First Year Seminar Courses

Please refer to the Arts & Sciences website for current classes being offered:

RLG196H1 - Innocence and Ecstasy

Religion can be understood as a set of aspirations that manages and moralizes the most intimate matters of social life, including sexual intercourse, bodily fluids, and mind-altering substances. This course engages fundamental theories of religion to consider an eclectic set of case studies that troubles a clean divide between purity and danger. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG197H1 - Enchantment, Disenchantment,Re-Enchantment

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 Requirements: Humanities

Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG198H1 - Dystopia: Religion & Gender in Science Fiction

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

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG199H1 - Religion for Grown-Ups?

Kant, the great modern philosopher, famously describes enlightenment as our release from self-incurred immaturity or minority. That is, according to Kant, we don’t want to grow up. Our immaturity is facilitated especially by religion, whose demands for deference to the authority of texts, traditions, and gods often prevent us from taking full responsibility for our thoughts and actions. But need religion play this role? Is there a religion for grown-ups? This course explores those questions by reading autobiographical accounts of philosophers who describe how their study of philosophy either strengthened or strangled their youthful religious convictions. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities

Breadth Requirements: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)