Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: One of the following: ENGL 1A or 1AH or ESLL 26; not open to students with credit in HUMN 7H.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • " Synthesize critical thinking, imaginative, cooperative and empathetic abilities as whole persons in order to contextualize knowledge and make meaning.
  • Contrast differing religious attitudes toward Western civilization and civil rights movements
  • Compare diverse religious traditions by explaining how they influence contemporary life and thought in different social, political and cultural circumstances around the globe.
  • Explain the relationship between religion, science, and the arts and how they intersect


Interdisciplinary course that explores how religions shape our understanding of diverse topics such as human rights, war, peace, globalization and science as well as music, sport, humor, film and the visual arts. Course eschews a focus on a specific tradition (e.g., Western or Eastern religions), and instead examines the inter-relationship between religion and human meaning creation through the specific lenses of ethics, aesthetics and politics.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. engage in critical, creative, and independent thinking.
B. stimulate curiosity about the intersection of religion and culture.
C. broaden perspectives on how religious thought influences topics such as human rights, war, peace, globalization, etc.
D. apply critical approaches to the analysis of various modes of cultural production in relation to various religious practices and understanding.
E. explain the relationship between religion, art and social organization in both Western and non-Western contexts.
F. use diverse religious practices and cultural traditions as a framework for a more complex understanding of the contemporary world.
G. analyze cultural production as both instruments of social control and ideological change.
H. develop the habit of learning and responding to new ideas and challenges.
I. think through moral and ethical problems and to examine one's own assumptions.
J. improve both oral and written communication, especially through critical reading and analysis.

Course Content

A. Religion in the space of politics
1. Conflict and peace-building
2. Human rights
3. Women
4. Sexuality
5. Globalization
B. Religion in the space of ethics
1. Education
2. Death and dying
3. Nature
4. Science
5. Reproductive rights
C. Religion in the space of aesthetics
1. Contemporary visual art
2. Contemporary music
3. Film
4. Humor
5. Sport
6. Memorialization

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught as an online section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous internet and email access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Three or four objective/subjective mid-term exams
Three or more one-page response papers
One term paper
Final examination

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Cooperative learning exercises
Oral presentations

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Sharma, Arvind. The World's Religions: A Contemporary Reader. 2011.

Hecht, Richard, and Vincent F. Biondo. Religion and Culture. 2012.

Caputo, John. On Religion (Thinking in Action). 2001.

Although these texts are older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, they remain seminal texts in this area of study.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Reading textbook and other material, including web: 30 pages a week
B. Continuous essay questions relating to the SLOs: 25-30 pages of writing per quarter