Course Descriptions RELS 0400X/Y    Religious Studies Honours Examination
CREDIT HOURS: 0
Details available from the department.
FORMAT COMMENTS: Examination administered by Religious Studies (Dept. of Classics)
PREREQUISITES: Students must be declared as BA Combined Honours Religious Studies, first subject Religious Studies.

RELS 0401   Honours Examination I
CREDIT HOURS: 0
The Religious Studies exam consists of one exam in Western and one in Eastern Religions.
NOTES: This course is the first part of the former course RELS 0400.00. RELS 0401 and RELS 0402 must both be completed in fulfill the RELS honors examination.
EXCLUSIONS: RELS 0400.00

RELS 0402   Honours Examination II
CREDIT HOURS: 0
The Religious Studies Honours Exam consists of one exam in Western and one in Eastern Religions.
NOTES: Students must be declared as BA Combined Honours Religious Studies, first subject Religious Studies. This course is the second part of the former RELS 0400.00 This course description reflects the entirety of the pair (RELS 0401 and RELS 0402).
EXCLUSIONS: RELS 0400.00

RELS 1001   Religions of the East
CREDIT HOURS: 3
This course serves as an introduction to the history, beliefs, and practices of Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Daoism, Shinto, and Confucianism.
FORMAT: Lecture
EXCLUSIONS: RELS 1000.06

RELS 1002   Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: The Abrahamic Religions
CREDIT HOURS: 3
This course serves as a comparative and thematic introduction to the history, beliefs, and practices of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
FORMAT: Lecture
EXCLUSIONS: RELS 1000.06

RELS 1201   Gods, Heroes, and Monsters: Ancient Mythology I
CREDIT HOURS: 3
An introductory survey of the traditional religious narratives of ancient civilizations including Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, Greece, and Rome. Of special interest: the function of myth in shaping and expressing a culture's understanding of the divine, the institutions of human community (religion, the family, government), and the natural world; the interrelationships of the myths of those civilizations; the reception of those traditions in the origins of Christian and Islamic culture. The traditional narratives and their broader cultural contexts will be approached through study of primary sources including epic, tragic, and didactic poetry, hymnography, historiography, philosophy, the visual arts, and architecture. This course fulfills the first year writing requirement.
NOTES: This course is the first part of the former full-year course RELS 1200X/Y.06. This course description reflects the entirety of the pair (RELS 1201.03 and RELS 1202.03).
FORMAT: Lecture
FORMAT COMMENTS: Meets Writing Requirement. Lecture
CROSS-LISTING: CLAS 1100X/Y.06, CLAS 1103.03
EXCLUSIONS: CLAS 2100X/Y.06, CLAS 2103.03, CLAS 2104.03, RELS 1200X/Y.06

RELS 1202   Gods, Heroes, and Monsters: Ancient Mythology II
CREDIT HOURS: 3
An introductory survey of the traditional religious narratives of ancient civilizations including Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, Greece, and Rome. Of special interest: the function of myth in shaping and expressing a culture's understanding of the divine, the institutions of human community (religion, the family, government), and the natural world; the interrelationships of the myths of those civilizations; the reception of those traditions in the origins of Christian and Islamic culture. The traditional narratives and their broader cultural contexts will be approached through study of primary sources including epic, tragic, and didactic poetry, hymnography, historiography, philosophy, the visual arts, and architecture. This course fulfills the first year writing requirement.
NOTES: This course is the second part of the former full-year course RELS 1200X/Y.06. This course description reflects the entirety of the pair (RELS 1201.03 and RELS 1202.03).
FORMAT: Lecture
FORMAT COMMENTS: Meets Writing Requirement. Lecture
PREREQUISITES: RELS 1201.03
CROSS-LISTING: CLAS 1100X/Y.06, CLAS 1104.03
EXCLUSIONS: CLAS 2100X/Y.06, CLAS 2103.03, CLAS 2104.03, RELS 1200X/Y.06

RELS 1600   Introductory Sanskrit I
CREDIT HOURS: 3
This course provides students with all the basic tools required for the study of Sanskrit, with a particular emphasis on basic Sanskrit grammar. Students will learn the Devanagari script, several common nominal forms and the basics of the verbal system, as well as develop a competency in basic reading and recitation.
CROSS-LISTING: CLAS 1600.03

RELS 2001   Judaism
CREDIT HOURS: 3
An introduction to Jewish beliefs, practices, history, and writings from the Hellenistic period to the present. Topics to be covered include: the Torah, the Talmud, the development of the Rabbinic tradition, Jewish philosophy and mysticism.
FORMAT:
  • Lecture
  • Seminar


RELS 2002   Christianity
CREDIT HOURS: 3
An introduction to Christian history and writings from the New Testament to the present. The course will examine core Christian beliefs (the Trinity and the Incarnation) and practices (Baptism, Eucharist, prayer, liturgical workship, iconography) as they have evolved in the different varieties of Christianity - Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant - in the past and today.
FORMAT: Lecture

RELS 2003   Islam
CREDIT HOURS: 3
An introduction to Muslim beliefs, practices, history and writings from the 7th century to the present. Topics to be covered include: the life and mission of Muhammad, the Qur'an, the Islamic legal, philosophical, and mystical tradition, the development of the Hadith, and the rise of political Islam in the twentieth century.
FORMAT:
  • Lecture
  • Seminar


RELS 2011   Hinduism
CREDIT HOURS: 3
A basic introduction to Hinduism, including Vedic religion, classical Brahmanical religion, the caste system, bhakti (devotional) traditions and the rise of epic literature, philosophical traditions and the Upanishads, the theistic traditions of the gods Vishnu and Shiva, and of the goddess Devi.
FORMAT:
  • Lecture
  • Seminar


RELS 2012   Chinese and Japanese Religions
CREDIT HOURS: 3
An introduction to the cultural, religious, and philosophical traditions of China and Japan. Topics to be covered include: Classical Confucianism, Neo-Confucianism, Philosophical and Religious Daoism, Shinto, Chinese and Japanese Buddhism. The course will also examine the interaction, competition, and overlap between these traditions.
FORMAT:
  • Lecture
  • Seminar

CROSS-LISTING: CHIN 2060.03

RELS 2013   Buddhism
CREDIT HOURS: 3
This course introduces the student to the Buddhist religious tradition, beginning with its origins and early developments in India and followed by a treatment of key themes of later world Buddhism such as meditation, devotion, monasticism, and ritual. The course thus exposes students to both Buddhism's early Indian doctrinal and institutional dimensions, and to aspects of Buddhism as practiced subsequently in China, Japan, and Tibet.
FORMAT:
  • Lecture
  • Seminar

CROSS-LISTING: CHIN 2070.03

RELS 2025   Conceptions of Nature in the Pre-Modern World
CREDIT HOURS: 3
What is nature? What is the proper relationship between nature and the human being, political community, and divinity? This course will investigate ancient Greek, Roman, Jewish, Christian and Islamic answers, to this question through the study of literature, philosophy, art and architecture of the Pre-Modern West.
FORMAT: Lecture
FORMAT COMMENTS: Lecture/team-taught
CROSS-LISTING: CLAS 2025.03

RELS 2026   Paganism
CREDIT HOURS: 3
"Pagan" originated as a derogatory Christian designation for ignorant conservative rustics who kept to the pre-Christian religions. We shall look at those religions in their origins, nature, and development in antiquity, their continuations in the Middle Ages and modernity, and their persistence and revival in the contemporary world.
FORMAT:
  • Lecture
  • Discussion

CROSS-LISTING: CLAS 2026.03

RELS 2027   Magic, Religion and Philosophy
CREDIT HOURS: 3
Reading the Greek Magical Papyri, as well as curse tablets and binding spells for ancient sources, we will explore the intersections of, and relations between, magic, religion, and philosophy in antiquity. The focus will be on both the practical and theoretical aspects of magic in the Greek and Roman worlds.
CROSS-LISTING: CLAS 2027.03

RELS 2052   A Cultural Introduction to the Arab World
CREDIT HOURS: 3
This course provides students with the basic tools for approaching the Arab world from a cultural perspective. The main topics are: 1) the guide marks of Arabic history; 2) a civilization "of the Word": the Arabic language, the Koran, the Tradition of the Prophet Mohammed, and the sciences related to the Islamic Law (shari'a); 3) the Arabic legacy in sciences, philosophy, literature, architecture, calligraphy, decoration, etc; 4) multi-cultural Al-Andalus and the ideal of 'convivencia'; 5) present nostalgia for the past; 6) tradition, modernity and effects of 'Globalization' in the contemporary Arabic "high culture" and "pop culture": in literature, music, arts, cinema, life style, education system, media, etc. Some lectures will be accompanied by audio-visual presentations including documentary films. The course does not require background in Arabic.
FORMAT:
  • Lecture
  • Discussion

CROSS-LISTING: ARBC 2100.03, HIST 2500.03

RELS 2120   Magic, Science and the Occult: from Antiquity to Postmodernity
CREDIT HOURS: 3
The 'scientific revolution' is ordinarily construed as the triumph of reason over superstition, of science over sorcery. This course argues that the rhetoric of 'enlightenment' conceals a deep continuity between Modern science and the occult traditions of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The prototype of the experimental scientist is the Faustian magus. We investigate the role of Hermeticism, magic and the occult in the scientific revolution and the persistence of these esoteric currents in later movements, from German Naturphilosophie to Jungian psychology.
FORMAT:
  • Lecture
  • Tutorial

CROSS-LISTING: HIST 2990.03, EMSP 2360.03, HSTC 2120.03

RELS 2203   Philosophy and God
CREDIT HOURS: 3
Does God exist? Can God be known? Have a nature? Do evil? Beginning by occupying the same ground as religion, philosophy has asked these questions. Starting with Pythagoras, Empedocles, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and continuing with their pagan, Jewish, Christian, and Islamic followers, we shall learn to state the answers of sages and mystics with historical accuracy and to judge their persuasive power.
FORMAT:
  • Lecture
  • Discussion

CROSS-LISTING: CLAS 2024