Current Special Topics Course Offerings
Each semester, we offer special topics courses that are designed by our faculty to innovate and engage students with new subject matter.
Theology and Religious Studies special topics courses are numbered THRS 202, 203, 394 and/or 494.
Current Special Topics Courses
Section 03 (CRN: 3544), MWF 9:05 - 10 a.m., 3 units
Section 04 (CRN: 3545), MWF 10:10 - 11:05 a.m., 3 units
Rico Monge, PhD
This class is designed to introduce students to the enterprise of comparative theology. Comparative theology does not simply identify similarities and differences between religions; rather, it asks what different religions can learn from each other about God. After introducing students to the purpose and methods of comparative theology, the class will engage in different theological themes in major world religions. The course will conclude by exploring how comparative theological approaches also have great importance for dialogue within religious traditions, as well as—perhaps surprisingly—with agnostics and atheists.
HIV/AIDS and Christian Ethics
Section 02 (CRN: 3543), MW 2:30-3:50 p.m., 3 units
Emily Reimer-Barry, PhD
This course will explore the intersection of theological ethics and the dilemma of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (hereafter, HIV/AIDS). We will begin with an introduction to theo-ethical method, an overview of the science of HIV/AIDS, and an overview of the sociological and statistical data pertaining to the global pandemic. From there we'll have the foundation to discuss a range of ethical issues on the topic of HIV/AIDS, including: sexual activity, just access to care and medications, potential problems of racism, sexism, and heterosexism, debates around sex education and HIV-prevention, social stigma, and contemporary Christian responses to the pandemic. Our class format will include lecture, group work, and facilitated discussion. In addition to required readings, required films and guest speakers will challenge students to engage the personal stories of HIV-positive and AIDS-diagnosed persons.
Prerequisite: THRS 114, 116, 119, or consent of instructor.
Islam, Women and Literature
Section 05 (CRN: 3785), T 2:30-5:20 p.m., 3 units
Bahar Davary, PhD
The question of what is intrinsically Islamic with respect to ideas about women and gender is important not only for understanding the position of women in Islam, but also for distinguishing the religious element from socio-economic and political factors involved in the shaping of that image. The course will set in perspective the diversity of cultural manifestations of Islam. This process entails a selective exploration of literary works by women and men. The writings contain religious, political, and social themes and reflect debates regarding the role of women within the society, written primarily in the last 50 years, a period of significant historical change in the Muslim world.