Skip to main content

Introduction to Religious Studies

Program(s): Summer College, Undergraduate Courses

*Taught Online*  What is religion? Is it truth or an illusion? Is it an opiate or an effervescent? Is it the origin of civilization or the end of it? Is it some of these things, or none, or all? The task of defining religion has bedeviled scholars for centuries and remains a perennial concern in the academic field of Religious Studies. In this course we will explore some of the definitions of religion offered by scholars like Marx, Freud, Durkheim, James, Hurston, Long, de Beauvoir, DuBois, and Mahmood, as well as the methods, motivations, and historical contexts that made those definitions possible. Along the way we will survey some fundamental themes and issues in the field of Religious Studies. We will then apply what we learn to data outside the field, analyzing how religion is defined and deployed in films, novels, music, TikToks, Instagram reels, and our own brains. Ultimately the tools we acquire in the course will enable us to think through how we as humans organize and make sense of our world and our place in it.

Remote or Residential

✓ Remote Course


Course Overview

Current Grade / Education Level

11th Grade
12th Grade
Undergrad / Grad


Summer College
Undergraduate Courses

Start Date

July 05

End Date

July 22

Class Details

Academic Interest

Examining Culture and Society
Social Sciences (e.g., history, sociology)

Class Specifics

Course Code

RLST 10100 91

Class Day(s)

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri

Class Duration (CST)


3:15 P.M.


Session II

Course Length

3 weeks