Current Course Calendar Fall & Spring 2021 - 2022

2021-2022 St. George Campus Course Descriptions

For courses with tutorials, please also see the Arts and Science timetable. Sessional dates are available on the Faculty of Arts & Science calendar.

Fall term Undergraduate Classes begin September

Note: If the courses listed below is in conflict with the Arts & Science timetable, the information on the timetable takes priority.

Please contact Associate Chair and Undergraduate Coordinator, Simon Coleman at simon.coleman@utoronto.ca, or Undergraduate Program Assistant, Phoebe To at religion.undergrad@utoronto.ca, with any questions you may have about the Department for the Study of Religion. 

RLG10H1 Reason and Religion in the Modern Age

Sol Goldberg

Term: Fall

Description: 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, etc. We explore how issues addressed by these classical authors remain relevant in today's world.

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


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

Jennifer Harris

Term: Fall

Description: Conspiracy theories are nothing new, but in the past few years we have all witnessed the rise of conspiracies that have taken on the elements of New Religious Movements. This course examines the QAnon conspiracy movement as one of a new breed of “conspiritualities,” that is, conspiracies with strong cult and religious overtones.

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2) 

This course is offered online


RLG106H1 Happiness

Kevin O'Neill

Term: Spring

Description: 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 dessert, 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 Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


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

Laura Beth Bugg

Term: Spring

Description: 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 Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement:   Society and its Institutions (3)


MHB155H1 Elementary Modern Hebrew l

Yigal Nizri

Term: Fall

Description: 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) MNL155H1

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement:   Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


MHB156H1 Elementary Modern Hebrew II

Yigal Nizri

Term: Spring

Description: 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) MNL155H1

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement:   Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


 RLG194H1 Great Confrontations in Ancient Israel

David Novak

Term: Spring

Description: Great Confrontations in Ancient Israel deals with ten episodes recorded in the Hebrew Bible or "Old Testament" in which two parties confronted each other over a great moral issue. The ten confrontations are: (1) God and Humans; (2) Adam and Eve; (3) Cain and Abel; (4) Abraham and God; (5) Jacob and Esau; (6) Joseph and Mrs. Potiphar; (7) Moses and Pharaoh; (8) Moses and Israel; (9) David and Nathan; (10) Elijah and Ahab. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG195H1 Alt-Bible: What Could Have Been 

John Marshall

Term: Fall

Description: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 Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


RLG197H1 Enchantment, Disenchantment, Re-enchantment

Alexander Hampton

Term: Fall

Description: 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 available for CR/NCR option.

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


RLG198H1 Dystopia: Religion & Gender in Science Fiction

Laura Beth Bugg

Term: Fall

Description: 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 Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


RLG198H1 Dystopia: Religion & Gender in Science Fiction

Sarah Gallant

Term: Spring

Description: 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 Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG200H1 The Study of Religion

Previous Course Number: RLG200Y1

Jennifer Harris and  Ian Turner

Term: Fall

(This course has a tutorial*)

Description: 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, RLGB10H3, RLG105H5

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

This course is offered online


RLG200H1 The Study of Religion

Previous Course Number: RLG200Y1

Sol Goldberg and Parnia Vafaeikia

Term: Spring

(This course has a tutorial*)

Description: 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, RLGB10H3, RLG105H5

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

This course is offered online. 


RLG201H1 Indigenous Spiritualities and Religions

Kevin White

Term: Fall

Description: 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.

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite: None

Exclusion: None

Recommended Preparation: None 

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


RLG202H1 Judaism

Robert Gibbs

Term: Spring

Description: An introduction to the religious tradition of the Jews, concentrating on its ancient roots. Focus on great ideas, thinkers, books, movements, sects, and events in the historical development of Judaism through its formative period, i.e., from Abraham the father of faith and people to the destruction of the second Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE and the “exile” from the Land of Israel.

Exclusion: RLG202H5, RLG202Y1

Recommended Preparation: RLG100Y1/RLG200H1

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG203H1 Christianity

Alexander Hampton

Term: Spring

Description: This course equips students to understand how and why Christianity has come to exert such influence on the world around us. We will trace the history of Christianity from the early Jesus movement to its emergence as the official religion of the Roman Empire, and through its medieval forms and colonial expansion into one of the world’s largest religions. This introductory course centres on themes such as political authority, Christian mysticism and the arts, debates about sexuality, and visions of justice and redemption. No familiarity with the Bible, Christianity, or the academic study of religion is presupposed.

Exclusion: RLG203H5, RLG203Y1

Recommended Preparation: RLG100Y1/RLG200H1

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG204H1 Islam

Walid Saleh

Term: Fall

Description: The faith and practice of Islam: historical emergence, doctrinal development, and interaction with various world cultures. 

Exclusion: RLG204H5, RLG204Y1

Recommended Preparation: RLG100Y1/RLG200H1

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG205H1 Hinduism

Srilata Raman

Term: Spring

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

Exclusion: RLG205H5, RLG205Y1

Recommended Preparation: RLG100Y1/RLG200H1

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG206H1 Buddhism

Frances Garrett and Anthony Scott

Term: Fall

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

Exclusion: RLG206H5, RLG206Y1

Recommended Preparation: RLG100Y1/RLG200H1

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

This course is offered online


RLG209H1 Justifying Religious Belief

Sol Goldberg

Term:  Fall

Description: 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 of justice according to some plan. Common to these and other religious beliefs is that empirical evidence for them are lacking – at least so say all those who insist that rational beliefs require justification and that justification comes either from observing publically-accessible phenomena or some kind of solid scientific reasoning. Religious beliefs, it further seems, run counter to modern conceptions about who counts not only as an acceptably rational, but also as a fully moral agent. 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 Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG211H1 Psychology of Religion

Marsha Hewitt and Emily Pascoe

Term: Fall

Description: 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 Requirement: Social Science

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

The course is offered online


RLG213H1 Embarrassment of Scriptures

Harry Fox

Term: Fall

Description: 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 Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG232H1 Religion & Film

Previous Course Number: RLG390H1

Sarah Gallant

Term: Spring

Description:  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)

This course is offered online


RLG233H1 Religion and Popular Culture

Jennifer Harris

Term: Spring

Description: 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 Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

This course is offered online


RLG235H1 Religion, Gender, and Sexuality

Arti Dhand, Sarah Gallant

Term: Fall

Description: 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: See note above for general Prerequisites

Exclusion: RLG314H5

Distribution Requirement: Social Science

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG239H1 Special Topics: The Question of God

Amira Mittermaier

Term: Fall

Description: What is God? Who is God? Is Yahweh the same as the Christian God? What about Allah? Does God have a history? 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 Divine. Issues covered include shifting imaginaries of God/Allah; psychological and anthropological views on prayer, divine interventions, and God-human relations; God and empire/colonialism; feminist theories (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. 

Distribution Requirement: Humanities


RLG239H1 Special Topics: Angry God: Violence and Warfare in the Bible and Ancient Near East

Tracy Lemos

Term: Spring

Description: This course will examine the very prominent biblical theme of violence and warfare, situating biblical texts in their ancient Near Eastern context.   Over the course of millennia, the ancient Near East experienced countless changes. Empires rose and then fell from dominance, city-states were built and then razed, gods once paramount sank into obscurity. Through these and other changes, however, one thing remained constant in the societies of the region: the centrality of warfare and violence. Whether one looks at the brutal punishments imposed in biblical law codes, the widespread practice of mutilating transgressors and marching them naked into exile, or the biblical statute mandating that conquered groups be completely annihilated, it is more than apparent that violence was not merely present in the ancient Near East, it was widely legislated and viewed as having been commanded by God. The exercise of violence was pivotal to establishing and maintaining the authority of kingship, to the display of masculinity, to the reckoning of justice, and to the forging of political relations. The omnipresence of violent behaviors in these cultures raises many questions, among them: What is violence? Was there an ethics of violence in the ancient Near East? Were there limits on violence? Who benefitted from violent behaviors, and in what ways?  Texts examined in the course will include various books of the Hebrew Bible, including Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, and Ezekiel; Hammurapi’s Code; numerous ancient Near Eastern inscriptions; various apocalyptic texts; and a selection of texts from the New Testament.

Distribution Requirement: Humanities


RLG241H1: The Earliest Christians

John Kloppenborg

Term: Fall

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; RLG341H5; HUMC14H3; RLG241Y1

Distribution Requirements: Humanities 

Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


MHB255H1: Intermediate Modern Hebrew I

Yigal Nizri

Term: Fall


MHB256H1: Intermediate Modern Hebrew II

Yigal Nizri

Term: Spring


RLG260H1 Introduction to Sanskrit I

Previous Course Number: RLG260Y1 

Libbie Mills

Term:  Fall

Description: The course is part I of a two-part intensive introduction to Sanskrit for beginners. Part II will be offered next semester. For part I, no prior knowledge of the language is required. We will work on building knowledge of Sanskrit grammar and vocabulary. The class will work as a friendly and informal workshop, interested in both the written and the spoken language. While the material we will treat is, at times, necessarily rather dry, I hope you will find the exploration of the language's superb structure exciting. Our aim over the two parts of the course is to reach a stage where you will be able to read Sanskrit literature with the aid of a dictionary.

Exclusion: RLG260Y1

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

This course is offered online


RLG261H1 Introduction to Tibetan I

Previous Course Number: RLG261Y1 

Rory Lindsay

Term:  Fall

Description:  An introduction to Classical Tibetan language for beginners. Development of basic grammar and vocabulary, with readings of simple texts. This is an online course. Lectures will be delivered via the web and mandatory tutorials will require live webinar participation. The final exam will require attendance on the St. George campus, or in another authorized exam centre.

Exclusion: RLG261Y1

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

This course is offered online


RLG262H1 Introduction to Tibetan I

Rory Lindsay

Term:  Spring

This course is offered online


RLG263H1 Introduction to Sanskrit II

Previous Course Number: RLG260Y1

Libbie Mills

Term: Spring

Description:  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)

This course is offered online


RLG264H1 Introductory Pali I

Libbie Mills

Term:  Fall

Description:  In this no-prerequisite introductory course students will learn to pronounce Pali and to translate Pali into English. The curriculum will cover simple grammar and basic vocabulary. This language training is entirely based upon primary source texts from the Three Baskets, the Theravāda Buddhist canon, texts which offer glimpses into Pali literary history and Buddhist doctrine and practice. The work on Pali language will be supplemented by training in the Burmese script and an introduction to the accessing of palm leaf manuscripts in a Pali script from Burma. With this combination of language and script training, students will have the tools to begin reading and understanding original manuscript materials.

Prerequisite: None

Corequisite: None

Exclusion: None

Recommended Preparation: None

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

This course is offered online


RLG265H1 Introductory Pali II

Libbie Mills

Term:  Spring

Description: 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

Corequisite: None

Exclusion: None

Recommended Preparation: None

Distribution Requirements:  Humanities

Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

This course is offered online

All 300-series courses normally presuppose that a student has already completed, by the first day of the course, at least 4.0 FCEs (or their equivalent). Only specific Prerequisites or recommended preparations are listed below. Students who do not meet the Prerequisites, but believe they have adequate academic preparation, should consult the Undergraduate Administrator regarding entry to the course.

 


JNR301H1: Histories of Buddhist Meditation

Frances Garrett

Term: Spring

This course will survey historical, cultural, and textual contexts for Buddhist meditative and contemplative practices and techniques. This semester, we will focus in particular on the history of Buddhist meditation in North America, and we will pay special attention to the role of race in that history. We’ll examine how Buddhist meditation practices including mindfulness have been shaped by, and even contributed to, forces like colonialism, orientalism, capitalism, and white supremacy in the last hundred years or so in North America.

Prerequisite: RLG206H1/NEW232Y1/NEW232H1

Corequisite: None

Exclusion: None

Recommended Preparation: None

Distribution Requirements: Humanities 

Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

This course is offered Online Asynchronous


RLG303H1 Evil and Suffering

Sol Goldberg

Term: Fall

Description: 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 Requirement: Social Science

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG304H1 Language, Symbols, Self

Libbie Mills

Term: Spring

Description: 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

Erin Vearncombe

Term: Spring

Description: 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

Laura Beth Bugg

Term: Fall

Description: 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 FCE

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)


RLG309H1 Religion and Human Rights

Eleanor Pontoriero

Term: Spring

Description: We will explore the dynamic inter-relations of women, religion and human rights within a contemporary global context. Our aim will be to include both theory and praxis. Our approach will be intersectional, cross-cultural, inter-religious and inter-disciplinary. In addition to weekly group meetings, there will also be an opportunity to integrate individual interest in student papers and oral presentations and reports. We will do this by drawing on both academic and non-academic resources including UN Women, and women’s grassroots and global initiatives.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits.

Exclusion: RLG309H5, RLG309Y1

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG313H1 Love, Sex, Family

Previous Course Number: RLG237H1

Naomi Seidman and Allison Murphy

Term: Spring

Description:  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

Exclusion: RLG237H1

Recommended Preparation: RLG235H1 

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)


RLG315H1 Rites of Passage

Sarah Gallant

Term: Spring

Description:  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 to the importance of rites of passage in the construction of gendered identities.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities 

Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)


RLG317H1 Religious, Violence, and Nonviolence

Srilata Raman and Kalpesh Bhatt

Term: Fall

Description:  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 Religion and Nature

Previous Course Number: RLG228H1

Alexander Hampton

Term:  Fall

Description: The ongoing environmental crisis has prompted an active engagement with religious conceptualizations of nature. There is a complex relationship between nature, religion and the aesthetic expression of human spirituality. This course will examine how religion has shaped our relationship with nature. It will trace this history in the Latin West from the antique to the contemporary, examining how a number of thinkers have undertaken a creative re-engagement with religious concepts of nature.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits

Exclusion: RLG228H1

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

This course is offered online


RLG320H1: Judaism and Christianity in the Second Century

David Novak

Term: Fall

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)


RLG322H1: Early Christian Gospels

John Kloppenborg

Term: Spring

Description: 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: Completion of 4.0 credits

Recommended Preparation: RLG241H1/​RLG241Y1

Distribution Requirements: Humanities 

Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


RLG324H1: The Apostle Paul and His Enemies

John Kloppenborg and Rebecca Runesson

Term: Spring

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)


RLG330H1F  Visions and Revelation in Ancient Judaism and Christianity

John Marshall

Term: Fall

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

Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


RLG331H1 Creation Narratives and Epistemologies

Kevin White

Term: Spring

Description: 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 FCE

Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


RLG336H1 Religion and its Monsters

Jennifer Harris

Term: Spring

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

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


RLG338H1 Religion and Religiosity in Israel/Palestine  

Yigal Nizri

Term: Spring

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

Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)


RLG345H1: Social Ecology and Judaism

David Belfon

Term: Spring

Redesigned this semester, this course explores the politics of Jewish foodways in various socio-cultural environments. How does one distinguish between "Jewish food", "kosher", and "kosher-style" and who decides which is which through different times and in different places around the world? How do Diasporic Jews access foods that satisfy their specific religious requirements? We will examine these questions and others as we investigate taboos, trends, and vestiges from a food and material culture perspective, especially rubrics of culinary attraction and aversion across a spectrum of Jewish observances and identities.


RLG346H1 Time and Place in Judaism

Harry Fox

Term: Spring

The meaning of holy time and holy place, the physics and metaphysics of time and space within Judaism. Topics include the garden of Eden, the temple, the netherworld, the land of Israel, and exile; the sabbath and the week; the human experience of aging as fulfillment and failing.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits

Distribution Requirements: Humanities 

Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


JPR346H1 Religion and Politics in the Nation State

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 POL 200-level credit/0.5 RLG 200-level credit/1.0 HIS 200-level credit/1.0 PHL 200-level credit/1.0 SOC 200-level credit
Exclusion: JPR364Y1
 


RLG348H1: Philosophical Responses to the Holocaust

Previous Course Number: RLG220H1 

David Novak

Term: Fall

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)


RLG352H1: Post-Colonial Islam

Nada Moumtaz

Term: Fall

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 

Nada Moumtaz

Term: Spring

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)


RLG358H1: Special Topics in Hinduism

Srilata Raman

Term: Spring

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)


JPR364YH1 – Religion and Politics in the Nation State

Ruth Marshall

Term: Fall

This course examines the evolving role of religions in contemporary public, political contexts. Themes include: democracy and secularism; religion, human rights, law and justice; party politics, identity-formation and citizenship; gender and sexuality; interreligious conflict. (Given by the Departments of Political Science and Religion)

Prerequisite: 1.0 POL credit/1.5 full course equivalents in Religious Studies

Exclusion: RLG230H1

Distribution Requirements: Social Science

Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3); Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


JPR365H1S Global Religion and Politics

Ruth Marshall

Term: Spring

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 POL 200-level credit/0.5 RLG 200-level credit/1.0 HIS 200-level credit/1.0 PHL 200-level credit/1.0 SOC 200-level credit

Exclusion: JPR364Y1

Distribution Requirements: Social Science

Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG369H1: The Mahabharata

Arti Dhand

Term: Fall

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)


RLG370Y1: Intermediate Tibetan

Rory Lindsay

Term: Falll and Spring


JPR374H1 – Religion and Power in the Postcolony

Ruth Marshall

Term: Fall

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 POL 200-level credit/1.5 full course equivalents in Religious Studies

Distribution Requirements: Social Science

Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)


RLG376H1: Touching the Earth

Frances Garrett

Term: Fall

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 & written work.

Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits

Distribution Requirements: Humanities 

Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


RLG385H1 Becoming Modern

Sarah Gallant

Term:  Fall

Descriptions: 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)


RLG387H1: Religion and Science

Previous Course Number: RLG231H1 

Simon Coleman and Pamela Klassen

Term: Fall

Descrpition: 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)


RLG389H1: Special Topics II - Women, Religion and Peacebuilding in Comparative Context

Eleanor Pontoriero

Term: Fall

Special Topics

Distribution Requirements: Humanities


RLG392H1: The European Enlightenment and Religion

James DiCenso

Term: Spring

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 

David Perley

Term: Spring

Description: 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)

(Looking for an independent study course instead?)

To enrol in a 400-level or "capstone" course:

  1. Email the instructor for permission to take the course.
  2. Email Marilyn Colaço at religion.undergrad@utoronto.ca indicating you have permission from the instructor.
    Include:
    • the course name and number
    • your full name and student number
    • your subject post
  3. Please follow up with an email if you have not been enrolled by the end of two weeks.

*400-level courses are open only to religion majors and specialists. They are ‘E’ indicator courses, and students cannot enroll in or drop these courses through ACORN.


RLG404H1-S Departmental Capstone: Research

Robert Gibbs

Term:  Spring

Description: An integrative capstone seminar that emphasizes iterative development of a research project, locating a research specialization within its broader disciplinary audience, and communicating the process and results of a research project to non-specialists within the study of religion.Open to Relgion Specialists and Majors only.

Prerequisite: Open to 4th-year Religion Specialists and Majors

Distribution Requirement: Humanities


RLG405H1-F Departmental Capstone: Practical

David Perley

Term: Fall

Description: 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.

Prerequisite: Open to 4th-year Religion Specialists and Majors

Distribution Requirement: Humanities


RLG406H1: Constructing Religion

Simon Coleman

Term: Spring

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.

Prerequisite: open to 4th year Religion Specialists and Majors

Distribution Requirements: Humanities 

Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG407H1: The World of "World Religion"

Jennifer Harris

Term: Spring

Description: 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.

Prerequisite: Open to 4th year Religion Specialists and Majors

Recommended Preparation: RLG100Y1; RLG200H1

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2) 


RLG411H1 Advanced Topics in Religion: The Arab Jew: The History of a Concept

Yigal Nizri

Term: Fall

This course invites students to explore the debates around the term “Arab Jews.” A cultural, historical, and historiographical designation, the term encompasses a range of experiences for Arabic-speaking Jews. These Jews lived in diverse cultural worlds across the Middle East and North Africa, where they developed deep and enduring relationships with non-Jews, and were instrumental in shaping local, regional and national cultures and politics. Their identities and histories, which vary according to their place of origin, are presented, assessed, and debated in scholarly articles and monographs, political statements, personal testimonies and memoirs, poetry and fiction, music and cinema, as well as on websites and in blogs. This surge in research, which has become a prominent subfield of Jewish studies and Middle Eastern studies, is the result of regional changes on the one hand, and growing interest in the history and culture of the Jews of the Middle East and North Africa on the other. By engaging with the term “Arab Jews” in its various incarnations, the course offers new perspectives on questions of Zionism and nationalism, colonialism and geography, religion and secularization, as well as historiography and memory.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities


RLG411H Advanced Topics in Religion: New Global Perspectives on Ecology and Religion 

Alexander Hampton

Term: Spring

Any attempt to address our environmental crisis must account for religion on a global scale. For over eighty percent of the world’s population religion is one of the key factors determining the cultural and civilizational context through which they conceptualise nature. Students will engage new scholarship from around the world in live discussions with authors.  Scholars from Australia, Norway, Indonesia, Ireland, south Africa, the UK, and elsewhere will join the class. Materials engaging the topic of religion and nature will come from a range of fields including anthropology, classics, philosophy, religion and theology.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities


RLG414H1: Comparing Religions

Reid Locklin

Term: Spring

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.


RLG416H1 Topics in Religion and Gender: Imagined Bodies and Embodiment

Sarah Gallant

Term: Fall

What do religious communities assume about human bodies? What is the role of the body in religious practice? Do different kinds of bodies lead to different religious experiences? This course is an advanced study on the intersection of religion and gender, focused specifically on the topic of bodies and embodiment. It explores the different ways that human bodies have been imagined and presented within religious traditions. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach, students will examine religious expressions concerning bodies and bodily experiences from traditions such as Christianity and Buddhism.   


RLG418H1 Advanced Topics in the Philosophical Study of Religion: The Varieties of Religious Experience

Sol Goldberg

Term: Spring

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.

Prerequisite: RLG209H1; Permission of instructor

Distribution Requirements: Humanities 

Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


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

Marsha Hewitt

Term: Spring

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.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities 

Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG421H1: Fragments of Redemption: Sigmund Freud and Theodor Adorno

Marsha Hewitt

Term: Spring

This course will challenge the prevailing view that the thought of Sigmund Freud and Theodor Adorno are 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)


RLG426H1: Religion in the Public Sphere Service-Learning Internship

Laura Beth Bugg and Jeizelle Solitario

Term: Spring

For upper-year students, from any discipline. In a 30-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 in settings where religious diversity is at play. Pre-enrolment application required.

Prerequisite: RPS coordinator's permission required for admission to course

Distribution Requirements: Humanities


RLG430H1 Advanced Topics in Judaism: Judaism and Kantian Philosophy

David Novak

Term: Spring

This course will deal with the philosophy of the great Kantian philosopher Hermann Cohen (1842-1918), especially his posthumous book, Religion of Reason Out of the Sources of Judaism. We will examine how Cohen used Kantian philosophy to reinterpret the Jewish tradition, and how he used the Jewish tradition to reinterpret Kantian philosophy. Cohen profoundly influenced such 20th century Jewish thinkers as Franz Rosenzweig, Joseph Soloveitchik, and Emmanuel Levinas and, also, the Christian theologian Karl Barth. 

Advanced Topics in Judaism

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Distribution Requirements: Humanities


RLG431H1 Advanced Topics in Judaism: Rabbinic Judaism

Harry Fox

Term: Fall

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: Permission of the instructor

Distribution Requirements: Humanities


JPR459H1: Fanaticism: A Political History

Ruth Marshall

Term: Spring

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 FCEs in Political Theory and/or Philosophy including 1.0 FCE at the 300 level) or (0.5 FCE in Method and Theory in the Study of Religion and 1 FCE at the 300 level in the Study of Religion)

Distribution Requirements: Social Science, Humanities

Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)
 


RLG452H1: The Death of Jesus

John Kloppenborg

Term: Fall

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

Prerequisite: RLG241Y1 or RLG241H1, and at least one of RLG320H1/​RLG321H1/​RLG322H1/​RLG323H1/​RLG324H1/​RLG325H1/​RLG326H1, and permission of instructor

Distribution Requirements: Humanities 

Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


RLG465H1: Readings in Buddhist Texts: Buddhism as Translation

Christoph Emmrich

Term: Fall

In terms of both idiom, volume and time span, Buddhist texts are arguably the most widely translated texts in the world. This process of ongoing transfer and reformulation spans from the Middle Indic languages in the early centuries BCE to the ‘classical’ Buddhist languages such as Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese, including most ‘big’ East, South, Southeast Asian and European tongues and many less well-known languages such as Mon, Newar or Tocharian. It is in these shifts that both the continuities and the discontinuities of Buddhism have been reinscribed into its very textual fabric. In that sense, Buddhism has been forever both lost and found, and in fact may have never existed anywhere else than, in translation. This course will take a peep into the Buddhist translator’s workshop and confront the insights gained there with new theories that have emerged out of the current theoretical interest in translation.

Prerequisite: Reading knowledge of Sanskrit/Pali/Tibetan or Chinese; permission of instructor

Distribution Requirements: Humanities 

Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


Individual Studies/Research (year or half)

RLG490Y1F | RLG490Y1S | RLG490Y1 | RLG491H1F | RLG492H1F | RLG492H1S | RLG493H1S | RLG493H1Y | RLG494Y1S | RLG494Y1Y

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.


UTM and UTSC Timetables:

UTM Campus Courses

UTSC Campus Courses