School of Religion

School of Religion

School of Religion

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Undergraduate Courses

There are no prerequisites for 100 level courses.

  • RELS 131A&B - World Religions/Religious Worlds
    Introduces religion in India, China and Japan; also the movements of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Humanism.
     
  • RELS 161A&B - Contemporary Problems in Religion and Culture
    Explores religious issues in culture, literature, politics an social ethics.
     
  • RELS 162 - Religion in the News
    This course will identify and describe characteristics of religion as they appear in news reports of social, political and economic aspects of public life and analyze how the news presents, shapes and creates perceptions of religion in public discourse.
     
  • RELS 163 - Religion and Popular Culture
    This course will identify and describe characteristics of religion as they appear in popular culture (e.g. fashion, comics, movies, art, music, novels, sitcoms, dramas, video games) and analyze how such depictions present, shape and create perceptions of religion in public discourse.
     
  • Prerequisites for 200 level courses.
    Level 2 or above or 6.0 units at the 100 level in RELS.

     
  • RELS 201 - Themes in Religious Studies (topics course)
    A topic of current interest in Religious Studies not covered in other available courses.
     
  • RELS 202 - Traditions in Religious Studies (topics course)
    A topic of current interest in Religious Studies not covered in other available courses.
     
  • RELS 210 - Hebrew Bible
    Introduction in the light of the political, cultural, and religious history of ancient Israel and Judah.
     
  • RELS 212 - Mythology of the Ancient Near East
    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.
     
  • RELS 214 - The New Testament
    As religious literature expressing the witness to Jesus; and as source for the history, trends and problems of early Christianity.
     
  • RELS 218 - Christianity
    Introduction to Christianity as a religious tradition through its texts, its history and its contemporary forms.
     
  • RELS 222 - The Hindu World
    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).
     
  • RELS 223 - Buddhism
    Buddhism in India, the life and teaching of Gautama the Buddha, and the growth of the Theravadin and Mahayanist traditions.
     
  • RELS 224 - Taoism
    The philosophy, worldview, spirituality and ethics of Taoism, China's organized indigenous religion, in Chinese history and in the contemporary world.
     
  • RELS 226 - Islam
    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.
     
  • RELS 227 - Religions of Native Peoples
    Features of and theories about religious life in small-scale traditional societies. Includes Canadian Indians and Inuit.
     
  • RELS 228 - Sages, Scholars and Rabbis
    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.
     
  • RELS 229 - Confucianism
    The philosophy, worldview, spirituality and ethics of Confucianism in its classical, modern and contemporary forms.
     
  • RELS 234 - Judaism
    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.
     
  • RELS 235 - Religion and Environment
    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.
     
  • RELS 236 - Religion and Sex
    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.
     
  • RELS 237 - Religion and Film
    How religion is portrayed in film; particularly the depiction of religious belief, practices, practitioners, and institutions, and the use of religious symbols and metaphors.
     
  • RELS 239 - Religion and Sport
    This course will provide an overview of the relatively new and expanding body of research that examines the relationship between sport, spirituality and religion. Topics including play, games, flow, ritual, prayer, sports stars as role models, doping, fandom and miracles in sport will be explored.
     
  • RELS 240 - Magic, Witchcraft, and the Supernatural
    Studies the differences between the categories of religion, magic, witchcraft, the supernatural, etc., as constructed in scholarship, popular culture, and practice. Focuses on examples such as New Religious Movements, depictions of magic in film & TV, and moral panics over alleged occult practices, and the histories that let us make sense of them.
     
  • RELS 250 - Mythology of Heroes, Heroines and Saints
    Their place in religious consciousness with a variety of examples.
     
  • RELS 252 - Mysticism
    The academic study of mysticism; mystical movements; and mystics.
     
  • RELS 255 - Research Methods in Religious Studies
    An investigation into the techniques of critical reading and writing for research in Religious Studies.
     
  • RELS 266 - Religion and Social Ethics
    Moral problems and religious responses: e.g., sexual morality; violence; civil disobedience.
     
  • RELS 268 - Religion and Biomedical Ethics
    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.
     
  • Prerequisites for 3xx level courses.
    Level 3 or above or 6.0 units at the 100 level in RELS unless otherwise noted.

     
  • RELS 301 - Themes in Religious Studies (topics course)
    A topic of current interest in Religious Studies not covered in other available courses.
     
  • RELS 302 - Traditions in Religious Studies (topics course)
    A topic of current interest in Religious Studies not covered in other available courses.
     
  • RELS 310 - Modern and Contemporary Christian Thought
    Exemplary work in recent and contemporary Christian theology.
     
  • RELS 311 - Jesus: The Continuing Historical Quest
    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.
     
  • RELS 312 - Christian Feminist Theology
    Issues raised by the feminist critique of traditional Christian theology and feminist attempts at theological reconstruction.
     
  • RELS 321 - Greek and Roman Religions
    A study of the development and organization of non-civic religious associations in the Greek and Roman empires using inscriptions, papyri, and literary texts. Insight into religious practices of the Greco-Roman period comes through exploration of groups organized by deity, cult, occupation, or ethnic identity, and the so-called mystery religions.
     
  • RELS 322 - Yoga in India and the West
    Surveys the history and philosophy of yoga in India and the West.
    NOTE: Yoga practicum: estimated cost $85.
     
  • RELS 326 - Religion and Politics in Muslim Societies
    Explores the role of religion in the politics of Muslim societies with particular attention to the modern period.
     
  • RELS 328 - Interpretation of Apocalyptic Literature
    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.
     
  • RELS 331 - Religion and Violence
    Links between violence and religious beliefs, practices and institutions; for example, sacrifice, holy wars, scapegoating, and suicide.
     
  • RELS 334 - Jewish Views of the Other
    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.
     
  • RELS 340 - Religion and Democracy
    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.
     
  • RELS 341 - Spirituality, Secularity, and Nonreligion
    A study of concepts intended to summarize positions which are necessarily defined in reference to religion but considered to be other than religious. We explore the origins and presents of perspectives and experiences including the secular, spiritual-but-not-religious, atheistic, and other forms of imitation, indifference and hostility to religion.
     
  • RELS 354 - Theory in Religious Studies
    An introduction to major theoretical approaches to the study of religion.
    Prerequisite: Level 3 and 6.0 units at the 200 level in RELS.
     
  • RELS 368 - Religion, Business, and Ethics
    Students will develop background knowledge and analytic skills necessary to identify and negotiate religious commitments in business relationships and resolve ethical issues around the role of religion in business contexts. We will analyze case studies to explore various ways in which business practitioners can and do address questions arising in everyday interactions in the business world.
     
  • RELS 393 - Buddhism in the Modern World
    Encounter between Buddhism and the West, major movements and thinkers, and socio-politically engaged Buddhism.
     
  • RELS 394 - Religion and Politics in Contemporary China
    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.
     
  • RELS 396 - Islam in the Modern World
    Exploration of Islamic developments since the 19th century: major thinkers, trends of thought, and contemporary movements as responses to modernity.
     
  • RELS 398 - Judaism in the Modern Age
    The development of modern Jewish thought and practice, including the Reform, Orthodox, Conservative and Reconstructionalist movements. The consequences of the Holocaust and the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
     
  • RELS 401 - Honours Seminar
    Advanced seminar providing detailed reading of one contemporary theme or thinker in religious studies.
    Prerequisite: Level 4 and registration in a RELS Major or Medial Plan and a GPA of 2.6 in 24.0 units in RELS.
     
  • RELS 452 - The Contemporary Religious Situation
    Religion in modernity; traditional groups, newer religious movements, contemporary ideologies and social trends of religious significance.
    Prerequisite: Level 3 or 4 and registration in a RELS Major or Medial Plan.

     

  • RELS 501 - Directed Special Studies I
    Reading courses on topics not covered in other available courses, arranged with individual members of the Department.
    Prerequisite: Level 4 and registration in the RELS Major Plan and permission of the Department.
     
  • RELS 502 - Directed Special Studies Ii
    Reading courses on topics not covered in other available courses, arranged with individual members of the Department.
    Prerequisite: Level 4 and registration in the RELS Major Plan and permission of the Department.
     
  • RELS 510 Honours Essay
    A critical essay of at least 7,500 words on a topic of the student's choice, written under the supervision of a faculty member.
    Prerequisite: Level 4 and registration in the RELS Major Plan and permission of the Department.