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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Charles L. Richter
RELIG 380
Seattle Campus

The Nature of Religion and Its Study

Study of religion as a general human phenomenon. Manner in which different methods of inquiry (phenomenology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, literary criticism, archaeology, philosophy, theology) illuminate different aspects of religion and help to shape our conceptions of its nature. Recommended: RELIG 201 or RELIG 202. Offered: jointly with CHID 380.

Class description

The first part of the quarter will deal with the history of studying religion as a discipline, covering the major figures and theorists in areas such as anthropology, sociology, psychology, and economics. We will address the many ways in which the academy has attempted to describe the phenomenon of religion, as well as the problem of defining religion itself The remainder of the quarter will introduce newer theories on religion and religion's intersections with other social phenomena.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lectures and class discussion.

Recommended preparation

No official prerequisites, but previous courses on religion will be helpful.

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Charles L. Richter
Date: 11/19/2008