Religion is an open and fascinating subject of study, introducing students to thousands of years of human history and providing background to much that is going on in the world today. The study of religion at the University of Manitoba is religiously non-aligned and encourages scholarly diversity. To study Religion is to learn about the significance of the ancient Egyptian pyramids and the life of such figures as Zarathustra and Buddha. It is to study the Bible side by side with the Vedas and the Pali Canon. It is to begin to understand the reasons for the religiously fuelled conflicts in the Middle East, in India and North Ireland and elsewhere. It is to engage great writings from all ages on perennial questions of human life. It is to examine historical and contemporary approaches to the interpretation of texts. And it is to study historical and contemporary systems of ethics and to analyse how religious traditions respond to such issues as oppression and liberation, abortion and euthanasia, social justice and individual freedom.
Examination of the ethical teachings of world religious traditions. Attention will be given to such questions as the nature of the good or virtue, the place of law or commandments, the relationship between religion and morality, the concepts of moral community and the moral self.
The course introduces students to perspectives on evil in selected world religions.
Violence of many kinds – physical and non-physical, by and against individuals, within and amongst religious groups – plays an integral role in all religious traditions and systems. This course explores this role within the framework of an historical approach to world religions. Themes covered may include: theories of religion and violence; sacrifice; martyrdom; symbolic violence; iconoclasm; blasphemy; heterodoxy and discipline; religious toleration; religious warfare; religion and cultural resistance; religion and domestic violence; religion and non-violence.
The course examines selected ethical-social issues such as abortion, euthanasia, new genetic and reproductive technologies, and environmental and ecological issues, with reference to one or more of the world’s religious traditions.
This course focuses on role of religion in democratic societies. Topics covered may include secular and post-secular, secularism; democracy, religion, and human rights; religion and the law; nationalism and religion, and so on. Disciplinary approaches to religion and democracy will be discussed: historical, political, feminist, sociological, and philosophical. Key thinkers may include Jurgen Habermnas, John Rawls, Charles Taylor. Seyla Benhabib, Nancy Fraser.
Study of selected religion-and-culture figures, issues, or themes