Offered this year

Fall 2021

RCS 200: Greek and Roman Mythology

Instructor: TBA

Study of Greek and Roman myths, in the context of the culture and thought of Greece and Rome. Uses literary and artistic sources to establish and analyze the nature and function of myths in these cultures. Topics include the gods, heroes, local myths, political and cultural uses of myths and the origins of the influence of Greek and Roman myths on European culture.

* This course is cross-listed with GRS 200.


RCS 200B: Introduction to Asian Religions

Instructor: Dr. Martin Adam

A survey of the sources, beliefs and practices of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and the Chinese religions. The traditions are studied in their cultural and political contexts from both historical and contemporary perspectives.

*This course is cross-listed with PAAS 204


RCS 337B: Reformation and Religious War in Europe

Instructor: Dr. Sara Beam

Examination of the religious, political and social factors that led to the breakdown of medieval Christianity in the West and to the foundation of the modern Catholic and Protestant faiths.

*This course is cross-listed with HSTR 337B


RCS 382: Greek and Roman Religion

Survey of Greek and Roman religious thought and practices. Focuses on conventional religious rituals and their social value, and on the success of Greek and Roman polytheism in adapting to changing historical and social circumstances. Particular attention to mystery religions, including Christianity, and their relationship to conventional forms of religious behaviour.


RCS 401: Selected topics in Religious Studies

Topic: Towards an understanding of Antisemitism

Instructor: Dr. Shamma Boyarin

An exploration of antisemitism – including different attempts to define it, case studies of historical examples, and contemporary questions. The course will not aim to provide a simple definition or answers to difficult questions- but help them understand why these questions are difficult and an array of ways people have sought to answer them.

* This course is cross-listed with GMST 410.


RCS 464: The Bible and Literature in English

Instructor: Dr. Christopher Douglas

The relationship between the Bible and the canon of literature in English, and especially intertextual relationships between biblical and literary texts. Topics include the history of biblical translation, the Bible and popular culture, the combination of biblical and classical mythologies in the creation of Western cultural ideals, the impact of biblical interpretation on literary theory. May include literary works by Shakespeare, Milton, Melville, Faulkner, Atwood.

 

*This course is cross-listed with ENGL 464 

 

Spring 2022

RCS 200: Greek and Roman Mythology

Instructor: TBA

Study of Greek and Roman myths, in the context of the culture and thought of Greece and Rome. Uses literary and artistic sources to establish and analyze the nature and function of myths in these cultures. Topics include the gods, heroes, local myths, political and cultural uses of myths and the origins of the influence of Greek and Roman myths on European culture.

*This course is cross-listed with GRS 200


RCS 200A A01: Introduction to Judaism, Christianity and Islam 

Instructor: TBA

An introductory survey of the sources, beliefs and practices of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The traditions are studied in their cultural and political contexts from both historical and contemporary perspectives.


RS 260: The Bible as Literature

Instructor: Dr. Christopher Douglas

Surveys basic stories and books in the Old and New Testaments (including Genesis, Exodus, 1 and 2 Kings, Job, Song of Songs, Psalms, Isaiah, select minor prophets, the Gospels, Acts, select Pauline epistles, Hebrews and Revelations). Focus on the intrinsic literary features of the biblical books themselves. Aims to familiarize students with important biblical stories, genres and references in literature and religious discourse.

*This course is cross-listed with ENGL 260.


RCS 305: Magic, Mysticism and the Occult

Instructor: Martin Adam

A study of nature and significance of mystical phenomena and experience from a Religious Studies perspective with emphasis on the philosophical issues raised.


RS 311: Gandhi and the Ethics of Nonviolence

Instructor: Martin Adam

Centres upon the life and teachings of Mohandas K. Gandhi. Examines Gandhi's religious thought with regard to ideals of nonviolence (ahimsā) and truth (satya), as well as his attempts to realize these principles in the personal, social and political spheres. Also covers a number of religious and political figures with comparable views, including B. R. Ambedkar, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Krishnamurti, Thich Nhat Hanh, Aung San Suu Kyi and the Dalai Lama.

*This course is cross-listed with PAAS 367.


RCS 450: Capstone Seminar

Instructor: Dr. Paul Bramadat

Graduating Major's research project consisting of readings and assignments based on what has been learned from the academic study of religion in the program and focused on the relationship of religion and society. Designed to develop as well as measure the student's integration of the various aspects of the discipline of Religious Studies.


 

RCS 380: Religion and the Making of the Modern Middle East

Instructor:  Dr. Andrew Wender

Examines the modern historical contexts within which various religions (e.g., Islam, Judaism, Christianity) and denominations (e.g., Sunni, Shi'a) have overlapped with, and been mobilized by state as well as non-state actors across the broader region. Comparative study of relevant developments within key countries (e.g., Arab states, Israel, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan), as well as with respect to aspiring nationalist communities (e.g., Palestinians, Kurds) and political or social movements (e.g., Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, ISIS).

*This course is cross-listed with HSTR 380.


RS 384: Religion in the United States

Instructor: Dr. Norm Fennema

Explores spirituality and organized religion in the United States, from the Indigenous encounters with the Puritans to today. Focuses on the tension between religion and American expansionism, slavery and war, the emergence of religious freedom and ongoing negotiation of separation of church and state. Explores the reasons for the vibrancy and complexity of American religion, its role in shaping American social policy and the centrality of race and ethnicity in American religion and identity.

*This course is cross-listed with HSTR 310E.