Fall 2020

Introduction to Religion

Listed in: Religion, as RELI-111

Formerly listed as: RELI-11


Andrew C. Dole (Section 01)
Maria R. Heim (Section 01)


This course introduces students to the comparative study of religion by exploring two distinct families of religious traditions, focusing on ways in which scholars draw on texts and historical contexts to understand religious doctrines and practices. The traditions examined vary from year to year. In 2020-21, we will focus on Christian and Buddhist traditions. Texts will be drawn from both classical and modern sources and from a variety of geographical and cultural locations, and will explore the relationship between religion and issues of political economy (which, in this context, means the intersection of economic and political dynamics within societies). In both traditions we will examine different configurations of this relationship, with a range that extends from deep interconnection (where religion, economics, and politics are intimately intertwined) to complete separation (where, at least notionally, religion has nothing to do with issues of political economy).

Classes will meet in person on campus.  Remote students will either attend class sessions by videochat or will have access to audio recordings of class meetings.  All students, local and remote, will have access to pre-recorded video content;  all students will contribute to class discussion via posts to Moodle.  Local and remote students may be asked to prepare brief presentations on assigned readings to be delivered either in person or by prerecorded video.

Fall semester. Professors A. Dole and M. Heim.

Cost: ?


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Social Justice, Attention to Research, Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing


2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020