2003/2004 Calendar
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RLG Religion Courses

| Course Winter Timetable |

First Year Seminar 52S

Undergraduate seminar that focuses on specific ideas, questions, phenomena or controversies, taught by a regular Faculty member deeply engaged in the discipline. Open only to newly admitted first year students. It may serve as a distribution requirement course; see page 40.

Major Religious Traditions, 52L, 26T

East and West
An introductory study of the ideas, attitudes, practices, and contemporary situation of the Judaic, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist, and Shinto religious traditions.
Exclusion: RLG280Y1

The Phenomenon of Religion 52L, 26T

Theories about the variety and nature of religious experience, personal and collective. How religious life is expressed in such forms as myth, narrative and ritual, systems of belief and value, morality and social institutions.

Aboriginal Religion 52L, 26T

A survey of spirits, indigenous rites, stories, visions, shamanic and healing practices. Canadian First Nations’ and Metis’ experiences placed in cross-cultural perspective First Nations’ and Metis’ spiritualities studied academically in the history of religions, anthropology, and stories.

The Jewish Religious Tradition 52L, 26T

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.

The Christian Religious Tradition 52L, 26T

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.

The Islamic Religious Tradition 52L, 26T

The faith and practice of Islam: historical emergence, doctrinal development, and interaction with various world cultures.
Exclusion: NMC185Y1

The Hindu Religious Tradition 52L, 26T

A historical and thematic introduction to the Hindu religious tradition as embedded in the socio-cultural structures of India.

The Buddhist Religious Tradition 52L, 26T

The teachings of the Buddha and the development, spread, and diversification of the Buddhist tradition from southern to northeastern Asia.

The Sikh Religious Tradition (formerly RLG364H1) 26L, 13T

Sikh religious teachings, practices and institutions; the founder, Guru Nanak, and the scripture, the Adi Granth; subsequent Gurus, other Sikh texts and the religious aspects of the history of the Sikh community in India and abroad.

The Jain Religious Tradition (formerly RLG365H1) 26L, 13T

Basic teachings and historical developments of the Jain religious tradition, with attention to Jain contributions to religious philosophy, ethics, religious biography, literature and the arts.

Introduction to the Sociology of Religion 52L, 26T

Religion from the sociological viewpoint; religion as the source of meaning, community and power; conversion and commitment; religious organization, movements, and authority; the relation of religion to the individual, sexuality and gender; conflict and change; religion and secularization. Emphasis on classical thinkers (Durkheim, Marx, Weber) and contemporary applications.
This is a Social Science course

Introduction to the Psychology of Religion 52L, 26T

A survey of the various psychological approaches to aspects of religion such as religious experience, doctrine, myth, ritual, community, ethics and human transformation. The historical place of introspective, psychoanalytic, humanistic and transpersonal methods in the psychology of religion.
This is a Social Science course

Introduction to the Anthropology of Religion 52L, 26T

Anthropological study of the supernatural in small-scale non-literate societies. A cross-cultural examination of systems of belief and ritual focusing on the relationship between spiritual beings and the cosmos as well as the rights and obligations which arise therefrom. Among the topics covered are: myth and ritual; shamanism and healing; magic, witchcraft and sorcery; divination; ancestor worship.
This is a Social Science course

Philosophical Responses to the Holocaust 26L

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.

Religious Ethics: The Jewish Tradition 26L, 13T

A brief survey of the Jewish biblical and rabbinic traditions; the extension of these teachings and methods of interpretation into the modern period; common and divergent Jewish positions on pressing moral issues today.

Religious Ethics: The Roman Catholic Tradition 26L, 13T

Reason, experience (the natural law tradition) and revelation as the bases for moral judgment; faith and morality; freedom of conscience and the Church’s claim to be a moral teacher; relevance to contemporary Catholic moral theology.

Religious Ethics: The Protestant Tradition 26L, 13T

The development of Protestant ethics since the Reformation. Gospel and law, love and justice, realism and perfectionism, moral norms and moral context, the personal, political, and economic orders.

Religious Ethics: The Environment 26L, 13T

The ethics and religious symbolism of environmental change: animal domestication and experimentation, deforestation, population expansion, energy use, synthetics, waste and pollution.

Religion and Literature 26L, 13T

The ways in which selected texts from a variety of cultures and times are linked both to specific religious traditions as well as to broader notions of what it means to be “religious.” Concepts to be treated may include identity, suffering, duty, class, individuality, community, tradition, innovation, loss, consolation, memory, time, beauty, creation, nature, feminism, and colonialism.

Religion and Science (formerly RLG 231Y1) 26L, 13T

The impact of the physical and social sciences on religion and religious thought. A comparative philosophical study of scientific and theological ways of analysis and of the status of scientific and religious assertions. Areas of cooperation and of conflict between the “two cultures.”
Exclusion: RLG231Y1, SMC230Y1

Religion and Film I 26L, 13T

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.

Religion and Film II 26L, 13T

Continued investigation into the relations between religion and film. Distinguished from RLG232H1 by the instructor.

Women and Eastern Religions 26L, 13T

A study of women in the religious traditions of South and East Asia, including historical developments, topical issues, and contemporary women’s movements.

Women and Western Religions (formerly RLG 237Y1) 26L, 3T

The social and legal status of women in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The historical and contemporary situation of women in these traditions.
Exclusion: RLG237Y1

Special Topics 26L

Some topic of central interest to students of religion, treated on a once-only basis by a professor visiting from another university. For details of this year’s offering, consult the Department’s current undergraduate handbook.

Early Christian Writings I 52L, 26T

An introduction to New Testament literature, examined within the historical context of the first two centuries. No familiarity with Christianity or the New Testament is expected.

Chinese Religions 26L, 13T

The religions and philosophies of China, including ancient religion and mythology, the three traditions of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism (including their philosophical dimensions), and Chinese popular religion.
Exclusion: RLG272Y1, 370Y1

Japanese and Korean Religions 26L, 13T

The religions of Japan (Shinto, Buddhism, Confucianism) and the religions of Korea (Confucianism, Buddhism, Shamanism).
Exclusion: RLG273Y1, 370Y1

World Religions: A Comparative Study 52L, 26T

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.
Exclusion: RLG100Y1
Prerequisite: Completion of 6 full course equivalents

Research Opportunity Program

Credit course for supervised participation in faculty research project. See page 40 for details.

Sigmund Freud on Religion 26L

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
This is a Social Science course

Carl Jung’s Theory of Religion 26L

Jung’s analysis of the development of the personality through its life cycle, and of the central place which religion holds within the process of maturation. The unconscious, the collective unconscious, dreams, myths, symbols, and archetypes; implications for religious thought, therapy, education, and definitions of community.
Prerequisite: RLG211Y1
This is a Social Science course

Evil and Suffering in the Psychology of Religion 26L, 13T

Problems of negative life experience and their relations to issues of meaning and personality development. Includes discussion of internal conflict and suffering in the experience of melancholia and the divided self, and the existential experiences of evil and suffering. Examines myth, symbol, and forms of religious discourse as responses to such crises.
Prerequisite: RLG211Y1
This is a Social Science course

Language, Symbols, Self 26L, 13T

Theories of the self that involve the constitutive role of language in its various forms. Problems of socially-conditioned worldviews and sense of self as related to discourse. Myth, symbol, metaphor, and literary arts as vehicles for personality development and self-transformation along religious lines.
Prerequisite: RLG211Y1
This is a Social Science course

Religion and Society in Canada (formerly RLG 307Y1) 26L, 13T

Sociological examination of religion in contemporary Canadian society: religions of English and French Canada; religious organization and demography; relation of religion to ethnicity, social questions and politics; secularization and privatization.
Exclusion: RLG307Y1
Prerequisite: RLG210Y1/an introductory course in sociology
This is a Social Science course

Religion, Morality and Law 52L, 26T

The relationships between religious and ethical norms, social and political ideals, and systems of law. The roots of Western legal concepts such as authority, duty, rights, and punishment in biblical and natural law tradition, and their counterparts in positive law theory. Church and State conflict in a philosophy of law context.
Prerequisite: three RLG or PHI/PHL half-courses and third year standing

Modern Atheism and the Critique of Religion (formerly RLG310Y1) 26L

Historical and critical-philosophical examination of the development of atheism in Western intellectual circles. Consideration of 18th, 19th and 20th century critiques of religion derived from: theories of knowledge that privilege science; radical social and political thought; and analysis of the soul and its symbol-systems. Authors include Hume, Marx, Bakunin, Nietzsche, and Freud.
Prerequisite: three RLG or PHI/PHL half-courses and third year standing

World Religions and Ecology 26S, 13T

A study of the responses of selected world religious traditions to the emergence of global ecological concerns. Key concepts and tenets of the traditions and their relevance for an examination of the environmental crisis.
Recommended preparation: RLG228H1

Faith and Reason: Barth, Ogden, Rahner 26S, 13T

Karl Barth, Schubert Ogden, and Rahner, three influential 20th century Christian thinkers, on how religious believing is related to critical thinking. Illustrations are drawn from their diverse accounts of God.
Exclusion: RLG313Y1
Prerequisite: three half courses in RLG, PHL or Christianity and Culture

Gender Issues in Religion 26L 13T

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.

Rites of Passage 26L, 13T

Analysis of rituals of transition form one social status to another (e.g., childbirth, initiation, weddings) from theoretical, historical and ethnographic perspectives. Particular attention is paid to the multi-religious North American environment, and to the importance of rites of passage in the construction of gendered identities.
Prerequisite: three half-courses in RLG or PHI/PHL

Classical Anthropological Theories of Religion 26S

An examination of the theories of religion developed by late 19th and 20th century anthropologists such as Taylor, Frazer, Durkheim, Freud, Van Gennep, Levi-Strauss, Douglas and Turner. Their ideas about systems of ritual and belief in small-scale, non-literate, kinship-based societies.
Recommended preparation: RLG201Y1
This is a Social Science course

Religious Violence and Nonviolence 26S, 13T

Religious violence and nonviolence as they emerge in the tension between strict adherence to tradition and individual actions of charismatic figures. The place of violence and nonviolence in selected faith traditions.
Recommended preparation: RLG100Y1/RLG280Y1

Judaism and Christianity in the Second Century 26L, 13T

Judaism and Christianity in the period from 70 C.E. to 200.CE. The course focuses on the relationship between the two religious groups, stressing the importance of the setting within the Roman Empire.
Prerequisite: RLG240Y1/RLG241Y1

Early Christian Writings II 26L, 13T

An introduction to the first and second century Christian writings. A survey of the surviving works and their historical contexts, close analysis of selected texts and an examination of what these sources tell us about the early Christian communities.
Prerequisite: RLG240Y1/RLG241Y1

Early Christian Gospels 26L, 13T

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)

Jesus of Nazareth 26L, 13T

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: RLG240Y1/RLG241Y1

Paul of Tarsus 26L, 13T

An examination of Paul’s life and thought as seen in the early Christian literature written by him (the seven undisputed letters), about him (the Acts of the Apostles, the Acts of Paul) and in his name (the six disputed NT letters).
Prerequisite: RLG240Y1/RLG241Y1

Visions and Revelations in Ancient Judaism and Christianity 26L, 13T

This course treats the major elements of the apocalyptic literary corpus and accompanying visionary experiences in ancient Judaism and Christianity. Contemporary theories on the function and origin of apocalyptic literature.
Prerequisite: RLG202Y1/RLG203Y1/240Y1/RLG241Y1 or permission of instructor

Roots of Early Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism 26L 13T

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.

God and Evil 26L

A study of some of the most important and influential attempts by Christians to reconcile their experience and understanding of evil with their purported experience and understanding of God. Selections from biblical writers, Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, Karl Barth, and Gustavo Gutierrez.
Prerequisite: Three half-courses in RLG, PHI/PHL or Christianity and Culture

Eastern Christianity 52L, 26T

The formation and development of distinctively Eastern traditions of Christianity. The history and major writers of Eastern Christianity up to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The development of the national Eastern Churches up through the modern period, and their particular contributions to the Eastern Christian tradition.

Protestant Thought (formerly RLG246Y1) 52L, 26T

The central ideas of Protestant Christianity from the 16th century reformers to their 20th century heirs: Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Edwards, Schleiermacher, Ritschl, Rauschenbusch, Barth, Tillich, Niebuhr, Moltmann. Analysis of pietism, orthodoxy, liberalism, fundamentalism, neo-orthodoxy, the contemporary situation.

World History of Modern Christianity, 1770s-1914 26S

Thoroughly cross-cultural study of how Christians across the world constructed the extraordinary variety of their religious life during the period when Christianity became by far the most widespread, the most diverse, and the most populous religion in world history. Emphasis on selected cultures on all continents.

World History of Modern Christianity, 1914-present 26S

Analysis of how Christians (i.e., one-third of the world’s population) have engaged large themes since the First World War: liturgy, migration, creedal change, the Holy Spirit, religious privatization and public life, denominations, war, inculturation, scripture, secularity, disintegration of empires, world capitalism, encounter with Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, indigenous religions, Judaism.

Roman Catholic Social Teaching 26S

Papal and episcopal documents dealing with social issues from Leo XIII (late 19th century) to John Paul II. Origins and development of Catholic social teaching; recent changes occasioned by anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggles.

Classical Jewish Theology 52S

A study of four great figures during critical moments in Jewish history, each of whom represents a turning point: Jeremiah (biblical era), Rabbi Akiva (rabbinic era), Moses Maimonides (medieval era), Franz Rosenzweig (modern era). Belief in God; Torah as law, teaching, tradition, revelation, eternity of Israel, meaning of Jewish suffering, problem of radical evil, history and messianism.
Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG202Y1/RLG221H1/RLG280Y1

Dreaming of Zion: Exile and Return in Jewish Thought 26L, 13T

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 section, and culminating in the ideas of modern Zionism, the course will examine a cross-section of Jewish thinkers- ancient, medieval, and modern.

Judaism in the Modern Age (formerly RLG244Y1) 52L, 26T

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

Kabbala: A History of Mystical Thought in Judaism 26L, 13T

A historical study of the Kabbala and the mystical tradition in Judaism, with emphasis on the ideas of Jewish mystical thinkers and movements.
Prerequisites: RLG100Y1/RLG202Y1/RLG280Y1

Antisemitism 26L, 26S

The religious and cultural roots of antisemitism and its manifestations in Western civilization: anti-Jewish aspects of pagan antiquity, the adversus Judaeos tradition in classical Christian theology; racist antisemitism in Europe (the Aryan myth); the rise of political antisemitism; the Nazi phenomenon, antisemitism in Canada and the United States.
Prerequisite: A 200-level course in Judaism or Christianity or Western history

Social Ecology and Judaism 26L

The environment and human society studied as systems of organization built for self-preservation. Such topics as vegetarianism and the humane treatment of animals, suicide and euthanasia, sustainability and recycling, explored from the perspective of Judaism.
Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG228H1/RLG280Y1/one course in Jewish Studies

Time and Place in Judaism 26L

The meaning of holy time and holy place, the physics and metaphysics of time and space within Judaism. Topics include the garden of Eden, the temple, the netherworld, the land of Israel, and exile; the sabbath and the week; the human experience of aging as fulfillment and failing.
Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG280Y1/one course in Jewish Studies

The Life of Muhammad 26S, 13T

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 Muhammad’s life. Issues include: relationship between Muhammad’s life and Qur’an teachings and the veneration of Muhammad.

The Qur’an: An Introduction 26L

The revelatory process and the textual formation of the Qur’an, its pre-eminent orality and its principal themes and linguistic forms; the classical exegetical tradition and some contemporary approaches to its interpretation.
Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG204Y1/224H1/RLG280Y1/NMC185Y1

Islam in Religious Interaction 26L

Aspects of the relationship of Islam with other religions and cultures. Topics treated may include attention to both the medieval and the modern periods as well as to contemporary challenges faced by Muslim populations in Europe and North America.
Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG204Y1/224H1/RLG280Y1/NMC185Y1

Hindu Myth 26S

Readings in Vedic, Pauranic, Tantric and folk myths; traditional Hindu understandings of myth; recent theories of interpretation, e.g. those of Levi-Strauss, Eliade, Ricoeur, applied to Hindu myths.
Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG205Y1/RLG280Y1

Hindu Ritual 26L

Hindu ritual in its Vedic, Pauranic, Tantric, and popular forms; the meaning that ritual conveys to its participants and the relation of ritual to Hindu mythology and to social context.
Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG205Y1/RLG280Y1

Modern Hinduism 26L 13T

The development of modern Hindu religious thought in the contexts of colonialism, dialogue with “the West” and the secular Indian state.

Classical Hindu Philosophy 26L 13T

A study of six classical schools of Hindu philosophy, focusing on the key issues of the Self, the Real, karma and ethics.

Buddhism in East Asia 26L, 13T

The schools of Buddhism in East Asia, with focus on two principal ones: Ch’an (Zen) and Pure Land. Readings in translation from their basic sutras.
Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG206Y1/RLG280Y1

Comparative Mysticism 26S

A comparative examination of Christian (Latin and Orthodox), Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist, Hindu and Islamic mystical traditions.

Pluralism and Dialogue 26S

The contemporary phenomenon of religious pluralism: its historical emergence, social context and intellectual justifications. Achievements, techniques and outstanding issues in inter-religious dialogue.
Prerequisite: RLG100Y1/RLG280Y1

Religion and Film: The British and Continental Experience 52L, 26P

An examination through film of the relationship between religion, politics and culture in the British and European context. Special attention is given to such topics as church-state conflict, secularization, the decline of empires, decolonization, war, and multiculturalism.

Religions of Non-Literate Societies 52L, 26P

This course explores the nature of religion in societies whose main traditions are orally encoded. Emphasis will be placed on the peoples and cultures of Oceania in terms both of ethnography and of various theories about how to understand religion in small scale, kinship-based societies without written traditions.
Exclusion: RLG318Y1
Prerequisite: RLG212Y1 or 2nd year Social/Cultural Anthropology Course

Special Topics I 26L, 13P

Special Topics II 26L, 13P

Independent Experiential Study Project

An instructor-supervised group project in an off-campus setting. See page 40 for details.

Independent Studies

Intensive programs of study including site visits and lectures in areas of religious significance abroad. Preparatory work expected, together with paper or assignments upon return.
(Y1 course: 4 weeks minimum; H course: 2 weeks minimum)

Advanced Topics: Religions West I


Advanced Topics: Religions West II


Advanced Topics: Religions West III


Advanced Topics: Religions West IV


Advanced Topics: Religions East I


Advanced Topics: Religions East II


Advanced Topics: Christian Origins I


Advanced Topics: Christian Origins II


Advanced Topics: Christian Origins III


Advanced Topics: Religion, Ethics and Society I


Advanced Topics: Religion, Ethics and Society II


Advanced Topics: Modern Religious Thought I


Advanced Topics: Modern Religious Thought II


Individual Studies


Individual Studies


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