Mount Allison University Campus

Academic Calendar 2023-2024

Table of Contents

Religious Studies

Religion deals with the most basic and ultimate questions of human existence: the meaning and purpose of life; the presence of death, sorrow and anxiety; the existence of God; questions of morality and justice; the possibilities of transcendence, salvation, and liberation for individuals and communities. Religion plays a central role in the construction of human cultures and societies, motivating and legitimating social, political, and ethical action. Religion has been and continues to be a powerful influence in literature, the arts, and history, as well as in current civil and global conflicts.

Religious Studies as an academic discipline does not indoctrinate in any religious tradition (though it may certainly help students clarify their own thinking and convictions). Rather, it takes a scholarly and analytical approach, and, as such, is open to students from all backgrounds, secular and religious. The academic study of religion examines the various religious traditions of the world, east and west, in their historical and contemporary contexts. It explores the various ways in which religion shapes culture and history, forms values, and authorizes human action. Thus Religious Studies is an integral part of the liberal arts curriculum.

Courses in Religious Studies are divided into three streams: Eastern Traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, East Asian Religions), Western Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), and Religion and Culture. Introductory courses (at 1000 and 2000 level) lay the foundation for focused study of particular traditions and for courses that explore how religion relates to themes in the wider culture - such as in the arts, gender issues, and ethics (at 3000 and 4000 level).

The Humanities 1600-series is intended to provide an introduction to Humanities disciplines. These three-credit courses offered by the participating disciplines of Classics, History, Philosophy and Religious Studies are designed to acquaint beginning students with the methodologies typical of these disciplines and to familiarize them with the approaches taken as well as the sorts of themes pursued and questions raised in these disciplines.

Further information is available on request from the Department Office, Room 112, Hart Hall (364-2556).

Disciplinary B.A. Programs

MINOR in Religious Studies is 24 credits earned as follows:

6from the Humanities 1600 Series
6from Religious Studies at the 2000 level
12from Religious Studies at the 3/4000 level, chosen in consultation with the Program Advisor

MAJOR in Religious Studies is 60 credits earned as follows:

6from the Humanities 1600 Series
9RELG 2411, 2521, 2541, 2811, 2821, 2831, 2841
3RELG 3901
3from RELG 3001 or 3101
3from RELG 3301 or 3311
6from RELG 3501, 3601, 3701
12from 3/4000 level Religious Studies courses, with at least 6 from 4000 level Religious Studies courses
18credits from complementary courses in Arts and Letters, Humanities and Social Sciences (which may include upto 6 additional credits from 2000 level Religious Studies courses if the Humanities 1600 series courses above are from other Humanities disciplines), chosen in consultation with the Program Advisor

HONOURS in Religious Studies is 72 credits earned as follows:

60credits as in the Major, plus:
6from RELG 4990
6from Religious Studies at the 3/4000 level, chosen in consultation with the Program Advisor

RELIGIOUS STUDIES COURSES

Note:á The listing of a course in the Calendar is not a guarantee that the course is offered every year.

Note:á Students must obtain a grade of at least C- in all courses used to fulfill prerequisite requirements. Otherwise, written permission of the appropriate Department Head or Program Co-ordinator must be obtained.

Intro to Compassionate Communities

This course explores the concept of the compassionate community as a model for how communities might address social injustices such as poverty, homelessness and loneliness in their midst. Drawing on tools from work in community engaged learning, the course gives students the critical and theoretical skills to understand the factors in community making (history, shared values, identity) and the preparations needed for establishing and maintaining community partnerships. The course has a particular focus on the local-Sackville, Port Elgin, Dorchester-and an applied component that directs students in the skills needed to make connections with local potential community partners and assemble the skills and competencies to discern mutually what sort of relationships and projects are best, given the needs of all involved. [Note 1: This course is cross-listed as CENL 1001 and may therefore count as three credits in either discipline] (Format: Lecture/Tutorial 3 hours) (Exclusion: RELG 1991 Compassionate Communities)

Global Religions I

This course pursues answers to the question: Why does learning about religion matter for daily life, academic study, travel, careers within one's home community or far beyond? It does so through the study of texts, beliefs, stories and practices connected with the major religions of India, China, and Japan, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Shinto. This course explores how the phenomenon of religion infuses our lives, shaping the ways we interact, informing how we view each other and the world around us. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 2211, 2401)

Global Religions II

This course pursues answers to the question: Why does learning about religion matter for daily life, academic study, travel, careers within one's home community or far beyond? It does so through the study of texts, beliefs, stories and practices connected with the so-called Abrahamic traditions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as New Religious Movements and Indigenous ways of knowing. This course explores how the phenomenon of religion infuses our lives, shaping the ways we interact, informing how we view of each other and of the world around us. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 2201, 2801)

Death and the Afterlife in Asian Religions

This course examines the practices and beliefs concerning death and the afterlife in six religious traditions: Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, 'folk' or 'popular' religion, Shinto, and Hinduism. It compares beliefs and practices related to death and the afterlife in these traditions and examines the diversity that exists both between and within these religions. (Format: Lecture 3 hours) (Distribution: Humanities-a) (Exclusion: RELG 1991 Death and the Afterlife in Asian Religions)

Religion, the Body, and Sexuality

This course investigates the role the human body plays in the world's Western religious traditions (predominantly Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), namely, how the body affects or facilitates worship of the divine and what the related rites, practices, and texts have to say to us as physical beings. It considers such issues as bodily functions, gender roles, and sexual orientation. The course pays considerable attention to the intersections of religion and culture as they inform what it means to be an embodied believer. It also considers why the human imagination seems to need to conceive the divine in bodily form. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: Any version of RELG 1641 previously offered with a different title)

Religion and Popular Culture

This course examines various points at which religion and culture collide. It utilizes various media (film, music, fashion, literature) in order to interpret some of the complex relationships that form and maintain contemporary Western identity. Topics include cultural uses of religious symbolism and story, the power of popular piety, and the Western tendency towards consumption and commodification of religious traditions. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)

The Quest for Enlightenment: the Search For Perfection in Asian Religions

This course treats the theme of the spiritual quest in Asian religions. Surveying some of the major Asian religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Shinto) it explores the nature of the highest state thought to be achievable by humans and how that state is realized. Topics may include the role of morality, love, and human relationships in that quest, the place of rituals and institutions, and the vision for society. This course looks at both classical and contemporary views on these issues and situates them within their relevant socio-historical context. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)

Special Topic in Religious Studies

This course either focuses on topics not covered by the current course offerings in a department or program or offers the opportunity to pilot a course that is being considered for inclusion in the regular program. [Note 1: Prerequisite set by Department/Program when the topic and level are announced. Note 2: When a Department or Program intends to offer a course under this designation, it must submit course information, normally at least three months in advance, to the Dean. Note 3: Students may register for RELG 1991 more than once, provided the subject matter differs.] (Format: Variable)

Mother Earth, Father Sky: Religion, Humans, and Nature

This course investigates religious moral thought through the lens of nature and environmental issues. It explores various religious perspectives, both Asian and Western, on topics such as the meaning of nature and the place of humans in it, the value of landscapes and ecosystems, whether animals have moral standing and how they should be treated, and how current environmental problems should be understood and approached. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)

Food Practices and East Asian Religions

This course examines the practices and beliefs associated with food in five East Asian religious traditions: Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, 'folk' or 'popular' religion, and Shinto. It introduces religious prescriptions and prohibitions related to food cultivation, storage, distribution, preparation, and consumption. Topics include connections between food practices and hierarchy and the roles that food plays in creating and sustaining relationships such as those between humans, living and dead, and non-humans. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 2991 Food Practices and East Asian Religions)

Sacred Stuff

This course explores relationships between material culture and religion. It is built around the hands-on study and analysis of diverse objects and the exploration of scholarship investigating the ways "sacred stuff" matters to religious practice and belief. These include jewelry, woodblock prints, musical instruments, and icons. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 2991 Sacred Stuff)

Introduction to the Bible I: Hebrew Bible

This course introduces, in translation, the literature of the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament. It discusses selected passages in the context of Israel's history, religion, and society, set against the backdrop of the Ancient Near Eastern civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia. It also explores why these texts and the religion they represent have been so influential and in what ways they still illuminate and speak to the human situation today. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 001)

Introduction to the Bible II: New Testament

This course discusses the literature of the New Testament, in English translation, in light of the historical and cultural conditions from which it emerged. It analyzes the New Testament both as a witness to Jesus and to Christian origins, and as a text which has exerted enormous creative power within human culture and history. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 2011)

Faith and Doubt

This course introduces the disciplines of theology and philosophy of religion within the Western theistic (Jewish/Christian) tradition. It considers the sometimes ambivalent relationship between reason and religious experience. Topics include rational proofs for the existence of God, religious self-understanding, the problem of evil, and the relationship between religious belief and scientific reason. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 2501)

The Apocalyptic Consciousness

This course studies the apocalyptic consciousness in ancient documents and in modern thought, particularly with reference to ideas about the Day of Judgment and Second Coming. In addition to biblical and non-biblical texts, it reflects on contemporary portrayals of the apocalyptic image in art, literature and film, and explores the apocalyptic cult with specific reference to cults of expectation. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 2031)

Special Topic in Religious Studies

This course either focuses on topics not covered by the current course offerings in a department or program or offers the opportunity to pilot a course that is being considered for inclusion in the regular program. [Note 1: Prerequisite set by Department/Program when the topic and level are announced. Note 2: When a Department or Program intends to offer a course under this designation, it must submit course information, normally at least three months in advance, to the Dean. Note 3: Students may register for RELG 2991 more than once, provided the subject matter differs.] (Format: Variable)

Hinduism

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
A study of Hinduism, examining its origins, history, philosophy, and culture. The course will treat ancient, classical, medieval and modern periods, and conclude with a discussion of the challenges facing contemporary Hinduism. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 3261)

Buddhism

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
A study of Buddhism, examining its origins, history, philosophy and cultures. The course will treat the three major strands of classical Buddhism, and conclude with an analysis of the growing phenomenon of Western Buddhism. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 3271)

Religions of China

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
This course will study the religious traditions of China, examining the basic ideas and concepts underlying Chinese religion and the ways in which these ideas were implemented. The course will look in detail at both Confucianism and Daoism, at Chinese folk religion, and at the adaptation of Buddhism to China. It will conclude with an evaluation of the current state of religion in China. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)

Religions of Japan

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
This course will study the religious traditions of Japan, examining the underlying ideas and concepts of Shinto, including its relation to Shamanism, the nature and role of Kami, the role of purity and aesthetics, and its political functions. The introduction and adaptation of Buddhism and its relation to Shinto will be discussed, as will the modern day "new religions" which form such a vital part of contemporary Japanese religious practice. The influence and roles of Confucianism and Daoism will also be briefly covered. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)

Sacred Place in East Asia

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
This course focuses on the ways in which sacred sites have been constituted and transformed in five East Asian religious traditions: Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, 'folk' or 'popular' religion, and Shinto. By analysis of diverse primary source materials the course aims to enhance understanding of the complex processes by which sites are singled out as worthy of devotion to address the question: what needs have the establishment, preservation, recreation, and destruction of sacred places met in particular times and territories? (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 3991 Sacred Space in East Asia)

Gender Issues in Eastern Religions

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
This course examines the role that gender plays in the context of myths, scriptural texts, rituals and doctrine, in the major religious traditions of the East. It examines such matters as sexuality and sexual orientation, the body, feminism and other critical approaches, political rights and responsibilities, access to religious experience, and spiritual leadership. (Format: Seminar 3 Hours)

Religious and Spiritual Traditions in Canada

Prereq: 6 credits from HIST, RELG at the 1/2000 level; or permission Department
This course surveys the history of early religious and spiritual traditions in Canada from before the early global era to the mid twentieth century. It focuses on Indigenous, Christian, and Jewish traditions, but others are also included. Topics include influential individuals, writings, and institutions in relation to the state and public life, as well as newer themes from cultural and social history. [Note: This course is cross-listed as RELG 3481 and may therefore count as 3 credits in either discipline](Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: Any version of HIST/RELG 3481 previously offered with a different title)

Judaism

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
This course examines the roots and various expressions of Judaism in the ancient world up to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 CE and the rise of Rabbinic Judaism. Jewish life in the medieval world and the Islamic East, as well as the emergence of Kabbalah, are also discussed. The course then examines the emergence of various expressions of modern Judaism, including religious Zionism. The core convictions, sacred texts, institutions, and practices of Judaism will be analyzed within these historical contexts. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 3241)

Christianity

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
This course examines in detail the enormous breadth and richness of the Christian tradition, beginning with its historical and theological roots in the Jewish tradition and ending with some of the challenges faced in the contemporary world. It traces a path through key topics including theological thought, mystical experience, devotional practice, artistic expression, and ideological influence. The aim is to represent Christianity in its many facets and forms so as to appreciate its fundamental and ongoing significance in shaping Western cultural identity. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)

Christianity in the Roman Empire

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG 2821, 3601; 3 credits from RELG 1600 series; or third or fourth year History Major; or permission of the Department
This course examines the crucial, defining crises of the ancient Christian communities in the social, political, and cultural context of Late Antiquity (roughly, 2nd to 6th centuries CE/AD). It analyzes early Christianity as a social movement, as a religious movement with a developing belief system, and as an historical phenomenon embedded within historical events and processes. [Note 1: This course is cross-listed as HIST 3611 and may therefore count as three credits in either discipline.] (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)

The Construction of Christendom: the History of Christianity During the Mediaeval Era

Prereq: 3 credits from HIST 2001, 2011, RELG 2821, 2831, 2841; 3 credits from HIST or RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of the Department
This course traces the history of Christianity, emphasizing the Roman communion, from the fifth to the mid-fifteenth century. It investigates the development of the institutional church; the evolution of forms of devotional observance, manifested in art and architecture, literature, and the liturgy; and the varied expressions of criticism and dissent aimed at the doctrinal teaching and conduct of clergy. [Note 1: This course is cross-listed as HIST 3621 and may therefore count as three credits in either discipline.] (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: HIST/RELG 3620; any version of HIST/RELG 3621 previously offered with a different title)

The Fracturing of Christendom: the Reformation Era

Prereq: 3 credits from HIST 2001, 2011, 2031, RELG 2821, 2831, 2841; 3 credits from HIST or RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of the Department
This course treats the history of Christianity during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, an era when the unity of mediŠval western Christendom was driven by series of reformations: Protestant, Radical, and Catholic. It investigates the ecclesiastical, intellectual, political, and social circumstances and consequences of dramatic religious change. [Note 1: This course is cross-listed as HIST 3631 and may therefore count as three credits in either discipline.] (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: HIST 3131)

Identity and the Maker

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
This course examines religious and cultural notions of identity via the creative arts and cultural practices of making and crafting. The course presents typical ways that theology and philosophy attempt to account for human experience and self-understanding, contrasting them with the radical and often marginal transformations that might be explored through creative material and cultural practice. Through scholarly discourse as well as concrete creative applications students will have the opportunity to consider the many ways in which the human experience and the quest for meaning and expression are paralleled and mediated by traditions, practices and materials associated with craft. (Format: Seminar 3 Hours)

Islam

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
This course traces Islam from its origins in the life and activities of Mohammed through to contemporary world Islam and its diverse responses to the challenges of "modernity" and the West. The world view, institutions, rituals, and practices of Islam will be studied within these changing historical and cultural contexts. Effort will be made throughout to gain insight into the religious, spiritual impulses which animate Islam and unite devout Muslims. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 3291)

Gender Issues in Western Religions

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
This course examines the role that gender plays in the context of myths, scriptural texts, rituals and doctrine, in the major religious traditions of the West. It examines such matters as sexuality and sexual orientation, the body, feminism and other critical approaches, political rights and responsibilities, access to religious experience, and spiritual leadership. (Format: Seminar 3 Hours)

The Word Made Text: Intermediate Topics In Biblical Studies

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
This course considers what the Bible means and how we should interpret it. It builds upon knowledge of the basic content of the Bible (Hebrew Bible and New Testament), as well as some of the methods or mechanics of biblical interpretation discussed in RELG 2811 and 2821. The course offers the opportunity for close and critical readings of a variety of biblical texts, allowing for the investigation of numerous interpretive approaches such as historical, poetic, narrative, and ideological. Overall the goal is for students to become competent and self-aware readers of the Bible. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)

Indian Philosophy

Prereq: 6 credits from PHIL; or permission of the Department
A study of selected primary sources in the Indian philosophical tradition, from the Vedas and Upanishads to the recent work of thinkers like S. Radhakrishnan. Topics usually include the nature of reality, moral obligation, Divinity, selfhood and freedom, the philosophy of love, and various social and political issues. [Note 1: This course is cross-listed as PHIL 3891 and may therefore count as three credits in either discipline.] (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)

Approaching the Ultimate: Themes and Theories in Religious Studies

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
This course examines various kinds of religious phenomena, including mystical experience, sacred texts, religious ethics, and ritual, and explores the different ways the discipline of Religious Studies understands and interprets them. It explores major theoretical approaches, including text-historical, phenomenological, gender-critical, philosophical, and cultural-critical, and assesses them critically for their value in the study of religion. [Note 1: This is a required course for all Majors and Honours students in Religious Studies and is recommended for those taking a Minor.] (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: Any version of RELG 3901 previously offered with a different title)

Contemporary Ethical Issues in Eastern Religions

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
This course considers the response of Eastern Traditions' to contemporary ethical issues, such as those of abortion, euthanasia, ecology, and bio-medical technologies. The course looks at both classical and contemporary perspectives. (Format: Seminar 2 Hours) (Exclusion: Any version of RELG 3921 previously offered with a different title)

Religion, Revolution and Violence

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
This course examines the development and historical manifestations of ideologies of violence and nonviolence within the major world religions, with special attention to how these ideologies continue to play themselves out in contemporary global and national conflicts. (Format: Lecture 2 Hours) (Exclusion: RELG 3231)

Artifacts and Archives

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
This course explores religion's traces on the lives of practitioners through material and archival culture. Working with a variety of theoretical approaches, students will explore a range of artefactual and archival materials, including material remains, relics, art, graffiti, jettisoned religious paraphernalia, community rules and records, educational materials and correspondence. The course pursues the question of how what is materially left behind might help us to understand religion's impact on personal and community identities, and on cultural and political systems. (Format: Lecture 3 hours)

Religion in Film

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
This course examines the cultural legacy and/or influence of various religious traditions and scriptural texts in the modern medium of film. It begins, with an examination of some great religious "epics", and then considers more recent cinematic treatments of religious themes and figures. (Format: Lecture 2 Hours, Laboratory 2.5 Hour)

Religious Ethics and the Environment

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
This course investigates the role that various religions play in human interaction with the environment and explores how religions are responding or not responding to environmental problems. It examines various religious perspectives on nature and examines critically scholarship which applies religious perspectives to issues in environmental ethics. It also considers the religious basis of contemporary environmental thinkers and movements and examines the worldview assumptions and values that underlie so-called secular approaches to environmental issues.(Format: Seminar 3 Hours)

Special Topic in Religious Studies

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG; 3 credits from RELG at the 2000 level; or permission of theáDepartment
This course either focuses on topics not covered by the current course offerings in a department or program or offers the opportunity to pilot a course that is being considered for inclusion in the regular program. [Note 1: Prerequisite set by Department/Program when the topic and level are announced. Note 2: When a Department or Program intends to offer a course under this designation, it must submit course information, normally at least three months in advance, to the Dean. Note 3: Students may register for RELG 3991 more than once, provided the subject matter differs.] (Format: Variable)

Advanced Studies in Community Engagement

Prereq: 3 credits from RELG/CENL 1001, CENL 2001; CENL 2101; CENL 3101; or permission of the Department
This course provides students with a focused learning opportunity in community engagement research. Topics will vary from year to year and will be connected with a focused, experiential learning opportunity. [Note1: This course is cross-listed with CENL 4001 and may therefore count as three credits in either discipline] Note 2: RELG / CENL 4001 may be taken for credit more than once if the topic differs]

Ascetics, Saints, and Scoundrels: Asian Religious Themes in Literature

This course examines several genres such as those found in Hindu and Buddhist literature. The course begins with a study of selected classical texts and concludes with a discussion of selected Asian and Western contemporary literary works. [Note 1: Permission of the Department is required.] (Format: Seminar 3 Hours) (Exclusion: Any version of RELG 4401 previously offered with a different title)

Advanced Studies in Eastern Thought

This course focuses on the philosophical traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. It examines both classical systems of thought and their modern interpretations. [Note 1: Permission of the Department is required.] (Format: Seminar 3 Hours)

Eastern Religions and the Challenge of Modernity

This course examines the contemporary state of Eastern Religions. It discusses the recent histories of Eastern Religions, and looks at the challenges of science, consequences of colonialism, movements of political independence, and issues of poverty and social justice. It studies particularly these traditions' encounter with the West, and their responses to the cultural exchange that ensues from this encounter. [Note 1: Permission of the Department is required.] (Format: Seminar 3 Hours)

Key Religious Texts of East Asia

This course examines the significance in East Asian religion of a selected single religious text. Combining a careful reading of this document with the analysis of closely related primary source materials and important secondary scholarship, it explores relationships between texts and the social, political, economic, and religious contexts of their creation and circulation. [Note 1: Permission of the Department is required. Note 2: Students may register for RELG 4521 more than once, provided the subject matter differs.] (Format: Seminar 3 Hours)

Reinventing the Sacred: Christianity in The Post-Secular West

This course considers the relationship between the Christian tradition and contemporary Western culture and looks at contemporary re-articulations of Christian beliefs, practices, and understandings. It examines from a cultural- critical perspective how thinkers have been forced to reformulate and modify traditional positions and beliefs in order to accommodate what are often vastly differing or at least unpredictable circumstances. This course considers how such innovations may reveal new ways forward in terms that are social, political, ethical, spiritual, and possibly even conventional. Ultimately it invites students to reflect on how these perspectives might enable the West to re-imagine its future possibilities in ways that are challenging and transformative for both the Christian tradition and Western identity. [Note 1: Permission of the Department is required.](Format: Seminar 3 Hours)

The Divine Light of Reason: Advanced Topics in Western Thought

This course examines the theology and philosophy of religion as they bear on Western religious traditions. It explores the strengths and limitations of theological perceptions and philosophical concepts as these apply to traditional religious issues such as the power of death, the possibility of hope and the ineffability of religious experience. Topics may include reformulating sacramental theology; comparing theological anthropology and phenomenology; reconciling biblical language and post-structuralism; and examining the incommensurate parameters of divine presence. [Note 1: Permission of the Department is required.] (Format: Seminar 3 Hours)

The Authority of the Text: Meaning and Sacredness in Western Scripture

This course examines the nature of scripture and what (or who) gives it authority. Through study of the related phenomena of interpretation, sacredness, and canonicity in biblical traditions, this course addresses questions of the origins of sacred texts and how such texts establish and sustain the religious, cultural, and social lives of communities. It explores how and with what results culturally and historically diverse interpretive communities have made fresh appropriations of scriptural traditions through various strategies of interpretation. It also asks what is at stake in these deliberations, who benefits, and how power operates or shifts via the various ideological mechanisms that serve to authorize scripture. [Note 1: Permission of the Department is required.] (Format: Seminar 3 Hours) (Exclusion: Any version of RELG 4821 previously offered with a different title)

Sexuality and the Biblical Tradition

This course explores the history of sexuality in biblical and post-biblical traditions. Through the close reading of biblical texts it examines the Bible's treatment of the subject of sex including bodily purity, reproduction and sexual orientation. It also looks at the Bible's influence on this subject in the history of Judaism, Christianity, and the modern, secular era. [Note 1: Permission of the Department is required.] (Format: Seminar 3 Hours)

Independent Study in Religious Studies

This course permits senior students, under the direction of faculty members, to pursue their interest in areas not covered, or not covered in depth, by other courses through a program of independent study. [Note 1: Permission of the Department/Program Advisor. Students must obtain consent of an instructor who is willing to be a supervisor and must register for the course prior to the last day for change of registration in the term during which the course is being taken. Note 2: A program on Independent Study cannot duplicate subject matter covered through regular course offerings. Note 3: Students may register for RELG 4950/51 more than once, provided the subject matter differs.] (Format: Independent Study)

Independent Study in Religious Studies

This course permits senior students, under the direction of faculty members, to pursue their interest in areas not covered, or not covered in depth, by other courses through a program of independent study. [Note 1: Permission of the Department/Program Advisor. Students must obtain consent of an instructor who is willing to be a supervisor and must register for the course prior to the last day for change of registration in the term during which the course is being taken. Note 2: A program on Independent Study cannot duplicate subject matter covered through regular course offerings. Note 3: Students may register for RELG 4950/51 more than once, provided the subject matter differs.] (Format: Independent Study)

Independent Study in Religion

This course permits senior students, under the direction of faculty members, to pursue their interest in areas not covered, or not covered in depth, by other courses through a program of independent study. [Note 1: Permission of the Department/Program Advisor. Students must obtain consent of an instructor who is willing to be a supervisor and must register for the course prior to the last day for change of registration in the term during which the course is being taken. Note 2: A program on Independent Study cannot duplicate subject matter covered through regular course offerings. Note 3: Students may register for RELG 4953F/W more than once, provided the subject matter differs.] (Format: Independent Study)

Honours Thesis

Independent research and thesis writing under the direction of a member of the Department, for students in the Religious Studies Honours program. [Note 1: Permission of the Department is required.] (Format: Independent Study/Thesis)

Special Topic in Religious Studies

This course either focuses on topics not covered by the current course offerings in a department or program or offers the opportunity to pilot a course that is being considered for inclusion in the regular program. [Note 1: Prerequisite set by Department/Program when the topic and level are announced. Note 2: When a Department or Program intends to offer a course under this designation, it must submit course information, normally at least three months in advance, to the Dean. Note 3: Students may register for RELG 4991 more than once, provided the subject matter differs.] (Format: Variable)