Santa Clara University

Religious Studies department

Course Information

The Religious Studies Department offers courses in three distinct content areas: 1) Scripture and Tradition [SCTR], 2) Theology, Ethics and Spirituality [TESP], and 3) Religion and Society [RSOC].

For course descriptions please click here.
For a schedule of seminars please click here.


Area 1.

Scripture & Tradition (SCTR)

Courses in Area 1 focus on the sacred scriptures of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions. The courses examine the historical and cultural backgrounds of these texts and gauge the way that beliefs developed in ancient times. They also look at the ways ideas about these ancient texts have changed over time and impact people's lives today. Below is a list of courses offered in this area.

11 Origins of Western Religion
119 Law in Judaism, Christianity & Islam
19  Religions of the Book    128 Human Suffering & Hope
22 The Synoptic Gospels
134 Bondage and Freedom
24  Christian Origins: Luke/Acts   139 Bible in Contemporary Fiction & Film
26 Gender in Early Christianity
141 Advanced Hebrew I
27 Historical Jesus
142 Advanced Hebrew II
30 New Testament
143 Advanced Hebrew III
33 NT Narratives & Cinema
144 Aramaic Grammar
35 Science vs the Bible: The Genesis Debates
152 Christian Origins: Paul
39  Biblical Women and Power

157 The Bible & Empire
41 Biblical Hebrew I   158 Postcolonial Perspectives on the New Testament
42 Biblical Hebrew II
162 Violence & Non Violence in Scripture
43 Biblical Hebrew III
165 Gender & Sex: Biblical Interpretations
48 Jesus the Jew
170 Darwin & God
65 Early Christianity
100 Biblical Poetry and Ancient Myth
199 Directed Readings and Reseach


Person of Christ in the New Testament
110  Gods, Heroes and Monsters: Myth & Bible


Area 2.

Theology, Ethics & Spirituality (TESP)

Courses in Area 2 deal with three dimensions of "faith seeking understanding," a phrase that has classically described theology as a discipline. Theology seeks to articulate the truth of faith; ethics, the implications of faith in human life and activity; and spirituality, the practice and understanding of the experience of faith. All three dimensions are pursued in dialogue with culture in its various forms of discourse, and all three aim specifically to situate the Jewish or Christian faith tradition within contemporary approaches to the study of religion. A list of courses offered in this area follows.

4 The Christian Tradition
131 Feminist Theologies
31 Christ: Mystery & Meaning   133  Trinitarian Theology: East & West
40 Exploring Judaism
134 Popes, Peasants & Prophetesses
43 Catholic Social Thought
136 Architects of Solidarity


Christian Ethics

137 Theology of Death
46 Faith, Justice, and Poverty
138 Contemporary Theology of Paul Tillich
50 Catholic Theology: Foundations
139 Catholic Theology & Human Sexuality
53 Religious Imagination
147 Religious Autobiographies

60 Hispanic Popular Religion
151 Religion & Science: Friends or Foes?
64 Environmental Justice in Catholic Imagination   152 Faith, Ethics, Biodiversity
65 U.S. Hispanic Theology
153 Catholic Themes in Literature
71 Mysticism in Catholicism
156 Christian Ethics & HIV/AIDS
72 Comparative Mysticism in World Religions
157 Ethics in the Health Profession
77 Encounters of Religion and Globalization
158 Immigration & Ethics

79 Women in Christian Tradition   159 Ethics of War & Peace
82  Witches, Saints, and Heretics: Religious Outsiders

163 Christianity and Politics
84 Spirituality and Sustainability
165 Romero & Salvadoran Martyrs
86  Spirituality & Engineering

170 Homosexuality & Catholic Theology
88  Hope and Prophetic Politics

171 Mysticism in Action
106 Christian Symbol & Ritual
175  Women's Theologies from the Margins
109 Hispanic Spirituality: Guadalupe
176 Finding Your Own Spirituality


Latin American Liberation Theology
  181 Christian Sexual Ethics
      183 Ignatian Spirituality
118 Clare of Assisi and Ignatius of Loyola
184 Jesus Across Cultures
119 Theology, Sex & Relationships

Foundations of Faith
124 Theology of Marriage


Foundations of Faith
125 Belief and Unbelief


127 Theology of Family


Directed Readings and Research





Area 3.

Religion & Society (RSOC)

Religion can be studied from the inside, in terms of its scriptures, beliefs, and practices, but religion also can be studied as a phenomenon that is related to and constructive of whole communities and societies. Area 3 courses approach religious studies this way, asking not whether a religious idea, experience or practice is true, but rather how and why people construct truth in this way, or how they perform their beliefs in ritual, or how ideas shape and are shaped by societies. What these courses have in common is the study of religion as a system in society, whether past or present. A list of courses in this content area follows.

7 South Asian Religious Traditions
Religions @ Silicon Valley
12 Latinos and Lived Religion in U.S.

130 East Asian Buddhism
      131 Tantra in Theory and Practice
19 Egyptian Religious Traditions
134 Religion & Secularization
33 Maya Spirituality
140 Animals, Environment, and World Religion
36 Critique of Religion: Modern Era
149 Science, Religion & Global Warming
38 Religion & Culture: Africa

41 Women's Spiritualities

46 African Religions
154 Islamic Jesus
49 Religion, Politics and Civil Society

156 Buddhism and Globalization
51  Religion in America    157
Religious Tradition and Contemporary Moral Issues
54 Comparative Religion & Social Theory
159 Longings for Immortality
67 Film & Judaism
Gender & Judaism
81 Islam
170 Religion, Gender & Globalization
85 Hinduism
174 Jewish Philosophy: Athens & Jerusalem
86 Buddhism
87 Buddhism in Film
88 Chinese Religions
182 Shia Islam in Contemp. World
91 Native Spiritual Traditions
184 Race and Religion in U.S.
99 Sociology of Religion
188 Religion & Violence
106 Zen in Theory and Practice
190 Islam: Reformation & Modernity
108 Buddhist Spiritual Practices Today
191 Religions of Colonized People
111 Inventing Religion in America
Modern Religious Thought
Buddhism in America

115 Tibetan Buddhism: A Cultural History
Directed Reading and Research
119 Media & Religion

121 Rep Relig in World Cinema

Study Abroad


The policy of the new Core is that students studying abroad may only fulfill the RTC 2 Core course while abroad. To learn more click here.

Fall 2014 Courses that Fulfill Religion Requirement


Click here for more info

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