2016-17 Edition

Undergraduate Program in Religious Studies

Jack Miles, Director
400 Murray Krieger Hall
949-824-6735
http://www.humanities.uci.edu/religious_studies/

Overview

Religious Studies includes an interdisciplinary major and minor that focus on the comparative understanding of the various ways different peoples, across space and through time, have developed their religious ideas, values, systems, beliefs, rituals, and traditions in response to fundamental questions of human existence. The curriculum seeks to provide a wide-ranging academic understanding and knowledge of the religious experience in society through study in the Schools of Humanities, Social Sciences, Social Ecology, and the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. As an interdisciplinary academic discipline, the study of religion offers a rigorous, systematic, and dispassionate intellectual inquiry into various aspects of religious systems, their practitioners and outlooks, and their goals and expressions. It employs a wide variety of approaches and methods in order to understand the role of religion in both human experience and thought.

Students in the Religious Studies major complete an emphasis either in World Religious Traditions, or, more particularly in Judaism/Christianity/Islam.

Categories and Approved Courses

The complete list of approved courses varies from quarter to quarter, depending upon course scheduling. For complete up-to-date information on approved courses, please consult the Religious Studies website.

Core Faculty 

Elizabeth Allen, Department of English

Carol Burke, Department of English

James T. Chiampi, Department of European Languages and Studies

Susan Bibler Coutin, Departments of Criminology, Law and Society and Anthropology

Touraj Daryaee, Department of History

Rebecca Davis, Department of English

James B. Given (Emeritus), Department of History

Qitao Guo, Department of History

Lamar M. Hill (Emeritus), Department of History

Bonnie Kent, Department of Philosophy

Susan B. Klein, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures

James Kyung-Jin Lee, Departments of Asian American Studies and English

Matthias Lehmann, Department of History

Karen Leonard (Emerita), Department of Anthropology

Mark A. LeVine, Department of History

Jayne Lewis, Department of English

Julia Reinhard Lupton, Departments of English, Comparative Literature, and Education

Steven Mailloux (Emeritus), Department of English

Nancy McLoughlin, Department of History

Jack Miles (Emeritus), Department of English

Keith L. Nelson (Emeritus), Department of History

Alka Patel, Department of Art History

Victoria Silver, Department of English  

Affiliated Faculty 

Francisco J. Ayala, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Stanley Bailey, Department of Sociology

Linda Freeman Bauer (Emerita), Department of Art History

Victoria Bernal, Department of Anthropology

Susan K. Brown, Department of Sociology

Vinayak Chaturvedi, Department of History

Yong Chen, Department of History

Chungmoo Choi, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures

Michael A. Fuller, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures

Alexander Gelley (Emeritus), Department of Comparative Literature

Linda Georgianna (Emerita), Department of English

Anna Gonosová (Emerita), Department of Art History

Judy C. Ho (Emerita), Department of Art History

S. Nicholas Jolley (Emeritus), Department of Philosophy

Aaron Kheriaty, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior

Gerald Larson, Research Professor, Department of History

Cecelia Lynch, Department of Political Science

Sanjoy Mazumdar, Department of Planning, Policy, and Design

Shampa Mazumdar, Lecturer, Department of Sociology

Michael T. McBride, Department of Economics

Joseph McKenna, Department of History

Calvin McLaughlin (Emeritus), School of Medicine

Margaret M. Miles, Departments of Art History and Classics

Jane Newman, Department of Comparative Literature

Maria C. Pantelia, Department of Classics

Amy Powell, Department of Art History

Adrian Preda, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior

Gary Richardson, Department of Economics

Michael Ryan, Department of English

Martin Schwab (Emeritus), Department of Philosophy

Daniel Stokols, Departments of Planning, Policy, and Design and of Psychology and Social Behavior

Timothy Tackett (Emeritus), Department of History

Roxanne Varzi, Department of Anthropology

Roger N. Walsh, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior

Requirements for the B.A. Degree in Religious Studies

All students must meet the University Requirements.
All students must meet the School Requirements.
Requirements for the Major
A. Complete:
REL STD 5A World Religions I
REL STD 5B World Religions II
REL STD 5C Religious Dialogue
REL STD 110 Thinking about Religion: Theories and Methodologies
B. Select six upper-division electives, two in each of the following categories: 1
1. Judaism/Christianity/Islam
2. World Religious Traditions
3. Thematic Approaches to Religion
C. Completion of an emphasis in either Judaism/Christianity/Islam or in World Religious Traditions: select two additional upper-division courses from either category 1 or 2 above.
1

Selected from the approved lists published on the Religious Studies website. For examples of approved courses, see below. One relevant lower-division course may be substituted for an upper-division course, with prior approval.

Studying Abroad: Students are encouraged to study abroad and may be able to satisfy a significant portion of their requirements abroad. Courses taken abroad must be approved by the Director of Religious Studies in order to be applied toward major requirements.

Residence Requirement for the Major: A minimum of five upper-division courses required for the major must be completed successfully at UCI.

Additional Information

Career Opportunities

Majoring in Religious Studies is an excellent preparation for living in a multicultural society and for a variety of careers in counseling, teaching, commerce, writing, government, the arts, and professional religious leadership. The major’s emphasis on broad understanding, critical thinking skills, and clear written expression provides an effective springboard for graduate study in the humanities and social science or professional schools in medicine, law, or business.

The UCI Career Center provides services to students and alumni including career counseling, information about job opportunities, a career library, and workshops on resume preparation, job search, and interview techniques. See the Career Center section for additional information.

Requirements for the Minor in Religious Studies

Requirements for the Minor
REL STD 5A World Religions I
REL STD 5B World Religions II
REL STD 5C Religious Dialogue
REL STD 110 Thinking about Religion: Theories and Methodologies
Four upper-division electives selected from the three categories under B above, including at least one course from both categories 1 and 2. Two of the four courses must be outside of the student’s major. One relevant lower-division course may be substituted for an upper-division course, with prior approval.

Residence Requirement for the Minor: Four upper-division courses required for the minor must be completed successfully at UCI. Two of the four may be taken through the UC Education Abroad Program, provided course content is approved by the Director of the Religious Studies program.

Courses

REL STD 5A. World Religions I. 4 Units.

An introduction to the history, doctrine, culture, and writing of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Same as HISTORY 16A.

(IV, VIII)

REL STD 5B. World Religions II. 4 Units.

An introduction to various religious traditions in selected areas of the world—including India and South Asia, East Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

Same as HISTORY 16B.

(IV, VIII)

REL STD 5C. Religious Dialogue. 4 Units.

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 HISTORY 16C.

(IV, VIII)

REL STD 17. An Economic Approach to Religion. 4 Units.

Introduction to how basic economic concepts such as demand, supply, consumption, production, competition, free-riding, innovation, regulation, and rent-seeking can be applied to understand observed religious behavior.

Same as ECON 17.

(III)

REL STD 21. Philosophy and Religion. 4 Units.

Examines the intersection of religion and philosophy from a standpoint that does not presuppose previous academic study of either. Both Western and Eastern traditions and perspectives may be explored.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 3 times as topics vary.

REL STD 56. Society and Religion. 4 Units.

A critical and personal examination of the varieties of religious and spiritual experience human beings are undergoing in contemporary society. The role of conscious understanding and unconscious conditioning regarding religion and spirituality.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 3 times as topics vary.

REL STD 60. Gender and Religion. 4 Units.

A presentation in selected issues in the study of gender and religion.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 3 times as topics vary.

(III, VIII)

REL STD 90. Aspects of Religion. 4 Units.

A presentation of selected issues in the study of religion.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 3 times as topics vary.

(IV)

REL STD 91. Topics in Aspects of Asian Religions. 4 Units.

A survey course of a specific Asian religious tradition such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Daoism, Confucianism, or Shinto in its manifestation in Asia or in its transmission to the Americas.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 3 times as topics vary.

REL STD 100. Topics in the Study of Religion. 4 Units.

The intersection of religious belief and practices with selected subjects of continuing interest.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 3 times as topics vary.

REL STD 103. Topics in the Philosophy of Religion. 4 Units.

Critical examination of philosophical concepts in religious scripture and theology, e.g., the nature and existence of God, miracles, the problem of evil, and divine command theories in ethics. May include any religious tradition.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 3 times as topics vary.

REL STD 106. Topics in Gender and Religion. 4 Units.

Critical examination of how religious beliefs and practices have shaped (and been shaped by) attitudes toward gender and sexuality in modern and/or premodern society.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 3 times as topics vary.

REL STD 110. Thinking about Religion: Theories and Methodologies. 4 Units.

A survey and investigation of the major thinkers, theories, and methodologies in the study of religions. Designed to develop the student's ability to analyze and articulate theoretical arguments; includes a paper on relevant Religious Studies topics.

Prerequisite: (REL STD 5A or HISTORY 15A) and (REL STD 5B or HISTORY 15B) and (REL STD 5C or HISTORY 15C).

Restriction: Religious Studies majors have first consideration for enrollment.

REL STD 112B. Science and Religion II. 4 Units.

The development of genomics, stem-cell research, robotics, nanotechnology, neuropharmacology raises difficult religious and philosophical questions. Examines interdisciplinary approaches that cut across institutional boundaries, cultural borders, religious traditions. Focuses on relationship between religion and cognitive/affective/social neuroscience. Course may be offered online.

Same as SOC SCI 130B, PSYCH 172S, LPS 140B.

REL STD 115. Religion and World Politics. 4 Units.

Examines the relationship between religion and world politics historically and today, focusing on connections with peace/war, democracy, human rights, secularism(s), and globalization. Covers major debates, scholarship, concepts, and theories through class exercises, exams, and essays.

Prerequisite: POL SCI 41A or INTL ST 11 or INTL ST 12 or REL STD 5A or REL STD 5B or REL STD 5C.

Same as POL SCI 146B, INTL ST 151B.

REL STD 120. Topics in Asian Religious Traditions. 4 Units.

Studies involving (but not limited to) Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Jainism, Sikhism, Daoism, Shinto or Shamanism, including both elite and doctrinal aspects and forms of more popular religiosity.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 3 times as topics vary.

REL STD 122. Ancient India. 4 Units.

Examines the visual and religious history of the region defined as "India" today, but necessarily encompassing modern Bangladesh and Pakistan. Culminates with the supposed Golden Age of the Gupta empire and its far-reaching legacies.

Same as HISTORY 170A, ART HIS 155A.

REL STD 123. Medieval India. 4 Units.

Begins with the Gupta period's aesthetic legacies in South Asia's architecture, sculpture, and painting. Explores the dispersal of Islam throughout South Asia, including the Muslim communities of southern India.

Same as HISTORY 170B, ART HIS 155B.

REL STD 124. Topics in Modern Indian Religion. 4 Units.

Topics in religions of the Indian subcontinent including, but not confined to, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Islam, and Buddhism from the founding of the Mughal Empire in 1526 to the creation of the several modern states of the Indian subcontinent.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 3 times as topics vary.

REL STD 130. Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Religious Traditions. 4 Units.

Character and evolution of Egyptian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Muslim, and other religious communities of the region from their formative periods to the present era.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 3 times as topics vary.

REL STD 131A. History of Zoroastrianism. 4 Units.

Reviews major trends in the history of Zoroastrianism.

Same as HISTORY 131A.

REL STD 140. Early Western Religious Traditions. 4 Units.

Religious perspectives of the Mediterranean and European regions from the earliest times to approximately 1500 C.E.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 3 times as topics vary.

REL STD 141. Recent Western Religious Traditions. 4 Units.

Studies related to Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christianity as well as alternative belief systems in Europe of the early modern and modern eras.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 3 times as topics vary.

REL STD 150. Religion in the Americas. 4 Units.

Religious belief and social context in North and South America from the earliest human societies to the present.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 3 times as topics vary.

REL STD 160. Diaspora Religions. 4 Units.

Examination of what happens to belief and practice as religious communities are scattered geographically.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 3 times as topics vary.

REL STD 170. Topics in Comparative Studies in Religion. 4 Units.

Literary, historical, or philosophical comparison of selected religious and quasi-religious traditions, their beliefs and practices.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 3 times as topics vary.

REL STD 190. Senior Colloquium. 4 Units.

Reading and group discussion of selected texts under the direction of an instructor. Paper required.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit 3 times as topics vary.

Restriction: A minimum of two students must enroll.

REL STD 199. Independent Study. 1-4 Units.

Directed reading and research in consultation with a faculty member. Substantial written work required.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

Restriction: Upper-division students only.

REL STD 399. University Teaching . 4 Units.

Limited to teaching assistants.

Grading Option: Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

Back to Top