2014-2015 Undergraduate Courses

Note: This is an archive. View our current courses.

100 Series Courses


TBB199Y1Y Embarrassment of Scriptures / Harry Fox (T10-12)

In this first year seminar we shall explore the concept of embarrassment as an emotion different from its common usage as a weaker cousin and synonym of shame. In our sense it will convey the feeling of discomfort elicited by a sense of superiority that someone other than ourselves has disappointed us, or done something unseemly in one way or another, eliciting from us embarrassment. In literature this sense of the word elicits a catalytic effect of causing texts to be ignored, or re-read so as to avoid the embarrassment. As a result we shall explore toxic texts, texts of terror, the process of canon formation, mainly in the Jewish tradition. Students will be encouraged to explore taboo topics which often hide the embarrassment tradition has had with embarrassing texts. These will include such topics as sexuality, anthropomorphism, election, polygamy, genocide, slavery, and the environment.


TBB199Y1Y How Christianity Became the World's Largest Religion / Thomas McIntire  (T10-12)

This seminar asks, How did a small movement of followers of Jesus of Nazareth in first century Palestine turn into the World's largest religion? Christians now number 2.3 billion people, 1/3rd of the world’s population. They maintain communities in every country of the world, the only religion to do so. They form the majority of the population in 2/3rds of the countries of the world. Christianity is the largest religion in Africa, Australia, Oceania, Europe, North America, South America, and even Antarctica. In Asia, they form the majority in the Philippines, as well as huge minorities in India, China, Indonesia, Korea, Vietnam, and Burma. To answer this intriguing question the seminar goes global and deals with a wide range of subjects over a 2000 year span.


MHB155H1F Elementary Modern Hebrew I / Yigal Nizri  (MW10-12)

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


MHB156H1S Elementary Modern Hebrew II /Yigal Nizri  (MW10-12)

Continued introduction to the fundamentals of Hebrew grammar and syntax. Emphasis on the development of oral and writing skills. Prerequisite: MHB155H1/NML155H1 or permission of instructor. Exclusion: Grade 4 Hebrew (or Grade 2 in Israel)/NML156H1


MHB255H1F Intermediate Modern Hebrew I / Yigal Nizri  (MW1-3)

Intensive study of written and spoken Hebrew. Prerequisite: MHB156H1NML156H1 or permission of instructor. Exclusion: Grade 8 Hebrew (or Ulpan level 2 in Israel)/NML255Y1)


MHB256H1S Intermediate Modern Hebrew II / Yigal Nizri  (MW1-3)

Continued intensive study of written and spoken Hebrew. Prerequisite: MHB255H1/NML156H1 or permission of instructor. Exclusion: Grade 8 Hebrew (or Ulpan level 2 in Israel)/NML255Y1 MHB355H1F Advanced Modern Hebrew I / Yigal Nizri  (TR12-2) Advanced intensive study of written and spoken Hebrew. Prerequisite: MHB256H1/NML255Y1 or permission of instructor. Exclusion: OAC Hebrew/NML355Y1


MHB356H1S Advanced Modern Hebrew II / Yigal Nizri  (TR12-2)

Continued advanced intensive study of written and spoken Hebrew. Prerequisite: MHB355H1 or permission of instructor. Exclusion: OAC Hebrew/NML355Y1


RLG100Y1Y World Religions / L0101 David Perley  (M10-12) | L5101 David Perley  (R6-8)

An introductory study of the ideas, attitudes, practices, and contemporary situation of the Judaic, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist, and Shinto religious traditions. Exclusion: RLG280Y1; HUM B03H3, HUM B04H3. Note: HUM B03H3 and HUM B04H3 taken together are equivalent to RLG100Y1. Note: RLG101H5 is not equivalent to RLG100Y1.

200 Series Courses

Note: No 200-series RLG course has a 100-series RLG course prerequisite or co-requisite.


RLG200H1F Study of Religion / Arun Brahmbhatt (R5-8)

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. Prerequisite: Open to Religion Specialists and Majors. Exclusion: RLG200Y1


RLG203Y1Y Christian Religious Traditions /Amy M. Fisher (M10-12)

An introduction to Christian religious traditions as they have developed globally from the 1st century C.E. to the present and have been expressed in diverse teachings, institutions, social attitudes, and the arts. Exclusion: RLG203H5. Recommended Preparation: RLG100Y1/RLG200Y1/RLG280Y1


RLG206Y1 Buddhist Religious Traditions / Frances Garrett  (W11-1)

The development, spread, and diversification of Buddhist traditions from southern to northeastern Asia, as well as to the West.


RLG209H1F Justifying Religious Belief / Sol Goldberg  (W3-5)

A survey course that introduces students a range of epistemological and ethical issues in the study of religion. The issues include: the justification of religious belief; the coherence of atheism; reason vs. faith; the nature of religious language; religious pluralism, exclusivism, and inclusivism.


RLG210Y1 Methods in Sociology of Religion/ Joseph Bryant (W6-8)

Religion from the sociological viewpoint; religion as the source of meaning, community and power; conversion and commitment; religious organization, movements, and authority; the relation of religion to the individual, sexuality and gender; conflict and change; religion and secularization. Emphasis on classical thinkers (Durkheim, Marx, Weber) and contemporary applications. Note: This course is equivalent to SOC250Y1.


RLG211H1F Methods in the Psychology of Religion / Marsha Hewitt (T11-1)

A survey of the psychological approaches to aspects of religion such as religious experience, doctrine, myth and symbols, ethics and human transformation. Attention will be given to phenomenological, psychoanalytic, Jungian, existentialist and feminist approaches.


RLG213H1S Reading Sacred Texts /Luiz  F. Ribeiro  (R5-7)

This course surveys interpretative traditions related to sacred texts. The focus is on reading strategies that range from the literal to the figurative with attention to understanding the rationale behind different textual meanings and copyists manipulation of texts. This year the emphasis will be on reading ancient Jewish narratives (canonical and non-canonical). Lectures will be character driven (i.e. Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses), analyzing different interpretations of the narratives that developed around the figures through Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions.


RLG215H1F Pilgrimage as Idea and Practice / Simon Coleman  (W10-12)

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.


RLG220H1 F Philosophical Responses to the Holocaust / David Novak  (T12-2)

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.


RLG228H1F Religious Ethics: The Environment / Paul York  (W6-8)

This course explores various traditional religions, as well as non-traditional forms of religion, in conjunction with specific environmental issues or dimensions (such as climate change, agricultural-food issues, Western consumerism, environmental racism, and the wisdom of women and of science), with a view to providing students opportunities to understand and think critically about the nexus of religion, ethics, and environment.


RLG231H1 Religion and Science / Simon Appolloni (M5-7)

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.


RLG232H1S Religion and Film / Maria Dasios  (R6-9)

An introduction to the study of religion and film that engages a variety of film forms to explore classical and contemporary understandings of what religion does and what films do. Close attention will be paid to the ways in which the particularities of the film medium contribute to the production of affect and meaning and to the central role film has played in a variety of cultural movements. Exclusion: RLG232H5


RLG233H1F Religion and Popular Culture / Jennifer Harris (M1-3)

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 difference religious traditions, identities, and controversies.


RLG239H1F Special Topics: Judea & Rome / Nadav Sharon   (W11-1)

In 63 BCE the Roman general Pompey the Great conquered Judea and Jerusalem and approximately 130 years later the Great Revolt against Rome erupted in Judea, culminating in the destruction of the Temple. While the later event and its immediate background have often been examined, this course will rather examine Judean Roman relations from their beginning until the first century CE, with a particular focus on the early period of Roman domination over Judea. We will explore if and how this early period shaped future Judean-Roman relations, and also assess the possible long-term impact this formative period had on Judean society and religion.


RLG239H1S Special Topics: New Religion Movements / Justin Stein  (R2-4)

This course will serve as an introduction to the topic of new religious movements (NRMs), an important subject in the field of the study of religion that is not otherwise offered in the Department. The course will introduce students to general theoretical frameworks and themes regarding NRMs, including charismatic and traditional authority, NRMs’ marginalization by and tension with mainstream culture, charges that NRMs “brainwash” followers, and violence both in and against NRMs. There will be two case studies on aspects of NRMs in the modern Afro-Caribbean and modern Japan, focusing on topics including the roles of colonialism, post-colonial nationalism, and globalization in the historical production of NRMs, as well as interactions between new religious movements, the state, mass media, and the academy.


RLG241Y1Y Early Christian Writings / John Kloppenborg  (W5-7)

An introduction to New Testament literature and early Christian writings, examined within the historical context of the first two centuries. No familiarity with Christianity or the New Testament is expected. Exclusion: RLG241H5; RLG341H5; HUMC14H3


RLG243H1S Diasporic Religions / Kevin O'Neill  (R10-12)

An examination of religions in their contemporary diasporic and transnational modes. Issues addressed include the role of religions in sustaining identities across national boundaries, the enmeshment of religious minorities in political practices of governance, the impact of cultural forces such as commodification or gender upon religious representations and transformations, and the intersection of religion with other kinds of authoritative knowledge, such as medicine or law, in diasporic conditions.


RLG248H1S Martyrs, Mystics and Saints / Leslie Hayes  (R1-4)

An examination of the variety of ways in which religious traditions construct sanctity, articulate categories of exceptionalism, and how exceptional persons function within social systems. Includes consideration of gender and social status in definitions of sanctity. Focus varies from year to year, and may include one study of a single religious tradition, or comparative study of multiple religious traditions, and may include historical or contemporary focus.


RLG280Y1Y World Religions: A Comparative Study / L0101 David Perley  (M10-12) | L5101/ David Perley  (R6-8)

An alternative version of the content covered by RLG100Y1, for students in second year or higher who cannot or do not wish to take a further 100-level course. Students attend the RLG100Y1 lectures and tutorials but are expected to produce more substantial and more sophisticated written work, and are required to submit an extra written assignment. Prerequisite: Completion of 5.5 full course equivalents. Exclusion: RLG100Y1


RLG299Y1Y Research Opportunity / Staff

Credit course for supervised participation in faculty research project.

300 Series Courses

Note: All 300-series courses presuppose at least three prior RLG half courses (or equivalent). Only specific prerequisites or recommended preparations are listed below. Students who do not meet the prerequisites but believe they have adequate preparation should consult the undergraduate coordinator regarding entry to the course.


RLG304H1 Language, Symbols, Self / Mark Blainey  (M5-7)

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: See note above for general prerequisites.


RLG305H1F Material Religion / Simon Coleman  (T10-12)

Religions are constituted by material forms, including bodies, shrines, films, icons, and ‘ kitsch’. Anti-material impulses have also prompted many religious impulses, involving forms of iconoclasm that ironically demonstrate the power of objects. What is at stake in studying materiality? How might such a perspective transform our view of religion? Prerequisite: See note above for general prerequisites.


RLG308H1 Religion and the City / Briggida Bell and Jairan Gahan (F11-1)

The course focuses on the role of religion in the genesis and development of cities, as well as the ways urbanization and immigration have transformed religious organizations and identities. Various methodologies, including ethnography, social and cultural history, and textual analysis will be considered. In some years, course projects will focus on mapping the changing significance and presence of particular religions in Toronto. Check with the department for the next scheduled focus for this course.


RLG309Y1Y Religion and Human Rights / Eleanor Pontoriero  (M12-2)

This course examines the critical engagement of religious-cultural perspectives with the United Nations human rights discourse as well as with the secular sphere. These include Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and North American Aborginal perpectives. Issues examined include the relation between rights and duties; the universalism-cultural relativism debate; globalization; the right to self-determination; women's rights; and the role of religion as a pretext for violence and also as a basis for multi-lateral peacebuilding initiatives. Prerequisite: three RLG or PHI/PHL half-courses and third year standing. Exclusion: RLG309H5


RLG310Y1Y Modern Atheism and the Critique of Religion / James DiCenso  (M3-5)

This course examines major classical thinkers who have contributed to the development of critical approaches to religion in the modern West, and whose theories still influence contemporary debates. We begin with the 18th century European Enlightenment and proceed to examine selected 19th and 20th century thinkers. The approaches considered are mainly philosophical, but include historical, social, and political issues as well. Authors studied include Hume, Kant, Marx, Nietzsche and others. Prerequisite: three RLG or PHI/PHL half-courses and third year standing.


RLG313H1F Gender, Sexuality and Religion in the West / Kevin O'Neill  (W1-3)

This course is a comparative study of the significance of gender and sexuality within Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and new religious movements in Europe and the Americas. Topics may include historical, political, social, and legal contexts for changing approaches to gender and sexuality in these religions.


RLG322H1F Early Christian Gospels / Ian Brown   (M6-8)

Literary, historical, and rhetorical analyses of selected early Christian gospels. The gospels to be treated will vary, but each year will include a selection from the four canonical gospels and extra-canonical gospels (the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, the Gospel of Peter, the Gospel of Truth, infancy gospels, and fragments of Jewish-Christian gospels). Prerequisite: RLG241Y1


RLG326H1S Roots of Early Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism / Judith H. Newman  (T2-4)

Analysis of selected documents of Second Temple Judaism in their historical contexts, as part of the generative matrix for both the early Jesus movement and the emergence of rabbinic Judaism.


RLG336H1S Monsters & Others / Jennifer Harris (M1-3)

A course looking at the theories about and responses to the monstrous in the European Christian Middle Ages.


RLG337H1F Witchcraft and Magic in Christian Tradition / Leslie Hayes  (R1-4)

This course considers the history and theory of Western witchcraft, magic, and heresy in the medieval and early modern periods. Using a social-historical approach and relevant anthropological theory, the course emphasizes changes in historical intellectual, institutional, and legal definitions of witchcraft in relation to elements such as gender, class, religion, and science.


RLG344H1S Anti-Semitism / Sol Goldberg  (M2-4)

Described by some as "the longest hatred," antisemitism in fact goes by many names, (e.g., anti-Judiaism, Jew-hatred, Judeophobia, and anti-Zionism); takes many forms of expression from pagan antiquity to the present; and results from a variety of social, economic, political, and religious factors. By looking at diverse phenomena named by this highly contested and frequently problematic term, the course draws crucial distinctions within and alongside the concept of "antisemitism" in an effort to make sense of its long and diverse history. Topics include: philosemitism; Jewish self-hatred; pagan vs. Christian vs. Islamic antisemitism; philosophical theories of antisemitism. Prerequisite: A 200-level course in Judaism or Christianity or Western history; see note above for general prerequisites


RLG349H1S Special Topics in Judaism Jewish Rationalism / David Novak  (T6-8)

Mediaeval Jewish Rationalism is the name given to the thought of Jewish theologians who took non-Jewish philosophy seriously, who incorporated critically some of its methods and conclusions in their own expositions of Judaism. This course will examine the work of three such mediaeval Jewish rationalists: Saadiah Gaon (Rasag), Moses Mamimonides (Rambam), and Levi Gersonides (Ralbag). The course grade will be based on a midterm examination, a final examination, and classroom participation.


RLG351H1 F The Qur’an: An Introduction / Walid Saleh  (T6-8)

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.


RLG352H1 S Post-Colonial Islam / Mourad Laabdi  (T6-8)

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.


RLG359H1F Intermediate Sanskrit I / Joel Tatelman  (TR4-6)

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


RLG360H1S Intermediate Sanskrit II / Libbie Mills  (TR4-6)

Review of grammar and the further development of vocabulary with a focus on reading simple narrative prose and verse. Prerequisite: RLG359H1


RLG365H1F Modern Hinduism: Hinduism & Colonialism / Srilata Raman (R10-12)

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


RLG366H1F Hindu Philosophy: Hindu Kingship / Srilata Raman    (T10-12)

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


RLG366H1S: Hindu Philosophy: Karma / Srilata Raman      (T10-12)

A study of six classical schools of Hindu philosophy, focusing on the key issues of the Self, the Real, karma and ethics. Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG205Y1/RLG280Y1; see note above for general prerequisites. Exclusion: RLG362H1


RLG374H1 Buddhist Auto/Biography / S. Richardson  (W6-8)

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.


RLG375H1S Buddhist Thought / TBA  (W6-8)

This course explores major ideas in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist thought - such as buddha-nature, no-self, emptiness, mind-only, and compassion - as they took root on the Tibetan plateau during the period of Later Transmission (Tib. phyi dar), or the Tibetan Buddhist Renaissance. Gampopa's (1074-1153 C.E.) seminal "path" or "lamrim" work, The Jewel Ornament of Liberation, will serve as our main point of entry into the Buddhist thought of this period. Alongside this main text we will be examining these major Buddhist ideas through a variety of literary genres, including life narrative, poetry, exposition of the path, philosophical treatises, and Indian Buddhist scriptures in translation. Prerequisite: RLG206Y1; see note above for general prerequisites.


RLG388H1F Special Topics: Wealth and Poverty in Early Christianity / Michelle Christian  (T5-7)

An exploration of the ways wealth and poverty were conceptualized by Christians in the Roman Empire.  Topics will include wealth and poverty in the Roman world, the shifting categories of ‘rich’ and ‘poor,’ women and wealth, voluntary poverty, and ‘the gift’ in church and monastic settings.  We will also consider some of the theoretical issues that arise when studying the ‘economy’ in historical perspective


RLG388H1S Special Topics: Jewish-Christian Dialogues: Promise & Limits / Yaniv Feller  (T5-7)

Judaism and Christianity have a complex and often vexed relationship, which to an extent shapes both of these traditions. In this course, we will explore the idea of “Jewish-Christian Dialogues”, both imagined and in real encounters. Based on a variety of primary sources from different periods, we will search for the main themes of dialogue and confrontation, e.g. election, messianism, scripture, ritual law etc. In pursuing these topics, special attention will be given to the relation between theological debates and the political sphere and the relevance of Jewish-Christian dialogues for the understanding of contemporary debates about religion.


RLG389H1F Special Topics: Museums and Material Religion / Pamela Klassen   (T1-3)

Museums have long been important sites for the presentation and curation of religion – and religious diversity – to public audiences. With multiple visits to the ROM, this course will give students opportunities to think critically about the changing ways that museums have constructed religion, while engaging with the hand-on challenges of museum curation. Assignment will be based on interaction with the ROM`s collections and will include an introduction to digital tools for humanities scholarship.

400 Series Courses

Note:400-series courses are intended primarily for Specialists and Majors who have already completed several RLG courses. Prerequisite for all 400-level courses requires permission of the instructor. All 400-level courses are E indicator courses and also cross-listed as graduate courses. 


RLG404H1F Departmental Capstone-Research / Luiz Felipe Ribeiro  (M12-2)

The purpose of this course is to get students from idea to first draft to finished academic paper. Components of this process include: analysing and dissecting published academic essays on the study of religion, identifying and researching a thesis topic, writing a sample abstract and annotated bibliography, and finally, presenting and writing a well-argued and cohesive academic paper.


RLG404H1S Departmental Capstone-Research / Kevin O'Neill  (M12-2)

The purpose of this course is to get students from idea to first draft to finished academic paper. Components of this process include: analysing and dissecting published academic essays on the study of religion, identifying and researching a thesis topic, writing a sample abstract and annotated bibliography, and finally, presenting and writing a well-argued and cohesive academic paper.


RLG418H1S Advanced Topics in the Philosophical Study of Religion: What Theists Care About that Atheists Don't/ Sol Goldberg  (R12-2)

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.


RLG421H1 S Topics in Psychology of Religion / Marsha Hewitt         (T11-1)

Advanced study of key figures past and present in the psychoanalytic study of religion, including Freud and other psychoanalytic interpreters from both Anglo-American and European traditions.  Crucial distinctions between psychology of religion and the psychoanalytic study of religion.  Permission of instructor.


RLG422H1S Kant’s Theory of Religion / James DiCenso  (W3-5)

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.


RLG426H1S Religion in the Public Sphere Service Learning / Amy E. Fisher  (R10-12)

For upper-year students, from any discipline. In a 40-hour community service placement, discover first-hand religion’s significance in Toronto and examine how religion manifests in public spaces, institutions, and interactions, while critically reflecting on the experience of working with professionals and their “clients” in settings where religious diversity is at play. Prerequisite: Instructor’s permission required for admission to course. [Students interested in the Religion in the Public Sphere Service-Learning Course (RLG426H1S) should visit the course webpage and submit an application.]


RLG430H1S Advanced Topics in Judaism: Maimonides: Guide to the Perplexed / David Novak  (R2-4)

This seminar will examine what many consider to be the greatest work of Jewish philosophical-theology, the Guide of the Perplexed by Moses Maimonides. Some of the topics to be discussed are: the existence of God, theological language, prophecy, and rationale of the commandments. Course requirements: Each student is expected to lead a part of seminar discussion from time to time. The final grade will be based on the student’s classroom participation, plus a 20 page term paper on a topic to be jointly decided by the student and the instructor. This course is open to graduate students under a graduate rubric.


RLG431H1S Advanced Topics in Judaism: Kingship & Government Bible to Tannaim / Nadav Sharon  (W11-1)

This course will examine views of kingship in Judaism from the Bible to the early stratum of rabbinic literature, that of the Tannaim. The greater part of the course will examine views about kingship and government in the Second Temple period. We will gain familiarity with – and examine – a great variety of texts from that period, both from Judea and from the Diaspora, including the Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the writings of Philo, as well as non-Jewish texts about Jews. Particular attention will be given to the writings of Flavius Josephus, and to his evolving view of kingship and the ideal form of government.


RLG441H1S Words and Worship in Christian Cultures / Simon Coleman  (W10-12)

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


RLG443H1 S Genealogies of Christianity / Pamela Klassen   (T3-5)

How do disciplinary commitments shape theoretical and historical accounts of Christianity’s relationship to “modernity”? Through comparative analysis (including topics of science, colonialism, capitalism, and gender) students will develop an historically-grounded critique of the key terms: genealogy, Christianity, and modernity.  Based on reading and seminar discussion, the course encourages interdisciplinary exchange.


RLG448H1 Pseudepigraphy in Ancient Mediterranean Religion / John Marshall  (T10-12)

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.


RLG458H1S Advanced Topics in Islam: Sufism in Formative Period / Laury Silvers  (M12-2)

This class will be an examination of the metaphysics of imagination of the 13th century Muslim thinker Ibn al-`Arabi, known as “The Greatest Master” of Islam. He is arguably the most important scholar of his age. All Islamic thought that comes after him is influenced by his work, either following from his positions or in reaction against them.  He is the author of over 700 works, some 400 of which can be found in manuscript libraries around the world.  Only a few of these works are in printed editions in Arabic, and only a few of those are in translation in Western Languages.  We will be closely reading translated sections from his vast compendium of the Islamic religious sciences The Meccan Openings along with commentary by one of the foremost scholars of his work, William C. Chittick. The readings will focus on what Chittick calls the organizing principle of his thought, “the metaphysics of imagination.” This reading will be supplemented by other secondary works.


RLG464H1 History and Historiography of Buddhism / Frances Garrett  (W3-5)

This course examines histories of Buddhism authored inside and outside Asia, considering how various models of historiography affect our knowledge of Buddhism and Buddhist cultures. Readings will include translations of indigenous Buddhist histories, recent histories of Buddhism that have shaped the field of Buddhist Studies, and theoretical studies of historiography.


RLG465H1S Readings in Buddhist Texts: The Vessantarajataka / Christoph Emmrich  (M2-4)

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.


RLG469Y1Y Readings in Tibetan Buddhism / Kunga  Sherab  (TR4-6)

Advanced readings in Tibetan Buddhist literature. Tibetan language skills required. Prerequisite: Instructor’s permission required for admission to course


RLG471H1 S Hinduism Topics: The Guru Between East & West / Srilata Raman  (R10-12)

Advanced study in specialized topics on Hinduism.


RLG490Y1F\RLG490Y1S\RLG490Y1\RLG491H1F\RLG492H1F\RLG492H1S\RLG493H1S\RLG493H1Y\RLG494Y1S\RLGY1Y Individual Studies\Staff

Student-initiated projects supervised by members of the Department. The student must obtain both a supervisor’s agreement and the Department’s approval in order to register. The maximum number of Individual Studies one may take is two full course equivalents. Deadline for submitting applications to Department including supervisor’s approval is the first week of classes of the session.