Fall 2017

Introduction to Religion

Listed in: Religion, as RELI-111

Formerly listed as: RELI-11


Lloyd D. Barba (Section 01)
Tariq Jaffer (Section 01)


This course introduces students to the comparative study of religion by exploring two distinct religious traditions. It focuses on the ways that scholars draw on contextual information to understand religious practices, ideas or beliefs, artifacts, institutions, and symbols. The traditions examined vary from year to year. In fall 2017 we will examine a selection of texts from the Christian and Islamic traditions. Defining texts broadly to include written sources as well as photographs, oral histories, videos, and blogs, this course will draw on both classical and modern sources from a variety of geographical locations and cultures. We will engage issues of scriptural interpretation, political duties, attitudes towards higher education and learning, and religious authority. In each case we will draw on several distinct strands of contextual knowledge (for example, biographies of the authors, historical narratives concerning the text’s provenance, or examination of contemporaneous philosophical or political disputes) to help us understand what these texts and authors are trying to accomplish, and to understand their importance within the traditions that we are studying.

Fall semester.  Professor Jaffer and Post-doctoral Fellow Barba.


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023