Spring 2021 - HUM 130 D100

Introduction to Religious Studies (3)

Class Number: 7346

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 12:20 PM – 2:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 21, 2021
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM



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.


‘Introduction to Religious Studies’, is both an introduction to the methods involved in the study of religion, and a survey of the world’s major religious traditions. Through readings, group discussion and writing assignments we will explore the varieties of religious life. 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. 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, politics and the environment. We will also speculate on the future of religion in a complex and changing world.

Course Structure  [The course will start with a two hour lecture block. You must also attend a one hour Tutorial on the same day. The lecture block will focus on covering the readings through PowerPoint slides. Tutorials will focus on broader themes and applications of the material to daily life and student presentations.]

During COVID-19 restrictions, we will be conducting class online through Blackboard Collaborate Ultra or Zoom. Synchronous sections will include mandatory regular class time and discussion. HUM 130 C900 is asynchronous and will not include live lectures/discussions.  


Course Objectives
 Become familiar with the core methods employed in the study of religion; Become proficient in key concepts in the study of religions; Increase awareness of the world’s diverse religious traditions; Cultivate the ability to engage and understand the perspectives of various religious traditions on their own terms; Develop critical reading, critical thinking, facilitation and writing skills.


  • Online Content Quizzes 30%
  • Reading Summary / End of Chapter Questions 20%
  • Sacred Site Case Study 20%
  • Reflective Final Essay 20%
  • Tutorial Discussion Facilitator Write Ups 10%



John L. Esposito, Darrell J. Fasching, and Todd T. Lewis, World Religions Today SIXTH EDITION (Oxford University Press, 2017).

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


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).