RELS 204 is a junior-level course designed to acquaint students with the major religious traditions of the world, and to the academic discipline of religious studies.

RELS 206 has not been developed with the purpose of trying to defend or criticize Islam, nor is it meant to convince you of the validity of certain religious beliefs at the expense of others. The academic study of religion is in part about placing religious traditions in their proper socio-historical and economic contexts so we can better understand the growth and internal diversity of religious systems over a lengthy period of time. Doing so enables the individual to develop a real sensitivity to and understanding of the beliefs of religious practitioners without losing the analytical and critical methodology upon which the study of religion is built. The goal of Religious Studies 206, then, is to provide you with a strong, basic knowledge about Islam that will help you understand the historical, ritual, theological, and political manifestations of Islam and the diversity of voices and opinions within this religious tradition.

Welcome to Religious Studies 211: Death and Dying in World Religions, a general survey course about the conceptions of the afterlife in Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, and various rituals and experiences associated with death in each of these traditions.

Many people believe that religion exists solely in places of worship, but is this really true? Is there a distinct separation between the sacred and the profane? What defines religion? ―culture? Does popular culture influence religion or is it a one-way street? Is today’s western, apparently secularized, culture entirely unaware of the religious content―both subtle and obvious―that exists within film, literature, television, music, and the media? This course explores these questions, looking at the interplay between religion and culture in North America, with the goal of evaluating the influence that each exerts on the other.