The Catholic University of America

 Courses taught by Charles Jones

TRS 290 World Religions

This course is an introduction to several major religious traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, and Islam. We will approach these religions through their historical development, their major doctrinal and philosophical patterns, and their practices. Although the primary class format will be lecture, the instructor encourages all students to ask questions and engage in discussion freely.

TRS 383 Issues in Religious Studies

Introduces students to the academic discipline of religious studies. From its initial break with theology in the 16th century, religious studies has grown to incorporate theories and perspectives from anthropology, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and hermeneutics. This course will survey significant themes and thinkers in all of these fields, including Sigmund Freud, David Hume, Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and many others. The course will also examine how religious bodies themselves make use of theories of religion in their institutional life and practice. Prerequisite: Any TRS or HSTR 200-level course.

TRS 390 Taoism & Confucianism

Explores the two major indigenous religious traditions of China through their canonical texts, core concepts, devotional practices, and historical development. Prerequisite: Any TRS or HSTR 200-level course.

TRS 391 Introduction to Buddhism

The course will survey the Buddhist tradition from its inception to the present. Beginning with the life and teachings of the historical Buddha in their social and religious milieu, the course will proceed to the development of the Buddhist order, advances in Indian Buddhist thought, the rise of the Mahayana movement, the spread of Buddhism into other parts of Asia (China, Tibet, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia), modern popular Buddhist movements, and the spread of Buddhism into North America and Europe. Prerequisite: Any TRS or HSTR 200-level course.

TRS 495: Capstone Seminar in Theology and Religious Studies
3.00 Credits
This is a seminar designed for, and required of, seniors who are majoring in Theology and Religious Studies. It will examine major methodological approaches to theology and religious studies, while focusing on a theme, author, or text (different each semester) such as creation narratives, the works of Augustine, the just war tradition, etc. A major research paper will be required.

TRS 699: Proseminar for New Master's Students

0.00 Credits
Introduction and information about theological research and resources. Students must complete a fourfold process in this course: 1. Library tour (to be completed during the student's first semester on campus); 2. Introduction to Research Methodology: access and correct scholarly use and citation of biblical, patristic, and other classical sources; 3. Research Methodology: access to and correct scholarly use and citation of modern, contemporary and electronic sources; 4. Academic style: how to properly write an academic paper. Completion of these items will be indicated on each student's tracking sheet and should be fulfilled within one academic year.

TRS 782B Interreligious Dialogue

This course examines the nature and history of interreligious dialogue and ways it is being conducted today on the local, national, and international levels. Topics include theological and sociological perspectives on religious diversity and cultural developments influencing interreligious dialogue. Students will study representative works by persons active in such dialogue.

TRS 791 Mahayana Buddhism

This course will introduce the genesis, history, and major schools of the Mahayana branch of Buddhism, beginning with its origins in northern India during the first century B.C., to its elaborations into philosophical schools, Zen, Pure Land, esoteric/tantra, and others

TRS 799: Proseminar for New Doctoral Students
0.00 Credits
This course is designed to provide detailed professional preparation for students at the doctoral level. Students will hear weekly presentations on such topics as the structure of a doctoral program, basic research methods, university risk and compliance issues, FERPA, dissertation defense procedures, academic dishonesty, and other topics important to the doctoral program.

TRS 880A: Advanced Topics in Religious Studies
3.00 Credits
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