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Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies, Faculty of Arts

RELG: Religious Studies

Not all courses are offered every year. For current listings, consult the departmental website at:

RELG 101 (3) Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Religious Traditions
An overview of the foundational texts, histories, and contemporary expressions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Key concepts and approaches used in the study of religion.
RELG 102 (3) Introduction to Religions in Asia
A survey of religious traditions of Asia, including communities, professionals, practices and beliefs of small-scale and large-scale societies. Approaches and theories drawn from the field of religious studies.
Equivalency: ASIA 110.
RELG 201 (3) Near Eastern and Biblical Mythology
An introduction to the world of Near Eastern mythology, from the Gilgamesh Epic to the Book of Genesis and beyond.
RELG 203 (3) Scriptures of the Near East
An introduction to the scriptures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
RELG 204 (6) Introduction to Asian Religions
The religions of India, China, and Japan in their interactions and cultural contexts, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shinto.
Equivalency: ASIA 204.
RELG 206 (3) Introduction to Judaism and its Texts
What is Judaism? An overview of the key texts that have defined the Jewish religion, from the Hebrew Bible through works of contemporary thinkers. Recommended as a basis for upper-level courses in religious studies.
RELG 207 (3) Classical Islam
The history and culture, values, and achievements of Islamic societies from 700-1500; the interconnections between power, politics, gender, and the arts in Islamic societies. This course is highly recommended as a basis for all 300- and 400-level Islamic Studies courses.
Equivalency: ASIA 207.
RELG 208 (3) Modern Islam
The history and culture, values, and socio-political movements of the Islamic world from 1500 to the modern day; the interconnections between power, politics, gender, and the arts in modern Islamic societies. This course is highly recommended as a basis for all 300- and 400-level Islamic Studies courses.
Equivalency: ASIA 206.
RELG 209 (3) Eden to Exile: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
An overview of the Hebrew Bible ("Old Testament"), with emphasis on its ancient Near Eastern context; its competing religious perspectives; and its limits as a historical source.
RELG 210 (3) History of Christianity I (1st C. C.E. - 14th C. C.E.)
An introduction to the history of Christianity from the post-Biblical period to the colonial expansion of Christianity under Spain and Portugal.
RELG 211 (3) History of Christianity II (15th C. C.E. - present)
The history of Christianity from the Reformation to the present day. Provides an historical overview of Christian thought and its institutions and significant people during the rise of the Reformation in various locales of Europe and beyond (Germany, France, Great Britain, Switzerland, and Scandinavia).
RELG 302 (3) Death and Afterlife in Western Religious Tradition
A survey of traditional attitudes toward death and beliefs regarding human existence after death in Western religions.
RELG 305 (3) The Prophetic Personality in Ancient Israel
An exploration of the unique phenomenon of the biblical prophet in its wider Near Eastern context.
RELG 306 (3) Archaeology and the Bible
The impact of archaeological research on understanding the history and religion of ancient Israel.
RELG 307 (3) Sex, Lies, and Violence in the Hebrew Bible
An exploration of the Bible's "dark side," with emphasis on texts that center on sex, deceit, and murder.
RELG 308 (3) Talmud, Midrash and the Rabbinic Imagination
The Talmud, Midrash, and other late-antique (3rd - 7th centuries) rabbinic writings, focusing on biblical interpretation and narratives.
RELG 309 (3) Jews and Christians
Aspects of Jewish-Christian relations from the beginnings of Christianity to the present day. Emphasis on the study of Christian and Jewish texts in translation.
RELG 310 (3) Jewish Responses to Catastrophe
Topics include the destruction of the Second Temple, the Crusades, the expulsions from Spain and Portugal, and the Holocaust. A study of texts in translation.
RELG 311 (3) Jewish Literature in Translation
A survey of Jewish literature in medieval and modern times.
RELG 312 (3) Jews and Judaism in Canada
The history of the Jewish community in Canada, from New France to the present. Emphasis on the relationship between immigration and religious transformation, Jewish-Christian relations, the development of community structures.
RELG 313 (3) Modern Jewish Ethics in Historical Perspective
Readings from key texts in English translation, tracing how Jewish approaches to ethical issues evolved from biblical times to the present.
RELG 315 (6) History of Christian Thought
Selected topics with special emphasis on doctrinal change and development, orthodoxy and heresy, tradition and authority, and Church and State in the Patristic, Medieval, Reformation, and Modern periods.
RELG 316 (3) The Origins of Christianity: Literary Contexts
The origins of Christianity as reflected in the New Testament and contemporaneous literature.
RELG 317 (3) The Origins of Christianity: Social, Religious, and Political Milieux
The origins of Christianity as reflected in early Christian literature of the first and early second centuries (including the New Testament).
RELG 321 (3/6) d Prophetic Figures in the Christian Tradition
Examined in their historical context and in terms of their continuing significance. Selection will vary from year to year, but may include Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, and Teresa of Avila.
RELG 323 (6) Christianity in the Modern World
The interaction between Christianity and the major intellectual, social, and cultural developments since 1648 with special attention to the expansion of Christianity and its encounter with urban industrial society.
RELG 328 (3) Medieval Philosophy
Survey of Western European thought from Augustine to the fourteenth century. Possible topics and authors include: Augustine; Abelard; the influence of Islam; the rediscovery of Aristotle; Aquinas; Scotus; Ockham.
Equivalency: PHIL 313.
RELG 330 (3) The Origins of Judaism
Surveys the history of Jews and Judaism in the Second Temple era, from the destruction of the First Jerusalem Temple (586 B.C.E.) to the beginnings of the rabbinic movement (200 C.E.).
RELG 331 (3) Medieval Jewish History
The political, social, economic, and cultural history of the Jews from the time of the Christianization of the Roman Empire to the expulsion of professing Jews from Spain and Portugal at the end of the fifteenth century.
RELG 332 (3) Modern Jewish History
The political, social, economic, and cultural history of the Jews from the beginning of the sixteenth century to the present, with special emphasis on changing attitudes to Jews and Judaism, and social and cultural transformations.
RELG 335 (3) Jewish Law
History, sources, theoretical issues and current state of research about early Jewish legal traditions, focusing on close readings of classic primary texts in English translations.
RELG 365 (3) Daoist (Taoist) Religion and Its Philosophical Background
A study of the Daoist religious traditions from their beginnings in the second century C.E. in cultural, intellectual and social contexts.
Equivalency: ASIA 381.
RELG 366 (3) Buddhism in China
History, thought and practices of Chinese Buddhism from its beginnings until the twentieth century.
Equivalency: ASIA 382.
RELG 370 (6) Concepts and Methods in the Study of Religion
Required of Major and Honours students in their third year. Open to others by permission of the instructor.
RELG 385 (3) Mystical Traditions: Jewish and Christian
Methodology, textual study and scholarly analysis of selected texts from these traditions.
RELG 407 (3) Topics in Early Judaism
Judaism and Hellenism, the rise of the synagogue, Jewish sects, the development of Mishnah and Talmud.
RELG 408 (3) Topics in Medieval Judaism
The work of Maimonides and other Jewish philosophers, early developments in Jewish mysticism, the Jews as a minority culture in Islamic and Christian lands.
RELG 409 (3) Topics in Modern Judaism
The Jews in the ghetto culture, Hasidism, the Emancipation, Reform, Orthodox, and Conservative Movements.
RELG 414 (3) The Gospels and the Historical Jesus
The canonical and apocryphal gospels and the life and teachings of the historical Jesus.
RELG 415 (3) The Life and Thought of Paul of Tarsus
The life and literature of Paul in the Roman imperial world: letter writing, patronage and power; Roman imperial iconography; Paul and community formation.
RELG 420 (6) Religion in Canada
An examination of Canadian religious development with special reference to the separation of church and state, the rise of denominationalism and religious pluralism, secularization and ecumenicity, and the emergence of new religious movements.
RELG 448 (3) Seminar in the History of the Religion of Islam
A topic relevant to the study of Islam as a religion: e.g., the text and doctrines of the Qur'an; the Hadith (or Traditions) of the Prophet; Islamic Law; mysticism in Islam; the Shi'ah and the Isma'ilis. Not offered every year. Consult the departmental brochure for the topic to be offered.
RELG 452 (6) Readings in Hindu Religious Texts
Representative texts, in translation, of the Vedic, Epic, Puranic, Classical, Medieval, and Modern periods. Emphasis in the second term on texts of particular periods, movements, or sects, depending on the students' needs and interests. Those with the necessary preparation may read some texts in the original languages. This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading.
RELG 475 (3/6) d Topics in Religion
Consult the course registration information each year for offered topics. This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading.
RELG 479 (3/6) c Directed Studies
Reading and, where appropriate, other research on a topic arising in the discipline, arranged by agreement between the student and the instructor. This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading.
RELG 480 (3/6) d Women and Religion
A study of the roles of women in the literature of one or more religious traditions.
RELG 485 (3) Images of Eve
The story of Adam and Eve, and its influence on the role and image of women in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
RELG 500 (3-12) d Topics in Biblical Studies
Studies in the history, literature, canon and text, and the religious thought of the Old and New Testaments. This includes the study of the cultural and religious milieu out of which these documents arose. Such studies require a competence in the canonical languages (Biblical Hebrew and/or Koine Greek), usually achieved by not less than two years of study. This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading.
RELG 502 (3-12) d Topics in Judaism
Studies in the texts (in translation), history, and religious thought of Judaism after the close of the Biblical Period. This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading.
RELG 503 (3-12) d Topics in the Post-Biblical Christian Tradition
Studies in post-Biblical history, documents, and religious ideas of the Christian tradition. Depending on the area of concentration, language requirements include either Latin or Greek and a reading knowledge of French or German. This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading.
RELG 531 (3) Graduate Seminar
This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading.
RELG 649 (0) Doctoral Dissertation

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