In the 100 and 200 level courses in the religion track the emphasis is on gaining knowledge of the core ideas, texts and practices of specific religious traditions. Philosophical debates are touched upon - particularly in the 200 level course Wisdom of the East - but they are combined with historical and factual perspectives to enhance understanding of the tradition in question. In this course, however, several important philosophical questions regarding religion will take centre stage. A major area of focus will be the internal debates within the major world religions regarding ethical questions. Controversial topics like war, terrorism and gender inequality will be addressed, as well as benign contributions such as peace projects, creating a more just society, inter-faith dialogue and enhanced personal well-being. Where possible the focus will be on religious figures who have had a strong influence on world politics such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Thich Nhat Hanh, Malcolm X and Osama Bin Laden. We’ll also look at religion in general, and try to make sense of what makes religions turn violent sometimes. Are religions a force for evil, a force for good, or a bit of both?

This course can very easily taken as a stand-alone course - i.e. you can take it even if you have not taken any religion courses so far. Students take this course every year without having done religion before, and this always works well. If you enjoyed Intro to Western Philosophy, or Ethics, you will enjoy this course too.

You can read the course outline here:

Course outline AH-RELI304.pdfCourse outline AH-RELI304.pdf