RGST 400

2023-24 Winter, Term 2 | Thursday 3:00-6:00 PM

Course Description

RGST 400 is the Capstone Seminar for majors in the Program in the Study of Religion (RGST). It is also available as an upper-level elective to RGST minors and other interested students. It investigates an issue, topic, or phenomenon in the study of religion, focusing on a specific theme, approach, and integrating research across disciplines. It brings together skills students have acquired during their course of study in the Program in the Study of Religion. Students also build basic professional skills, including presenting to peers, discussing and debating, engaging in independent research, and writing a research paper on a topic related to the course.  This course serves both as a culminating experience for majors in the Study of Religion, and as preparation for those students who wish to pursue the study of religion at the graduate level.

For 2023W, the focus of the seminar is 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.

Course Instructor

Prof. Sebastian Prange