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Reasoned Examination of Faith courses, fall 2024

One of the core requirements at Augustana College is for students to select a course that examines religious traditions. This requirement is called Reasoned Examination of Faith (REF).

Below are Reasoned Examination of Faith (REF) courses for fall semester 2024.

RELG-202 Jewish & Christian Scriptures (REF) An introduction to the biblical texts of Judaism and Christianity, their origins, and history of interpretation in their initial contexts and key contexts in the history of their interpretation. Students will focus on the varieties of canons and the communities who use them, as well as the many ways in which these communities appeal to the authority of their scriptures.

RELG-203 Christian Ethics (REF) An examination of Christian and other perspectives on ethical decision-making and on issues such as sexual ethics, abortion, war and peace, and the environment.

RELG-204 Christian Theology (REF) An examination of primary Christian understandings of God, sin, salvation, suffering, and hope, with an eye to how they can address contemporary social issues, including environmental degradation, racism, sexism, consumerism, and violence.

RELG-206 Reformers and Radicals (REF) An examination of several Christians (such as Luther, Kierkegaard, Bonhoeffer, Soelle, or others) who root their thought in the Lutheran tradition while drawing on that tradition to work for social justice.

RELG-210 Sages, Mystics, and Philosophers (REF) Students explore how Christian, Hindu & Muslim mystics think about Ultimate Reality (God, Brahman, Allah) through both logic & faith and how they undertake spiritual journeys toward mystical union with Him/Her/It. Students consider contemporary issues about Yoga, mystical tourism, "spiritual but not religious" & the challenge of studying religions through one's own biases.

RELG-212 The Disciplined Life (REF) The Disciplined Life: Asceticism in Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism is a comparative study of the disciplined life focusing on asceticism in the religious traditions of Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism.

RELG-214 Angels and Demons (REF) The interactions of paganism and Christianity are examined through Greek and Latin literature of the 4th-5th centuries CE--from Diocletian's Great Persecution to the triumph and establishment of Christianity, including the momentous and controversial reigns of Constantine the Great and Julian the Apostate. Study of the encounter highlights tradition and innovation in literary genres, dialogue, and conflict in the relations between the two traditions. In the end, the establishment of Greco-Roman paganism and Christianity as twin poles in an ongoing tension continues to produce new ways of thinking about their relationship.