This course investigates the role the human body plays in the worlds Western religious traditions (predominantly Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), namely, how the body affects or facilitates worship of the divine and what the related rites, practices, and texts have to say to us as physical beings. It considers such issues as bodily functions, gender roles, and sexual orientation. The course pays considerable attention to the intersections of religion and culture as they inform what it means to be an embodied believer. It also considers why the human imagination seems to need to conceive the divine in bodily form. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Distribution: Humanities-a) (Exclusion: Any version of RELG 1641 previously offered with a different title) Monday and Wednesday 9:30 to 10:20AM Barclay 021.
This course treats the theme of the spiritual quest in Asian religions. Surveying some of the major Asian religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Shinto) it explores the nature of the highest state thought to be achievable by humans and how that state is realized. Topics may include the role of morality, love, and human relationships in that quest, the place of rituals and institutions, and the vision for society. This course looks at both classical and contemporary views on these issues and situates them within their relevant socio-historical context. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Distribution: Humanities-a) Monday and Wednesday 1:30 to 2:50PM Barclay 02.
This course examines the practices and beliefs associated with food in five East Asian religious traditions: Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, folk or popular religion, and Shinto. It introduces religious prescriptions and prohibitions related to food cultivation, storage, distribution, preparation, and consumption. Topics include connections between food practices and hierarchy and the roles that food plays in creating and sustaining relationships such as those between humans, living and dead, and non-humans. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 2991 Food Practices and East Asian Religions) Monday Wednesday and Friday 10:30 to 11:20AM Avard Dixon G12.
This course discusses the literature of the New Testament, in English translation, in light of the historical and cultural conditions from which it emerged. It analyzes the New Testament both as a witness to Jesus and to Christian origins, and as a text which has exerted enormous creative power within human culture and history. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Distribution: Humanities-a) (Exclusion: RELG 2011) Monday Wednesday and Friday 11:30 to 12:20PM Avard Dixon G12.
This course introduces the disciplines of theology and philosophy of religion within the Western theistic (Jewish/Christian) tradition. It considers the sometimes ambivalent relationship between reason and religious experience. Topics include rational proofs for the existence of God, religious self-understanding, the problem of evil, and the relationship between religious belief and scientific reason. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)(Distribution: Humanities-a)(Exclusion: RELG 2501) Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 to 11:20AM Avard Dixon 112.
This course will study the religious traditions of Japan, examining the underlying ideas and concepts of Shinto, including its relation to Shamanism, the nature and role of Kami, the role of purity and aesthetics, and its political functions. The introduction and adaptation of Buddhism and its relation to Shinto will be discussed, as will the modern day new religions which form such a vital part of contemporary Japanese religious practice. The influence and roles of Confucianism and Daoism will also be briefly covered. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) Tuesday and Thursday 11:30 to 12:50PM Avard Dixon 120.
This course examines the role that gender plays in the context of myths, scriptural texts, rituals and doctrine, in the major religious traditions of the West. It examines such matters as sexuality and sexual orientation, the body, feminism and other critical approaches, political rights and responsibilities, access to religious experience, and spiritual leadership. (Format: Seminar 3 Hours) Monday 2:30 to 5:20PM Hart Hall 218.
This course examines various kinds of religious phenomena, including mystical experience, sacred texts, religious ethics, and ritual, and explores the different ways the discipline of Religious Studies understands and interprets them. It explores major theoretical approaches, including text-historical, phenomenological, gender-critical, philosophical, and cultural-critical, and assesses them critically for their value in the study of religion. [Note 1: This is a required course for all Majors and Honours students in Religious Studies and is recommended for those taking a Minor.] (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: Any version of RELG 3901 previously offered with a different title) Tuesday and Thursday 1:00 to 2:20PM Barclay 021.
This course examines the development and historical manifestations of ideologies of violence and nonviolence within the major world religions, with special attention to how these ideologies continue to play themselves out in contemporary global and national conflicts. (Format: Lecture 2 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 3231) Wednesday 2:30 to 5:20PM Crabtree 202.
This course investigates the role that various religions play in human interaction with the environment and explores how religions are responding or not responding to environmental problems. It examines various religious perspectives on nature and examines critically scholarship which applies religious perspectives to issues in environmental ethics. It also considers the religious basis of contemporary environmental thinkers and movements and examines the worldview assumptions and values that underlie so-called secular approaches to environmental issues.(Format: Seminar 3 Hours) Tuesday 2:30 to 5:20PM Avard Dixon 120.
This course focuses on the philosophical traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. It examines both classical systems of thought and their modern interpretations. (Format: Seminar 3 Hours) Thursday 2:30 to 5:20PM Avard Dixon 120.
Independent research and thesis writing under the direction of a member of the Department, for students in the Religious Studies Honours program. [Note 1: Permission of the Department is required.] (Format: Independent Study/Thesis)
This course either focuses on topics not covered by the current course offerings in a department or program or offers the opportunity to pilot a course that is being considered for inclusion in the regular program. [Note 1: Prerequisite set by Department/Program when the topic and level are announced. Note 2: When a Department or Program intends to offer a course under this designation, it must submit course information, normally at least three months in advance, to the Dean. Note 3: Students may register for RELG 4991 more than once, provided the subject matter differs.] (Format: Variable) Friday 2:30 to 5:20PM Avard Dixon G10.