Religious Studies

RLST 112.3 — 1/2(3L)
Western Religions in Society and Culture

This class is a critical survey of the history, sources and chief characteristics of major world religions, such as Judaism and Christianity, and includes brief introductions to Islam and New Religious Movements. The history, agency and practice of these religions are considered in the wider multicultural context. We will be attentive to the investigation into the phenomenon called religion, and to the relationships between religion, culture and society.

Note: Students with credit for RLST 110.6 may not take RLST 112 for credit.


RLST 210.3 — 1/2(3L)
Religion and Ecology

This course explores the interplay between a number of religious traditions and ecology by taking a cross-disciplinary approach to the evaluation of issues of complicity, responsibility, guilt, reconciliation and restoration in human-Earth relations.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units RLST or 18 credit units at the university level.


RLST 216.3 — 1/2(3L)
Religion and Politics on Film

This course offers 1) a basic introduction to cinematic depictions of the dynamics between political ideologies and certain religious movements that have engaged with such ideologies to inspire social and doctrinal reform; 2) a basic introduction to critical lenses from film theory that can be used to analyse the politics of representation at work in these filmic depictions of religio-political conflicts. The selected films also serve to illustrate religion’s thoroughgoing enmeshment in broader political and cultural agendas within the public sphere: e.g., Religion and Imperialism, Religion and Economics, Religion and Globalisation, Religion and Post-Colonialism, Religion and Sexual Politics.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units RLST or 18 credit units at the university level.


RLST 219.3 — 1/2(3L)
Bible and Western Culture

Explores the influence of the Bible on the culture of the west, ancient and modern, with a particular focus on the role of biblical themes, symbols and characters in art, literature, music and popular culture.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units RLST or 18 credit units at the university level.


RLST 220.3 — 1/2(3L)
Women in Western Religious Traditions

Study of women in major western religious traditions: influence of conceptual systems and language; women’s embodiment and religion, feminine spirituality, women’s contributions to western faiths, and feminine aspects of divinity.

Formerly:RLST 325.
Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units RLST or WGST or 18 credit units at the university level.
Note: Students with credit for RLST 325 may not take this course for credit.


RLST 221.3 — 1/2(3L)
Introduction to Christianity

A systematic examination of the beliefs, practices and doctrinal debates in Christianity, with emphasis on diverging theories of revelation, incarnation, redemption and ritual efficacy that shift over time in response to surrounding political and socio-cultural forces.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units RLST or 18 credit units at the university level.


RLST 225.3 — 1/2(3L)
Perspectives on Jesus

The findings of modern biblical and historical research will be applied to the figure of Jesus as presented in the New Testament, and to the development of doctrine in Christianity.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units RLST or 18 credit units at the university level.


RLST 226.3 — 1/2(3L)
Religion Globalization and Social Justice

This course offers: 1) a preliminary survey of the destructive and constructive interplay between world religions and forces of globalization; 2) an introduction to ancient and contemporary elements/proponents of social justice within five religious traditions’; 3) an elaboration of tentative, interreligious ethical criteria that might guide the evaluation of religio-political developments in our global context.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units RLST or 18 credit units at the university level.


RLST 227.3 — 1/2(3L)
Introduction to Judaism

An introduction to basic Jewish ideas, beliefs, and practices from the biblical times to the present.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units RLST or 18 credit units at the university level.


RLST 228.3 — 1/2(3L)
Introduction to Jewish Thought

An examination of Jewish theology and treatment of the concepts of God, Torah, Israel and related themes by major Jewish thinkers.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units RLST or 18 credit units at the university level.


RLST 229.3 — 1/2(3L)
Religion and Sport

This course explores the interplay between religion and sport. These two endeavors represent the ultimate concern for a number of people around the world. We will analyze their similarities and differences in relation to how sport and religion serve as a total identity for some people. We will also map some of the influence and expression of religious traditions in sport. Case studies will include reviewing arguments for considering the Montreal Canadiens and the Saskatchewan Roughriders as religions in their own right.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units RLST or 18 credit units at the university level.


RLST 237.3 — 1/2(3L)
Life After Death in World Religions

This course explores the ideas, beliefs and practices associated with life after death as they are expressed in various religious traditions. The course begins with a survey of afterlife beliefs in ancient cultures (especially Egypt and Mesopotamia), and moves on to afterlife concepts in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Chinese Religions. The course will also introduce afterlife beliefs in Spiritualism, and contemporary scholarship on Near Death Experiences.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units RLST or 18 credit units at university level.


RLST 253.3 — 1/2(3L)
Introduction to Old Testament

A basic introduction to the Old Testament, focussing on the historical, literary and theological characteristics of the various writings. Scholarly methods by which they are studied, and their relationship to the history of Israel will also be examined.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units 100-Level RLST or 18 credit units at the university level.
Note: Students with credit for RLST 250 may not take this course for credit.


RLST 254.3 — 1/2(3L)
Introduction to New Testament

A basic introduction to the New Testament, focussing on the historical, literary and theological characteristics of the various writings. Scholarly methods by which they are studied, and their relationship to Christianity will also be examined.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units 100-Level RLST or 18 credit units at the university level.
Note: Students with credit for RLST 252 may not take this course for credit.


RLST 277.3 — 1/2(3L)
Community Solidarity and Social Change

This course maps a variety of religious and spiritual perspectives on community, solidarity and social change. It will take a cross-disciplinary approach, which does not assume faith-commitments on the part of students, to explore concepts and practices related to community, solidarity and social change.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units 100-Level RLST or 18 credit units at the university level.


RLST 280.3 — 1/2(3L)
Methodologies and Approaches to Study of Religions

An introduction to theories and approaches in the academic study of religion. Origins and development of social scientific, historical, phenomenological and comparative approaches will be examined.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units 100-Level RLST or 18 credit units at the university level.


RLST 282.3 — 1/2(3L)
Religious Perspectives on Death and Dying

Examines how various world religions have understood the significance of death and dying.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units 100-Level RLST or 18 credit units at the university level.


RLST 284.3 — 1/2(3L)
Religions and Non Violence

An examination of the ideal of non-violence according to the scriptures of the world religions, with examples of historical and contemporary application in Asia and the west.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units 100-Level RLST or 18 credit units at the university level.


RLST 300.3 — 1/2(3L)
Hidden Books of the Bible

This course focuses on the Apocrypha (“Hidden Things”), Hellenistic Jewish books regarded as scripture by some, but not all, Christians, in their historical, literary and cultural contexts, as well as their influence on western culture.

Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units RLST or 24 credit units at university level.


RLST 301.3 — 1/2(3L)
Apocalyptic Then and Now

This course investigates apocalyptic thought and literature in Judaism and Christianity. The primary focus is the religious perspectives and social functions of apocalyptic, with a brief discussion of contemporary Muslim apocalyptic. It will also survey the appropriation of apocalyptic themes throughout history in millenarian movements and in artistic forms such as art, fiction, and film, with special attention to apocalyptic in contemporary culture.

Prerequisite(s): 48 credit units at the university level.
Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): 3 credit units 200-level RLST.


RLST 303.3 — 1/2(3L)
Goddesses in Myth and History

Investigates the role of goddesses in religion from prehistory to the present, east and west. Combines historical and thematic approaches, focussing on the many roles of the female divine. Ancient goddesses, goddess worship in world religions, and contemporary feminist goddess spirituality, including Wicca, will be examined.

Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in RLST or WGST or 24 credit units at the university level.


RLST 314.3 — 1/2(3L)
Issues in Contemporary Catholicism

An analysis of contemporary Roman Catholicism with emphasis on the second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and its effects. Themes include identity of and membership in the church, liturgical renewal, post-conciliar forms of spirituality and community, social doctrine, and moral issues.

Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in RLST or 24 credit units at the university level.


RLST 321.3 — 1/2(3L)
Gender and God Talk

An overview of feminist theological perspectives, both as critiques of traditional culture and theology and as constructions of new visions and ways of religious life.

Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in RLST or WGST or 24 credit units at the university level.


RLST 328.3 — 1/2(3L)
Jewish Christian Relations in Historical Perspective

Christianity emerged out of Judaism, and this course examines the relationships that have existed between the two religions through the ages. Both Christian and Jewish sources will be examined to develop a critical perspective on this important aspect of western religious heritage.

Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in RLST or 24 credit units at the university level.


RLST 359.3 — 1/2(3L)
Helpmates Harlots Goddesses and Heroines

Examines the multifaceted portrayals of women in biblical texts and contexts, the Hebrew Goddess and the female divine, women as biblical interpreters and writers, and feminist biblical interpretation.

Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units RLST or WGST or 24 credit units at the university level.


RLST 361.3 — 1/2(3L)
Rabbinic Literature

A study of post-biblical Jewish religious literature, including legal, ethical and theological material. Emphasis will be placed on both methodology and content, with illustrative texts read in English.

Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units RLST or 24 credit units at the university level.


RLST 362.3 — 1/2(3L)
Monsters and Mischief Makers

This class will examine the construction of morality in religious texts by using the outsider/insider (or neighbor/stranger) question. We will investigate this question further by asking how do the people and things we consider to be like us or not like us help us to determine how to behave, and/or what to believe.

Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units RLST or 24 credit units at the university level.
Note: Students who completed RLST 398.3: Monsters and Mischief-makers may not take this course for credit.


RLST 363.3 — 1/2(3L)
Early Christian Literature Text and Context

A study of extra-biblical Christian writings up to 150 CE with emphasis on the beliefs of early Christianity, relationship with paganism and Judaism, and the development of internal organizational structures.

Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units RLST or 24 credit units at the university level.
Note: Students with credit for RLST 309 or 311 may not take this course for credit.


RLST 365.3 — 1/2(3L)
Bible and Film

An examination of the uses of the Bible in film, including epic films, contemporary retellings of biblical stories, and the use of biblical themes and motifs in cinema. Uncovers the many ways in which biblical-theological themes shape and are shaped by contemporary culture.

Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units RLST or 24 credit units at the university level.


RLST 375.3 — 1/2(3L)
Religion and Science

Investigates the historical and transcultural approach to the relationship between religion and science. Contemporary approaches to issues at the intersection of religion and science are also analyzed with emphasis on the influence of physics, evolutionary biology, ecology, non-Western science and cosmology.

Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units RLST or 24 credit units at the university level.


RLST 377.3 
Living Community Solidarity and Social Change

This course offers students an academic framework for grounded reflection on religious studies concepts covered in the prerequisite course. It will be centred on an eight- or twelve-week placement with the St. Thomas More College Intercordia Program in a cross-cultural context. Students will apply concepts from RLST 277, which explored the nexus amongst religion, community, solidarity and social change.


RLST 382.3 — 1/2(3L)
Sex, God and Rock n’ Roll Re-Vamping the Sacred

This course on religion, music, and pop culture will investigate the intimate connections between human musicality and sexuality, and assess their impact on definitions of divinity and the sacred. Theoretical issues include the ideology of sacred/profane dichotomies, musical/sexual taboos, and the politics of gender, race and class as expressed in ritual and liturgy.

Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units RLST or WGST or 24 credit units at the university level.
Note: Students with credit for RLST Special Topics: Sex, God and Rock n Roll: Re-Vamping the Sacred may not take RLST 382 for credit.


RLST 391.3 — 1/2(3S)
Readings in Western Religions

Exposes the student to primary source materials. Emphasis is placed on individual study and research.

Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units RLST or 24 credit units at the university level.


RLST 412.3 — 1/2(3S)
Seminar in Religions and Culture

A critical examination of religious ideas, beliefs, and practices in varied cultural contexts.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units 300-level RLST or 18 credit units RLST or permission of the department.
Note: Students may take this course more than once for credit, provided the topic covered in each offering differs substantially. Students must consult the Department to ensure that the topics covered are different.


RLST 413.3 — 1/2(3S)
Seminar in Religious Thought

An advanced seminar in contemporary religious thought focusing on an important theme such as the nature of religious belief, the problem of suffering and evil, or religious pluralism.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credit units 300-level RLST or 18 credit units RLST or permission of the department.
Note: Students may take this course more than once for credit, provided the topic covered in each offering differs substantially. Students must consult the Department to ensure that the topics covered are different.


RLST 801.3 — (3S)
Seminar in Jewish and Christian Origins

A seminar focusing on select issues relevant to the critical study of the origins and development of Judaism and Christianity.

Restriction(s): Restriced to Graduate Students.


RLST 802.3 — (3S)
Seminar in Western Religious History

A seminar focusing on select issues relevant to the history of western religious traditions, such as the origins and development of sectarian groups, the study of key figures and movements in the history of western religions, or the historical context of developments in western religions.

Restriction(s): Restricted to Graduate Students.


RLST 803.3 — (3S)
Seminar in Western Religious Literature

A seminar focusing on select texts from the western religious history, such as early Jewish/Christian apocalyptic writings, Jewish midrashim, or contemporary Islamic writings.

Restriction(s): Restricted to Graduate Students


RLST 805.3 — (3S)
Issues in Contemporary Western Religions

A seminar focusing on select issues relevant to contemporary western religions, such as the relationship between religion and culture, religion and leadership, and religion and social trends.

Restriction(s): Restricted to Graduate Students.