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RELIGST 144: John Calvin and Christian Faith

Close reading and analysis of Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion as a classic expression of Christian belief.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Pitkin, B. (PI)

RELIGST 146: Religious Mystery and Rational Reflection

Explores the boundaries of rational knowledge about Christian faith through a careful reading of the transcendental project of Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner. Rahner¿s thought, informed by various sources (e.g., the mystics, Aquinas, Kant, Hegel and Ignatius Loyola), results in an interpretation of Christian faith that strives for intellectual honesty in the face of challenges from science, atheism and post-modern culture. Yet it leaves room for a fundamental human openness to the source and goal of self-transcendence, what Rahner calls Holy Mystery. Weekly short position papers will be required to stir both reflection and discussion.
Last offered: Spring 2011 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 148: From Jesus to Paul

Jesus considered himself God's definitive prophet, but he did not think he was God, and had no intention of founding a new religion. How did this Jewish prophet become the gentile God and the founder of Christianity? The role of Paul.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 148A: St. Paul and the Politics of Religion

The major letters written by Paul, the Apostle, and his biography, Acts of the Apostles. Historical context in first century Jewish cultural politics. Origins of Christianity, and the split into Judaism and Christianity. The relationship between Jews and non-Jews. The juxtaposition of law and faith. Origins of cultural universalism. Paul as Jewish radical versus Paul, the first Christian thinker and theologian. Recent philosophical readings of Paul (Taubes, Badiou, and Agamben).
Last offered: Winter 2010 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 150: The Lotus Sutra: Story of a Buddhist Book

The Lotus school of Mahayana, and its Indian sources, Chinese formulation, and Japanese developments.
Last offered: Spring 2013 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom

RELIGST 161: Modern Religious Thought: From Galileo to Freud

The three centuries following the Protestant Reformation led to a gradual clarification of the notions of the religious and secular and gave rise to a new genre of religious thought, ideally freed from theology, church or synagogue-a secular philosophy of religion, or in some cases a religiously-imbued philosophy. We will examine some of the foundations of religious thought in modernity, including Galileo, Spinoza, Diderot, Kant, Hegel, Schleiermacher, Kierkegaard, Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 162X: Spirituality and Nonviolent Urban and Social Transformation (CSRE 162A, URBANST 126)

A life of engagement in social transformation is often built on a foundation of spiritual and religious commitments. Case studies of nonviolent social change agents including Rosa Parks in the civil rights movement, César Chávez in the labor movement, and WIlliam Sloane Coffin in the peace movement; the religious and spiritual underpinnings of their commitments. Theory and principles of nonviolence. Films and readings. Service learning component includes placements in organizations engaged in social transformation. Service Learning Course (certified by Haas Center).
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-ED, WAY-SI

RELIGST 168: Philosophy of Religion

Course traces efforts within the Western tradition from Boethius through Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, Kant, and Kierkegaard to Camus to establish a rational foundation for theist belief and its consistency or coherence with everyday experience. We will deal extensively with the criticisms that that effort has cast up and then turn to investigate issues that extraordinary or mystical experience raises. We will incorporate a look at Buddhist traditions as well as those in the west to gain insight into these questions. And finally, we will look at the ethics of belief, at our responsibility toward our commitments, and some of the varying positions available to us.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 173: What is Enlightenment? Religion in the Age of Reason

Many contemporary attitudes towards religion were forged in 17th- and 18th-century Europe in the midst of heated debates over the meaning and value of Christianity in a world 'come of age': Liberal calls for justice, toleration, and pluralism in matters religious; secular suspicions about religious superstition, fanaticism, and ideology; skepticism regarding the solubility of ultimate questions of meaning and metaphysics. Seminal readings on religion from Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz, Voltaire, Hume, Mendelssohn and Kant.
Last offered: Spring 2011 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

RELIGST 174: Religious Existentialism-Kierkegaard

Existentialism is often understood to be a secular or anti-religious philosophy of life, a substitute for Christian ethics in a post-theistic world come of age. Yet this twentieth-century philosophical movement owes many of its concerns and much of its vocabulary to the hyper-Protestant Danish thinker Soren Kierkegaard, and much of the best Christian and Jewish thought in the 20th-century (Bultmann, Buber, Tillich) adopted existentialism as the ¿best philosophy¿ for making sense of these traditions in a secular age. This course will examine the origins of existentialist thought in the writings of Kierkegaard and its appropriation by a handful of influential 20th- century religious thinkers.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
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