Summer 2024 - HUM 130 OL01

Introduction to Religious Studies (3)

Class Number: 3460

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.


This course is offered online and asynchronously if you are interested in taking this course in person, see the D100 and D900 sections offered in fall and spring and Burnaby and Surrey campuses respectively.  

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 the many ways in which human beings experience the Holy through story, practice, symbol, ritual and doctrine. It is also an exploration of the ways that religion is entangled with the worlds of culture, geography, society and politics.

Starting with a history of the definitions, 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 religious traditions of our contemporary world. We will conclude the course with a conversation about the relationship of religion with science, gender, feminism, politics, and the environment. We will also speculate on the future of religion in our complex and changing world.


  • Religious Literacy Quizzes 30%
  • Weekly Reading Reflections 20%
  • Roundtable Discussion Participation 20%
  • Reflective Final Essay 30%



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


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term 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.