Thursday, March 27, 2014

Upper Level Courses -- Fall 2014

As you are putting together your fall schedule, please consider the following upper level religion courses being offered this fall:

REL 208 Exploring Christian Theology (12:15—1:30 TTh)  Dr. Hovey
An introduction to central doctrines of the Christian faith that is both respectful of classic theological traditions and open to the new voices and emphases of recent theologies.  A required course for religion majors and one of the best ways for religion minors to fulfill their Christian thought requirement. 

REL 213 Life and Letters of Paul (10:00-10:50MWF)  Dr. Aune
An examination of the life of Saul/Paul, author of much of the New Testament and arguably the most important figure in Christianity after Jesus.  We make a careful study of relevant sections in the Book of Acts and the letters attributed to Paul, aided by useful secondary sources.  We consider not only theological and social concerns addressed by Paul but also the ways in which his teachings apply to the contemporary world.

REL 233 History of Religions in America (9:25-10:40 TTh)  Dr. Slade
Focuses on the history of religions in America from the mid 16th century to the present.  Emphasis will be primarily on the social context within which American religions developed and secondarily on American religious thought during this period. Meets Core credit for Historical Reasoning. 

REL 301 Topics:  Theology and Practice of Worship (10:50-12:05 TTh) Dr. Dickson
Christian Worship is a source of great joy and inspiration for Christians. It is also a source of conflict. Is there a ‘right’ way to worship? How much creativity is too much? Can worship be culturally relevant and also grounded in tradition? In this course we explore these and other questions about the meaning, purpose, practice, planning, and contextualization of Christian worship around the world today. The class includes student experiences of representative worship services from various traditions and cultures.

REL 497 Religion Thesis Seminar (8:00-9:15 TTh)  Dr. Hovey
Designed to give religion majors (and minors who are choosing to write a thesis) a guided opportunity to research and write a paper on a topic of interest.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Theology and Immigration

On Monday, March 17, 2014, theologian Justin Ashworth of Duke University will be visiting Ashland and giving a public lecture, "The Location of Peoplehood: A Theological Contribution to Immigration Debates" at 7 p.m. in the Ridenour Room, Dauch College of Business and Economics.
Ashland Religion News sent some questions to Justin asking him more about his work on theology and immigration. 
Your work is in theology and immigration. What do these have to do with each other?

Theology and immigration are connected in a number of ways. At the most basic level, most migrants from Latin America (my primary focus) have some religious convictions, most often Christian; theologians ought to care about these convictions and their influence on migrants and those with whom they have contact. Moreover, many theologians understand their task as the attempt to speak coherently (or “logically,” from logos in Greek) about God (theos in Greek) and all things in relation to God. Theologians should not neglect this important aspect of human and Christian life. From another perspective, some argue that theologians should focus especially on how to understand individual and social wounds in relation to God. Immigration debates in America are so lively, I think, in part because so many wounds (and the possibility of further wounds) are exposed: questions of race, gender and class, obedience to the law, the deaths of migrants attempting to cross the border, cultural identity, national security and a number of others. Theologians do well to ask what type of healing God is bringing to these wounds and how churches and others of good will can respond to, and be part of, that healing.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Laughing with Muslims

Jamal Rahman 
 Dr. David C Aune, AU Religion Department

        Why should I take the time to listen to a Muslim guest speaker on the topics of religious differences and sacred laughter?  Can I really learn anything new from someone who directly challenges some of my core beliefs?  And why should I care about religious issues anyway: what differences do they make?  These are the questions that many of us may be asking ourselves when we hear that a Muslim interfaith speaker Jamal Rahman will be giving two presentations on Tuesday March 11 and Wednesday March 12 (both at 7PM on the AU campus).   
       As associate professor and chair of the Religion department here at Ashland, I am in a good position to answer these questions.  Years of teaching and scholarly activities have convinced me of the value of learning about other religions and engaging in inter-religious dialogue.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Student Spotlight: Jennifer Lindsay

The benefits that I have already experienced as a student in the religion department at Ashland University are immeasurable. Even though I grew up in the church, I didn't always understand everything about my Christian faith. However, studying religion has broadened my knowledge of religious practices and theologies. My religious studies at AU have reaffirmed the things that I grew up believing about God and Christianity, but now I just have a better grasp of things that were difficult to comprehend before. Studying religion has also given me a greater appreciation for other cultures and beliefs, which has been applicable with my other major in Social Work as well. I am beyond blessed to be part of such an amazing program at Ashland University. 

-Jennifer Lindsay, ('15)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Student Spotlight: Amanda Sivik

"I believe there are so many benefits to studying religion at Ashland University.  Religion is a fundamental part of the lives of the majority of people in the world.  There are so many different opinions and stances on current issues that involve personal religious beliefs.  I have my set of beliefs that I began to make as a child and continue to develop as an adult.  It is a great benefit to be aware of the beliefs and opinions of people of different religions here on campus and all around the world.  Religion was a fundamental part of the founding of my country and being educated about it is crucial for understanding and appreciation."

-Amanda Sivik, May 2016

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Minor in Religion

Whatever your major, a minor in Religion goes well with everything (like ketchup!).

Why is everyone talking about studying Religion?

  • You get a Religion minor in only 12 credit hours! 
  • You have probably already completed one Religion class as part of the Core 
  • Courses for the Religion minor may also meet Core requirements (See below) 
  • Of course...There's also the Religion major.

Many of our Religion Courses Fulfill the Humanities Core Requirement

REL 220 Taking Human Life
REL 240 Jewish Religious Traditions
REL 250 Understanding Islam in Today's World
REL 308 Political Theology
REL 340 Religion & the Civil Rights Movement in America

World Religion Classes, many of which fulfill Border Crossing Requirement

REL 107 Exploring World Religions
REL 250 Understanding Islam in Today's World
REL 341 World Christianity, Culture & Mission
REL 307 World Religions East & West

Many Religion Courses Fulfill the Historical Reasoning Core

REL 230 Hist. of Early Christianity
REL 231 Hist. Medieval & Reformation Christianity
REL 232 Hist. of Modern Christianity
REL 233 Hist. Religions in America

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What I learned from Stanley Hauerwas

It’s a great privilege to know and be known by Stanley Hauerwas, the pre-eminent American theologian of our time. On the occasion of his retirement, I joined a terrific group of his students, former students, and fellow-theologians for a celebration of his life and work at an event called “The Difference Christ Makes.”
That celebration made me want to reflect on everything I’ve learned from Stanley Hauerwas. There’s too many to name, but here are six of them:
1. The smallest moral unit is the community, not the individual.
Hauerwas has been a relentless critic of what Notre Dame philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre calls “the Enlightenment Project” which, in our day, is the common heritage of various forms of political liberalism (on both the left and the right). The Enlightenment taught us that morality comes down to individual decisions and the actions of an individual conscience. The picture is of rootless, tradition-less autonomy (literally a “law unto oneself”); who we are is who we have made ourselves to be when we neutrally stood before a range of moral options. I first learned the flaws of this picture from Hauerwas. Our characters are formed through numerous sources, many of which are beyond our control. We recognize human contingency in our dependence on others.