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RELIGION 101H5S INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF RELIGION
Instructor: David Miller, Associate Professor (Emeritus) Concordia University
Telephone (416) 658-5022
Office: North Building, Rm 151A
Office Hours: Thursday 12-2
I. ADDENDUM TO THE CALENDAR DESCRIPTION:
This course begins with a brief examination of the methods used by such key historians of religion as:
F. Max Muller (1823-1900); Mircea Eliade (1907-1986); and Wilfred C. Smith (1916-2000). Then, the
main focus of the course will be upon the historical study of the World Religions (Judaism,
Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism) using textual sources and comparing Western and
Eastern, cosmogonies, world views, theories of moral action, prophetic and mystical experiences. The
“lives” of the founders of each tradition are examined both in terms of historical facts and symbolic
II. GOALS OF THE COURSE:
The goals of this course are twofold:
1) to introduce students to the historical study of world religions through textual analysis and
2) to provide students with an insight into the worldviews and theories of moral action of the
major world religions.
The principal method of teaching will be lectures given by Professor Miller who will provide the
comparative structure for the course, focusing upon the World Views, the Theories of Action and the
Institutions of each of the religions to be studied. Copies of over-head notes may be purchased at the
Copy Centre, South Bldg. Copies of notes have been placed on Reserve in the Library, and on the
Library’s WEBSITE (see UTM Library—Exams—Course Notes). Please, remember that notes are
only notes, and the function of the lectures is to comment upon, interpret and analyze the notes.
III. REQUIRED READINGS:
Selected readings should be purchased at the Copy Centre, South Bldg. The readings are taken from the
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION. THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION is also available in
the Reference Section of the UTM Library on the first floor; call number BL31.46. These articles are
written by internationally known historians of religion, who are specialists on the topics about which
they are writing.