Santa Clara University
Religious Studies Department, SCU
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  Course Description

This course introduces you to three major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  It focuses especially on one religious phenomenon they all share, namely "a book"—for Jews the Tanak, for Christians the Old and New Testaments, and for Muslims the Qur'an.  These scriptural traditions and their interpretations overlap and thus reveal what the religions share in common, while also disclosing the differences between them.  Our study of these traditions will allow us to ask the perennial questions raised by spiritual seekers over the ages, as well as to explore more recent encounters and issues. As we study these religions, what they share and how they differ, you’ll have the chance to rethink what scripture is, how religious beliefs function, and what your own beliefs are.

By the end of the course you will be able to:
  • Describe the central religious ideas and practices of Islam, Christianity and Judaism (exams, journal entries), and for one of these traditions compare them in two different global regions (research paper).  Core RTC 1

  • Use critical approaches to reflect on your own beliefs and the religious dimensions of human existence (journal portfolio, research paper).  Core RTC 2

  • Develop skills in critical thinking: especially reflection, close reading, information literacy, and self-expression (journal entries and portfolio, class participa­tion, quizzes/exams, research paper).  Course

How to Use this Web Site

The tabs at the left guide you to course resources.  Use them to access directions, schedules, research tools and grades throughout the quarter, as needed.  The Class Prep pages provide introductions to each day's readings and questions you will be expected to prepare in advance of each class, along with exercises that will reinforce in-class work and prepare you for quizzes and exams.

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