» Religious Studies Course Spotlights

The Religious Studies Department at Chapman University is dedicated to providing innovative and interdisciplinary courses that incorporate new directions in the study of religion and advances in scholarship. And all courses fulfill GE requirements. Here's are some exciting courses to consider!

REL 338 Asian Religions in America

Taught by Kirk Sandvig

This course provides an overview of the various expressions of Asian Religions in America, focusing on issues with race, class, immigration, religion, and identity and covering both the historical frameworks that helped structure and maintain Asian religious communities in America and contemporary issues facing new and old immigrant communities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. GE Approval Pending

REL 204 Deities, Demons, and Monsters: Mesopotamian Myth and Ritual

Taught by Julye Bidmead
Spring Semester

This class journeys through ancient Mesopotamia through its myths and ritual texts, exploring themes such as creation, death, afterlife, birth, witchcraft, performance of magical rituals, incantations, and methods of predicting the future. We will read some famous ancient myths (Gilgamesh, Enuma Elish, Atrahasis) and learn about the various gods, goddesses, demons, monsters, heroes, and legendary rulers. Analyzing these written texts in context with archaeological remains will help us understand the culture and religion of Mesopotamia. A special emphasis will be placed on examining the significance of gender and sexuality in ancient society. GE Approval Pending

Rel 366 The Latino/a Religious Experience: From Colonialism to Liberation

Taught by Rafael Luevano

This course surveys the Latin American as well as U.S. Latino/a religious experience as seen in a variety of creative forms, from its historical roots to contemporary artistic expressions. Key considerations include missionary evangelization, Liberation Theology, Pentecostalism, Evangelicalism, and such popular religious expressions as Our Lady of Guadalupe, Día de los Muertos, and narco-cults. Satisfies GE Requirements for AI, SI, VI

REL 353 Religion and Medicine

Taught by Ilana Maymind
Spring Semester

This interdisciplinary course focuses on the intellectual history of medicine, tracing the development of concepts of health, illness and healing across a range of religious, philosophical and cultural traditions, including Greek, Indian, Chinese, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, African and/or Native American sources. Satisfies GE Requirements for GS, SI, VI

REL 380 Law and Religion

Taught by Lorin Geitner
Spring Semester

This course explores 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, including the First Amendment religion clauses and religious issues in American case law. Satisfies GE Requirements for GS, VI

REL 334  Religion and Love in World Literature

Taught by Ilana Maymind
Fall Semester

This interdisciplinary course explores the concept of love within different literary, philosophical, cultural and critical contexts with particular emphasis on the ways religion informs and impacts understandings of love. Readings range from Plato's Symposium, the biblical Song of Songs, and Augustine's Confessions to medieval European poet and courtesan Tullia d'Arogona's Dialogue on the Infinity of Love and the Indian epic Ramayana. Satisfies GE Requirements for GS, SI, VI

REL 333 Deconstructing Hogwarts: Religion, Race, and Gender in Harry Potter

Taught by Julye Bidmead
Interterm Travel Course

This Interterm travel course explores the global Harry Potter phenomenon through the lenses of religious studies and gender analysis, examining themes in the wizarding world as a common backdrop for the discussion of religion, race, gender, ethnicity, and social class in communities and community formation. Course will take place at Chapman and in London and Oxford, England. Satisfies GE Requirement for CCS

Religion 350 Happiness: Exploring Its Spiritual and Rational Foundations

Taught by Jay Kumar
Spring Semester

This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of happiness as an underlying orientation to life, with attention to religious conceptions and spiritual paths to attaining it from the world’s religions and contemporary research findings from surveys to neuroscience. Satisfies GE Requirement for VI

Need a change of pace?  Try this 1.5 unit course…

Rel 242 Mindfulness

Taught by Gail Stearns/Julie Artman
Fall Semester

In this course students will learn, practice, and explore what it means to be mindful, including the roots of modern mindfulness, the science behind mindfulness, and additional academic research on the benefits and limitations of mindfulness, as well as the practice of cultivating present moment awareness. P/NP (1.5 credits)

Continue on with your study with REL 243 Advanced Applied Mindfulness (1.5 credits P/NP) Spring semester!

Want to learn more about religion?  For courses on New Religious Movements, Interfaith Leadership, Reverence for Life, the Bible, Gender and Religion, Cosmology and Consciousness, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and more, see

More Course Offerings in Religious Studies