This course examines the practices and beliefs concerning death and the afterlife in six religious traditions: Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, folk or popular religion, Shinto, and Hinduism. It compares beliefs and practices related to death and the afterlife in these traditions and examines the diversity that exists both between and within these religions. (Format: Lecture 3 hours) (Distribution: Humanities-a) (Exclusion: RELG 1991 Death and the Afterlife in Asian Religions) Tuesday and Thursday 8:30 to 9:50AM Barclay 02.
This course examines various points at which religion and culture collide. It utilizes various media (film, music, fashion, literature) in order to interpret some of the complex relationships that form and maintain contemporary Western identity. Topics include cultural uses of religious symbolism and story, the power of popular piety, and the Western tendency towards consumption and commodification of religious traditions. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Distribution: Humanities-a) Tuesday and Thursday 1:00 to 2:20PM Crabtree M14.
This course investigates religious moral thought through the lens of nature and environmental issues. It explores various religious perspectives, both Asian and Western, on topics such as the meaning of nature and the place of humans in it, the value of landscapes and ecosystems, whether animals have moral standing and how they should be treated, and how current environmental problems should be understood and approached. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) Tuesday and Thursday 2:30 to 3:50PM Crabtree 223.
This course studies the apocalyptic consciousness in ancient documents and in modern thought, particularly with reference to ideas about the Day of Judgment and Second Coming. In addition to biblical and non-biblical texts, it reflects on contemporary portrayals of the apocalyptic image in art, literature and film, and explores the apocalyptic cult with specific reference to cults of expectation. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Distribution: Humanities-a) (Exclusion: RELG 2031) Monday and Wednesday 3:00 to 4:20PM Sir James Dunn Building 113.
A study of Hinduism, examining its origins, history, philosophy, and culture. The course will treat ancient, classical, medieval and modern periods, and conclude with a discussion of the challenges facing contemporary Hinduism. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 3261) Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 to 11:20AM Crabtree M10.
This course focuses on the ways in which sacred sites have been constituted and transformed in five East Asian religious traditions: Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, folk or popular religion, and Shinto. By analysis of diverse primary source materials the course aims to enhance understanding of the complex processes by which sites are singled out as worthy of devotion to address the question: what needs have the establishment, preservation, recreation, and destruction of sacred places met in particular times and territories? (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 3991 Sacred Space in East Asia) Tuesday and Thursday 11:30 to 12:50PM Avard Dixon 120.
This course traces Islam from its origins in the life and activities of Mohammed through to contemporary world Islam and its diverse responses to the challenges of modernity and the West. The world view, institutions, rituals, and practices of Islam will be studied within these changing historical and cultural contexts. Effort will be made throughout to gain insight into the religious, spiritual impulses which animate Islam and unite devout Muslims. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 3291) Friday 2:30 to 5:20PM Sir James Dunn Building 106.
This course considers the relationship between the Christian tradition and contemporary Western culture and looks at contemporary re-articulations of Christian beliefs, practices, and understandings. It examines from a cultural- critical perspective how thinkers have been forced to reformulate and modify traditional positions and beliefs in order to accommodate what are often vastly differing or at least unpredictable circumstances. This course considers how such innovations may reveal new ways forward in terms that are social, political, ethical, spiritual, and possibly even conventional. Ultimately it invites students to reflect on how these perspectives might enable the West to re-imagine its future possibilities in ways that are challenging and transformative for both the Christian tradition and Western identity. (Format: Seminar 3 Hours) Wednesday 2:30 to 5:20PM Hart Hall 215.
This course examines the nature of scripture and what (or who) gives it authority. Through study of the related phenomena of interpretation, sacredness, and canonicity in biblical traditions, this course addresses questions of the origins of sacred texts and how such texts establish and sustain the religious, cultural, and social lives of communities. It explores how and with what results culturally and historically diverse interpretive communities have made fresh appropriations of scriptural traditions through various strategies of interpretation. It also asks what is at stake in these deliberations, who benefits, and how power operates or shifts via the various ideological mechanisms that serve to authorize scripture. (Format: Seminar 3 Hours) (Exclusion: Any version of RELG 4821 previously offered with a different title) Tuesday 2:30 to 5:20PM Hart Hall 319.
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)