The course examines religion as a phenomenon of human culture. It firstly introduces the students to the main theoretical approaches and methods through which religion has been studied by historians and social scientists. Secondly, the course looks at the major themes in the study of religion. These themes will be examined drawing on particular religious traditions and through the lens of the theoretical approaches covered. Readings will include theoretical writings about religion by classics and contemporary authors, and primary texts from various religious traditions and by representatives of those traditions. The course combines lectures, in-class discussions, and analytical essays. Its broader aim is to give the students an understanding of the richness of the religious traditions of the world, and to develop skills to analyze religious phenomena and to situate them in their historical contexts. Three hours of instructor-led class time per week.