Course Descriptions 2018-2019


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. *For courses with tutorials, please also see the Arts and Science timetable. Sessional dates are available on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Sessional Dates website.

UTSC Courses  UTM Courses

100-Level Courses


RLG100Y1-Y World Religions

Term: Year
Time: Monday & Wednesday 9-10a (This course has a tutorial*)

Description: 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”

Term: Fall
Time: Thursday 11a-1p (This course has a tutorial*)

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: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)


RLG101H1-S Introducing Religion- Blood, Sex, Drugs

Term: Winter
Time: Tuesday 1-3p (This course has a tutorial*)

Description: 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.

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

MHB155H1-F Elementary Modern Hebrew I

Term: Fall
Time: Tuesday & Thursday 9-11a

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)/NML155H1
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

MLB156H1-S Elementary Modern Hebrew I

Term: Winter
Time: Tuesday & Thursday 9-11a
Description: 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-S Study of Religion

Term: Winter
Time: Friday 10a-12p (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)

RLG202H1-S Judaism

Term: Winter
Time: Tuesday 10a-12p
Description: 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-F Christianity

Term: Fall
Time: Monday 10a-12p (This course has a tutorial*)
Description: 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-F Islam

Term: Fall
Time: Monday 6-8p, (This course has a tutorial*)
Description: 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-F Hinduism

Term: Fall
Time: Tuesday 10a-12p (This course has a tutorial*)
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/RLG280Y1
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG206H1-S Buddhism

Term: Winter
Time: Tuesday 11a-1p (This course has a tutorial*)
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/RLG280Y1
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG208H1-S Sikhism

Term: Spring
Time: Wednesday 1-3p
Description: 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

Term: Spring
Time: Monday 1-3p (This course has a tutorial*)
Description: 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

Term: Fall
Time: Thursday 11a-1p (This course has a tutorial*)
Description: 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.

Syllabus (pdf)

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

RLG212H1-S Anthropology of Religion

Term: Winter
Time: Monday 2p-4p (This course has a tutorial*)
Description: An introduction to key concepts, theories, and methodological approaches in the anthropology of religion. The emphasis is not on memorizing things people believe and do in other cultures and societies but on understanding how anthropologists have tried to study and explain religious phenomena.
Exclusion: RLG212Y1
Distribution Requirement: Social Science
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2))

RLG213H1-F Reading Sacred Texts

Term: Fall
Time: Thursday 10a-12p
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)

RLG233H1-S Religion and Popular Culture

Term: Winter
Time: Thursday 10a-12p (This course has a tutorial*)
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)

RLG235H1-S Religion, Gender, and Sexuality

Term: Winter
Time: Monday 11a-1p
Description: 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)

RLG241H1-F Early Christian Writings I

Term: Fall
Time: Wednesday 5-7p (This course has a tutorial*)
Description: 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)

MHB255H1-F Intermediate Modern Hebrew I

Term: Fall
Time: Tuesday & Thursday 12-2p
Description: 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)

MHB256H1-S Intermediate Modern Hebrew II

Term: Spring
Time: Tuesday & Thursday 12-2p
Description: 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

Term: Fall

Time: Tuesday 12-2p & Thursday 12-2p

Description: 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.
Exclusion: RLG260Y1
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG261H1-F Introduction to Tibetan I

Online Course

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)

RLG262H1-S Introduction to Tibetan II

Online Course

Term: Spring
Description: The second semester of an introduction to Classical Tibetan 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)

RLG263H1-S Introduction to Sanskrit II

Term: Spring

Time: Tuesday 12-2p & Thursday 12-2p

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.

Syllabus (pdf)

Exclusion: RLG260Y1
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG264H1-F Reading Pali Buddhist Texts I: Basket of the Sermons

Term: Fall
Time: Tuesday 1-3p & Thursday 1-2p
Description: 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 II: Basket about the Teachings

Term: Spring
Time: Tuesday 1-3p & Thursday 1-2p
Description: 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.
Prerequisite: RLG264H1 or equivalent capacity to read Pali texts in the original
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG280Y1-Y World Religions: A Comparative Study

Term: Year
Time: Monday & Wednesday 9-10a (This course has a tutorial*)
Description: 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: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2) + Society and its Institutions (3)

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.

JNR301H1-F The History of Buddhist Meditation

Term: Fall
Time: Thursday 2-4p
Description: This course will survey historical, cultural, and textual contexts for Buddhist meditative and contemplative practices and techniques.
Prerequisite: RLG206H1/NEW232Y1
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG302H1-S Dreams, Visions and the Invisible

Term: Winter
Time: Tuesday 11a-1p
Description: In many cultures, dreaming is understood to open pathways to unseen realities and worlds populated by spirit beings, souls of the dead, noetic powers and avenues to mystical union. Dreams include visions, daydreams, and dissociative, altered states of consciousness. This course examines contributions from a variety of disciplines such as psychoanalytic psychology, anthropology, biblical criticism, neuroscience, and paleo-archaeology to the study of religious experiences. Topics include how human beings negotiate the contents of their minds that result in social and political agreements that distinguish what is deemed as real, thereby constituting acceptable religious experience. The course will also discuss crisis apparitions, alien abduction accounts, spirit possession and existence of life after death as culturally specific religious narratives that seek to articulate and organize dreams and other visionary experiences.
Exclusion: RLG249H1
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG303H1-S Evil and Suffering

Term: Winter
Time: Tuesday 1-3p
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: See note above for general prerequisites
Distribution Requirement: Social Science
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG307H1-S Museums and Material Religion

Judith Brunton and Marisa Franz
Term: Spring
Time: Monday 1-3p
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: 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

Term: Spring
Time: Thursday 11a-1p
Description: The course focuses on the role of religion in cities, as well as the ways urbanization and immigration have transformed religious organizations and identities. In particular, the course asks how religious practices, institutions and groups shape particular places, how religious groups share or contest space, and the way the religious life of cities is shaped by migration and globalization. The course explores these topics using theoretical tools from anthropology, sociology, human geography and the study of religion.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG309H1-S Religion and Human Rights

Term: Spring
Time: Monday 1-3p
Description: 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-F Modern Atheism and the Critique of Religion

Term: Fall
Time: Monday 3-5p
Description: This course examines select modern thinkers and their critical approaches to the nature and significance of religious beliefs and practices. Hobbes, Spinoza, Hume, and Kant are among the major thinkers studied.
Prerequisite: three RLG or PHI/PHL half-courses and third year standing.
Exclusion: RLG310Y1
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG311H1-F Gender, Body and Sexuality in Asian Traditions

Term: Fall
Time: Wednesday 12-2p
Description: A study of women in the religious traditions of South and East Asia, including historical developments, topical issues, and contemporary womens movements.
Prerequisite: see note above for general prerequisites
Exclusion: RLG236H1
Recommended Preparation: RLG235H
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG318H1-S Religion and Nature

Term: Spring
Time: Friday 2-4p
Description: There is a complex relationship between nature, religion and the aesthetic expression of human spirituality. Religion and Nature will explore this relationship across a range of periods, from the antique to the contemporary. Our journeys, both philosophical and literary, will take participants through a range of biomes— desert, countryside, forest, mountains, tundra—and explore how these texts can help to redefine our place both in nature and as part of it.
Exclusion: RLG228H1
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG320H1-S Judaism and Christianity in the Second Century

Term: Spring
Time: Wednesday 12-2p
Description: 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: RLG241Y1; see note above for general prerequisites
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG323H1-S Jesus of Nazareth

Term: Spring
Time: Wednesday 10-12p
Description: An examination of the historical Jesus based on a critical study of the earliest accounts of Jesus, with intensive study of the Gospels to determine what can be said about Jesus activities and teachings.
Prerequisite: RLG241Y1; see note for above general prerequisites
Exclusion: RLG323H5
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG326H1-S Roots of Early Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism

Term: Spring
Time: Friday 1-3p
Description: 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

Term: Spring
Time: Wednesday 10-12p
Description: A course looking at the theories about and responses to the monstrous in the European Christian Middle Ages.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG337H1-F Witchcraft and Magic in Christian Tradition

Leslie Hayes
Term: Fall
Time: Wednesday 1-4p
Description: This course considers the history and theory of Western witchcraft, magic, and heresy in the mediaeval and early modern periods. Consideration of relevant anthropological theory, the relationship between constructions of witchcraft, the Enlightenment and the rise of science, and the role of gender in definitions of witchcraft.
Recommended Preparation: RLG203Y1/RLG203H5
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG341H1-F Dreaming of Zion: Exile and Return in Jewish Thought

Term: Spring
Time: Wednesday 2-4p
Description: 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)

RLG343H1-F Kabbala: A History of Mystical Thought in Judaism

Term: Spring
Time: Wednesday 10-12p
Description: A historical study of the Kabbala and the mystical tradition in Judaism, with emphasis on the ideas of Jewish mystical thinkers and movements.
Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG202Y1/RLG280Y1; see note above for general prerequisites
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG344H1-F Antisemitism

Term: Spring
Time: Thursday 12-2p
Description: Explores how “Jews” have been viewed (often mistakenly and confusedly) in various contexts from pre-Christian antiquity to the contemporary world. Emphasis is on problems involved in defining and explaining antisemitism, especially concerning the difference between religious and racial forms of antisemitism.
Prerequisite: A 200-level course in Judaism or Christianity or Western history; see note above for general prerequisites
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

RLG350H1-F The Life of Muhammad

Term: Fall
Time: Tuesday 6-8p
Description: 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)

RLG351H1-S The Quran: An Introduction

Term: Winter
Time: Tuesday 6-8p
Description: The revelatory process and the textual formation of the Quran, its pre-eminent orality and its principal themes and linguistic forms; the classical exegetical tradition and some contemporary approaches to its interpretation.
Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG204Y1/RLG224H1/RLG280Y1/NMC185Y1/NMC185H1; see note above for general prerequisites
Exclusion: NMC285H1, NMC285Y1,NMC286H1
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG353H1-S The Politics of Charity

Term: Winter
Time: Wednesday 11-1p
Description: 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?
Exclusion: RLG250H1
Distribution Requirement: Social Science
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG355H1-S Anthropology of Islam

Term: Winter
Time: Wednesday 3-5p
Description: What is Islam beyond news stories of veiling and “Islamic terrorism?” Anthropologists take pride in learning the languages of the communities they study and spending extensive periods of research with them, and have therefore a very different perspective than the mainstream media. This course answers the questions: How do anthropologists study Islam and what have they taught us about Islam and the ways Muslims live as Muslims?
Prerequisite: See note above for general prerequisites
Distribution Requirement: Social Science
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

MHB355H1-F Advanced Modern Hebrew I

Term: Fall
Time: Tuesday & Thursday 4-6p
Description: 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

Term: Spring
Time: Tuesday & Thursday 4-6p
Description: 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)

RLG359H1-F Intermediate Sanskrit I

Term: Fall
Time: Monday & Wednesday 12-2p
Description: 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

Term: Spring
Time: Monday & Wednesday 12-2p
Description: 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)

RLG363H1-S Bhakti Hinduism

Term: Spring
Time: Tuesday 10a-12p
Description: A study of Hindu bhakti traditions through classical and vernacular texts, in conversation with colonial and post-colonial theoretical perspectives on the notion of “bhakti” in Hinduism.
Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG205Y1/RLG280Y1; see note above for general prerequisites
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

JPR364Y1-Y Religion and Politics

Term: Year
Time: Monday 12-2p
Description: 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)

RLG366H1-S Hindu Philosophy

Term: Spring
Time: Thursday 10-12p
Description: A study of different schools, texts, and issues of Hindu philosophy.
Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG205Y1/RLG280Y1; see note above for general prerequisites
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG388H1-F Special Topics I

What is a Christian? Anthropologies of Global Christianity/ies
Term: Fall
Time: Tuesday 5-7p
Description: This course will examine global Christianity/ies through the lens of the anthropology of Christianity, a relatively new field that is producing critically meaningful research. The semester will be structured around seven thematic categories (sincerity, language ideologies, economies, conversion and mission, performance, politics and publics, and pilgrimage), and students will interact directly with the works of anthropologists and historians who have done ethnographic work around the world. By destabilizing and decentering certain normative understandings of Christianity, and through a close study of an emerging field’s reflections on its position in the broader discipline of the anthropology of religion, this course will work towards examining the socio-religious dynamics of power within Christianity on a global scale.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG388H1-S Special Topics I

Indigenous Spirituality and Contemporary Issues in Canada
Meagan Weatherdon
Term: Spring
Time: Tuesday 5-7p
Description: How have historians, anthropologists of religion, and Indigenous studies scholars interpreted and theorized Indigenous spiritual traditions? How are Indigenous spiritualties articulated in the public sphere to challenge colonial law and public policy and to influence environmental and social movements in Canada? This course considers how Indigenous spirituality intersects with contemporary issues in Canada and is organized around the following four themes: representation and appropriation; reconciliation and resurgence; health and wellness; sexuality, gender, and body sovereignty.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG389H1-F Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding: Comparative Contexts (Special Topics II)

Eleanor Pontoriero
Term: Fall
Time: Monday 1-3p
Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG389H1-S Religion, Diaspora and the City (Special Topics II)

Mariana Mastagar
Term: Spring
Time: Tuesday 11-1p
Description: Large cities are home to religious buildings, many of which are established by immigrant communities. Often the religious space in diaspora is the first to signal modifications in social and religious dynamics. Ideas dwell in the space! The course explores how the allocation of time and space adapts the tradition to reflect the needs of diaspora. The students will learn how to decipher and examine these adaptations through observation of architecture, decoration, and activities performed in the buildings. It introduces the notion of vernacular religion, “religion as it is lived” or the way people “do religion.” The course Observation on a variety of religious sites (some are Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish) is included.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG390H1-S Religion and Film

Nigel Fernando
Term: Spring
Time: Wednesday 5-8p
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.
Exclusion: RLG232H1, RLG332H5
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG392H1-S The European Enlightenment and Religion

Term: Spring
Time: Monday 3-5p
Description: 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.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG394H1-S Religion in the Game of Thrones

Leslie Hayes
Term: Spring
Time: Wednesday 1-3p
Description: Religion weaves complex social logics and social rationales imbedded in all levels of culture. This course explores multiple questions of religion as a cultural element, both visible and invisible. Theories of religion as well as questions of gender, authority, and power will be examined. The course culminates in a student project oriented toward an academically oriented “Handbook” for the study of religion in the Game of Thrones.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG395H1-S Hasidism: Histories and Ideologies (Special Topics III)

W. Tworek
Term: Spring
Time: Thursday 5-7p
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

David Perley
Term: Spring
Time: Wednesday 6-8p
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: Spring
Time: Thursday 10a-12p
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-F Constructing Religion

Term: Spring
Time: Tuesday 10a-12p
Description: 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 Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG411H1-F The Poetics of Mysticism (Advanced Topics In Religion)

Term: Fall
Time: Friday 2-4p
Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG411H1-S The Vedas (Advanced Topics in Religion)

Term: Winter
Time: Wednesday 12-2p
Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG412H1-S Advanced Topics in Religion

Jairan Gahan
Term: Winter
Time: Monday 2-4p
Description: Secularism as a modern regime of governance emerged in the modern period with the birth of nation-states, and radically changed the social and political life of religion across the globe. Most of scholarly works focus on the Western roots of this modern political entity and question the particular arrangement of Christianity under the secular rule of the modern state. In this class we will first review the foundations of secular rule, then tilt the lens onto modern state formations in Muslim countries, especially in the Middle East. We will particularly investigate the place of Islam in modern rule in juridical institutions, social welfare state bodies, regimes of sexuality, neo-liberal economy, moral governance, and more. In doing so we try to sketch the contours of modern Islamic states in Muslim societies. Readings will be a combination of theoretical works, ethnographies, and historical inquires. We will look into Egypt, Iran, Turkey, and Sudan to better understand the entanglement of Islam with modern rule in the region.
Distribution Requirement: Humanities

JPR419H1-S Secularism and Religion (formerly RLG419H1)

Term: Spring
Time: Monday 6-8p
Description: Themes considered include what notion of religion is necessary for secular governance, and how secularity relates to particular discourses of citizenship and practices of political rule. Case studies include the effects of colonial rule on religious life; Jewish emancipation in Europe; and religious freedom in France and North America. (Given by the Departments of Political Science and Religion) Registration in this course is through the Department of Religion.
Prerequisite: 2.0 200-level (or above) credits in Political Science or Study of Religion/permission of the instructor Exclusion: RLG419H1
Distribution Requirement: Humanities, Social Science
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

JPR459H1-F Fanaticism: A Political History

Term: Fall
Time: Wednesday 10a-12p
Description: 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.”
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 Requirement: Humanities, Social Science

RLG420H1-S Religion and Philosophy in the European Enlightenment

Term: Spring
Time: Wednesday 3-5p
Description: An advanced study of selected Enlightenment thinkers with a focus on their interpretations of religion. The main thinkers discussed are Spinoza, Hume, and Kant. Issues include the rational critique of traditional religion, the relations among religion, ethics and politics, and the pursuit of universal approaches to religion.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG425H1-F Hermeneutics and Religion

Term: Fall
Time: Wednesday 3-5p
Description: A study of how principles of textual interpretation and theories of language have been central to modern philosophy of religion. We begin with Schleiermacher, and then move to an in-depth treatment of the 20th century hermeneutical theories of Heidegger, Gadamer, and Ricoeur.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Recommended Preparation: RLG310Y1
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG431H1-S Advanced Topics in Judaism

Term: Spring
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor
Distribution Requirement: Humanities

RLG433H1-S Maimonides and His Modern Interpreters

Term: Spring
Time: Tuesday 2-4p
Description: An introduction to The Guide of the Perplexed by Moses Maimonides, and to some of the basic themes in Jewish philosophical theology and religion. Among topics to be considered through close textual study of the Guide: divine attributes; biblical interpretation; creation versus eternity; prophecy; providence, theodicy, and evil; wisdom and human perfection. Also to be examined are leading modern interpreters of Maimonides.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Exclusion: POL421H1
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG434H1-S Modern Jewish Thought

Term: Spring
Time: Wednesday 12-2p
Description: Close study of major themes, texts, and thinkers in modern Jewish thought. Focus put on the historical development of modern Judaism, with special emphasis on the Jewish religious and philosophical responses to the challenges of modernity. Among modern Jewish thinkers to be considered: Spinoza, Cohen, Rosenzweig, Buber, Scholem, Strauss, and Fackenheim.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG447H1-S Magic and Miracle in Early Christianity

Term: Spring
Time: Tuesday 1-4p
Description: Magic, religion, astrology, alchemy, theurgy, miracle, divination: all of these phenomena characterize the context and practice of ancient Christianity. This course examines the constitution of these categories, the role and character of these phenomena in the Graeco-Roman world, and the interaction with and integration of these phenomena by ancient Christianity.
Prerequisite: RLG241Y1
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

RLG449H1-F The Synoptic Problem

Term: Fall
Time: Wednesday 9a-12p
Description: Investigation of the history of solutions to the Synoptic Problem from the eighteenth century to the present paying special attention to the revival of the Griesbach hypothesis and recent advances in the Two-Document hypothesis.
Prerequisite: RLG241Y1 and at least one of RLG319H1 – RLG327H1; permission of instructor
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG465H1-F Readings in Buddhist Texts: The Avatamsaka Svtra

Term: Fall
Time: Monday 1-3p
Description: An advanced study of select Buddhist texts with a focus on issues of translation, interpretation, commentarial approaches, narrative strategies, as well as issues related to the production, circulation, and consumption of these works. Themes and texts will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this year’s course description.
Prerequisite: Reading knowledge of Sanskrit/Pali/Tibetan or Chinese; permission of instructor
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG465H1-S Readings in Buddhist Texts: The Ashokan Inscriptions

Term: Spring
Time: Wednesday 10-12p
Description: An advanced study of select Buddhist texts with a focus on issues of translation, interpretation, commentarial approaches, narrative strategies, as well as issues related to the production, circulation, and consumption of these works. Themes and texts will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this year’s course description.
Prerequisite: Reading knowledge of Sanskrit/Pali/Tibetan or Chinese; permission of instructor
Distribution Requirement: Humanities
Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

RLG469Y1-Y Readings in Tibetan

Term: Year
Time: Monday & Wednesday 4-6p
Description: 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)

RLG474H1-F Sanskrit Readings (1): Vaishnavism

Term: Fall
Time: Thursday 10a-12p
Description: 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)

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.

Updated June 4, 2018 (Please see first Arts and Science calendar link for complete details.)
View our archive of past undergraduate courses.