Religion in

Honors Introduction to Religious Studies


Ms. Merinda Simmons

Office: 207 Manly Hall
Office Phone: 348-9911
Office Hour: TBA
Course: MW 3:00-4:15
Course Number: 47703
Location: Manly 207


About Online Readings

Some course 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 your Bama User Name and Password. If you have difficulty accessing these readings, contact the instructor by email.

If you have forgotten your Bama ID, but know your Campus Wide ID (CWID), then go here.



As the honors introduction to the academic study of religion, REL 105 examines in greater detail than REL 100 theories of the historic origin and contemporary social function of religion in relation to wider sets of human beliefs, social practices, institutions, and culture in general. We will approach these theories through analyses of "myth" and
"ritual" and a reading of Gloria Naylor's novel, Mama Day. Minimum 3.3 GPA required to register. Carries the Core Humanities

Note: This course is not an introduction to world religions; rather, it is an introduction to the study of religion and its tools, in which religion is conceived as an observable aspect of human culture and history.

Studying Religion in the University

The study of religion in the university is conducted along the same lines and for the same purposes as are all other forms of disciplined, methodical inquiry. The core premise of the academic study of religion is that religion, whatever else it may be, is a human activity, and is one element of the larger cultural creations of human beings. Within the context of the university, scholars of religion hold themselves to the same principles of reasoned argument from evidence as do all other scholars. We do not seek to teach people how to be religious, but to study religion as a human phenomenon which is commensurate with all other human phenomena. Our task is descriptive and analytical, not normative. We seek to explicate and understand a religious position, not interpret one religious position in terms of another.


Spring 2010 (PDF)

Books (required)

Because the campus bookstore has run out of copies, and the distributor is currently awaiting its own orders to be filled, you can obtain a PDF copy of Studying Religion above (note: this is a large file).

McCutcheon, Russell
Studying Religion: An Introduction
ISBN: 9781845530129

Satrapi, Marjane
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
ISN: 9780375714573

Online Readings

To be announced