This course provides an introduction to the vocabulary, methods, and theoretical assumptions of the academic study of religion. By examining several diverse religious communities and traditions'including Lakota Sioux, Southern Pentecostal, Nation of Islam, and Zen Buddhist'students examine patterns, themes, and issues that scholars commonly encounter across world religions. Students also examine how specific communities give voice to themes found within the larger world religion from which they emerge. In each case, particular attention is paid to the role of religion in social justice and salvation movements, and in the formation of individual and group identities.
Prerequisites: Students who have REL 202 transfer credit may not take this course.