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Undergraduate course descriptions

Picking Your Courses

We provide an annual course guide for courses in our department, which is downloadable on the right under "course guides." Many courses can fit into multiple categories of requirements. It is recommended that you register as soon as possible, as some courses fill up very quickly. If you have been shut out, but need the course for your major or minor, please speak to an advisor about ways we might prioritize you.

Also note that you do not need to take all your requirements at once. You can and should take some electives even in your first year. Of the total credits for the degree, only 42 are for the major (or 60 for honours). Experiment and explore!

In addition to our regular course offerings, the following topics courses are offered in the 2023-2024 academic year. For the regular course descriptions, please refer to the official undergraduate calendar.

 

RELI 298/4 - A (3 credits) T.J. 11:45-13:00
SELECTED TOPICS IN RELIGION
DE/COLONIZING THE LOCAL: CONCORDIA, MONTREAL, AND RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL HISTORY
(xlist HIST 298 A)
Instructor: Norman Ravvin

This course follows key trends at the forefront of Canadian recognition of colonialism and its impact on Indigenous people. It will use as its epicentre Concordia - the history of the land where the campus stands, and around it - to enliven our sense of pre-colonial lives and the meaning of contact in the places where we attend and teach classes. It will radiate outward toward the rest of the city that was the earliest area of settlement, to tell the story and the stakes of Christian missionizing and its relationship to colonial power. It will consider the links between local institutional and cultural histories and Canadian Residential Schools, which were initiated by the Federal government and run by a variety of churches and orders, including the Grey Nuns, a key Montreal institution linked with Concordia and its surroundings. We will make use of literary and other creative renderings, attend to the way Canadian cities developed around the colonial facts we explore, while examining, as well, Concordia's platforms for "Indigenization" and "Decolonization."      

 

RELI 398/2 –A  (3 credits) M.W. 1615-1730
SELECTED TOPICS IN RELIGION
QUEER SPIRITUALITIES
Instructor:  

This course treats the intersection of gender, sexuality, spirituality and religiosity from an intersectional and queer theoretical approach. It introduces students to histories and discourses around these inter-related areas and is organized thematically. It will also address the construction and production of queer spiritualities and the queering of religion. Topics under consideration include, as follows: global sexualities; celibacy, asexuality and queerness; queerness in history; colonial and postcolonial understandings of sexuality and religion; queer pornography; tantric practice and other forms of esoteric spirituality.

 

RELI 398/2 – AA (3 credits) J.1745-2015
(xlisted POLI 313)
SELECTED TOPICS IN RELIGION
RELIGION AND NATIONALISM IN THE CAUCASUS
Instructor: Richard Foltz

Malcolm X was a black civil rights leader who made an indelible impact on North American society, black life, culture, and activism. He was also a devout Muslim. This course explores Malcolm X’s life, his activism and ministry, and his ongoing importance for today. It places particular emphasis on his Muslim faith and the history of the Nation of Islam, of which Malcolm X was a part for much of his career. 

 

RELI 398/4 - C (3 credits) M.W. 16:15-17:30
SELECTED TOPICS IN RELIGION
WOMEN AND RELIGION: HINDUISM AND BUDDHISM
Instructor:

This course takes as its premise the idea that the nexus of gender and sexuality fundamentally shapes religious practices and beliefs as well as the lives of women and gender non-conforming people. The central questions guiding this course are: How do religious traditions incorporate sexual practice and/or restraint into a vision of ethical life? When does one's gender become dangerous or unethical? What is the range of women's experience within Hinduism and Buddhism? In pursuing these questions, students will gain a deep familiarity with practices of women's religious asceticism, the place of erotics within religious discourse, new perspectives on queer and transgender theories, emic feminisms, and sexual ethics.

 

RELI 398/4 - DD (3 credits) M. 17:45-20:15
SELECTED TOPICS IN RELIGION
RELIGION AND POPULAR CULTURE
Instructor: Lorenzo DiTommaso

This course explores the intersections of religion and popular culture. Among topics for discussion include: defining popular culture in today's digitally integrated society; popular culture in multi-media form (film, anime, comics/manga, video games, TV/net series, music); religion in popular culture and religion as popular culture; fandom and virtual religion; the commodification of religion and spirituality; the functions of traditional religious themes and tropes in new pop-cultural forms; and the global "apocalyptic shift" of the past fifty years and its pop-cutural expressions.

 

RELI 398/4 - E (3 credits) W. 17:45-20:15
SELECTED TOPICS IN RELIGION
THE SILK ROAD
Instructor: Richard Foltz

The Silk Road is a concept used to refer to a network of overland trade routes that linked the Mediterranean, China, and India from around the beginning of the Common Era to the fifteenth century. A conduit for culture as well as material goods, the Silk Raod played a major role in the development and transmission of Buddhism, Christianity, Manichaeism, and Islam. Iranian, Indic, Chinese, and shamanistic religions were also part of this dynamic mix..

 

Adding a Religions & Cultures Major or Minor

Are you interested in changing your major? Adding a second major? Adding a minor? Doing honours? Our advisor can easily add a second major and minor, and, if you are already in a BA in Arts and Science, change your major. In other circumstances, the advisor will guide you to the correct application procedure. There are many reasons why students are drawn to our programs and there are a number of options available, including a B.A. in Religions & CulturesSouthern Asia Studies, or Judaic Studies.

Program Requirements

Check the requirements for the degree - according to the calendar in the year you entered the program - and see which courses fit each requirement. If you are uncertain or it is unclear where a course will fit, please consult the Undergraduate Advisor. Note that except fo the regular B.A. and minor in Religions and Cultures, all 42 or 24 credits should be in courses within the department. You should receive prior permission for courses outside of the department, and you should consult with the undergraduate advisor regarding other programs or courses not explicitly mentioned in the Undergraduate Calendar.

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