Religious Studies (RELS)

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RELS Courses

RELS 201. Religion, Dialogue, and Society. 4 units

2020-21 or later catalog: GE Area D2

2019-20 or earlier: GE Area D2 or D3

The way in which interactions between religious traditions shape society at various levels. Case studies drawn from eastern and western religious traditions during the ancient and modern periods. Course may be offered in classroom-based or online format. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE Area D2 (GE Area D2 or GE Area D3 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs).

RELS 205. Jesus. 4 units

Exploration and analysis of the person of Jesus. Includes examination of our sources of knowledge about him, his self-understanding, and various interpretations of him in historical, comparative, and contemporary settings. 4 lectures.

RELS 270. Selected Topics. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Open to undergraduate students and consent of instructor.

Directed group study of selected topics. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.

RELS 301. Religions of Asia. 4 units

2020-21 or later: Upper-Div GE Area C

2019-20 or earlier catalog: GE Area C4

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; one course in GE Area B4 with a grade of C- or better (GE Area B1 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs); and completion of GE Area C2.

Comparative study of the religions of Asia, particularly Hinduism, Buddhism, and the religions of China. Topics include historical continuities/discontinuities, worldviews, sacred texts, practices, responses to modernity, the place of women across the traditions. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE Upper-Division C (GE Area C4 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs).

RELS 302. Abrahamic Religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. 4 units

2020-21 or later: Upper-Div GE Area C

2019-20 or earlier catalog: GE Area C4

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; one course in GE Area B4 with a grade of C- or better (GE Area B1 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs); and completion of GE Area C2.

An introduction to the global religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, with a focus on their shared origin in the Patriarch Abraham. Topics include for each religion: the origins, worldview, scripture, practices, and relationship to modernity. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE Upper-Division C (GE Area C4 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs).

RELS 304. Judaism. 4 units

2020-21 or later: Upper-Div GE Area C

2019-20 or earlier catalog: GE Area C4

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; one course in GE Area B4 with a grade of C- or better (GE Area B1 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs); and completion of GE Area C2.

Origins, beliefs and practices of Judaism and central themes in the Hebrew Bible. The development of Judaism in the post-biblical and Talmudic period. Jewish philosophy, life, rituals and customs. The emergence of modern Judaism, Zionism and post-Holocaust philosophy. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE Upper-Division C (GE Area C4 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs).

RELS 306. Hinduism. 4 units

2020-21 or later: Upper-Div GE Area C

2019-20 or earlier catalog: GE Area C4

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; one course in GE Area B4 with a grade of C- or better (GE Area B1 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs); and completion of GE Area C2.

Origins, beliefs and practices of Hinduism from the Veda and the Upanishads through the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita and the Puranas. Modern Hindu institutions, saints and sages, and social philosophy contrasted with the ancient. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE Upper-Division C (GE Area C4 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs).

RELS 307. Buddhism. 4 units

2020-21 or later: Upper-Div GE Area C

2019-20 or earlier catalog: GE Area C4

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; one course in GE Area B4 with a grade of C- or better (GE Area B1 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs); and completion of GE Area C2.

Buddhist origins, viewpoints and practices will be seen in their development in India, Tibet, China, Japan, South Asia and America. The life of Buddha, Gautama, the rise of Theravada, Mahayana and Tantra. Encounters with Shinto and Confucianism. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE Upper-Division C (GE Area C4 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs).

RELS 310. Christianity. 4 units

2020-21 or later: Upper-Div GE Area C

2019-20 or earlier catalog: GE Area C4

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; one course in GE Area B4 with a grade of C- or better (GE Area B1 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs); and completion of GE Area C2.

The development of the Christian religion from the story of Jesus, the New Testament, Church formation, the role of St. Paul, dissenting ideas, Protestant and Catholic views, and contemporary issues of conscience, such as the Social Gospel and liberation theologies. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE Upper-Division C (GE Area C4 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs).

RELS 311. Islam. 4 units

2020-21 or later: Upper-Div GE Area C

2019-20 or earlier catalog: GE Area C4

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; one course in GE Area B4 with a grade of C- or better (GE Area B1 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs); and completion of GE Area C2.

The development of Islamic civilization from the inspiration of the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad and the Sunni-Shi'i split to contemporary political and social issues. Emphasis of Sufi literature, art, architecture, and philosophies of Islam. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE Upper-Division C (GE Area C4 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs).

RELS 344. Approaches to Religion and Spirituality. 4 units

2020-21 or later: Upper-Div GE Area D

2019-20 or earlier catalog: GE Area D5

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; one course in GE Area B4 with a grade of C- or better (GE Area B1 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs); and one course in GE Area D2 (or in GE Area D3 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs) or in GE Area E (or in GE Area D4 for students on the 2017-19 or earlier catalogs).

Examination of religion from an academic perspective by surveying the various historical approaches employed within the discipline of religious studies to collect, analyze, and interpret religious phenomena cross-culturally. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE Upper-Division D (GE Area D5 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs).

RELS 370. Religion, Gender, and Society. 4 units

2020-21 or later: Upper-Div GE Area C

2019-20 or earlier catalog: GE Area C4

USCP

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; one course in GE Area B4 with a grade of C- or better (GE Area B1 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs); and completion of GE Area C2.

Critical examination of religious ideas and institutions in the United States. Focus on interlocking systems of sex, gender, race, class and religion; individual and group experiences at the intersection of religion, politics and culture. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as RELS/WGS 370. Fulfills GE Upper-Division C (GE Area C4 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs); and USCP.

RELS 372. Spiritual Extremism: Asceticism, Mysticism, and Madness. 4 units

2020-21 or later: Upper-Div GE Area C

2019-20 or earlier catalog: GE Area C4

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; one course in GE Area B4 with a grade of C- or better (GE Area B1 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs); and completion of GE Area C2.

Shaping influence of ascetics, mystics and the insane on global religious traditions. Topics may include the relationship between spiritual extremists and society, cultural construction of holiness and insanity, and literary depictions of spiritual extremists. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE Upper-Division C (GE Area C4 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs).

RELS 374. Religion and Violence. 4 units

2020-21 or later: Upper-Div GE Area C

2019-20 or earlier catalog: GE Area C4

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; one course in GE Area B4 with a grade of C- or better (GE Area B1 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs); and completion of GE Area C2.

Historical and contemporary case studies of how various religions have condoned, motivated and justified violence. The place of sacrifice, martyrdom, self-injury and forced conversion in religious doctrines. Representations of religious violence in the media. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE Upper-Division C (GE Area C4 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs).

RELS 378. Religion and Contemporary Values. 4 units

2020-21 or later: Upper-Div GE Area C

2019-20 or earlier catalog: GE Area C4

Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better; one course in GE Area B4 with a grade of C- or better (GE Area B1 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs); and completion of GE Area C2.

Descriptive analysis of how diverse religious traditions construct moral decisions about a variety of contemporary issues including sexuality, ecology, and justice. Challenges for religious value systems in secular and pluralistic societies. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE Upper-Division C (GE Area C4 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs).

RELS 380. Religion and Politics in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. 4 units

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better. Recommended: Completion of one class in POLS or RELS.

The root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its current manifestation. Possibilities for solutions from the perspectives of religious studies and political science. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as POLS/RELS 380.

RELS 400. Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Consent of department chair and instructor.

Individual investigation, research, studies or surveys of selected problems. Total credit limited to 4 units.

RELS 470. Selected Advanced Topics. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Directed group study of selected topics for advanced students. The Class Schedule will list topics selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.