Fall 2024

Introduction to Religion

Listed in: Religion, as RELI-111


Monika Brodnicka (Section 01)
Tariq Jaffer (Section 01)


This course will explore the meaning, significance, and role of mysticism in two different religious traditions. It has been argued that mysticism is the highest manifestation of religion, and that mystical awareness or experience is the ultimate human goal. Our deeper study of this manifestation, awareness, and experience promises to illuminate the ideals and practices which are subsumed under the category of mysticism. Our engagement will be comparative in nature, focusing on African Religious Traditions and Islam. We will read biographies of mystics, poetry, manuals for mystical practice, ethical treatises on the cultivation of the self or soul, and ethnographies. Our goals will be to understand the different dimensions of mysticism (psychological, ethical, institutional, political, etc.), and to understand the meaning of its theoretical and practical aspects from the perspective of its adherents.

Fall semester. Professors Brodnicka and Jaffer.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Emphasis on readings.

Course Materials


Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024