Course Descriptions


Spring Quarter (S19)

Dept/Description Course No., Title  Instructor

None Found

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

Spring Quarter (S19)

Dept Course No., Title   Instructor

Lectures and discussion on controversial topics in religion: sexual morality; religious violence; science; treatment of women and girls; religious truth, American Constitutional matters; secularization; the future of religion, and other topics. Same as HISTORY16C.
Days: TU TH  11:00-12:20 PM


This course surveys how the contested analytics of race and religion have drawn upon each other to shape individual and group identities in the United States, through two vectors. One, the course will explore specific conceptual sites—such as religious freedom, Orientalism, sacrifice, conversion as “passing,” and settler colonialism—to understand how ideas about religious being underlined or justified racialized performances. Two, by looking at different accounts of religion, we will also wrestle with how modern genealogies of religion are inherently racial in character. The course will be as much about understanding subjects who feel and navigate their ways through race and religion as it will be about seeing how people have thought about these dual realities as an object of study.
Days: MW  02:00-03:20 PM


This year’s course on the Divine Comedy will study the way in which Dante uses irony to upset the quotidian, earthly certitudes and perspectives we employ to make sense of the Inferno and Purgatorio. Romantic criticism with its titanism, exalted such figures as Francesca, Farinata, Pier della Vigna, and Count Ugolino, swooning over the “tragedy” of their damnation, but reading no further. Carefully read, the play of Dante’s Inferno achieves the contrary of exaltation: the glance backward from the education imparted by the Paradiso–axiological, epistemological and critical fulcrum of the poem–reveals the error that makes the damned glorious in the eyes of the world, and indeed, even attractive to us readers. Having arrived at such insight, retrospection of the Inferno and Purgatorio reveals the subtle way in which the play of the poem’s figuralism subverts the “natural” reading. We see what we may have overlooked before. Reading sub specie aeternitatis, our entire reading of the earlier canti changes completely. Thus do we overcome the wisdom of this world in favor of the foolishness of God. We will study this constellation of themes as part of an introduction to the three canticles of the poem. We shall also concern ourselves with understanding the Divine Comedy in relation to the traditions of Christian rationalism. Understanding the meaning of love in Christianity and its metamorphic power. Understanding the importance of conversion to salvation, and what it asks of the reader; the concept of eternity, the spiritual development of the soul and its relation to the renunciation of goods; the poem’s overall transaction with the reader; love in its relation to sin; the vice of pride; the relationship between reason and the mysteria. Understanding the relation between the three canticles and their differences and the way the poem figures its own nature and task. Understanding the way in which the poem moves from romantic opacity to rationalist transparency.
Days: MWF  02:00-02:50 PM


ASIANAM 143/SOCIOL 136. Approved course for Religious Studies.
While the 2012 Pew Report on Religion accurately notes the religious diversity of Asian Americans, Christians remain the largest subset of this group. This course will provide a survey of Asian American Christianities through a variety of historical, ethnographic, literary, and religious texts. We will see how Asian American Christians have adopted and interpreted their Christian beliefs and practices in relation to their ethnic and racial identities, as well as how larger discourses of race and immigration have corresponded to broadly Christian ideas about conversion and belonging. Specific issues of religious practice, intergenerational relationships, gender and sexuality, and political solidarity are among the topics that will be explored in this course.
Days: MW  12:00-01:20 PM