Humanities 1101 introduces new students to many of the major fields of study found within the academic world. Each week, the course invites a speaker from a different discipline to provide an introduction to the major concepts and explanatory models or paradigms found within their subject, as well as a discussion of the frontiers of thought within that field. Disciplines are chosen from across all three of the main branches of academic life: the sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. Lecturers from fields such as psychology, anthropology, geography, political science, physics, biology, environmental science, history, philosophy and literary criticism will provide an overview of their discipline and then discuss some contemporary research emerging in their field. Besides gaining an exposure to the various areas of study, students will also acquire analytical tools useful for critical reflection on the different ways in which we know and explain the world. This course is ideal for those seeking a general survey of a liberal arts education and is designed in part for students whose programs normally may not include some of the subjects covered. Classes do not assume that students have any prior acquaintance with the material presented.
An introduction to the great religious traditions of the Orient, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism, and some modern religious movements originating in the East. Emphasis will be on these religions as living cultural, political, and philosophical institutions and systems helping to shape our world. Each religion will be studied with regard to such issues as the human attempt to understand the cosmos and shape social life, together with the need for mutual understanding and toleration.
An introduction to the prominent religious traditions of the western world, including Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Islam, Baha’i, and African and North American aboriginal religious forms. Emphasis will be on these religions as living cultural, political, and philosophical institutions and systems helping to shape our world. Each religion will be studied with regard to such issues as the human attempt to understand the cosmos and shape social life, together with the need for mutual understanding and toleration.
The mainstream religions are what most people are familiar with yet they only represent a part of the ongoing religious quest in North America. There is vibrant activity in alternative forms of spirituality as displayed in new religious movements. This course will explore some of these dissenting movements in an historical context, from those arising in the 1800's, others associated with the sixties counterculture, to those popular today. Topics discussed will include cult theory, the rise of New Age spirituality, Wicca and related earth-based spirituality and their roots in paganism, Spiritualism, New Thought teachings and the 60s counterculture. The question looked at is whether these alternative movements are better suited to, and reflective of, the current social situation than the mainstream religions and what that may tell us regarding the future of religion in a post-modern society.
The course provides an introduction to the fundamental features associated with religion. Topics may include: the various conceptions of divinity, salvation, soul and the afterlife; the nature of religious experiences and the various methods to induce them; and how religion is expressed in the arts and holy places, in ritual and holy scriptures and through its organizations and forms of leadership. This course examines how these various aspects evolve over time, reflecting larger social and cultural trends, with the external forms and expressions being deconstructed to reveal the more universal aspects underlying this central component of human experience we call religion.
Directed Studies in Humanities provides students with an opportunity to pursue a specific research interest. The research may involve conducting: (a) a review and analysis of published research and theoretical articles, or (b) original research within a Humanities discipline. Directed studies projects are supervised and evaluated by a faculty member. Students must submit an application for approval of their directed studies project to the appropriate Department Chair.