Religious Studies | Introduction to the Study of Religion
R264 | 24936 | Levene


The above course carries Arts and Humanities distribution.


This course is an introduction to the study of religion through a
consideration of major ideas and issues in the field. We will
examine a variety of primary sources and theories—philosophical,
anthropological, sociological, psychological, and political—with the
purpose of investigating aspects (and versions) of the following
questions: 1) What is sought or named by the term religion? 2) What
is the source or nature of religion and what does it produce? 3)
What is a theory of religion, and what or whom is it for? With these
three questions, and their associated tangents, we will strive to
gain a snapshot of the study of religion in its attempt both to
identify the multifarious human phenomena that can be placed under
the genus "religion" and to become conscious of what such a
classification includes (and excludes) and why. In so doing, we will
assess the value of distinguishing something like religion from
things like culture, society, community, or tradition, and in the
process will strive to become conversant in the uses of all of these
terms.