Spring 2012

Course CRN Title Instructor
RST 1G - Myth, Ritual, and Symbolism N. Janowitz
  93684 (sec. 1, Discussion Section)  
  93685 (sec. 2, Discussion Section)  
  93686 (sec. 3, Discussion Section)  
  93687 (sec. 4, Discussion Section)  
  93688 (sec. 5, Discussion Section)  
  93689 (sec. 6, Discussion Section)  
RST 10 89859 Topic: "The Devil" A. Coudert
RST 30 93528 Religions of South Asia M. Elmore
RST 105 93533 Christianity 1700-1920 A. Coudert
RST 106 93529 Christianity in the Contemporary World M. O'Keefe
RST 110 93530 Life, Meaning and Identity M. Elmore
RST 115 94170 Mysticism W. Terry
RST 122 93531 Topic: "Book of Ezekiel" W. Terry
RST 163 93532 The Social Life of Islam F. Miller

 


Religious Studies 1G: Myth, Ritual, and Symbolism
Prof. Naomi Janowitz, nhjanowitz@ucdavis.edu

Lecture: TR 3:10-4:30, 1001 Giedt

Discussion Sections:
Sec. 1 (T 7:10-8:00, 159 Olson) CRN 93684
Sec. 2 (T 5:10-6:00, 105 Olson) CRN 93685
Sec. 3 (T 6:10-7:00, 105 Olson) CRN 93686
Sec. 4 (W 4:10-5:00, 117 Olson) CRN 93687
Sec. 5 (W 5:10-6:00, 117 Olson) CRN 93688
Sec. 6 (W 6:10-7:00, 159 Olson) CRN 93689

(Coming Soon)

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

Texts:

  • (TBA)

Religious Studies 10: Contemporary Ethical Issues - "The Devil" (2 units)
Prof. Allison Coudert, apcoudert@ucdavis.edu

TR 12:10-1:00, 1322 Storer NEW TIME
CRN 89859

The Devil has fascinated artists, writers, and poets in every age, not least our own. Neither tragedy nor comedy would exist without the Devil. Part rebel and part clown, he is the incarnation of everything evil, terrifying, and grotesque in the world and in ourselves. His presence reveals the collective fantasies of all those who rebel against social norms and long to experience everything forbidden. He legitimizes hatred, violence, and persecution, but he also allows us to laugh. The figure of the Devil appears most clearly in the three "Abrahamic" religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, but in all ages and places, human beings have been confronted with the same traumatic experiences of injustice, deprivation, suffering, disease, and death. They only differ in how they have understood and reacted to these unsolicited evils and to whom or what they attribute them—demons, gods, fate, human nature, or the dreaded, feared, and hated “other.” The readings for this class take a cross-cultural approach to the problem of evil, drawing on the work of theologians, philosophers, anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, writers, and artists. There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says, “Reading prescriptions does not make one well.” Reading about evil will not make us good, but it does make it just that little bit harder to excuse evil actions on the grounds of ignorance or compulsion.

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

Texts:

  • A Course Reader

Religious Studies 30: Religions of South Asia
Prof. Mark Elmore, mkelmore@ucdavis.edu

TR 10:30-11:50, 212 Veihmeyer
CRN 93528

The goal of this course is to introduce students to the vibrant religious traditions of South Asia. The course will examine Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, and Jain traditions as well as the ancient and modern contexts in which they are situated. In order to guide our inquiries, we will focus the ways that various problems (material, intellectual, political) have served as catalysts for the formation and dissolution of communities of interpretation and practice.

One of the primary goals of this course is to reexamine the multiple pasts of South Asia without projecting modern categories onto those traditions. Accordingly, we will examine Upanisadic texts and the four noble truths as more than tenants of "Hinduism" or "Buddhism." Throughout the course we will ask how appropriate these concepts are for understanding the premodern traditions of South Asia. The class will include extensive use of visual resources in addition to traditional texts.

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

Texts:

  • (TBA)

Religious Studies 105: Christianity 1700-1920
Prof. Allison Coudert, apcoudert@ucdavis.edu

TR 9:00-10:20, 105 Olson
CRN 93533

This course investigates the reaction of Christian critics and apologists to the profound scientific, philosophical, and cultural transformations marking the period from the late seventeenth to the early twentieth century. This period witnessed the most serious intellectual assaults on Christianity (and religion in general) in western history. Not only was the existence of God questioned, but so too were the historical authorship and veracity of Christian Scriptures, the reality and identity of Jesus, and the existence of the soul and its immortality. In many cases the authority of institutional Churches was rejected in favor of individual conscience, and the uniqueness and superiority of the Christian revelation was denied in favor of a “natural religion” available to all men at all times. The period witnessed the creation of a world in which change, progress, an appreciation of science, commitment to tolerance, and respect for the individual came to the fore. At the same time, however, the excesses of the French Revolution and subsequent “Terror” created a conservative backlash and intensified the fear that unrestrained criticism was bound to lead to atheism, fatalism, and nihilism, in short, to secularization and the “disenchantment of the world.” In addition, social critics deplored the increasing materialism, consumerism, and utilitarian spirit characteristic of modern urban and industrial society and the effect these had in undermining religious beliefs. For many people, however, the most severe blow to religion and traditional ways of thinking came in the form of Darwin’s theory of evolution and the Social Darwinism that emerged from it. It is no coincidence that out of this cauldron of new and contentious ideas a new form of biblical fundamentalism and the apocalyptic thought that often accompanies it developed. These divisive issues, which were at the heart of the conflict between religious liberals and conservatives in the two hundred years under review, anticipated our own era’s conflicts, and they were no less contentious then than they are today. Such conflict is, perhaps, an aspect of modernity itself.

I think we will have a lot of interesting issues to discuss!

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

Prerequisites: None.

Texts:

  • A Course Reader

Religious Studies 106: Christianity in the Contemporary World
Prof. Meaghan O'Keefe, mmokeefe@ucdavis.edu

TR 3:10-4:30, 167 Olson
CRN 93529

This course examines Christianity in the twentieth century and in the contemporary world. Topics to be covered include: the rise of Christianity in traditionally non-Christian cultures, such as South Korea and China; competition between new Christian movements and established Christian denominations, particularly in Latin America and Africa; the decline of Christianity in traditionally Christian areas, as in Western Europe. Particular attention will be paid to the relationship of Christian movements to social, economic, and political issues in the contemporary state, for example in Latin American liberation theology, the rise of the U.S. Christian Right, and in the evolution of different forms of Christianity in the former communist bloc.

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

Prerequisites: None.

Texts:

  • A Course Reader

Religious Studies 110: Life, Meaning and Identity
Prof. Mark Elmore, mkelmore@ucdavis.edu

TR 1:40-3:00, 148 Physics
CRN 9xxxx

This course is an experiment in thinking, teaching, and learning. In the class, we will develop three lines of inquiry. The first offers a broad outline of existentialist philosophy; we will use texts from Martin Heidegger, Jean Paul Sartre, and Paul Tillich, to reflect on the human condition, the formulation of meaning, and our confrontation with death. To facilitate the comprehension of these difficult thinkers, we will read these texts alongside a series of films, select readings from contemporary Buddhist sources, and several short articles that address issues of contemporary concern (things like our use of anxiolytics, current research into “junk DNA,” the moral hazard of debt, and why so many college graduates end up living with their parents). In the process, it will become clear that understanding these thinkers requires a mode of engagement transcending the listen-memorize-repeat pattern of education. It requires intensive self-scrutiny and self-examination.

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

Prerequisites: Any course in the RST 1 series or upper division standing.

Texts:

  • A Course Reader

Religious Studies 115: Mysticism
Prof. Wendy Terry, wrterry@ucdavis.edu

MWF 10:00-10:50, 101 Olson
CRN 94170

This course introduces ...

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

Prerequisites: One lower division Religious Studies course.

Texts:

  • A Course Reader

Religious Studies 122: Studies in Biblical Text - "Book of Ezekiel"
Prof. Wendy Terry, wrterry@ucdavis.edu

MWF 11:00-11:50, 101 Olson
CRN 93531

This course introduces ... Students can take this course for the second time for credit if the topic is different from the last time the course was offered.

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

Prerequisites: Religious Studies 21.

Texts:

  • A Course Reader

Religious Studies 163: The Social Life of Islam
Prof. Flagg Miller, fmiller@ucdavis.edu

TR 3:10-4:30, 227 Olson
CRN 93532

This course provides an introduction to culture and social life in Muslim societies. Part of the course focuses on Muslim rituals, ethical values, verbal genres, family life, sexuality and veiling, and youth culture. Special attention will be given during these weeks to the ways such variables correlate with social and economic transformations underway in the Islamic world. The second half of the course examines the plurality of traditions in Muslim faith, reason, and everyday practice. We will explore core doctrinal orientations alongside popular currents of moral authority. The spread of secondary education through the 20th-century, along with the growing use of new media technologies to achieve civil reform, provide the background for exploring the role of what has been termed the new intellectual in modern Muslim culture and politics. One of the principal aims of the course will be to develop an appreciation for the flexible application of sustained traditions of Muslim moral inquiry.

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

Prerequisites: None.

Texts:

  • A Course Reader