Fall 2019 - SA 322 D100

Religion and Society (SA) (4)

Class Number: 3940

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Mon, 1:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Michelle Walks
    Office Hours: Mo 12:00-13:00
  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150 or 201W.



An examination of the relations between religion and the social environment. Consideration will be given to classical theoretical debates in the anthropology and sociology of religion. Specific topics vary from year to year, and may include: religion in personhood and communities; religion, gender, ethnicity and social class; secularization and secularism; the role of religion in political mobilizations; interreligious relations; religious freedom and citizenship.


Organized religion has a significant role in contemporary societies, even in secular cultures. This course focuses on the connection between organized religion and gender in contemporary cultures (mostly within Canada and Madagascar), including online religious communities, diasporic and transnational communities, neoliberal and post-colonial cultures, and among feminist activists. All of this is underpinned with a gaze of the changing roles of religion in society, as well as how religion must be studied holistically.


  • Participation 15%
  • Quizzes 20%
  • Presentation 10%
  • Mini assignments 10%
  • Paper proposal 15%
  • Final paper 30%


Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and you do not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, you will be assigned an N grade. Unless otherwise specified on the course outline, all other graded assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned.

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy: The Department of Sociology and Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (S10.01‐S10.04). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style.  It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student.html.   



Cole, J. (2010). Sex and Salvation: Imagining the Future in Madagascar. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
ISBN: 978-0-226113319

Zwissler, L. (2018). Religious, Feminist, Activist: Cosmologies of Interconnection. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
ISBN: 978-1-496205025

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