Spring 2022 - HUM 130 OL01

Introduction to Religious Studies (3)

Class Number: 7203

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 1, 2022
    7:00 PM – 10:00 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.


HUM 130: ‘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 Holy through story, practice, symbol, ritual and doctrine. It is also an exploration into the ways that religion breaks into the everyday world of society and politics. Starting with a history of the concepts and methods used in the study of religion we will define and problematize the term ‘religion.’ 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, science, gender, feminism, politics and the environment. We will also speculate on the future of religion in a complex and changing world.


  • Define and problematize the terms religion and spirituality.
  • Become familiar with the core methods employed in the study of religion.
  • Become proficient in key concepts in the study of religions.
  • Increase our literacy 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.


  • Religious Literacy Quizzes 30%
  • Reflective Final Essay 30%
  • Reading Response Questions 20%
  • Roundtable Discussion Facilitator Write Up 20%



  • John L. Esposito, Darrell J. Fasching, Todd Lewis, Paul Bowlby. World Religions Today. Canadian Edition (Oxford University Press, 2009). No other editions.

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 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.