Summer 2014

Summer Session I  (June 23 - August 1)

Religious Studies 1. Survey of Religion (4 units)
Matthew Casey

MTWR 10:00-11:40A
116 Veihmeyer

CRN 53552

Course Description: This course is an introductory survey of religions and assumes no academic knowledge on the part of the student. We will spend the first half of the term introducing students to the Vedic traditions (Hinduism and Buddhism) and Abrahamic traditions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) through primary source readings and video clips from contemporary practice. The second half of the class will be devoted to introducing students to traditional and new religious traditions, covering examples close to home and examples from the other side of the globe. This is all done in an effort to ask questions and hopefully glean some basic understandings about religion, its place in the world, and its dynamicity. Because it would be impossible to cover all religious traditions in the time allotted for one course, students will be given the opportunity to choose a religious tradition for a group presentation to take place during the last week of class.

Prerequisite: None.

GE credits (Old): Arts & Humanities, Diversity, and Writing Experience.
GE credits (New): American Cultures, Arts & Humanities, Oral Literacy, Visual Literacy, and Writing Experience.

Format: Lecture; Discussion.


  • Saba Mahmood, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject  (Princeton University Press, 2011)
  • Jennifer Scheper Hughes, Biography of a Mexican Crucifix: Lived Religion and Local Faith from the Conquest to the Present  (Oxford University Press, 2010)

Summer Session II  (August 4 - September 12)

Religious Studies 115. Mysticism (4 units)
Wendy Terry

MW 11:00A-1:30P
1020 Wickson
CRN 73897

Course Description: This course introduces students to the historical and descriptive analysis of selected key figures in mystical traditions and readings of representative mystical texts.

Prerequisite: One lower-division Religious Studies course (except 10, 98 or 99).

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

Format: Lecture; Term Paper.


  • Thomas Merton, The Way of Chuang Tzu [2nd Edition]  (New Directions, 2010)
  • Daniel C. Matt, The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism  (HarperOne, 2009)
  • Plato, The Symposium and The Phaedo, translated by Raymond Larson  (Wiley-Blackwell, 1980)

Religious Studies 135. The Bible and Film (4 units)
Wendy Terry

MWF 2:10-4:55P
1020 Wickson
CRN 73898

Course Description: Examination of the uses of the Judeo-Christian scriptures in film. Topics include dramatic depictions of biblical stories, the tension between science and religion, allegorical treatments of biblical themes, and the problems of religious conviction.

To meet the course description, this class will view ten movies roughly divided into two categories: 1) Movies with biblical themes, and 2) Movies based on biblical narrative. Students will also read weekly academic analyses of the movies that we view together. 

Movies will include:

The Ten Commandments  (Cecil B. Demille, 1956)
Decalogue [selections]  (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1990)
Blade Runner  (Ridley Scott, 1982)
Contact  (Robert Zemeckis, 1997)
Magnolia  (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1999)
Jesus Christ Superstar  (Norman Jewison, 1973)
Monty Python’s Life of Brian  (Terry Jones, 1979)
The Last Temptation of Christ  (Martin Scorsese, 1988)
Jesus of Montreal  (Denys Arcand, 1989)
The Passion of the Christ  (Mel Gibson, 2004)

Students will be evaluated on participation in discussion, weekly analytical analyses of the movies we view together, one final course essay, a review of one movie viewed independently, and one project (creative or analytical).

Prerequisite: Film Studies 1 (formerly known as Humanities 10) recommended.

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

Format: Lecture; Film-Viewing; Term Paper.


  • A Course Reader