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PURPOSE: The first course provides a basic orientation to the Religious Studies Core sequence (intro/first level; 2nd level; and 3rd level after 88 units) and three areas of the curriculum: scripture and tradition (SCTR); theology, ethics, and spirituality (TESP); and religion and society (RSOC). As a course in one of these areas, the first course will push beyond the usual questions of believing or not believing in order to explore the categories with which to question and probe religion for what it reveals about human beings—their societies and traditions, convictions and aspirations, and changing systems of thought.
STUDENT OUTCOMES: In terms of intellectual development, the first course in the RS sequence will enable students to use formal modes of inquiry and reflection drawn from one of the three disciplinary areas of the curriculum, and to make non-judgmental explorations of diverse religious cultures and challenging perspectives. The first course will be a key component of the Core because it focuses on the “big questions” and integrates them with the more specific course questions and life issues. With this course students engage the meta-reflective questions that ask how and why we ask the questions that we do, what serves as evidence, and how truth might be constructed.
Transfer Students: Transfer courses are not normally accepted in fulfillment of this requirement. Transfer students entering with fewer than 44 quarter units are required to complete three religious studies courses in the required sequence. All other transfer students must complete two religious studies courses. They should consult the Religious Studies Department and/or their faculty advisers about the course levels they should choose.
FIRST COURSE: Students choose one four-unit course from Religious Studies numbered 1-19, such as SCTR 1-19, or TESP 1-19, or RSOC 1-19.
The quarterly Schedule of Classes provides a comprehensive list of those courses offered in a particular quarter that meet this requirement.