URome: Religious Studies Courses
UM students participating in the URome program will take one or both of the following REL courses:

REL 405: All Roads Lead to Rome: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Religion and Rome

Rome has long been an axial city, inextricably linked to the rest of the world in multiple ways. Not only has Rome imported the religions of the world but it has also transformed and exported them, along with its own indigenous religions. This course examines Rome’s role as importer, exporter, cultivator, and transformer of religion and the religious life, giving attention to both the past and the present. By the end of the semester students will have increased their awareness of the important elements of the major religions discussed in class—their myths, symbols, rituals, doctrines, moral codes, and artistic expressions—and the ways in which Rome has influenced them.  Please click here to download a copy of the syllabus.

REL 406: The Sanctity of Life: Selected Themes from the Ancient World to the Present

This course examines the religious foundation of the idea that human life is “sacred” and considers a wide range of historical and ethical issues associated with this central concept of Western thought. We will explore the meaning of the multi-faceted phrase “sanctity of life,” including its implications for such ethical and legal concerns as conception, birth, and termination of life; human dignity and human rights; the quality of life; and social justice. Some of the issues considered will include bigotry and prejudice; economic and social injustice; euthanasia, infanticide, and suicide; genocide, holy war, jihad, terrorism, and violence; health care and health costs; human trafficking and slavery; martyrdom and self-martyrdom; social-stratification; aging, death, disposal of the body; and the afterlife, especially in Dante’s Inferno. We will consider how “life” is defined and described in different cultures at different times in history, and how religions have influenced these matters. Please click here to download a copy of the syllabus.

AUR Courses: Spring 2015

The see the complete list of AUR courses that are scheduled for the spring semester of 2015 click here. The list may be viewed or downloaded in a pdf format and the AUR course database searched.