2812 picReligion and Popular Culture
(Religious Studies 2812)

This course focuses on the portrayal and treatment of religion in popular culture, and examines some of the ways that religious and mythic themes are expressed intelevision shows, films, and other pop culture venues. Television shows studied in the course have included The Simpsons, South Park, Star Trek, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer; films studied have included the Star Wars Saga, The Lord of the Rings Saga, The Chronicles of Narnia, and the Harry Potter films (and novels). Course content is subject to change.

Religious Studies 2811 picIntroduction to Contemporary Religious Movements (Religious Studies 2811)

This course provides an introduction to some increasingly popular religious movements in North America, including Paganism (Wicca, Druidry, Ásatrú,),   Afro-Caribbean Spirituality (Vodou and Santeria), The New Age Movement (Mother Earth Spirituality and Channeling), and UFO Spirituality (Close Encounters of 3rd and 4th kinds, UFO Spiritual Contactee Groups - The Aetherius Society, Unarius and the Raelian Movement).   The course explores some of the common threads that run throughout these groups as well as the differences between them.

Religion and Disney:
Not Just Another Mickey Mouse Course (Religious Studies 3812)

This course provides an in-depth examination of the religious themes and issues arising from and within the Disney franchise, including Disney Animated feature films, other Disney films and entertainment products, and the Disney theme parks.   The course explores the religious convictions of Walt Disney himself, and the impact of his philosophies on the Disney franchise. Theoretical models drawn from the field Religion and Popular Culture provide the lens through which the religious themes present within Disney films, the reaction of the religious right to Disney via a study of the Disney Boycott, and the religious dimensions of Disney fandom are explored.

Contemporary Alternative Religion

(Religious Studies 3811)

This course provides an in-depth examination of one or more forms of contemporary alternative spirituality as practiced in North America.  In order to gain understanding of these alternative spiritual movements, we will draw upon social scientific studies of these groups, as well as explore images of these groups and their religious practices in both history and popular culture.

Implicit Religion - From Elvis to the Undertaker, Religion Outside the Box (Religious Studies 3860)

This course begins with the question of whether it is possible to find religion in non-religious places.  What does the term “religion” mean?  Does religion always and only have to be found in a church/mosque/temple?  Or can it be found in other so-called “secular” places?  Is Hockey a religion?  Are visits to Graceland or Star Trek conventions a modern form of pilgrimage?  Are Raves an urban expression of religious transcendence and healing?  This course will explore the concept of “implicit religion” using these and other examples.  Key theorists of religious studies concepts will be introduced and their ideas explored and applied to the examples covered in class.

Special Topics in Religion, Ethics and Culture - Religion in Disney Parks

(Religious Studies 4812)

This course is currently in development, and will be taught in January 2015. The course will include a field trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Click here to see all currently offered courses at Memorial. Visit the Registrar's Office to access a complete list of courses available for current and forthcoming semesters.

Religious Studies Courses pic

Complete List of Courses Taught (Undergraduate and Graduate) I have taught a wide variety of courses in my years at Memorial University. For a complete list of courses taught, and for selected course outlines in .pdf format, please click here..





Click here to see all currently offered courses at Memorial. Visit the Registrar's Office to access a complete list of courses available for current and forthcoming semesters.