Religious Studies  {SF State Bulletin 2011 - 2012}

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Religious Studies

College of Arts and Humanities

Dean: Paul Sherwin


Religious Studies Program
HUM 388
Phone: 415-338-1596

Coordinator: Michael Sudduth
Undergraduate Advisors: Mohammad Azadpur, Pamela Hood, Fred Astren



Minor in Religious Studies



Program Scope

The religious studies minor offers students the opportunity to study the full spectrum of humankind’s religious heritage from an interdisciplinary perspective. Religion is an individual as well as a social phenomenon and the curriculum takes the students through both realms. Basic value questions are investigated from the viewpoint of religion, of disciplines looking at religion and of the individual in a pluralistic, unsettled world. More than half the minor is individually selected in consultation with an adviser, though the courses must represent the different dimensions of the religious experience as listed below. Students may focus their course combination in the minor on a specific religious tradition such as Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism; on a particular issue common to different religions; or on 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. As a help in shaping a person's own view of the meaning and purpose of life, it can be of lasting value whatever one's career.


Minor in Religious Studies

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.


Introduction to Religious Traditions

Course Title Units
PHIL 502 World Religions (3)
(or a comparable course taken at another institution)


The Nature of Religious Experience

Course Title Units
PHIL 525/
RELS 300

PHIL 500
The Nature of Religious Experience
Philosophy of Religion


The Dimensions of Religious Experience (12 units)

One course from each of the following categories; no more than two courses from a single discipline.


The Expressive Dimensions of Religious Experience

Course Title
ART 202 Western Art History II
ART 205 Asian Art History
ENG 503 Arthurian Romance
ENG 525 Modern American Mystics
ENG 580 William Blake
ENG 589 Milton
DANC 415 Dance in Religion
DANC 430 Historical Survey of Dance in the Western World: 1300-Present
DANC 657 Dance Ethnology
MUS 505 Music of the World's People
THA 401 Theatre Backgrounds: 500 B.C.-1642
WCL 260 Myths of the World


The Study of Particular Religious Traditions

Course Title
AFRS 326 Black Religion
AIS 310 American Indian Religion and Philosophy
AIS 450 American Indian Science
CLAS 330 Myth in Ancient Epic
CLAS 360 Greek and Roman Mythology
ENG 501 Age of Chaucer
ENG 509 Age of Humanism
ENG 630 Selected Studies: Bible and English/American Literary Tradition
HIST 110 History of Western Civilization I
HIST 111 History of Western Civilization II
HIST 321 Hellenistic Greece
HIST 326 The Byzantine Empire
HIST 328 Early Christian Church to 313
HIST 329 Early Christian Church, 313-787
HIST 331 The High Middle Ages
HIST 336 The Reformation
HIST 480 Thought and Culture in America
HIST 635 Recent History of the Jewish People
HUM 403 The Early Middle Ages
HUM 404 The High Middle Ages
JS 410 / PHIL 514 Kabbalah and Mysticism in the Jewish Tradition
JS 425 Judaism: Religion and Text
JS / PHIL 501 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
PHIL 302 Medieval Philosophy
PHIL 436 Islamic Political Philosophy
PHIL 504 History of Christian Thought I
PHIL 509 The Buddhist Tradition
PHIL 511 Chinese Philosophy and Religion
PHIL 515 Semitic Religious Thought
PHIL 516 Islamic Philosophy
PHIL 520 Modern Religious Thought
PHIL 530 Selected Religious Thinkers
WOMS 565 Women in the Muslim and Arab Worlds


The Study of Religious Phenomena: Disciplinary Perspectives

Course Title
ANTH 570 Anthropology of Religion
HUM 345 Humanism and Mysticism
PHIL 500 Philosophy of Religion


The Senior Experience

Course Title Units
RELS 696 Directed Reading in Religious Studies 3

Total for Minor in Religious Studies: 21 units


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