Religious Traditions

RLST 101 Introducing Religious Studies: Encounters with the Divine in Ancient Mediterranean Dialogue (3)
This course will broaden students’ understanding of the nature and complexities of religion and  allow them to gain an understanding of how religion interacts with other aspects of culture by  examining the worldviews, beliefs, practices, symbols, and social formations of Greco-Roman  religions, Second Temple Judaism, and Pauline Christianity. The course is divided into three  sections devoted to each of these three religious traditions. As this occurs, students will explore  each religion’s capacity to provide meaning to life, while considering their potential to challenge  and transform individuals and societies. Topics such as God/gods, myth, cosmology, evil,  sickness, suffering, death, afterlife, ethics, ritual, love, mysticism/prayer, and community will be  addressed. The study of these religious ideas and expressions will be done by reading ancient  writings and contemporary secondary texts. Early Christianity will be encountered through the  mission and writings of Paul the Apostle. While studying Greco-Roman religions, Second  Temple Judaism, and Pauline Christianity and the cultural norms within which these three  religions thrived, similar and/or divergent religious ideas from contemporary American popular  culture are also highlighted to show similarities and differences from contemporary cultural  practices and beliefs. Students will consider how these ancient religions’ search for meaning,  particularly Christianity’s, is still relevant to humanity’s search for meaning today. The ancient  world in which these three religions thrived, much like ours today, was a world full of dramatic  changes, rapid development, increased urbanization, potential prosperity, and potential danger.  Thus, students will gain an understanding of how these three ancient religions helped people to  cope with all of the challenges of ancient life and to feel at home in the cosmos.

RLST 101 Introducing Religious Studies: Conversion (3)
This course is an introduction to the subject of conversion. It will focus on the following questions: Why does an individual leave one set of beliefs for another? How does this take place? What are the practical consequences for the new believer? How does a conversion change the convert’s relationship to the world around him or her? With these questions in mind, we will begin by reading texts that define conversion in academic terms and then will apply those terms to fictional and non-fictional case studies, specifically the autobiography of Abby Stein, the biography of Malcolm X, and the literature of Yaa Gyasi and Sinan Antoon.

RLST 101: Introducing Religious Studies: Ideas and Experiences (3)
This course introduces students to the study of religion and theological inquiry. Through a variety of sources it explores the meaning of religion in personal and cultural life. In this course, we work to describe and explain theological notions including God, revelation, the human person, community, and the good life in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. From there, we turn to the relationship between theological ideas and religious practices. Throughout the course, we attend to plurality and change. We focus on the experiences of women in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This course also satisfies LO2 Women's Voices and LO2 Critical Thinking Seminar.

RLST 101 Introducing Religious Studies: World Religions in Dialogue (3)
How can learning about religion help us understand others, our world, and ourselves? This writing-intensive course will explore that question as we gain a sound basic understanding of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, and the nature of religion. We’ll take three main approaches. First, we’ll practice scholarly tools that will help us understand religions, others, and ourselves better. Second, we’ll learn some of the major concepts that make these religions distinctive, and perhaps make them similar as well. Finally, we’ll examine how religions and interreligious dialogue are portrayed in different kinds of media, including contemporary news stories. Students will also have the opportunity to develop skills needed for college-level and professional writing. This course also satisfies LO3 Intercultural Competence . Section 71951 also satisfies LO2 Critical Thinking Seminar.

RLST 101W Introducing Religious Studies: World Religions in Dialogue (3.5)
A unit of a tandem, taken in conjunction with ENLT 151W: Inherited Tales.  The content of this course is similar to that of RLST 101 Introducing Religious Studies: World Religions in Dialogue. This course also satisfies LO3 Intercultural Competence and provides students the opportunity to earn the W.