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2010-2011 Academic Year

Arts and Science Departments, Programs and Courses Religious Studies Courses of Instruction


Courses of Instruction
PREREQUISITES
The following prerequisites apply unless otherwise stated under the course description. For 200-level courses: 1.0 credit at the 100 level in Religious Studies or standing in second year or above. For 300-level courses: 1.0 credit at the 100 level in Religious Studies or standing in third year or above.
 
AVAILABILITY
The Department of Religious Studies does not offer all of the courses listed in the Calendar every year. For the most up-to-date information on the availability of courses offered in the current year, check QCARD or consult with the departmental office.
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RELS-131/1.0 World Religions/Religious Worlds 3L/T
Introduces religion in India, China and Japan; also the movements of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Humanism.
Also offered as a distance course. Consult Continuing and Distance Studies.
Also offered at the Bader International Study Centre, Herstmonceux.
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RELS-161/1.0 Contemporary Problems in Religion and Culture 3L/T
Explores religious issues in social ethics, literature, and culture; e.g., liberation, sexuality and gender, the Holocaust, the environment, and the future of humanity.
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RELS-210*/0.5 Hebrew Bible 3L
Introduction in the light of the political, cultural, and religious history of ancient Israel and Judah.
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RELS-212*/0.5 Mythology of the Ancient Near East 3L
Similarities and differences in the myths of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia will be explored on the basis of material remains (e.g., the pyramids and temple architecture) and texts.
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RELS-214*/0.5 The New Testament 3L
As religious literature expressing the witness to Jesus; and as source for the history, trends and problems of early Christianity.
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RELS-216*/0.5 Catholicism 3L/S
Beliefs, doctrines and practices characterizing Roman Catholicism both historically and in the present.
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RELS-218*/0.5 Christianity 3L/S
Introduction to Christianity as a religious tradition through its texts, its history and its contemporary forms.
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RELS-222*/0.5 The Hindu World 3L/S
Developments through 3,000 years of Indian history; the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga and Vedanta, mythology of Vishnu and Shiva, and recent Hindu thinkers (e.g., Tagore, Aurobindo).
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RELS-223*/0.5 Buddhism 3L/S
Buddhism in India, the life and teaching of Gautama the Buddha, and the growth of the Theravadin and Mahayanist traditions.
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RELS-224*/0.5 Taoism 3L/S
The philosophy, worldview, spirituality and ethics of Taoism, China’s organized indigenous religion, in Chinese history and in the contemporary world.
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RELS-225*/0.5 Religions of Japan 3L/S
Shinto, Buddhism, and new religions in contemporary Japan, examined in terms of their central features and historical development.
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RELS-226*/0.5 Islam 3L/S
Historical and topical survey of Islam, its development through the study of its rise, institutionalization of its beliefs and practices, formation of its theology, law, mysticism; as well as its modern interpretations and practices.
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RELS-227*/0.5 Religions of Native Peoples 3L/S
Features of and theories about religious life in small-scale traditional societies. Includes Canadian Indians and Inuit.
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RELS-228*/0.5 Sages, Scholars and Rabbis 3L
The religious institutions produced by the Jews from the second to the seventh centuries. This course will explore in critical fashion the principal areas of rabbinic activity including: topics on jurisprudence, philosophy, social and political thinking, the role of tradition and scriptures.
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RELS-229*/0.5 Confucianism 3L/S
The philosophy, worldview, spirituality and ethics of Confucianism in its classical, modern and contemporary forms.
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RELS-234*/0.5 Judaism 3L
An introduction to the self-definition of Judaism through an analysis of the concepts of God, Torah and Israel past and present. Also, a preliminary study of the struggles facing Jews in Europe, the State of Israel and North America.
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RELS-235*/0.5 Religion and Environment 3L
Examines how religious traditions shape human values and behaviours towards the environment and how environmental problems are shaping the evolution of religious and spiritual traditions.
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RELS-236*/0.5 Religion and Sex 3L/S
Views of and attitudes toward sexuality in selected world religions; the place of sexuality in religious traditions; relationship between sex and the sacred; specific topics such as marriage, gay and lesbian issues, contraception will be chosen.
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RELS-237*/0.5 Religion and Film 3L/S
How religion is portrayed in film; particularly the depiction of religious belief, practices, practitioners, and institutions, and the use of religious symbols and metaphors.
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RELS-238*/0.5 Religion and Fiction 3L
Religious dimensions and meanings of modern and contemporary fiction.
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RELS-250*/0.5 Mythology of Heroes, Heroines and Saints 3L/S
Their place in religious consciousness with a variety of examples.
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RELS-252*/0.5 Mysticism 3L/S
The academic study of mysticism; mystical movements; and mystics.
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RELS-256*/0.5 The Interpretation of Sacred Texts 3L/S
Sacred texts in religions, examining their social importance, interpretative shifts, and battles over authority.
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RELS-259*/0.5 Women in Religious Traditions 3L/S
The status and roles of women in selected religious traditions; impact of feminism on the study of religion.
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RELS-266*/0.5 Religion and Social Ethics 3L
Moral problems and religious responses: e.g., sexual morality; violence; civil disobedience.
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RELS-268*/0.5 Religion and Bioethics 3L/S
Moral and religious norms of ethical judgment in bio-medicine; specific issues will be chosen such as population control, abortion, genetic control, experimentation, consent behaviour control, death and euthanasia.
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RELS-301*/0.5 Topics in Religious Studies I 3L/S
A topic of current interest in Religious Studies not covered in other available courses.
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RELS-302*/0.5 Topics in Religious Studies II 3L/S
For a complete description, see RELS 301*.
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RELS-310*/0.5 Modern and Contemporary Christian Thought 3L/S
Exemplary work in recent and contemporary Christian theology.
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RELS-311*/0.5 Jesus: The Continuing Historical Quest 3L
This course provides an introduction to the methods and premises used in the modern quest to understand the historical facts of Jesus' life. Particular attention will be given to understanding the historical Jesus in his first-century socio-cultural context.
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RELS-312*/0.5 Christian Feminist Theology 3L/S
Issues raised by the feminist critique of traditional Christian theology and feminist attempts at theological reconstruction.
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RELS-322*/0.5 Yoga in India and the West 3L/S;1.5P
Surveys the history and philosophy of yoga in India and the West.
NOTE    Yoga practicum: estimated cost $85.
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RELS-324*/0.5 Body, Mind and Spirit in Chinese Culture 3L/S
Chinese cultural views of the body, mind and spirit and the connections between traditional Chinese medicine, philosophy and religion.
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RELS-326*/0.5 Religion and Politics in Iran 3L/S
Explores the role of religion in a Muslim society as exemplified in modern Iranian experience: a move from politicization of Islam to a post-fundamentalist interpretation.
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RELS-328*/0.5 Interpretation of Apocalyptic Literature 3L
The primary focus of the course will be the theological perspectives and social functions of apocalyptic in select religious traditions. The course will also survey the appropriation of apocalyptic themes throughout history in artistic forms such as art, fiction, and film, with particular attention to our modern times and cultures.
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RELS-331*/0.5 Religion and Violence 3L/S
Links between violence and religious beliefs, practices and institutions; for example, sacrifice, holy wars, scapegoating, and suicide.
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RELS-332*/0.5 The Goddess 3L/S
Examination of Goddesses in various religious traditions, both ancient and contemporary.
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RELS-334*/0.5 Jewish Views of the Other 3L
A study of the tensions that come into play as Jews formulated views of the Other to balance co-existence with them. Source materials include authoritative writings of Jewish commentary and law and social scientific views of them.
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RELS-340*/0.5 Religion and Democracy 3L/S
Deals with the role of religion in the public sphere and its relation to liberal democracy. It examines the (in)compatibility of some tenets of certain religions with modern democratic principles.
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RELS-354*/0.5 Theory in Religious Studies 3L/S
An introduction to major theoretical approaches to the study of religion. PREREQUISITE    1.0 credit in Religious Studies at the 200 level and third-year standing.
EXCLUSION    RELS 353.
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RELS-355*/0.5 Research Methods in Religious Studies 3L/S
An investigation into the techniques of critical reading and writing for research in Religious Studies.  PREREQUISITE    1.0 credit in Religious Studies at the 200 level and third-year standing.
EXCLUSION    RELS 353.
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RELS-364*/0.5 Comparative Religious Ethics 3L/S
Ethics in religious traditions; how and why systems differ. Both general concepts and specific problems are considered.
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RELS-393*/0.5 Buddhism in the Modern World 3L/S
Encounter between Buddhism and the West, major movements and thinkers, and socio-politically engaged Buddhism.
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RELS-394*/0.5 Religion and Politics in Contemporary China 3L/S
Examines Chinese and foreign religions in mainland China from 1949 to the present day. Topics include the status of established religions, the political control of new religious movements and the resurgence of traditional Chinese religions and ideologies including Daoism and Confucianism.
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RELS-396*/0.5 Islam in the Modern World 3L/S
Exploration of Islamic developments since the 19th century: major thinkers, trends of thought, and contemporary movements as responses to modernity.
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RELS-398*/0.5 Judaism in the Modern Age 3L/S
The development of modern Jewish thought and practice, including the Reform, Orthodox, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements. The consequences of the Holocaust and the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
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RELS-401*/0.5 Honours Seminar 3S
Advanced seminar providing detailed reading of one contemporary theme or thinker in religious studies. PREREQUISITE    Admission to Honours in Religious Studies or permission of the Department.
PREREQUISITE OR COREQUISITE    RELS 354* and RELS 355* (or RELS 353).
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RELS-452*/0.5 The Contemporary Religious Situation 3S
Religion in modernity; traditional groups, newer religious movements, contemporary ideologies and social trends of religious significance. PREREQUISITE    Third- or fourth-year standing with a major or medial concentration in Religious Studies.
PREREQUISITE OR COREQUISITE    RELS 353 or RELS 354* or RELS 355*.
EXCLUSION    RELS 451.
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RELS-501*/0.5 Directed Special Studies I
Reading courses on topics not covered in other available courses, arranged with individual members of the Department. RELS 502* may be taken independently or as a continuation of RELS 501*. PREREQUISITES    Fourth-year standing with a major concentration in Religious Studies; admission to honours and permission of the Department.
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RELS-502*/0.5 Directed Special Studies II
For a complete description, see RELS 501*. PREREQUISITES    Fourth-year standing with a major concentration in Religious Studies; admission to honours and permission of the Department.
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RELS-510*/0.5 Honours Essay
A critical essay of at least 7500 words on a topic of the student's choice, written under the supervision of a faculty member. PREREQUISITE    Fourth year standing with a major concentration in Religious Studies; admission to honours and permission of the Department.
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Arts and Science Departments, Programs and Courses Religious Studies Courses of Instruction
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