Summer 2013

Summer Session I 

June 24 - August 2, 2013

Course CRN Title Instructor
RST 60              52863              Introduction to Islam         A. Iravani
RST 100      Course was cancelled on 5/22/2013
RST 134 53433 Human Rights M. O'Keefe             
RST 145      Course was cancelled on 6/17/2013

Religious Studies 60. Introduction to Islam (4 units)
Ahmad Iravani,

MW 2:10-4:40P
163 Olson
CRN 52863

Course 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 issue 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 and a 7-10 page term paper and engagement and participation will also count towards the final grade.

Prerequisite:  None.

GE credits (Old): Arts & Humanities or Social Sciences, Domestic Diversity and Writing Experience.
GE credits (New): Arts & Humanities, World Cultures and Writing Experience. 

Format: Lecture/Discussion - 3 hours; Extensive Writing.


  • Annemarie Schimmel, Islam: An Introduction (SUNY Press, 1992)
  • John L. Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path (Oxford University Press, 2010)

     "Religious Studies 100. Study of Religion: Issues and Methods" was cancelled on 5/22/2013

Religious Studies 134. Human Rights (4 units)
Meaghan O'Keefe,

TR 2:10-4:00P
163 Olson
CRN 53433

Course Description: This course considers the topic of human rights. We will consider what they are, where they come from, and where these ideas about rights are going. We will study the religious justifications for rights as well as the emergence of secular notions of both what it means to be human and what it means to have rights. We will analyze specific contexts in which human rights have been contested and discuss how governmental structures and international organizations create these conflicts and what, if anything, can be done to resolve them.

Prerequisite:  None.  (Students who have completed RST 90 are ineligible to recieve credit for RST 134)

GE credits (Old): Arts & Humanities and Domestic Diversity.
GE credits (New): Arts & Humanities or Social Sciences, World Cultures and Writing Experience. 

Format: Lecture/Discussion - 3 hours; Term Paper.


  • Jean Quataert, Advocating Dignity: Human Rights Mobilizations in Global Politics(University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010)
  • Samuel Moyn, The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History (Belknap Press, 2012)

    "Religious Studies 145. Contemporary American Religion" was cancelled on 6/17/2013

Summer Session II 

August 5 - September 13, 2013

Course CRN Title Instructor
RST 45 73751 Christianity W. Terry
RST 102          73752          Christian Origins            W. Terry
RST 131 73753 Genocide A. Dooley
RST 170 73013 Buddhism M. Elmore         

Religious Studies 45. Christianity (4 units)
Wendy Terry,

TWR 12:10-1:50P
227 Olson
CRN 73751

Course Description: This course introduces Christianity as a global phenomenon. We will begin with the basics of Christianity in the ancient Mediterranean world, and discuss its growth and transformation as it moved through Syria, Persia, China, Africa, India, Europe, and (lastly) the Americas. There will be short writing assignments and term paper required.

Prerequisite:  None.

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

Format: Lecture/Discussion - 3 hours; Term Paper.


  • A Course Reader

Religious Studies 102. Christian Origins (4 units)
Wendy Terry,

TWR 2:10-3:50P
227 Olson
CRN 73752

Course Description: This course is designed as an introduction to early Christian thought and practice for advanced undergraduates. It will focus on the intellectual and social issues that preoccupied Christian thinkers from approximately the year 100 to approximately the year 500, and will examine the ways in which early Christians thought about the content of the statement “I am a Christian.” These are the dominant questions behind the course:

  • What were different Christian identities, and how did people claim them?
  • How did Christian communities develop rituals and beliefs (and vice versa)?
  • How and why did Christian identities change over the first five centuries?

These questions cannot be answered in a single quarter course. In order to begin to address them, this course takes just two major themes in early Christian thought - the idea of a social and ritual community, or church, and the idea of a set of fundamental identifying beliefs, or a creed—and introduces some of the diverse approaches that Christian writers took in thinking about them.

Prerequisite:  RST 40.

GE credits (Old): Arts & Humanities, Domestic Diversity and Writing Experience.
GE credits (New): Arts & Humanities, World Cultures and Writing Experience. 

Format: Lecture/Discussion - 3 hours; Term Paper.


  • Veselin Kesich, Formation and Struggles: The Church AD 33-450: The Birth of the Church AD 33-200 (Saint Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2007)
  • John Meyendorff, Imperial Unity and Christian Divisions: The Church 450-680 AD(Saint Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2011)

Religious Studies 131. Genocide (4 units)
Andrea Dooley,

MW 11:00-1:30P
167 Olson
CRN 73753

Course Description: This course focuses on comparative and critical approach to the modern phenomenon of genocide from ethical, historical and religious perspectives. This course takes neither a bestiary approach to the study of genocide; nor does it seek to determine which genocide was worse. It is based on the proposition that the modern phenomenon of genocide can be studied from a comparative, critical theoretical perspective while simultaneously preserving the specificity and distinctive nature of each genocidal moment. Several genocides of the 20th and 21st centuries are examined through different thematic fields. The course will consider the links between modernity and genocide, and the steps that could be taken to prevent/punish genocide in the future and explore the concept of restorative justice. A term paper will engage students in the comparison of two or more genocides using primary and secondary material.

Prerequisite:  One course from RST 1, 2, 3A, 3B, or 3C or consent of instructor.

GE credits (Old): Arts & Humanities and Domestic Diversity.
GE credits (New): Arts & Humanities or Social Sciences, Visual Literacy, World Cultures and Writing Experience. 

Format: Lecture/Discussion - 3 hours; Term Paper.


  • Eric D. Weitz, A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation (Princeton University Press, 2005)

Religious Studies 170. Buddhism (4 units)
Mark Elmore,

TR 11:00-1:30P
167 Olson
CRN 73013

Course Description: This course introduces students to the traditions of practice and reflection commonly called Buddhism.  It provides an introduction to the life of the Buddha, the basic teaching of the Buddha, the later development of various traditions in South Asia, and the transformations of these traditions beyond the Indian subcontinent.  Given the enormous scope of such an endeavor, the course must (regrettably) gloss over important developments in the history of Buddhist traditions.  To guide our inquiries, we will focus on the negotiation of ideals and actualities—between the ideal of the Buddha’s perfection and our intractable imperfections, between the ideals of scriptural dictums and the messiness of human life, between the abstractions of philosophical reflection and the experience of Insight, between the ideals of classical Indian Buddhism and the mutations of contemporary American Buddhism. 

Prerequisite:  None.

GE credits (Old): None.
GE credits (New): Arts & Humanities, Visual Literacy and World Cultures.

Format: Lecture - 3 hours; Term Paper.


  • All Readings will be on SmartSite