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					Religion
The study of religion, and Christianity in particular, has been a foundational part of Bishop’s mission
since the University’s establishment in the mid-nineteenth century. Today, as a department in the
Humanities division, we offer a broad range of courses in three major categories.
    Courses in “Biblical Studies” invite students to become familiar with the sacred texts of the Jewish
and Christian traditions, to examine the historical and cultural contexts of their origin and
development, and to acquaint themselves with the critical, analytical, theoretical and historical tools
for inquiry into these texts.
    “World Religions” courses offer a knowledge of the sacred texts, traditions, rituals, beliefs and
practices of the world’s major religions. Students will come to appreciate the richness and depth that
characterize these religions, which have elicited devotion from persons in every time and place.
    The courses in the third category, “Approaches, Perspectives and Expressions,” reflect the fact that
religions and religious life do not exist in a vacuum, but are linked to other aspects of human life,
including philosophical thought, psychological, social, political, and economic dimensions, and
literature and fine arts.
    Because religions have significantly influenced, and been influenced by, the political, artistic,
intellectual, social, and economic life of cultures throughout history, the academic study of religion is
an interdisciplinary pursuit. Students taking an Honours or Major program in Religion are
encouraged to take courses in other, related fields, and conversely, students in other disciplines are
welcomed in Religion courses in order to round out their understanding of their areas of
concentration.
    Persons may study religion to prepare for their chosen vocation or for graduate study. While this
may be in anticipation of some form of ministry or teaching, it is not uncommon for students
planning on entering other professions — social work, law, theatre, music, business, etc. — to study
religion in order to enhance their vocational and personal life.

The Program:
Honours: Students usually take the Religion Honours program if they plan to pursue graduate work.
For an Honours degree, 60 credits in Religion, with an average of at least 70% as calculated from the
best 60 credits in the program (including cognates), is required. Students have the option of writing
an Honours thesis in their final year.
Major: 48 credits in Religion.
Minor: 24 credits in Religion.
Honours and Majors are also required to fulfill the following minimum distribution requirements (36
credits; see the course lists for course descriptions):
Biblical Studies:       12 credits consisting of: 112a, 118a, 214b, 215b, 218a, 219b
World Religions:        12 credits, including: Rel100a and Rel101b, plus 6 credits from: 124a, 125b,
                        126a, 127b
Approaches, Perspectives and Expressions:
                        12 credits, including: 232a and 233b
                        OR
                        330a and 331b

Religion Concentrations in Liberal Arts
Liberal Arts students can choose any of three Religion Concentrations. In addition to meeting the
requirements for the Liberal Arts Major, the specific requirements for a Religion Concentration
within Liberal Arts are a total of 36 credits in Religion, of which a minimum of 24 credits must
consist of courses selected from the appropriate list below.
Concentration: The Judaic and Christian Traditions
(select minimum of 8 courses)
100   Introduction to Religion I
101   Introduction to Religion II
112   Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
118   From Creation to Covenant:
         The First Five Books of the Bible
126   World Religions V: Judaism
214   Israelite Mythology and Cultic Practice
215   History and Legend in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
218   Early Christian Literature I
219   Early Christian Literature II
232   Philosophy of Religion I
233   Philosophy of Religion II
256   History of Christianity
257   History of Christianity II
252   Christian Thought I
253   Christian Thought II

Concentration: World Religions
(select minimum of 8 courses)
100   Introduction to Religion I
101   Introduction to Religion II
112   Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
118   From Creation to Covenant:
         The First Five Books of the Bible
122   World Religions I: Ancient Mediterranean Religions
124   World Religions III: Hinduism
125   World Religions IV: Buddhism
126   World Religions V: Judaism
127   World Religions VI: Islam
239   The Origins of Religion and Spiritualism in Ancient Times
256   History of Christianity
257   History of Christianity II

Concentration: Religion and Culture
(select minimum of 8 courses)
100   Introduction to Religion I
101   Introduction to Religion II
112   Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
124   World Religions III: Hinduism
125   World Religions IV: Buddhism
126   World Religions V: Judaism
127   World Religions VI: Islam
146   Women in Religion
148   Psychology of Religion
149   Sociology of Religion
200   Religion and Politics
207   Religion and Sex
214   Israelite Mythology and Cultic Practice
215   History and Legend in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
236   Death and Dying in the Ancient World
237   Religion and Film
RELIGION COURSES
Biblical Studies
112a Introduction to the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament
114a Biblical Hebrew I
115b Biblical Hebrew II
118a From Creation to Covenant: First Five Books of the Bible
214b Israelite Mythology and Cultic Practice
215b History and Legend in the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament
218a Early Christian Literature I
219b Early Christian Literature II
311b Advanced Study in Biblical Texts
328a Christian Origins I
329b Christian Origins II

World Religions
100a   Introduction to Religion I
101b   Introduction to Religion II
122a   World Religions I: Ancient Mediterranean Religions
123b   World Religions II: Christianity
124a   World Religions III: Hinduism
125b   World Religions IV: Buddhism
126a   World Religions V: Judaism
127b   World Religions VI: Islam

Approaches, Perspectives and Expressions
107a   Introduction to Biblical Archaeology
109a   Egypt and Mesopotamia: From the Rise of Civilization to the Persian Conquest
116    Archaeology in the Holy Land (Summer course in Jordan)
146a   Women in Religion
148a   Psychology of Religion
149b   Sociology of Religion
207    Religion and Sex
232a   Philosophy of Religion
233b   Philosophy of Religion II
236a   Death and Dying in the Ancient World
237a   Religion and Film
252a   Christian Thought I
253b   Christian Thought II
256a   History of Christianity
257b   History of Christianity II
330a   Issues and Problems in Religion I
331b   Issues and Problems in Religion II

Independent Studies
300a Independent Studies I
301b Independent Studies II
402f Honours Thesis
BIBLICAL STUDIES
Religion 112a Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament 3-3-0
An introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and to its modern study. The course will acquaint students with the books,
characters, themes, narratives, and history of the Hebrew Bible.
Professor Miller
Religion 114a Biblical Hebrew I            3-3-0
Introduction to biblical Hebrew grammar, and reading of simple texts.
Professor Miller
Religion 115b Biblical Hebrew II         3-3-0
More advanced biblical Hebrew grammatical concepts, and study of more involved texts.
Professor Miller
Religion 118a From Creation to Covenant:
           The First Five Books of the Bible          3-3-0
An introduction to the first five books of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and
Deuteronomy) and to their modern study. The course will acquaint students with the characters, themes, and narratives of these
foundational books, known collectively as the Torah/Pentateuch.
Professor Miller
Religion 214b Israelite Mythology and Cultic Practice 3-3-0
An examination of mythology and cultic practices within Israelite society, as reflected in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.
Extra-biblical texts and archaeological evidence will be used to contextualize the biblical material. Topics include: Creation,
the origin of evil, monotheism and polytheism, goddess worship, magic, and human sacrifice.
Professor Miller


Religion 215b History and Legend in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament                  3-3-0
An examination of historical accounts concerning the Israelites in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, with a view to assessing
their historicity (i.e., historical authenticity). Extra-Biblical texts and archaeological evidence will be used to contextualize the
biblical material and to evaluate its claims. Topics include: the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), Joseph in Egypt, the
Exodus, the Israelite settlement in Canaan, David and Goliath, and the United Monarchy under David and Solomon.
Professor Miller
Religion 218a Early Christian Literature I 3-3-0
A seminar which introduces early gospels (both canonical and non-canonical), examined within the historical context of the
Graeco-Roman world during the first and second centuries CE. Distinctive features and characteristics of each text will be
examined in order to gain insight into their historical, social and political environments.
Professor Murray
Religion 219b Early Christian Literature II 3-3-0
A seminar which examines the life and teachings of Paul as reflected in the early Christian literature likely written by him, in
his name and about him. Through investigation of the distinctive characteristics of the texts, insight will be gained into Paul’s
views on justification, faith, the Jewish law, the Jewish people, the role of women in the early church, and upon his impact on
the emergence of Christianity in the Roman Empire.
Professor Murray
Religion 311b Advanced Study in Biblical Texts            3-3-0
Close study of selected biblical texts with special reference to context and reinterpretation.
A seminar course
Religion 328a Christian Origins I              3-3-0
This seminar course surveys the diverse portraits of Jesus of Nazareth reflected in early Christian literature, in the modern
scholarly quest for the historical Jesus, and in film. The social and cultural forces that forged the earliest images of Jesus will
be examined.
Prerequisite: REL218a OR 219b or permission of the instructor.
Professor Murray
Religion 329b Christian Origins II           3-3-0
A seminar which explores a variety of Christian and Jewish texts in order to understand the complex relationship between
Judaism and Christianity, within the broader historical context of the Roman Expire.
Prerequisite: REL218a OR 219b or permission of the instructor.
Professor Murray


WORLD RELIGIONS
Religion 100a Introduction to Religion I     3-3-0
An introduction to the academic study of religion, focusing on Western religious traditions (Zoroastrianism, Judaism,
Christianity and Islam). In addition to addressing the historical evolution, religious practices, writings, fundamental concepts,
beliefs and cultural expressions of each of these traditions, the course will also consider methodological issues pertaining to the
study of religion as an academic discipline.
Professor Miller
Religion 101b Introduction to Religion II 3-3-0
An introduction to the academic study of religion, focusing on Eastern religious traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism,
Sikhism, and Shinto). In addition to addressing the historical evolution, religious practices, writings, fundamental concepts,
beliefs and cultural expressions of each of theses traditions, the course will also consider methodological issues pertaining to
the study of religion as an academic discipline.
Professor Miller
Religion 122a World Religions I: Ancient Mediterranean Religions             3-3-0
An introduction to Mediterranean religions from the time of Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE) to the emergence of
Christianity as a prominent Roman religion in the late second century CE, including Mystery religions, Zoroastrianism,
Judaism, Mithraism, popular philosophical expressions of piety such as Stoicism and Epicurianism, as well as different forms
of divination such as astrology, magic, dream analysis and alchemy.
Professor Murray
Religion 123b World Religions II: Christianity              3-3-0
An introduction to Christianity as a religious system: a survey of its foundational myths and figures, religious and moral
teachings, rituals, sacred texts and places and attitudes toward other religions.


Religion 124a World Religions III: Hinduism            3-3-0
A study of Hinduism in its infinite variety from earliest times to the present. Topics include: the Indus-Valley Civilization;
early Vedic religion, its myths and gods; the Upanishads; Brahmanism; the Ramayana and the Bhagavad Gita; caste and
religion; worship; Vaishnavism, Saivism and the mother goddess.
Religion 125b World Religions IV: Buddhism          3-3-0
The origins of Buddhism in its native India and its spread throughout many countries of the East. The relationship of
Buddhism to Hinduism and Jainism; the development of the Order, principal teachings and practices; meditation; ritual; study
of major writings; modern developments.
Religion 126a World Religions V: Judaism 3-3-0
An introduction to the history, literature, ideas and practices of Judaism from its biblical origins to the present. Topics include:
the major festivals and high, holy days; Torah and Talmud, mitzvah and midrash; philosophers of Judaism; kabbalah and the
mystical tradition; Temples and synagogues; Rabbinic Judaism; Orthodox, Conservative and Reform; dietary and religious
practices; women and the rabbinate; rites of passage; the Holocaust; Judaism and Israel; messianism.
Religion 127b World Religions VI: Islam 3-3-0
The history, literature, ideas and practices of Islam from its origins to the present. Attention is focussed on pre-Islamic Arabia;
the life, example and practices of the Prophet; Muhommad the Qur’an; the caliphate and the umma; Sunnah and Hadith; the
Five Pillars; worship; the Shariah, Sufism and the mystical tradition; Sunni and Shica; women in Islam; art and architecture in
Islam; Islam and modernity.
Religion 239b The Origins of Religion and Spiritualism in Ancient Times       3-3-0
This course will trace the development of spiritual and religious beliefs from the Upper Paleolithic period (Old Stone Age)
through the origins of seed agriculture and animal domestication in the Neolithic period, to the rise of cities and civilization
about 5000 years ago. The course will begin by discussing the nature of spiritualism and religion, and then continue with an
overview of the evidence for the spiritual and religious and practices of our more recent ancient hominid ancestors, Homo
sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens sapiens. The last part of the course will concentrate on the way religious beliefs
changed from the time of Stone Age hunters and gatherers, who lacked writing and worshiped in natural settings, to the first
urban dwellers who worshipped in shrines and great temples and were able to record their religious beliefs and practices.


APPROACHES, PERSPECTIVES AND EXPRESSIONS
Religion/Classical Studies 107a
            Introduction to Biblical Archaeology       3-3-0
This course is an introduction to the methods and terminology of archaeology used in the eastern Mediterranean region of
Syria-Palestine. Students will gain some familiarity with the methods and techniques of archaeological research, and an
overview will be provided of the material remains of the cultures of Syria-Palestine (including the ancient Israelites,
Philistines, Canaanites, Moabites and others), in order to illuminate the religious beliefs, art and cultural activities of these
groups in the centuries preceding the Christian era.
Religion/Classical Studies 109a
           Egypt and Mesopotamia: From the
           Rise of Civilization to the Persian Conquest 3-3-0
The region of Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) saw the development of the first complex urban society more than 5000 years ago.
About the same time, a second complex society, Egypt, was forming along the banks of the Nile River in Africa. Employing a
mixture of historical texts and archaeological research, this course will give an overview of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia
covering the time from the Neolithic Period (ca. 8500 BCE) to the Persian conquest in the sixth century BCE. It will begin
with the formation of the first civilizations, the development of agriculture, writing, cities and major building projects in the
form of temples and pyramids. In addition to examining the lives and political careers of important historical characters, the
course will also explore the religious beliefs, and techniques of astronomy, medicine and warfare prevalent at the time.
Religion 116 (Classical Studies 241ab)
            Archaeology in the Holy Land:
            Archaeological Field Methods 6-6-0
Students registered in this course will participate in a six-week archaeological expedition to Jordan. Working under the
supervision of professional archaeologists, students will be involved in the excavation and recording of artifacts recovered at
Khirbat al-Mudayna, Jordan as part of the Wadi Ath-Thamad Excavation Project. Students will learn to take elevations, draw
top plans and baulk sections, write daily, and weekly field reports, and related activities. During the season, students will take
part in the educational program of the expedition, which will include seminars, lectures by visiting scholars on the archaeology
and history of Jordon, plus field trips to museums, neighbouring excavations and major sites.
Religion 146a Women in Religion                3-3-0
An investigation of the religious lives of early pagan, Jewish and Christian women in the context of the Graeco-Roman world.
Literary and epigraphical sources from the fourth century BCE to the third century CE are analyzed in order to determine
women’s roles, rites and practices, with special attention to constructions of gender in the Graeco-Roman world.
Professor Murray
Religion 148a Psychology of Religion       3-3-0
An introduction to major theoretical approaches to the psychological understanding of religion: pragmatism (James),
Psychoanalysis (Freud, Jung, Erikson) and Humanism (Allport, Maslow).
Professor White
Religion 149b Sociology of Religion          3-3-0
An introduction to the understanding of religion as a social phenomenon: a discussion of the views of Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl
Marx, Emil Durkheim, Max Weber, Peter Berger and Robert Bellah.
Professor White
Religion 200b Religion and Politics         3-3-0
This course examines the intersection between extremist religious beliefs and political power, predominantly but not
exclusively those cases in which violence and serious conflict have arisen. Possible topics include radical Zionist settlers in the
West Bank, violent Hindu nationalism in India, Christian evangelicals in the United States, Islamist organizations (e.g., Al-
Qaeda), the Japanese apocalyptic group Aum Shinrikyo, and the quest to establish Khalistan (an independent homeland in
India) by militant Sikhs.
Religion 207 Religion and Sex 3-3-0
The aim of this course is to provide an overview of topics in which issues of sex and sexuality intersect with particular eastern
and western religious traditions. The course is selective rather than comprehensive. Topics that could be covered include the
following: menstruation and early sexuality; heterosexuality; contraception; homosexuality; same sex marriage; celibacy;
asexuality; sex and the sacred, etc. Attitudes, traditions, and regulations pertaining to these topics will be explored from
various religious perspectives through readings and films.
Prerequisite: REL100 or 101 or approval of instructor
Religion 232a Philosophy of Religion I        3-3-0
The subject matter of this course consists of philosophical arguments for the existence of God. Lectures and discussions will be
based on original texts (in translation): Aquinas’ five proofs and the ontological argument in its classical (Anselm) and modern
formulations. The modern and much debated argument from design will also be discussed. The class will also learn the
standard critiques of those arguments by Hume, Kant, and others. If time allows, this will be followed by an analysis of the
problem of evil as counting against belief in the existence of God.
Professor White
Religion 233b Philosophy of Religion II     3-3-0
The course focusses on two issues: (1) the problem of evil – if there is a God who is perfectly good and loving, omnipotent,
and omniscient, why do people suffer?; and (2) the problems of religious knowledge, understanding and discourse – what, if
anything, can one know of God, is talk of God meaningful and, if so, how? How might religious texts be interpreted and
understood? Subjects include the classical theory of analogy, modern empiricism, contextual semantics, and recent
hermeneutical (interpretation) theory.
Professor White
Religion 236b Death and Dying in the Ancient World 3-3-0
This course explores the myths, rituals and beliefs associated with death and dying in antiquity. Topics to be covered include
myths associated with the afterlife; books of the dead; magic and death rituals; and understandings of heaven, hell and
judgement.
Prerequisite: Religion 100a or 101b or 122a or permission of instructor
Professor Murray
Religion 237a Religion and Film               3-3-0
This course employs film to study religion, and religion to study film. Different genres of film will be used to explore various
issues, dimensions and expressions of religion, while images, metaphors and teachings found in religion will be employed to
illuminate the material portrayed in film.
Professor Murray
Religion 252a Christian Thought I           3-3-0
This is a seminar course in which some of the major works in the development of Christian thought from the fifth century CE
to the Reformation are read and discussed: e.g., works by Augustine, Boethius, Bonavanture, Aquinas, etc. Students prepare
and present papers to the class.
Professor White
Religion 253b Christian Thought II           3-3-0
This seminar course examines important and representative Christian views from the Reformation to the present as expressed
by e.g., Luther, Calvin, the Council of Trent, Schleiermacher, Vatican Councils 1 and 2, Tillich, feminist and liberation
theologians, etc. Students prepare papers and present them to the class.
Professor White
Religion/
Classical Studies 256a       History of Christianity      3-3-0
Historical survey of early Christianity: its origin and spread as a Roman religion; developments in its thought, practices,
canonical writings, offices and institutions, self-definition in response to internal challenges (heresies) and external critique
and hostility; the impact of Constantine; the East-West split.
Professor Murray
Religion 257b History of Christianity II   3-3-0
Historical survey of Christianity from the medieval era to the present: development as a European religion; the Crusades;
renewal and reformation movements; colonialism and the spread of Christianity beyond Europe; contemporary Christianities.
Professor Murray
Religion 330a Issues and Problems in Religion I         3-3-0
A seminar in which students prepare and present papers on selected issues and texts in theology and the philosophy of religion.
The subjects are analyzed and discussed by the class. It is recommended that students enrolled have previously taken courses
in religion or philosophy.
Professor White
Religion 331b Issues and Problems in Religion II        3-3-0
A seminar in which students prepare and present papers on selected issues and texts in theology and the philosophy of religion.
The subjects are analyzed and discussed by the class. It is recommended that students enrolled have previously taken courses
in religion or philosophy. However, students need not have taken Religion 330a in order to take this course.
Professor White


INDEPENDENT STUDIES
Religion 300a Independent Studies I          3-3-0
Religion 301b Independent Studies II         3-3-0
Religion/Music 312ab        Independent Study in Performance,
           Liturgy, and Music 3-3-0
This course is designed for student musicians performing services at St. Mark’s Chapel, and may be taken for credit in either
Music or Religion. Its purpose is to acquaint the student with the historical and contemporary liturgical traditions of the Church
of England, and of the musical repertoire which they embrace. It will be taught by members of the two departments, in
consultation with the chaplain of St. Mark’s.
Religion 402f Honours Thesis 6-3-0
A full-year (two-semester) course in which the student does guided research into a subject, produces a written thesis, and,
when completed, gives an oral defense of the -thesis.
Prerequisite: Departmental acceptance of the thesis proposal.


Cognate Courses
Designated courses in Classical Studies, History, Music, Philosophy, Political Studies (consult the
department chair for course list), and other such courses as the department shall recognize.

				
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