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 203 and/or 394. 

Current Special Topics Courses

THRS 394
Christian Spirituality

Section 02 (CRN: 2268), MW 4-5:20 p.m., 3 units

Section 03 (CRN: 2348), MW 5:30-6:50 p.m., 3 units 

Peter Bennett

This course is an exploration of diverse Christian spiritual traditions and an introduction to the methods of the theological sub-discipline of Christian Spirituality. It is designed to help students deepen their knowledge of the nature of growth in light of the Christian spiritual tradition and the factors which both help and hinder its development. It hopes to provide a context in which students can reflect profitably on their personal experience, including religious and spiritual experience. The course will explore the three movements of the Christian spiritual life: to our innermost selves, to our fellow human beings, and to God. Particular attention will be given to such topics as images of God, Christian self-image, methods of prayer, discerning life-choices, growth in Christian freedom, and the integration of solitude and community, contemplation and action. By the end of the course, successful students will be able to identify, analyze, and engage a variety of Christian spiritual traditions and practices and will have the tools to think critically about their own spiritual practices.

THRS 394
Comparative Mysticism 

Section 01 (CRN: 1870), MW 2:30-3:50 p.m., 3 units

Louis Komjathy   

Emphasizing peer-directed conversation, this course is a seminar on mystical literature and mystical experience from a historical contextualist, textual, comparative perspective. The course examines mystical experience (experience of the sacred) in various religious traditions through close textual analysis of important and representative texts.

THRS 394
Women in Buddhism  

Section 06 (CRN: 4483), TR 5:30-6:50 p.m., 3 units

Karma Lekshe Tsomo 

One of the most striking features of the current transmission of Buddhism to the West is the prominent roles that women are playing in social transformation, locally and globally. Emerging from the shadows, Buddhist women are breaking through social, cultural, and conceptual boundaries in ways that were unimaginable just a few decades ago. This course will trace pivotal moments in the experience of Buddhist women, from the beginning of Buddhist history until today, highlighting the strategies these women have developed to address patriarchy in the process of creating an enlightened society.

THRS 394
Womanist Theology 

Section 07 (CRN: 4693), TR 7-8:20 p.m., 3 units

Michele Watkins 

This course is designed to explore the ways in which literature has and can be used as a source for theological reflection by Womanists and others within the survivalist/liberationist tradition. Special attention will be given to the Black literary tradition for critical reflection on the development of Womanist theology, particularly in the work of theologians Delores S. Williams, M. Shawn Copeland, Kelly Brown Douglas, and ethicist Emilie M. Townes.