SRJC Course Outlines

6/13/2024 3:58:42 PMRELS 3 Course Outline as of Summer 2022

Changed Course

Discipline and Nbr:  RELS 3Title:  HISTORY OF GOD  
Full Title:  History of God
Last Reviewed:1/28/2019

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum3.00Lecture Scheduled3.0017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled52.50
Minimum3.00Lab Scheduled06 min.Lab Scheduled0
 Contact DHR0 Contact DHR0
 Contact Total3.00 Contact Total52.50
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  105.00Total Student Learning Hours: 157.50 

Title 5 Category:  AA Degree Applicable
Grading:  Grade or P/NP
Repeatability:  00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
Also Listed As: 
Formerly:  HUMAN 10.3

Catalog Description:
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The origins and evolution of monotheism from ancient Egypt and Canaan, through ancient Israel and its variations in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.


Recommended Preparation:
Course Completion of RELS 1 and Course Completion of ENGL 1A

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
The origins and evolution of monotheism from ancient Egypt and Canaan, through ancient Israel and its variations in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
(Grade or P/NP)

Recommended:Course Completion of RELS 1 and Course Completion of ENGL 1A
Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:CSU;UC.
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP


Associate Degree:Effective:Fall 1983
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 C2HumanitiesFall 1983
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 3BHumanitiesFall 1981
CSU Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 1983Inactive:
UC Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 1983Inactive:

Certificate/Major Applicable: Major Applicable Course

Approval and Dates
Version:08Course Created/Approved: 8/1/1981
Version Created:12/13/2021Course Last Modified:7/18/2023
Submitter:Eric ThompsonCourse Last Full Review:1/28/2019
Version Status:Approved Changed CoursePrereq Created/Approved:1/28/2019
Version Status Date:1/24/2022Semester Last Taught:Spring 2023
Version Term Effective:Summer 2022Term Inactive:


Student Learning Outcomes:
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
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1.  Explain texts of Jewish, Christian and Islamic scripture in terms of their historical and
     social context, and relationship with the indigenous religions of the Ancient Near East.
2.  Use the vocabulary of critical scholarship to evaluate the monotheistic religions' claims,
     rituals and narratives.
3.  Demonstrate a sensitive and detailed understanding of the diversity within and among
     the monotheistic religious traditions.

Objectives: Untitled document
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
1. Discover and describe the complex evolution of Judaism and Islam
    and their interaction with Christianity.
2. Discover and describe the internecine conflicts and variations in the histories of Judaism,
     Christianity and Islam.
3. Identify sources for specific religious concepts, stories and rituals in the monotheistic religions
    in Egyptian, Canaanite, Mesopotamian, Hittite, and Iranian indigenous religions.
4. Identify seminal thinkers within the context of the course and the unique characteristics of  
     their thought within the  historic circumstances and literary understandings of their own time.
5. Analyze and evaluate persistent religious themes and controversies within rival hermeneutics
    of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
6. Trace the historic and religious sources of contemporary values and belief systems.

Topics and Scope
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I.   The Ancient Near Eastern Origins of "Western" or "Monotheistic" Religions
    A. Egyptian "monotheism" under Akhenaten
    B. The Divine Council of the autochthonous Canaanites
II.  The Evolution and Diversity of Pre-Exilic Israelite Religion
    A. Yahwistic monolatry
    B. Polytheism and syncretism in Biblical Israel
III. The Emergence of Judaism After the Exile
    A. The evolution of rabbinic Judaism: temple to Torah
    B. Hellenistic Judaism: allegorizing the God of Torah
    C. Other sects and movements such as the Essenes, apocalyptic
    D. The development of the sacred texts: Tanak, Mishnah, Talmuds and Midrashim
IV. The Origins and Early Development of Christianity
    A. The diversity of early Jesus movements
    B. Orthodoxy and heresy: for example, Gnosticism, Arianism, Ebionitism, Modalism
    C. Rival Jewish and Christian hermeneutics
    D. Christian apologetics and polemics
    E. The triumph of orthodoxy under Constantine and his successors
    F. The Ecumenical Councils: the Trinity and Christology
    G. The establishment of the papacy and East-West conflict
V.  The Origins and Early Development of Islam
    A. The Arabian context
    B. Muhammad and the Quran, thoroughgoing monotheism
    C. The evolution of Muhammad's prophetic career: Mecca to Medina and back
    D. The Rashidun: first four Caliphs and success of Islam's conquest
    E. The Hadith: the evolution of tradition and Muslim practice
    F. The Sufis and the relationship between mysticism and orthodoxy
    G. The House of Islam as empire: the sharia, education, science and culture
    H. The dhimmis: Jews and Christians under Islam
VI. The Middle Ages: Interaction and Conflict
    A. The Crusades
    B. The Inquisition
    C. The God of the philosophers: scholasticism and the sharing of scholarship in
          Maimonides, Ibn Rushd and Thomas
    D. Theological interaction with the Renaissance
VII.  The Protestant Reformation
VIII. The Enlightenment: Science and Historical-Critical Biblical Scholarship
    A. The trial of Galileo
    B. The excommunication of Spinoza
IX. Modernity and the Rise of Fundamentalisms and Ultra-Orthodoxy
X.  Contemporary Issues such as Ecology, Economic Policy, and Social Justice

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1. Weekly reading assignments of between 20 and 50 pages
2. Exams (2 - 5)
3. Quizzes (0 - 10)
4. One to three essays or response papers of 500-1000 words
5. A research paper of 1500-2000 words
6. Final exam (objective, essay, or a combination)
7. Optional: oral presentations, reports on interviews, museum visits, or field trips

Methods of Evaluation/Basis of Grade.
Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.Writing
30 - 60%
1-3 papers: essays, response papers, or textual analysis
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
0 - 0%
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
0 - 0%
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
25 - 50%
Quizzes and exams, multiple choice, true/false, matching items, completion, essay exams, text analysis. Final exam (objective, essay or a combination)
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
10 - 20%
Classroom participation, optional: oral presentations, reports on interviews, museum visits, or field trips

Representative Textbooks and Materials:
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New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha. 5th ed. 2018
God: A Human History. Aslan, Reza. Penguin Random House. 2017
Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict. Norenzayan, Ara. Princeton University Press. 2015
The Evolution of God. Wright, Robert. Back Bay Books. 2009 (classic)
Al-Qur'an: A Contemporary Translation. Ali, Ahmed. Princeton University Press. 2001 (classic)
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: The Classical Texts and Their Interpretation (3 volumes). Peters, F.E. Princeton University Press. 1990 (classic)


Student Preparation
 Matric Assessment Required:ERequires English Assessment
 Prerequisites-generate description:NPNo Prerequisite
 Advisories-generate description:AAuto-Generated Text
 Prereq/coreq-registration check:NNo Prerequisite Rules Exist
 Requires instructor signature:NInstructor's Signature Not Required
 Method of instruction:02Lecture
 71Internet-Based, Simultaneous Interaction
 72Internet-Based, Delayed Interaction
 Area department:HUMANHumanities and Religion
 Division:71Language Arts & Academic Foundations
 Special topic course:NNot a Special Topic Course
 Program Status:1Major Applicable Course
 Repeatability:00Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
 Repeat group id:  
 Audit allowed:NNot Auditable
 Open entry/exit:NNot Open Entry/Open Exit
 Credit by Exam:NCredit by examination not allowed
 Budget code: Program:0000Unrestricted
 Budget code: Activity:4905Humanities & Fine Arts
Religious Studies
 Basic Skills:NNot a Basic Skills Course
 Level below transfer:YNot Applicable
 CVU/CVC status:YDistance Ed, Not CVU/CVC Developed
 Distance Ed Approved:YEither online or hybrid, as determined by instructor
 Emergency Distance Ed Approved:YFully Online
Partially Online
Online with flexible in-person activities
 Credit for Prior Learning:NAgency Exam
NIndustry Credentials
 Non-credit category:YNot Applicable, Credit Course
 Classification:YLiberal Arts and Sciences Courses
 SAM classification:ENon-Occupational
 TOP code:1510.00Religious Studies
 Work-based learning:NDoes Not Include Work-Based Learning
 DSPS course:NNO
 In-service:NNot an in-Service Course

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