2016-2017 Graduate Bulletin

DU Iliff Joint Doctoral Program in the Study of Religion

Office: Iliff School of Theology I-408
Mail Code: 4842
Phone: 1-303-765-3136
Email: Jointphd@iliff.edu
Web Site: http://www.du.edu/duiliffjoint/

Doctor of Philosophy in the Study of Religion

The Joint Doctoral Program in the Study of Religion (JDP), housed at the University of Denver and the Iliff School of Theology, has been developing leaders in the field of religion for over thirty years. The program offers students a rich and rigorous, yet flexible and interdisciplinary, environment for academic conversation and study. Students in the JDP benefit from a strong sense of community. Our students participate in a range of colloquia, workshops, and symposia that promote innovative and relevant scholarship. The JDP prepares students for careers in academia, religious communities, governmental organizations, counseling centers, and a variety of other vocational venues. Through close peer and faculty relationships and support, students develop their professional identities within the academic study of religion.

Across various specializations, JDP faculty are committed to educating all our students in the critical study of religion and to helping them develop the ability to understand their areas of specialization as a part of the larger discipline. The curriculum of the JDP seeks to prepare students to understand and participate in conversations about key ideas, themes, theories, questions, problems, and trends in the study of religion, including those within professional organizations such as the American Academy of Religion.

Spheres of Inquiry for Interdisciplinary study

The academic program utilizes lenses for study and research called spheres of inquiry. 

  • Lived Religion (persons and communities)
  • Conceptual Approaches to Religion (issues, concepts, and social and cultural phenomena)
  • Religion in Text, Image, and Artifact

The spheres are not discrete tracks of study but are intended to create spaces for conversation among faculty and students who have different areas of specialization. Each year, three colloquia will be offered, one for each sphere, focusing on a different theme. One faculty member will serve as moderator, but several faculty will participate as determined by their research interests. During their course work, students must take one colloquium in each sphere, though they may take more than one if they choose, since the themes will vary year to year.

Program Strengths for In-Depth Study

The JDP has resources to offer specialized study in a limited number of subject areas. The strengths of JDP faculty determine the most productive opportunities for study and for directed research, such as dissertation projects.The academic areas below are not distinct concentrations, but rather areas of strength among the current faculty of DU and Iliff.

  • Bible, Ancient Judaism, Early Christianity
  • Religion, Art, and Media
  • Religion, Race, and Ethnicity
  • Religion and Its Publics (U.S. and International
  • Theories of Religion
  • Religion and Human Experience

Certificate in Latinx Studies

Highlighting our commitment to diversity and our celebration of inclusive excellence, the Joint PhD program in the Study of Religion offers a certificate in Latinx Studies.  Guided by faculty at both DU and Iliff, Joint PhD students consider questions of Latinx histories and culture from a theological and religious studies perspective and engage directly with Latinx communities through a variety of field placement and outreach opportunities.  This certificate prepares student to teach Latinx Studies focusing on religion, theology, and social praxis. 

Joint PhD in the Study of Religion

Following are the simple steps to apply for the Joint PhD Program in the Study of Religion at the University of Denver and the Iliff School of Theology. If you have any questions about the process, please contact the Office of Graduate Studies.

…Apply Online / Application Deadlines
  • Applications for graduate study at the University of Denver must be submitted online. Apply online.
  • All online materials must be received, and all supplemental materials including transcripts must be on file in the Office of Graduate Studies, by the program’s stated priority deadline: January 15. The program admits for the fall quarter only. Late applications will be considered but priority consideration for admission and program scholarships will be given to applicants who meet the priority deadline.
  • A $65 non-refundable application fee is required for an application to be processed.
…Course and Degree Prerequisites and Requirements
  • Applicants must earn and submit proof of earning the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution prior to beginning graduate coursework at DU.
  • A completed master’s degree relevant to the student’s proposed concentration(s) from a HLC accredited American university or a comparably accredited institution outside the United States as approved by DU’s Office of International Admission is required. In special cases, a student who is admitted with a master’s degree in a field other than Religious Studies or a closely related field may be required to take remedial coursework that would not count as part of the student’s program. Such course work would not be covered by financial aid.
  • A grade point average from all graduate work of no less than 3.0 (B) is required for admission into the program.
…Transcripts
  • Applicants are required to submit an official transcript from each post-secondary institution they have attended, or are presently attending, where two quarter hours (or one semester hour) or more were completed including study abroad and college coursework completed in high school.
  • The applicant is responsible for obtaining all transcripts. Applicants who have earned a degree outside the U.S. must submit transcripts accompanied by certified English translations, if not normally issued in English. DU students and alumni do not need to provide DU transcripts.
  • Official study abroad transcripts are required unless the course titles, grades and credit earned abroad appear on another transcript. Transcripts from outside of the U.S. are evaluated by the Office of International Student Admission. This process can take three to four weeks and must be complete by the program’s stated deadline. Therefore, applicants with a degree from outside of the U.S. are encouraged to apply early. Applicants educated outside the U.S. are encouraged to contact the Office of Graduate Studies for assistance regarding transcript-related materials.
  • The University of Denver will consider electronic transcripts official from a domestic institution provided by the following approved agencies: Army/American Council on Education Registry Transcript System (AARTS); Docufide/Parchment; National Student Clearinghouse; Naviance; Royall and Company; and, Scrip-Safe.
  • Paper transcripts should be sent to the following address:

University of Denver
Office of Graduate Studies
Mary Reed Building, Room 5
2199 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80208-4802

Language Proficiency
  • Official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are required of all graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship status, whose native language is not English or who have been educated in countries where English is not the native language. Applications will not be processed until the required TOEFL or IELTS score is received. The TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. The minimum TOEFL score accepted by the Joint Ph.D. Program is 100 (iBT) or 600 (paper-based). The institution code for the University of Denver is 4842. The minimum IELTS score accepted by the University is 7.0. Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) must demonstrate fluency in spoken English by scoring a 26 on the TOEFL speaking section or 8.0 on the IELTS speaking section. Please see the Graduate Policy Manual for complete English language proficiency requirements.
  • Applicants may be exempted from English proficiency test requirements if by the time of matriculation they have earned a post-secondary degree from a formally-recognized/accredited university where the language of instruction and examination is English. Such applicants may be exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement but not from other standardized graduate entrance examinations. There are no exemptions for graduate teaching assistants.
  • Students whose native language is not English and who are required to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores will be assessed by the University of Denver English Language Center (ELC) prior to matriculation.
  • Students wishing to pursue advanced study in the Bible, Ancient Judaism, and early Christianity must have demonstrated proficiency in ancient Greek and/or ancient Hebrew equivalent to one-year of study at the time of application. Proficiency must be documented by a transcript from a regionally accredited institution or by examination by a qualified examiner approved by the appropriate JDP faculty.
…Test Scores
  • Graduate Record Examination aptitude scores for general test are required for all applicants. When reporting scores to the Joint Ph.D. Program, please use institution code 4842 for the University of Denver. Applicants should take the entrance exam well in advance of their intended application date. Please allow at least 14 business days for your general test scores to be received. Applications will not be processed until scores have been received. Entrance exam scores older than five years from the date of the application may not be acceptable for admission.

Personal Statement

  • A statement of purpose outlining the professional and/or academic goals and describing the applicant's preparedness and background for pursuing doctoral work in the chosen field must be submitted. The length is typically 3-5 pages. Please be sure to identify specific faculty with whom you wish to work. The personal statement can be uploaded and attached to your online application as one document before submission.

Research Paper
  • A research paper that represents the applicant’s best effort in an academic field of study directly related to the proposed field of study is required. Length is typically 10-20 pages, not to exceed 25 pages. The research paper can be uploaded and attached to your online application before submission.
…Recommendation Letters
  • Three letters of recommendation are required from qualified persons, including graduate and/or undergraduate faculty familiar with the applicant’s academic work. Letters should be solicited and uploaded by recommenders through the online application system. Requests for letters should be sent to recommenders well in advance so the letters are on file by the application deadline.
…Financial Support
  • To be considered for financial support, domestic applicants should apply early and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the priority deadline; February 15. Information about financial aid can be found on the Office of Financial Aid website. International students are not eligible for federal financial aid.
  • The DU/Iliff Joint PhD Program awards merit-based scholarships. Scholarship determinations are made at the time of admission. No separate application is needed.
…Application Status
  • We encourage you to be actively engaged in the admission process. You can check your application status online. Applicants will receive login information post application submission.
Contact Information
  • Mail official transcripts and any supplemental admission materials not submitted with the online application to:

University of Denver
Office of Graduate Studies
Mary Reed Building, Room 5
2199 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80208-4802

  • Electronic transcripts should be sent to gradinfo@du.edu.
  • For more information call (303) 871-2706.
…International Applicants
  • For complete international applicant information, please visit the Office of Graduate Studies International Student Application Information. International applicants are strongly encouraged to have their applications complete, with all materials on file in the admission office, at least eight weeks prior to the program’s application deadline.

The Graduate Policies and Procedures provides complete details regarding admission requirements.

Certificate in Latinx Studies

Only students admitted to the DU/Iliff Joint Doctoral Program in the Study of Religion may apply.

Students will need to complete the certificate application form and an interview with the Latinx Certificate Coordinator.

Students must demonstrate a commitment to Latinx communities and Latinx Studies and demonstrate an initial awareness of Latinx cultural contexts and the effects of systemic inequities experienced by these communities and the religious or social legacies of such experiences.

Doctor of Philosophy in the Study of Religion 

Degree requirements

Coursework requirements

Core coursework requirements24
RLGN 4000Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion4
RLGN 5000Pedagogy and the Teaching of Religion4
RLGN 6000Dissertation Proposal Seminar4
RLGN 5010Lived Religion Colloquium4
RLGN 5020Conceptual Approaches to Religion Colloquium4
RLGN 5030Religion in Text, Image, and Artifact Colloquium4
Additional coursework42
Complete 42 credits of additional elective coursework, including any approved transfer credits, before beginning dissertation research. The maximum number of Independent Study credits allowed is 12.
Comprehensive Exam Review Courses16
RLGN 6010Comprehensive Review I: Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion4
RLGN 6020Comprehensive Review II: Area Theories and Methods4
RLGN 6030Comprehensive Review III: Knowledge in a Professional Field4
RLGN 6040Comprehensive Review IV: Knowledge in Minor Areas or Subfields4
Dissertation Research8
Complete 8 credits of dissertation research. Register for 1 dissertation research credit each quarter beginning in the fall of the year following completion of comps and dissertation proposal course until 8 credits are reached. Then register for 1 credit every fall until graduation.
Total Credits90

Minimum number of credits required for degree: 90 credits

Non-coursework Requirements

  • Successful defense of a dissertation proposal 
  • Demonstrated competence in a second language (other than English). Students demonstrate competence by passing a reading comprehension examination offered by DU's Center for World Languages and Cultures. For those students who need to demonstrate expertise in ancient texts an exam will be administered by appropriate faculty.
  • Writing and successful defense of a dissertation
  • Successful completion of the oral defense
  • Completion of all requirements for the degree within seven years.

Certificate in Latinx Studies

Program Requirements

Required Courses8
Latino Religious Cultures: Methods and Theories
Hispanic Ethics and Theology
Elective Courses12
Choose from the following selection of courses to complete 12 credit hours of elective coursework.
Multi-Cultural Pastoral Care & Counseling
Race, Gender, Class: Historical & Social Analysis of Racism in the Modern World
American Indian Cultures and Religious Traditions
Race and Religion in the United States
Social Construction & Selfhood
Social Movements from Liberationist Perspectives
Muslims, Jews and Christians in Medieval Spain
16th-Century Spanish Mystics & Reformers
Liberation Theologies
Doing Christian Ethics from the Margins
Colloquium: Post-Colonial Discourse and Other Myths: A Theological Critique of Dominance
Formative Figures in Christian Ethics: The 20th Century White Male Canon
Human Security: Intervention Strategies for Economic & Social Development
Immigration Policies and Services
Social Work Interventions with Latinos/as
Critical Perspectives on the Latino Context
Global Relations and Poverty in Mexico
Social Development in Latin America
Social Work and Latino/a Cultures: An Intensive Practice and Spanish Immersion Course
Historical Trauma and Healing
Topics in Social Work
Introduction to Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
Qualitative Data Analysis
Inclusive Excellence in Organizations
Critical Race Theory and Education
Illicit Markets in the Americas
Transnational Migration in the Americas
Democracy and Militarism in Latin America
Political Economic Development in Latin America
Population, Environment, and Development in Latin America
Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean
Political Economy of Brazil and India
Internship/Field Placement4
Complete a 4 credit hour field placement assignment within a Latinx community service setting approved by the Latinx Certificate Coordinator. In some cases, the field placement may be replaced by an internsive Latin American immersion equivalent.
Total Credits24

Minimum number of credit hours to fulfill the Certificate: 24 credits

Non-coursework requirements:

  • Students must demonstrate competency in Spanish language as evidenced by passing a Spanish qualifying exam. 2000-level Spanish-speaking courses are available at the university, but undergraduate classes will not count toward the 90-hour degree, and financial aid may not be applied to these undergraduate classes.
  • A comprehensive exam in Latinx Religion, Theology, or Ethics.
  • Students will write a dissertation on a topic of Latinx Religion, Theology, or Ethics.
  • At least one dissertation committee member must also be Latinx Certificate faculty.

Courses

RLGN 4000 Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion (4 Credits)

This course begins with a brief overview of the history of the study of religion in the west, from antiquity to the modern period. When we reach the modern period, the course shifts to considering 'representative' theories of religion, broken down roughly along ideological and/or disciplinary lines.

RLGN 4101 Ph.D. Colloquium in Biblical Interpretation (2 Credits)

Discussion of selected topics in the field of biblical studies, e.g., northwest Semitic inscriptions, Hebrew poetry, Judges, Acts of Andrew, literature of rabbinic Judaism, American biblical studies.

RLGN 4102 Hebrew Bible Seminar: Language and Text (4 Credits)

This seminar focuses on the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia; Hebrew grammar and syntax; and text critical methodology.

RLGN 4103 New Testament Seminar: Language and Text (2-4 Credits)

This seminar focuses on advanced Greek grammar, reading and vocabulary building; textual criticism; and reference tools.

RLGN 4104 Hebrew Bible Environments (4 Credits)

An exploration of the Hebrew Bible in its historical contexts.

RLGN 4105 Empire and the Rise of Christianity (4 Credits)

This course covers approximately the first five centuries of Christian history with a view toward understanding the role empire played in the rise of Christianity, both in terms of the confluence between Christianity and the Roman Empire as well as its role in the development of Christian beliefs, practices, production of discourse, institutions, and strategies of social control.

RLGN 4106 Second Century Life & Thought (4 Credits)

An attempt to understand Christian life and thought in the Roman Empire in the Second-century by analyzing primary sources.

RLGN 4107 Women in Early Christianity (4 Credits)

An exploration of the role women played in early Christianity, with attention given to the social and literary constructions of women in Greco-Roman antiquity.

RLGN 4108 Jewish and Christian Non-Canonical Literature (4 Credits)

This seminar examines Jewish and Hellenistic backgrounds; the social scientific study of early Christianity; and the New Testament in its literary environment.

RLGN 4109 Formation of the Bible (4 Credits)

This course focuses on the development of the Christian Bible. Some attention, however, will be given to the emergence of the Jewish canon, primarily as it relates to and impacts the Christian canon. The chronological expanse of the course ranges from the Hellenistic through the late Roman period. The approach of the course is necessarily literary and historical, but theoretical issues about what constitutes scripture and canon will also be given attention.

RLGN 4110 Hebrew Reading (2 Credits)

Advanced work in biblical languages or a selected issue in a language study.

RLGN 4111 Greek Reading (2 Credits)

Selected readings from the New Testament and other early Christian literature. Greek I, II and Exegesis are prerequisites Offered each year. May be repeated for credit.

RLGN 4112 Language Seminar (2-4 Credits)

Advanced work in biblical languages or a selected issue in a language study.

RLGN 4115 Hebrew Bible Literature: Genesis (4 Credits)

Interpretation of selected Hebrew Bible literature. Each course focuses on a book or selected topic. Different courses are offered each year.

RLGN 4116 Hebrew Bible Literature: Exodus (4 Credits)

Interpretation of selected Hebrew Bible literature. Each course focuses on a book or selected topic. Different courses are offered each year.

RLGN 4117 Hebrew Bible Literature: Leviticus (4 Credits)

Interpretation of selected Hebrew Bible literature. Each course focuses on a book or selected topic. Different courses are offered each year.

RLGN 4118 Hebrew Bible Literature: Numbers (4 Credits)

RLGN 4119 Hebrew Bible Literature: Deuteronomy (4 Credits)

The book of Deuteronomy for centuries has been viewed as laying out a political view of Israel’s life together. Josephus, for example, described Deuteronomy as Israel’s politeia or “form of government.” Government certainly is an issue in the book, particularly as it involves the conduct of self and others. More recently, Deuteronomy is understood to play a foundational role in the books of the Former Prophets within the theory of the Deuteronomistic History. This course examines these and other critical issues in the study of Deuteronomy.

RLGN 4125 Hebrew Bible Lit-Job (4 Credits)

Interpretation of selected Hebrew Bible literature. Each course focuses on a book or selected topic. Different courses are offered each year.

RLGN 4128 Hebrew Bible Literature: Jeremiah (4 Credits)

Interpretation of selected Hebrew Bible literature. Each course focuses on a book or selected topic. Different courses are offered each year.

RLGN 4129 Hebrew Bible Literature: Jonah (4 Credits)

Interpretation of selected Hebrew Bible literature. Each course focuses on a book or selected topic. Different courses are offered each year.

RLGN 4130 Hebrew Bible Literature: Prophetic Literature (4 Credits)

Interpretation of selected Hebrew Bible literature. Each course focuses on a book or selected topic. Different courses are offered each year.

RLGN 4131 Hebrew Bible Literature: Wisdom Literature (4 Credits)

Interpretation of selected Hebrew Bible literature. Each course focuses on a book or selected topic. Different courses are offered each year.

RLGN 4135 Poetry in the Hebrew Bible (4 Credits)

In this course, we will analyze poems primarily from the books of Job, Lamentations, Psalms, 2 Isaiah, and Jeremiah. Class sessions will be divided between studying some aspect of Hebrew prosody (e.g., metaphor, parallelism, lineation) and looking at the ways in which various poets use these particular devices. We will be particularly interested in identifying how poets bring their messages to life, engage their audiences, challenge (or uphold) the status quo, and revitalize the community's imagination and, in turn, its faith in YHWH. Each week, we will read about a particular aspect of poetry and prepare specific poems with the readings in mind; the readings will provide us with a language that we might discuss specifically how the poets impart and encode their messages.

RLGN 4141 New Testament Literature: Mark (4 Credits)

Interpretation of selected New Testament literature. Each course focuses on a book or selected topic. Different courses are offered each year.

RLGN 4142 New Testament Literature: Luke (4 Credits)

Interpretation of selected New Testament literature. Each course focuses on a book or selected topic. Different courses are offered each year.

RLGN 4143 New Testament Literature: John (4 Credits)

Interpretation of selected New Testament literature. Each course focuses on a book or selected topic. Different courses are offered each year.

RLGN 4144 New Testament Literature: Acts of the Apostles (4 Credits)

Interpretation of selected New Testament literature. Each course focuses on a book or selected topic. Different courses are offered each year.

RLGN 4145 New Testament Literature: Romans (4 Credits)

Interpretation of selected New Testament literature. Each course focuses on a book or selected topic. Different courses are offered each year.

RLGN 4146 New Testament Literature: Corinthians (4 Credits)

Interpretation of selected New Testament literature. Each course focuses on a book or selected topic. Different courses are offered each year.

RLGN 4147 New Testament Literature: Galatians (4 Credits)

Interpretation of selected New Testament literature. Each course focuses on a book or selected topic. Different courses are offered each year.

RLGN 4148 New Testament Literature: Hebrews (4 Credits)

Interpretation of selected New Testament literature. Each course focuses on a book or selected topic. Different courses are offered each year.

RLGN 4150 New Testament Literature: Revelation (4 Credits)

Interpretation of selected New Testament literature. Each course focuses on a book or selected topic. Different courses are offered each year.

RLGN 4151 Studies in Early Christianity (4 Credits)

A critical study of themes and selected movements within early Christianity and other religions of the Greco-Roman world. May be repeated for credit.

RLGN 4152 Identity in the Hebrew Bible (4 Credits)

This course explores diverse constructions of selfhood in the Hebrew Bible in conversation with theories of identity and the self from a range of disciplines, including anthropology, philosophy, sociology, and psychology. In this class, we will consider how the biblical texts present different models of selfhood through discourse, practice, and ritual. Each class session will focus on a different aspect of identity: gender, social class, ethnicity, nationality, colonialism, the body, and kindship and family. Throughout the course, we will discuss the implications of these constructs of identity for ethics, agency, and theology.

RLGN 4153 War, Politics, & Society in the Hebrew Bible (4 Credits)

This course examines the interrelationship between war, politics, and society in the Hebrew Bible and their interplay both in the texts and in larger historical, social, and cultural contexts.

RLGN 4160 Teaching the Bible (4 Credits)

Designed to integrate faith development theory, biblical interpretation and confluent education. Education instructional models for the purpose of assisting students to develop professional self-understanding and functional skills as interpreters and teachers; experience in teaching adults in a local setting.

RLGN 4201 Seminar on Pastoral Psychology (1-4 Credits)

RLGN 4202 Theological Themes in Pastoral Care (4 Credits)

Theological bases of pastoral care. Contributions of contemporary pastoral care to doctrinal theology.

RLGN 4203 Theodicy and Tragedy (4 Credits)

Study of tragic and theological literature for pastoral care in tragic circumstances.

RLGN 4204 Multi-Cultural Pastoral Care & Counseling (4 Credits)

Examines multicultural issues in pastoral care and counseling and explores the dynamics and complexities of culture, race and other socializing factors in pastoral care conversations.

RLGN 4205 Process Theology and Pastoral Care (4 Credits)

This course creates a conversation between process theology and spiritual care. Utilizing an aesthetic approach, we develop a constructive framework of care from themes found in process theology.

RLGN 4206 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Pastoral Psychological and Theological Responses (4 Credits)

Students are paired with veterans and provide time-limited supervised spiritual care over the course of 8 weeks. Using a case study format, students review and reflect upon the spiritual care they are providing using theological and psychological perspectives.

RLGN 4301 Colloquium in Comparative Study of Religion (0-4 Credits)

Critical analysis of the literature concerning (a) methods, (b) primary problems and (c) perspectives in the comparative study of religions. Examination of historical, anthropological, psychological and phenomenological approaches to the study of religions.

RLGN 4302 Buddhist Philosophy (4 Credits)

An introduction to the Buddhist philosophical tradition that covers both the different philosophical movements within Buddhism as schools of thoughts and major philosophical issues, such as the theory of karma and determinism, the nature of mind, proofs for past and future lives, theories of knowledge, ethics, the doctrine of emptiness and the nature of enlightenment.

RLGN 4303 Sacred Space and Place in Comparative Perspective (4 Credits)

This course examines sacred spaces and sacred places from a comparative perspective. Through close reading and discussion of primary and secondary sources, students are challenged to think critically and theoretically about sacred spaces and places.

RLGN 4304 Material Divinity (4 Credits)

This course explores how religion happens in material culture- broadly defined as images, devotional and liturgical objects, architecture and sacred space, works of art, and mass-produced artifacts.

RLGN 4305 Pilgrimage in Comparative Perspective (4 Credits)

This is a comparative course that examines the dynamics of pilgrimage from a number of different angles - theoretical, doctrinal, ritual, social - and which utilizes a variety of sources - including classical, ethnographic studies of actual pilgrimages, and focused studies of particular pilgrimage places - with the goal of gaining a thorough understanding of the phenomena of pilgrimage in all of its complexity.

RLGN 4320 Sufism (4 Credits)

This course examines the assortment of attitudes, rituals, and orientations that fall under the umbrella of tasawwuf known in the West as “Sufism.” Special attention will be placed on pilgrimage (ziyarat) and its mediation between believer, saint, and Allah.

RLGN 4321 Islam, Gender, and Sexuality (4 Credits)

This course examines issues surrounding gender and sexuality in Islam. Through a close reading of religious texts, critiques of patriarchy, and historical studies, students are challenged to think critically about the construction of gender roles and the regulation of sexual practices in Islam. By the conclusion of the class, students gain insight and understanding regarding the ways modernity has radically altered norms surrounding gender and sexual preference in Muslim-majority societies.

RLGN 4401 Race, Gender, Class: Historical & Social Analysis of Racism in the Modern World (4 Credits)

An historical survey of the role of racism, sexism and classism in shaping the oppressive institutional structures of the existing world order and of how sociological analysis of these structures can help justice and peace activists direct effective action toward the elimination of race, gender and class oppression.

RLGN 4402 American Indian Cultures and Religious Traditions (4 Credits)

A survey of the worldviews of Native American people, as these pertain to both inter-tribal beliefs and Native American ceremonial life, with an attempt to show how Native American practice proceeds from their worldview.

RLGN 4403 Sects, Cults & New Religions (4 Credits)

An exploration of non-mainstream religious groups. Topics include innovation and recruitment; "cult" controversies; sectarian Christianity, gender and sexuality; UFO religions; and religion and marginalized racial projects.

RLGN 4404 Race and Religion in the United States (4 Credits)

An exploration of the different ways in which race is understood religiously in the United States and how race impacts both white and racial minority religious institutions. Specific topics include the black church, the Nation of Islam, Native American theology, the Christian far right, Asian American religions, Latino/a religions, and multiracial congregations.

RLGN 4405 Social Construction & Selfhood (4 Credits)

This course invites us into a collection of investigations into the intersections of social structures and individual identity or selfhood. While reading in a variety of disciplines and genres, we are drawn together around the questions of how one understands the possibilities for individual or communal agency in light of the formative, systemic power of social structures and institutions. Beyond conceptual understanding of this relationship, we ask questions of how to encourage coherent religious, educational, and other forms of practice in light of the realities of social construction. These reflections are particularly important for persons who are interested in social change and the very real barriers to its generation.

RLGN 4406 Education and Social Change (4 Credits)

This course investigates the role of education in maintaining and transforming social structures, identity, and commitments. We examine how educational practices can contribute towards social change in both religious and public settings.

RLGN 4407 Ritual Studies (4 Credits)

By reading some of the most important "classic" and recent theorists of ritual, and by learning to observe and understand ritual behavior, this class will examine the important role of ritual in defining religious groups, creating religious identity, forming religious beliefs, and structuring how we view the world. Prerequisite: Masters students need permission of instructor.

RLGN 4408 Science & the Christian Right (4 Credits)

An examination of the American Christian Right's challenges to mainstream scientific theories and practices. Specific topics include Intelligent Design movement, reparative therapy of homosexuality, denial of human-driven climate change, and opposition to stem cell research.

RLGN 4409 Social Movements from Liberationist Perspectives (4 Credits)

Liberationist thought has greatly impacted how social movements, and the theological and ethical perspective which inform them, has been implemented to bring about social and political change since the mid-twentieth century. But with the state of the new millennium, many have proclaimed the death of liberation theology, dismissing its significance as a passing fad. The purpose of this course is to explore the roots, development, and history of liberationist thought as it first manifested itself within a Latin American context then expanding to other continents and faith traditions, and how that thought has been utilized to inform social movements.

RLGN 4410 American Christianity and Indian Genocide (4 Credits)

A collaborative research seminar exploring different aspects of the history of the relationship between American Christianity and genocidal campaigns against native peoples, including the colonial period through the 20th century. Students will research particular personalities and historical events related to this topic, including the campaigns of the military on the 18th century Western frontier, sites of massacres including Sand Creek in Colorado, and other events normally obscured by accounts of US history. Students will learn the relationships of ideology and worldview to the narration of history, as well as skills in identifying and working with primary historical sources.

RLGN 4411 Contemporary Sociology of Religion (4 Credits)

This course examines contemporary theoretical and empirical issues in the sociological study of religion. Principal topics include secularization and religious revival, rational choice, politics, ethnography, and religion and racial/ethnic diversity in the United States.

RLGN 4412 Health & Healing, Death & Dying: Technologies of Inspiration and Expiration (4 Credits)

Through this course, students will encounter a variety of perspectives on the nature, morality, justices, and injustices of health, healing, and dying.

RLGN 4501 Holy Spirit: History and Traditions (4 Credits)

What have Christians believed and written about the Holy Spirit through the centuries? Why does Pentecost show up in such different ways across the pages of Christian theology and literature? In the midst of the European Enlightenment, why did John Wesley hold such special reverence for the role of experience in Christian thought and education? Why has the Pentecostal legacy functioned simultaneously as a subversive trope for critiquing dominant church paradigms while also sparking creative, re-interpretations of Christian tradition among so many reformers? These are just a few of the questions explored in this class as we discuss historical and theological works by contemporary scholars in pneumatology and church history.

RLGN 4502 Historiography (4 Credits)

This course surveys the various theories and methods developed by historians since the emergence of the historical profession from the roots of historicism and philosophy of history in the mid-1800s; and examine the relationship of history to theology, cultural theory and literary studies.

RLGN 4503 Women in Medieval Europe (4 Credits)

This class focuses on the role of medieval women, who struggled to find a voice in the political, religious, social and literary arenas of medieval Europe from about 1100 to 1600. Through primary and secondary source readings we look at everyday women's lives in this period. The class also includes the lives and careers of some of the most famous women writers and leaders of the period, such as Hildegard of Bingen, Eleanore of Aquitaine, Marie de France, Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich, Queen Isabel of Castile, Teresa of Ávila, and Queen Elizabeth I of England.

RLGN 4504 Muslims, Jews and Christians in Medieval Spain (4 Credits)

An exploration of the "Golden Age" of cross-cultural encounters that occurred in Medieval Spain from the Muslim conquest in 711 to the fall of Granada and the expulsion of Jews in 1492. This course offers an overview of the historical and ecumenical dimensions of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic coexistence, known as "La Convivencia," and critical reflection on the relevant lessons this era still holds in the post 9/11 period.

RLGN 4505 16th-Century Spanish Mystics & Reformers (4 Credits)

Early modem Spain witnessed the emergence of Catholic and Protestant individuals whose timeless works and popular appeal in subsequent centuries rested largely upon the practice of contemplation in action. This course examines the works of such mystics and reformers as Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Ignatius of Loyola, Juan de Valdes, Constantino Ponce de la Fuente and others. It also explores the influence of Islam and Judaism on these sixteenth century religious movements, as well as modem Spain's subsequent rejection of this pluralistic legacy as it sought to define its new national identity.

RLGN 4506 The Pursuit of Happiness: A History (4 Credits)

This course provides a historical examination of key concepts, major questions, and practices about humanity's search for happiness from the Hellenistic-Roman period of Antiquity through the Early Christian and Medieval periods. The content centers on the role of Classical moral philosophy and Christian theology in the formulation of eudemonic theories about the problem of happiness in relation to metaphysical and religious influences as well as to socio-cultural, political, and institutional norms and practices that shaped Christian notions of human purpose and potential. The legacies of these ancient ideas on the development of modern assumptions about happiness and human flourishing are also discussed towards the end of the course.

RLGN 4520 Religion and Film (4 Credits)

Can film elicit the holy? Does the story of Jacob and Esau look different when told by a North African filmmaker? How does a Buddhist sensibility shape the form of Japanese films? Can we ask theological questions about secular films? In this course films are the primary texts, supplemented by readings, lecture and discussion. Students develop the film literacy and theological and theoretical acumen to explore these and other interactions between religion and film in cultural context. While there is no explicit prerequisite, background in film or literary criticism and/or theological or religious studies is helpful.

RLGN 4521 Theories of Religion and Media (4 Credits)

This course asks whether the changes in religion’s location, the nature of religious identity and community, and the nature of religious authority that are developing in the digital age are something new in the history of religion? Or, has religion always been rooted in its mediations and have religion and media changed and adapted in relationship to each other? We will explore the discourses at the interface of communications, cultural and religious studies on the mediation of religion in contemporary digital culture and in the history of religion, and carry out independent research.

RLGN 4601 Theology and Human Sexuality (4 Credits)

A critical survey of both historical and prevailing concepts of human sexualities in various religious, cultural, and theological traditions. An examination of the phenomenology of sexuality in relation to issues of power, identity, as well as in relation to the politics of sexual difference.

RLGN 4602 Systematic Theology I (4 Credits)

Systematics focuses on the importance of system in Christian theology, and on the development of students’ own systematic theology, through a reading of three prominent systematicians, classical, modern, and contemporary. Quarter 1 - method, doctrine of God, sin, and Christology. Quarter 2 - the work of Christ, faith, eschatology, ecclesiology, and sacraments. Either quarter may be taken independently.

RLGN 4603 Systematic Theology II (4 Credits)

Systematics focuses on the importance of system in Christian theology, and on the development of students’ own systematic theology, through a reading of three prominent systematicians, classical, modern, and contemporary. Quarter 1 - method, doctrine of God, sin, and Christology. Quarter 2 - the work of Christ, faith, eschatology,.

RLGN 4604 Religion in the Public Square (4 Credits)

What is the proper role of religion in the public debates necessary to healthy democracy? Some argue that religion in the public square threatens the fundamental democratic right the freedom of conscience; others that only religion can insulate the communal values that make democracy possible. This course examines the best and most prominent arguments in this contemporary debate.

RLGN 4605 Feminist Theology (4 Credits)

Analysis of feminist theology with attention to methodological issues, the relation of contemporary feminist visions to historical material, the ideas of God/Goddess and the question of what it means to be female. Prerequisite: At least one introductory level theology course.

RLGN 4606 Theology and Culture (4 Credits)

RLGN 4607 Liberating Sex (4 Credits)

The purpose of the course is to search the Christian Scriptures, in spite of its accusations of being patriarchal, to find biblically-based guidelines for developing an ethical sexual lifestyle that is aware of how racism, classism, and specifically sexism influences the current conversation on sexual ethics. This course focuses on developing healthy models that foster intimacy and vulnerability for a disjointed and at times oppressive community.

RLGN 4608 Hispanic Ethics and Theology (4 Credits)

The primary sources of Latino/a theological and ethical thought are read to discover its foundational tenets. The course explores this contextual approach to religion to discover how it could serve to liberate the Latino/a community from prevalent oppressive social structures. Comparisons are made with Eurocentric ethics and theology.

RLGN 4610 Ethics of Neoliberalism and Globalization (4 Credits)

People of faith have responded to the triumph of the free market economy around the world in a variety of ways. To some, “neoliberalism” seems to hold the key to sustained economic growth worldwide and, eventually, to nothing less than the eradication of poverty itself. To others, it represents the unleashing of corporate greed on a scale previously unknown, with momentous and often disastrous consequences for the working poor, the economically marginalized, and the environment. Does the new global economy signify the lifting of all boats or the race to the bottom? Does it further Christian ethical values, or subvert them?.

RLGN 4611 Theology and the Challenge of Postmodernism (4 Credits)

An examination of representative postmodern thinkers, how they have changed the context for theology, and how theology has responded to them.

RLGN 4612 African Theology and Post-Colonial Discourse (4 Credits)

This course attempts to examine the relationship between the emergence of African Theology and the historical conditions which characterize Africa's encounter with the European/American will to power. The initial hypothesis to be tested is the claim that the will to power provides the locus classicus for formulating the identity of African theological reflection. This makes the latter a part of a much larger discourse on Africanity. The course takes the student through a close reading of basic texts produced by African theologians themselves. All the major issues characteristic of the discourse of African Theology is dealt with.

RLGN 4613 Augustine and His Influence: 400 C.E. to 1000 C.E, (4 Credits)

Theological contribution of the great North African Bishop; his major writings, such as Confessions, City of God and The Trinity; and his anti-Pelagian, anti-Donatist, and anti-Manichaean writings.

RLGN 4614 Liberation Theologies (4 Credits)

Consideration of contemporary liberation movements with focus on feminist, black and Third World theologies. Special concern is with what the various perspectives of sex, race and class analysis suggest for one another and for theology and social ethics generally.

RLGN 4615 Being Human in the Modern World (4 Credits)

What does it mean to be human? After a brief survey of traditional Christian answers to this question, we focus on the theological anthropology that has become the de facto theory of human nature since the emergence of the modern western world in the early 19th century. Theological anthropology can be the driver of other doctrines in a systematic theology; it also underpins work not necessarily seen as theological, such as ethics, development, and human rights. A rich understanding of this anthropology is necessary for theological reflection in our current context.

RLGN 4616 Sin and Evil (0-4 Credits)

This course is a critical and interdisciplinary exploration of the ideas of sin and evil. Most religious traditions have some account of human brokenness, pain and suffering. Christians have traditionally used the language of sin and evil to describe these phenomena. These ideas implicate a wide range of issues such as human nature, God, the environment, ethics, the law, and society itself. In this course we examine the historical, theological, and philosophical content of the ideas of sin and evil within various strands of Christianity, and in relation to other religious traditions. The course will also critically engage secular descriptions of and reactions to sin and evil.

RLGN 4617 Forgiveness (4 Credits)

In the histories of philosophy and religions, ‘forgiveness’ emerges as a grounding concept for thinking about God, self, and community. This course examines core texts and contexts within a range of religious, philosophical, and theological discourses on forgiveness, ‘loving the enemy’, and reconciliation. The course explores a variety of spaces of forgiveness as well as the possibility that the ‘impossibility of forgiveness’ must be allowed to emerge as a valued theological, ethical, and civic principle of personal and communal identity.

RLGN 4620 Fanon, Foucault and Friends (4 Credits)

This course reads the primary sources of post colonialists (mainly Fanon) and postmodernists (mainly Foucault) to explore creating ethical approaches to globalized manifestations of race, class, and gender oppression. Special attention is given to the use of Christianity as a liberationist response to global structures of oppression in spite of its historic use in causing much of said oppression.

RLGN 4621 Kierkegaard and Existential Theology (4 Credits)

Kierkegaard and the origins of existentialism; twentieth-century forms of existentialism and recent developments; the decline of neo-orthodoxy and resurgence of phenomenology.

RLGN 4622 Schleiermacher as Resource (4 Credits)

Consideration of the theology of Friedrich Schleiermacher. Analysis of the philosophical and theological predecessors of Schleiermacher as well as the tradition of theological liberalism that followed him.

RLGN 4640 Doing Christian Ethics from the Margins (4 Credits)

Many of us have been taught religion through the eyes of white, middle-class males. How then do we do ethics from the perspective of the disenfranchised? The aim of this course is to enable students to: construct ethical responses to case studies from the perspectives of those suffering from race, class and gender oppression; to investigate Biblical protest narratives as to the resistance and struggle against race, class and gender domination and oppression; and to examine various liberationist ethical interpretations as a source for overcoming dominant religious power structures.

RLGN 4641 Formative Figures in Christian Ethics: The 20th Century White Male Canon (4 Credits)

This course on formative white male figures in Christian Ethics examines the ethical canon from a historical perspective. Special attention is given to texts and traditions as living changing heritages.

RLGN 4701 Topics in the Study of Religion (0-4 Credits)

RLGN 4702 Topics in Biblical Studies (0-4 Credits)

RLGN 4703 Topics in Theological Studies (0-4 Credits)

RLGN 4761 Social Ethical Issues (4 Credits)

Examination of the scope of Christian social ethics and the relationship of the analytic and diagnostic task to normative and prescriptive endeavor. May be repeated.

RLGN 4762 Justice & Peace Struggles (2,4 Credits)

Regular offerings include "Columbusday and the History of Christian Denial," "Justice in Native America," and "Church and the Colonial Residual: Pine Ridge, the Black Hills, Missionaries and Indian Justice.

RLGN 4991 Independent Study (1-4 Credits)

RLGN 5000 Pedagogy and the Teaching of Religion (4 Credits)

This course looks at pedagogical methods as they relate to the teaching of religion. Students design syllabi and materials appropriate for the teaching of religion in at least two different contexts. In addition, the course covers theoretical issues related to the teaching and learning process.

RLGN 5010 Lived Religion Colloquium (4 Credits)

This weekly colloquium functions as a collaborative space in which students and faculty of the JDP come together to discuss an interdisciplinary body of scholarship focused on religion as it is lived by persons and communities. The specific theme of the colloquium changes each time it is taught.

RLGN 5020 Conceptual Approaches to Religion Colloquium (4 Credits)

This weekly colloquium functions as a collaborative space in which students and faculty of the JDP come together to discuss an interdisciplinary body of scholarship focused on conceptual approaches to the study of Religion. The literature may focus on specific issues, concepts, and/or social and cultural phenomena. The specific theme of the colloquium changes each time it is taught.

RLGN 5030 Religion in Text, Image, and Artifact Colloquium (4 Credits)

This weekly colloquium functions as a collaborative space in which students and faculty of the JDP come together to discuss an interdisciplinary body of scholarship focused on texts, images, and/or artifacts through which religion, culture and worldview can be studied. The specific theme of the colloquium changes each time it is taught.

RLGN 5101 Methods for Interpreting Biblical Texts (4 Credits)

This seminar addresses critical study of biblical texts, the history of interpretations and hermeneutics.

RLGN 5102 Religious Identity in Antiquity (4 Credits)

An exploration of the way individuals and communities understood their religious beliefs and behaviors during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The focus is on varieties of Jews and Christians (including how they formed their identities in relation to each other), but consideration is also given to the Greco-Roman religious context.

RLGN 5103 Coptic I (2 Credits)

The course is dedicated to introducing students to Coptic, the last phase of the Ancient Egyptian language and the only one to be recorded in an alphabetic script showing vowels. This portion of the process is designed to introduce the most frequent vocabulary as well as the acquisition of key skills for the understanding of the Coptic language and for the interpretation and understanding of Coptic texts.

RLGN 5104 Coptic II (2 Credits)

The course is dedicated to introducing students to Coptic, the last phase of the Ancient Egyptian language and the only one to be recorded in an alphabetic script showing vowels. This part of the module is designed to promote the acquisition of key skills for the understanding of the Coptic language and for the interpretation and understanding of Coptic texts. The last half of the class requires the student to demonstrate proficiency at reading Coptic.

RLGN 5105 Coptic Readings (2 Credits)

Selected readings from Coptic texts drawn from ancient canonical and noncanonical sources, including discoveries at Nag Hammadi. It includes advanced vocabulary building and advanced grammatical and syntactical constructions. May be repeated for credit.

RLGN 5201 Ph.D. Colloquium in Religion and Psychological Studies (1-4 Credits)

A review of contemporary developments in psychology and theology offered during the winter quarter each year for doctoral students in the religion and psychological studies concentration.

RLGN 5401 Colloquium: Post-Colonial Discourse and Other Myths: A Theological Critique of Dominance (4 Credits)

Selected topics in religion and social change, approached from the disciplines and perspectives of history, ethics, sociology, international studies and social transformation. Offered annually.

RLGN 5402 Religion and Social Change Colloquium: Selected Topics (1-4 Credits)

This is a topics course for the Religion and Social Change concentration colloquia.

RLGN 5750 Professional Development (0 Credits)

This course provides the "nuts and bolts" on not only surviving, but also thriving within the academy. Assuming that the student's goal is an eventual tenure-track position, the course demystifies the PhD route so that the student, through a working knowledge of the academy, can better position her/himself to succeed. Besides providing professional development, the course attempts to raise the level of involvement of PhD candidates in the profession, from presenting papers to publishing articles.

RLGN 5991 Independent Study (1-10 Credits)

RLGN 5992 Directed Study (1-5 Credits)

RLGN 6000 Dissertation Proposal Seminar (4 Credits)

This seminar focuses upon the range of research topics and methods in religious and theological studies by examining dissertations and dissertation proposals related to the Joint Ph.D. Program at Iliff and the University of Denver. Bibliographic and research methods and matters of style and format receives particular emphasis. Students present their own dissertation proposals for discussion.

RLGN 6010 Comprehensive Review I: Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion (4 Credits)

Students meet weekly for review and discussion of the bibliography for theories and methods in the study of religion. The bibliography is available on line and students are encouraged to read in advance of the course. The final exam is the comprehensive exam in theories and methods in the study of religion. This course is taken in the fall quarter of the student's third year.

RLGN 6020 Comprehensive Review II: Area Theories and Methods (4 Credits)

Students meet weekly for review and discussion of the bibliography for theories and methods in one of the current areas of JDP program strength: 1) Bible, ancient Judaism and early Christianity 2) Religion, Race and Ethnicity 3) Media, Art and Religion 4) Religion and its Publics 5) Religion and Human Experience or 6) Theories of Religion. Bibliographies are available on line and students are encouraged to read in advance of the course. The final exam is the comprehensive exam in the area. This review course and exam is taken in the fall quarter of the student's third year.

RLGN 6030 Comprehensive Review III: Knowledge in a Professional Field (4 Credits)

Students work individually or in small groups with their dissertation advisor and committee members or other faculty in the students' chosen field of specialization. The purpose is to synthesize coursework, fill in gaps, and expand knowledge needed as a professional in the specific field. The final exam is the comprehensive exam in the major field. This review course and exam is taken in the winter quarter of the student's third year. It must be coordinated with Comp Review IV, and between these two reviews the student must have at least 3 different faculty examiners.

RLGN 6040 Comprehensive Review IV: Knowledge in Minor Areas or Subfields (4 Credits)

Students work individually or in small groups with faculty in the students' chosen subfield or minor area of study, or with the dissertation advisor on a deeper area of specialization within the professional field. The final exam is the comprehensive exam in the subfield or minor area. This review course and exam is taken in the winter quarter of the student's third year. It must be coordinated with Comp Review III and between these two reviews the student must have at least 3 different faculty examiners.

RLGN 6991 Independent Study (1-10 Credits)

RLGN 6992 Directed Study (1-5 Credits)

RLGN 6995 Dissertation Research (0-10 Credits)

Joint Doctoral Program students use these credits as they work on their dissertations, beginning upon completion of comprehensive exams. Normally 8 credits are completed by each student.

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