» Religious Studies Course Spotlights

The Religious Studies Department at Chapman is dedicated to providing innovative and interdisciplinary courses that incorporate new directions in the study of religion and advances in scholarship.

Religion 329: Quantum Physics, Cosmology, & Consciousness
In this unique course, students will be exposed to the latest scientific theories that investigate the role consciousness plays in our understanding of our cosmos, our brain, and our human condition. Topics such as quantum superposition, non-locality, and multiple dimensions will be juxtaposed with readings from Hinduism, Buddhism, and Daoism. No background in advanced science or religion is required.

Religion 322: Topics in Theology: Feminist Theology
This course will focus on feminist theology, tracing its development in historical and cultural context and examining major issues raised by feminist theologians such as biblical interpretation, women in Christian history, patriarchy in church and society, global contexts of patriarchy, and roles of women in non-Christian religions.

picReligion 329: Happiness: Exploring Its Spiritual and Rational Foundations
This course, taught by Prof. Gail Stearns and Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies, Prof. Jay Kumar, explores "happiness" as an underlying orientation to life, as defined and cultivated in the scriptures, practices and contemplative traditions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism and as understood through neuroscience and contemporary survey research findings. View flyer

Religion 335a: Hinduism and Religions of India
Dr. Phyllis Herman and Rev. Nancy Brink will lead a group of students to India in a 17-day, three credit course, to take place from January 7-24, 2013, with three days of on-campus lectures preceding the trip. The course is a study of the historical development of Hinduism and other religions in India; the texts, practices, and worldviews that characterize the various paths to liberation and salvation; and the dynamic interrelationships between followers of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Sikhism in this region.The new class will travel throughout India including locations such as New Delhi and Jaipur. For more information on the course, please read through the syllabus and description of the trip.


jayReligion 329: Health, Healing, and Wholeness in World Religions

This course, taught by Dr. Jay Kumar, explores unique conceptions of health and wholeness found in major world religions, articulated through myths, symbols, texts, archetypes, and healing traditions. Health paradigms and concepts of wholeness from both earlier and contemporary interpretations of the Bible, Qur’an, the Vedas, and Buddhist literature will be examined, and global healing traditions from antiquity to the present will be explored using a multidisciplinary approach that combines religious study, archetypal psychology, cosmology, philosophy, art and medical sciences. Click to view flyer.

Religion 324:  Discovering the Self through the Gospel of Mark
Interpretation of the New Testament (Formerly Rel 305)

Join this journey into discovering the self through spiritual narrative, taught by Prof. Gail Stearns. In the first half of this course, learn to read the Gospel of Mark as a narrative of Jesus’ life. In the second half, read biographical accounts of additional spiritual leaders from Christianity and other religious traditions. And throughout the course, learn methods of discovering and writing your own spiritual narrative. Click to view flyer.



Rel. 380:  Law and Religion

Professor Lorin Geitner of the Chapman Law School will teach this course exploring the place and nature of law within a wide range of major religious traditions and cultures around the world, as well as laws about religion, particularly in the U.S. context, including the history of the First Amendment religion clauses and religious issues in American case law. Current debates related to issues of religion in law will be addressed such as capital punishment, gay marriage and teaching of religion in public schools. Click to view flyer.



Religion 213:  Judaism: History and Religion

This course traces the history, beliefs, literature and practices of Judaism from its beginnings in the biblical period to modernity.  Taught by archaeologist and historian of ancient Israel Prof. Julye Bidmead. Click to view flyer.


Religion 214:  Introduction to Christianity


This course, taught by Prof. Rafael Luévano, provides a historical introduction to Christianity, including important events, key figures, defining beliefs, and theological perspectives, as well as the forms and expressions of Christianity, including contemporary ones. The divides between Western Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions will be considered and various theological methods and schools will be explored, including modern Christian theological movements.Dieties

Honors 366:  Deities and Demons:  Ancient and Modern

Students in the University Honors Program are invited to embark on a journey with Prof. Julye Bidmead to ancient Mesopotamia through an examination of myths and rituals from the “cradle of civilization.” Our journey moves thematically through the literature exploring creation, afterlife, deities, magic, witchcraft, sexuality, and gender roles, with special attention to modern expressions of these ancient themes. This Honors course counts for religious studies credit. Click to view flyer.

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