Monday, January 13, 2014

Watch that Pitchfork!!!! New Seminar for MALAS @ SDSU: Satan and Satanism!!! Spring 2014 with Professor Rebecca Moore, Religious Studies, SDSU

Spring 2014
Satan and Satanism
Professor Rebecca Moore, Religious Studies
4pm-6:40pm, Mondays

This course goes beyond the fiendish man in the red suit to examine a number of historical, philosophical, religious, and moral issues. These include the nature of evil, the personification of evil, and the projection of evil described by Jung as the “shadow side” of the human personality. It tracks the historical development of the character called Satan and various movements of his followers. It considers how the Other is demonized by association with the devil. It concludes by studying contemporary uses and appropriations of Satan in popular culture.

Rebecca Moore has a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Marquette University (1996), where her specialty was Jewish and Christian dialogue. She has written and published on medieval Christian theologians and their debt to Jewish biblical commentary. In the past five years she has turned her attention to the study of New Religious Movements, where she has concentrated on explicating a group called Peoples Temple and the events at Jonestown, Guyana in November 1978. This effort can be seen on the website Recently she has returned to questions of inter-religious dialogue. She co-authored the book A Portable God: The Origin of Judaism and Christianity, with SDSU colleague Risa Levitt Kohn. The book examines how first-century Judaic groups interpreted Israelite religion in a new historical context. Home Page:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Spring 2014 Seminar on Social Justice and the Environment! MALAS 600B: Water Wars: Environmental Exploitation, Resource Scarcity, and Human Rights | Dr. Michael Tiboris, Philosophy @ SDSU

MALAS 600B: Water Wars: Environmental Exploitation, Resource Scarcity, and Human Rights

Dr. Michael Tiboris

Southern California should be impossible. Annual rainfall here is similar to Iraq, and the main sources of water are a vast and expensive system of aqueducts (some of which are 1,400 miles long, drawing water from the Colorado River basin) propped up by a massive energy system and a management system which is not entirely democratic or technocratic.  And yet, it is one of the most successful desert civilizations in the history of the planet.  As the population swells, water consumption is on pace to far exceed current supply.  In other parts of the world, for example India and Bolivia, similar crises have degenerated into, at times, violent political conflict.  Why does this seem unlikely to happen here, or is it just a matter of time, or of history repeating itself?  What does the history of water conflict in California's past say about the same in its future?

This course blends resources from history, philosophy, economics, environmental science, and a little bit of poetry to investigate issues of justice in times of resource scarcity. Students will learn about the surprisingly fraught history of water reclamation in the western United States. They will confront questions about whether water is a private commodity or a public good, what it means to "preserve" a "natural" environment, and whether access to water is a basic human right. Course texts include works of social history, environmentalist journalism, economics, philosophy, and contemporary research in the natural sciences all aimed at answering the question: who owns the water and what do we do when it runs out?

Michael Tiboris, Lecturer in Philosophy

Dr. Tiboris's work is broadly ethical, focusing on issues of moral responsibility and autonomous agency in juvenile justice and education.  He also has significant research interests in the ethics and economics of resource scarcity.  After completing his graduate degree at UCSD (2012) he was awarded a UC postdoc with support from a grant by the Spencer Foundation to write about autonomy as a goal in educational policy.  This year he is a fellow at the SDSU Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs specializing in ethics in educational policy.  He teaches courses in ethical theory, applied ethics, and political philosophy. An example of his recent work can be found here:  

NEW Spring 2014 MALAS Seminar: "God's Fist! Religion in United States Empire" with Professor Ed Blum, History, SDSU

click to enlarge
Religion in United States Empire is a reading-intensive course that focuses upon intersections of religion, colonialism, imperialism, and foreign relations throughout "American" history. Our emphasis will be on secondary sources to obtain theoretical understandings of these subjects and enough historical evidence to evaluate the theories.

Edward J. Blum (University of Kentucky, 2003) is a historian of race and religion in the United States. He is the author (with Paul Harvey) of The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America(2012), W. E. B. Du Bois, American Prophet(2007), and Reforging the White Republic: Race, Religion, and American Nationalism, 1865-1898 (2005). He is also the co-editor (with Paul Harvey) of The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History (2012), (with Jason R. Young) The Souls of W. E. B. Du Bois: New Essays and Reflections (2009), and (with W. Scott Poole) Vale of Tears: New Essays on Religion and Reconstruction (2005). Blum has been awarded the Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities by the Council of Graduate Schools for the best first book by a historian published between 2002 and 2009 (2009), the Peter Seaborg Award for the best book in Civil War Studies (2006), and the C. Vann Woodward Dissertation Prize for the best dissertation in southern history (2004). Twice he has been recognized by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights and in 2007 was named by the History News Network a “top young historian.” He has been a fellow with the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University and with the National Endowment for the Humanities. In the classroom, Blum engages the past in a variety of ways, whether through music and images or debates and historical simulations. His courses include Antebellum America, the Civil War and Reconstruction, American religious history, and history through biography. He is a co-editor of the teaching blog and with Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman and Jon Gjerde of Major Problems in American History.