Religious Studies - UC Irvine Quarterly Approved Courses

Current Courses

Course Term (Y=Summer Session 1, Z=Session 2):  

Courses Offered by other Humanities Departments

Fall Quarter
Dept Course No., Title   Instructor
ART HIS (F15)114  MEDIEVAL SPAINBETANCOURT, R.

This course looks at the immense diversity of people and religions in Medieval Spain, looking at the life, culture, and art of Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Iberian Peninsula and its connections with the rest of Mediterranean world. Particular attention will be given to the notion of convivencia, or living-together, among these disparate but intimately connected groups. The course as such considers the role and effects of multiculturalism in the medieval world. Each week focuses on another city or region, looking closely at the art, literature, and culture of the site in question as a way of orienting the course’s historical and thematic issues.
Days: MO WE  01:30-02:50 PM

ART HIS (F15)155A  ANCIENT INDIAPATEL, A.

This course will examine the visual history of the region defined as ‘India’ today, but necessarily encompassing parts of modern Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and eastern Afghanistan. After an introduction to the Indus Valley Civilization (2700-1500 BCE), we will explore the legacies of Alexander the Great's campaigns to the edges of India and their impact on the Buddhist art and architecture of the Indian subcontinent. We will also examine the inverse dispersal of Buddhist and Hindu iconographies both eastward and westward in Asia. The course will culminate with the supposed Golden Age of the Gupta empire and its far-reaching legacies from Iran to China.
Days: TU TH  11:00-12:20 PM

ART HIS (F15)40A  ANC EGYPT GRC ROMEMILES, M.

In this course we study the Great Pyramids and Sphinx, the Palace of Minos at Knossos, the Parthenon, the Venus de Milo and Winged Victory, Pompeii, the Colosseum and Pantheon in Rome:  a selection of the art and architecture around the early Mediterranean, admired for many centuries or in some instances only recently excavated. We consider how and why the peoples of antiquity created art and architecture, the significance of art within its social, religious and historical context, how visual arts can illuminate cultural issues, and how ancient art takes on various meanings to us today. Some attention is given to archaeological methods, and the issues of ownership, conservation and presentation of ancient artifacts.

Rel Std Category: 3

Days: MO WE  10:00-10:50 AM

ART HIS (F15)42A  ARTS OF INDIAPATEL, A.

This course explores the art and architecture of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka from ancient through contemporary times. We will learn about the Indus Valley, the Bamiyan Buddhas, Hindu temples, the Taj Mahal, and other architectural masterpieces. We will explore modern and contemporary works of art and the effects of nationhood on cultural and political identities. Our study of the Indic visual traditions will include the world’s great religions, such as Islam, and the wide pantheon of gods and goddesses of Buddhism and Hinduism. No prerequisite.

Rel Std Category: 2

Days: TU TH  02:00-03:20 PM

CLASSIC (F15)37B  ROMAN EMPIREZISSOS, P.

The course is a survey of some of the highlights of Roman civilization during the early centuries of the Roman empire (end of the first century BCE to the third century CE). In this period, the Roman world was ruled by emperors who increasingly came to have absolute power. We will look not only at political history, but also at social history, literature, art and architecture and religion. The course will consider a number of questions, including the political and social consequences of living under absolute an absolute ruler - especially when, as was often the case, he was unbalanced. This is the period of "bread and circuses" in which the emperors bought off the lower classes by providing the grain dole and spectacular free entertainment such as chariot races and gladiatorial contests. We will also look at how the emergence of Christianity affected the Roman world, and how complex social systems and entrenched institutions such as slavery evolved over time. The early centuries of the empire were a time of great prosperity in which Roman power reached its zenith; it was a period of relative stability but also, in some respects, a time of decadence, which has been a source of both admiration and loathing for almost all subsequent ages, including our own.

Rel Std Category: 1

Days: M W F  09:00-09:50 AM

CLASSIC (F15)45A  THE GODSKARANIKA, A.

Classics 45A is the first part of a three-quarter course on Classical Mythology. This class will be an introduction to the most important Greek and Roman myths, their historical and religious context, various interpretations and influence upon ancient and modern art, film and literature. Some of the topics we will discuss are: the creation of the universe, relations between gods and mortals, gender and sexuality, love, marriage, death and afterlife. We will use a standard textbook, but we will also read selected passages from primary sources such as Hesiod's Theogony, Ovid's Metamorphoses and selections from Greek tragedy. The course will make regular use of ancillary visual materials, especially computer resources. The grade for this course will be based on a combination of multiple-choice quizzes and short essay exams. Classics 45A is the first part of the Classical Mythology series (45ABC), which satisfies the Humanities General Education Requirement IV.

Rel Std Category: 2

Days: M W F  10:00-10:50 AM

ENGLISH (F15)106  SECULARISMTUCKER, I.

Spirit, World, State: Secularism and its Limits
In this course, we will examine the historical processes by which various religious communities came to understand the connections and distinctions among their spiritual, ritual and worldly lives.  How did the emergence of modern ideas of the state in the 17th and 18th centuries change the way people thought about the nature of God’s authority?  Does the relation of God’s power to the power of the government change when the government is elected instead of led by a monarch?  How do different monotheistic religious communities – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – conceive of the relations between the authority of their creed and the authority of the states they inhabit?  Does the most common understanding of secularism – the concept of a “separation of church and state” – rest upon a set of assumptions borrowed from one model of religion and not others, or is such an understanding equally applicable to all three versions of monotheism?

We will begin by reading some of the 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-century texts that were foundational in theorizing and establishing the relations of state and religious authority, including work by Filmer, Locke, Mendelssohn, Mill and Kierkegaard.  In the second half of the course, we will turn our attention to the work of contemporary theorists who analyze and critique many of the accepted models of secularism including Judith Butler, Wendy Brown, Charles Taylor, Talal Asad, Akhil Bilgrami, and Saba Mahmood.

Rel Std Category: 1,3

Days: TU TH  02:00-03:20 PM

EURO ST (F15)10  EUROPE & MODERNITYSMITH, J.

The goal of this course is to explore how processes Europe helped shape the modern (western) world we live in today. We will concentrate on the period between roughly 1500 and 1800. This is the period that includes such developments as the Protestant Reformation, the scientific and industrial revolutions, the rise of capitalism, global exploration and colonialism (including the slave trade), the Enlightenment, Romanticism, the age of revolutions, and secularization. We will consider these crucial developments from a variety of perspectives in the social sciences (economics, political theory, sociology) and the humanities (art, literature, music, and philosophy).

Topics to be discussed are:
1. Luther, the Reformation, the end of the Middle Ages, the birth of the modern individual (in conscience), and the “spirit of capitalism” in the Protestant work ethic;
2. The rise of science and the mathematization of nature;
3. European encounters with Islam and the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire;
4. The horrors of the Thirty Years’ War and the Age of the Baroque; how the modern system of the nation state and rationalist approaches to God and nature emerged out of the wars of religion;
5. Enlightenment concepts of reason and inherent limits of the Enlightenment project;
6. The French Revolution as a culmination of and challenge to the long history we have studied.
Readings in the course will focus on selections from primary texts.
Grading based on attendance of lectures, short response papers and quizzes on readings, midterm and final exams.

THIS COURSE FULFILLS GE CATEGORIES III or IV, AND VIII

Rel Std Category: 1

Days: TU TH  11:00-12:20 PM

HEBREW (F15)50  HEBREW&ISRAEL CULTRPARKS, M.

Examination of the rich world of Jewish Mysticism in its historical and modern day contexts and its place in Jewish Tradition and Israeli culture. We will focus on Kabbalah and Chassidism and will note their differences and their interconnections. The original texts of the great Kabbalists and Chassidic Masters will provide our source material throughout the course.  Our clear and definite goal will be the demystification of the mystical!  Weekly quizzes & assignments, midterm, and final exam. 

No knowledge of Hebrew is required; all readings are in English.

This course satisfies GE IV and VIII.

Rel Std Category: 1

Days: TU TH  12:30-01:50 PM

HISTORY (F15)132H  IRAN: ANCIENT CITIESMOUSAVI, S.

Ancient Cities of Iranian Empires: Iran, Mesopotamia, Central Asia 4000BC to 1900.

Rel Std Category: 1,3

Days: FR  10:00-12:50 PM

HISTORY (F15)16A  WORLD RELIGIONS IMCKENNA, J.

This is a lecture course (with discussion sections) surveying major theistic religions and other religious and non-religious trends in the West. You must sign up for a separate 50-minute small-group Discussion period that meets once a week beginning the first week. Through lectures and reading, this class will expose you to the principal historical events, major figures, basic ideas, essential practices, key texts, notable artifacts, and significant trends in scholarship concerning the religions under review. Weekly reading and writing. Three or four essay tests.

This satisfies one course for G.E. category IV and VII.

Days: MO WE  11:00-11:50 AM

HISTORY (F15)21A  WORLD:INNOVATIONSRAPHAEL, R.

How does the legacy of human evolution affect our world today?  How have technological innovations shaped human societies?  How have human societies explained the natural world and their place in it?  Given the abundance of religious beliefs in the world, how have three evangelical faiths spread far beyond their original homelands?

This class follows the major themes of world historical development through the sixteenth century to consider how developments in technology, social organization, and religion—from the origins of farming to the rise of Christianity—shaped the world we live in today. 

This satisfies one course for G.E. category IV and VII.

Rel Std Category: 3

Days: MO WE  11:00-11:50 AM

HISTORY (F15)70E  ISLAMIC HISTORYLE VINE, M.

Rel Std category: 1
Days: TU TH  09:30-10:50 AM

Courses Offered by the Religious Studies Minor or other Schools at UCI

Fall Quarter
Dept Course No., Title   Instructor
REL STD (F15)5A  WORLD RELIGIONS IMCKENNA, J.

This is a lecture course (with discussions) surveying major theistic religions and other religious and non-religious trends in the West. You must sign up for a separate 50-minute small-group Discussion period that meets once a week beginning the first week. Through lectures and reading, this class will expose you to the principal historical events, major figures, basic ideas, essential practices, key texts, notable artifacts, and significant trends in scholarship concerning the religions under review. Weekly reading and writing. Three or four essay tests.

Category: Core

Days: M W F  11:00-11:50 AM

REL STD (F15)122  ANCIENT INDIAPATEL, A

This course will examine the visual history of the region defined as ‘India’ today, but necessarily encompassing parts of modern Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and eastern Afghanistan. After an introduction to the Indus Valley Civilization (2700-1500 BCE), we will explore the legacies of Alexander the Great's campaigns to the edges of India and their impact on the Buddhist art and architecture of the Indian subcontinent. We will also examine the inverse dispersal of Buddhist and Hindu iconographies both eastward and westward in Asia. The course will culminate with the supposed Golden Age of the Gupta empire and its far-reaching legacies from Iran to China.

Same as ART HIS 155A and HISTORY 170A

Category: 2

Days: T TH  11:00-12:20 PM

 

 

 
   


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