Course Description

REL 375
New Religious Movements [Lecture] (3.0)

This course is part of the Religious Studies major at Roberts Wesleyan College, and as such is an academic, rather than faith-based, course in religion. Our topic is New Religious Movements, which will examine, from a sociological perspective, the reasons for the rise and development of religious movements. Then, we will concentrate on a movement with global reach, yet with origins within a few miles of our college campus: Mormonism. We will examine apocalyptic expectations in early 19th century America, the spawning of "religions made in America." Then we will examine the life and times of Joseph Smith, the moves westward to Illinois and then Utah, the Mormon "Wars," and splits within the community. We will examine practices and beliefs, the way Mormonism has influenced and been influenced by American culture, and then the global reach of Mormonism. We will visit Palmyra, a temple, and hear speakers describe Mormonism from both insider and outsider perspectives. Prerequisites: BIB 101, 102, and PHL 202-Religion. (Offered on demand)


The number in parentheses following the course title indicates the semester hours of credit assigned to the course.
An H following the course number indicates an honors level course.