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School of Humanities

Religion Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Fall 2019


REL 340REL 340

Beyond the Grave: Religion and the Afterlife


Dr. Amy Slagle



Death is an inescapable fact of life, and all religious and philosophical traditions attempt to come to grips with it. This course examines death in light of the many ways humans have attempted to accept, overcome, deny, defeat, or transcend it. How did death originate? Are there good and bad ways to die? To grieve? How should we dispose of a corpse? Do we have a soul (or souls) and does it (or they) reincarnate? Is there an afterlife? Is immortality possible? Desirable? What techniques might help us achieve it? Religious traditions have attempted to answer these questions for millennia, and we will study how. Topics such as cremation, damnation, salvation, near-death experiences, mourning, grief, burial, and reincarnation will be explored in light of a variety of religious and philosophical traditions, both East and West.


REL 490REL 490

Issues in Religion: New Religious Movements

TR 11:30 - 1:00

Dr. Dusty Hoesly

Want to learn about new religions in America? Why are some groups are called “cults”? In this course, we will learn about:

• LDS Church/Mormons
• Spiritualism
• Father Divine’s Peace Mission
• Nation of Islam
• ISKCON/Hare Krishnas
• Unification Church/Moonies
• Branch Davidians & Waco
• Peoples Temple & Jonestown
• Scientology
• and more!

We will cover over 200 years of new religions in the U.S., focusing mostly on the 20th century. We will consider issues of race, gender, sexuality, diet, violence, 
government surveillance, media representation, and classification.

Sign up for REL 490!

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Hattiesburg, MS 39406

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