Religion


Faculty List

University Professor 
J.S. Kloppenborg, MA, PhD, FRSC (T)

Professors Emeriti 
A.T. Davies, BA, BD, STM, PhD (V) 
C.T. McIntire, MA, M Div, PhD (V) 
G.P. Richardson, B Arch, BD, PhD, FRSC, FRAIC (U) 
L.E. Schmidt, MA, PhD (SM) 
R.E. Sinkewicz, AM, M Div, D Phil (CMS) 
J.M. Vertin, MA, STL, PhD (SM)

Professor and Chair of the Department 
P. Klassen, MA, PhD, FRSC (V)

Professor and Acting Chair of the Department (Effective July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023)
R. Gibbs, MA, PhD (U)

Professor and Associate Chair, Undergraduate
S. Raman, MA, PhD

Assistant Professor and Acting Associate Chair, Undergraduate (Effective January 1, 2023 to June 30, 2023)
L. Bugg, M Div, MURP, Th D

Professors
S. Coleman, MA, PhD
J. Dicenso, MA, PhD
H. Fox, MS, MA, PhD
K. H. Green, MA, PhD (U)
M. Hewitt, MA, PhD (T)
A. Mittermaier, MA, PhD
J. Newman, MAR, PhD (V)
K. O'Neill, MA, PhD
W. Saleh, MA, PhD
J. Schipper, PhD
N. Seidman, MA, PhD

Associate Professors
R. Charles, M Div, MTS, PhD
A. Dhand, MA, PhD (V) 
C. Emmrich, MA, D Phil (University of Toronto Mississauga) 
F. Garrett, MA, PhD 
J. Harris, MA, PhD
N. Junior, BSFS, MPA, M Div, PhD 
J. Marshall, MA, PhD (U) 
R. Marshall, MIA, D Phil 
N. Moumtaz, M Phil, PhD
A. Rao, MA, PhD (University of Toronto Mississauga) 
K. Ruffle, MA, PhD (University of Toronto Mississauga) 
J. B. Scott, PhD (University of Toronto Missisauga)
K. Smith, MA, PhD (University of Toronto Mississauga) 
S. Virani, MA, PhD (University of Toronto Mississauga) 

Associate Professors (Teaching Stream)
S. Goldberg, MA, PhD
Y. Nizri, BFA, PhD

Assistant Professors
K. Barclay, MA, PhD
S. Dost, AM, PhD (University of Toronto Scarborough)
A. Goodman, MA, PhD 
A. Hampton, MA, PhD 
R. Lindsay, MA, PhD
K. J. White, MA, PhD

Assistant Professors (Teaching Stream) 
L. Bugg, M Div, MURP, Th D 
S. Gallant, MA, PhD
E. Mills, BSc, D Phil

The Study of Religion

The Department for the Study of Religion (DSR) is a vibrant site of research and teaching where you can study diverse religious and spiritual traditions in their historical, cultural, political, and textual contexts. As a religion department located in one of the most multi-religious and multi-cultural cities in the world, our undergraduate courses attract a remarkably wide range of students curious about religion and how to study it in university. Our courses cover numerous traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Indigenous spiritualities, Islam, and Judaism, and also focus on existential questions, such as the nature of happiness, narratives of creation, evil and suffering, and love, sex and family. Some of our students may have grown up with religious traditions while many have no religious affiliation or background whatsoever; every student is welcome in our classes. Our courses equip you with the critical and methodological skills, writing ability, and language training that you need. DSR students learn to ask how power, creativity, and contestation are central to religion and to examine how religion is connected to other categories of experience such as gender, sexuality, and racialization. DSR undergraduate students combine religion programs and courses with a wide variety of other programs of study, including environmental studies, political science, computer science, women and gender studies, and college programs such as international relations and cognitive science. 

More detailed information concerning the department, our programs, particular courses, and our Religion Undergraduate Students’ Association (RUSA) can be found on our website: https://www.religion.utoronto.ca/undergraduate

Undergraduate Program Assistant: 
Phoebe To 
Jackman Humanities Building, Room 310 
religion.undergrad@utoronto.ca (416-978-2395)

 

Your Pathways in the Study of Religion

100-Level Courses

Our 100-level courses introduce you to the study of religion, while tackling existential questions such as life, death, embodiment, the mind, and belief. We aim to provide communities of learning that provide foundational skills such as critical thinking, close reading, active listening, writing, oral presentation, and discussion. Most of our first- and second-year courses also provide extra support through the Writing-Integrated Teaching program.

200-Level Courses

Our 200-level courses give you entryways into specific religious traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Indigenous Religions, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, as well as specific ‘lenses’ into the study of religion, for instance through language or music. We also teach you different methodological and disciplinary approaches through our ‘Study of Religion’ course, which is required for all Majors and Specialists. Overall, we encourage you to think comparatively about what counts as ‘religion’ in specific contexts. We complement larger gatherings in lectures with more intimate tutorials. Students can take a 200-level course without having taken any prior RLG courses.

300-Level Courses

Our 300-level courses focus on providing you with skills of critical thinking and knowledge exchange. We encourage you to think about significant themes that cross-cut religious traditions, such as migration, politics, human rights, sexuality, pilgrimage, spaces, visions and revelations, and so on, and we often draw on forms of experiential learning and multi-media platforms for presenting the results of lengthier research projects. All 300-level courses normally presuppose that a student has already completed, by the first day of the course, at least 4.0 credits in any field.

400-Level Courses

Our 400-level courses consist of smaller and intensive seminars, where you engage closely with each other and with instructors. We encourage you to engage in advanced critical reflection on how and why you study religion in an academic setting and to develop your own voice as a thinker who can speak and write publicly about religion. We offer a Religion in the Public Sphere (RPS) community-engaged learning course, as well as seminars designed solely for undergraduates and several joint grad/undergrad seminars. 400-level courses are intended primarily but not exclusively for Specialists and Majors who have already completed several RLG courses. That said, students who have taken cognate courses, e.g., anthropology, history, philosophy, are welcome to enrol.

Religion Programs

Buddhist Studies Specialist (Arts Program) - ASSPE1525

Enrolment Requirements:

This is an open enrolment program. A student who has completed 4.0 credits may enrol in the program.

Completion Requirements:

(10.0 credits)

  1. 1.0 credit from RLG100H1 / RLG101H1 / RLG102H1 / RLG103H1 / RLG104H1 / RLG105H1 / RLG106H1 / RLG107H1 / RLG108H1 / RLG195H1 / RLG196H1 / RLG197H1 / RLG198H1 / RLG199H1 / JRC199H1 / JRN199H1.
  2. RLG200H1
  3. RLG206H1
  4. 0.5 credit from RLG209H1 / RLG211H1 / RLG212H1 / RLG213H1
  5. Two consecutive language courses (2.0 credits) in one of: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Sanskrit, Pali or Tibetan.

    Chinese: EAS100Y1, EAS101Y1, EAS200Y1, EAS201H1, EAS300Y1
    Japanese: EAS120Y1, EAS121H1, EAS220Y1, EAS221H1, EAS320Y1
    Korean: EAS110Y1, EAS210Y1, EAS211Y1, EAS212H1, EAS310Y1, EAS410Y1
    Sanskrit: RLG260H1, RLG263H1, RLG359H1, RLG360H1
    Pali: RLG264H1, RLG265H1, and an additional 1.0 credit in consultation with the Department for the Study of Religion
    Tibetan: RLG261H1, RLG262H1, RLG370Y1/​( RLG377H1, RLG378H1)

  6. 4.5 credits chosen from the list below. At least 2.5 credits must be RLG courses. At least 2.5 credits must be taken at the 300-level or higher.

    Second year courses:
    RLG205H1, EAS209H1, FAH260H1, HIS280Y1, HIS282Y1, HIS283Y1, NEW214H1/​ BPM214H1, NEW232H1/​ BPM232H1, PHL237H1.

    Third year courses:
    RLG311H1, RLG316H1, RLG356H1, RLG361H1, RLG363H1, RLG366H1, RLG368H1, RLG372H1, RLG373H1, RLG374H1, RLG375H1, RLG379H1, RLG370H5, RLG371H5, RLG373H5, RLG374H5, EAS338H1, EAS346H1, EAS361H1, FAH363H1, FAH364H1, JNR301H1, NEW332H1/​ BPM332H1, NEW333H1/​ BPM333H1, NEW339H1/​ BPM339H1, PHL337H1.

  7. 0.5 credit at the 400 level, selected from the following: RLG461H1, RLG462H1, RLG463H1, RLG465H1, RLG466H1, RLG467H1, RLG468H1, RLG469Y1, RLG470H1, RLG470H5, FAH461H1, HIS485H1, NEW433H1/​ BPM433H1.
  8. RLG404H1 or RLG405H1 or RLG406H1 or RLG407H1 or RLG426H1, a capstone integrative course. (Note: this does not fulfil the 400-level requirement as described in #7 above.)

Other courses from UTM/UTSC/other Departments may be considered with permission.

Note:

  • Effective Fall 2021, courses associated with New College's Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health program will have the new "BPM" designator.

Religion Specialist (Arts Program) - ASSPE0151

Enrolment Requirements:

This is an open enrolment program. A student who has completed 4.0 credits may enrol in the program.

Students in this program have the option to request enrolment in the Arts & Science Internship Program (ASIP) stream. Students can apply for the ASIP stream after Year 1 (Year 2 entry) or after Year 2 (Year 3 entry, starting Fall 2024). Full details about ASIP, including student eligibility, selection and enrolment, are available in the ASIP section of the Arts & Science Academic Calendar. Please note that the majority of students enter ASIP in Fall term of Year 2. Space is more limited for Year 3 entry and there are program-specific year 3 entry enrolment requirements. Students applying for Year 3 entry must have been admitted to the Religion Specialist in the Summer after Year 2 and have completed RLG200H1 prior to ASIP entry.

Completion Requirements:

(10.0 credits)

  1. 1.0 credit from RLG100H1/​ RLG101H1/​ RLG102H1/​ RLG103H1/​ RLG104H1/​ RLG105H1 / RLG106H1/​ RLG107H1/​ RLG108H1/​ RLG195H1/​ RLG196H1/​ RLG197H1/​ RLG198H1/​ RLG199H1/​ JRC199H1/​ JRN199H1.
  2. RLG200H1
  3. 0.5 credit from the following traditions: RLG201H1 Indigenous Spiritualities and Religions/ RLG202H1 Judaism/ RLG203H1 Christianity/ RLG204H1 Islam/ RLG205H1 Hinduism/ RLG206H1 Buddhism/ RLG208H1 Sikhism/ RLG241H1 The Earliest Christians.
  4. 0.5 credit from RLG209H1/​ RLG211H1/​ RLG212H1/​ RLG213H1.
  5. 0.5 credit in any other 200-level Department for the Study of Religion courses (excluding the following language courses: MHB255H1, NML255H1, MHB256H1, NML256H1, RLG260H1, RLG263H1, RLG261H1, RLG262H1, RLG264H1, RLG265H1).
  6. 3.5 Department for the Study of Religion credits at the 300+ level. Students should develop a focused program of study and may consult the Associate Chair or program office for advice.
  7. 0.5 credit at the 400-level in your area of focus selected from Department for the Study of Religion courses.
  8. 2.5 additional credits of Department for the Study of Religion courses at any level
  9. 0.5 credit from the following capstone integrative courses: RLG404H1, RLG405H1, RLG406H1, RLG407H1, RLG426H1 (note: this does not fulfil the 400-level requirement as described in #7 above.)

Students in this program have the option to complete the Arts & Science Internship Program (ASIP) stream.

Notes:

Buddhist Studies Major (Arts Program) - ASMAJ1525

Enrolment Requirements:

This is an open enrolment program. A student who has completed 4.0 credits may enrol in the program.

Completion Requirements:

(7.0 credits)

  1. 1.0 credit from RLG100H1 / RLG101H1 / RLG102H1 / RLG103H1 / RLG104H1 / RLG105H1 / RLG106H1 / RLG107H1 / RLG108H1 / RLG195H1 / RLG196H1 / RLG197H1 / RLG198H1 / RLG199H1 / JRC199H1 / JRN199H1.
  2. RLG200H1
  3. RLG206H1
  4. 4.0 credits chosen from the following list; at least 3.0 credits of which must be Department for the Study of Religion courses (RLG, JAR, JCR, JNR, JPR, JRC, JRN, or JSR designators). 3.0 credits must be taken at the 300-level or higher.

    Second year courses: RLG205H1, FAH260H1, EAS209H1, HIS280Y1, HIS282Y1, HIS283Y1, NEW214H1/​ BPM214H1, NEW232H1/​ BPM232H1, PHL237H1.

    Third year courses: RLG311H1, RLG316H1, RLG356H1, RLG361H1, RLG363H1, RLG366H1, RLG368H1, RLG371H1, RLG372H1, RLG373H1, RLG374H1, RLG375H1, RLG379H1, RLG370H5, RLG371H5, RLG373H5, RLG374H5, EAS338H1, EAS361H1, FAH363H1, FAH364H1, JNR301H1, NEW332H1/​ BPM332H1, NEW333H1/​ BPM333H1, NEW339H1/​ BPM339H1, PHL337H1.

  5. 0.5 credit at the 400-level, selected from the following: RLG461H1, RLG462H1, RLG463H1, RLG465H1, RLG466H1, RLG467H1, RLG468H1, RLG469Y1, RLG470H1, RLG470H5, FAH461H1, HIS485H1, NEW433H1/​ BPM433H1.
  6. 0.5 credit from the following capstone integrative courses: RLG404H1, RLG405H1, RLG406H1, RLG407H1, RLG426H1 (Note: this does not fulfil the 400-level requirement as described in #5 above.)

Other courses from UTM/UTSC/other Departments may be considered with permission.

Notes:

  • Effective Fall 2021, courses associated with New College's Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health program will have the new "BPM" designator.
  • Up to two language courses totaling 1.0 credit in Pali ( RLG264H1, RLG265H1), Sanskrit ( RLG260H1, RLG263H1, RLG359H1, RLG360H1, RLG474H1), Tibetan ( RLG261H1, RLG262H1) or Modern Hebrew ( MHB155H1, MHB156H1, MHB255H1, MHB256H1, MHB355H1, MHB356H1) will count toward the Department for the Study of Religion courses required to complete any Major Program in Religion. If a student wishes a different language (not one of those mentioned here) to count toward completing these programs they should consult with the Associate Chair, Undergraduate.

Islamic Studies Major (Arts Program) - ASMAJ1359

Enrolment Requirements:

This is an open enrolment program. A student who has completed 4.0 credits may enrol in the program.

Completion Requirements:

(6.5 credits)

  1. 1.0 credit from RLG100H1 / RLG101H1 / RLG102H1 / RLG103H1 / RLG104H1 / RLG105H1 / RLG106H1 / RLG107H1 / RLG108H1 / RLG195H1 / RLG196H1 / RLG197H1 / RLG198H1 / RLG199H1 / JRC199H1 / JRN199H1.
  2. RLG200H1
  3. RLG204H1
  4. 0.5 credit from RLG209H1 / RLG211H1 / RLG212H1 / RLG213H1
  5. 3.5 credits from the following list, of which 2.0 credits must be at the 300+ level: NMC103H1, NMC271H1, NMC273Y1, NMC275H1, NMC348Y1, NMC355H1, NMC374H1, NMC376H1, NMC377Y1, NMC381H1, NMC385H1, NMC393H1, NMC396H1, NMC471H1, NMC475H1; PHL336H1; RLG312H1, RLG350H1, RLG351H1, RLG352H1, RLG355H1, RLG356H1, RLG458H1; FAH265H1, FAH326H1.
  6. 0.5 credit from the following capstone integrative courses: RLG404H1, RLG405H1, RLG406H1, RLG407H1, RLG426H1

Notes:

  • Special Topics courses with Islam content (like NMC277H1 or RLG412H1) will also count towards the program.
  • A maximum of two language courses totaling 1.0 credit in Pali ( RLG264H1, RLG265H1), Sanskrit ( RLG260H1, RLG263H1, RLG359H1, RLG360H1, RLG474H1), Tibetan ( RLG261H1, RLG262H1) or Modern Hebrew ( MHB155H1, MHB156H1, MHB255H1, MHB256H1, MHB355H1, MHB356H1) will count toward the Department for the Study of Religion courses required to complete any Major Program in Religion. If a student wishes a different language (not one of those mentioned here) to count toward completing these programs they should consult with the Associate Chair, Undergraduate.
  • Please note that UTM and UTSC courses do not automatically count towards completion of a RLG program (except the Buddhist Studies Major and Specialist). If you have taken or are planning on taking a course at another campus and would like it to count exceptionally towards your program requirements, please e-mail the Undergraduate Program Assistant at religion.undergrad@utoronto.ca.

Religion Major (Arts Program) - ASMAJ0151

Enrolment Requirements:

This is an open enrolment program. A student who has completed 4.0 credits may enrol in the program.

Students in this program have the option to request enrolment in the Arts & Science Internship Program (ASIP) stream. Students can apply for the ASIP stream after Year 1 (Year 2 entry) or after Year 2 (Year 3 entry, starting Fall 2024). Full details about ASIP, including student eligibility, selection and enrolment, are available in the ASIP section of the Arts & Science Academic Calendar. Please note that the majority of students enter ASIP in Fall term of Year 2. Space is more limited for Year 3 entry and there are program-specific year 3 entry enrolment requirements. Students applying for Year 3 entry must have been admitted to the Religion Major in the Summer after Year 2 and have completed RLG200H1 prior to ASIP entry.

Completion Requirements:

(6.5 credits)

  1. 1.0 credit from RLG100H1/​ RLG101H1/​ RLG102H1/​ RLG103H1/​ RLG104H1/​ RLG105H1/​ RLG106H1/​ RLG107H1/​ RLG108H1/​ RLG195H1/​ RLG196H1/​ RLG197H1/​ RLG198H1/​ RLG199H1/​ JRC199H1/​ JRN199H1.
  2. RLG200H1
  3. 0.5 credit from one of the following traditions: RLG201H1 Indigenous Spiritualities and Religions/ RLG202H1 Judaism/ RLG203H1 Christianity/ RLG204H1 Islam/ RLG205H1 Hinduism/ RLG206H1 Buddhism/ RLG208H1 Sikhism/ RLG241H1 The Earliest Christians
  4. 2.0 credits from 300+ level Department for the Study of Religion courses, at least 0.5 credit of which must be in the same tradition as was chosen from #3 above.
    Judaism: RLG313H1, RLG320H1, RLG326H1, RLG328H1, RLG330H1, RLG333H1, RLG339H1, RLG340H1, RLG341H1, RLG342H1, RLG343H1, RLG344H1, RLG345H1, RLG346H1, RLG347H1, RLG348H1, RLG349H1, RLG379H1, RLG432H1, RLG433H1, RLG434H1, RLG435H1, RLG431H1, RLG448H1, RLG453H1
    Christianity: RLG306H1, RLG313H1, RLG318H1, RLG320H1, RLG322H1, RLG323H1, RLG324H1, RLG325H1, RLG326H1, RLG328H1, RLG330H1, RLG379H1, RLG441H1, RLG443H1, RLG447H1, RLG448H1, RLG449H1, RLG451H1, RLG452H1, RLG453H1, RLG454H1, RLG455H1
    Islam: RLG312H1, RLG313H1, RLG350H1, RLG351H1, RLG352H1, RLG355H1, RLG356H1, RLG379H1, RLG458H1, RLG481H1
    Hinduism: RLG311H1, RLG358H1, RLG361H1, RLG362H1, RLG363H1, RLG365H1, RLG366H1, RLG368H1, RLG369H1, RLG460H1, RLG462H1, RLG471H1, RLG474H1
    Buddhism: JNR301H1, RLG311H1, RLG371H1, RLG372H1, RLG373H1, RLG374H1, RLG375H1, RLG376H1, RLG379H1, RLG461H1, RLG462H1, RLG463H1, RLG465H1, RLG466H1, RLG467H1, RLG468H1, RLG469Y1, RLG470H1, RLG474H1, RLG478H1, RLG479H1
    Sikhism: RLG311H1, RLG386H1, RLG397H1
  5. 2.0 credits chosen from other Department for the Study of Religion courses carrying any of the following designators: RLG, JAR, JCR, JRC, JNR, JRN, JPR, JSR
  6. 0.5 credit from the following capstone integrative courses: RLG404H1, RLG405H1, RLG406H1, RLG407H1, RLG426H1

Students in this program have the option to complete the Arts & Science Internship Program (ASIP) stream.

Notes:

Religion Minor (Arts Program) - ASMIN0151

Enrolment Requirements:

This is an open enrolment program. A student who has completed 4.0 credits may enrol in the program.

Completion Requirements:

(4.0 credits)

  1. 1.0 credit from RLG100H1 / RLG101H1 / RLG102H1 / RLG103H1 / RLG104H1 / RLG105H1 / RLG106H1 / RLG107H1 / RLG108H1 / RLG195H1 / RLG196H1 / RLG197H1 / RLG198H1 / RLG199H1 / JRC199H1 / JRN199H1.
  2. RLG200H1
  3. 1.0 Department for the Study of Religion credit at the 300+ level
  4. 1.5 additional Department for the Study of Religion credits

Notes:

  • JAR, JCR, JNR, JPR, JRC, JRN and JSR courses will be counted as Department for the Study of Religion courses. Courses offered by other academic units may not be counted towards this program.
  • Up to one language course totaling 0.5 credit in Pali ( RLG264H1, RLG265H1), Sanskrit ( RLG260H1, RLG263H1, RLG359H1, RLG360H1, RLG474H1), Tibetan ( RLG261H1, RLG262H1) or Modern Hebrew ( MHB155H1, MHB156H1, MHB255H1, MHB256H1, MHB355H1, MHB356H1) will count toward the Department for the Study of Religion courses required to complete any Minor Program in Religion. If a student wishes a different language (not one of those mentioned here) to count toward completing these programs they should consult with the Associate Chair, Undergraduate.
  • Please note that UTM and UTSC courses do not automatically count towards completion of a RLG program (except the Buddhist Studies Major and Specialist). If you have taken or are planning on taking a course at another campus and would like it to count exceptionally towards your program requirements, please e-mail the Undergraduate Program Assistant at religion.undergrad@utoronto.ca.

Religion Courses

RLG100H1 - World Religions

Hours: 24L/12T

An introduction to the history, philosophy, and practice of the major religions of the world, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism.

Exclusion: RLG100Y1/ RLG280Y1/ ( RLGA01H3, RLGA02H3). Note: RLG101H5 is not equivalent to RLG100H1.
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG101H1 - Reason and Religion in the Modern Age

Hours: 24L

An introduction to critical thinking about religion as it took shape in modern European thought. We examine major thinkers such as Baruch Spinoza, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, Hannah Arendt, and others. Issues covered include freedom of thought, the relationship between religion and politics, belief and truth, rational ethics in relation to religious ethics. We explore how issues addressed by these classical authors remain relevant in today's world.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG102H1 - Blood, Sex and Drugs

Hours: 24L/12T

Religion can be understood as a set of aspirations that manages and moralizes the most intimate matters of social life, including sexual intercourse, bodily fluids, and mind altering substances. This course engages fundamental theories of religion to consider an eclectic set of case studies that troubles a clean divide between purity and danger.

Exclusion: RLG101H1 (Introducing Religion: Blood, Sex and Drugs), offered in Winter 2019 and Winter 2020
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG103H1 - Sports and/as Religion

Hours: 24L/12T

A first-year course looking at the historical and contemporary relationship between religion and sport. We start with the Ancient Greek Olympics (a funeral ritual) and end with the ever-hopeful gathering of Toronto Maple Leafs fans, Leaf Nation. In between, we look at examples of those sports around the world, in which religion plays a significant role or where sports serves as a religion-like pastime.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG104H1 - Conspiracies, Social Media, and the Rise of New Religious Movements

Hours: 24L/12T

Conspiracy theories are nothing new, but in the past few years we have all witnessed the meteoric rise of conspiracies such as QAnon via social media, which have taken on the elements of New Religious Movements. This course examines recent examples of new religious movements that might be thought of as “conspiritualities,” that is, conspiracies with strong cult and religious overtones.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG105H1 - Spirituality, Religion, and the Environment

Hours: 24L/12T

Humans, in diverse cultures and throughout history, have felt a deep connection to their environments. This search for a feeling of connection and oneness has led humans into canyons and caves, up mountains and rock faces, and across deserts and oceans. Sometimes this nature spirituality occurs within religious traditions, sometimes outside of them, and sometimes even in opposition to ‘religion.’ This course will explore the phenomenon of nature spirituality, and the wonder often associated with it. Readings will engage mystics and mountaineers, poets and painters, and farmers and foresters, all exploring nature connection in the context of the environmental crisis.

Exclusion: RLG239H1 (Spirituality and Nature) taken in Winter 2023
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG106H1 - Happiness

Hours: 24L

Are you happy? Today happiness is a metric by which a growing number of people assess the quality of their lives, with a range of experts offering innumerable life hacks and opportunities to optimize life. But what does it mean to be happy? And how have people tried to achieve this ever-elusive state? Situated squarely within the study of religion, this course considers how different traditions from around the world and for thousands of years have raised similar questions about happiness—not simply for the sake of reflection but also to do something about it. And their answers have varied: fast, meditate, pray, go to the desert, come together, get high, suffer, renounce God, and/or make lots of money. Readings will include selections from social theory and religious texts as well as a few authors who seem to be (against all odds) kind of happy.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG107H1 - "It's the End of the World as We Know It"

Hours: 24L/12T

Throughout history, many religious movements have envisioned the end of the world. This course will explore the ways in which different religious movements have prepared for and expected an end time, from fears, symbols, and rituals to failed prophecies and social violence. By examining traditions such as Jewish and Christian apocalyptic texts through to fears of nuclear apocalypse and zombies, the course seeks to understand the ways in which ancient and modern claims of “the end” reflect the aspirations, anxieties, and religious concerns of communities.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG108H1 - The Question of God

Hours: 24L/12T

What is God? Who is God? Is Yahweh the same as the Christian God? What about Allah? How do people come to see, hear, or feel God? Belief in God is a core tenet of all monotheistic religions, yet the figure of God is elusive and contested. This course offers an introduction to the study of religion and to how the discipline has engaged with the figure of God. Issues covered include histories of God (including proclamations of the “death of God”); psychological and anthropological views on prayer, divine interventions, and God-human relations; God and empire/colonialism; feminist (and other subversive) re-imaginings of God; and atheism. Regardless of their own belief, students will learn to grapple with an inescapable figure, will learn about lived Islam and Christianity (and to a lesser extent Judaism), and will gain insights into a range of thinking tools offered by the study of religion.

Exclusion: RLG239H1 (Special Topics: The Question of God), offered in Fall 2021
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

MHB155H1 - Elementary Modern Hebrew I

Hours: 36L/12T

Introduction to the fundamentals of Hebrew grammar and syntax. Emphasis on the development of oral and writing skills.

Exclusion: Grade 4 Hebrew (or Grade 2 in Israel)/ NML155H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

MHB156H1 - Elementary Modern Hebrew II

Hours: 36L/12T

Continued introduction to the fundamentals of Hebrew grammar and syntax. Emphasis on the development of oral and writing skills.

Prerequisite: MHB155H1/ NML155H1 permission of the instructor based on previous language knowledge
Exclusion: Grade 4 Hebrew (or Grade 2 in Israel)/ NML156H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG195H1 - Alt-Bible: What Could Have Been

Hours: 24S

Why does our contemporary Bible not include any daughters for Adam and Eve or any stories of Jesus as a young boy? What if Enoch was more prominent than Moses or Thomas more prominent than Paul? "The Bible" that we have is not a single book or a simple collection, but something that has grown over time, been the object of contention and argument, and has sometimes been a common ground across traditions. We examine side-by-side writings that have become canonical and writings that once held authority but have not found widespread canonical status, and strive to understand the processes by which we ended up with "the Bible" we have today. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/CNR option.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG196H1 - Goddess Lessons: Gender, Religion and Pop

Hours: 24S

Is God a woman? How can we get to heaven without losing a piece of ourselves? What does it mean to follow Lesbian Jesus? Pop music provides us with some important – if often surprising – opportunities to think through deep questions. Increasingly, these questions tie together two of our most powerful human categories: gender and religion. This course will consider the diverse interactions between pop, gender, and religion. Examples might include Beyonce’s self-representation as the Yoruba goddess Oshun and Lil Nas X’s reinterpretation of the Garden of Eden in Montero. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG197H1 - Enchantment, Disenchantment, Re-Enchantment

Hours: 24L

Modernity is associated with disenchantment, secularisation and progress, and has traditionally been understood as the successor to the enchanted, spiritual, and transcendent worldviews of antiquity and the middle ages. Re-enchantment, a term increasingly encountered in popular and academic contexts alike, demonstrates nostalgia for an enchanted past, a discomfort with the modern narrative, and a desire to recover wonder. This course will examine the history of enchantment through a series of readings taken from literature, philosophy, theology, ranging from Plato to contemporary magical realism. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG198H1 - Dystopia: Religion & Gender in Science Fiction

Hours: 24L

This course will examine the “what ifs” and imagined worlds of ideal utopias and oppressive dystopias through the lens of religion and gender in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland. Because science fiction and utopian/dystopian literature expresses what an author sees as possible or hopes is possible, but also fears is possible, we will consider science fiction as a political and social critique. Themes to be covered include fundamentalism, totalitarianism, the relationship between technology and religion, religion and reproductive rights, and the potential relationship between religion, gender and oppression. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

JRC199H1 - Truths & Reconciliations in Canada

Hours: 24S

In this course, we examine the idea of reconciliation among Indigenous and Canadian nations by considering the complicated role of religion and spirituality in “truth and reconciliation.” Specifically, residential schools for Indigenous children were a collaboration of church and state that violently broke the spirit and intent of the treaties—or sacred promises—made between the Crown and Indigenous nations. The course will set the 2015 Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada in a longer history of twentieth-century commissions, reports, and petitions in which both Indigenous and Canadian people (and some churches) named the cultural and spiritual genocide of residential schools and called for action. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

JRN199H1 - Exodus and Enslavement

Hours: 24S

Popular conceptions of enslavement in North America have influenced how we frequently imagine enslavement in Exodus and related biblical and related texts from the ancient Near East. Yet, depictions of enslavement in these ancient texts may be strikingly different from our ideas of enslavement in North America. This course explores similarities and differences between enslavement in these different historical contexts. It also examines how biblical texts were utilized in debates over and revolts against enslavement primarily in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. All readings will be in English. No knowledge of Hebrew is required. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG199H1 - Contagions

Hours: 24S

It is obvious that infections spread through social networks; what is less well known is that forms of human behaviour, including religious affiliation, have network characteristics. This course examines a variety of historical and contemporary contagions to introduce essential concepts in network analysis and the factors that account for the spread of innovation and other forms of human behaviour. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG200H1 - The Study of Religion

Previous Course Number: RLG200Y1

Hours: 24L/12T

An introduction to the discipline of the study of religion. This course surveys methods in the study of religion and the history of the discipline in order to prepare students to be majors or specialists in the study of religion.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG201H1 - Indigenous Spiritualities and Religions

Hours: 24L/12T

This course examines how Indigenous communities saw the world before contact—primarily exploring early creation narratives and ways of engaging with the natural world through ceremonials of reciprocity and acknowledgements. It engages with how early colonial societies and Western-based religions evaluated and understood Indigenous spiritualities and practices. We consider Indigenous critiques of Western religion as it has actually been practiced as opposed to what has been taught as constituting the ideals of civilization. Finally, we analyze how Indigenous communities and culture begin to create “New Religions” that blend Indigenous values and thinking with aspects of Western culture or emerge in direct response to re-imagining spirituality in attempts to prove humanness and civility in contexts where little of Indigenous culture and values has been seen as acceptable.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG202H1 - Judaism

Hours: 24L/12T

An introduction to the religious tradition of the Jews that explores key themes as they change from ancient times to today. The set of themes will include: the Sabbath, Study, Place, Household, Power. Each year will focus on one theme. We will read holy texts, modern literature, history, ethnography, and philosophy, covering each theme in a range of genres and across the diverse span of Jewish experience.

Exclusion: RLG202H5, RLG202Y1
Recommended Preparation: RLG100Y1/ RLG200H1/ RLG280Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG203H1 - Christianity

Hours: 24L/12T

We explore the multiple religious traditions of Christianity and follow key themes as they have changed throughout the last two millennia. The themes might include: the Bible and its translation; missionizing and colonial practices; belief and conversion; authority and power; capitalism and Christianity. The course will equip students to understand how and why Christianity has come to exert such influence around the globe. No familiarity with the Bible, Christianity, or the academic study of religion is assumed.

Exclusion: RLG203H5, RLG203Y1
Recommended Preparation: RLG100H1/ RLG200H1/ RLG280Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG204H1 - Islam

Hours: 24L/24T

An introduction to the Islamic religious tradition that explores its diversity and development, from its inception to the modern period. Themes include Pre-Islamic Arabia, the life of Muhammad and the Qur’an, the development of the notion of Sunna and Hadith, Islamic religious communities (Sunni, Shiite and Ismaili traditions), Sufism, and religious practices. The course will emphasize the complexity of the Islamic tradition both in its classical phase and in modernity including Islam in the diaspora.

Exclusion: RLG204H5, RLG204Y1
Recommended Preparation: RLG200H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG205H1 - Hinduism

Hours: 24L/24T

This course explores themes relating to the religion of Hindus, called Hinduism since modernity. Topics include the canonical literatures, philosophies, and doctrines of Hinduism, along with the debates surrounding them; lived Hinduism, and the texts that inform its practice and experience; activities considered quintessential to Hinduism, such as temple visits, yoga, and venerating a guru; and the vibrant spectrum of Hindu expression one encounters in the diaspora. The course will equip students with fluency in core concepts and practices of Hinduism, as well as an understanding of Hindu history as one of dynamism and transformation.

Exclusion: RLG205H5, RLG205Y1
Recommended Preparation: RLG100Y1/ RLG200H1/ RLG280Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG206H1 - Buddhism

Hours: 24L/24T

This course traces the socio-historical development of Buddhist traditions across the diverse regions of South, Southeast, Central, and East Asia from their foundations in early India to their transmission in the contemporary West. Although much of our time will be spent reading, grappling with, and discussing Buddhist literary works (premodern, modern), we will also consider the institutional and practical dimensions of Buddhism as a lived tradition. To that end, weekly readings and lectures will be supplemented with maps, images, and videos to highlight the vast geographical range and significance of Buddhist traditions over time, as well as their rich visual and material cultures. By the end of the course students are expected to have a solid understanding of the basic timeline of Buddhist history in Asia, together with the major figures, key concepts, central texts, and ritual practices comprising Buddhist traditions.

Exclusion: RLG206H5, RLG206Y1
Recommended Preparation: RLG200H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG208H1 - Sikhism

Hours: 24L

A historical and thematic introduction to the Sikh religious tradition as embedded in the socio-cultural structures of India.

Exclusion: RLG207H5
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG209H1 - Justifying Religious Belief

Hours: 24L

Beliefs typically characterized as “religious” concern such things as the existence and nature of the deity, the afterlife, the soul, miracles, and the universe’s meaningfulness, ultimate purpose, or interest in the distribution and realization of justice. Common to these and other religious beliefs is that they lack empirical evidence to support them – at least so say religious skeptics. They insist that rational beliefs require justification and that justification comes from perceptions anyone could have or solid scientific reasoning. Anyone who harbors religious beliefs thus violates a basic epistemic responsibility. How might people who hold – and want to continue to hold – religious beliefs respond to these accusations and doubts?

The course examines these basic epistemological and moral challenges to religious belief as well as the various strategies available to religious believers who are confronted with such demands for justifications. By doing so, we will aim to understand better whether religious beliefs of various sorts could count as rational, whether reasonable people might disagree with each other about the very nature of reality and morality, and whether anyone who falls short of common intellectual and social ideals of rationality and reasonableness ought to be tolerated.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG211H1 - Psychology of Religion

Hours: 24L/12T

The psychoanalytic study of religion examines the nature of religious beliefs, experiences and practices as creations of mind and culture. What is the nature of and relationship between belief and knowledge, subjective and objective experience/reality, phantasy, dreams and reality? How do the individual and social unconscious create and shape religious beliefs, experiences and practices? These and other questions are explored in order to understand the ways in which psychoanalysis, as a critical theory of religion, contributes to theorizing the ways in which individual psychology is also social psychology. Included in our focus is a consideration of mystical, visionary, esoteric and paranormal experiences in the psychoanalytic study of religion. Insights from evolutionary and cognitive psychology and neuroscience will be considered as well in our discussions of psychology and religion.

Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG212H1 - Anthropology, Religion and Culture

Previous Course Number: RLG212Y1

Hours: 24L/24T

Is religion a matter of belief or a matter of practice? Do all religions share common features? Is one born into religion, or does one learn to be religious? This course is designed to introduce students to some of the ways in which anthropologists have studied and thought about religion. The emphasis is not on memorizing things people believe and do in different societies but on understanding how anthropologists have tried to explain religious phenomena. The themes covered in the course include: magic and religion; the (ir)rationality of belief; the body as a site of knowledge; ritual; ethical self-cultivation; and religion’s role in the secular age.

Exclusion: RLG212Y1
Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG213H1 - Embarrassment of Scriptures

Hours: 24L/12T

Surveys interpretative traditions related to sacred texts, focusing on reading strategies that range from the literal to the figurative with attention to rationales that transform literal textual meanings and copyists manipulations of texts. May focus on various religious traditions from year to year, targeting a single canonical tradition or comparative analysis. Students will gain insight into literalist, environmentalist, secularist and erotic approaches to texts. Prior exposure to the study of religion is not required; all readings will be in English.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG214H1 - Mythologies and Religion

Hours: 24L

Myths and legends are narrative means for humans to make sense of their environment, the organization of their societies, and their social practices. This course introduces the principal myths and mythological figures of a selection of mythic systems (Near Eastern, Celtic, Nordic, Slavic and Indigenous North American) as way of modelling the world. Such topics as creation, chaos and order, love and death, coming of age, the monstrous, and explanations of evil and misfortune, and the survival and the transformation of mythic and folkloric elements.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG215H1 - New Religious Movements

Hours: 24L/12T

The saying goes that "Cult + Time = Religion." In this course, we will examine this assertion, looking especially at the development of recent religions, such as Scientology. This course will probe the history of scholarship on new religious movements (once known as "cult studies") and explore the challenges inherent in studying controversial movements.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG217H1 - Black Diaspora Religions

Hours: 24L/12T

This course critically examines the intersection of religion and cultural expressions in the African Diaspora, with a particular emphasis on the Canadian landscape. The importance of religion in the Black Diaspora's experience of both oppression and liberation will be a key component of our analytic framework in explaining and understanding the Black/African experience and culture in the diaspora. 

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG218H1 - Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Religion

Hours: 24L/12T

In modern history, sacred and sacramental understandings of nature have often been marginalised and criticized as primitive and superstitious. Today, these beliefs and practices increasingly present themselves as sources of overlooked ecological knowledge, and resources in our search for a sustainable human-nature relationship. This course focuses upon efforts to recover, reclaim and relegitimise alternative understandings of nature and traditional ecologies in the context of the contemporary environmental crisis. Students will deploy course readings as resources for considering a particular contemporary environmental challenge through field work culminating in a creative environmental project.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG222H1 - Witchcraft, Religion and the Powers of the Occult

Previous Course Number: RLG337H1

Hours: 24L

Picture a witch in your mind’s eye. Do you see them as male, female, or somewhere between the two? Young or old? Good or evil? This course goes beyond common Western assumptions about the character and morality of witchcraft to show how its study, its representation and its practice contribute in vital ways to our understandings of religion, the occult, morality, gender, sexuality and science. We move across Europe, Africa, Melanesia and North America to shed light on a controversial figure in numerous societies and literary traditions, past and present. Depictions of witches, wiccans, sorcerers and magicians are analyzed and compared. At the same time, the course should make you ask yourself: What is rational, what is ethical—and ultimately, what is human?

Exclusion: RLG337H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG230H1 - Religion, Law and Society

Hours: 24L/12T

The course examines various issues, including: Canadian society and secularization; religious pluralism and legal pluralism; the role of religions in public contexts; land and property; marriage and women’s rights; and the place of minority religious communities.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG231H1 - Music and Religion: From Bach to Kanye West

Hours: 24L/12S

What is music to religion? This course is an exploration of religion and music from a global perspective. ‘World’ music will be placed in comparative frameworks with various ‘world’ religions in order to understand how music has been and continue to be at the core of religious narratives, rituals, beliefs, and cultural performances.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG232H1 - Religion and Film

Previous Course Number: RLG390H1

Hours: 24L

The role of film as a mediator of thought and experience concerning religious worldviews. The ways in which movies relate to humanity's quest to understand itself and its place in the universe are considered in this regard, along with the challenge which modernity presents to this task. Of central concern is the capacity of film to address religious issues through visual symbolic forms.

Prerequisite: 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG390H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG233H1 - Religion and Popular Culture

Hours: 36L

A course on the interactions, both positive and negative, between religion and popular culture. We look at different media (television, advertising, print) as they represent and engage with different religious traditions, identities, and controversies.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG234H1 - Language and Religion

Hours: 24L/12S

What is language to religion? And how is it used by humans and divine agents? This course moves across traditions, examining types of communications from speech to rhetoric to book to revelation; and types of communicators from hermit to evangelist to deity. We will see language used to clarify and to obscure; to exclude and to liberate. And we will think about miscommunication too: the message lost in transmission. All readings will be in English. No knowledge of other languages is required.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG235H1 - Religion, Gender, and Sexuality

Hours: 24L

This course equips students to understand how norms and practices of gender and sexuality are deeply entangled with religious imaginations and traditions. We will examine how ritual, scriptural, and legal traditions enable and constrain embodied and political power. Readings will draw from feminist, womanist, queer, and other perspectives. With a combination of in-class discussions, critical reading exercises, and short essay assignments, students will strengthen their awareness of transnational intersections of religion, gender, and "religio-racial" formations. You will develop skills in analyzing the role of popular culture and legal and religious texts in shaping norms and experiences of gender and embodiment.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits.
Exclusion: RLG314H5
Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG236H1 - Material Religion

Previous Course Number: RLG305H1

Hours: 24L

Religions are more than beliefs or sacred texts. They are also formed through buildings, bodies, objects of devotion, images, websites. We examine how religion is embodied, circulated, built, played, displayed, and painted. We ask why religions are often constituted through feasting or fasting, excess or asceticism, abundance of objects or destruction of icons. Religious activity is explored through its connections with objects of wealth and consumption--not just great art, but items common within popular culture. The overall aim is to ‘see’ religion in a new way—and to understand the role of the senses in the formation of religious experience.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG239H1 - Special Topics

Hours: 24L

Some topic of central interest to students of religion, treated on a once-only basis. For details of this years offering, consult the Departments current undergraduate handbook.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG241H1 - The Earliest Christians

Hours: 24L/12T

What can the earliest writings of Early Christianity tell us about the movement and its founding figure? We examine these writings critically and historically in order to understand the immense variety of early Christianity as it grew within Judaism and within the Greco-Roman World. No familiarity with Christianity or the New Testament is expected

Exclusion: RLG241H5, HUMC14H3, RLG241Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG242H1 - Bible in America

Hours: 24L/12T

This course offers a critical examination of the role of biblical texts (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and New Testament) within the history, literature, and culture of the United States of America. It will employ a range of methodological perspectives to explore the use, influence, and impact of biblical interpretation especially regarding claims of American identity. All readings will be in English. No knowledge of Hebrew or Greek is required.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

MHB255H1 - Intermediate Modern Hebrew I

Hours: 36L/12T

Intensive study of written and spoken Hebrew.

Prerequisite: MHB156H1/ NML156H1 or permission of the instructor based on previous language knowledge
Exclusion: Grade 8 Hebrew (or Ulpan level 2 in Israel)/ NML255Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

MHB256H1 - Intermediate Modern Hebrew II

Hours: 36L/12T

Continued intensive study of written and spoken Hebrew.

Prerequisite: MHB255H1/ NML156H1 or permission of the instructor based on previous language knowledge
Exclusion: Grade 8 Hebrew (or Ulpan level 2 in Israel)/ NML255Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG260H1 - Introduction to Sanskrit I

Previous Course Number: RLG260Y1

Hours: 48L

The first semester of an introduction to Classical Sanskrit for beginners. Students build grammar and vocabulary, and begin to read texts in Sanskrit. Complete beginners are welcome. Two sections of the course will be offered: an on-campus class meeting and an online section via live webinar participation. The final exam will require attendance on the St. George campus, or in another authorized exam centre.

Exclusion: RLG260Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG261H1 - Introduction to Tibetan I

Previous Course Number: RLG261Y1

Hours: 48L

An introduction to Classical Tibetan language for beginners. Development of basic grammar and vocabulary, with readings of simple texts. Two sections of the course may be offered: an on-campus class meeting and an online section. The final exam will require attendance on the St. George campus, or in another authorized exam centre.

Exclusion: RLG261Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG262H1 - Introduction to Tibetan II

Previous Course Number: RLG261Y1

Hours: 48L

The second semester of an introduction to Classical Tibetan language course for beginners. Continued work on grammar and vocabulary, advancing to reading texts. Two sections of the course may be offered: an on-campus class meeting and an online section. The final exam will require attendance on the St. George campus, or in another authorized exam centre.

Prerequisite: RLG261H1
Exclusion: RLG261Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG263H1 - Introduction to Sanskrit II

Previous Course Number: RLG260Y1

Hours: 48L

The second semester of an introduction to Classical Sanskrit for beginners. Students continue to build grammar and vocabulary, and use that knowledge to read texts in Sanskrit. Two sections of the course will be offered: an on-campus class meeting and an online section via live webinar participation. The final exam will require attendance on the St. George campus, or in another authorized exam centre.

Prerequisite: RLG260H1
Exclusion: RLG260Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG264H1 - Introductory Pali I

Hours: 36L

This course offers an opportunity to students interested in Buddhism to read, analyze, and discuss select simple passages from the scriptures of the Theravada canon in their original language. It will cover philosophical, psychological, and narrative texts and their interpretation, as well as provide a first exposure to the Pali Language.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG265H1 - Introductory Pali II

Hours: 24L/12T

This course offers an opportunity to students interested in Buddhism and with basic knowledge of Pali to read, analyze, and discuss select simple passages from the scriptures of the Theravada canon in their original language. It will cover philosophical, psychological, and narrative texts and their interpretation.

Prerequisite: RLG264H1 or equivalent capacity to read Pali texts in the original
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG290Y1 - Special Topics

Hours: 24S

Topics vary from year to year Please check Department handbook.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

JRN301H1 - Disability in the Hebrew Bible and Related Texts

Hours: 24L

The Hebrew Bible (sometimes called the Old Testament) has influenced ideas about disability in societies across the globe for thousands of years. Yet, notions of disability in the Hebrew Bible may be strikingly different from what we might imagine. This course explores how some biblical texts and related ancient literature conceptualize disability in relation to issues of ethnicity, sexuality, beauty, age, social class, religious expression and so on. We will examine a number of these issues both in their ancient context and in some more recent interpretations of the Hebrew Bible. All readings will be in English. No knowledge of Hebrew is required.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

JAR301H1 - Plagues and Peoples: From Divine Intervention to Public Health

Hours: 24L/12T

Infectious diseases have afflicted human societies throughout the history of our species. How are diseases shaped by the societies in which they spread, and how do they change culture and politics in turn? This course introduces perspectives from medical anthropology and religious studies to analyze the intersection of cultural, religious and scientific narratives when people confront plagues. We focus on historical and contemporary examples, such as the Spanish flu and COVID-19, giving students the tools to understand how cultural institutions, religious worldviews, and public health epidemiology shape living and dying during a pandemic.

Prerequisite: At least 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

JNR301H1 - The History of Buddhist Meditation

Hours: 36L

This course will survey historical, cultural, and textual contexts for Buddhist meditative and contemplative practices and techniques.

Prerequisite: RLG206H1/ NEW232Y1/ BPM232H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG301H1 - Religion on the Couch: Freud and Jung on Religion

Hours: 24L

A comparative, critical analysis of the key writings on religion by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Particular attention will focus on the unconscious and its role in the transgenerational transmission of trauma, especially through myths and religions. Freud’s theory of dreams are compared with Jung’s ideas of universal symbols and archetypes, including the personal and collective unconscious. Jung's theory of synchronicity will be discussed alongside Freud's theory of telepathy or thought-transference, including their implications for different understandings of the unconscious and archaic inheritance expressed and manifested in religions and religious experience.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG302H1 - Dreams, Visions and the Invisible

Previous Course Number: RLG249H1

Hours: 24L

In many cultures, dreaming is understood to open pathways to unseen realities and worlds populated by spirit beings, souls of the dead, noetic powers and avenues to mystical union. Dreams include visions, daydreams, and dissociative, altered states of consciousness. This course examines contributions from a variety of disciplines such as psychoanalytic psychology, anthropology, biblical criticism, neuroscience, and paleo-archaeology to the study of religious experiences. Topics include how human beings negotiate the contents of their minds that result in social and political agreements that distinguish what is deemed as real, thereby constituting acceptable religious experience. The course will also discuss crisis apparitions, alien abduction accounts, spirit possession and existence of life after death as culturally specific religious narratives that seek to articulate and organize dreams and other visionary experiences.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG249H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG303H1 - Evil and Suffering

Hours: 24L

The existence of evil poses a problem to theistic beliefs and raises the question as to whether a belief in a deity is incompatible with the existence of evil and human (or other) suffering. This course examines the variety of ways in which religions have dealt with the existence of evil.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

JCR303H1 - Global Christianities

Previous Course Number: CHC303H1/SMC303H1

Hours: 24L/12T

An advanced introduction to the diverse traditions and movements of contemporary Christianity, with special emphasis on the global South. Sample topics include new ecclesial communities, the rise of Pentecostalism and independent churches, liberation and indigenized theologies, and new forms of martyrdom in the 21st century.

Prerequisite: 4.0 credits
Exclusion: CHC303H1, SMC204H1, SMC207H1, SMC209H1, SMC303H1
Recommended Preparation: CHC203Y1, CHC215H1, RLG203H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG304H1 - Language, Symbols, Self

Hours: 24L

Theories of the self that involve the constitutive role of language in its various forms. Problems of socially-conditioned worldviews and sense of self as related to discourse. Myth, symbol, metaphor, and literary arts as vehicles for personality development and self-transformation along religious lines.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG307H1 - Museums and Material Religion

Hours: 24L

Museums have long collected and curated religious objects for public audiences, with missionaries as a primary collections source. Multiple visits to the Royal Ontario Museum and other museums will enable students to think critically about how museums received and presented these objects, while engaging with the challenges of museum curation.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG308H1 - Migration, Religion and City Spaces

Hours: 24L

Immigrants have transformed cities through religious practices. Explore how transnational migration has affected religious diversity and vitality in metropolitan areas. Through discussion, site visits and analysis, students will examine the ways that immigrants use religion to make home, challenges around the establishment of new religious structures, and policy designed to accommodate new religious practices and communities.

Prerequisite: 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG309H1 - Religion and Human Rights

Hours: 24L

We will explore the dynamic inter-relations of women, ethnicities and minorities, among others, within the context of religion in this age of human rights, focusing on the contemporary global context. Our aim will be to include both theory and praxis. The approach will be intersectional, cross-cultural, inter-religious and inter-disciplinary. We will do this by drawing on both academic and non-academic resources, grassroots movements as well as global initiatives to approach these issues.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG309Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG310H1 - Modern Atheism and the Critique of Religion: Hobbes to Kant

Hours: 24L

This course examines select modern thinkers and their critical approaches to the nature and significance of religious beliefs and practices. Hobbes, Spinoza, Hume, and Kant are among the major thinkers studied.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG310Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG311H1 - Gender, Body and Sexuality in Asian Traditions

Previous Course Number: RLG236H1

Hours: 24L/12T

A study of women in the religious traditions of South and East Asia, including historical developments, topical issues, and contemporary women's movements.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG236H1
Recommended Preparation: RLG235H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

JSR312H1 - Queer Religion and Religiosities

Hours: 24L

This course will introduce students to key terms, theories, and debates in Queer and Religious Studies and to the history of queer identities as they are expressed within various religious traditions, texts, and communities. It asks how dominant heteronormative discourses on gender and sexuality are adhered to, legitimized, negotiated, and contested within various religious traditions. The course will also allow students to interrogate how power and power relationships are shaped by sex, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, age, and ability in the world of religion.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG312H1 - Gender, Body and Sexuality in Islam

Hours: 24L

This course focuses on constructions of sexuality, gender, and embodiment in Islamic texts and contexts across time and space. Drawing from historical texts, ethnographic research, and feminist and queer theory, we will examine how norms of gender and sexuality are constructed and contested through practices such as marriage and divorce, dress, and inheritance. Students will strengthen their literacy on global gender issues, historicize religious ideas on gender, and analyze the role of culture, legal and religious texts in shaping norms and experiences of gender, sexuality, and embodiment.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG251H1
Recommended Preparation: RLG100Y1/ RLG200H1/ RLG204H1/ RLG204Y1/ NMC283Y1/ RLG204H5/ RLG235H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG313H1 - Love, Sex, Family

Previous Course Number: RLG237H1

Hours: 24L/12T

This course equips students to understand the religious roots of modern formations of gender, sexuality, and kinship, focusing in particular on Judaism, Christianity, and New Religious Movements. Topics we will cover include: the transformation of traditional religious structures into the modern “religion of romantic love,” the reshaping of religious practices within the modern nuclear family and its gendered division of labour, the persistent religious entanglements within not only normative but also queer and transgressive gender performances and kinship structures, the political asymmetries within which different religious modernities emerge, and the role of literature in preserving religious enchantment in modernity.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG314H1 - Pilgrimage as Idea and Practice

Previous Course Number: RLG215H1

Hours: 24L

The study of pilgrimage has become increasingly prominent in anthropology and religious studies in recent decades. Why should this be? This course provides some answers while engaging in a cross cultural survey and analysis of pilgrimage practices. We also explore whether research into pilgrimage has wider theoretical significance.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG215H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG315H1 - Rites of Passage

Hours: 24L

We examine rituals of transition from one social status to another (such as childbirth, coming of age, marriage) from theoretical, historical and ethnographic perspectives. We pay particular attention to the importance of rites of passage in the construction of gendered identities.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG317H1 - Religion, Violence, and Non-Violence

Hours: 24L

People acting in the name of religion(s) have incited violence and worked for peace. How can we understand this tension both today and in the past? Through examination of the power of authoritative tradition, collective solidarity, charisma, and acts of resistance, this course addresses religious justifications of violence and non-violence across varied historical and geographical contexts.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG317H5
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG318H1 - Sacred & Secular Nature in the Christian West

Hours: 24L

How did we get to where we are now? How did humans come to be so alienated from nature? This course will examine how religion, particularly that of the Christian West, has shaped the understanding of, and interaction with, nature on a global level. It examines the complex shift from understanding nature as sacred and revelatory, to its conceptualization as a commodity and resource. Students will explore the ethical and cultural consequences of this shift for the human-nature relationship, and contemporary attempts to recover a notion of sacred nature in the context of the environmental crisis.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG319H1 - Death, Dying and Afterlife

Previous Course Number: RLG229H1

Hours: 24L

This course introduces students to various religious approaches to death, the dead, and afterlife. Through considering different ways in which death has been thought about and dealt with, we will also explore different understandings of life and answers to what it means to be human.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG229H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG320H1 - Judaism and Christianity in the Second Century

Hours: 24L

Judaism and Christianity in the period from 70 C.E. to 200 C.E. The course focuses on the relationship between the two religious groups, stressing the importance of the setting within the Roman Empire.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: RLG241H1/ RLG241Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG321H1 - Women and the Hebrew Bible

Hours: 24L

This course provides a critical examination of the Hebrew Bible (sometimes called the Old Testament) with an emphasis on women characters. It examines the historical and literary contexts of Hebrew Bible texts and engages diverse methods of contemporary biblical scholarship with particular attention to issues of gender. All readings will be in English. No knowledge of Hebrew is required.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: NMC252H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG322H1 - Early Gospels

Hours: 24L

Careful examination of the earliest “lives of Jesus” (‘gospels’) shows that they offer very different portraits of Jesus of Nazareth. The course will compare ancient biographical accounts of famous ancient figures such as Alexander the Great, the Caesars, and wandering philosophers with early depictions of Jesus, both the gospels that eventually were included in the New Testament, and extra-canonical or “apocryphal” gospels such as the Gospels of Thomas, Peter, or Mary.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: RLG241H1/ RLG241Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG323H1 - Jesus of Nazareth

Hours: 24L

To what extent does Jesus who lived and taught in first-century Galilee and Judea align with the picture of Jesus in early Christian writings? We examine the methods for discerning the historical Jesus and the portraits that result from rigorous application of those methods

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG323H5
Recommended Preparation: RLG241H1/ RLG241Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG324H1 - The Apostle Paul and His Enemies

Hours: 24L

An examination of Paul’s life and thought as seen in the early Christian literature written by him (the seven undisputed letters), about him (the Acts of the Apostles, the Acts of Paul) and in his name (falsely authored compositions in early Christianity).

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG324H5
Recommended Preparation: RLG241H1/ RLG241Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG325H1 - The Uses and Abuses of the Bible

Hours: 24L

From politics to popular culture, the Bible has shaped people and nations for good and for ill. This course introduces the Jewish and Christian Bibles and considers case studies of how biblical texts have been interpreted. The Bible has been used to bolster slavery and white supremacy and to inspire political liberation movements. It has been used to justify annihilation of Indigenous people by Christian colonists yet given hope to Jews that next year in Jerusalem might be better. How can the same “book” be used for such different purposes? This course focuses on the cultural and political consequences of biblical interpretation. An underlying premise is that the Bible is not static but is rather a nomadic text as it is continuously interpreted in ways that sometimes contribute to human flourishing, but also can result in violence, human diminishment, or death.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG326H1 - Roots of Christianity and Judaism

Hours: 24L

Judaism and Christianity are both considered “religions of the book” but how are they related to each other? This course considers the origins of that relationship by reading a range of Jewish texts from the 6th century BCE to the 1st century CE, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, in order to illuminate the diverse cultural matrix from which early Christianity and Judaism took shape. A major theme of the course is the formation of scriptures and scriptural interpretation as a factor in shaping distinctive Jewish cultures. Attention is also given to “lived religion” and practices that form individuals and communities.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG326H5
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG327H1 - Hospitality and Ethics in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Hours: 24S

Refugee crises in modern times have raised questions concerning what degree of hospitality is owed the stranger or foreigner whose motivation is a new, safe, and secure home rather than being treated as a guest passing through on a time-limited visa. Jacques Derrida’s ideas of both conditional hospitality (e.g., tourists) and unconditional hospitality (e.g., strangers) need to be explored from the perspective of philosophical and ethical traditions including Jewish, Christian, and Muslim ethics.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: 0.5 credit in RLG202H1/ RLG203H1/ RLG204H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG328H1 - Religion, Race, and the Legacy of Cain and Abel

Hours: 24L

Cain's killing of his brother Abel is one of the best known but least understood stories in the Bible. For thousands of years, interpreters have puzzled over the gaps and ambiguities of the story in order to piece together the how, what, where and why of this violent incident. This course explores the legacies of Cain and Abel across various religious traditions and in art, literature, and popular culture. It considers the surprising roles that this biblical story has played in modern ideas about religion, politics, and race. All readings will be in English. No knowledge of Hebrew is required.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG329H1 - New Atheism and the Study of Religion

Hours: 24L

A course to look at the rise of a “new atheism” in the late 20th- and early 21st-century. This popular movement has gained traction in late modernity, renewing older arguments about the negative consequences of religion in public life. We shall examine this movement, tracking its rise, fall, and future, as we ponder the implications of New Atheism for the academic study of religion.

Prerequisite: 4.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: RLG200H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG330H1 - Visions and Revelation in Ancient Judaism and Christianity

Hours: 24L

What did ancient Jews and Christian see and know when they “saw” God or heavenly realms? Or when they toured hell or the infernal regions? This course examines the ancient imagination by treating the major elements of the apocalyptic literary corpus and accompanying visionary experiences in ancient Judaism and Christianity. Contemporary theories on the function and origin of apocalyptic literature inform our readings.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG331H1 - Creation Narratives and Epistemologies

Hours: 24S

The course will examine the importance of Indigenous cultural knowledge and values as presented in various Indigenous Creation Narratives. Creation Narratives or Cosmological narratives have long been studied as mere mythology. Yet, it is in these very narratives that complex, layered, and nuanced epistemologies emerge. Often, these narratives not only lay the epistemological frameworks of cultural value systems, but they also contain what many refer to as original instructions and purpose for the “Original People”.

Prerequisite: 4.0 credits
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG332H1 - Reasonable and Radical Hope

Hours: 24L

Human beings have a natural and necessary interest in the prospects of their happiness, their moral improvement, and a progressively more just world. When, to what extent, and on what basis our hope for these things could be reasonable have been central questions in philosophy of religion since the Enlightenment. But genocides and cultural devastation (e.g., the Holocaust or the fates of some Indigenous communities) have compelled more recent philosophers to ask not only about rational hope, but also radical hope. This course explores reasonable and radical hope, first by unpacking the well-established philosophical question of our what we may reasonably expect from ourselves and our world, and then turning to the issue of humans’ capacity to persist when their community and its culture face extinction, i.e., when they may no longer expect anything.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG334H1 - Religion, Space and Diaspora

Hours: 24L

This course explores the transformation of religion, space and practices in diasporic settings. How is space adapted to the sensibilities of diasporic subjects, and how are the ritual practices that take place in those spaces transformed? The course examines historical and contemporary examples of the impact of diasporas, exile, and immigration on spatial practices in synagogues, churches, mosques, and temples, and ritual transformations in diaspora.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: RLG100Y1; RLG200H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG335H1 - How Religions Spread: Networks and Religion

Hours: 24S

Social networks are critical in the maintenance and spread of religions. This course offers an introduction to network concepts and, focusing on ancient Mediterranean religions, examines how religious ideas diffuse; networks and the creation of social capital; intersections of religious and trade or business networks; and the collapse of networks.

Prerequisite: 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG336H1 - Religion and its Monsters

Hours: 24L

A course looking at the theories about and responses to the monstrous in global religious traditions and practices.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG338H1 - Religion and Religiosity in Israel/Palestine

Hours: 24L

Focusing on present-day Israel/Palestine, this interdisciplinary course is intended for students interested in exploring a wide range of theoretical questions and examining their applicability to the study of sites, texts, rituals, and politics in the region. We will address the history of the land's consecration from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim perspectives. Students will analyze specific sites associated with religious congregations and ritual practices, and study them within their local and regional contexts. Looking at the complex relationships between religious-political movements and institutions within Jewish and Muslim societies, we will delve into various attempts to secularize (and theologize) Jewish and Palestinian communities and their discontents. Rather than providing the typical emphasis on conflict, the course is a journey into the history and present of the land and its diverse communities.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG339H1 - Religious Ethics: The Jewish Tradition

Previous Course Number: RLG221H1

Hours: 24L

A brief survey of the Jewish biblical and rabbinic traditions; the extension of these teachings and methods of interpretation into the modern period; common and divergent Jewish positions on pressing moral issues today.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG221H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG341H1 - Dreaming of Zion: Exile and Return in Jewish Thought

Hours: 24L

An inquiry into the theme of exile and return in Judaism, often called the leading idea of Jewish religious consciousness. Starting from Egyptian slavery and the Babylonian exile, and culminating in the ideas of modern Zionism, the course will examine a cross-section of Jewish thinkers--ancient, medieval, and modern.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG342H1 - Judaism in the Early Modern Era

Previous Course Number: RLG342Y1

Hours: 24L

The development and range of modern Jewish religious thought from Spinoza, Mendelssohn and Krochmal, to Cohen, Rosenzweig and Buber. Responses to the challenges of modernity and fundamental alternatives in modern Judaism.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG342Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG343H1 - Kabbala: A History of Mystical Thought in Judaism

Hours: 24L

A historical study of the Kabbala and the mystical tradition in Judaism, with emphasis on the ideas of Jewish mystical thinkers and movements.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG344H1 - Antisemitism

Hours: 24L

Explores how “Jews” have been viewed (often mistakenly and confusedly) in various contexts from pre-Christian antiquity to the contemporary world. Emphasis is on problems involved in defining and explaining antisemitism, especially concerning the difference between religious and racial forms of antisemitism.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG345H1 - Social Ecology and Judaism

Hours: 24L

The environment and human society studied as systems of organization built for self-preservation. Such topics as vegetarianism and the humane treatment of animals, suicide and euthanasia, sustainability and recycling, explored from the perspective of Judaism.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG346H1 - Time and Place in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Hours: 24L

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam each have their own sets of prayer times, frequency of prayers and their locations such as home, synagogue, temple, church or mosque. They have completely different calendrical systems. Holiness is also connected to geographical locations, which often serve as destinations of pilgrimage. This course will examine linear and cyclical times and the concepts of holiness in time and place by looking at primary sources in translation. We will investigate the persistence of holy places, how their names continue, and how gender issues are part of the jurisdictional politics of disputes over place and time.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: 0.5 credit in RLG202H1/ RLG203H1/ RLG204H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG347H1 - Judaism in the Late Modern Era

Hours: 24L

Continuing from, but not presupposing, "Judaism in the Early Modern Era," the course will trace the late modern stages in the development of Jewish thought, and will bring the history of modern Jewish thought to the present.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: RLG342H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG348H1 - Philosophical Responses to the Holocaust

Previous Course Number: RLG220H1

Hours: 24L

This course deals with how the momentous experience of the Holocaust, the systematic state-sponsored murder of six million Jews as well as many others, has forced thinkers, both religious and secular, to rethink the human condition.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG220H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG349H1 - Special Topics in Judaism

Hours: 24S

Topics in Judaism. Themes vary from year to year. If the course is offered during the year, a detailed course description of the topic will be available under current courses in the undergraduate section of the Department’s website.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits.
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG350H1 - The Life of Muhammad

Hours: 24L

This course examines Muhammad's life as reflected in the biographies and historical writings of the Muslims. Students will be introduced to the critical methods used by scholars to investigate Muhammad's life. Issues include: relationship between Muhammad's life and Quran teachings and the veneration of Muhammad.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: RLG204H1/ RLG204H5
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG351H1 - The Quran: An Introduction

Hours: 24L

The revelatory process and the textual formation of the Quran, its pre-eminent orality and its principal themes and linguistic forms; the classical exegetical tradition and some contemporary approaches to its interpretation.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: NMC285H1, NMC285Y1, NMC286H1
Recommended Preparation: RLG204H1/ RLG204H5
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG352H1 - Post-Colonial Islam

Hours: 24L

This course will study Islam in a post-colonial framework. It will introduce students to the work of post-colonial studies, and how critical scholarship has transformed our understanding of monolithic concepts such as modernity, the nation and Islam. It will focus on the particular case of Islam in South Asia and the Middle East by exposing students to the transformative impact of colonialism. It will equip students with the tools to challenge the hegemonic notion of a singular 'tradition' in Islam by tracing its lineages in the post-colony.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: NMC381Y1, RLG250H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG353H1 - The Politics of Charity

Previous Course Number: RLG250H1

Hours: 24L

The course examines religious charitable giving, philanthropic foundations, and humanitarian aid and asks: Is charitable giving altruistic or is it always partly self-interested? Could aid perpetuate poverty? What kinds of "strings" come with receiving aid and is there such thing like a free gift?

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG250H1
Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

MHB355H1 - Advanced Modern Hebrew I

Hours: 36L/12T

Advanced intensive study of written and spoken Hebrew.

Prerequisite: MHB256H1/ NML255Y1 or permission of the instructor based on previous language knowledge
Exclusion: OAC Hebrew/ NML355Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG355H1 - Living Islam

Hours: 24S

This course introduces students to studies of contemporary Islam that are based on extensive periods of research with Muslim communities in their own languages using anthropological methods. What do such studies teach us about the varied ways Muslims engage their religious tradition in the modern world? And how can such studies make us think differently about gender, economy, medicine, and secularism?

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

MHB356H1 - Advanced Modern Hebrew II

Hours: 37L/12T

Continued advanced intensive study of written and spoken Hebrew.

Prerequisite: MHB355H1 or permission of the instructor based on previous language knowledge
Exclusion: OAC Hebrew/ NML355Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG356H1 - Islam in China

Hours: 24S

Despite having an estimated Muslim population of 20 million, the place of Islam within the Peoples Republic of China is not widely understood. This course will examine the history of Islam in China from its introduction in the seventh century through the modern period. Emphasis will be placed on the variety of practices within Chinas contemporary Muslim communities. Specific attention will be paid to official state policy toward the Hui and Uygur ethnic minorities, including laws governing pilgrimage, the veil, the formation of Islamic organizations, the reformation of writing systems and so on.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG358H1 - Special Topics in Hinduism

Hours: 24L

Topics in Hinduism. Themes vary from year to year.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG359H1 - Intermediate Sanskrit I

Hours: 24L

Review of grammar and the development of vocabulary with a focus on reading simple narrative prose and verse.

Prerequisite: RLG260H1, RLG263H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG360H1 - Intermediate Sanskrit II

Hours: 24S

Review of grammar and the further development of vocabulary with a focus on reading simple narrative prose and verse.

Prerequisite: RLG359H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG361H1 - Literatures of Hinduism

Hours: 24L

A study of the literatures of Hinduism in India and the diaspora, including issues of identity formation, nostalgic constructions of the "homeland", fictional representations, and the quest for authenticity.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG362H1 - Rama of Ayodhya: From Literature to Politics

Hours: 24L

A study of the figure of Rama, from his genesis in the Valmiki Ramayana, to his historical evolution as a cultural and political icon through mediaeval and modern India.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG363H1 - Bhakti Hinduism

Hours: 24L

A study of Hindu bhakti traditions through classical and vernacular texts, in conversation with colonial and post-colonial theoretical perspectives on the notion of "bhakti" in Hinduism.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

JPR364H1 - Religion and Politics in the Nation State

Previous Course Number: JPR364Y1

Hours: 24L

This course will engage with contemporary debates on religion and politics in the context of the nation-state in our post-9/11 world, and will do so comparatively across a wide range of contexts.

The emphasis will be on understanding the evolving relationship between religion and politics in liberal democracies, and examining challenges facing democratic politics from the religious sphere, both in the West, where secular liberalism is the dominant framework for discussing these questions, and in Africa, India, and the Middle East, where such a framework is more likely to be contested. The themes explore will include secularization, religious pluralism and tolerance, human rights regimes, the idea of “civil religion,” the impact of religion on party politics, the formation of identity and political community, the legal regulation of sometimes-competing claims based on religious faith, gender, and sexuality, and the rise of extremist forms of religious politics, conspiracy thinking, new online communities that lead to dangerous political outcomes, such as ‘QAnon’ and ‘Plandemic’. Cases studies will include the USA, Canada, France, Turkey, Egypt, Nigeria.

(Given by the Departments of Political Science and Religion)

Prerequisite: 0.5 credit in POL/ JPI/ RLG courses at the 200+ level, or 1.0 credit in HIS/ PHL/ SOC courses at the 200-level
Exclusion: JPR364Y1
Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

JPR365H1 - Global Religion and Politics

Previous Course Number: JPR364Y1

Hours: 24L

This course will engage with contemporary debates on religion and politics in the international context in our post-9/11 world, and will do so comparatively across a wide range of contexts.

The emphasis will be on understanding the evolving role transnational religion has played in the past three decades, where new global networks have emerged as central global actors. We will focus empirically on the rise of radical reformist Islam and evangelical Christianity, the two most dramatically successful forms of religiosity around the world today. We will study the implications for the foreign policies of key nation-states, as well as the forces that have contributed to the prevalence of contestatory religious politics and networks as new and poorly understood global actors. International religious freedom, human rights, the role of media and mediation, the place of religious or theological doctrines or imaginaries in constructing and motivating a range of political goals, many involving the use of violence. We will focus as well on the global spread of extremist forms of religious politics, conspiracy thinking, new online communities that lead to dangerous political outcomes, such as ‘QAnon’ and ‘Plandemic’. Many of the cases will focus on the non-Western world, especially the Middle East and Africa.(Given by the Departments of Political Science and Religion)

Prerequisite: 0.5 credit in POL/ JPI/ RLG courses at the 200+ level, or 1.0 credit in HIS/ PHL/ SOC courses at the 200-level
Exclusion: JPR364Y1
Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG365H1 - Modern Hinduism

Hours: 24L

The development of modern Hindu religious thought in the contexts of colonialism, dialogue with the West and the secular Indian state.

Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/ RLG205Y1/ RLG280Y1; see note above for general Prerequisites
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG366H1 - Hindu Philosophy

Hours: 24L

A study of different schools, texts, and issues of Hindu philosophy.

Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/ RLG205Y1/ RLG280Y1; See note above for general Prerequisites
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG368H1 - Hindu Ways of Living

Hours: 24L

The course surveys the textual sources of the practices of Yoga, Ayurveda and Hindu traditions such as domestic rituals, rites of passage and community centered religious activity. It critically evaluates the assumption of an unbroken continuity of tradition of these practices from antiquity onwards and comes to consider what they have come to constitute as a result of modernity and globalization.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG369H1 - The Mahabharata

Hours: 24L

A study of the great Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG371H1 - Interdependence

Hours: 24L/12P

An exploration of the Buddhist concept of interdependence, or interdependent origination, from doctrinal and contemplative perspectives, as presented in classic Buddhist texts and as used in contemporary environmental and activist movements globally.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: RLG206H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG372H1 - Engaging Tibet

Hours: 24L

This course examines the history of global engagement with Tibetan religions, including contemporary adoptions of Tibetan religious identities outside the Tibetan plateau. The course begins in the Buddhist past by examining some of the earliest recorded Tibetan debates on religious identity and authority. It then moves to the modern period to compare non-Tibetan depictions of Tibetan religious traditions with indigenous Tibetan forms of self-representation. The course thus addresses questions regarding the plurality of Tibetan religious identities from Buddhist to Bön to Islamic and the ways that these identities interact with historical romanticizations of Tibet.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: RLG206H1/ RLG206H5
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG373H1 - Buddhist Ritual

Hours: 24L

Daily worship, the alms round, life-crisis celebrations, healing rituals, meditation, festivals, pilgrimage, the consecration of artefacts and taking care of the ancestors are among the forms of Buddhist ritual introduced and analyzed in this course. Liturgical manuals, ethnographic descriptions and audiovisual records form the basis for a discussion of the role of ritual as text and event.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: RLG206H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

JPR374H1 - Religion and Power in the Postcolony

Hours: 24L

This course examines the role of a variety of religious forms and spiritual practices in the politics of postcolonial societies, tracing their genealogies from the colonial period to the present. Cases taken principally from Africa and Asia.

(Given by the Departments of Political Science and Religion)

Prerequisite: 1.0 credit in POL/ JPA/ JPF/ JPI/ JPR/ JPS/ JRA courses at the 200+ level, or 1.5 credits in RLG courses
Distribution Requirements: Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG374H1 - Buddhist Life Stories

Hours: 24L

This course explores the genres of autobiography and biography in Buddhist literature. The course will begin with theoretical studies on narrative and religious life-writing. We will then consider the development and distinctive features of auto/biographies and hagiographies in the literature of one or more Buddhist cultures, analyzing representative examples of these genres from a range of traditions and historical periods, and considering how these sources have been understood and used in secondary scholarship.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG375H1 - Biohacking Breath

Hours: 24L/24P

This course explores Buddhist practices of manipulating – or “biohacking” – the breath or “winds” (prāna) of the human body, covering relevant theories of human anatomy and physiology and the religious, philosophical, and medical teachings alongside which these practices developed. Intentional breathing practices in the history of European thought and the role of breathwork in contemporary global biohacking movements will also be studied for comparison and contrast. During experiential lab sessions, basic prānāyāma and other breathing practices will be learned and practiced with the guidance of qualified teacher-practitioners.

Prerequisite: 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG376H1 - Touching the Earth

Hours: 24L

A study of Buddhist relationships with the earth, including “earth touching” contemplative practices, ritual ceremonies for land spirits or sacred sites, geomantic and cosmographic traditions, the use of landscape imagery to depict enlightenment, contrasts between wilderness and urban spaces, and contemporary ecological movements in Buddhist communities and their responses to climate disruption. The course combines experiential learning approaches and outdoor excursions with reading and written work.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG377H1 - Intermediate Tibetan I

Previous Course Number: RLG370Y1

Hours: 36S

This course provides a review of classical Tibetan grammar through the study and translation of texts from a variety of genres. These include selections from Tibetan philosophical works, canonical Buddhist discourses, Tibetan historical writings, autobiographies, and dream narratives.

Prerequisite: One year of Tibetan or equivalent. Please consult instructor with questions about eligibility.
Exclusion: RLG370Y1
Recommended Preparation: One year of classical Tibetan or the equivalent.
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG378H1 - Intermediate Tibetan II

Previous Course Number: RLG370Y1

Hours: 36S

This course provides a review of classical Tibetan grammar through the study and translation of texts from a variety of genres. These include selections from Tibetan philosophical works, canonical Buddhist discourses, Tibetan historical writings, autobiographies, and dream narratives.

Prerequisite: One year of Tibetan or equivalent. Please consult instructor with questions about eligibility.
Exclusion: RLG370Y1
Recommended Preparation: One year of classical Tibetan or the equivalent.
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG379H1 - Religions of the Silk Road

Previous Course Number: RLG245H1

Hours: 24L

An historical introduction to the religious traditions that flourished along the Silk Road, including Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Nestorian Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Islam. Drawing on a variety of sources (textual, archaeological, works of art), the course will focus on the spread and development of these traditions through the medieval period. Issues include cross-cultural exchange, religious syncretism, ethnic identity formation and so on. Emphasis will also be placed on religious and political events in modern Central Asia.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG245H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG383H1 - Interpretation and Dialogue

Hours: 24L

Can we understand the beliefs and behaviors of people whose religious and cultural outlooks differ radically from our own? Do we always impose our preconceptions on them? Or are there cognitive, imaginative, and emotional resources that enable us to see people on their own terms? These questions, which beset the practices of anthropologists and historians of religions, are central to the philosophy of the human sciences. This course explores the theoretical issues involved in interpretation and dialogue across cultural and historical divides by reading seminal texts by Dilthey, Collingwood, Heidegger, Quine, Davidson, Winch, MacIntyre, Benedict, Geertz, and Rorty.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG384H1 - Pluralism and Toleration

Hours: 24L

This course traces the development of philosophical arguments in favor of toleration or pluralism that emerged first in response to bitter religious conflicts and then out of a growing recognition of the potential benefits of the normative diversity characteristic of modern societies. Typical philosophers to be studied are Bodin, Spinoza, Locke, Bayle, Lessing, Herder, and Mill.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG385H1 - Becoming Modern: Institutions, Individuals, and the Dark Side of Modernity

Hours: 24L

What does it mean to be modern? Words like “modern,” “modernity,” and “modernism” are used to mark a fundamental boundary between our era and all that came before it (or lies outside of it); but most of us are hard-pressed to offer a solid account of what exactly this boundary is. This course examines the relationship between: a fundamental shift in the nature of daily experience; an order-of-magnitude expansion of the power of the State; a dramatic reorganization of religious experience and cultures; and a tremendous growth in the enterprise of Western science and technological production. We trace this reorientation over the last two centuries and examine its consequences using philosophical, literary, theological, and scientific sources, as well as recent scholarly work on the topic.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: RLG231H1/ RLG387H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG386H1 - Devotional Literature of Early Modern India

Hours: 24L/12T

This class is an introduction to the devotional literature of early modern India (c. 1500-1800), but more importantly, it is about thinking critically and developing skills in close reading of texts. In addition to learning about historical, religious, and social contexts of various literary traditions in Brajbhasha, students will be expected to demonstrate their ability to analyze and interpret texts by actively participating in class discussions and by writing a well-argued final paper. The focus will be on the what of literary traditions but also on the how and why these traditions made sense to people in the past and are still relevant to us, today.

Prerequisite: 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG387H1 - Religion and Science

Previous Course Number: RLG231H1

Hours: 24L

Course explores issues at the intersection of religion and science which may include such topics as evolution and the assessment of its religious significance by different traditions, conceptions of God held by scientists (theism, pantheism, panentheism), ethical issues raised by scientific or technological developments ( cloning or embryonic stem cell research), philosophical analysis of religious and scientific discourses.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG231H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG388H1 - Special Topics I

Hours: 24L

If the course is offered during the year, a detailed course description of the topic will be available under current courses in the undergraduate section of the Department’s website.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits.
Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG389H1 - Special Topics II

Hours: 24L

Special Topics

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG391H1 - Modern Atheism and Critique of Religion: Hegel to Nietzsche

Hours: 24L

Examines select modern thinkers and their critical approaches to the nature and significance of religious beliefs and practices. Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, and Nietzsche are among the major thinkers studied.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG310Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG392H1 - The European Enlightenment and Religion

Hours: 24L

This course explores some of the major thinkers of the European Enlightenment and their philosophical inquiries into the meaning and significance of religion as a set of cultural institutions. Special attention is paid to the analysis of religious concepts and institutions along epistemological, ethical, and political lines.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG393H1 - Graphic Religion: Myth and the Spiritual in Graphic Novels

Previous Course Number: RLG234H1

Hours: 24L

Survey of themes connecting religious ideas, symbols, and representations with graphic novels and sequential art. The course will explore techniques of story-telling in mythic and visual representations in religious traditions and explore how these techniques and images are mirrored within popular comic-style (sequential) art.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Exclusion: RLG234H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG394H1 - Religion in the Game of Thrones

Hours: 24L

Religion weaves complex social logics and social rationales imbedded in all levels of culture. This course explores multiple questions of religion as a cultural element, both visible and invisible. Theories of religion as well as questions of gender, authority, and power will be examined. The course culminates in a student project oriented toward an academically oriented “Handbook” for the study of religion in the Game of Thrones.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG396H1 - The Soul of Food: Religion, Food, and the Construction of Community

Hours: 24L/12P

Food is an essential part of religion, but how does food - how it's produced, prepared, and consumed - reveal the values and beliefs of religious communities? How do the material practices of food - including dietary laws, rituals, feasts, and fasts - construct religious identity and community? This course will challenge students to think about these questions through experiential learning opportunities, including a community-engaged research project and guided visits to local religious food sites. Through active learning, critical thinking, and reflective practice, students will examine the ways in which food has significant social and ethical implications for religious communities.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)
Course Experience: Partnership-Based Experience

RLG397H1 - Readings in Early Sikh Texts

Hours: 24L

This class is an introduction to early Sikh texts in their original language and in translation. In addition to learning the grammar of what Christopher Shackle has called 'the sacred language of the Sikhs' and acquiring translation skills, students will be expected to demonstrate their ability to analyze and interpret texts in relation to their contexts of production.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG398H0 - Research Excursions

An instructor-supervised group project in an off-campus setting. Details at https://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/current/academics/research-opportunities/research-excursions-program. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG398Y0 - Research Excursions

An instructor-supervised group project in an off-campus setting. Details at https://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/current/academics/research-opportunities/research-excursions-program. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG399Y1 - Research Opportunity Program

Credit course for supervised participation in faculty research project. Details at https://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/current/academics/research-opportunities/research-opportunities-program. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

RLG400Y1 - Independent Studies Abroad

Intensive programs of study including site visits and lectures in areas of religious significance abroad. Preparatory work expected, together with paper or assignments upon return.
(Y1 course: 4 weeks minimum; H course: 2 weeks minimum)

Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG401H1 - Independent Studies Abroad

Intensive programs of study including site visits and lectures in areas of religious significance abroad. Preparatory work expected, together with paper or assignments upon return.
(Y1 course: 4 weeks minimum; H course: 2 weeks minimum)

Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG402H1 - Independent Studies Abroad

Intensive programs of study including site visits and lectures in areas of religious significance abroad. Preparatory work expected, together with paper or assignments upon return.
(Y1 course: 4 weeks minimum; H course: 2 weeks minimum)

Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG404H1 - Departmental Capstone-Research

Hours: 24S

This seminar gives you the chance to explore the role of research in undergraduate education, and to construct a retrospective view of your and others’ experiences of studying religion in the university. Each student will also develop a research project and will examine a range of audiences for their research, from specialists in their field, to wider academic scholars, to an audience beyond the university. Interaction between students will be a central feature of the work of the seminar. Open to students in the Majors and Specialists of the Department for the Study of Religion.

Prerequisite: Completion of 14.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG405H1 - Departmental Capstone-Practical

Hours: 24S

A capstone seminar that emphasizes integration of the study of religion with contemporary public life in the development of a research project, locating a research specialization in relation to non-academic contexts, and communicating the process and results of a research project to non-academic audiences. Open to students in the Majors and Specialists of the Department for the Study of Religion.

Prerequisite: Completion of 14.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG406H1 - Constructing Religion

Hours: 24S

How have different researchers constructed ‘religion’ as their object of study, and are some frameworks simply incompatible with each other? We discuss – but also provide critical assessments of -- different theoretical and methodological frameworks. Open to students in the Majors and Specialists of the Department for the Study of Religion.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG407H1 - The World of "World Religion"

Hours: 24S

A seminar examining the development of western discourses of world religions. We shall explore the roots of these discourses and examine their implications in the academic study of religion in North America and in other parts of the world. Open to students in the Majors and Specialists of the Department for the Study of Religion.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: RLG200H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG410Y1 - Advanced Topics in Religion

Hours: 24S

Some topic of central interest to students of religion, treated on a once-only basis. If the course is offered during the year, a detailed course description of the topic will be available under current courses in the undergraduate section of the Department’s website.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG411H1 - Advanced Topics in Religion

Hours: 24S

Some topic of central interest to students of religion, treated on a once-only basis. If the course is offered during the year, a detailed course description of the topic will be available under current courses in the undergraduate section of the Department’s website.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG412H1 - Advanced Topics in Religion

Hours: 24S

Some topic of central interest to students of religion, treated on a once-only basis. If the course is offered during the year, a detailed course description of the topic will be available under current courses in the undergraduate section of the Department’s website.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG414H1 - Comparing Religions

Hours: 24S

Few methods have been more foundational to the scholarly study of religion, or more subject to searching criticism, than the practice of comparison. This seminar offers an advanced introduction to comparative method through close study of 4-6 recent works, from ritual studies, philosophy of religion, comparative theology and/or ethnography.

Prerequisite: Completion of 14.0 credits, 1.0 credit of which should be in CHC/ SMC/ RLG
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG415H1 - Performance, Gender, Religion

Hours: 24S

“Performance, Gender, Religion” will explore gendered religious experience through the lens of performance and theories of performativity. Topics include: The inculcation of religious norms through required gender performance, the performative dimension of religious ritual, and performance culture within religious communities. We will not only consider the ways in which “manhood” and “womanhood” are performed, we will also consider performances that critique and confront these categories. Students will have the opportunity to engage in a research project on gender performance from a specific cultural context.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG416H1 - Topics in Religion and Gender

Hours: 24S

Advanced study in specialized topics focusing on the intersection of religion and gender. If the course is offered during the year, a detailed course description of the topic will be available under current courses in the undergraduate section of the Department’s website. As these courses are offered simultaneously as graduate level courses, students interested in taking them are encouraged to contact the instructor.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG417H1 - Radical Evil

Hours: 24S

Interrogation of the concept of ‘radical evil’ from perspectives of philosophy, critical theory, psychoanalysis and the study of religion.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG418H1 - Advanced Topics in the Philosophical Study of Religion

Hours: 24S

A seminar that explores a topic in the philosophical study of religion. Possible topics include: the nature of religious truth; the phenomenology of religion; descriptions of the holy; religion and the meaning of life; God-talk as literal or metaphorical language; naturalizing religious belief. If the course is offered during the year, a detailed course description of the topic will be available under current courses in the undergraduate section of the Department’s website. As these courses are offered simultaneously as graduate level courses, students interested in taking them are encouraged to contact the instructor.

Prerequisite: RLG209H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

JPR419H1 - Secularism and Religion

Previous Course Number: RLG419H1

Hours: 24S

Themes considered include what notion of religion is necessary for secular governance, and how secularity relates to particular discourses of citizenship and practices of political rule. Case studies include the effects of colonial rule on religious life; Jewish emancipation in Europe; and religious freedom in France and North America.

(Given by the Departments of Political Science and Religion)

Prerequisite: 2.0 credits in POL/ JPA/ JPF/ JPI/ JPR/ JPS/ JRA/ RLG courses at the 200+ level. Students who do not meet the prerequisites are encouraged to contact the instructor.
Exclusion: RLG419H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities, Social Science
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG419H1 - Ghosts to Ancestors: Racialized Hauntings and Reparative Promise in Psychoanalysis

Hours: 24L

All forms of injustice disfigure both societies and psyches. Racist, sexist, and other unconscious fantasies of evil and persecuting ‘others’ generate social injustice. At the same time, social injustice distorts the mind. This “dual track” process can drive human beings and their societies mad. Justice depends upon transformations of social structures and moral codes as well as changes within human minds. In order for psychoanalysis to realize its own potential for facilitating justice, it must confront its own historical contribution to injustice. Through a close reading of selected texts from Sigmund Freud and the activist psychiatrist Franz Fanon, this course explores the inherent tensions between colonizing and emancipatory themes within psychoanalytic discourses. Both Freud and Fanon contribute to a psychoanalytic critical theory that have influenced several contemporary ethnographic writers who explore the intricate ways in which social and cultural realities are internalized as unconscious hauntings and tormenting spirits across generations.

Recommended Preparation: RLG211H1/ RLG301H1/ RLG302H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG420H1 - Religion and Philosophy in the European Enlightenment

Hours: 24S

An advanced study of selected Enlightenment thinkers with a focus on their interpretations of religion. The main thinkers discussed are Spinoza, Hume, and Kant. Issues include the rational critique of traditional religion, the relations among religion, ethics and politics, and the pursuit of universal approaches to religion.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits, including at least one of RLG310H1/ RLG392H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG421H1 - Fragments of Redemption: Sigmund Freud and Theodor Adorno

Hours: 24S

This course will challenge the prevailing view that the thought of Sigmund Freud and Theodor Adorno is so deeply pessimistic as to be devoid of hope. Freud’s psychoanalytic theories are widely (mis)interpreted in the register of a crude pansexualism and biological determinism. Adorno’s critique of society and the individual is often (mis)interpreted as so ruthlessly pervasive that it forecloses on any possibility for emancipatory transformation. This is a distorted view of both thinkers, that misses the hopeful, utopian currents that motivate and shape psychoanalysis and critical theory. The course will explore the emancipatory currents in Freud and Adorno, and their implications for potentialities of individual, social and ecological transformation.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG422H1 - Kant's Theory of Religion

Hours: 24L/12S

An advanced study of Immanuel Kant’s theory of religion, as developed in major writings such as Critique of Practical Reason and Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason. Emphasizes rational ethical criteria as the basis for analyzing the doctrines, symbols, and institutions of historical religions.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits, including at least one of RLG310H1/ RLG392H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG425H1 - Hermeneutics and Religion

Hours: 24S

A study of how principles of textual interpretation and theories of language have been central to modern philosophy of religion. We begin with Schleiermacher, and then move to an in-depth treatment of the 20th century hermeneutical theories of Heidegger, Gadamer, and Ricoeur.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits, including at least one of RLG310H1/ RLG392H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG426H1 - Religion in the Public Sphere: Community-Engaged Learning

Hours: 24S

In a 55-hour placement with a community partner, students are given an opportunity to learn about and reflect upon the ways that religion and religious diversity shape public life. How do individuals and organizations recognize and negotiate the intersections of religious diversity, culture, and public space in the context of engaging with public policy? Through critical classroom discussions, readings, reflections, and meaningful work for and with front-line community partners, community-engaged learning offers students the opportunity to integrate academic knowledge with experiences outside the classroom, to challenge themselves, and to explore their values and future directions.

Application Process: By the end of November, interested students must complete the online application form to indicate their interest in and expectations of community engaged learning, as well as any previous volunteer/co-op/internship experience they may have had. Following submission of student applications, the course instructor(s) will contact student applicants individually to conduct a brief informational interview. Interviews will be completed by December, at which time students will be directly enrolled by the department.

Prerequisite: RPS coordinator's permission
Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG428H1 - Religion and Economy

Hours: 24L

This course introduces students to classical and contemporary social scientific work on the relation between religion and economy. It draws on classics such as Marx, Weber, and Mauss, as well as recent anthropological work. Topics may include sacrifice, the gift, commodity fetishism, prosperity gospel, neoliberalism, charity, and development.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG430H1 - Advanced Topics in Judaism

Hours: 24S

Advanced Topics in Judaism

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG431H1 - Advanced Topics in Judaism

Hours: 24S

Some topic of central interest to students of religion, treated on a once-only basis. If the course is offered during the year, a detailed course description of the topic will be available under current courses in the undergraduate section of the Department’s website. As these courses are offered simultaneously as graduate level courses, students interested in taking them are encouraged to contact the instructor.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG432Y1 - Advanced Topics in Judaism

Hours: 48S

Some topic of central interest to students of religion, treated on a once-only basis. If the course is offered during the year, a detailed course description of the topic will be available under current courses in the undergraduate section of the Department’s website. Students interested in taking the course are encouraged to contact the instructor.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG433H1 - Maimonides and His Modern Interpreters

Hours: 24S

An introduction to The Guide of the Perplexed by Moses Maimonides, and to some of the basic themes in Jewish philosophical theology and religion. Among topics to be considered through close textual study of the Guide: divine attributes; biblical interpretation; creation versus eternity; prophecy; providence, theodicy, and evil; wisdom and human perfection. Also to be examined are leading modern interpreters of Maimonides.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Exclusion: POL421H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG434H1 - Modern Jewish Thought

Hours: 24S

Close study of major themes, texts, and thinkers in modern Jewish thought. Focus put on the historical development of modern Judaism, with special emphasis on the Jewish religious and philosophical responses to the challenges of modernity. Among modern Jewish thinkers to be considered: Spinoza, Cohen, Rosenzweig, Buber, Scholem, Strauss, and Fackenheim.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG435H1 - The Thought of Leo Strauss

Hours: 24S

The philosophic thought of Leo Strauss approached through his writings on modern Judaism. Primarily addressed will be the mutual relations between philosophy, theology, and politics. Among other topics to be dealt with: origins of modern Judaism, Zionism, liberal democracy, and biblical criticism; meaning of Jerusalem and Athens; cognitive value in the Hebrew Bible.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG441H1 - Words and Worship in Christian Cultures

Hours: 24S

How are we to analyze the words that Christians use? And how are such words related to ritual forms? We explore techniques for the analysis of texts, while looking at forms of verbal discourse ranging from prayers, speaking in tongues, and citing the Bible to more informal narratives.

Prerequisite: ANT356H1/ RLG212Y1 and permission of instructor
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG447H1 - Magic and Miracle in Early Christianity

Hours: 24L

Magic, religion, astrology, alchemy, theurgy, miracle, divination: all of these phenomena characterize the context and practice of ancient Christianity. This course examines the constitution of these categories, the role and character of these phenomena in the Graeco-Roman world, and the interaction with and integration of these phenomena by ancient Christianity.

Prerequisite: RLG241Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG448H1 - Pseudepigraphy in Ancient Mediterranean Religion

Hours: 24S

A seminar examining the phenomenon of falsely claimed and/or attributed authorship in religions of the ancient Mediterranean, mainly Christianity and Judaism. The course examines understandings of authorship and other cultural forms that facilitate or inhibit ancient pseudepigraphy, ancient controversies over authorship, as well as specific pseudepigraphical writings.

Prerequisite: Completion of 14.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG449H1 - The Synoptic Problem

Hours: 24S

Investigation of the history of solutions to the Synoptic Problem from the eighteenth century to the present paying special attention to the revival of the Griesbach hypothesis and recent advances in the Two-Document hypothesis.

Prerequisite: RLG241H1, and at least one of RLG320H1/ RLG321H1/ RLG322H1/ RLG323H1/ RLG324H1/ RLG325H1/ RLG326H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG451H1 - The Parables of Jesus

Hours: 24S

Examination of the parables in the gospels and other early Christian writers, and major trends in the modern analyses of the parables. Special attention will be paid to the social and economic world presupposed by the parables.

Prerequisite: RLG241H1, and at least one of RLG320H1/ RLG321H1/ RLG322H1/ RLG323H1/ RLG324H1/ RLG325H1/ RLG326H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG452H1 - The Death of Jesus

Hours: 24S

Examination of the accounts of the passion and death of Jesus in their original historical and literary contexts.

Prerequisite: RLG241H1, and at least one of RLG320H1/ RLG321H1/ RLG322H1/ RLG323H1/ RLG324H1/ RLG325H1/ RLG326H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG453H1 - Christianity and Judaism in Colonial Context

Hours: 24S

Sets the study of early Christianity and Second Temple Judaism into relation with postcolonial historiography. Topics include hybridity, armed resistance, the intersection of gender and colonization, diaspora, acculturation, and the production of subaltern forms of knowledge. Comparative material and theories of comparison are also treated.

Prerequisite: Completion of 14.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG454H1 - Social History of the Jesus Movement

Hours: 24S

The social setting of the early Jesus movement in Roman Palestine and the cities of the Eastern Empire. Topics will include: rank and legal status; patronalia and clientalia; marriage and divorce; forms of association outside the family; slavery and manumission; loyalty to the empire and forms of resistance.

Prerequisite: RLG241H1, and at least one of RLG320H1/ RLG321H1/ RLG322H1/ RLG323H1/ RLG324H1/ RLG325H1/ RLG326H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG455H1 - Heresy and Deviance in Early Christianity

Hours: 24S

A study of the construction of deviance or heresy within the literature of first and second century Christianity: tasks include a survey of sociological theory in its application to deviance in the ancient world and close readings of selected texts from first and second century Christian and pre-Christian communities.

Prerequisite: Completion of 14.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

JPR458H1 - Postsecular Political Thought: Religion, Radicalism and the Limits of Liberalism

Hours: 24S

The course will examine debates on postsecularism and religion’s public, political role as articulated by political thinkers such as Jurgen Habermas, by focusing on politically radical or revolutionary challenges to liberalism in the 20th and 21st century, especially from the postcolonial world, whose theoretical arguments are grounded upon or draw their inspiration from religious traditions, doctrines and practices.

Prerequisite: 1.0 credit in POL/ JPA/ JPF/ JPI/ JPR/ JPS/ JRA /RLG courses at the 300+ level
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG458H1 - Advanced Topics in Islam

Hours: 24S

Advanced study of specialized topics in Islam.

Prerequisite: RLG204H1 or RLG355H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

JPR459H1 - Fanaticism: A Political History

Hours: 24S

This seminar in theory will explore the modern history of the concept of ‘fanaticism’ and its role in the development of political modernity. A focus on the concept of the “fanatic” (and its cognates) from the perspective of its various uses in political and religious thought from the Early Modern period through the Enlightenment and up to the present day, provides a fascinating opportunity for a critical review of the secular, rationalist, and scientific assumptions underwriting modern political forms and concepts, especially those of liberal democracy. At the same time, the course will offer critical insight into the ways in which religious and political differences among colonial “others” were, and continue to be, central to the elaboration of Western theoretical discourse on fanaticism and extremism as forms of “political pathology”. (Given by the Departments of Political Science and Religion)


Prerequisite: (2.0 credits in Political Theory and/or Philosophy including 1.0 credit at the 300-level) or (0.5 credit in Method and Theory in the Study of Religion and 1.0 credit at the 300-level in the Study of Religion)
Distribution Requirements: Social Science, Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG460H1 - Ramayana in Literature, Theology, and Political Imagination

Hours: 24S

This course explores how this conception is the result of a historical process by examining documentable transformations in the reception of the Ramayana. Our focus will be on the shift in the classification of the Ramayana from the inaugural work of Sanskrit literary culture (adi-kavya) in Sanskrit aesthetics to a work of tradition (smrti) in theological commentaries, the differences between the Ramayana's ideal of divine kingship and medieval theistic approaches to Rama's identification with Visnu, the rise of Rama worship, and the use of Rama's divinity in contemporary political discourse.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Recommended Preparation: RLG205Y1/ RLG205H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG461H1 - Buddhism and Indigeneity

Hours: 24S

In dominant discourse, Buddhism travels and, upon its arrival, enlightens, reforms, improves, or civilizes whoever was there before. In this course we will ask how that view disagrees with people for whom Buddhism is not something that comes later but something that comes first, who say: “We have always been Buddhists.” Such an alternative vision of Buddhism is shared by communities who fight against caste discrimination, occupation by foreign powers, or the destruction of their world. In conversation with members of Indigenous communities visiting our class, we will ask what Buddhist Studies can contribute towards decolonization and Indigenous empowerment, particularly for Indigenous people in Canada.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG462H1 - Newar Religion

Hours: 24L/24T

An academic legend recounts that if you ask a Newar whether he is Hindu or Buddhist the answer is yes. The course deals with the problem of how to study religions which coexist and compete with each other creating shifting coordinates of religious identification from the perspective of one specific Nepalese community.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG463H1 - Tibetan Buddhism

Hours: 24S

Close study of major themes, texts, and thinkers in Tibetan Buddhism. Themes and texts will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this year’s course description.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: RLG206H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG465H1 - Readings in Buddhist Texts

Hours: 24S

An advanced study of select Buddhist texts with a focus on issues of translation, interpretation, commentarial approaches, narrative strategies, as well as issues related to the production, circulation, and consumption of these works. Themes and texts will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this year’s course description.

Prerequisite: Reading knowledge of Sanskrit/Pali/Tibetan or Chinese; permission of instructor
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG466H1 - Sravakayana and Theravada Text

Hours: 24S

An advanced study of key texts pertaining to the Theravada and other Sravakayana schools produced in Southern and Southeastern Asia from the early centuries BC till today with a focus on issues of translation, interpretation, commentarial approaches, doctrinal and narrative strategies, as well as issues related to the production, circulation, and consumption of these works. Texts will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this year’s course description.

Prerequisite: Reading knowledge in Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, Chinese or a pertinent Asian vernacular literary language
Recommended Preparation: Any 200- or 300-level Buddhism course
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG467H1 - Reading Mahayana Texts

Hours: 24L

An advanced study of key texts pertaining to the Mahayana schools with a focus on issues of translation, interpretation, commentarial approaches, doctrinal and narrative strategies, as well as issues related to the production, circulation, and consumption of these works. Texts will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this year’s course description.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor
Recommended Preparation: Any 200- and 300-level Buddhism course
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG468H1 - Special Topics in Buddhism

Hours: 24L

Advanced study of specialized topics in Buddhist Studies.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: RLG206H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG469Y1 - Readings in Tibetan

Hours: 48L/24S

Advanced readings in Tibetan literature using Tibetan language. Tibetan language skills required.

Prerequisite: Instructor's permission required for admission to course
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1), Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG470H1 - Buddhist Tantra

Hours: 24L

A study of Tantric Buddhism, addressing ritual and scholastic practices, and problems of translation and interpretation. Themes will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this year’s course description.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG471H1 - Special Topics in Hinduism

Hours: 24L

Advanced study in specialized topics on Hinduism.

Prerequisite: RLG205Y; Permission of instructor
Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG474H1 - Sanskrit Readings I

Hours: 24S

This course will have students read choice pieces of South Asian literature. While tackling a text in Sanskrit from a major literary tradition, Buddhist or Hindu, and discussing its content and context, students will learn strategies for translating and interpreting Sanskrit literature.

Prerequisite: RLG359H1, RLG360H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG476H1 - Caste and its "Other"

Hours: 24S

This course focuses on works of South Asian fiction and non-fiction that deal with caste in Indian society. By looking at a range of texts from Classical Sanskrit literature in translation to contemporary radical Dalit perspective writings, we aim to arrive at an understanding of why, despite social and economic mobility, caste remains the indelible marker of modern Indian identity even today.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: RLG205H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG478H1 - Burmese Religions

Hours: 24L

This course will question the statement that “to be a Burmese is to be a Buddhist” by introducing students to the variegated religious landscapes of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Judaic, and Muslim Burma/Myanmar through an analysis and discussion of historical, art-historical, anthropological, and literary sources.

Prerequisite: Completion of 9.0 credits
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG479H1 - Burmese Buddhist Literature

Hours: 4L/20S

Burma, also known as Myanmar, offers one of the richest literary landscapes in the Buddhist world. This course introduces students to the Buddha’s sermons, to the animal lives of struggling bodhisattvas, to the poetic creativity of Mandalay princesses, to the intricacies of the Buddhist philosophy of mind, to the textual regimes of monastic dress codes, and to cosmographies of Buddhist kingship in the interface of South and Southeast Asian religions. Students will be trained to take a critical look at the fascinating world of Buddhist texts, inflected by the scriptural language of Pali, through a specifically Burmese prism.

Prerequisite: 4.0 credits
Recommended Preparation: RLG206H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG481H1 - Islamic Intellectual Tradition

Hours: 24S

This seminar covers three main areas of the Islamic intellectual tradition: legal, theological and mystical. Each section will be covered by reading an original work translated into English with the aid of secondary literature. The seminar will develop the students’ knowledge of the classical Islamic tradition. Students will choose a research topic and develop and present to the class a synopsis of their research. The seminar culminates in writing a research paper on one aspect of the Islamic religious tradition.

Prerequisite: RLG204H1 or RLG355H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG490Y1 - Independent Studies

Hours: 48S

Student-initiated intensive research courses supervised by faculty members of the Department. The student must obtain both a Supervisor's agreement and the Associate Chair's approval and fill out the Independent Studies Course form in consultation with the Supervisor with information on the proposed course in order to register. The form is available on our website. The maximum number of Independent Studies courses one may take is 2.0 credits. Deadline for submitting applications to Department, including Supervisor's approval, is the end of the first week of classes of the session. A 1.0 credit course may be compressed into a single session or spread through two sessions; a 0.5 credit course may similarly be done in either one session or across two sessions. These courses are open to RLG majors and specialists only. Not eligible for CR/NCR option. Please send completed forms and direct any questions to religion.undergrad@utoronto.ca.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG491H1 - Independent Studies

Hours: 24S

Student-initiated intensive research courses supervised by faculty members of the Department. The student must obtain both a Supervisor's agreement and the Associate Chair's approval and fill out the Independent Studies Course form in consultation with the Supervisor with information on the proposed course in order to register. The form is available on our website. The maximum number of Independent Studies courses one may take is 2.0 credits. Deadline for submitting applications to Department, including Supervisor's approval, is the end of the first week of classes of the session. A full-course may be compressed into a single session or spread through two sessions; a half-course may similarly be done in either one session or across two sessions. These courses are open to RLG majors and specialists only. Not eligible for CR/NCR option. Please send completed forms and direct any questions to religion.undergrad@utoronto.ca.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG492H1 - Independent Studies

Hours: 24S

Student-initiated intensive research courses supervised by faculty members of the Department. The student must obtain both a Supervisor's agreement and the Associate Chair's approval and fill out the Independent Studies Course form in consultation with the Supervisor with information on the proposed course in order to register. The form is available on our website. The maximum number of Independent Studies courses one may take is 2.0 credits. Deadline for submitting applications to Department, including Supervisor's approval, is the end of the first week of classes of the session. A 1.0 credit course may be compressed into a single session or spread through two sessions; a 0.5 credit course may similarly be done in either one session or across two sessions. These courses are open to RLG majors and specialists only. Not eligible for CR/NCR option. Please send completed forms and direct any questions to religion.undergrad@utoronto.ca.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG493H1 - Independent Studies

Hours: 24S

Student-initiated intensive research courses supervised by faculty members of the Department. The student must obtain both a Supervisor's agreement and the Associate Chair's approval and fill out the Independent Studies Course form in consultation with the Supervisor with information on the proposed course in order to register. The form is available on our website. The maximum number of Independent Studies courses one may take is 2.0 credits. Deadline for submitting applications to Department, including Supervisor's approval, is the end of the first week of classes of the session. This 0.5 credit course may be done in either one session or across two sessions. These courses are open to RLG majors and specialists only. Not eligible for CR/NCR option. Please send completed forms and direct any questions to religion.undergrad@utoronto.ca.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

RLG494Y1 - Independent Studies

Hours: 48S

Student-initiated intensive research courses supervised by faculty members of the Department. The student must obtain both a Supervisor's agreement and the Associate Chair's approval and fill out the Independent Studies Course form in consultation with the Supervisor with information on the proposed course in order to register. The form is available on our website. The maximum number of Independent Studies courses one may take is 2.0 credits. Deadline for submitting applications to Department, including Supervisor's approval, is the end of the first week of classes of the session. A full-course may be compressed into a single session or spread through two sessions; a half-course may similarly be done in either one session or across two sessions. These courses are open to RLG majors and specialists only. Not eligible for CR/NCR option. Please send completed forms and direct any questions to religion.undergrad@utoronto.ca.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

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