REL 210

Comparative Christianities

This course provides an introduction to Christianity, or rather, `Christianities.' To understand the diversity within Christianity, the course compares and contrasts various historical and contemporary traditions in Christianity: Gnosticism, the Eastern Orthodox Church, medieval Western Latin Christianity, Protestantism in the sixteenth century, African-American Christianities, Pentecostalism, liberation theology, and Christian fundamentalism in the United States. Students come to realize that there is no one single, monolithic `Christianity,' but instead a variety of Christianities which vary geographically, historically, and culturally. The course also examines the way in which gender, race, and class affect religious perspectives upon the human experience. It concludes by examining two social issues which Christians today debate, homosexuality and the ordination of women.