Religion, Society and Culture

Discover the Religion, Society and Culture Department

The Religion, Society and Culture Department is a community of students and faculty engaged in the exploration of religion: the different ways faith is expressed and practiced, the historical and cultural contexts of religions and their texts, as well as the interconnections between religion and other areas of human life — for example, philosophical thought, the psychological, social, political and economic dimensions, and the presence of religion and religious symbols in literature and fine arts. To encourage creative and independent thinking, we emphasize the study of primary texts, rather than simply reading what other people have written about those texts.

Acquire skills that will benefit you in all aspects of your career

Why study Religion, Society and Culture at Bishop’s?

If one asks a teacher of History, Politics, or Fine Arts what they wish their students knew more about they will almost invariably include religion in the list. Religion is an inescapable component of daily news, whether it be religiously motivated violence, the political influence of religion or the latest influential decree from a religious leader.

Where can this lead you?

Career Possibilities

Religion, Society and Culture courses help students develop their research and writing skills — very highly valued in today’s job market! With small class size, and engaged professors, our department has a lot to offer. Learn more about the department and where our courses can lead you.

Scholarships, Awards, Bursaries displayed on a laptop
Money matters

Some departmental prizes

Academic prizes are available to our students. Department-specific prizes include the Undergraduate Prize, awarded to the top returning student in Religion, Society and Culture, University Prize, awarded to the top graduating student in Religion, Society and Culture, and the Harvey White Prize, awarded to a deserving returning student in Religion, Society and Culture (established in 2021 in honour of Dr. Harvey White, professor at Bishop’s University for over 40 years).

Courses & Programs

Our approach is not faith-based. We are not in the business of either promoting or condemning faith; appreciation and critical understanding are our goals. Students from all disciplines are welcome in Religion, Society and Culture courses, and students in Religion, Society and Culture are encouraged to take courses in other related fields such as Classical Studies, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, Politics and International Studies, etc. These courses may be counted as cognates within Religion, Society and Culture. In addition, Religion, Society and Culture students may pursue their particular interests through Independent Study courses.

B.A. ProgramHonours

60 credits in Religion, Society and Culture, with an average of at least 70% as calculated from the best 60 credits in the program (including cognates). Students have the option of writing an Honours thesis in their final year, but it is not mandatory. Students usually take the Honours program if they plan to pursue graduate work.

Honours and Majors are also required to fulfill the following minimum distribution requirements (30 credits; see the course lists for course descriptions):

  • Biblical Studies: 6 credits from 112, 114, 115, 135, 214, 215, 328
  • World Religions: 12 credits: 100 and 101 + 6 credits from 124, 125, 126, 127
  • Approaches, Perspectives and Expressions: 12 credits
B.A. ProgramMajor

42 credits in Religion, Society and Culture (including cognates).

Honours and Majors are also required to fulfill the following minimum distribution requirements (30 credits; see the course lists for course descriptions):

  • Biblical Studies: 6 credits from 112, 114, 115, 135, 214, 215, 328
  • World Religions: 12 credits: 100 and 101 + 6 credits from 124, 125, 126, 127
  • Approaches, Perspectives and Expressions: 12 credits
B.A. ProgramMinor

24 credits in Religion, Society and Culture (including cognates).

Some popular courses
  • Apocalypse
  • Death and Dying in the Ancient World
  • Eastern Religions
  • Film and Religion
  • Israelite Mythology and Cultic Practice
  • Magic and Divination in the Ancient Near East
  • Of Latter-day Saints and Modern-day Prophets: New Religious Movements
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Politics and Religion
  • The Religious Right in the United States: From Moral Majority to FOX NEWS
  • Sex and Religion
  • Western Religions
Courses offered Fall 2022

RSC101: Eastern Religions
RSC112: The Traditions of Ancient Israel
RSC120: Ancient Greek Mythology
RSC126: Judaism: A Covenant with God
RSC234: Introduction to Middle Eastern Politics
RSC237: Film and Religion
RSC310: The Religious Right in the United States: From Moral Majority to FOX NEWS
RSC350: The Goddess: History, Cult and Myth

Dr. Michele Murray, Dean of Arts and Science
We place a premium on teaching well

About your teachers

Dr. Michele Murray is fluent in modern Hebrew, has excavated in Israel and Jordan, and earned her commercial pilot’s licence. Dr. Daniel Miller has excavated in Israel and Jordan, has studied ancient tablets in the Louvre Museum, and is an expert on The Simpsons. Dr. Miller has developed an innovative lecture technique that synergizes conventional speech with short video and audio excerpts. Intrigued?

Questions?

Want to know more about studying Religion, Society and Culture?

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