Fall 2023 - HUM 130 OL01

Introduction to Religious Studies (3)

Class Number: 7671

Delivery Method: Online


  • Course Times + Location:




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.


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HUM 130: ‘Introduction to Religious Studies’, is both an introduction to the methods involved in the study of religion, and a survey of the major contours 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.


  • Reflective Final Essay 40%
  • Religious Literacy Quizzes (Online) 30%
  • Weekly Reading Response Questions 30%


This course counts towards the Religious Studies Certificate.



Esposito, John L., Darrell J. Fasching, and Todd T. Lewis, World Religions Today. Seventh Edition (Oxford University Press, 2022). Digital can be purchased at vitalsource.com

ISBN: 9780197537725, 01975


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.