Course Descriptions

Graduation requirement:  Four years (40 units)

 

Lower Division Core Curriculum

9th grade:          Faith in the Modern World

10th grade:        Scripture

Upper Division

11th/12th grades: Selective Semester Courses

The Religious Studies Department is central to the Lasallian school. While students are invited to internalize the values discussed in these courses, grading is based on the students’ academic achievement.

 

Lower Division

FAITH AND RELIGION (A)

This first year course in religious studies is designed as an introduction to faith and religion in general, and to the Catholicism in particular.  The course begins with a closer look at the student who is discovering his or her unique identity.  Next, questions and beliefs about God, Jesus, Scripture, moral living, Catholic Church history, the sacraments, prayer, Catholic liturgy, Mary and the saints are investigated.  By the end of the first year, the students will have been introduced to many of the areas of concern within Religious Studies.  During the next three years, they will have the opportunity for further studies in these areas.

 

SCRIPTURE  (A)

This course investigates the Christian scriptural tradition. During the fall semester, students will begin with a historic study of the origins of the Bible and will study themes and stories found in the Hebrew scriptures including learning the history of the Hebrew people from Abraham to the birth of Jesus.  In the spring semester, the focus is shifted to the New Testament where the person and divinity of Jesus as recorded in the four Gospels, as well as early Christian writings by Paul and other New Testament authors are studied.  An emphasis is placed on the themes of Jesus such as inclusion of all people as sons and daughters of God, love of enemy, service to others, and the reign of God.  Finally, the course investigates the Book of Revelation and the rich symbolism found within it.

UPPER DIVISION

Juniors and seniors will be given the choice of a number of upper division Religious Studies selective courses.  Over the two years of upper division classes, students take one course from each of four areas of religious study: 1) Sociology of Religion; 2) Scripture; 3) History of Religions; 4) Morality and Meaning. Courses are offered in two-year cycles.

WORLD RELIGIONS (P)

Humankind has searched for God for thousands of years and has found numerous ways to express the truths that people have discovered in this search.  This course emphasizes the academic study of major world religions, including Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam.

 

ETHICS AND VALUES  (A)

Students will critically examine literature, art, and the visual media and the influence that these areas have on us as individuals and on us as a society.  Topics will include gender issues, cross-cultural conflict, modes of consciousness, spiritual/religious experience, and the politics of our culture.

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE  (A)

The course provides an opportunity for students to review, assess, and reflect upon the principles by which they and society have thus far interpreted their lives.  This course further affirms the need to search and test personal commitments to confront, systematically, present moral dilemmas, and to begin to analyze the consequences of future decisions in light of what justice is and how Christians are to be just in thought and action.

ETHICAL LEADERSHIP (A)

As a complement to Servant Leadership, this course explores a student’s personal journey toward integrity and a public commitment to a common good. This ethical leadership model begins with claiming one’s core values, finding a personal voice, developing a vision, and consciously aligning one’s attitudes and beliefs with one’s actions and behaviors. The class promotes a schoolwide culture of ethical leadership that enables people to work together for a common good. The learning outcome is to help the school community align its LEOs with its actions.

Do not register for any of these courses now. They are listed here for curriculum planning purposes only.

 

RITUAL AND WORSHIP (P)

Throughout the centuries and in all cultures, human beings have attempted to reach out to the divine through prayers, rituals, and worship.  This course will introduce ritual forms from various religious and secular traditions.  Drawing upon historical, anthropological, sociological, and theological sources, this course will explore the role of ritual in the lives of human beings. Students will study, experience, analyze, and evaluate various ritual forms and continue to explore this fundamental human experience of the sacred through ritual and prayer in the Christian tradition.

Does Religion Matter? (P)

Using insights from philosophy, comparative religions, theology, science, and history, along with examples drawn from current events, this class explores the complex question, “Does Religion Matter?” Beginning with a historical analysis of how the religious worldview has been replaced by scientism, materialism, and consumerism, the course will attempt to honestly chart a path to recover the spiritual and ethical riches of traditional religious wisdom and practices while respective all of the advances of the modern era. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to voice their own perspectives on the important issues of where and why religions have failed, as well as how religions are successfully meeting the needs of today’s young adults.

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JESUS (A)

The Gospels were written in an attempt to articulate an understanding of who Jesus of Nazareth was. The Gospel writers and their various audiences responded to this question from their faith, from their experiences, all of which are intrinsically bound to their culture. Through the study of the Gospels and by reading scholarly and current articles and viewing various films about Jesus, students try to come to their own understanding of who Jesus the Christ is, His impact on the history of the world, and the importance of His message in today’s society.