RGST Courses

Courses in the Program in Religion

The Program in Religion offers three core courses. Below you can find the general description of these courses as they appear in the academic calendar. Use the menu on the left to find out how these courses will look in the upcoming year.

RGST 200: Introduction to the Study of Religion

Study of religion through a comparative, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary approach to humans’ engagement with the sacred. Examines religions as complex systems that share certain fundamental common features.

RGST 300: Theory and Method in the Study of Religion

Theories and methods for the critical study of religion as believed and practiced in different times and places. Explores methodologies for studying dimensions of religion such as space, bodily practices, cognition, and material culture. Prerequisite: RGST 200.

RGST 400: Advanced Seminar in the Study of Religion

Seminar focused on a special theme in the interdisciplinary study of religion (e.g., religious violence, religion and the secular, religious space). Analysis of the theme’s contemporary manifestations and implications, through discussion of recent scholarship, both theoretical and case studies.

Topic for 2023W: Monsoon Islam: Faith and Trade in Maritime Asia

This course explores the histories, cultures, and practices of Islam in the Indian Ocean world. Today, monsoon Asia is the demographic centre of gravity of the Muslim world. Within this vast region, distinct and novel forms of Islamic thought and practice took shape, often in the context of commercial interactions. The course examines how this “Monsoon Islam” developed in response to specific economic, cultural, and political contexts and challenges. Students will also have opportunity to compare, contrast, and connect the evolution of Monsoon Islam to the trans-oceanic trajectories of other religious traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Christianity.

Prerequisite: RGST 300.