Religion, Study of

[ program | faculty ]

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice. Updates may be found on the Academic Senate website: http://senate.ucsd.edu/catalog-copy/approved-updates/.

Courses

For course descriptions not found in the UC San Diego General Catalog, 2014–15, please contact the department for more information.

RELI 1. Introduction to Religion (4)

An introduction to key topics in the study of religion through the analysis of religious texts, artifacts, and/or practices. The intent is to develop basic strategies of interpretation for undertaking a critical, disciplined study of religion.

RELI 2. Comparative World Religions (4)

An introduction to the comparative study of religion, focusing on religious traditions of global significance. Although historical aspects of these traditions will be studied, emphasis will be placed on religious beliefs and practices as manifested in the contemporary world.

RELI 87. Freshman Seminar in Religion (1)

The Freshman Seminar Program is designed to provide new students with the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic related to the study of religion with a faculty member in a small seminar setting. Freshman seminars are offered in all campus departments and undergraduate colleges, and topics vary from quarter to quarter. Enrollment is limited to fifteen to twenty students, with preference given to entering freshmen.

RELI 101. Tools and Methods in the Study of Religion (4)

This course provides an advanced introduction to assumptions and norms that shape the study of religion as an academic field; to significant debates within the field; and to tools and methods used for professional research within the field.

RELI 110A. The Modern Study of Religion: Religion in Modernity (4)

This class examines the history of the term “religion,” focusing upon the development of religion’s contemporary significance within the Reformation and Enlightenment, and questioning what it means to be “modern.” Topics change yearly. Special attention to contemporary culture and politics.

RELI 110B. The Modern Study of Religion: Social and Cultural Theories of Religion (4)

An introduction to basic strategies of interpretation in the study of religion, including issues of category formation, theory, and method. Special attention paid to prominent voices of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including Marx, Freud, Durkheim, Eliade, etc.

RELI 111. Texts and Contexts: The Holy Book in Judaism and Christianity (4)

This class examines the development of sacred scripture in Judaism and Christianity. Topics include the variety and use of texts in religious communities; the process of canonization; the formation and transformation of textual communities. Prerequisites: upper-division standing or department stamp.

RELI 112. Texts and Contexts: The Holy Book in Islam (4)

An overview of the history and thematic issues in the study of Quran. It will focus on historical events, issues, and various interpretive practices in the development of Quran as a sacred text. Prerequisites: upper-division standing or department stamp.

RELI 113. Texts and Contexts: Textual Communities in South Asia (4)

This class considers important texts belonging to one or more of the following South Asian Traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, or Sikhism. It introduces students to the ways in which religious identities are formed and contested within a pluralistic society.

RELI 131. Topics in Religion and Sexuality (4)

How does religiosity as a significant cultural component help mold gender and sexuality identities? The class offers topical investigations into this question. Prerequisites: upper-division standing or consent of instructor.

RELI 132. Topics in Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy (4)

Religious dogmas often develop in dialogue with alternative viewpoints that ultimately are rejected by heterodox by the dominant group. This class presents case studies in the interpretation of such ideological and sociological pairings using scriptural, literary, and analytic sources. Prerequisites: upper-division standing or consent of instructor.

RELI 134. Topics in American Religion (4)

Topical studies in the history of religion in American society, ranging from the Puritans to the New Age. Prerequisites: upper-division standing or consent of instructor.

RELI 142. Secularization and Religion (4)

Surveys the relationship between religion and modernity, in particular the problematic of the secularization theory; covers cases such as Catholic liberation theology and Islamic fundamentalism, with particular focus on the “deprivatization of modern religion.” Prerequisites: upper-division standing or consent of instructor.

RELI 143. Topics in Performing Religion (4)

This course explores religion as a system of bodily practices, rather than one of tenets or beliefs. How do day-to-day activities as well as significant rituals express and inform people’s religious lives? Why is doctrine an insufficient basis for understanding religion? May be taken up to three times as topics vary. Prerequisites: upper-division standing or consent of instructor.

RELI 144. Devils and Demons in Christianity (4)

Christianity frequently finds definition in contradistinction to an “Other” characterized as immoral, irrational, and malevolent. This class investigates how devils and demons as constructions of the “Other” have contributed to Christianity’s growth and identity formation throughout history. Prerequisites: upper-division standing or consent of instructor.

RELI 145. Communication, Technology, and Religion (4)

This course will look at the relationship between information communication technologies (ICTs) and religion and how they have intersected or diverged in the course of history. We will look at both older and newer media, such as telegraph, radio, television, cassette tapes, Internet and satellite, and how they have been used by groups like Evangelical, Catholic, or Islamist movements in proliferation and transformation of ideas, rituals, ideologies, values, and diverse forms of sociability. Prerequisites: upper-division standing or consent of instructor.

RELI 146. Topics in the Religions of Antiquity (4)

Topical studies in the religious beliefs, practices, and institutions of pre-Christian Europe and near East. May be repeated for credit up to three times when topics vary. Prerequisites: upper-division standing or consent of instructor.

RELI 147. Pagan Europe and Its Christian Aftermath (4)

This course explores the history of how western Europe was converted from its indigenous pagan religions to the imported religion we know as Christianity. We will discuss conversion by choice and by force, partial or blended conversions, and the relationships between belief and culture. Prerequisites: upper-division standing or consent of instructor.

RELI 148. Religion and Women’s Activisms (4)

The course surveys women’s formal and informal roles and activities in a number of faiths, examining how women’s agency and activism may be constrained or fostered by religious ideologies and norms in various historical and political contexts. Examples are drawn from a range of male-centered (Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism) and woman-centered religions (Sande, Afro-Brazilian, Z-ar Cult), and newly formed theologies (Womanist, Native American, and Mujerista; New Age feminist spiritualities). Prerequisites: upper-division standing or consent of instructor.

RELI 150. Religion and Cinema (4)

The course is an introductory study of cinema and religion. It explores how cinema depicts religion and spiritual experience. A number of films will be studied to understand how cinematic and religious narratives and practices overlap and, at times, diverge in complex ways. Prerequisites: upper-division standing or consent of instructor.

RELI 188. Special Topics in Religion (4)

Students in this lecture will investigate important problems in the study of religion or the history of particular religions. May be repeated for credit up to three times when topics vary. Prerequisites: upper-division standing.

RELI 189. Seminar in Religion (4)

This seminar requires the intensive analysis of critical problems in the study of religion or the history of particular religions. May be repeated for credit up to three times when topics vary. Prerequisites: upper-division standing; RELI 101 or consent of instructor.

RELI 192. Senior Seminar in Religion (1)

The senior seminar is designed to allow senior undergraduates to meet with faculty members in a small group setting to explore an intellectual topic in religion at the upper-division level. Topics will vary from quarter to quarter. Senior seminars may be taken for credit up to four times, with a change in topic and permission of the department. Enrollment is limited to twenty students, with preference given to seniors.

RELI 196AH. Honors Thesis in Religion (4)

First quarter of a two-quarter sequence of individualized, directed-research courses for majors in which students learn firsthand the processes and practices of scholarly research in the study of religion, culminating in the completion of a thesis and an oral presentation. Students may not receive credit for both RELI 196H and RELI 196AH. Prerequisites: RELI 101 (may be completed concurrently with the honors sequence). Department approval required for entry into the Honors Program.

RELI 196BH. Honors Thesis in Religion (4)

Second quarter of a two-quarter sequence of individualized, directed-research courses for majors in which students learn firsthand the processes and practices of scholarly research in the study of religion, culminating in the completion of a thesis and an oral presentation. Students may not receive credit for both RELI 196H and RELI 196BH. Prerequisites: RELI 196A. Department approval required for continuing participation in the Honors Program.

RELI 197. Directed Advanced Readings (4)

A faculty member will direct a student in advanced readings on a topic not generally included in the Program for the Study of Religion’s curriculum. Students must make arrangements with the program and individual faculty. May be repeated for credit up to three times for credit. Prerequisites: upper-division standing; RELI 110A or 110B; overall GPA of 2.5.

RELI 199. Independent Research Study for Undergraduates (2–4)

Independent research in religion under the supervision of a faculty member affiliated with the Program for the Study of Religion. This course may be repeated three times with program approval. (P/NP grades only.) Prerequisites: upper-division standing, with 2.5 GPA (overall); program stamp.