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Religious Studies

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 9, 2000
Robert S. Michaelsen, 81, retired professor of religious studies and vice chancellor of UC Santa Barbara. A native of Iowa, Michaelsen served 11 years as director of the University of Iowa School of Religion before joining the Santa Barbara faculty in 1965 as chairman and professor of religious studies. He took various administrative roles over the years, and was vice chancellor of the campus under three different chancellors before his retirement in 1989.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2013 | By Carla Rivera
San Diego State University will offer a graduate certificate in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies next fall, officials said Monday. The advanced certificate is designed to increase knowledge of sexual and gender identity and an understanding of cultural, historical, ethnic and racial aspects of sexuality. Courses in disciplines such as English, history, women's studies and religious studies will focus on “emerging subcultures and identities from a global perspective.” The program requires a minimum of 12 units of approved graduate courses and will include community service, internships and study abroad opportunities.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 1988
Orange Coast College will offer an array of courses from its religious studies department. Fall semester begins Monday. Religious studies courses include: world religion, ethics, the history of Christianity, life and time of Jesus, mysticism and meditation, and the Bible as literature. The classes are offered during the morning, afternoon and evening, Monday through Friday.
SCIENCE
April 26, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Scientists have revealed one of the reasons why some folks are less religious than others: They think more analytically, rather than going with their gut. And thinking analytically can cause religious belief to wane - for skeptics and true believers alike. The study, published in Friday's edition of the journal Science, indicates that belief may be a more malleable feature of the human psyche than those of strong faith may think. The cognitive origins of belief - and disbelief - traditionally haven't been explored with academic rigor, said lead author Will Gervais, a social psychologist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
NATIONAL
December 8, 2005
A University of Kansas professor who drew criticism for e-mails he wrote deriding Christian fundamentalists over creationism resigned as chairman of the Department of Religious Studies. Paul Mirecki stepped down on the recommendation of his colleagues, according to Barbara Romzek, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 1985 | Associated Press
Religious studies in Kenyan schools will become compulsory in the next school year under a recent directive by Kenya's President Arap Moi. The step was hailed by Kenya's Protestant, Roman Catholic and Muslim leaders. An interdenominational church council said, "Life would be empty, dry and materialistic without religious education."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 1, 2001 | MYRNA OLIVER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Ninian Smart, a popular professor of religious studies at UC Santa Barbara and England's Lancaster University and a prolific author on comparative religions, has died at the age of 73. Smart died Monday in Lancaster Royal Infirmary in Lancaster, England, after suffering a stroke Sunday night. He had recently moved to Lancaster after retiring from UC Santa Barbara, where he taught for 25 years and was J.F. Rowny Professor of Comparative Religions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 12, 1992 | AGNES HERMAN, Agnes Herman is a retired social worker and free-lance writer who lives in Lake San Marcos
Irving Gefter has lost his job. My friend, who taught religious studies at San Diego State University for more than 20 years, was a tenured professor and is now unemployed. For 22 years, Gefter pursued two passions: to teach and to learn. He taught his university students about the worlds of ideas and reality, and then, when school was in recess, he went seeking new experiences.
NEWS
May 27, 2001 | MARY ROURKE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The students call their major "religion on the ground." One studies a singles group looking for love in a Los Angeles synagogue Friday nights. Another compares Hinduism and Christianity. His master's thesis profiled Cesar Chavez, founder of the United Farm Workers, as a religious mystic.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 6, 1991 | JOHN DART, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Despite its name, the religious studies department at Cal State Northridge is not training seminarians or conducting chapel on the side. Instead, it takes an analytical approach to religion in traditional academic fashion. Nevertheless, the department says many of its 4,000 students a year undergo an intellectual conversion while taking classes in the largest religious studies department on a Cal State campus.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 13, 2011
BOOKS In "The Marriage Plot," Jeffrey Eugenides' first novel since 2002's Pulitzer Prize–winning "Middlesex," he examines the lives of three college seniors at Brown University in the '80s. The three characters — Madeleine, an incurable romantic; Leonard, a brilliant but unstable philosopher, and Mitchell, a clear-eyed religious-studies student — find themselves enveloped in a love triangle of sorts that loops in enigmatic professors, feminist theorists, neo-Victorians and concerned mothers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2011 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
Edwin Gaustad, a retired UC Riverside history and religious studies professor who was a preeminent scholar on the separation of church and state, and who did groundbreaking work mapping the nation's religious landscape, has died. He was 87. Gaustad died March 25 of natural causes at an assisted-living facility in Santa Fe, N.M., said a daughter, Susan. "He did incredible work as kind of a geographer of American religion," said Leigh Eric Schmidt, a Harvard University professor of the history of religion in America.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2009 | Duke Helfand
Americans are becoming less religious, increasingly turning away from many denominations that once served as their spiritual homes, according to a major national survey released Monday. The percentage of people who do not claim a religious identity has nearly doubled since 1990, growing to 15% of Americans last year, researchers with the American Religious Identification Survey found. Mainline Christian denominations, once bulwarks of the religious landscape, have suffered most from the drift.
OPINION
April 8, 2008
Re "Designing better choices," Opinion, April 2 Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein miss a big point about libertarianism when using it conjoined with paternalism: "Voluntarily" doing one thing versus a second thing is not "free choice." They forget the other available choice: I don't want to have to make a choice. If the institution setting the choices is private, then I may choose not to do business with it. But when a public institution is setting the choices, I cannot avoid having to choose.
BUSINESS
October 23, 2007 | From Reuters
Hundreds of Christian filmmakers gathered in Texas on Monday to study the work of Walt Disney and discuss their belief that his corporate heirs at Walt Disney Co. have strayed from his family-friendly legacy. The Christian Filmmakers Academy, which trains aspiring filmmakers and promotes films with "biblical values," contends that Disney Co. has become "an engine of cultural decline after Walt's death" that exercises an alarmingly vast global influence.
NATIONAL
April 26, 2007 | Rebecca Trounson, Times Staff Writer
The growing numbers of Latinos in the United States, and that population's embrace of charismatic styles of worship, are reshaping the Roman Catholic Church and the nation's religious landscape, according to a major study of Latinos and faith released Wednesday.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 13, 2011
BOOKS In "The Marriage Plot," Jeffrey Eugenides' first novel since 2002's Pulitzer Prize–winning "Middlesex," he examines the lives of three college seniors at Brown University in the '80s. The three characters — Madeleine, an incurable romantic; Leonard, a brilliant but unstable philosopher, and Mitchell, a clear-eyed religious-studies student — find themselves enveloped in a love triangle of sorts that loops in enigmatic professors, feminist theorists, neo-Victorians and concerned mothers.
OPINION
April 8, 2008
Re "Designing better choices," Opinion, April 2 Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein miss a big point about libertarianism when using it conjoined with paternalism: "Voluntarily" doing one thing versus a second thing is not "free choice." They forget the other available choice: I don't want to have to make a choice. If the institution setting the choices is private, then I may choose not to do business with it. But when a public institution is setting the choices, I cannot avoid having to choose.
NEWS
June 4, 2006 | Sara Toth, Associated Press Writer
They still wear yeshiva black, but the students of Ono Academic College have put their religious texts aside to study a different world. They are among thousands of haredim, a community of Orthodox Jews, who in recent years have abandoned their seminaries to study law, business, accountancy, social work and computer programming, and to function better in the secular world.
NATIONAL
December 8, 2005
A University of Kansas professor who drew criticism for e-mails he wrote deriding Christian fundamentalists over creationism resigned as chairman of the Department of Religious Studies. Paul Mirecki stepped down on the recommendation of his colleagues, according to Barbara Romzek, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Los Angeles Times Articles
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