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.
Interterm and Spring Semester Spotlight
Religion 324: Interpretation of the New Testament
This course is designed to familiarize students with the issues involved in and generated by the so-called quest for the historical Jesus. The course will explore the issues of methodology for discerning history in subjective theology: If the Gospels are primarily confessional how does one find history in them? Students will be encouraged to think through the difficult issues surrounding the recovery of ancient history and also to reflect upon the theological meaning, if any, of Jesus Research. The focus of the course will be reading, evaluating, and accessing the chapters being written in the first attempt recently of a scientific and historical biography of Jesus from Nazareth. In the past decade, scholars have concurred that now a biography of Jesus is possible.
Religion 335a: Religions of India: Diversity and Dialogue (Travel Course Interterm)
Dr. Phyllis Herman and Rev. Nancy Brink will lead a group of students to India for a 17-day trip, with three days of on-campus lectures preceding. 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.
Religion 353: Religion and Medicine
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.
Courses in Innovations: REL 352, REL 351, REL 380
Religion 351: 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.
Religion 352: 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 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.