Skip to Main Content
Skidmore College
Religious Studies Department


Number/Name Days/Times Credits Professor
RE 103 - 001 Religion & Culture T/TH
3:40 - 5:30
4 C. Burris
RE 103 - 002 Religion & Culture M/W
2:30 - 4:20
4 D. Howlett
RE 103 - 003 Religion & Culture W/F
12:20 - 2:10
4 D. Howlett
RE 201 - Hebrew Scriptures (AB) T/TH
2:20 - 3:30
3 C. Burris
RE 215  Islam M/W
2:30 - 3:50
3 G. Spinner
RE 241  Theory and Method T/TH
11:10 - 12:30
3 G. Spinner
RE 330-001 Holy Wars &
Heathen Hordes
12:20 - 2:10
4 C. Burris
RE 330-002  World's End T/TH
3:40 - 5:30
4 G. Spinner


RE 330-001     Holy Wars & Heathen Hordes

The Crusades set the civilized peoples of the world against the barbarian unbelievers; what most of us don't know is that the crusaders themselves were, to a great many observers and participants, the ones who were the barbarians.  Muslims, Jews, and Eastern Christians saw the crusaders as misguided savages at best and demons at worst.  The crusaders, of course, saw themselves as Christian warriors protecting their world and its holy places from unbelievers, heretics, and the monstrous others.  In this course, we will consider the Crusades from the perspective of Eastern and Western Christians, Muslims, and Jews, reading primary, medieval sources and secondary, scholarly analyses.  

RE 330-002   Worlds End

End-time preachers, devotees of the Virgin Mary, cargo cultists, would-be messiahs, wagers of racial holy war, followers of Odin or of Rastafari, people waiting for the saucers to land or for the Temple to be rebuilt: meet the millennialists, groups that expect an imminent apocalypse which will usher in a Golden Age of peace, material plenty and spiritual pursuits.  This course surveys millennial movements from around the world, examining how such movements emerge, how they continue even after the anticipated End fails to come, and questioning the connections between millennialism and violence.


AN-352D Archaeology of Religion and Ritual 
An examination of human cultural practices surrounding concepts of reasoning, spirituality, the supernatural, and the afterlife. Topics will include the relationship of humans to the environment, the use of ideology and power, and symbolic innovation and conquest. Throughout the semester, we will use various sources of evidence from the archaeological record (e.g., artifacts, art, text) to investigate the ritual activities of people in the past, as well as historical documents and ethnographic accounts of modern descendants of past peoples. Prerequisite: AN-101 and AN-102

AH 104 - Ways of Seeing: Survey of Asian Art Credits     4 Cr.

Survey of the arts of India, China, Korea, and Japan. These arts will be examined with an emphasis on style as cultural expression, the meaning of arts in a religious context, and the impact of the cross-cultural exchange.(Designated a non-Western culture course; fulfills humanities requirement.)

AH-203 - Native American Art           3 Cr.  

A study of the prehistoric, historic, and contemporary arts of Native American peoples of North America. This course will study the arts of mainly Southwest, Woodlands, Great Plains, and Northwest Coast cultures with particular attention to their historiography, style, technique, symbolic meaning, and place in ritual. A wide range of media will be covered including sculpture, painting, architecture, pottery, textile arts, jewelry, and body decoration.Prerequisites Recommended: AH 103 (Designated a non-Western culture course; fulfills humanities requirement.).

AH-241-Renaissance Europe     3 Cr.

Renaissance art in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy, Flanders, and Germany. Artists include Masaccio, Donatello, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Jan van Eyck,Bosch, Dürer, and Bruegel.(Fulfills humanities requirement.)

CC 220 - Classical Mythology    Cr. 3

A study of the important myths in Greek and Roman culture, with attention to their religious, psychological, and historical origins. Comparative mythology, structural analysis, modern psychological interpretations and the development of classical myths in Western literature and art receive attention.(Fulfills humanities requirement.)

PH 311 - Existential Philosophy    4 Cr.

A study of the central concepts of existential philosophy as found in the writings of such thinkers as Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Camus, and Marcel. Concepts such as freedom, facticity, dread, nothingness, the absurd, being-for-itself, and being-in-itself will be examined.Prerequisites PH 204 or RE 241 or permission of instructor.PH 311 - Existential Philosophy

PR 214 - Philosophies Of India (NA)     3Cr
An exploration of the philosophies of India in their religious and cultural context. Hindu philosophies such as the Upanishads, Samkhya- Yoga, and the Vedanta of Shankara and Ramanuja are emphasized; for comparative purposes, Buddhism and Jainism are also examined.(Designated a non-Western course; Fulfills humanities requirement.)