Course Descriptions 2017-2018


Note: If this list is in conflict with the Arts & Science timetable, the information on the timetable takes priority.

Additional details about courses can be found on the Arts & Science timetable. Sessional dates are available on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences website.

UTSC Courses  UTM Courses

100-Level Courses
RLG100Y1-Y World Religions
Monday & Wednesday 9-10a Friday 12-1p (tutorial)
Year

An introduction to the history, philosophy, and practice of the major religions of the world, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism.
Exclusion: RLG280Y1,RLGA01H3,RLGA02H3. Note: RLGA01H3 and RLGA02H3 taken together are equivalent to RLG100Y1. Note: RLG101H5 is not equivalent to RLG100Y1Y Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3), Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG101H1-F Introducing Religion: “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”
Thursday 11a-1p Thursday 1-2p (tutorial)
Fall

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.

Draft Course Syllabus (pdf)

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

RLG101H1-S Introducing Religion- Radical Religions: Globalized Fundamentalisms and Reforms
Thursday 6-8p Thursday 5-6p or 8-9p (tutorial)
Spring

What does it mean to speak of radical movements within selected religious traditions (for example, within Islamic, Christian, Buddhist, and Hindu traditions)? What are the differences between sectarian and fundamentalist perspectives? Why are some religious participants radical in their viewpoints while others are also radical in their actions? Our course seeks to explore themes that connect fundamentalism and radicalism with globalization, post-colonialism, religious violence, and religious reform.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

MHB155H1-F Elementary Modern Hebrew I
Tuesday & Thursday 9-11a
Fall

Introduction to the fundamentals of Hebrew grammar and syntax. Emphasis on the development of oral and writing skills.
Exclusion: Grade 4 Hebrew (or Grade 2 in Israel)/NML155H1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

MLB156H1-S Elementary Modern Hebrew I
Tuesday & Thursday 9-11a
Fall

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

200-Level Courses
No 200-series RLG course has a 100-series RLG course prerequisite or co-requisite.
RLG200H1-F Study of Religion
Friday 10a-12p Friday 12-1p (tutorial)
Fall

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 Status: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG202H1-F Judaism
Tuesday 10a-12p
Fall

An introduction to the religious tradition of the Jews, from its ancient roots to its modern crises. Focus on great ideas, thinkers, books, movements, sects, and events in the historical development of Judaism through its four main periods – biblical, rabbinic, medieval, and modern.
Exclusion: RLG202H5, RLG202Y1 Recommended Preparation: RLG100Y1/RLG200H1/RLG280Y1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG203H1-S Christianity
Monday 1-3p Monday 12-1p or 3-4p (tutorial)
Fall

An introduction to the Christian religious tradition as it has developed from the 1st century C.E. to the present and has been expressed in teachings, institutions, social attitudes, and the arts.
Exclusion: RLG203H5, RLG203Y1 Recommended Preparation: RLG100Y1/RLG200H1/RLG280Y1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG204H1-S Islam
TBA
Thursday 5-7p Thursday 4-5p or 7-8p (tutorial)
Fall

The faith and practice of Islam: historical emergence, doctrinal development, and interaction with various world cultures. Note: this course is offered alternatively with NMC283Y1, to which it is equivalent.
Exclusion: NMC185Y1, NMC185H1, NMC283Y, RLG204H5, RLG204Y1 Recommended Preparation: RLG100Y1/RLG200H1/RLG280Y1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG205H1-S Hinduism
TBA
Tuesday 6-8p
Spring

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/RLG280Y1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG208H1-S Sikhism
TBA
Thursday 3-5p
Spring

A historical and thematic introduction to the Sikh religious tradition as embedded in the socio-cultural structures of India.
Exclusion: RLG207H5 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG209H1-S Justifying Religious Belief
Monday 12-2p Monday 11a-12p (tutorial)
Spring

A survey course that introduces students to 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.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG211H1-F Psychology of Religion
Monday 11a-1p
Fall

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

RLG213H1-S Methods of Reading Sacred Texts
Danielle Baillargeon
Wednesday 5-7p
Spring

This course will survey interpretative traditions and methodologies related to sacred texts. It will present a range of interpretive strategies that range from the literal to the figurative with attention to understanding the rationale behind different textual meanings and copyist’s manipulation of texts. This year the emphasis will be on Greek and Roman texts with some early Christian literature and will focus on three key themes: the social history surrounding the production and circulation of sacred texts; the contexts in which sacred texts are read and performed; and the visualization of sacred texts in artistic and material evidence. The course will discuss what makes a text sacred and how that text resonates in different contexts, such as in theatrical or civic spaces.

There are no prerequisites for this course. The readings will be in English and accessible for those who have never taken a religion course; however, we will also go into some deeper textual analysis for those who have some familiarity with the texts. The ultimate goal of the course is to provide the tools for reading and contextualizing sacred literature in its social, political, historical and religious contexts.

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

RLG215H1-F Pilgrimage as Idea and Practice
Wednesday 10a-12p
Fall

As a practice, pilgrimage has been one of the great success stories of the past century or so—the very period when large parts of the world (certainly the West) are supposed to have been abandoning religion. Across the globe, pilgrimage centres associated with almost every religious tradition have been booming. At the same time, current practices that look similar to how things were done in the past may conceal important shifts in attitude and meaning over time.

But what do we mean by pilgrimage as an idea? Note how some people may never go on what they consider to be pilgrimage, but still have their imaginations fired by reading or hearing of tales told by others. Or consider how many of the major religious traditions have built stories of travel into accounts of their foundation. So the idea of movement (whether literal or metaphorical) seems to play an important role in the constitution of some religions. More generally, the study of pilgrimage can help us in developing theories about the character of contemporary life as a whole. The sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, for instance, argues (1996:19ff.) that the modern world gives the metaphorical figure of the pilgrim new prominence as it comes to signify a restless seeker for identity.
This course examines the questions raised above while suggesting some of the possibilities and problems inherent in the cross-cultural study of pilgrimage.

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

RLG220H1-F Philosophical Responses to the Holocaust
Monday 2-4p
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.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG232H1-S Religion and Film
TBA
Friday 12-3p
Spring

The role of film as a mediator of thought and experience concerning religious worldviews. The ways in which movies relate to humanitys 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.
ExcExclusion: RLG232H5 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG234H1-F Graphic Religion: Myth and the Spiritual in Graphic Novels
Monday 6-8p
Fall

Today our lives are preoccupied with textuality but we nevertheless continue to create and crave stories in graphic form – why is this so? Why have religions always relied on graphic art for storytelling? What are the connections? Graphic Religion seeks to understand the cognitive/emotional effects and advantages of telling stories through illustration by examining graphic art in religion and the making of myth in modern sequential art. We will analyze examples in religions such as the Hindu Upanisads in graphic form, Jack Chick’s evangelical comic “tracts,” and Islamic zoomorphic calligraphy. We will also decode themes seen in comic books and alternative graphic storytelling, e.g., myths of crisis and upheaval, the existence of alternate dimensions, and metatextuality.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG235H1-F Religion, Gender, and Sexuality
Monday 12-2p
Fall

Examination of gender as a category in the understanding of religious roles, symbols, rituals, deities, and social relations. Survey of varieties of concepts of gender in recent feminist thought, and application of these concepts to religious life and experience. Examples will be drawn from a variety of religious traditions and groups, contemporary and historical.
Exclusion: RLG314H1, RLG314H5 Distribution Requirement: Social Science Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG239H1-F Wild Water I (Special Topics)
Matt Price
Monday 3-5p
Fall

This linked pair of courses focuses on rivers as sites of cultural contact, religious experience, and natural destruction. We will investigate the power of rivers to nourish whole cultures reshape landscapes and devastate the peoples who depend on them. While the course material ranges over great ranges of time and space we will focus particular attention on the canoe. No object is more intimately tied up in the complexities of Canadian identity than this masterpiece of stone-age engineering. Vehicle of exploration, trade, friendship, war, and ultimately oppression and appropriation, its thick cultural resonances have made it a symbol of multiple heritages.We examine the cultures of rivers and canoes through historical, literary, anthropological and practical exploration.

Coursework will combine required reading and writing plus hands-on activities throughout the two semesters, such as learning to paddle and going on short paddling trips in nearby rivers and the Toronto Harbour. Read more at outdoors.hackinghistory.ca/wild-water/

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG239H1-S Wild Water II (Special Topics)
Matt Price
Monday 3-5p
Spring

This linked pair of courses focuses on rivers as sites of cultural contact, religious experience, and natural destruction. We will investigate the power of rivers to nourish whole cultures reshape landscapes and devastate the peoples who depend on them. While the course material ranges over great ranges of time and space we will focus particular attention on the canoe. No object is more intimately tied up in the complexities of Canadian identity than this masterpiece of stone-age engineering. Vehicle of exploration, trade, friendship, war, and ultimately oppression and appropriation, its thick cultural resonances have made it a symbol of multiple heritages.We examine the cultures of rivers and canoes through historical, literary, anthropological and practical exploration.

Coursework will combine required reading and writing plus hands-on activities throughout the two semesters, such as learning to paddle and going on short paddling trips in nearby rivers and the Toronto Harbour. Read more at outdoors.hackinghistory.ca/wild-water/

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG241H1-F Early Christian Writings I
Wednesday 5-7p
Fall

An introduction to early Christian writings, including the ‘New Testament,’ examined within the historical context of the first two centuries. No familiarity with Christianity or the New Testament is expected.
Exclusion: RLG241H5; RLG341H5; HUMC14H3; RLG241Y1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG245H1-F Religions of the Silk Road
Tuesday 11a-1p
Fall

An historical introduction to the religious traditions that flourished along the Silk Road, including Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Nestorian Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Islam. Drawing on a variety of sources (textual, archaeological, works of art), the course will focus on the spread and development of these traditions through the medieval period. Issues include cross-cultural exchange, religious syncretism, ethnic identity formation and so on. Emphasis will also be placed on religious and political events in modern Central Asia.
Exclusion: RLG245Y1 Recommended Preparation: RLG100Y1/RLG280Y1/RLG100H5 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG250H1-S The Politics of Charity
Wednesday 11a-1p
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?
Distribution Requirement: Social Science Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

MHB255H1-F Intermediate Modern Hebrew I
Tuesday & Thursday 12-2p
Fall

Intensive study of written and spoken Hebrew.
Prerequisite: MHB156H1/ NML156H1 or permission of instructor Exclusion: Grade 8 Hebrew (or Ulpan level 2 in Israel)/NML255Y1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

MHB 256H1-S Intermediate Modern Hebrew II
Tuesday & Thursday 12-2p
Spring

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

RLG260H1-F Introduction to Sanskrit I

Lec 101

Tuesday 12-2p & Thursday 12-1p (tutorial)

Lec 9901

Online Section

Tuesday 3-5p & Thursday 3-4p (tutorial)

Fall

The first semester of an introduction to Classical Sanskrit for beginners. Students build grammar and vocabulary, and begin to read texts in Sanskrit. Complete beginners are welcome. Two sections of the course will be offered: an on-campus class meeting and an online section via live webinar participation. The final exam will require attendance on the St. George campus, or in another authorized exam centre.
Exclusion: RLG260Y1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG261H1-F Introduction to Tibetan I

Online Course

Fall

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)

RLG262H1-S Introduction to Tibetan II

Online Course

Spring

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 Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG260H1-S Introduction to Sanskrit II

Lec 101

Tuesday 12-2p & Thursday 12-1p (tutorial)

Lec 9901

Online Section

Tuesday 3-5p & Thursday 3-4p (tutorial)

Spring

The first semester of an introduction to Classical Sanskrit for beginners. Students build grammar and vocabulary, and begin to read texts in Sanskrit. Complete beginners are welcome. Two sections of the course will be offered: an on-campus class meeting and an online section via live webinar participation. The final exam will require attendance on the St. George campus, or in another authorized exam centre.
Exclusion: RLG260Y1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG265H1-F Reading Pali Buddhist Texts: Basket of the Sermons
Monday 1-3p & Thursday 1-2p

Fall

This course offers an opportunity to students interested in Buddhism to read, analyze, and discuss select simple passages from the scriptures of the Theravada canon in their original language. It will cover philosophical, psychological, and narrative texts and their interpretation, as well as a first exposure to the Pali Language.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG265H1-S Reading Pali Buddhist Texts: Basket about the Teachings
Monday 1-3p & Thursday 1-2p

Spring

This course offers an opportunity to students interested in Buddhism to read, analyze, and discuss select simple passages from the scriptures of the Theravada canon in their original language. It will cover philosophical, psychological, and narrative texts and their interpretation, as well as a first exposure to the Pali Language.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG280Y1-Y World Religions: A Comparative Study
Monday & Wednesday 9-10a, Friday 12-1 (tutorial)
Year

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/RLGA01H3/RLGA02H3 Distribution Requirement Status: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2) + Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG299Y1-Y Research Opportunity Program
Students must request permission to enrol in this course by contacting the department.
Year

Credit course for supervised participation in faculty research project. Details at http://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/current/course/rop. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

300-Level Courses
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.
RLG301H1-S Religion on the Couch: Freud on Religion
Tuesday 11a-1p
Winter

Systematic analysis of Freud’s main writings on religion, studied within the context of central concepts and issues in psychoanalysis such as: the Oedipus Complex, the meaning and function of symbols, the formation of the ego and the superego, and the relations between the individual and culture.
Prerequisite: RLG211Y1/RLG211H1; see note above for general Prerequisites Distribution Requirement: Social Science Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG305H1-F Material Religion
Tuesday 10a-12p
Fall

eligions are constituted by material forms, including relics, shrines, statues and images. And yet anti-material impulses have also prompted many religious impulses, involving expressions of iconoclasm that—ironically—demonstrate the power of objects. As students of religion, we need to ask: What is at stake in studying materiality? How should we study the way people consciously or unconsciously deploy material forms in constituting but also contesting their religious lives?

We shall examine these issues by taking a thematic view of materiality and religion, exploring how the two implicate each other through different media. The human body itself is analyzed as a site of materiality, as are particular activities such as ‘sacred’ ritual but also supposedly ‘secular’ sport. By looking at kitsch as well as high art, we question hierarchical distinctions between high and low culture. While we shall focus to some degree on Christianity (the main area of my own research and a religion where issues of materiality have been much discussed) we shall also use comparative material drawn from many other religious contexts.

Prerequisite: See note above for general prerequisites Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG307H1-S Museums and Material Religion
TBA
Monday 1-3p
Spring

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: One FCE in Social Science or Humanities Corequisite: None Exclusion: None Recommended Preparation: None Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG308H1-S Religion and the City
Thursday 11a-1p
Spring

TThe 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. .
Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: TSociety and its Institutions (3)

RLG309H1-S Religion and Human Rights
Monday 1-3p
Spring

The relationship and interaction between religious and ethical norms, social and political ideals, and systems of law.The course concerns the ongoing dialectic between religious and other values, the application of religious ideas to social orders, and questions of religious and human rights.
Prerequisite: three RLG or PHI/PHL half-courses and third year standing. Exclusion: RLG309H5, RLG309Y1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG310H1-S Modern Atheism and the Critique of Religion
TBA
Tuesday 3-5p
Spring

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 17th 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. Exclusion: RLG310Y1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG312H1-F Gender, Body and Sexuality in Islam
TBA
Wednesday 12-2p
Fall

An introduction to the role of women in Muslim societies in past and present. Topics include the status of women in the Quran and Islamic law, veiling, social change, and Islamic feminism.
Prerequisite: see note above for general Prerequisites Exclusion: RLG251H1 Recommended Preparation: RLG100Y1/RLG200Y1/RLG204Y1/NMC283Y1/RLG204H5/235H1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG316H1-S Martyrs, Mystics, Saints
Leslie Hayes
Thursday 2-5p
Spring

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. Consideration of gender and social status in definitions of sanctity. Focus varies from year to year, and may focus either on constructions of sanctity in one religious tradition, or comparatively, comparing and contrasting ideas of sainthood and martyrdom in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and/or Buddhism.
Recommended Preparation: RLG100Y1/RLG100H5/RLG280Y1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG322H1-S Early Christian Gospels
Wednesday 10a-12p
Spring

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

RLG326H1-S Roots of Early Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism
Friday 1-3p
Spring

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.
Prerequisite: RLG241Y1/RLG202Y1/RLG203Y1 Exclusion: RLG326H5 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG336H1-S Monsters and Others in the Christian Middle Ages
Tuesday 10a-12p
Spring

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

In this course, we examine the fascination with monsters and “others” at the heart of medieval Europe. We look at monstrous peoples far away, werewolves and vampires nearby, and the persistent “others” within medieval society. We use monster theory from antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the post-modern academy to assist in our study. Visit the RLG366 course website to learn more.

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

RLG337H1-F Witchcraft and Magic in Christian Tradition
Leslie Hayes
Thursday 2-5p
Fall

This course observes the historical development of Christian concepts of magic and witchcraft in the medieval and early modern periods in Western Europe, with attention to social, political, intellectual, religious, legal, and literary vehicles of this cultural phenomenon. Emphasis is placed on questions of method and definition found in both the historical materials and contemporary analyses.
Recommended Preparation: RLG203Y1/RLG203H5 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG341H1-S Dreaming of Zion: Exile and Return in Jewish Thought
Tuesday 10a-12p
Spring

An inquiry into the theme of exile and return in Judaism, often called the leading idea of Jewish religious consciousness. Starting from Egyptian slavery and the Babylonian exile, and culminating in the ideas of modern Zionism, the course will examine a cross-section of Jewish thinkers–ancient, medieval, and modern.
Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG202Y1/RLG280Y1/RLG342Y1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG342H1-F Judaism in the Early Modern Era
Tuesday 2-4p
Spring

The development and range of modern Jewish religious thought from Spinoza, Mendelssohn and Krochmal, to Cohen, Rosenzweig and Buber. Responses to the challenges of modernity and fundamental alternatives in modern Judaism.
Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG202Y1/RLG221H1/RLG280Y1 Exclusion: RLG342Y1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG347H1-S Judaism in the Late Modern Era
Tuesday 2-4p
Spring

Continuing from, but not presupposing, RLG342: “Judaism in the Early Modern Era”, the course will trace the late modern stages in the development of Jewish thought, and will bring the history of modern Jewish thought to the present.
Recommended Preparation: RLG342H1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG350H1-F The Life of Muhammad
TBA
Wednesday 6-8p
Fall

This course examines Muhammad’s life as reflected in the biographies and historical writings of the Muslims. Students will be introduced to the critical methods used by scholars to investigate Muhammads life. Issues include: relationship between Muhammad’s life and Quran teachings and the veneration of Muhammad.
Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG200Y1/RLG204Y1/NMC283Y1/RLG204H5 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

MHB355H1-F Advanced Modern Hebrew I
Tuesday & Thursday 4-6p
Fall

Advanced intensive study of written and spoken Hebrew.
Prerequisite: MHB256H1/NML255Y1 or permission of instructor Exclusion: OAC Hebrew/NML355Y1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

MHB356H1-S Advanced Modern Hebrew II
Tuesday & Thursday 4-6p
Spring

Continued advanced intensive study of written and spoken Hebrew.
Prerequisite: MHB355H1 or permission of instructor Exclusion: OAC Hebrew/NML355Y1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG356H1-S Islam in China
Tuesday 11a-1p
Spring

Despite having an estimated Muslim population of 20 million, the place of Islam within the Peoples Republic of China is not widely understood. This course will examine the history of Islam in China from its introduction in the seventh century through the modern period. Emphasis will be placed on the variety of practices within Chinas contemporary Muslim communities. Specific attention will be paid to official state policy toward the Hui and Uygur ethnic minorities, including laws governing pilgrimage, the veil, the formation of Islamic organizations, the reformation of writing systems and so on.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG359H1-F Intermediate Sanskrit I
Monday & Thursday 12-2p
Fall

Review of grammar and the development of vocabulary with a focus on reading simple narrative prose and verse.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG360H1-S Intermediate Sanskrit II
Monday & Thursday 12-2p
Spring

Review of grammar and the development of vocabulary with a focus on reading simple narrative prose and verse.
Prerequisite: RLG359H1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG361H1-S Literatures of Hinduism: Caste and The Other
Tuesday 10a-12p
Spring

A study of the literatures of Hinduism in India and the diaspora, including issues of identity formation, nostalgic constructions of the “homeland”, fictional representations, and the quest for authenticity.
Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG205Y1/RLG280Y1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

JPR364Y1-Y Religion and Politics
Tuesday 12-2p
Year

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: JPR364H1/RLG230H1/POL364H1/POL364Y1 Distribution Requirement: Social Science Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3), Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG365H1-F Modern Hinduism
Tuesday 10a-12p
Fall

The development of modern Hindu religious thought in the contexts of colonialism, dialogue with the West and the secular Indian state.
Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG205Y1/RLG280Y1/ Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG368H1-S Hindu Ways of Living: Fasting and Feeding
Thursday 10a-12p
Fall

The course surveys the textual sources of the practices of Yoga, Ayurveda and Hindu traditions such as domestic rituals, rites of passage and community centered religious activity. It critically evaluates the assumption of an unbroken continuity of tradition of these practices from antiquity onwards and comes to consider what they have come to constitute as a result of modernity and globalization.
Prerequisite: RLG205Y1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG369H1-F The Mahabharata
Wednesday 12-2p
Fall

A study of the great Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata.
Prerequisite: RLG205Y1 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG373H1-S Buddhist Ritual
TBA
Wednesday 2-4p
Spring

Daily worship, the alms round, life-crisis celebrations, healing rituals, meditation, festivals, pilgrimage, the consecration of artefacts and taking care of the ancestors are among the forms of Buddhist ritual introduced and analyzed in this course. Liturgical manuals, ethnographic descriptions and audiovisual records form the basis for a discussion of the role of ritual as text and event.
Prerequisite: RLG206Y1/RLG206H5
Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG376H1-F Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia
TBA
Wednesday 1-3p
Fall

The course serves as an introduction to one or more Buddhist traditions still living or historically documented in South and Southeast Asia, ranging from ancient and medieval Buddhism to Buddhist modernities and including Buddhism in its local Theravada variants. Themes will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this year’s course description.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG385H1-F Becoming Modern
Alexander Hampton
Monday 10a-12p
Fall

What does it mean to be modern? It is a concept used to mark a fundamental boundary between ourselves all that came before us. However, most of us are hard-pressed to offer a solid account of what this boundary is. This is only further complicated by claims that we are now postmodern, or indeed have never really been modern. A similar set of complications arises when we consider the term religion. Religion may be said to be a distinctively modern category, yet it might also be claimed that religion and modernity are fundamentally opposed. This course will examine a fundamental change in the way the Western mind structures and conceptualizes reality. Taking up key historical works from philosophical, literary, theological, and scientific sources, it will carry out an ongoing appraisal with the guidance of recent theoretical considerations of modernity.
Recommended Preparation: RLG231H1
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG388H1-S Islamism (Special Topics I)
Khalidah Ali
Tuesday 5-7p
Spring

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG388H1-F Religious Pluralism in Multicultural North America (Special Topics I)
TBA
Tuesday 5-7p
Fall

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG388H1-S Islamism (Special Topics I)
Khalidah Ali
Tuesday 5-7p
Spring

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG389H1-S Mystic Poetics (Special Topics II)
TBA
Monday 11a-1p
Lec 0101
Spring

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG389H1-S Hasidism: Histories and Ideologies (Special Topics II)
TBA
Thursday 5-7p
Lec 5101
Spring

Distribution Requirement: Humanities

400-Level Courses
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. For further information on how to enroll, please click here.
RLG404H1-S Departmental Capstone- Research
TBA
Wednesday 6-8p
Spring

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
TBA
Thursday 10a-12p
Spring

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

RLG411H1-F Re-enchanting Nature (Advanced Topics In Religion)
Alexander Hampton
Monday 2-4p
Fall

For many, nature has become the place where one experiences and explores spirituality. At the same time, the language for expressing these sentiments is often lacking. The past decade has witnessed a flourishing in the genre of British creative non-fiction nature writing. At the precipice of environmental catastrophe, this popular, urgent literature often expresses a desire to spiritualize our language of nature, and re-enchant our understanding of it. By examining how the genre challenges destructive, abstract, immanence-bound narratives, this course will explore the spiritual and religious dimension of the New Nature Literature, bringing it into dialogue with readings from religious studies, philosophy and theology, to explore issues including eco-spirituality, post-humanism, and the shape of post-secular religion.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG411H1-S Moral Issues in Jewish Biblical Commentaries (Advanced Topics in Religion)
TBA
Thursday 10a-12p
Winter

Advanced Topics in Religion
Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG412H1-S Advanced Topics in Religion
TBA
Monday 2-4p
Fall

Advanced Topics in Religion
Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG418H1-F What Theists care about that Atheists don’t (Advanced Topics in the Philosophical Study of Religion)
Monday 12-2p
Fall

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 Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG426H1-S Religion in the Public Sphere Service-Learning Internship
TBA
Thursday 10-12p
Spring

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.
Learn more and apply for RPS
Prerequisite: RPS coordinator’s permission required for admission to course Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG431H1-S Philo: The First Jewish Philosopher (Advanced Topics in Judaism)
Monday 2-4p
Spring

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG441H1-S Words and Worship in Christian Cultures
Monday 10a-12p
Spring

How are we to analyze the words that Christians use? And how are such words related to ritual forms? We explore techniques for the analysis of texts, while looking at forms of verbal discourse ranging from prayers, speaking in tongues, and citing the Bible to more informal narratives.
Prerequisite: ANT356H1/RLG212Y1 and permission of instructor Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG452H1-F The Death of Jesus
Wednesday 9a-12p
Fall

Examination of the accounts of the passion and death of Jesus in their original historical and literary contexts.
Prerequisite: RLG241Y1 and at least one of RLG319H1 – RLG327H1; permission of instructor Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

JPR458H1-S Postsecular Political Thought: Religion, Radicalism and the Limits of Liberalism
Monday 4-6p
Spring

The course will examine debates on postsecularism and religion’s public, political role as articulated by political thinkers such as Jurgen Habermas, by focusing on politically radical or revolutionary challenges to liberalism in the 20th and 21st century, especially from the postcolonial world, whose theoretical arguments are grounded upon or draw their inspiration from religious traditions, doctrines and practices.
Prerequisite: A 3rd year course in Political Science and/or Study of Religion Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG463H1-S Tibetan Buddhism
Monday 3-5p
Spring

Close study of major themes, texts, and thinkers in Tibetan Buddhism. Themes and texts will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this years course description.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor Recommended Preparation: RLG206Y1Y/ RLG206H5 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG468H1-S The Buddhist Canon (Special Topics in Buddhism)
Tuesday 3-5p
Spring

Advanced study of specialized topics in Buddhist Studies
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor Recommended Preparation: RLG206Y1Y Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG469Y1-Y Readings in Tibetan
TBA
Monday & Wednesday 4-6p
Year

Advanced readings in Tibetan literature using Tibetan language. Tibetan language skills required.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1), Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG471H1-S The Mahabharata (Special Topics in Hinduism)
Wednesday 12-2p
Spring

Advanced study in specialized topics on Hinduism.
Prerequisite: RLG205Y; Permission of instructor Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG474H1-F Sanskrit Readings (1): The Bhagavadgita
Thursday 10a-12p
Fall

This course will have students read choice pieces of South Asian literature. While tackling a text in Sanskrit from a major literary tradition, Buddhist or Hindu, and discussing its content and context, students will learn strategies for translating and interpreting Sanskrit literature.
Prerequisite: Intermediate Sanskrit Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG478H1-S Burmese Religions
Wednesday 1-3p
Spring

This course will question the statement that to be a Burmese is to be a Buddhist by introducing students to the variegated religious landscapes of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Judaic, and Muslim Burma/Myanmar through an analysis and discussion of historical, art-historical, anthropological, and literary sources.
Prerequisite: No Recommended Preparation: RLG206H1 or RLG206H5 Distribution Requirement: Humanities Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG490Y1F | RLG490Y1S | RLG490Y1 | RLG491H1F | RLG492H1F | RLG492H1S | RLG493H1S | RLG493H1Y | RLG494Y1S | RLG494Y1Y Individual Studies/Research
Staff
Year or Half

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.


Updated July 14, 2017 (Added course information for RLG 101, 385, and 389; edited errours.)
View our archive of past graduate courses.