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 7.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

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


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. As an honors course, it is a full seminar with advanced teaching methods focusing on major writing, reading, and research assignments, student class presentations, group discussions and interactions.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Engage in critical, creative, and independent thinking
  2. Express curiosity about the intersection of religion and culture
  3. Broaden perspectives on how religious thought influences topics such as human rights, war, peace, globalization, etc.
  4. Apply critical approaches to the analysis of various modes of cultural production in relation to various religious practices and understanding
  5. Explain the relationship between religion, art, and social organization in both Western and non-Western contexts
  6. Use diverse religious practices and cultural traditions as a framework for a more complex understanding of the contemporary world
  7. Analyze cultural production as both instruments of social control and ideological change
  8. Develop the habit of learning and responding to new ideas and challenges
  9. Think through moral and ethical problems and examine one's own assumptions
  10. Improve both oral and written communication, especially through critical reading and analysis

Course Content

  1. Religion in the space of politics
    1. Conflict and peace-building
    2. Human rights
    3. Women
    4. Sexuality
    5. Globalization
  2. Religion in the space of ethics
    1. Education
    2. Death and dying
    3. Nature
    4. Science
    5. Reproductive rights
  3. 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:

Systematic and continuous participation in the course
Three or more one-page response papers
Development of research project in the representation of trauma
Demonstration of critical, analytical research and writing skills
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

Woodward, Kenneth. Getting Religion: Faith, Culture, and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to the Era of Obama. 2016.

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

Singleton, Andrew. Religion, Culture & Society: A Global Approach. 2014.

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

  1. Philosophical and literary critical readings (15-50 pages) designed to familiarize students with ongoing debates and perspectives related to the intersection of religion, culture, and politics
  2. Bi-weekly one to three-page essays requiring summary, interpretation, analysis, and synthesis of both original and secondary texts