Fall 2011

Course CRN Title Instructor
RST 1C - Topic: Sacrifice  W. Terry
  83990 (sec. 1, Discussion Section)  
  83991 (sec. 2, Discussion Section)  
  83992 (sec. 3, Discussion Section)  
  83993 (sec. 4, Discussion Section)  
  83994 (sec. 5, Discussion Section)  
  83995 (sec. 6, Discussion Section)  
RST 1E - Topic: Fundamentalism K. Watenpaugh
  83473 (sec. 1, Discussion Section)  
  83474 (sec. 2, Discussion Section)  
  83475 (sec. 3, Discussion Section)  
  83476 (sec. 4, Discussion Section)  
  83477 (sec. 5, Discussion Section)  
  83478 (sec. 6, Discussion Section)  
RST 10 80142 Topic: "Ethical Eating" A. Coudert
RST 10A 80143 (sec. 1, Discussion Section)  
RST 10A 80144 (sec. 2, Discussion Section)  
RST 10A 80145 (sec. 3, Discussion Section)  
RST 40 - New Testament C. Chin
  80147 (sec. 1, Discussion Section)  
  80148 (sec. 2, Discussion Section)  
  80149 (sec. 3, Discussion Section)  
  80150 (sec. 4, Discussion Section)  
  80151 (sec. 5, Discussion Section)  
  80152 (sec. 6, Discussion Section)  
RST 60 83468 Intro. to Islam W. Terry
RST 104 83469 Christianity, 1450-1700 A. Coudert
RST 130 83471 Topic: "Sex in Ancient Judaism and Christianity" M. Vidas
RST 161 83472 Modern Islam K. Watenpaugh
RST 190 84087 Seminar: "Apocalyptic Literature" M. Vidas


Religious Studies 1C: Topics in Comparative Religion - Sacrifice
Prof. Wendy Terry (wrterry@ucdavis.edu)

Lecture: MWF 12:10-1:00, 1227 Haring

Discussion Sections:
Sec. 1 (M 4:10-5:00, 244 Olson) CRN 83990
Sec. 2 (M 5:10-6:00, 244 Olson) CRN 83991
Sec. 3 (M 6:10-7:00, 151 Olson) CRN 83992
Sec. 4 (T 4:10-5:00, 70 SocSci) CRN 83993
Sec. 5 (T 5:10-6:00, 105 Olson) CRN 83994
Sec. 6 (T 6:10-7:00, 244 Olson) CRN 83995

This course addresses the topic and practice of sacrifice in three major areas: sacrifice in specific religious traditions; sacrifice in the service of a country or nation; and sacrifice for romantic love. All three areas have religious implications inasmuch as they involve suffering, the pursuit of some higher ideal and/or physical or spiritual transformation, and even death. During the first part of the course we will focus on sacrificial rituals in major world religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). The central question addressed will be why has sacrifice played such a prominent part in world religions right up to the present? And what has encouraged humans to believe that supernatural beings demand the gruesome and bloody sacrificial death of men, women, children, and animals? In the second part of the course, we will examine the role sacrifice plays in formation of national identity and the promotion of patriotism. Finally we will look at Romanticism and the ideal of sacrificing oneself in the service of love. To help us understand these forms of sacrifice, we will analyze and evaluate various theories offered by scholars to explain sacrifice. Is it sufficient to understand sacrificial rituals as a means of communication with higher powers or as gift made in the hope of receiving something valuable in exchange? Or do we have to look more deeply into human nature and psychology and explain sacrifice as a response to human anxiety, aggression, and altruism? Finally, what, if any, role does gender play in sacrifice?

The course is introductory, and no prior academic study of religion is expected. The course fulfills the General Education requirement and emphasizes the development of skills in critical reading and analytic writing.

GE credits (Old): ArtHum, Div, Wrt.
GE credits (New): ArtHum, Wrt, Oral Skills, Visual Literacy, and World Cultures.


  • A Course Reader

Religious Studies 1E: Topics in Comparative Religion - Fundamentalism
Prof. Keith Watenpaugh (kwatenpaugh@ucdavis.edu)

Lecture: TR 10:30-11:50, 26 Wellman

Discussion Sections:
Sec. 1 (T 3:10-4:00, 1007 Giedt) CRN 83473
Sec. 2 (M 4:10-5:00, 151 Olson) CRN 83474
Sec. 3 (M 9:00-9:50, 70 SocSci) CRN 83475
Sec. 4 (R 4:10-5:00, 70 SocSci) CRN 83476
Sec. 5 (W 4:10-5:00, 105 Olson) CRN 83477
Sec. 6 (R 5:10-6:00, 101 Olson) CRN 83478

This course introduces students to the global and comparative study of the modern phenomenon of religious fundamentalism. Students will explore through primary and secondary material the intellectual and historical origins of fundamentalist strains in Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism. In their writing and classroom discussions, students will place these movements within their larger political, cultural and ethical contexts. Case studies include an examination of the multiple relationships between fundamentalism and science and science education; the connection between fundamentalism and political violence and terrorism; the role of fundamentalism in democratic societies; and questions of gender and sexuality and fundamentalism.

GE credits (Old): ArtHum, Div, Wrt.
GE credits (New): ArtHum, Wrt, Oral Skills, and Visual Literacy.


  • A Course Reader (Access on SmartSite)

Religious Studies 10 & 10A: Contemporary Ethical Issues - Ethical Eating
Prof. Allison Coudert (apcoudert@ucdavis.edu)

Lecture: (2 Units)
RST 10 (TR 12:10-1:30, 1003 Giedt) CRN 80142

Discussion Sections: (2 Units)
RST 10A - 01 (T 5:10-6:00, 211 Wellman) CRN 80143
RST 10A - 02 (W 6:10-7:00, 101 Olson) CRN 80144
RST 10A - 03 (R 5:10-6:00, 211 Wellman) CRN 80145

This course presents students to challenging, contemporary perspective. For this course, students will explore the the issue of ethical eating.

Note: RST 10 is a 2-unit, lecture course and can be taken by itself. Concurrent enrollment in RST 10 is required for any student enrolling in the discussion sections, RST 10A. Students only receive the GE credits if enrolled in RST 10 and 10A at the same time. Students can repeat these two courses one more time for credit if the topic differs.

GE credits (Old): ArtHum, Div, Wrt.
GE credits (New): ArtHum and Wrt.


  • Michael Pollan, An Omnivore's Dilemma
  • Simon Blackburn, Being Good: A Short Introduction to Ethics

Religious Studies 40: New Testament (4 Units)
Prof. Catherine Chin (chin@ucdavis.edu)

Lecture: MWF 12:00-1:00, 100 Hunt

Discussion Sections:
Sec. 1 (W 5:10-6:00, 159 Olson) CRN 80147
Sec. 1 (W 6:10-7:00, 159 Olson) CRN 80148
Sec. 1 (R 5:10-6:00, 163 Olson) CRN 80149
Sec. 1 (R 6:10-7:00, 163 Olson) CRN 80150
Sec. 1 (F 9:00-9:50, 163 Olson) CRN 80151
Sec. 1 (F 10:00-10:50, 163 Olson) CRN 80152

This course is an introduction to the study of earliest Christianity, and of the documents that came to be understood as a “New Testament” in the early centuries of Christian history. In order to understand these documents, we will be looking at many different aspects of the contexts in which they were written. Students will come to an understanding of how Christian thought emerged from: the political situation of Judaism in Roman Palestine; the intellectual and cultural situation of Judaism in the wider Hellenistic and Roman world; Greek and Roman religions and philosophies; Greek and Roman literary genres. Students will also learn the basic methods of modern New Testament studies, in order to understand why the academic study of the New Testament takes the shape that it does, and why New Testament scholars ask the questions that they ask.

GE credits (Old): ArtHum and Wrt.
GE credits (New): ArtHum, Wrt, and World Cultures.


  • Philip Wesley Comfort, The New Greek-English Interlinear New Testament (Tyndale House, 1993)
  • Bart Ehrman, A Brief Introduction to the New Testament - 2nd Edition
  • (Oxford, 2008)

Religious Studies 60: Introduction to Islam 
Prof. Wendy Terry (wrterry@ucdavis.edu) NEW INSTRUCTOR

TR 9:00-10:20, 158 Olson
CRN 83468

This course aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to Islam, as both a religion and a tradition consisting of various schools of thought. After examining the origin of Islam and the history and themes of the Quran as a main source of Islam, this course will give a general view of almost every important Islamic Issues such as Islamic Philosophy Islamic Mysticism (Sufism), Islamic Theology, Islamic Law, and contemporary issues such as human rights, Fundamentalism and Jihad.

GE credits (Old): ArtHum or SocSci, Div, and Wrt.
GE credits (New): ArtHum, Wrt, and World Cultures.


  • Jamal J. Elias, Islam (Prentice Hall, 1999)

Religious Studies 104: Christianity, 1450-1700 (4 Units)
Prof. Allison Coudert (apcoudert@ucdavis.edu)

TR 1:40-3:00, 102 Hutchison
CRN 83469

Most people do not realize that the period of the Catholic and Protestant Reformations (roughly 1450-1660) was one of extreme mental and physical violence, during which many individuals were compelled to abandon their most cherished beliefs, forced to flee the cities, towns, and villages in which they were born, and even killed because of their religious views. The violence characterizing the era has led some scholars to describe it as the real “Dark Ages,” when religious and secular authorities began to exert unprecedented control over the beliefs and behavior of individuals.

Orthodoxy was the flip side of heresy, and it is therefore not surprising that the Catholic Inquisition reached the apogee of its power during this time or that executions for religious deviance, witchcraft, and magic were more numerous than ever before. To be right about religion was to be right about God and salvation, and anyone who disagreed had to be on the side of the devil and deserved to die. But for all the devastation and destruction, the Reformation period also fostered new ways of thinking about God, nature, man, and society that provided the foundation for our modern world. As this course will show, the conflict between Catholics and Protestants over scripture, the sacraments, miracles, relics, and the role of saints involved crucial questions concerning the authority and credibility of the Christian revelation, the origin, antiquity, and history of the physical world, the nature of human beings, and the basis of ethics and morality. Every one of these involved the larger problem of what constitutes knowledge and how knowledge may be obtained.

GE credits (Old): ArtHum, Div, and Wrt.
GE credits (New): None.


  • Carter Lindberg, The European Reformations (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing)
  • A Course Reader (Available at Davis Copy Shop)

Religious Studies 130: Topics in Religious Studies - "Sex in Ancient Judaism and Christianity" (4 Units) - NEW COURSE
Prof. Moulie Vidas (mvidas@ucdavis.edu)

F 12:10-3:00, 141 Olson
CRN 83471

The discussion about sexual morality in our age is filled with Jewish and Christian texts from antiquity. Quotes from the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, Rabbinic texts or from the Church Fathers are continuously used today to make claims about how we should conduct our sexual lives, which passions are worthy of our embrace and which our scorn, when and whom we should marry. Yet these texts themselves come from a very different world, with different values and different facts and different passions of its own. This course examines the classical Jewish and Christian texts on sexuality within their own ancient historical context: What is lost in the modern translation? What was at stake at the different debates in antiquity? Why did rabbis have one-night marriages? What made celibacy compelling? Why did Paul suspect his audience was more promiscuous than any other group in the ancient world? How was ancient religion itself erotic? Throughout the course, we will emphasize the diversity of positions in antiquity and the socio-cultural context in which they were staked.

Note: Students can repeat this course for credit if the topic differs.

Prerequisite: Any of the RST 1 series course or consent of instructor.

GE credits (Old): None.
GE credits (New): Writing and World Cultures.


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Religious Studies 161: Modern Islam (4 Units)
Prof. Keith Watenpaugh (kwatenpaugh@ucdavis.edu)

TR 1:40-3:00, 108 Hoagland
CRN 83472

This course explores the way Muslims have engaged modernity. Examining this engagement through the three concepts of reformism, fundamentalism and secularism, students will employ primary and secondary materials to make sense of the role of Islam in the contemporary world and the way Muslims have responded to the challenges of imperialism, political change, global capitalism, the information revolution, women's rights, immigration and life in non-Muslim majority societies. Special emphasis will be placed on the thought of the Islamic Modernists including Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, Rashid Rida and Muhammad Abduh; political Islam in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood (Arab Middle East), the Islamic Party (South Asia) and the Party of Liberation (Central Asia); the development of modern and revolutionary Shiism in Iran, Lebanon and Iraq; and an introduction to the emerging role of Islam in Europe and the Western Hemisphere, including the veiling controversy in France and the Nation of Islam and Malcolm X in the US.

Prerequisite: RST 60 or consent of instructor.

GE credits (Old): ArtHum, Div, and Wrt.
GE credits (New): ArtHum, Wrt, and World Cultures.


  • A Course Reader

Religious Studies 190: Senior Seminar - "Apocalyptic Literature" (4 Units)
Prof. Moulie Vidas (mvidas@ucdavis.edu)

F 9:00-11:50, 267 Olson **NEW ROOM**
CRN 84087

This seminar examines the genre of revelation books ("apocalypses") from its origins in ancient Judaism through its development in Early Christianity. We will read both the texts that made it into the canon as well as those which were not transmitted by Jewish and Christian institutions and were only re-discovered in modern times (such as the texts found in the Dead Sea Scrolls or the so-called "Gnostic" books of Nag Hammadi). Special attention will be payed to questions of social context, literary nature, and the history of mysticism.

Sample readings: 1 Enoch; Book of Jubilees; The Sibylline Oracles; Book of Daniel; Apocalypse of John; Fourth Ezra; Ascension of Isaiah; Apocalypse of Peter; Apocalypse of Paul; Secret Revelation of John.

Note: Students can repeat this course for credit if the topic differs.

Prerequisite: Previous coursework on ancient Christianity or ancient Judaism (preferably both). Knowledge of Greek and Hebrew is an advantage. Consent of instructor required

GE credits (Old): None.
GE credits (New): None.


  • A Course Reader