R S 310 • Intro to the Study of Religion
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Surveys a variety of religious traditions and introduces scholarly methods for the study of religion from an interdisciplinary perspective, although with some sociological bias. This course will explore the nature of religious beliefs and practices, both historically and in the contemporary context. Of particular interest will be the way in which religious traditions are formed and changed over time as they become increasingly cosmopolitan, and the relationship between those traditons and the current globalization of culture and society.
Two midterm exams and a final, or a research paper on a relevant topic of the student's choice, addressing general issues from the course as they pertain to the religion under investigation 70%; an analysis of a religious ritual (this assignment may be part of the term paper for those choosing that option) 20%; and class presentation 10%.
A packet of primary sources from several religious traditions (including scriptures and some ancient and contemporary commentaries from Augustine to Ghandi) Lester Kurtz, Gods in the Global Village: The World's Religions in Sociological Perspective