Summer 2011

Session One (June 20 - July 29, 2011)

Course crn Title Instructor
RST 60 52766 Introduction to Islam A. Iravani
RST 100 53286 Issues and Methods C. Chin
RST 150 53287 Religious Ethics M. O'Keefe


Session Two (August 1 - September 9, 2011)

Course crn Title Instructor
RST 42 73685 Religion and Science Fiction W. Terry
RST 106 72995 Christianity in the Modern World M O'Keefe
RST 135 73686 Bible and Film W. Terry


For information on registration and tuition fees, please visit the UC Davis Summer Session website:

For further inquiries of courses themselves, contact the instructor directly or the Main Office at (530) 752-1219.



Religious Studies 60: Introduction to Islam 
Prof. Ahmad Iravani, Visiting Professor

MW 2:10-4:40, 101 Olson
CRN 52766

Description: 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.

There will be a final exam (40%) and a 7-10 pages term paper (40%) and (20%) will count towards the engagement and participation.

Professor Ahmad Iravani is a Professor of Law at the Catholic University of America. For any inquiries, please e-mail Prof. Iravani at or call the Main Office at (530) 752-1219.

GE credit: ArtHum or SocSci, Div, and Wrt.

Prerequisite: None.


  • Malise Ruthven, Islam in the World (Oxford, 2006)
  • Annemari Schimmel, Islam: An Introduction (State University of New York, 1992)


Religious Studies 100: Study of Religion - Methods and Issues
Prof. Catherine Chin,

TR 2:10-4:40, 227 Olson
CRN 53286

Description: In the wake of the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the discovery of the new world, religion became a problem as never before. This class explores the development of this problem from the early modern period through the present, focusing on two wide-ranging narratives. The first concerns the declining authority of God and the reciprocal ascent of the individual as it develops through Luther's theology, Descartes' epistemology, and Locke's liberalism and finally arrives in the consumer technologies of contemporary cosmopolises. The second concerns the birth and growth of the academic study of religion alongside the disciplines of anthropology, psychology, and sociology.

This class unsettles many of the un-reflective conceptions of religion that circulate today, from new-age assumptions about the difference between religion and spirituality to those guiding our foreign and domestic policy. In a world where religion is both the guarantor of mass murder and unbounded generosity, such questions have rarely been more important.

Note: This is a required course for Religious Studies major and minor.

Prerequisite: None.


  • J.N.D. Kelly, Rufinus: A Commentary on the Apostles' Creed (Paulist Press, 1978)
  • Wayne Booth, The Craft of Research, 3rd Edition (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2008)


Religious Studies 150: Religious Ethics 
Prof. Meaghan O'Keefe,

TWR 11:00-1:50, 151 Olson
CRN 5328

Description:This course is a study of the religious bases of ethics through concentration on the ethical tracts of one major tradition, or through a comparison of the attitudes of two or more traditions to a common ethical issue.




  • TBA






Religious Studies 42: Religion and Science Fiction
Prof. Wendy Terry,

TWR 10:00-11:40, 235 Wellman
CRN 73685

Description: This course introduces students to popular representations of religions, real and imagined, in modern science fiction and fantasy writing and film. Topics covered include: science fiction as contemporary myth-making; the characteristics of religion and religiosity in fictional religious movements; the relationship between religion, science, and technology in modern speculative fiction; the role of allegory and distanciation in contemporary discourse on religion; tropes of science-fiction in contemporary religious movements. Particular focus on the relevance of post-humanism to religious discourse, i.e., the implications of non-human-centered experience for religious practice and thought, and contemporary problems in defining the limits of the "human" in the imagined relationship between human and divine.

Prerequisite: None.

Readings (Tentative):

  • Neil Gaiman, American Gods: A Novel
  • Walter M. Miller, A Canticle for Leibowitz
  • Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale
  • A Course Reader


Religious Studies 106: Christianity in the Modern World
Prof. Meaghan O'Keefe,

TWR 12:10-1:50, 1116 Hart
CRN 72995

Description: 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 Credit: ArtHum, Div, Wrt.

Prerequisite: None.


  • A Course Reader


Religious Studies 135: The Bible and Film 
Prof. Wendy Terry,

Lecture/Discussion: MW 2:10-3:40, 235 Wellman
Film Viewing: MW 3:51-5:50, 235 Wellman
CRN 73686



Prerequisite: None (Film Studies 1 recommended)

A Course Reader