REL 023B ~ Bible: Origins and Communities
CRN: 94229

What is the Bible? Or rather, what are the Bibles? How were they made? By whom? And of course, why? In this class, we will examine the origins of "the Bible" to learn about the nature of religion as well as about the origins of some of the religious traditions that have profoundly shaped the world. We will begin with the religious beliefs of the peoples of the ancient Near East, then turn to the development of ancient Israel, and finally, the emergence of the Christian movement. In looking at each of these closely related religious cultures, we will try to understand how the evidence of their beliefs and practices allows us to construct a picture of what we call religion.

Requirements Satisfied: one Humanities course and non-European Cultures
Meets: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:45am-12:35pm
Contact: 802-656-0231,

Anne Clark: Professor of Religion, has centered her scholarly research on Medieval Christianity, with special interest in women and gender, visuality, and stuff (that is, the material objects that people use in their religious life). For fun, she tries hard to play the piano, and gets outside whenever possible.

REL 026B ~ African Religions
CRN: 94210

What do we learn about the people and cultures of Africa by studying their religious practices? What do we learn about religion as both a human and a social experience by studying the variety of ways it is practiced in African communities? Drawing on historical, ethnographic, fictional, and visual accounts of African religions, we will explore topics such as myth, ritual, healing, divination, witchcraft, the spread of Islam, Christian conversion, and the transmission of African religions across the Atlantic.

Requirements Satisfied: one Humanities course and non-European Cultures
Meets: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:40am-11:30am
Contact: 802-656-3901,

Vicki L. Brennan: Assistant Professor of Religion, conducts research on the relationships among religion, music, and politics in southwest Nigeria. She spent two years living in Lagos singing in church choirs, learning to play the talking drum, and visiting recording studios. When she's not teaching or working on her research, she may be found climbing Camel's Hump, picking apples at Shelburne Orchard, or cooking up something made from local ingredients.