Religion in

REL 105.001, 002, 320
Honors Introduction to Religious Studies


Dr. Michael J Altman

Phone: (205) 348-7223
Office: 315 Manly Hall
Office Hours: TBA

Section 001
Class Times: MWF 10:00-10:50
Class Location: 207 Manly

Section 002
Class Times: MWF 12:00-12:50
Class Location: 207 Manly

Section 320
Class Times
: R 6:00-8:45
Class Location: 207 Manly

About Online Readings

Some of the course's online readings are placed in a "secure" folder; you can only access these PDF files (Portable Document Format, that can be opened with the free Adobe Reader) by clicking each link and then entering the username/password given to you in class.

If you have difficulty accessing these readings, contact the instructor by email.




The course hopes to introduce students to ways of thinking creatively and critically about religion. To this end, this course introduces the academic study of religion and religious phenomena through a survey that hopes to engage key concepts in religious studies, including myth, ritual, symbol, belief, body, and institution. Following Jonathan Z. Smith's reminder that "no introductory course can do everything," our introduction is not intended to provide a complete or balanced account of the world's religions. Rather, the course will selectively engage major traditions, concepts, beliefs, practices, and institutions among various religions as well as develop more in-depth analyses of some religious texts. HU

Syllabus Spring 2014

Section 001 (PDF)

Section 002 (PDF)

Section 320 (PDF)

Books (required)

Haberman, David L.
Journey Through the Twelve Forests: An Encounter With Krishna
Oxford University Press, 1994
ISBN: 0195084799

McCutcheon, Russell T.
Studying Religion
Equinox, 2007
ISBN: 1845530128

Pals, Daniel L.
Eight Theories of Religion, 2nd ed.
Oxford University Press, 2006
ISBN: 0195165705

Rabin, Nathan
You Dont Know Me But You Dont Like Me: Phish, Insane Clown Posse, And My Misadven
Scribner, 2013
ISBN: 1451626886

Online Readings

Other texts will be available through the eLearning course site.