Religious Studies

College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Interim Dean: Dr. Sophie Clavier

Religious Studies Program

HUM 388
Phone: (415) 338-1596

Coordinator: Mohammad Azadpur
Undergraduate Advisors: Justin Tiwald

Program Scope

The Minor in Religious Studies offers students the opportunity to study the full spectrum of humankind’s religious heritage from an interdisciplinary perspective. Religion is an individual and social phenomenon, and the curriculum takes students through both realms. Students investigate basic value questions from the viewpoint of religion, of disciplines looking at religion, and of the individual in a pluralistic, unsettled world. More than half the minor's coursework is individually selected in consultation with an advisor, though course subject matter must encompass the different dimensions of the religious experience as listed on the "Courses" page. Students may choose to focus their coursework on a specific religious tradition such as Judaism, Islam, Christianity, or Buddhism; a particular issue common to different religions; or a particular culture or historical period.

As an interdisciplinary minor, Religious Studies can be taken in conjunction with any major.

Career Outlook

The Religious Studies minor provides an excellent background for those considering the ministry, social work, counseling, politics, law, or teaching at any level. Regardless of career path, the Religious Studies minor may benefit a student's view of the meaning and purpose of life.

Religious Studies Minor - 21 units

All course work used to satisfy the requirements of the minor must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

Introduction to Religious Traditions (3 units)

PHIL 502World Religions3
or comparable course completed at another institution

The Nature of Religious Experience (3 units)

PHIL 525/RELS 300The Nature of Religious Experience3
or PHIL 500 Philosophy of Religion

The Dimensions of Religious Experience (12 units)

Select one course from each of the following categories. No more than two courses from a single discipline.

The Expressive Dimensions of Religious Experience
ARTH 202Western Art History II3
ARTH/HUM 205Asian Art History3
CWL 260Myths of the World3
DANC 430Historical Survey of Dance in the Western World3
DANC/ANTH 657Ethnography of Dance3
ENG 503Studies in Medieval Literature3
ENG 525Studies in American Literature3
ENG 580Individual Authors3
ENG 589Milton3
MUS 505Music of the World's Peoples3
TH A 401Global Theatre History I3
The Study of Particular Religious Traditions
AFRS 326Black Religion3
AIS 310American Indian Religion and Philosophy3
AIS 450American Indian Science3
CLAS 230Ancient Epic Tales3
ENG 501Age of Chaucer3
ENG 630Selected Studies3
HIST 110History of Western Civilization I3
HIST 111History of Western Civilization II3
HIST 321Hellenistic Greece3
HIST 326The Byzantine Empire3
HIST 328Pagans and Christians in a Changing Roman World3
HIST 329Early Christian Church 313-7873
HIST 331/HUM 404The High Middle Ages3
HIST 336The Reformation3
HIST/HUM 480Thought and Culture in America to 18803
HUM 403/HIST 330The Early Middle Ages3
HUM 404/HIST 331The High Middle Ages3
JS 410/PHIL 514Kabbalah, Jewish Mysticism, and Literature3
JS 425/PHIL 552Judaism: Religion and Text3
JS/PHIL/HUM 501Judaism, Christianity, and Islam3
PHIL 302Medieval Philosophy3
PHIL 436Islamic Political Philosophy3
PHIL 509The Buddhist Tradition3
PHIL 511Chinese Philosophy and Religion3
PHIL 516Islamic Philosophy3
PHIL 530Selected Religious Thinkers3
WGS 565Muslim Feminisms3
The Study of Religious Phenomena: Disciplinary Perspectives
HUM 345Humanism and Mysticism3
PHIL 500Philosophy of Religion3

The Senior Experience (3 units)

RELS 696Directed Reading in Religious Studies3

RELS 300 The Nature of Religious Experience (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: GE Areas A1*, A2*, A3*, and B4* all with grades of C- or better or permission of the instructor.

Nature of religious experience drawn from different religions and academic disciplines within the humanities and social sciences; investigation of the meaning of religious commitment in a secular world.
(This course is offered as PHIL 525 and RELS 300. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • E1 LLD Pre-Fall 2019
  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives

RELS 503 Religions in Iran (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: GE Areas A1*, A2*, A3*, and B4* all with grades of C- or better or permission of the instructor.

Exploration of the major religious traditions of Iran from its inception to the present day over the span of three millennia including Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Mithraism, Mandaeism, Christianity, Manichaeism, Mazdakism, Islam (Sunni and Shia), Sufism, Yarsanism, and Bahai faith. Insight into not only Iranian identity, but also the way in which religious traditions grow, change, and influence one another through the spectrum of Greater Iranian history.
(This course is offered as PRSN 503 [formerly PRSN 450], PHIL 503, and RELS 503. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives

RELS 696 Directed Reading in Religious Studies (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: RELS 300.

Project to synthesize varying perspectives on religion and religious experiences.