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For everyone’s health and safety, Summer Session will not host students on campus for residential programs this summer. Many of our courses will be taught remotely online so that you can still explore your intellectual interests, gain insight into college life, and be a part of our distinctive learning community. We hope you will join us online this summer! Our Summer Session team is here to help via email at


Religion: Big Questions

Program(s): Immersion

Canceled for Summer 2020

Have you ever asked yourself just what religion is? Is religion natural or learned? Is it something you think or something you experience? Is it helpful to society, and if so, how? We will consider how religious studies scholars have approached these and other “big questions,” and explore our own possible responses by engaging religious texts (like the Bible), artifacts (like Orthodox icons), and worship spaces (like the Baha’i Temple in Wilmette). Along the way, we will visit museums (like The Art Institute), watch and discuss movies/TV shows about particular religions (like ‘Defending Your Life’ from 1991) and hear from guest speakers who will talk about their research and/or their religious perspective.  You will come away from this course with a better understanding about religion as a cultural product and its implications (for example, the ethical) for other dimensions of human life in general (for example, politics). You will also improve valuable scholarly skills around critical thinking, speaking, and writing via debates, presentations, and short written assignments.

Course Considerations

Discussion Intensive

Course Overview

Current Grade / Education Level

9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade



Start Date

July 14

End Date

July 30

Class Details

Primary Instructor

Hector Varela Rios

Academic Interest

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

Class Specifics

Course Code

RLST 10001 94

Class Day(s)

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri

Class Duration


3:00 PM


Session II

Course Length

3 weeks