A 2020 course by Steven Weitzman at the University of Pennsylvania asks “What is the value of studying religion in a higher education setting? How does one bridge between a critical approach to religion and the beliefs of one’s students? The course will broach these and other questions through readings and discussions meant to help you think through the challenges of teaching about religion to college students, and will give you opportunities to develop your own approach to them.”
A 2018 course by Jill DeTemple at Southern Methodist University introduces “several social scientific approaches to the academic study of religion. We will investigate the history and use of anthropological, sociological, and psychological theory and method in relation to the study of religion, especially as these fields relate religion to broader cultural, societal, and physiological fields of knowledge.”
A 2019 course by Peter Gottschalk at Wesleyan University considers religion “as a phenomenon . . . the meaning of ‘sacredness’ & ‘the sacred’ and question their comparative use” in various religious traditions.
A 2014 course by Margaret Ann Crain at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary examines the “theological and philosophical bases, goals, and methods of qualitative research in congregations and draw[s] on the fields of congregational studies, Christian education, evangelism, practical theology, sociology, anthropology, and educational evaluation.”
A 2017 course by Jessica Starling examines “acts of self-discipline in a variety of cultural contexts, including Eastern (Jain, Hindu, Buddhist), Western (Stoic, Christian mystic), and modern secular (eco-activism, fasting diets, and extreme exercise regimes)” and through this “various understandings of the self, the body, desire, liberation and virtue.”
A 2008 course by Catherine Wessinger at Loyola University New Orleans aims to “understand the ways women’s roles in society and religious beliefs are interrelated and affect one another . . . through the historical study of some of the major religions of the world.”