Examines the biographical data (not Buddhology) and philosophical themes in the Majjhima Nikaya and the Digha Nikaya. Studies philosophical themes in early Theravada traditions and selected suttas.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 5201. Foundations in Chinese Religions. 3 Credit Hours.

Basic studies of (1) the classical texts and essential teachings of early Confucianism and Taoism, and (2) the ideological continuity from early Confucianism and Taoism to Neo-Confucianism and Neo-Taoism. Focuses on the major religious and philosophical traditions of China. Special consideration is given to the ethical, religious, and social thought of Confucianism and Daoism. Topics of discussion include: 1) the pre-Han concepts of spirits and gods, 2) classical Confucianism (the "Kung-Meng tradition"), 3) philosophical Daoism (the "Lao-Zhuang tradition"), 4) religious Daoism (including the popular cult of immortality), 5) ideological continuities and transformations in Neo-Confucianism and Neo-Daoism, and 6) religious practices in contemporary China. The approach is both historical and comparative. No knowledge of Chinese is required, as the readings are in translation.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 5202. Foundations in Chinese Buddhism. 3 Credit Hours.

The course will provide an overview of Chinese Buddhism from its beginning in ca. 200 CE to the modern era. We will read primary sources in translation supplemented by overview lectures on history and philosophy. We will look at Chinese Buddhist thought, as well as its art and architecture, social dynamics and relationship with other traditions. A special section on modern and contemporary Chinese Buddhism will emphasize Buddhist reactions to modernity. Participants will create an annotated bibliography, do at least one presentation, and write a term paper (20+ pages).

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 5301. Foundations in Japanese Buddhism. 3 Credit Hours.

Prepares students to do an in-depth study of Japanese Buddhism, covering several major Buddhist thinkers, such as Kukai, Dogen, Shinran, Myoe, Hakuin, Takuan, and Nishida. In order to understand how Japanese Buddhism accepted Indian and Chinese Mahayana Buddhism, the course traces some of the prominent conceptual frameworks of these two. The methodological orientation of the course is philosophical.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 5401. Foundations in Judaism. 3 Credit Hours.

This course offers students a critical introduction to issues within Jewish studies and the study of Jews, Judaism and Jewishness. Who are Jews and how have these designations shifted and changed over time? What is Judaism and how is it a religion? What role do texts and practices play in defining Judaism? The course asks these and other questions in order to both build on the legacy of how Judaism has been studied within the academic field of religious studies and to challenge some of these long held assumptions. In other words, the course both appreciates and challenges this scholarly legacy by offering students Religious studies, Jewish studies and literary critical tools to better appreciate Jewish texts and practices. And, by looking at Jews, Judaism and Jewishness in the plural, the course offers students a broad historical vision of Jewish culture. The course is organized, more or less, chronologically offering students a critical overview of Jewish history moving from the biblical period to the present with attention to specific Jewish texts and artifacts from specific periods and geographical locations within this history.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 5501. Foundations in Christianity. 3 Credit Hours.

Focuses on both thought (doctrine, theology) and patterns of spiritual life, especially as revealed in Christian devotional "classics." What has been believed, taught and confessed by Christians since the Church's earliest era? How have individuals lived out these teachings, helped to reshape them, and discerned a spiritual life focused on God as known through Jesus Christ? As contemporary persons, how can we read and interrogate as well as appropriate these texts within a religious and cultural world so different from those of the authors? The continuing importance and vitality of these "classics" - or their rediscovery after long periods of obscurity - is part of the milieu for Christianity in its world context today.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 5601. Foundations in Islam. 3 Credit Hours.

Provides a basic survey of Islam for non-specialists. Includes a historical overview focusing on the relationship of Islam to the world and to other religions and ideologies of ancient, medieval, and modern times. Also considers the major modalities of Islam as a religion, including the legal, spiritual, philosophical, and social aspects. Finally, current issues in Islam will be considered, including modern changes in social organization and present-day politics. No prerequisites or language requirements.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 5701. Foundations in African Religions. 3 Credit Hours.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8001. Religious History of the United States in the 20th Century. 3 Credit Hours.

Explores the scholarly literature on the history of religion in the United States in the 20th century. Focuses on members of New Religious Movements; on Muslims, Protestants, and Catholics; on race and ethnicity; on diasporas; on gender; and on changing concepts of the nature of "religion."

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8002. American Religious History. 3 Credit Hours.

Discusses and analyzes a selected topic in American religious history.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8003. American Religious History II. 3 Credit Hours.

Discusses and analyzes a selected topic in American religious history.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8004. The History of Ethics. 3 Credit Hours.

A general survey of the development of human ethics in history. While all of the most prominent religions and civilizations will be looked at, the course may concentrate more on some than others in accord with the expertise of the instructor, including especially contemporary themes in the study and application of ethical standards.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8005. Interreligious Dialogue. 3 Credit Hours.

Investigates the theoretical issues that underlie all interreligious dialogue as well as examples of actual dialogue in progress, the latter partly according to student interest in those dialogues. The former will include analyses of what precisely is meant by dialogue and of the philosophical, theological, religious, psychological, "spirituality," and "praxis" aspects of interreligious dialogue, in other words, the presuppositions and implications of such dialogue.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8006. Methodological Options in the Study of Religion. 3 Credit Hours.

Focuses on one of the currently available methodologies used in academic discourses on religion, enabling the students to evaluate this methodology and compare and contrast it with others.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8007. The Body: East and West. 3 Credit Hours.

This course assumes a comparative approach to investigate how we understand our body, how we live our body, and how our body changes through the practice of self-cultivation. It will first examine some of the traditional Western concepts of the body (e.g. Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and Merleau-Ponty). Then it will turn to the study of the body as it has been articulated in the Eastern intellectual tradition (e.g. Samkhya Karika, Patanjali's Yogasutra, and Yuasa Yasuo's The Body, Self-Cultivation and Ki-Energy).

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8008. Jung and the East. 3 Credit Hours.

This comparative course delves into the similarities and differences between Jung's major theories developed after 1928 (e.g., archetypes, collective unconscious, synchronicity) and the representative Eastern theories of Taoist, Buddhist, and Kundalini Yoga traditions.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8009. Religious Experience: Body and Meditation. 3 Credit Hours.

This course examines the nature, the variety, the depths, and the meanings of religious experiences with the view to advancing a third alternative position to the two prominent contemporary philosophical positions which W. T. Stace and Steven Katz offered on this topic. As a preparation for this task, the course will first review some of the major classical texts, both Western and Eastern (e.g., Plotinus, Pseudo-Dionysius, St. Teresa, St. John of the Cross, Meister Eckhart, Early Buddhism, Kundalini Yoga, and Shintoism), so that the student will become familiar with the scope and the depth of the subject.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8010. Rel Exper-East & West. 3 Credit Hours.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

REL 8011. Religion and Public Life. 3 Credit Hours.

We will inquire about key intellectual issues pertaining to the public understanding of religion in the U.S. today: examining the ideas of secular and religious; understanding the first amendment clauses on religious freedom and establishment; tracking ethical debates concerning race, gender, and sexuality; gaining perspective on civil religion and popular culture; examining how religion uses and is portrayed in the media; and gaining insight about religious pluralism in local and global contexts. Additional goals include understanding the connections among world events, American society, and religious life. Students will do critical writing in a variety of styles to address public and academic audiences.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8012. Religion and Sexuality. 3 Credit Hours.

This course examines recent ideas and trends in the scholarly literature about sexuality in the context of religious studies. We will focus primarily on how contemporary scholars have reshaped and rethought religious traditions that control and celebrate sexuality in light of contemporary ideas about the power and variety of sexual experience and expression. Students will be required to read and critically engage scholarly monographs and write an extensive original research paper on a topic of their choice.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8100. Topics in Buddhist Thought. 3 Credit Hours.

Various topics in the Buddhist thought of Japan, China, or India. May treat one, two, or all three of these traditions on a given topic and also compare them with parallel Western thought.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

REL 8201. Chinese Philosophy and Religion. 3 Credit Hours.

This course will introduce participants to a select few seminal works in the history of East Asian thought. These works will be read closely and in depth together with secondary scholarship on them. The primary readings will usually be from the pre-modern period and will focus on foundational works of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8300. Topics in Japanese Buddhism. 3 Credit Hours.

Provides an in-depth study of one or more topics in Japanese Buddhism. May cover any of the major Japanese Buddhist thinkers such as Kukai, Dogen, Shinran, Myoe, Hakuin, Takuan, and Nishida. Methodological orientation is philosophical.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

REL 8301. Kyoto School of Philosophy. 3 Credit Hours.

We will be reading for the course some of the major thinkers belonging to the Kyoto School, such as Nishida Keiji, Miki Kiyoshi, and Abe Masao. The thematic focus of the course falls on the understanding of the meaning of nothingness (both relative and absolute) from a philosophical as well as a depth-psychological viewpoint, while questioning the traditional formulation of ontology from an East Asian perspective.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8400. Topics in Biblical Studies. 3 Credit Hours.

Research and discussion on a selected topic or topics in the biblical studies, including either the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, or both, as well as a consideration of the relationship of that literature to other writings, including the apocryphal and pseudepigraphic.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

REL 8401. Race, Gender, Class and Ethnicity in Ancient Near East. 3 Credit Hours.

Against the background of the substantial work done in recent years in biblical racial and gender studies, this course explores the ancient Near Eastern, and specifically biblical, origins of diversity and religious nationalism in terms of race, gender, class, and ethnicity. The focus will be on how these apply to particular biblical texts that involve gender, ethnic, and class confrontations.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8402. Violence in Ancient Religion: Pagan, Christian, and Jewish, 50 CE-500 CE. 3 Credit Hours.

Explores examples of coercion, violence, and war resulting primarily from religious motivations within the political framework of the Roman Empire. The rubrics of violence in the cause of freedom, violence due to intolerance, and violence in the cause of ideology will organize the work. The questions of how religious ideas serve the cause of power and how the victims respond in each religion will dominate the seminar. In addition, discovering whether racial or ethnic biases skewed perceptions and inspired conflicts will be important throughout. In order to do this, we must look at the new studies of contemporary scholars who explore definitions of self-identity in antiquity. Who is a "Jew," a "Greek," a "Roman," and a "barbarian"? Finally, analyzing the range of acts, from ignorant prejudice to violence sanctioned by the state through legislation, will aid in the task of situating the phenomena in antiquity within the context of contemporary theories on the problem.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8403. Holocaust and Representation. 3 Credit Hours.

Building on works by Saul Friedlander, Sidra Ezrahi, James Young, and others, this course raises questions about what it means to represent and re-member the Holocaust, focusing on issues of the aesthetic, memory, and the labor of representation. What do art, film, and literature enable in relation to legacies of communal destruction and trauma, and what do they foreclose? Other topics will include: the construction of historical narratives (whose stories? whose texts?), the art of fascism, nazi culture, and questions about the ongoing labor of memory, testimony, and artistic production.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8405. Women in Ancient Christianity. 3 Credit Hours.

Explores the wide variety of women's participation in and experiences of early Christianity, from the first century to the fifth. Pays close attention to extent primary evidence and the varieties of ways that this body of evidence is used and interpreted in both theological and historical contexts. Hence the course will combine historical and hermeneutical issues in contemporary scholarship.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8406. Feminist and Womanist Biblical Interpretation. 3 Credit Hours.

This seminar provides a survey of the history and development of feminist and womanist biblical interpretation in the United States. It includes interpreters of the Hebrew Bible (sometimes called Old Testament) and New Testament in religious and non-religious contexts. Knowledge of Hebrew or Greek is not required.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8501. Modern Catholicism. 3 Credit Hours.

Focuses on reform movements within the Catholic Church from the 18th-century Enlightenment forward, concentrating particularly on the most recent times. These reform movements, climaxing in Vatican Council II (1962-1965), constitute a Copernican turn in Catholic history and involve at least five dimensions: 1) the turn toward the historical, 2) the turn toward the world, 3) the turn toward freedom/democracy, 4) the turn toward reform, and 5) the turn toward dialogue. Key thinkers include De Chardin, K√ľng, Schillebeeckx, Haring, and Ruether.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8502. Women in Ancient Christianity. 3 Credit Hours.

Focuses on the four main figures of Christian tradition in the West: Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin. Includes reading of original texts in English translation. Also includes modern works by Troeltsch and Weber.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8503. Issues in Theology. 3 Credit Hours.

Deals with one or more issues in modern and/or contemporary religious theology.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8504. Christology in the Ancient Church. 3 Credit Hours.

Explores the emergent ambiguities with regard to the identity of Jesus Christ during the 2nd through the 4th centuries. In order to understand the common person's view of Christ, we shall read apocryphal acts, lives of saints, sayings of the desert mothers, sayings of the desert fathers, and martyrologies. In addition, we shall examine primary texts of authors known as the Fathers, such as Tertullian, Irenaeus of Lyon, Melito of Sardis, Origen, Eusebius, Basil of Caesarea, Macrina, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianus. One of the goals is to understand the debates and differences with the context of institutional monastic and ecclesiastical growth.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8600. Topics in Islamic History. 3 Credit Hours.

Offers one of several topics in classical Muslim history, including the life of the Prophet Muhammad, the early development of the political system and Muslim law, Muslim theories of history, and selected trends in modern Muslim history.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

REL 8601. Islamic Jurisprudence. 3 Credit Hours.

Examines the Muslim legal prescriptions regarding women and war, the two issues for which Islam is most attacked today both in academia and the media. It will consider both the classical law and recent developments. Special attention will be given to the question of flexibility versus rigidity in the law, as well as to the type of society envisioned by the proponents of different interpretations. Current trends and possible future outcomes will be considered. The changing status and role of the religious responsum or fatwa will be probed as well, leading to a discussion of the development of religious authority in Islam.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8602. Islamic Mysticism. 3 Credit Hours.

Examines the sources, rise and development of Muslim spirituality. The ideal of life and worship in Islam will be studied as the framework for Muslim mysticism. Then the development of spiritual life and thought will be examined, and especially the contribution of noted individuals. Finally, Sufi orders and their role in the life of Muslim society will be considered.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8603. Islam in Global Perspective. 3 Credit Hours.

This course focuses on contemporary Islam in a global context. It will consider the development of Islamic networks and the emergence of transnational identities among Muslims from places like Africa, Asia, Europe, and the United States. West African Muslim migrants among other groups will be examined for how they respond to the political, economic, and cultural processes of globalization.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8604. African American Islam. 3 Credit Hours.

This graduate seminar is designed to introduce students to the growing scholarly literature on African American Islam. It will explore the intersection of race, religion, and ethnicity in light of the various ways African American Muslims negotiate their identities and religious practices.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8700. Topics in African Religions. 3 Credit Hours.

Covers a selected topic or topics in the study of African religions, including aome or all of the following: African traditional religions, new African religions, and forms of Christianity and other major religions as practiced and elaborated by Africans.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

REL 8701. African Ideas of God. 3 Credit Hours.

Introduces the conception of God in African traditional spirituality and the implications of such a "theology" on African understanding of humanity. Explores African creation myths, the names and attributes of God in African languages, what people expect from God, and what God expects from people. In doing this, we will address African ethics or the conception of good and evil among Africans. The relationship of African concepts of God with Islam and Christianity will also be discussed, including the beliefs of African practitioners of those religions.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8702. Religions of the African Diaspora. 3 Credit Hours.

Looks at the historical development of African-derived or African-inspired religions in the African diaspora. Particular emphasis will be placed on Camdomble in Brazil, Vodou in Haiti, and Santeria in Cuba, as well as on communities practicing these and related religious traditions in the United States.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8703. Africana Philosophical Thought. 3 Credit Hours.

Explores a variety of philosophical and metaphilosophical problems in recent African philosophy through an examination of the treatment of the concept of "invention" in the work of several influential philosophers and social theorists.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8704. Foucault in Africana Thought. 3 Credit Hours.

Examines the two classic phases of Foucault's thought, archaeological and genealogical, and explores the impact they have had on the construction of race, gender, sexual orientation, disciplinarity, secularization, and politics as configured in Africana thought. Includes close readings of Foucault and his impact on the thought of Africana thinkers such as V. Y. Mudimbe, Cornel West, Molefi Asante, Sylvia Wynter, Paget Henry, Joy James, and B. Anthony Bogues.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

REL 8800. Special Topics in Religion. 3 Credit Hours.

A series of special topics in the field of religion, including some of those taught by visiting faculty. Content will vary from semester to semester. Specifics will appear in department course description booklet each semester.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

REL 8810. Special Topics in Religion. 3 Credit Hours.

A series of special topics in the field of religion, including some of those taught by visiting faculty. Content will vary from semester to semester. Specifics will appear in department course description booklet each semester.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

REL 9087. Teaching Practicum in Religion Studies. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is for students who are beginning to teach religious studies in a university setting and wish to think about and develop their teaching skills. The course will help teachers in constructing the syllabus, conducting class discussions, designing lectures, getting the most out of student evaluations, using office hours effectively, creating teaching portfolios, working as a teaching assistant, grading, and problem solving around student interactions. The class will involve classroom visits and peer critiques, practical exercises and discussion about problems as they arise, so students should enroll during a semester when they are actually engaged in teaching.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

REL 9182. Individual Study. 1 Credit Hour.

Individual study with a faculty member while in the coursework phase of the program.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

REL 9282. Individual Study. 3 Credit Hours.

Individual study with a faculty member while in the coursework phase of the program.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

REL 9382. Individual Study. 3 Credit Hours.

Individual study with a faculty member while in the coursework phase of the program.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

REL 9994. Preliminary Examination Preparation. 1 to 6 Credit Hour.

This course fulfills the continuous enrollment requirement after coursework completion while preparing for the Preliminary examinations.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

REL 9996. Master's Thesis Research. 1 to 6 Credit Hour.

Capstone MA course. Student explores a specific topic with his or her MA advisor and writes a thesis of approximately 50 pages. Registration each semester required until thesis approval.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

REL 9998. Pre-Dissertation Research. 1 to 6 Credit Hour.

Pre-Dissertation Research. After having passed the Preliminary exams, registration is appropriate for students working on the dissertation proposal.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

REL 9999. Dissertation Research. 1 to 6 Credit Hour.

Registration required each semester after elevation to candidacy until completion and successful defense of the dissertation.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.
Student Attribute Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Student Attributes: Dissertation Writing Student.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

Contacts

Program Web Address:

http://www.cla.temple.edu/religion/graduate

Department Information:

Dept. of Religion

Anderson Hall, 6th Floor

1114 Polett Walk

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090

religiongradstudies@temple.edu

215-204-7973

Mailing Address for Application Materials:

Dept. of Religion

615 Anderson Hall (022-28)

1114 Polett Walk

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090

Department Contacts:

Admissions:

Linda Jenkins

religiongradstudies@temple.edu

215-204-7973

Graduate Chairperson:

Jeremy Schipper

schipper@temple.edu

215-204-7973

Chairperson:

Khalid Blankinship

khalid.blankinship@temple.edu

215-204-5543