Fall 2019 - HUM 130 D900

Introduction to Religious Studies (3)

Class Number: 1357

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    Location: TBA

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 9, 2019
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    Location: TBA



An introduction to concepts central to the academic study of religion exploring various relevant methodologies. Provides a framework for understanding the many ways in which humans experience the phenomenon of the sacred through symbol, ritual, doctrine and experience in a variety of religious traditions and cultures. Students who have taken HUM 230 prior to 2007 may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Humanities Equivalent Courses: GS230 HUM230 Breadth-Humanities.


Welcome! HUM 130: ‘Introduction to Religious Studies’, is both an introduction to the study of religion, and a survey of the world’s major religious and spiritual traditions. Through readings, discussion and engaged activities such as field visits, we will explore the varieties of religious life, in addition to the various methodologies used to study religion. This course provides a framework for understanding and entering into the many ways in which human beings experience the sacred through story, practice, symbol, ritual and doctrine. The course will be taught in three Modules: 1) What is Religion and How Should it be Studied? 2) What do Religious People Do? And, 3) Why Religion Matters. Starting with a history of the concepts and methods used in the study of religion we will define and problematize the term. Then we will move into a survey of the major traditions of the world. We will conclude the course with broader conversations about the relationship between religion and science, morality, politics and the environment, and the future of religion in a radically changing world.

(Students who have taken HUM 230 prior to 2007 may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Humanities Equivalent Courses: GS230 HUM230 Breadth-Humanities.)


  • Increase our awareness of the world’s diverse religious and spiritual traditions.
  • Cultivate ability to engage and understand the perspectives of various religious traditions on their own terms.
  • Become proficient in key academic concepts and methods in the study of religions.
  • Develop critical reading, critical thinking, facilitation and writing skills.


  • In class Midterm (25 points) 25%
  • Reflective Final Exam Essay (25 points) 25%
  • 2 Religious Engagement Field Reports (15 points each) 30%
  • Attendance and Tutorial Discussion Facilitator Summary (10 points each) 20%


There are a total of 100 points to be earned in this course. That makes the Grade Weight very easy, 25 per cent of the grade = 25 points.



Hillary P. Rodrigues and John S. Harding (2008) Introduction to the Study of Religion.
ISBN: 9780415408899

Huston Smith (2009) The World’s Religions (Plus).
ISBN: 9780061660184

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html