Faculty of Arts

Department of Classics and Religion

Classics (General)

Western Civilization

This peer-reviewed, open Lumen Learning course covers introductory concepts in western civilization, from the Hittites to the Protestant Reformation.

Includes: Key terms

Ancient and Medieval History

The Ancient and Medieval World

This introductory text is organized in a modular format, with a general introduction to each topic, a timeline and relevant maps, several primary documents to help students to better understand the time period, and at least two visual or audio sources to add a different dimension to that understanding.

Includes: Questions for consideration, glossary

Manuscripts Online: Written Culture 1000 to 1500

This resource is a collection of manuscripts with introductions. Please note that while free to use, the material on this site are typically not licensed for editing or remixing.

Western Civilization: A Concise History – Volume 1

Western Civilization: A Concise History​ is available in three volumes. Volume 1 covers introductory concepts in western civilization, from the origins of civilization in Mesopotamia c. 8,000 BCE through the early Middle Ages in Europe c. 1,000 CE. Topics include Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome, the Islamic caliphates, and the early European Middle Ages.

Western Civilization: A Concise History – Volume 2

Volume 2 looks at the early Middle Ages to the French Revolution in 1789 CE. This volume covers topics including the High Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the European conquest of the Americas, the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment.

World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500

This text offers a comprehensive introduction to the history of humankind from prehistory to 1500, covering such cultures, states, and societies as Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Israel, Dynastic Egypt, India’s Classical Age, the Dynasties of China, Archaic Greece, the Roman Empire, Islam, Medieval Africa, the Americas, and the Khanates of Central Asia. Reviews are available.

Includes: Summary, key terms

Greek and Roman Studies

Brevissima: 1001 Tiny Latin Poems

This book is divided into 3 parts, with Part 1 containing only the most commonly used Latin vocabulary, Part 2 containing a word that is less commonly used, and part 3 containing two words which are less commonly used.

Cicero, Against Verres, 2.1.53-86. Latin Text with Introduction, Study Questions, Commentary and English Translation

This volume provides a portion of the original text of Cicero’s speech in Latin, a detailed commentary, study aids, and a translation.

Includes: Vocabulary, map

Cicero, On Pompey’s Command (De Imperio), 27-49. Latin Text, Study Aids with Vocabulary, Commentary, and Translation

This course book offers a portion of the original Latin text, vocabulary, and commentary. Reviews are available from the Open Textbook Library.

Includes: Vocabulary terms

Latin Via Proverbs

These Latin proverbs are organized by grammatical categories, so that they can be used with students at various levels.

Mille Fabulae et Una: 1001 Aesop’s Fables in Latin

These fables are organized by main character. An overview of the fable genre is also included.

Mythology Unbound: An Online Textbook for Classical Mythology

It covers introductory concepts in classical mythology, from Aegis to Zeus. Reviews available on the Open Textbook Library.

Includes: Map

Ovid, Amores (Book 1)

From Catullus to Horace, the tradition of Latin erotic poetry produced works of literature which are still read throughout the world. Ovid’s Amores, written in the first century BC, is arguably the best-known and most popular collection in this tradition. Introductory essays included. Reviews available through the Open Textbook Library.

Includes: Suggested reading, embedded audio files of the original text read aloud

Ovid, Metamorphoses, 3.511-733. Latin Text with Commentary

This course book offers a wide-ranging introduction, the original Latin text, study aids with vocabulary, and an extensive commentary. This extract from Ovid’s ‘Theban History’ recounts the confrontation of Pentheus, king of Thebes, with his divine cousin, Bacchus, the god of wine.

Includes: Commentary, glossary

The Roman Empire

It covers introductory concepts in the roman empire.

Includes: Timeline

Roman Gods

Though not a textbook, this open access book analyzes the pagan, Jewish, and Christian concepts of “god” along the lines of space, time, personnel, function, iconography and ritual.

Tacitus, Annals, 15.20­-23, 33­-45. Latin Text, Study Aids with Vocabulary, and Commentary

This course book offers a portion of the original Latin text, study aids with vocabulary, and a commentary. It extends beyond detailed linguistic analysis and historical background to encourage critical engagement with Tacitus’ prose and discussion of the most recent scholarly thought. Reviews available through the Open Textbook Library.

Includes: Vocabulary aid, maps, family tree

Virgil, Aeneid, 4.1-299. Latin Text, Study Questions, Commentary and Interpretative Essays

This course book offers a portion of the original Latin text, study questions, a commentary, and interpretative essays. Designed to stretch and stimulate readers, Ingo Gildenhard’s incisive commentary will be of particular interest to students of Latin at both A2 and undergraduate level. It extends beyond detailed linguistic analysis to encourage critical engagement with Virgil’s poetry and discussion of the most recent scholarly thought. Reviews available through the Open Textbook Library.

Includes: Study questions, bibliography

Vulgate Verses: 4000 Verses from the Bible for Teachers and Students of Latin

These Latin verses are organized by grammatical categories, so that they can be used with students at various levels.

Religious Studies

Christianity, Islam, and Orisa Religion: Three Traditions in Comparison and Interaction

The Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria are exceptional for the copresence among them of three religious traditions: Islam, Christianity, and the indigenous oriṣa religion. In this comparative study, at once historical and anthropological, Peel explores the intertwined character of the three religions and the dense imbrication of religion in all aspects of Yoruba history up to the present.

Cultural Worlds of the Jesuits in Colonial Latin America

This volume of 12 essays includes papers from scholars of history, linguistics, religion, art, architecture, music, medicine and science. Please note that although this book is free to read and redistribute, it is not licensed for editing or remixing.

The Emergence of Modern Hinduism: Religion on the Margins of Colonialism

The Emergence of Modern Hinduism argues for the importance of regional, vernacular innovation in processes of Hindu modernization.

Essays in Anarchism and Religion

Anarchism and religion have historically had an uneasy relationship. Yet, ever since the emergence of anarchism as an intellectual and political movement, a considerable number of religious anarchists have insisted that their religious tradition necessarily implies an anarchist political stance. Their stories are finally gaining increasing public and scholarly attention. Reflecting both a rise of interest in anarchist ideas and activism on the one hand, and the revival of religious ideas and movements in the political sphere on the other, this book examines a range of examples of overlaps and contestations between the two from a diverse range of academic perspectives. The first pioneering volume of Essays in Anarchism & Religion comprises eight essays from leading international scholars on topics ranging from the anarchism of the historical Jesus to Zen Buddhism and the philosophies of Max Stirner and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. In a world where political ideas increasingly matter once more, and religion is an increasingly visible aspect of global political life, these essays offer scholarly analysis of overlooked activists, ideas and movements, and as such reveal the possibility of a powerful critique of contemporary global society.

Ethnicity, Race, Religion: Identities and Ideologies in Early Jewish and Christian Texts, and in Modern Biblical Interpretation

Religion, ethnicity and race are facets of identity that have become increasingly contested. The modern discipline of biblical studies developed in the context of Western Europe, concurrent with the emergence of various racial and imperial ideologies. The essays in this volume deal both with historical facets of ethnicity and race in antiquity, in particular in relation to the identities of Jews and Christians, and also with the critique of scholarly ideologies and racial assumptions which have shaped biblical studies.

Exploring Jesuit Distinctiveness: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Ways of Proceeding within the Society of Jesus

This volume presents twelve essays from the First International Symposium on Jesuit Studies, on the theme of the distinctiveness of Jesuits and their ministries.

Faithful Translators: Authorship, Gender, and Religion in Early Modern England

With Faithful Translators Jaime Goodrich offers the first in-depth examination of women’s devotional translations and of religious translations in general within early modern England. Placing female translators such as Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, alongside their male counterparts, such as Sir Thomas More and Sir Philip Sidney, Goodrich argues that both male and female translators constructed authorial poses that allowed their works to serve four distinct cultural functions: creating privacy, spreading propaganda, providing counsel, and representing religious groups. Ultimately, Faithful Translators calls for a reconsideration of the apparent simplicity of “faithful” translations and aims to reconfigure perceptions of early modern authorship, translation, and women writers.

The Future of Catholic Theological Ethics

This edited volume undertakes a search for new ways of making Catholic theological ethics relevant.

Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South India

In Hindu Pluralism, Elaine M. Fisher complicates the traditional scholarly narrative of the unification of Hinduism. By calling into question the colonial categories implicit in the term “sectarianism,” Fisher’s work excavates the pluralistic textures of precolonial Hinduism in the centuries prior to British intervention. Drawing on previously unpublished sources in Sanskrit, Tamil, and Telugu, Fisher argues that the performance of plural religious identities in public space in Indian early modernity paved the way for the emergence of a distinctively non-Western form of religious pluralism. This work provides a critical resource for understanding how Hinduism developed in the early modern period, a crucial era that set the tenor for religion’s role in public life in India through the present day.

Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy of Religion

Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy of Religion introduces some of the major traditional arguments for and against the existence of God, as well as some less well-known, but thought-provoking arguments for the existence of God, and one of the most important new challenges to religious belief from the Cognitive Science of Religion. An introductory chapter traces the connection between philosophy and religion throughout Western history, and a final chapter addresses the place of non-Western and non-monotheistic religions within contemporary philosophy of religion. Reviews are available.

Includes: Glossary, questions to consider

Introduction to South and East Asian Philosopher Reader: An Open Educational Resource

This Introduction to South and East Asian Philosopher Reader was developed as an Open Textbook for use in a lower-level Philosophy course at a California community college. It contains many of the classic and important works in East and South Asian Philosophies as well as some historical and biographical information. This work is effectively an anthology of many important works in Philosophy that are freely available.

Jesuits in Spanish America before the Suppression  : Organization and Demographic and Quantitative Perspectives

This book covers the period from the role members of the Society of Jesus played in urban life in Spanish American and as administrators of frontier missions, from the late sixteenth century until their expulsion in 1767. Please note that although this book is free to read and redistribute, it is not licensed for editing or remixing.

Jewish Religion After Theology

Jewish Religion After Theology ponders one of the most intriguing shifts in modern Jewish thought: from a metaphysical and theological standpoint toward a new manner of philosophizing based primarily on practice. Different chapters study this great shift and its various manifestations. The central figure of this new examination is Isaiah Leibowitz, whose thoughts encapsulate more than any other Jewish thinker this stance of religion without metaphysics. Sagi explores corresponding issues such as observance, the possibility of pluralism, the meaning of penance without messianic suppositions, and pragmatic coping with theodicy after the Holocaust, presenting the different possibilities within this great alteration in Jewish thought.

The Land, the Bible, and History

This edited volume presents a Catholic view of the Promised Land—as concept, history, and contested terrain—in Catholic teaching and doctrine.

Lived Religion and Gender in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

This study is an exploration of lived religion and gender across the Reformation, from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Combining conceptual development with empirical history, the authors explore these two topics via themes of power, agency, work, family, sainthood, and witchcraft.

Lived Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World: Approaching Religious Transformations from Archaeology, History and Classics

The Lived Ancient Religion project has radically changed perspectives on ancient religions and their supposedly personal or public character. This volume applies and further develops these methodological tools, new perspectives and new questions.

Making Religion and Human Rights at the United Nations

The series Religion and Society (RS) contributes to the exploration of religions as social systems– both in Western and non-Western societies; in particular, it examines religions in their differentiation from, and intersection with, other cultural systems, such as art, economy, law and politics. Due attention is given to paradigmatic case or comparative studies that exhibit a clear theoretical orientation with the empirical and historical data of religion and such aspects of religion as ritual, the religious imagination, constructions of tradition, iconography, or media. In addition, the formation of religious communities, their construction of identity, and their relation to society and the wider public are key issues of this series.

Medicine, Religion and Gender in Medieval Culture

Current preoccupations with the body have led to a growing interest in the intersections between religion, literature and the history of medicine, and, more specifically, how they converge within a given culture. This collection of essays explores the ways in which aspects of medieval culture were predicated upon an interaction between medical and religious discourses, particularly those inflected by contemporary gendered ideologies. The essays interrogate this convergence broadly in a number of different ways: textually, conceptually, historically, socially and culturally. They argue for an inextricable relationship between the physical and spiritual in accounts of health, illness and disability, and demonstrate how medical, religious and gender discourses were integrated in medieval culture.

Medicine – Religion – Spirituality: Global Perspectives on Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Healing

In modern societies the functional differentiation of medicine and religion is the predominant paradigm. Contemporary therapeutic practices and concepts in healing systems, such as Transpersonal Psychology, Ayurveda, as well as Buddhist and Anthroposophic medicine, however, are shaped by medical as well as religious or spiritual elements. This book investigates configurations of the entanglement between medicine, religion, and spirituality in Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa.

On the Significance of Religion for Global Diplomacy

What could it mean, in terms of strengthening multilateral diplomacy, if the UN, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union, and other regional diplomatic frameworks engaged more creatively with a religious perspective? In this ground-breaking volume it is argued that international organisations, backed by governments, can and should use their convening power to initiate new, multi-layered frameworks of engagement, inclusive of the representatives of religion.

On the Significance of Religion in Conflict and Conflict Resolution

In this essay collection, the authors analyze the role of religion in conflict and conflict resolution. They do so from the perspectives of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, while bringing different disciplines into play, including peace and conflict studies, religious studies, theology and ethics.

Philosophy of Western Religions

Appropriate for an introductory philosophy of religion class.

Includes: Review and discussion questions

Politics, Religion and Gender: Framing and Regulating the Veil

Heated debates about Muslim women’s veiling practices have regularly attracted the attention of European policymakers over the last decade. Seeking to establish why the issue has become part of the disciplinary practices of some European countries but not of others, this work brings together an important collection of interpretative research regarding the current debates on the veil in Europe, offering an interdisciplinary scope and European-wide setting. Brought together through a common research methodology, the contributors focus on the different religious, political and cultural meanings of the veiling issue across eight countries and develop a comparative explanation of veiling regimes. This work will be of great interest to students and scholars of religion & politics, gender studies and multiculturalism.

Power and Religion in Baroque Rome

This study analyzes the ways in which a variety of cultural manifestations were the necessary preconditions for (religious) policy and power in the Rome of Urban VIII (1623-1644).

The Religion of the Ancient Celts

This digitized book was written in 1911 by John Arnott MacCulloch.

The Sacred and the Sovereign

This collection features seven articles which tackle the subject of religion and its resurgence in international politics from diverse approaches.

Sacred Views of Saint Francis (PDF)

This is the first significant scholarly work on the Sacro Monte di Orta in English. It includes a catalogue of artists, over one hundred photographs, maps, short essays on each chapel, and longer essays that examine some of the most significant chapels in greater detail.

Six Ways of Being Religious: A Framework for Comparative Studies of Religion

The book proposes the hypothesis that six generic ways of being religious may be found in any large-scale religious tradition such as Christianity or Buddhism or Islam or Hinduism: sacred rite, right action, devotion, shamanic mediation, mystical quest, and reasoned inquiry. These are recurrent ways in which, socially and individually, devout members of these traditions take up and appropriate their stories and symbols in order to draw near to, and come into right relationship with, what the traditions attest to be the ultimate reality. Reviews are available.

Includes: Chapter summaries, study questions, and glossary

Studying the Bible: The Tanakh and Early Christian Writings

Studying the Bible: The Tanakh and Early Christian Writings is a university-level, textbook introduction to the study of the Bible, its literary forms, and historical and cultural contexts. This textbook examines the Hebrew Bible (also known as the Tanakh) and the early Christian writings of the New Testament. It is an introduction to the analysis of biblical texts, their histories, and their interpretations. The emphasis throughout this textbook is on the literary qualities of these biblical texts as well as their cultural and historical contexts. Reviews are available.

World Religions: the Spirit Searching

This text, while full of various ways that people have searched and discovered and created, covers a few of the bigger traditions in our world.  Each chapter introduces the reader to some ideas from that specific tradition that enlighten them as to how a specific group of people think, believe, and live.

Includes: Videos, links to resources

The Years of Jesuit Suppression, 1773-1814: Survival, Setbacks, and Transformation

This book covers the forty-one years between the Society of Jesus’s papal suppression in 1773 and its eventual restoration in 1814. Please note that although this book is free to read and redistribute, it is not licensed for editing or remixing.

South Asian Studies

Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South India

In Hindu Pluralism, Elaine M. Fisher complicates the traditional scholarly narrative of the unification of Hinduism. By calling into question the colonial categories implicit in the term “sectarianism,” Fisher’s work excavates the pluralistic textures of precolonial Hinduism in the centuries prior to British intervention. Drawing on previously unpublished sources in Sanskrit, Tamil, and Telugu, Fisher argues that the performance of plural religious identities in public space in Indian early modernity paved the way for the emergence of a distinctively non-Western form of religious pluralism. This work provides a critical resource for understanding how Hinduism developed in the early modern period, a crucial era that set the tenor for religion’s role in public life in India through the present day.

Introduction to South and East Asian Philosopher Reader: An Open Educational Resource

This Introduction to South and East Asian Philosopher Reader was developed as an Open Textbook for use in a lower-level Philosophy course at a California community college. It contains many of the classic and important works in East and South Asian Philosophies as well as some historical and biographical information. This work is effectively an anthology of many important works in Philosophy that are freely available.


Your Subject Librarian in the Department of Classics and Religion is Jerremie Clyde.


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