Religions and Cultures Courses

Description: This course explores the conceptual elements that underlie the religious experience. These elements include the notion of the sacred, beliefs, cosmologies and myths, the origins and understanding of evil, ethics and salvation.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for RELI 211 may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course focuses on the day‑to‑day practice of religious traditions. Included are the expression of religious experiences through art, music, and scripture; transmission of these religious expressions through ritual, worship and mystical/ecstatic practices; and the construction and maintenance of different types of religious authority and communal identities.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for RELI 211 may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course surveys the history, doctrines, institutions, and practices of religions that arose in Western Asia, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The course examines contemporary forms of religious life in those parts of the world where these traditions have spread, as well as indigenous religions. The course explores the religious activities and experiences of both women and men within these various traditions.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for RELI 213 may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course surveys the history, doctrines, institutions, and practices of religions that have arisen in and spread throughout Asia, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and the religions of China and Japan. The course explores the religious activities and experiences of both women and men within these traditions.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for RELI 213 may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course serves as an introduction to some of the religions of today’s world, and explores several contemporary contexts where people of diverse religious backgrounds come into contact with one another.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 298 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course examines the continuities and changes in Jewish society, institutions, concepts, and traditions from ancient times to the present. It also provides an introduction to Jewish practice and belief in its contemporary diversity, including a survey of the rituals, symbols, and ceremonies of Jews today.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for RELI 222 may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course provides an introductory survey of key developments and enduring structures in the historical evolution of Christianity. It examines the variety of expressions of faith embodied in different churches, and traces the ways in which beliefs, institutions, symbols, and rituals have in the past and continue today to carry forward the Christian tradition as a world religion in a variety of cultural contexts.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course explores the religious tradition of Islam through the beliefs and practices of the vast number of Muslims scattered throughout the world — in the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, North America, and other places. It examines the scriptures and common rituals or “pillars” of the religion, as well as expressions of life and culture in the past and present such as the law (shariah), mystical orders, and the arts.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course surveys Hinduism in its diverse history, sects, schools of thought, sacred texts, spiritual practices, and contemporary interpretations. Students focus on several prominent dimensions of the tradition, including the Hindu temple, mysticism and metaphysics in the Upanishads, karma and rebirth, dharma (religious duty and the cosmic/social order), moksha (liberation), gender and caste, devotional traditions, and narrative literatures.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course introduces students to the diversity of forms of Buddhism that have emerged in history and are practised today. It examines those aspects that are shared in common by Buddhists all over the world, including reverence for the Buddha, support of the monastic order, and adherence to the Buddha’s teachings. The course explores the ways in which these ideals and beliefs are expressed through such Buddhist practices as worship, study, pilgrimage, and meditation.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: Iran has played a central role in world history, giving rise to Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and the Baha’i faith, as well as numerous minor sects. Iranian culture has also played a major role in informing and transforming Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Islam. This course covers the long history of Iranian civilization and its influence on peoples from the Mediterranean world to South and East Asia in the realms of religion, literature, architecture, and the arts.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for RELI 412 or for this topic under a RELI 298 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course explores examples of American popular culture — film, television, comedy, graphic novels — from the early‑20th to the early‑21st century that touch on Jews and Judaism. The course reveals ways in which Judaism has developed in the past century and the nature of a uniquely Jewish current that has developed a life of its own in the sphere of popular culture.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 298 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course introduces students to the link between Jews and food. It explores the interrelationship between sacred texts, cookbooks, film, fiction, and current theories on ethnic “foodways.” The study of foodways is a growing field that yields insight into the patterns of group formation, cultural development and communal identity. Judaism provides a good case study of these variables.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 298 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This introduction to the particular problems and issues in the study of women and religion uses case studies from various religious traditions. The course presents a survey of the different levels of participation, the complex ritual activities, and the intriguing divine imagery associated with women that are found in many religious traditions. Questions pertaining to the contemporary feminist discourse on such topics as witchcraft, matriarchy, and goddess religions are also explored.

Component(s): Lecture

(also listed as HIST 235)

Description: Beginning with a discussion of Jewish communities in Europe and America before 1933, this course traces the evolution of anti‑Semitism, nationalism, and racism, the rise of Hitler and the Nazi movement, the shaping of Nazi ideology, the growing demonization of the victims of the Holocaust and the genocide against them in their various countries, resistance by the victims, and the parts played by bystanders in the outcome of the Holocaust.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for HIST 235, HISW 235 or RELI 338 may not take this course for credit.

Description: Specific topics for this course, and prerequisites relevant in each case, are stated in the Undergraduate Class Schedule.

Description: This course takes a sociological and historical approach towards understanding new religious movements (NRMs), popularly known as “cults.” The course examines the reasons for their controversial status in society, and undertakes a survey of the beliefs, rituals, leadership, membership, recruitment strategies, and social organization of a number of specific NRMs.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for RELI 217 or for this topic under a RELI 298 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course introduces students to one of the great works of world literature, the Hebrew Bible. It familiarizes the student with the major genres of the Hebrew Bible and with the history, culture, and religion of ancient Israel. Particular attention is given to modern scholarly methods of interpretation, to the literary dimensions of the Bible, and to the subsequent development of Jewish interpretation and practice that builds on the Bible.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: Heir to one of the world’s great civilizations, Iran today is often viewed negatively by the West. However, the reality of life in the Islamic Republic differs in many ways from popular conceptions. This course explores the roots, development and current situation of a uniquely modern and dynamic contemporary Muslim society. Topics include gender relations, political theory, contemporary literature and the arts.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: Based on the study of significant texts, this course offers a historical and sociological exploration of the range of mystical and ecstatic experiences within the Christian tradition. Special consideration is given to the role which gender plays in understanding these experiences.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course introduces students to the history of Christianity in the United States, from the 1630s to the present, with an emphasis on the modern period. It traces how the U.S. has become the most religious country in the developed world and explores how Americans understand and practice Christianity. It covers key historical moments and movements, including Puritanism, revivals and awakenings, missions, abolition and slavery, fundamentalism, anti‑Communism and Pentecostalism.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course considers ethical issues arising in the context of personal and interpersonal relations, families and friendships, and health and medical care. These issues are discussed in relation to traditional and contemporary moral perspectives, both religious and non‑religious. Topics covered may vary from year to year, but may include discussions of conscience and career, privacy, sexual relations, harassment, substance abuse, abortion, euthanasia, and gay and lesbian relations.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: Christianity’s “centre” has shifted to the global south. This course examines contemporary Christianity in its many forms around the world. It pays special attention to how people, ideas and ministries cross borders and the implications of globalization for Christian practice and theology. Topics covered may include televangelism and media, Internet religion, pilgrimage, immigration, refugees and “transplanted” religion, mega‑church networks, post‑colonial missions and “reverse” missionaries, Pentacostalism and the rise of African and Asian Independent Churches.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course considers ethical issues arising in the context of social, legal, and political relations. These issues are discussed in relation to both traditional and contemporary moral perspectives, both religious and non‑religious. Topics covered typically include discussions of social and economic inequality, welfare, poverty, just punishment, business ethics, public ethics, economic development, and sustainable development.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: Zoroastrianism, an ancient but little‑known faith now counting no more than a few hundred thousand practitioners living mainly in India and Iran, is one of the most significant traditions in the history of religions. It provided a world‑view and ethical framework later adopted by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and shares significant common roots with Hinduism. The Zoroastrians of India — the Parsis — have continued to play an influential role in shaping that country’s development in modern times. This course covers the 3,000‑year history of Zoroastrianism, including controversies surrounding its origins, its contributions to other religions, its eventual decline and the surviving global Zoroastrian diaspora of contemporary times.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: About one‑third of the world’s Muslims live in India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh, making Southern Asia the world region with the largest proportion of Muslims. Yet many aspects of Muslim belief and practice in these countries have a distinctively South Asian flavour and in some cases derive from regional cultural traditions. This course looks at the history of Muslim presence in Southern Asia, including its extensive political and cultural impact from the seventh century to the present, and investigates the complexities of communal identity over the course of that history. The role of Sufism and Muslim contributions to South Asian literature, art, architecture, and music are also explored.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: The course explores the various aspects of Muslim civilization from its initial spread from Arabia to Spain, sub‑Saharan Africa, India, and China, up to the age of the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal empires in the 16th and 17th centuries. Special attention is given to the emergence of schools of law, theology, philosophy, and mystical orders, as well as the literature, arts, and architecture of diverse Muslim societies.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: The course explores the emergence and development of Islamic mysticism, beginning with pious individuals in the eighth century and coalescing into institutional forms by the 10th. Attention is given to the teachings of key mystical figures, the Sufi orders, and the social role of Sufism. Sufi poetry, music, and other forms of devotion and practice are studied in the contexts of diverse Muslim societies over the past 1,000 years.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 379 number may not may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course explores the history and ideas of Shiism, from the inception of the movement to the present. The various sects are introduced and studied, including the Twelvers, Ismailis, Druze, and Alawites. Shiite doctrines related to esoterism, quietism, and messianism are considered in comparison with other religions, while study of the modern period treats subjects such as theocracy, political activism, and martyrdom.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course surveys some of the questions raised by modernity for Muslims and the various responses Muslims have sought to formulate and put into practice. Issues addressed may include government, law, gender, relations with the West, and religious authority.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course examines how Christianity emerged from a small, splinter movement within Judaism to become the religion of the Roman Empire. It traces the various debates that gave shape to this new movement, stressing the diverse perspectives evident in early Christian sources. Among the topics considered are Jewish and Christian relations, martyrdom and persecution, prophecy and visionary experience, orthodoxy and heresy, gender, sexuality and the body, canon and religious authority, as well as sacred space.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for RELI 303 or for this topic under a RELI 498 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course examines one of the more significant periods in the development of Christianity, that of the Medieval West. Among the topics considered are the papacy, the growth of monasticism and the friars’ movements, mysticism, the Crusades, the emergence of scholastic learning and the universities, and forms of popular religiosity, such as devotion to saints and pilgrimages.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course examines marginal forms of Christianity that have found themselves ignored, excluded, or suppressed by more mainstream Christian groups and institutions. Topics may include “heretical,” apocalyptic, millenarian, and charismatic movements. The course considers the practices, self‑understanding, and worldviews of marginal forms of Christianity within their particular cultural, political, and historical contexts.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course, which varies in focus from year to year, investigates the lives of controversial or influential women and men in the history of different religious traditions. Going beyond mere biography, the course situates particular figures within their social and cultural contexts, while dealing with how such prominent figures were viewed, portrayed, and used by others. Specific topics for this course are stated in the Undergraduate Class Schedule; examples are Moses, Jesus and Mary.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course is a survey of Jewish religion, culture, and literature in its formative period, from the fifth century Before the Common Era to the 10th century of the Common Era. The focus is on key moments, movements, and cultural motifs that demonstrate the ways in which Jewish groups were both part of their larger cultural world and distinctive; both divided into a variety of groups, but also united.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course examines the intellectual, religious, and social history of selected Jewish communities during the Middle Ages. Both internal Jewish developments and changing Jewish relations with their non‑Jewish neighbours are considered.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course surveys the major historical events, sociological and political forces, and intellectual currents which shaped Judaism in the modern period as well as the ways that Jewish communities responded to these forces. Among the topics explored are Emancipation, forms of religious adjustment, anti‑semitism, the experience of Jewish communities in Russia and North America, the Holocaust, and Zionism and the state of Israel.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course studies the emergence and development of the state of Israel, from the beginnings of the Zionist movement to the present time. It also explores the major political, social, and intellectual developments in both the pre‑ and post‑state periods. The role of Judaism within the changing state is a primary focus.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: Religious, historical, literary, and political contexts have been applied to come to terms with the events of the Holocaust. All of these are relevant as students read important and provocative novels dealing with such issues as ethics, the relationship between art and history, the use of humour and popular cultural forms, as well as the way that storytelling helps direct our understanding of events that are often said to be incomprehensible. The wider impact of fiction dealing with the Holocaust on the popular media, including film, CD‑ROMs, video, and news reporting, is also considered.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course explores the Jewish voice in Canadian literature which can be seen to be the first opening toward a multicultural tradition in this country. Writers such as A.M. Klein, Mordecai Richler, Henry Kreisel, and Leonard Cohen created an English-language tradition of Jewish writing that is varied, provocative, and lively. Students look at novels, short stories, some poetry, memoir, and criticism. Students also consider non‑Jewish authors, such as Gwethalyn Graham and Mavis Gallant, who were among the first to write about Jewish characters for an English-speaking Canadian audience. This course allows students to consider issues related to Canadian identity and culture, ethnic studies, and multiculturalism alongside literary questions.

Component(s): Lecture

Description:

In this course, stories are read from the entire scope of Jewish history — from the Bible to modern Jewish film and fiction. Each of these stories will reveal something about the cultures from which they emerged — their fantasies about themselves and about others; about humans, not-so-humans, and God; about life and death and everything in between. Taken together, these stories tell the story of Judaism, in all its inexhaustible variety and colour.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course introduces the history of the Canadian Jewish community and the themes, personalities, and media which have contributed to Canadian Jewish culture and life. Students explore historical texts, novels, films, and museums in order to gain a sense of the particularity of Jewish culture in Canada and its place in the Canadian multicultural ethic. The relationship of Canadian Jewry to communities in the United States, Europe, and Israel, and to its own past, is also examined.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course studies the social and religious life of the diverse communities of Jews in Arab lands. Topics may include Jewish life under Islam; the experience of expulsions and dispersions; North African and Middle Eastern Jewish traditions; Sephardi life in the Americas, Europe, and Israel. In addition, some of the philosophical, Halakhic, biblical, and mystical works of Sephardi Jews are examined.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls changed our understanding of early Judaism and shed new light on Christian origins. The Scrolls preserve the oldest copies of the books that would come to be included in the Hebrew Bible, plus hundreds of other Jewish writings of the Hellenistic and early Roman eras: apocalypses, biblical interpretation and apocryphal stories, community rules, hymns and poems, legal and liturgical texts, wisdom literature, and much more. This course provides students with a basic introduction to the Dead Sea Scrolls — the texts, the community, and their ideas — examined in the larger context of early Judaism.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 498 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course examines the history, thought, and practices of Yoga in their religious and cultural contexts. In the modern West, Yoga has become popular as a secular form of exercise. However, as this course shows, the diverse Yoga traditions of India have also involved sophisticated analyses of the mind and systems of meditation. Intrinsic to no single religion, Yoga has had roles in most South Asian traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sufism or Islamic mysticism. The course surveys this rich history, and the various forms of meditative and physical discipline Yoga has entailed.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course approaches Hinduism through its narrative literature, especially the great epics (the Mahabharata and Ramayana) and mythological texts (Puranas — the “Ancient Books”). Through stories of gods, devotees, villains, and heroes, the course explores the development of significant themes in the Hindu tradition, from ethics and philosophy to asceticism and devotion. An important focus of the course is the enduring cultural significance of myth and the epics, as retold through the ages in a variety of languages, cultural contexts, and media, including classical and vernacular texts, the oral tradition, drama, dance, and cinema.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course concerns Hindu traditions in the modern world, beginning with the period of colonial British rule in South Asia. Students examine the writings and historical contexts of influential Hindu reformers, intellectuals, and activists, including Ram Mohun Roy, Dayananda Sarasvati, Swamy Vivekananda, the Tagores, V.D. Savarkar, and especially Mahatma Gandhi. Issues of focus include the history of the modern idea of Hinduism, responses to European thought and institutions (including Christianity), Hindu understandings of modernity, social change and reform, religious nationalism, contemporary gurus and their transnational movements, and Hinduism in the diaspora.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course is an introduction to the religious art of South and Southeast Asia, including an examination of Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic architecture, sculpture, painting, and performing arts. The course examines the ways in which sacred art is related to myth and symbol, religious values and goals, ritual, religious experience, and social and political realities.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This historical and sociological examination of religion’s impact on and intersection with the structures of South and Southeast Asian society, explores such issues as caste and class, gender and family relations, links between religion and the state, and relations between Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim communities.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course examines the early history, doctrine, institutions, and practices of Buddhism in India, and follows the development of Theravada Buddhism in the countries of Southeast Asia up to the present day.

Component(s): Lecture

Description:

This course takes into account the arrival of large numbers of Western European Jews in Poland and the Russian empire; the rise of Chasidism; the pre-World War II Yiddish cultural ferment; literature and music; religious and political parties, including the impact of Zionism on established social and political life. The course examines recent developments: the rise of tourism to Eastern Europe; the historical, educational and memorial challenges associated with a reclamation of identity; and contemporary musical, religious and literary expressions.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 or RELI 498 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course explores the way in which the fine arts, literary arts, and performing arts have given expression to, and shaped the experience of, religious realities in the history of the West, and also considers the ways in which, in a more recent and contemporary context, art may be seen as engaging with aspects of divinity and spirituality.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course examines films that deal with religious themes — explicitly or implicitly — and provides an opportunity to analyze the language of film as a form of narrative through which cultural and religious ideas are transmitted.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course explores how religion may be seen to engender or exacerbate violence, as well as the ways that religion may critique, prevent or even offer alternatives to violence. Sacred writings, theologies, rituals and communal actions of particular communities are studied, as well as notions of the self, the group, others, outsiders and enemies. In particular, the life‑work and writings of such key figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King are studied in order to provide some religious perspectives on the relationship between non‑violence and the resistance to injustice.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course examines how religion in Canada and America is contested and practised in “the public square,” for example, through political speeches, cultural events and ceremonies, in legal codes and in public places. Themes may vary from year to year.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for RELI 403 may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course introduces students to debates and themes that have coloured the anthropology of religion over the last century. After covering classic anthropological texts, it focuses on contemporary issues including self‑reflexivity, power/agency, materiality and consumption, post‑colonization, post‑modernity/secularity and communitas.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under an ANTH 398 or RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course concentrates on the historical development of Chinese religions from the earliest periods of Chinese civilization to contemporary times. It investigates the relationships among the classical religious traditions as portrayed through scriptures, commentaries, and rituals. Focus is placed on the unfolding of the five great religious currents of China: the classical imperial cults, Daoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and popular cults.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for RELI 349 may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course uses a historical approach to understand the development of Japanese religious traditions. It investigates popular Japanese cults and religions, the assimilation of foreign religious thought and practices, and the implantation of Buddhism, Confucianism, and other models from China. Religious sectarianism, state‑regulated religious schools, cults, and the role of religion in the establishment of Japanese national identity are also studied.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for RELI 349 may not take this course for credit.

Description: The goal of this course is to familiarize students with current issues in Tibetan studies and to enhance understanding of Tibetan religion in Tibet, China and the rest of the world. It examines the “nameless” popular religions of Tibet, including mountain cults, shamanism, spirit possession and a variety of manifestations of popular religion. Students become familiar with the main schools of Tibetan Buddhism and the Bon religion, their history, dogma, lineages, philosophical enquiries, ritual and ascetic practices.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: his course provides an introduction to the religious culture of the Jain community. The early history of the Jain tradition in India is explored through a consideration of the life stories of the great teachers of the tradition, of the classical systems of Jain philosophy, cosmology and ethics, and of the rich traditions of Jain narrative literature and art. Contemporary Jainism, including the religious practices of monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen, and the contemporary relevance of Jainism’s central precept of universal non‑violence (ahimsa) are also studied.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course studies the origins and evolution of the Mahayana Buddhist in India, and the spread and growth of various Mahayana traditions in East Asia. It examines developments in texts, doctrine, philosophy, ethical ideals, practices (worship and meditation), and institutions.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course examines how literary works assist in the understanding of religious traditions, and how literary texts can stand as reinterpretations of religious texts and beliefs in a number of religious traditions. Readings include canonical religious, literary, and critical texts. Consideration is given to how certain provocative books have created social and political unrest, as well as to how certain thinkers understand literary undertakings as expressions of religious modes of thought and creativity.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course explores sacred music in its religious and cultural contexts. It examines the ways in which religion has served as an inspiration and performance context for music across the world, and some of the ways in which musical expression has been central to religious practice. Topics range from Gregorian chant to Quranic recitation, from Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh devotional song in South Asia to esoteric Tibetan chant, and from J.S. Bach to Gospel singing in African‑American churches.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description:

This course examines the diverse Indigenous Traditions in the context of Turtle Island, or North America. Foregrounding the perspectives of Indigenous peoples, the course considers the impact of settler colonialism on indigenous communities. Topics may include Christian missions, residential schools, indigenous views of sacred, the land, gender and sexuality, ethics, and storytelling.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course treats various topics in comparative perspective, examining religious themes as they are represented in two or more religious traditions. Topics covered change from year to year, and may include comparative religious law, comparative ritual, comparative philosophy, or comparative ethics. Specific topics for this course are stated in the Undergraduate Class Schedule.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course examines beliefs about health and healing in various religions and different periods of history. It examines the cultural systems linked to disease, pathology and health, along with ritualistic, meditative, hygienic and other strategies used to deal with sickness. The course explores concepts of health, longevity and the human body in relation to society, nature, and culturally conceived transcendent worlds.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for RELI 369 may not take this course for credit.

Description: This study of religious attitudes to the human body focuses on the body as a foundation for religious symbolism, religious community and identity, ritual, and religious experience. The course examines these problems with reference to various religious traditions. Issues examined include purification of the body; eating; mortification and mutilation of the body; attitudes towards dead bodies and physical immortality; attitudes towards bodies as gendered; embodied spirituality and incarnation.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course examines the concepts of mysticism articulated by contemporary scholarship. It then looks at mystical texts and experiences from a variety of religious traditions both comparatively and with respect to their position within the dynamic of their own traditions.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: How has religion viewed science, and how has science viewed religion? This course explores the relationship between religion and science both within particular religio‑cultural contexts and in comparative perspective. The contexts considered may include those belonging to Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or other Asian worldviews. Points of conflict and contact between scientific and religious discourses are also explored.

Description: This course examines the role religions have played in the development of Canada as well as their influence in Canadian society, politics, and culture. Attention is paid as well to the interaction of different religious groups in the Canadian context.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for RELI 363 may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course provides a comparative perspective on the variety of conceptions and practices related to death and dying that are found in different world religions. In addition, the course considers how people in contemporary North American society utilize traditional religious concepts and rituals, scientific understandings and medical procedures, or innovative combinations of ideas and practices with which to cope.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course introduces students to some classical and contemporary discussions in the field of philosophy of religion. It explores such topics as the nature of religion, religious experience, faith and reason, religious language, religion and science, religious diversity, and religion and morality. It examines in what ways comparative philosophy of religion and feminist philosophy of religion challenge the very nature, parameters, and traditional questions of philosophy of religion as a whole.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course examines, from a comparative and historical perspective, the interplay between religion and sexuality. It looks at the development of attitudes towards sexuality within diverse religious traditions, and religious manifestations of sexuality. Topics include, among others: human reproduction, gender roles and identity, birth control, abortion, celibacy, sexual variance, and homosexuality.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course explores the status and religious roles of women within the Judaic tradition. Its focus is on the practice of the religion, especially the ritual and legal spheres. The relationship between common practice, popular attitudes, and formal legal principles is examined in order to inquire into issues of gender and religion.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: The focus of the course is the role of women and the conflicting patterns of gender construction in the history of Christianity. Through a critical use of primary and secondary sources, both visual and textual, the course explores the sources of women’s power and subordination in order to illuminate the relationship between gender and the Christian tradition.

Component(s): Lecture

Description:

The course explores various issues related to women and gender in Islam, including role models, ritual, gendered space, the rulings of Islamic law, and sexuality. The issues are examined principally through the lens of modern Islam and lives of modern Muslims, including those in Canada and the West.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course examines the roles and activities of Hindu women. Issues to be considered include the construction in history of models for the “Hindu woman” and the ways in which such models have shaped Hindu women’s lives and experience, the religious activities of Hindu women, the contemporary concerns. The relation between abstract Hindu conceptions of “the feminine” — as a force to be revered, regulated, or repressed — and the actual circumstances and activities of Hindu women, both in the present and in the past, is discussed.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course explores the situation, activities, and experiences of women within Buddhism. Using an historical approach, the course examines the circumstances of women in early Buddhism, and traces subsequent developments in India, Tibet, Southeast Asia, the Far East, and the West, up to the present day.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course approaches the study of magic, witchcraft, and religion from a variety of perspectives. Taking examples from indigenous cultures, the ancient world, medieval Europe, the early modern period and contemporary movements, the practices and rituals that have been labelled magic or witchcraft are examined, along with the responses to them. The course explores how magicians and witches view themselves, how different cultures relate to them, and how magic, witchcraft, and religion merge and diverge.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This comparative survey of female divinity and feminine imagery studies various religious traditions. Among the issues to be explored are the imaging of goddesses as mothers; the conception of forces like fertility, energy, materiality, and knowledge as feminine; the correspondences and relations between goddesses and women; and the contemporary feminist recovery of the Goddess.

Component(s): Lecture

Description:

This course examines the wide variety of perspectives on sexuality in the Bible from a feminist and queer studies approach. It considers the ancient contexts in which these texts were composed, and how they have been received over time. The focus will principally be on Christian interpretations, with some attention paid to Jewish readings as well. The course also addresses how queer and feminist critiques of and engagements with the Bible can challenge heteronormative views of gender and sexuality today. Among the topics considered are racialization, gendered and sexual identities, same-sex relationships, erotics and sexual desire, celibacy, marriage, kinship, and human reproduction.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course explores the Jewish version of the supernatural world. Students are introduced to the varieties of Jewish belief and experience that have existed from ancient times to today; the ways of thinking about Jewish and human experience that have shifted and evolved over time; and the different reasons why authors may choose to engage with the supernatural world.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course examines the lives and experiences of Jewish women from the late antique period through and including the medieval. Using primary and secondary materials, the class inquires into the varieties of women’s encounter with history. The differences between communal standards and individual exploits are highlighted, as are geographic distinctions. Through a critical reading of Jewish sources and historians’ accounts, questions of methodology and theory are addressed.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course examines the lives and experiences of Jewish women in the modern period. The immigrations to North America and the subsequent development of the community provide the framework for investigating Jewish women’s encounter with and contribution to modern Jewish life. The main focus is on North America, using primary sources such as fiction, biography, and autobiography. The influence of denominational differences and feminist challenges complete the survey.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course explores women’s experience in the development of Israeli society. Students are introduced to the history, social planning, politics and religious authority that have shaped the current status of women in Israel.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This course investigates the origins, development, and significance of Satan in early Judaism and the history of Christianity. Consideration is given to some of the most important literary and visual depictions of this figure from the ancient world through the Middle Ages to present day. The course sheds light on how intellectuals thought of this figure and also how Satan came to play an important role in popular culture down through the centuries.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: By means of the analysis of particular issues, thinkers, and texts, this course explores the character of Jewish philosophy. Issues in Jewish philosophy that may be examined include the relationship between faith and reason, the understanding of God, Judaism and the inter‑human, the powers and limits of philosophical understanding.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course examines food cultures and food rituals and explores religious meanings and the making of religious identities. The preparing and sharing of food defines religious community and expresses religious values. In looking at food in several world religions, this course focuses on how food can serve as a medium of transmission and transaction, and on the roles that women and men, gods and ancestors, and other beings and forces have in this network.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This survey of kabbala, the Jewish mystical tradition, places emphasis on the study of representative Jewish mystical texts and socio‑historical context for the developing mystical traditions. It includes the development of the messianic idea, Merkava mysticism, Hasidei Ashkenaz, Kabbalah, Sabbatianism, and Hasidism. The current popularity of Kabbalah is also addressed.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 379 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: Specific topics for this course, and prerequisites relevant in each case, are stated in the Undergraduate Class Schedule.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:

Permission of the Department is required.

Description: Christianity is a vibrant religious tradition in a state of flux. The encounters, struggles and tensions which Christianity and contemporary cultures are experiencing continue to have a significant impact on our world. This course considers some of those dynamics by focusing on relevant topics from across a variety of Christian denominations and groups.

Component(s): Lecture

Prerequisite/Corequisite:

The following courses must be completed previously: HEBR 210, HEBR 241, HEBR 242. If prerequisites are not satisfied, Permission of the Department is required.

Description: A reading of representative selections of classical and modern Hebrew texts. Attention is paid to the historical and philosophical background of the texts.

Component(s): Lecture

Prerequisite/Corequisite:

Permission of the Department is required.

Description: This course introduces the major methods, genres, and authors of ancient biblical interpretation together with important recent theoretical approaches to this material. Ancient works considered include later biblical books, rabbinic midrash, and the works of early Jewish and Christian authors, such as Jubilees, the Gospels, and the writings of Philo and Josephus. The course reveals the ways in which this central text was made ever new and relevant and the ways in which it serves as a mirror of the religious diversity of classical to late antiquity.

Component(s): Lecture

Prerequisite/Corequisite:

Permission of the Department is required.

Description: This course introduces, at an advanced level, major topics and scholarly debates in the study of Jewish history and culture in classical and late antiquity, from the Hellenistic period until the Babylonian Talmud (second century BCE to seventh century CE). Special attention is given to the study of ancient textual, epigraphical, and archaeological evidence, together with its contemporary interpretation.

Component(s): Lecture

Prerequisite/Corequisite:

Permission of the Department is required.

Description: This course explores three activities associated with the body — food, sex, and death — as they have been constructed throughout the past 2,000 years of Jewish history. Special attention is given to the cultural contexts in which Jewish practices and attitudes have been shaped, to the relationship between ritual practice and the construction of supernatural worlds, and to the interaction between embodiment and religious experience.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course deals with advanced topics in Judaic Studies. Topics covered change from year to year, and may include Jewish law, Jewish ritual, and Jewish mysticism. Specific topics for this course are stated in the Undergraduate Class Schedule.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for RELI 394 or RELI 397 not take this course for credit.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:

Permission of the Department is required.

Description: This course examines the various methodological approaches that inform the comparative study of religion. Questions investigated pertain to the collection and interpretation of evidence, the types of resources available and techniques used, the complex differences between men’s and women’s religious experiences and expressions, as well as the impact of significant theoretical approaches on the analysis of religion.

Component(s): Lecture

Prerequisite/Corequisite:

Honours standing in Religions and Cultures or Judaic Studies is required.

Description: The student works with an individual faculty member in a particular field of religious or Judaic studies. Students are asked to produce a sustained piece of written work to be read by their advisor and at least one other member of the Department.

Component(s): Research

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for RELI 499 may not take this course for credit.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:

Permission of the Department is required.

Description: The course examines selected issues and themes through various works of exegesis or tafsir, ranging from the formative texts to interpretations produced in modern times. Development of the exegetical tradition and the nature of various approaches are also considered. Language proficiency is not required, although original texts are available to those able to read them.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for RELI 411 may not take this course for credit.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:

Permission of the Department is required.

Description: This course examines the multiple critical intersections between and among issues of gender, sexuality and religion in different cultures and historical periods. It considers, in particular, the insights provided by queer theory in analyzing and understanding such intersections.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course explores the myriad material forms that make faith tangible for Christians and other persons of faith: images and art, devotional and liturgical objects, architecture and sacred space, and mass‑produced projects. It explores the importance of practices that incorporate objects like ritual, prayer, liturgy, instruction, and display. It pays close attention to the scholarly and theological debates that result.

Component(s): Lecture

Prerequisite/Corequisite:

Permission of the Department is required.

Description: This course examines how ancient Greeks and Romans interacted with their gods and other sacred beings. It demonstrates the religious and cultural diversity that marked religious life in the ancient Mediterranean world. Among the topics considered are religion and state, domestic cult, funerary practice, hero devotion, mystery cults, the occult and magic, voluntary associations, and philosophical schools.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for this topic under a RELI 498 number may not take this course for credit.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:

Permission of the Department is required.

Description:

The student works with an individual faculty member in a particular field of religious orJudaic studies, as a reading course.

Component(s): Independent Study

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for RELI 495 may not take this course for credit.

Description: Specific topics for this course, and prerequisites relevant in each case, are stated in the Undergraduate Class Schedule.

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