What does it mean to be a gendered individual in a Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, or Sikh religious tradition? How important are gender differences in deciding social roles, ritual activities, and spiritual vocations? This course tackles these questions, showing how gender – how it is taught, performed, and regulated – is central to understanding religion. In this course we will learn about gendered rituals, social roles, and mythologies in a range of religious traditions. We will also look at the central significance of gender to the field of religious studies generally. The first part of the course will be focused on building a foundation of knowledge about a range of religious traditions and the role of gender in those traditions. This course emphasizes religious traditions outside the West. Although it is beyond the scope of this class to offer comprehensive discussions of any one religious tradition, the aim is to provide entry-points into the study of religious traditions through the lens of gender. This course will emphasize both historical perspectives and contemporary contexts. We will also read religion through feminist and queer lenses – we will explore the key characteristics of diverse feminist and queer studies approaches to religion, as well as limits of those approaches.
FOLK 029 - Gender, Sexuality, & Religion
GSWS 109 - Gender, Sexuality, & Religion
Every Other Term
Course usually offered in Fall term
Cross Cultural Analysis
This course is appropriate for general education as well as part of introductory
1) Recognize and understand religious studies terms.
2) Know concepts key to Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, & Sikhism.
3) Distinguish between facts and matters of debate and ambiguity.
1) Compare and contrast different approaches to gender across religious traditions.
2) Choose a research question and design a program of research.
3) Write a convincing academic research essay.
4) Apply religious studies principles to real case studies.
Learning to Learn:
1) Research to explore interesting issues on your own as a scholar.
2) Think like a religious studies scholar.
Essay 1 (20%)
The essay will be 2,000 words (use the word-count feature – about 8 pages double-spaced). Essay guidance is laid out in the syllabus.
Essay 2 (20%)
The essay will be 3,000 words (about 12 pages double-spaced). There will be a choice of question and you may apply the essay to any one or more of the religious traditions covered in the course.
There will be two exams. The exams will involve definition of terms and short essay responses.
The mid-term exam is Thursday 18 October. (15%) The final exam date in December will be determined by the registrar. (15%)
You will write short journal entries responding to a question relevant to the reading. The entries should be submitted on Canvas, and each should be around 250 words. (5 journal entries x 4% = 20%)
Journal 1 Due: Thursday, 6 September by 8 AM
Journal 2 Due: Thursday, 27 September by 8 AM
Journal 3 Due: Thursday, 11 October by 8 AM
Journal 4 Due: Thursday, 15 November by 8 AM
Journal 5 Due: Thursday, 29 November by 8 AM