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California State University, Long Beach
2012-2013 CSULB University Catalog

Religious Studies

Courses - RST 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: 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. American Religious Diversity (3)

Prerequisites: GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and upper-division standing.
Examines the diverse religious landscape of American society with a focus on the experiences of some of its major ethnic and racial communities, to include Native American, African American, Latino, and/or Asian American traditions.

308. Comparative Religious Ethics (3)

Prerequisite: 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 of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (3)

Prerequisites: GE Foundation requirement, completion of one or more Exploration courses, and upper division standing.
The Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament, read in translation as a religious, historical and literary document with emphasis on the religion and culture of the ancient Israelites in their ancient Near Eastern context. Selected books from its three divisions – Torah, Prophets, and Writings—are read each term.

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

Prerequisites: 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/Zionism (3)

Prerequisites: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: GE Foundation requirement, 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: GE Foundation requirements, 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: GE Foundation requirement, completion of one or more Exploration courses, and upper division standing.
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: 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: GE Foundation requirements
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: 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: 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: 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: 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. Senior Seminar: Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Examines and compares theories and research methods used in the discipline of Religious Studies, both classical and contemporary. Serves as a capstone course for Religious Studies majors, to include assignments that provide departmental assessment of the major.
Letter grade only (A-F).

402I. Religion in America (3)

Prerequisites: 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.
Not open for credit to students with credit in R/ST 482I.

410. Women, Religion and Spirituality (3)

Prerequisites: ENGL 100 and upper division standing, or consent of instructor.
Study of women as spiritual and religious beings responding to and coping with largely patriarchal religious doctrine. Examines socio-religious construction of women and women's religious experience from prehistory to present day. Focus on feminist transformations of religious traditions.
Same course as WGSS 410. Not open for credit to students with credit in WGSS 410.

425. Religion and Modern Literature (3)

Prerequisites: GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and upper-division standing.
The role of literature and associated narrative art forms as vehicles of reflection upon sacred possibilities in the modern world. Alienation, absurdity and despair, evil, secularization, mystic vision, hope, salvation and love among the topics treated.

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

Prerequisites: Upper division or graduate standing.
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: 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: 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: 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.

485. Contemporary Religious Thought (3)

Prerequisite: 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. Selected Topics in Religious Studies (1‑3)

Topics of current interest in religious studies selected for intensive development.
May be repeated to a maximum of 9 units with different topics. Topics 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.

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