• A Hartwick student using a microscope in the science lab.
  • A Hartwick professor discussing Botany with a student.
  • A Hartwick professor helping a student during class.
  • A Hartwick student using a microscope for research.

Course Descriptions


101 Understanding Religion (3 credit hours) An introduction to the structure, forms and functions of religion, with special attention given to the diverse approaches (anthropological, sociological, psychological, historical and philosophical) used to study religious phenomena. (SBA, sometimes taught as a First Year Seminar)

106 World Religions (3 credit hours)  An introduction to the study of comparative religion, focusing on how such basic concepts as myth, ritual, gods and systems of purity are handled in the great religious traditions of the world.

110 Introduction to the Bible (3 credit hours) An historical-critical analysis of biblical literature and of the development of early Hebrew, Jewish and Christian religious cultures. (MWE)

103 Religious Diversity in America (3 credit hours) A survey of both mainstream and minority traditions found in the United States. Examines both the varieties of American religious groups, as well as unifying themes, or "Americanism."

115 Religious Cults (3 credit hours) A survey of alternative and often controversial religious groups in American history. Emphasis on  the beliefs and practices of various sectarian groups and cults, as well the ways the mainstream (established religions, the media, law enforcement, academics) responds to alternative religions.

107 Religion and Popular Culture (3 credit hours) Examines the influence of religious beliefs and narratives in feature films, television programs, and spectator sports. (J-Term)

210 Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament (3 credit hours) An inquiry into the formation of the Hebrew Scriptures and an examination of the major themes of the biblical histories, prophetic books and wisdom literature, in relation both to their cultural context and to their later influence. (MWE)

211 The New Testament (3 credit hours) A survey of the development of the Christian tradition reflected in the four Gospels and in the other New Testament writings. Attention will be given to the Greco-Roman world in which the New Testament was written and to the wider influence of its ideas. (MWE)

221 Hinduism (3 credit hours) An exploration of the world of Hinduism, a religion originating in India that includes not only a multitude of gods and goddesses and powerful techniques of meditation, but also some of the world's most subtle philosophies. (NTW)

222 Buddhism (3 credit hours) An exploration of a religion that grew from the experience of a prince who lived in India 600 years before Christ, examining how his influential teachings spread throughout South and Southeast Asia. (NTW)

223 Religions of the Far East (3 credit hours) A close look at the Buddhism of Tibet, China and Japan, and at the other indigenous religious traditions of the Far East, including Taoism, Confucianism and Shinto. Suggested prerequisite: Reli 222 (NTW)

225 Native American Religions (3 credit hours) An introduction to the spiritual traditions of North America's indigenous populations, from the earliest times up through the present, focusing on "the sacred" as experienced in the day-to-day life of these people. (NTW)

235 Judaism (3 credit hours) A survey of Jewish culture through the ages, with special attention given to the role religion plays in the shaping of that culture.

237 Christianity (3 credit hours) An examination of the Christian tradition from its beginnings as a movement within first-century Judaism through its establishment as a world religion. Attention will be given to the religious, literary, liturgical and theological trends that have defined Christianity across the centuries. Prerequisite: Reli 110 or 113. Offered every third year. (WHS)

239 Islam (3 credit hours) An introduction to Zoroastrianism in Persia, the life and work of Muhammad, Islam under the Kalifs, Turkish Islam and the Ottoman Empire and the Muslim powers in the modern Middle East. Recommended preparation: Reli 106. Offered alternate years. (NTW)

241 Religion and Science (3 credit hours) A survey of the key ideas, events, thinkers, and movements that have shaped the interaction of religion and the natural sciences in the modern era. (WHS)

245 Studying Religion: Voodoo (3 credit hours) An overview of the basic theories and methods used by scholars to study religious phenomena, including the "classic" theories on religion from the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, and psychology, as well as more recent scholarship that integrates the analysis of race, class, gender, and popular culture into the general study of religion. For focus, we will do a semester long case study of a particularly interesting (and often misunderstood) religious tradition: voodoo (in both Haiti and the United States).

307 Religion and Literature (3 credit hours) "Who am I, really?" This course understands this question to be fundamentally religious in nature, best approached through reading and discussing the stories human beings have told over the centuries to give voice to their own deepest yearnings for truth. (MWL)

311 Hebrew Storytelling (3 credit hours) A literary- and historical-critical examination of the well-known (and not-so-well-known) stories of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament that recount the history of Israel up to 586 B.C. Prerequisite: Reli 110 or 112. (MWE)

312 The Prophets of Israel (3 credit hours) A historical-critical approach to the prophetic books of the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament, focusing upon the nature of prophecy and its place and role in the Israelite religious tradition. Prerequisite: Reli 110 or 112. (MWE)

313 Jesus in Myth, Tradition and History (3 credit hours) A historical-critical approach to the Gospels, focusing upon the synoptic tradition and the quest to recover the "historical Jesus." Prerequisite: Reli 110 or 113. (MWE)

314 Paul's New Testament Writings (3 credit hours) A careful reading of the major New Testament letters attributed to Paul with particular attention given to their central theological ideas and metaphors. Recommended preparation: Reli 110 or 113. (MWE)

Courses from other Departments

INTR 310 CIS:Religion and Medicine (3 credit hours) A interdisciplinary survey of the various dimensions of the relationship between religion and medicine.  Topics include healing practices of traditional shamanic societies, healing in major Western religious traditions, alternative healing goups, ritual aspects of modern medical practice, biomedical ethics, and groups that reject mainstream medicine.

INTR 310 CIS: Religion and Technology (3 credit hours) Examines the relationship between religious beliefs and technological development  in various historical and contemporary contexts.  Topics include the religious response to the atomic age, artificial intelligence, ethical debate over genetic engineering, the technological sublime, and the use of the internet by religious groups.

Philosophy 332 - Philosophy of Religion (3 credit hours) What is religion? Is there a God? What is the value of religious experience? Is it possible to be religious without being superstitious? Answers to these and related questions will be examined in the analytical manner appropriate to philosophy.

Philosophy 336 - Ethics (3 credit hours) Critical study of the moral theories of major philosophers from the ancient Greeks to the present. Prerequisite: One term of philosophy. Offered alternate years. 

370 Religion and Society (same as Soci 370) (3 credit hours) A sociological analysis of religious belief systems utilizing the comparative or cross-cultural approach; social aspects of religion and religious aspects of society; the impact of social and ecological forces upon religious institutions; social origins of religions; the role of religion in social control and social change. Prerequisite: Soci 105. (SBA)