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Show Course Descriptions

Please see the section on Course Description Symbols and Terms in the University Catalog for an explanation of course description terminology and symbols, the course numbering system, and course credit units. All courses are lecture and discussion and employ letter grading unless otherwise stated. Some prerequisites may be waived with faculty permission. Many syllabi are available on the Chico Web.

Displaying 1 - 56 out of 56 results.

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
An analysis of the religions of the West: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (008129)
This course considers the disputes over the interpretation of the Bible in Western culture. Did Moses and the prophets write the Hebrew Bible? Was the Bible intended as scripture, myth, or history? Why were books left out of the Bible? What are the differences between Jewish, Roman Catholic, and Protestant approaches to the Bible? In adition to examining books of the Bible in their original context, this course considers the Bible's role in ancient and contemporary disputes over the Sabbath, heaven and hell, the resurrection, the law, circumcision, divorce, the Trinity, salvation, slavery, polygamy, abortion, homosexuality, and feminism. 3 hours lecture. (008131)
An introduction to the religions of the East: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (008128)
What is religion? How do we recognize it? Are there functions religions characteristically serve or questions they characteristically ask? Are there characteristic answers? Are there secular religions? How do various cultures approach the category of "religion"? This course explores diverse religious beliefs and practices in light of classic and contemporary analyses from several disciplinary fields. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (008130)
Special topics offered for 1.0-3.0 units. 3 hours lecture. (008134)
Prerequisites: Faculty permission.
This course is an independent study of special problems offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. 3 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (020369)
This course is also offered as HIST 261 , MEST 261 .
Introduces students to the history, faith, practice, and cultures of Islam, starting with the Late Antique Near Eastern milieu from which it emerged and tracing its development and geographic spread around the world to the present day. 3 hours seminar. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (004515)
This course is also offered as MJIS 204I .
This course surveys the texts, practices, and beliefs of Judaism, examines the development of the Jewish tradition in response to interactions with a variety of host cultures, and investigates how the Jewish experience complicates our understanding of what it means to be a minority. 3 hours discussion.This is an approved Writing Intensive course. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved US Diversity course. (005860)
This course is also offered as MJIS 205 .
This course traces the history of Jewish and Muslim engagement with the West, explores the diversity of Jewish and Muslim groups in contemporary Europe and the United States, and investigates how Western interactions with Jews and Muslims have defined and challenged European and American identities. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved US Diversity course. (020675)
An introduction to the basic features of the Christian worldview through an anlysis of its historical, ritual, doctrinal, ethical, and social-institutional dimensions. Special attention will be given to the diverse expressions of Christianity in different times and places and to its impact on human history, society, and culture. 3 hours lecture. (008145)
This course provides an introduction to the religions and cultures of India and the surrounding region known as South Asia. The main traditions that are examined are Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, and Sikhism, all of which have deeply influenced the wider culture and each other throughout their evolution over the centuries in India. Students become acquainted with their doctrinal, philosophical, devotional, ritual, and social features. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (008181)
This course is also offered as MCGS 224 .
This course covers the religions that inform America's ethnic minorities, and the historical, cultural, and social experiences and values of Native American, Hispanic-American, Arab-American, African-American, and Asian-American minority groups. 3 hours seminar. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved US Diversity course. (021198)
This course is also offered as PHIL 204 .
In this course we investigate the long and complicated relationship between science and religion by examining both the conflict and co-operation between theologians, philosophers, and scientists in the Western and Eastern worlds throughout history and into the modern age. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (007201)
An introduction to ways that religious and secular world views and ethics influence attitudes, behaviors, and policies toward the environment, society, and economy. The course considers alternative views of self and society, the relationship between human beings and the natural world, and issues of lifestyle, justice, and sustainability. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (021200)
A study of the religious, ethical, spiritual, psychological, and socio-cultural dimensions of dying, death, and afterlife. Reading and discussion of issues surrounding dying (dying as one's last career, patient-centered approaches, spirit/body relationships); death (definitions, religious meanings, ritual practices); and afterlife (religious conceptions, relation to the human quest for meaning). 3 hours seminar.This is an approved Writing Intensive course. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (004443)
This course explores mythology and fiction through an analysis of the fantasy and science fiction works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Do Judaism and Christianity have a mythology comparable to that of other cultures? What do the works of Lewis and Tolkien tell us about our own time and the issues our civilization faces? Topics include the nature and origin of evil, the seductions of technolgoy and control, the place of earth in the cosmos, the purpose and origin of humankind and the universe, and the nature of God in the face of evil. 3 hours discussion. (008156)
This course is also offered as WMST 275I .
Analysis of the images, roles, and experiences of women in world religions in historical and contemporary contexts. 3 hours discussion.This is an approved Writing Intensive course. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (021201)
An introduction to the tools used in doing research, writing papers, and preparing presentations in religious studies. Topics include sources of information using the library's electronic tools to gather information, assessing internet resources, citation formats, copyright laws, and ethical standards in research and writing. 1 hour lecture. (008198)
Prerequisites: Faculty permission.
This course is an independent study of special problems offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. 3 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (020370)
An introduction to Greek mythology and its ancient Near Eastern parallels. The course focuses on the analysis of ancient Greek art and literature (including epic, hymns, lyric poetry, tragedy, and historiography). Topics explored include dying and rising gods, athletics and warfare, hospitality and gift exchange, initiation rituals and the afterlife, and the sex and gender roles of men and women. In addition, students consider Roman, Jewish, and Christian approaches to Greek myth and explore the impact of myth on modern art and film. 3 hours discussion. (008135)
This course is also offered as MEST 302 .
This course introduces students to the sacred scripture and prophet of Islam. Students study the biography of Muhammad (570-632) and the text of the Qur'an by situating it within the context of Muhammad's life and career. By the end of the course, students are able to appreicate how devout Muslims view Muhammad and the Qur'an, as well as ask critical questions raised by modern scholars of religion. 3 hours lecture. (020263)
This course is also offered as MJIS 303 .
An introduction to the Hebrew Bible (also known as the Old Testament of Christianity and the Tanakh of Judaism) in English translation. Readings from the Pentateuch, the prophetic books, and the hagiographa. The course emphasizes the analysis of the biblical books in their ancient Near Eastern contexts, the documentary hypotheses, Israelite history and religion, the formation of the biblical canon, and early Jewish and Christian scriptural interpretation. 3 hours lecture. (005858)
This course is also offered as MJIS 304 .
An exploration of the forces influencing, and the important events in, the emergence of Judaism in America. Attention is given to issues of community identity and the interaction of Judaism with the larger culture in the context of society and politics in America. 3 hours discussion. (005859)
This course is also offered as MJIS 305 .
An introduction to the thought, texts, and culture of Rabbinic Judaism in the first through sixth centuries. Students become familiar with the historical and cultural background of classical Rabbinic society, from its origins in the Pharisaic movement in Palestine (Eretz Israel) to its pinnacle in the academies of Sassanid Babylonia. This course explores the oral-literary tradition that produced the Talmud and Midrash while allowing students to experience the dialectical style of study associated with Rabbinic culture. 3 hours lecture. (020503)
This course covers the books of the Christian New Testament in the context of ancient Judaism and the world of the ancient Mediterranean. Who wrote the gospels and the epistles? Is there anti-Jewish prejudice in the New Testament? This class explores how Jesus was depicted, inquires whether the new Testament promotes or opposes Gnosticism, explains why the Christian apocrypha are not accepted as scripture, and also considers the relationship between the early Christian movement and ancient Greek mystery religions, the Dead Sea Scroll sect, Hellenistic Judaism, and/or Enoch traditions. 3 hours seminar. (008141)
An exploration of the religious dimension of Chinese culture, focusing on the Confucian, Buddhist, and Chinese Buddhist traditions (with particular attention to Chan/Zen) and their relations with each other. 3 hours seminar. (021194)
A discussion of the roots and transformation of the Buddhist teachings in India, China, Japan, and Tibet. Special emphasis will be given to major trends and problems in contemporary Buddhism. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (021199)
Prerequisites: Enrolling students must be in good standing in the Honors in GE Program.
This course is also offered as PHIL 318H , PSYC 318H .
Open only to students working on Theme H: Honors. Ethics has traditionally been characterized as a process of bridging the gap between how we are and how we would ideally be. One example of a moral ideal is love of neighbor. Because we labor under the pull of self-interest, loving one's neighbor is not common. In the light of this truism, examples of altruism cry out for explanation. Is there even such a thing as an "altruistic" behavior? If genuine altruism does exist, what motivates it? This course explores answers to these questions by looking at philosophical, biological, economic and sociological accounts of selfless behavior. 3 hours seminar. (020767)
An introduction to the variety of religious expressions in the history of the United States. The course explores the impact of religion on American society and examines how religion has shaped and been shaped by American ideals, values, and institutions. Topics include the interplay of European and indigenous religious traditions, religious freedom, the historical roots of religious trends such as pluralism and fundamentalism, and the contributions of ethnic minorities to the contemparary religious landscape. 3 hours discussion. (000405)
This course is also offered as AIST 325 .
A description and analysis of selected American Indian religions and philosophies of American Indian peoples of North America. The course will emphasize the Indians' spiritual relationship with nature as depicted in ceremonies, music, literature, and oral traditions. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved US Diversity course. (000384)
This course is also offered as PHIL 331 .
An introduction to current ethical issues facing individuals, institutions, and society. Students attend regularly scheduled CAPE forums, symposia, and seminars and do appropriate reading and writing in conjunction with sessions. 1 hour lecture. (007236)
An introduction to major religions of the contemporary world (Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Chinese religions) with particular emphasis on their relationship to pressing global issues, including economics and poverty, environmental issues, war and peace, and human rights. Explores a number of religious traditions that are closely identified with specific ethnic groups in this country. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (008190)
This course is also offered as PHIL 339I .
Draws on religion, philosophy, ethics, cultural analysis, and science to explore the nature and roles of the animal in religious, cultural, scientific, and ethical beliefs and practices. 3 hours lecture.This is an approved Writing Intensive course. This is an approved General Education Capstone course. (021122)
What is the proper attitude toward wealth and poverty? Do the rich have an obligation to help the poor? How should we balance a commitment to human equality and to individual liberty? How are we to determine whether a society's distribution of wealth and power is just or unjust? What methods constitute legitimate means of achieving social change? This course explores alternative religious perspectives on these and other ethical questions that arise in connection with contemporary social, political, and economic life. 3 hours lecture. (008167)
What role does religion play in contemporary debates about ethics and morality in modern pluralistic societies? Topics may include abortion, capital punishment, assisted suicide, war and peace, environmental destruction, sex, and world hunger and poverty, as well as the conflicts between secular and religious world views. 3 hours lecture. (008158)
This course explores how Christians, Buddhists, and Marxists have sought to answer questions about the nature and goals of human life and about the methods of individual and social transformation. Attention will be given to the diversity of ethical perspectives in the traditions on such topics as the human good, the ideal society, political and economic life, war and peace, the family, the meaning of freedom, and the nature of salvation. 3 hours discussion. (008165)
This course introduces students to the ways in which historic and contemporary religious communities interpret catastrophes and how religious worlds explain and provide humans with tools to cope with catastrophes and with making meaning out of suffering and death. Focus is on visions of the end of the world (apocalypticism, environmental destruction), interpreting the meaning of disasters (natural, human-induced), and personal and global annihilation (epidemics, nuclear destruction). 3 hours lecture.This is an approved Writing Intensive course. This is an approved General Education course. (008166)
An introduction to the major world religions and an analysis of legal, intellectual, and educational issues that arise in connection with the study of religions in American public schools. 3 hours lecture. (008168)
An examination of the representation of religious concerns and meaning in modern film. Utilizing resources developed in religious traditions and in the field of religious studies, the course examines themes central to the human condition such as selfhood, religious conviction, despair, redemption, and race and ethnicity. 3 hours lecture. (008149)
A comparative study of mysticism from both historical and thematic perspectives. Major figures and traditions (including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) will be reviewed as well as current theoretical debates in the study of mysticism. 3 hours seminar. (008185)
A cross-cultural study of the ways religious world views, institutions, and rituals shape views of human sexuality. Topics inlcude sacred sexuality; religious asceticism; the regulation of reproductive sexuality; religious perspectives on homosexuality; the role of religion in constructing gender identity and the special ritual role of "third" genders in some cultural communities; and critiques of religious perspective on sexuality from feminist and queer communities. 3 hours lecture. (020224)
This course is also offered as SOCI 327 .
This course explores the impact of religion on the individual and society, and surveys the major developments in the field. This includes interactive relationships between religion and other social institutions, and debates on controversial issues. 3 hours lecture. (008184)
Prerequisites: Faculty permission.
This course is a special topic offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. 3 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 3.0 units. (008192)
See description under RELS 491. 3 hours seminar. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (008160)
Special topics offered for 1.0-3.0 units. 3 hours seminar. (008196)
Prerequisites: Faculty permission.
This course is an independent study of special problems offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (008197)
Survey of major themes in Christian theology from the 2nd century to the present. Emphasis is on important figures and the circumstances under which major Christian doctrines, traditions, and ideas emerged and developed. Topics include the identity of Jesus, the Trinity, sin and salvation, and the nature of the church. 3 hours lecture. (008143)
Prerequisites: RELS 375 or WMST 375.
This course is also offered as WMST 475 .
A study of the development of feminist theology in Christian, Jewish, and other religious traditions over the past 30 years. Examines feminist theological analysis of religious symbols, texts, rituals, beliefs, and practices in the U.S. and international contexts. 3 hours seminar. (008199)
Prerequisites: RELS 100 or RELS 110 or faculty permission.
A study of the history, theories, and methods of religious studies as a scholarly and academic discipline, with emphasis on the biographical and historical contexts of significant contributors to the discipline and their classic works. Topics include secular vs. religious approaches to the study of religion and the contrast between religious insiders' and outsiders' perspectives; alternative theories of the origins and functions of religion; and debates over whether religion is a positive or a negative influence in the lives of inindividuals and social groups. 3 hours seminar. (008191)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or JOUR 130 (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher; concurrent enrollment or prior completion of RELS 281 and RELS 480.
Readings and research on selected topics in religious studies. Content varies. 3 hours seminar. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (008200)
Prerequisites: Faculty permission.
Enrollment will be determined by permission of the Department of Religious Studies. 3 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 15.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (008208)
RELS 392 and RELS 491: Selected topics in contemporary religious thought. Content varies. 3 hours seminar. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (008161)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or JOUR 130 (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher, faculty permission.
This course is an independent study offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. Individually directed projects in religious studies. 9 hours supervision. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (008209)
Special topics offered for 1.0-3.0 units. 3 hours lecture. (008210)
Prerequisites: Faculty permission.
This course is an independent study of special problems offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. 3 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (008211)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or JOUR 130 (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher, RELS 480 (may be taken concurrently).
To provide students accepted for "Honors in the Major" an opportunity to prepare and write a research paper on topics germane to their interests developed during the first three years of work in religious studies. Research and writing will be done under supervision of a staff advisor for a total of 6 units in two semesters. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (008212)
Catalog Cycle:12