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Religious Studies

College of Liberal Arts

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Religious Studies - RST Courses

LOWER DIVISION

100. Introduction to Religion (3)

Prerequisite or corequisite: One GE Foundation course.
Origin, nature, and function of religion in the individual and culture with emphasis upon and reference to outstanding personalities, sacred writings, and basic features of the world’s leading religions.

102. Introduction to World Religions I (Early and Western) (3)

Prerequisite/corequisite: One GE Foundation course.
A survey of representative figures, themes, the schools in Western religious thought, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

103. Introduction to World Religions II (Eastern) (3)

Prerequisite/corequisite: One GE Foundation course.
Survey of Indian, Chinese and Japanese religious thought. Emphasis will be on original texts in translations.

202. Religion and Society (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Foundation requirements.
Religious and secular views of the relation of persons and society with emphasis upon contemporary problems of personal and social ethics, political responsibility and social structure.

210. Introduction to the Bible (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Foundation requirements.
Overview of Sacred texts of Jews and Christians. Inspiration, Creation, Salvation, and other Biblical themes will be discussed, as well as key persons and events, such as Moses, Jesus, etc.
Not available to students with credit in R/ST 101A.

230. Hell and Heaven in Judaism (3)

Explores the history and development of notions of the afterlife in Judaism. Jewish ideas about the experience of death and the fate of the dead will be studied in the context of broader reflection on ancient Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greek views of the afterlife, as well as brief considerations of Christian and Muslim views of the afterlife.

240. Love, Life, and the World (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of GE foundation requirements.
Examines love in life and the world. Students will explore the philosophical, religious-mystical, psychological, social, and natural historical dimensions of love and complete both practical and research projects that will lead them to a fuller understanding of a loving life.

UPPER DIVISION

General Education Category A must be completed prior to taking any upper division course except upper division language courses where students meet formal prerequisites and/or competency equivalent for advanced study.

301. Approaching Religion (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Foundation requirements.
Study of methods of religious studies, including the comparative and phenomenological study of religions, textual criticism, exegesis, research methods and techniques.

302I. Religious and Social Ethical Dimensions of American Diversity (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and upper-division standing.
Examines religious and social ethical aspects of the adaptation of various American subcultures to the polyglot mainstreams of American culture.

308. Comparative Religious Ethics (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Foundation requirements.
Introduction to study of ethics within global perspective while introducing world religions. Major ethical questions and modes of moral reasoning in different religious traditions will be considered while focusing on why ordinary people do good and evil actions.

311. Religion and Literature in the Old Testament (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the GE foundation requirement, completion of one or more Exploration courses, and upper division status.
The Old Testament as a religious, historical and literary document with emphasis on the religion and culture of the early Hebrews. Selected books will be read each term. Emphasis will be on Genesis, Exodus, the early prophets, Isaiah. The period of the conquest and the divided monarchies will be studied.

312I. Intertestament Literature, Palestine History, and Early Christianity (Dead Sea Scrolls) (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and upper-division standing.
Historical development of Jewish religion and culture in the Second Temple period from the rise of the Maccabees to the beginnings of Christianity with emphasis on the rise of the Jewish State, the coming of the Romans and the beginnings of primitive Christianity (Essenism, Phariseeism and Sadduceeism).

314. Jewish Religion (3)

From the end of the Second Temple period to the close of the Middle Ages. Development from Hellenistic Judaism to Rabbinic Judaism to philosophical theology will be gone into in some detail. Readings from Saadya, Halevi and Maimonides, etc.

315. Modern Jewish Thought (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and upper-division standing.
Development of Jewish thought from enlightenment and emancipation from ghettos, through attempts at assimilation, the Holocaust and birth of the Jewish State. Development of conservative, reform and orthodox Judaism.

317. Jewish Mysticism (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of GE foundation requirements.
Explores some major trends and themes of the Jewish mystical and esoteric tradition. Included are various forms of Kabalah and Hasidism, meditation and mysticism; explanations of and responses to evil; the nature of God and the relationship between human beings and the divine being; gender dynamics, and the power of ritual.

318. Biblical Hebrew I (3)

Biblical Hebrew I imparts the basic grammatical inflections, conjugations, and structures of elementary biblical Hebrew and starts the student on the path of mastering the specific vocabulary of biblical Hebrew. Introduces history and particularity of this language as well as standard reference tools employed in reading biblical Hebrew.

319. Biblical Hebrew II (3)

Prerequisite: R/ST 318.
Biblical Hebrew II completes instruction in grammar of biblical Hebrew and introduces major syntactical constructions of this language. Increases student's biblical Hebrew vocabulary, hones skills in use of reference books for biblical Hebrew, and allows initial confrontation with selections from Hebrew Old Testament itself.

320A. Biblical Aramaic I (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Foundation requirements.
Alphabets and grammar of Aramaic, the language of Jesus, will be taught. Cultural excursuses survey the history of the ancient international language Aramaic and its role in understanding Jesus and the Judaism of his time.
Not open for credit to students with credit in R/ST 220A.

320B. Biblical Aramaic II (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Foundation requirements.
Advanced grammar and readings in Aramaic, the language of Jesus and the international language of the Near East prior to the importation of Greek. Select cultural excursuses into the historical impact of Aramaic and special study of unpublished manuscripts.
Not open for credit to students with credit in R/ST 220B.

322. New Testament and Earliest Christian Literature (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Foundation requirements.
The emergent Christian community, seen through the missionary and pastoral letters, the synoptic gospels, the radical theologies of Paul and John and the dramatic visions of the Apocalypse.

331I. Islamic Religion and Culture (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and upper-division standing.
The Koran, Muhammad and the rise of Islam as a cosmopolitan faith. The development of Muslim civilization, including literature, theology, philosophy and Sufism (mysticism).

337I. Sufism (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Foundation, one or more Explorations courses and upper-division standing.
Covers mainly Sufism and Shî`ism and their intimate relationship. Examines contribution of some great Sûfis and Shî`ite thinkers to development of inner dimensions of Islam i.e. mysticism, esoterism, and spirituality.
Letter grade only (A-F).

338I. Medieval Thought in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Foundation, one or more Explorations Courses and upper-division standing.
Human thought and history of ideas. Survey of history of medieval Jewish, Christian, and Islamic thought. Examines contribution of some great philosophers to development of medieval thought. Highly intellectual dealing mainly with abstract concepts of metaphysics: God, creation, and theory of knowledge.

341I. Buddhism (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and upper-division standing.
The Buddha; early Buddhism; the great vehicle; and the vehicle of incantations. Transmission of Buddhism to China, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia and Tibet. Emphasis on original texts in translations.

344. Religions of Japan (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Foundation requirements.
Transmission of continental civilization to Japan; shinto, Buddhism and Tokugawa Neo-Confucianism; Genroku culture; and New Religions. Emphasis on original texts in translations.

351. Hinduism (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Foundation requirements.
Introduction to the religious traditions of Hinduism. Emphasis on the historical and textual study of Hinduism through its various literatures (sacred, narrative, poetic, liturgical, and philosophical). Explores Vedic traditions of sacrifice, the speculative philosophy of the Upanishads, the religious epic and mythological literature, the main gods and goddesses, and the devotional poetry of the medieval poet-saints.

352. Religions of India (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Foundation requirements.
A survey of Indian religions to the present. Emphasis will be on the ways that religions of historic India have developed and interacted.

353I. Religions of Southeast Asia (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the GE foundation requirement, completion of one or more Exploration courses, and upper division status.
Introduction to the religions of Southeast Asia. Ancient religion, historical transmission and adaption of Hindu and Buddhist traditions, and recent developments in modern Southeast Asia will be discussed. Emphasis on the religious culture of mainland Southeast Asia.

362I. Religion and Psychology (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and upper-division standing.
Examines the religious and psychological interpretation of both individual and community religious activity and experience.
(Lecture 3 hours)

358. Women and Islam in Global Perspective (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Foundation requirements
This course introduces a wide range of issues regarding women and Islam, and examines some of the diverse religious, social, political, and economic roles that Muslim women have played from the early days of Islam to the present period.
Letter grade only (A-F).

375. The Historical Jesus (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Foundation requirements.
Historical reconstruction of the life and thought of the “Founder” of Christianity in his contemporary cultural and political environment. Standard historical and religious-historical methods are introduced and applied to the preserved sources.

376I. Christian Origins (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and upper-division standing.
Consideration of two factions in the early Church in Palestine in the First Century, one following the ‘Apostle to the Gentiles’ and the other following the family line of Jesus. Readings from primary sources, Paul’s Letters, Eusebius, and apocryphal literature.

383I. Christianity and Global Ethics (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and upper-division standing.
Examines interaction of Christianity with secular socio-economic ideologies related to globalization and response of Christianity to such ethical issues as poverty, population growth, consumerism, environmental degradation, war, and genocide.

391I. Religion and Science (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and upper-division standing.
Examines the occasionally harmonious, often acrimonious, relationship between religion and science. Examines the fundamental insights and claims of both religion and science, moving beyond the frequently sharp prejudices they initially bring to their study to a more reasoned understanding of each alone and in relation to each other.

401./501. Methods and Theories in the Study of Religion (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor.
Analyzes and compares methodologies used in the discipline of Religious Studies. Selected methods include: social scientific; phenomenology; structuralism; textual criticism and exegesis; personalist and normative approaches to the study of religion. Critical hermeneutics such as Marxist, Feminist, Freudian, and Post-Modern are also explored.
Letter grade only (A-F).

425. Religion and Modern Literature (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and upper-division standing.
The role of the writer and poet in the secular modern world as religious thinker. The themes of alienation, anguish, absurdity, evil, hope, despair, mystic vision, and salvation will be among those treated.

458./558. Women, Religion, and the Developing World (3)

Prerequisites: Upper division or graduate standing.
This course looks at the causes and implications of globalization, the impact of globalization on women in the developing world, and the multi-faceted role that religion and religious constructions of gender play in this picture.

460./560. Jewish Christianity (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
History and literature of ancient Jewish Christianity in its relationship to Gentile Christianity and Judaism, from the relatives of Jesus through the fourth century.
Letter grade only (A-F).

467I. Religion in Latin America and the Caribbean (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and Upper-division standing.
Exploration of role of religion in the history, politics, and culture of Latin America. Surveys pre-Columbian religion, the impact of the Encounter, the growth of Protestantism, Liberation Theology, and the coming of age of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian religions.
Letter grade only (A-F).

471I. Early Christianity and Society (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and upper-division standing.
Development of Christianity from the New Testament period to Medieval times with emphases on the growth of doctrine and church institutions in ancient and medieval society.

472I. Formation of Modern Christianity (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and upper-division standing.
Restructuring and renewal of Christianity, from the Reformation through the dawn of modern consciousness to the challenge of 20th century secular life.

482I. American Religious Experience (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and upper-division standing.
Survey of major themes in the unique American religious experience. Topics include the adaptation of European Christianity to novel American circumstances, the proliferation of denominations and the varied religious response to a dynamic American society.

*485. Contemporary Religious Thought (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Foundation requirements.
Critical examination of current trends in religious understanding against a background of rapid social change. New movements and issues on the religious scene considered and a variety of authors representing both East and West will be studied in order to reveal the emerging patterns of religious thought.

*490. Special Topics in Religious Studies (1-3)

Topics of current interest in religious studies selected for intensive development.
May be repeated to a maximum of nine units with different topics. Topics will be announced in the Schedule of Classes.

499. Directed Studies (1-3)

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Directed studies to permit individual students to pursue topics of special research interest.
May be repeated to a maximum of 6 units.

GRADUATE LEVEL

501./401. Methods/Theories of Religion (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor.
Analyzes and compares methodologies used in the discipline of Religious Studies. Selected methods include: social scientific; phenomenology; structuralism; textual criticism and exegesis; personalist and normative approaches to the study of religion. Critical hermeneutics such as Marxist, Feminist, Freudian, and Post-Modern are also explored.

550. Islam in the Contemporary World (3)

This course examines key thinkers, movements and issues arising in the global Muslim community in the modern period. It covers ealry reform movements, the Iranian Revolution, Islamic revivalism, religious violence, Progressive Islam, gender justice, Islam and sexuality, and Muslims in America.
Letter grade only (A-F).

558./458. Women, Religion, and the Developing World (3)

Prerequisites: Upper division or graduate standing.
This course looks at the causes and implications of globalization, the impact of globalization on women in the developing world, and the multi-faceted role that religion and religious constructions of gender play in this picture.

560./460. Jewish Christianity (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
History and literature of ancient Jewish Christianity in its relationship to Gentile Christianity and Judaism, from the relatives of Jesus through the fourth century.
Letter grade only (A-F).

590. Special Topics in Religious Studies (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor.
Topics of current interest in Religious Studies selected by the faculty for intensive development.
May be repeated to a maximum of 9 units with different topics. Letter grade only (A-F).

595. Advanced Study (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Study under the supervision of a faculty member. Student must fulfill requirements of a selected upper division course plus additional work appropriate to graduate study as determined by the instructor of the course.
May be repeated to a maximum of 9 units with different topics in the same semester. Letter grade only (A-F).

599. Graduate Tutorial (1-3)

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Supervised and independent study.
May be repeated to a maximum of 6 units with different topics in the same semester. Letter grade only (A-F).

604. Seminar in Religion in the Contemporary World (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor.
Advanced inquiry into aspects of religion in the contemporary World, including its ethical, cultural, historical or theoretical dimensions.
May be repeated to a maximum of 9 units with different topics. Letter grade only (A-F)

624. Seminar in Ancient Mediterranean Religion (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Advanced inquiry into the religions of the Ancient Mediterranean.
Letter grade only (A-F). May be repeated to a maximum of 9 units with different topics.

646. Seminar in Buddhist Studies (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Advanced inquiry into topics in Buddhist Studies.
May be repeated to a maximum of 9 units with different topics. Letter grade only (A-F).

690. Special Topics in Religious Studies (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Topics of current interest in Religious Studies selected by the faculty for intensive development.
May be repeated to a maximum of 9 units with different topics. Letter grade only (A-F).

697. Directed Research (1-3)

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Directed Studies to permit individual students to pursue topics of special research interest.
May be repeated to a maximum of 9 units in the same semester. Letter grade only (A-F).

698. Thesis (1-6)

Prerequisites: Advancement to candidacy, consent of advisor.
Planning, preparation and completion of thesis for the master’s degree.
May be repeated to a maximum of 6 units.