Buddhism, Psychology & Mental Health Minor Program

To complete this Minor Program, students should take 4 full courses or their equivalent, including one FCE (full course equivalent) at the 300+level. No specific first-year courses are required.

Required for Higher Years:
1. BPM232H1 Buddhist Psychology
2. 2.0 full course equivalents from the Core Group
3. 1.5 full course equivalents from Group A (listed below)

Group A Courses

These are the Group A courses – full descriptions are provided below:
ANT100Y1, ANT204H1, ANT348H1, ANT356H1; COG250Y1, COG341H1, COG342H1; EAS241H1, EAS361H1, EAS393H1; FAH260H1; HIS280Y1, HIS282Y1; HMB300H1, HMB434H1; HPS100H1, HPS110H1, HPS200H1, HPS250H1, HPS326H1, NEW302Y1, NEW303H1, PHL100Y1, PHL200Y1, PHL201H1, PHL217H1, PHL232H1, PHL235H1, PHL237H1, PHL240H1, PHL244H1, PHL275H1, PHL281H1, PHL302H1, PHL310H1, PHL311H1, PHL319H1, PHL320H1, PHL326H1, PHL331H1, PHL332H1, PHL335H1, PHL340H1, PHL341H1, PHL375H1, PHL376H1, PHL382H1, PHL383H1, PHL404H1, PHL405H1, PHL406H1, PHL407H1, PHL414H1, PHL478H1, PHL479H1; PSY100H1, PSY210H1, PSY220H1, PSY230H1, PSY240H1, PSY260H1, PSY270H1, PSY280H1, PSY311H1, PSY312H1, PSY313H1, PSY321H1, PSY326H1, PSY331H1, PSY333H1, PSY336H1, PSY337H1, PSY341H1, PSY342H1, PSY343H1, PSY370H1, PSY371H1, PSY414H1, PSY425H1, PSY426H1, PSY434H1, PSY435H1, PSY450H1, PSY473H1, PSY493H1; RLG200H1, RLG206H1, RLG209H1, RLG211H1, RLG212H1, RLG213H1, RLG229H1, RLG231H1, RLG245H1, RLG246H1, RLG280Y1, RLG301H1, RLG303H1, RLG304H1, RLG311H1, RLG366H1, RLG368H1, RLG372H1, RLG373H1, RLG374H1, RLG375H1, RLG376H1, RLG377H1, RLG378H1, RLG379H1, RLG421H1, RLG440H1, RLG462H1, RLG463H1, RLG465H1, RLG466H1, RLG467H1, RLG468H1, RLG469Y1, RLG470H1; SOC212H1, SOC243H1, SOC250Y1, SOC363H1, SOC448H1, SOC483H1; VIC106H1, VIC206H1


ANT100Y1 Introduction to Anthropology: Society and culture from various anthropological perspectives: socio-cultural, evolutionary, archaeological, and linguistic.

ANT204H1 Social Cultural Anthropology and Global Issues: A course focused on recent anthropological scholarship that seeks to understand and explain the transformation of contemporary societies and cultures. Topics may include some of the following: new patterns of global inequality, war and neo-colonialism, health and globalization, social justice and indigeneity, religious fundamentalism, gender inequalities, biotechnologies and society etc.

ANT348H1 Medical Anthropology: Health, Power and Politics: This course deepens students’ understandings of health and illness as social, cultural, political and historical phenomena. Drawing on theories and approaches from social-cultural anthropology, students will develop skills in critical analysis of experiences and meanings of healing and illness in particular contexts, with a focus on anthropological critique of dominant health policies, discourses, technologies and practices.

ANT356H1 Anthropology of Religion: This course introduces anthropological definitions of religion; debates on rituals and rites of passage; rationality, religion and modernity; belief and body; religion and the media. It also engages with studies in the anthropology of popular and transnational religion, and the politics of religious movements.


COG250Y1 Introduction to Cognitive Science: An introduction to the problems, theories and research [strategies central to the interdisciplinary field focusing on the nature and organization of the human mind and other cognitive systems. Interrelations among the philosophical, psychological, linguistic and computer science aspects of the field are emphasized.

COG341H1 Issues in Cognitive Science I: Attention, Perception, and Consciousness: An examination of core topics in cognitive science building on introductions in COG250Y1. Typical topics include perception and attention; concepts; imagery; consciousness.

COG342H1 Issues in Cognitive Science II: Concepts, Theories of Mind, and Cognitive Evolution: An examination of core topics in cognitive science building on introductions in COG250Y1. Typical topics include: concepts; theories of mind; cognitive evolution.


EAS241H1 Introduction to Chinese Philosophy: A historical introduction to Chinese philosophy, covering selected figures and texts from the Warring States period through the Qīng dynasty. Schools of thought covered include Confucianism, Mohism, Daoism, Legalism, “Profound Learning,” Neo-Confucianism, and “Evidential Learning.” Texts and thinkers include the Confucian Analects, Mòzǐ, Mèngzǐ, Xúnzǐ, Dàodéjīng, Zhuāngzǐ, Hán Fēi, Guō Xiàng, Zhū Xī, Wáng Yángmíng, and Dài Zhèn.

EAS361H1 Zen Buddhism: This course introduces the Zen Buddhist traditions of China, Korea, and Japan. Emphasis is placed on the radical views of history, language, ritual, self, and enlightenment espoused by these traditions. The course also examines issues related to Zen monasticism, the development of koans, and the definition of orthodoxy in both premodern and modern Zen. Students will be asked to explore these and other topics by paying close attention to the historical, doctrinal, and institutional contexts from which they arose.

EAS393H1 Chinese Buddhism: Topics vary according to the instructor’s interests.


FAH260H1 The Artistic Landscape of East Asia: An overview of major monuments and themes in the art and architecture of East Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia and Tibet), from the Neolithic to the present.


HIS280Y1 History of China: A critical history of the place we today call China from prehistoric times to the 21st century, tracing shifting borders, identities, governments, and cultures while challenging any singular definition of “China.”

HIS282Y1 History of South Asia: An introductory survey addressing major themes in the history of South Asia, examining South Asian political economy, social history, colonial power relations and the production of culture. Emphasis is on the period after 1750, particularly the study of colonialism, nationalism, and postcolonial citizenship and modernity.


HMB300H1 Neurobiology of Behaviour: This neuroscience course focuses on higher brain functions and the mechanisms underlying human and animal behaviours. Topics may include the emerging role of the gut microbiome’s impact on behaviour, pathogens that alter neuronal development and the biological basis of mindfulness and placebos. In addition, the impact that exercise and sleep play in modulating these behaviours are examined. Common experimental techniques used in neuroscience research such as brain imaging and cellular genetics are emphasized.

HMB434H1 Complementary & Integrative Medicine: Introduction to complementary and alternative medical therapies. Topics include, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Naturopathy, Ayurvedic, and Mind-Body Practices. Biological mechanisms will be emphasized and therapies will be critically analyzed from an evidence-based research perspective. Integrating alternative therapies into Western practices with a focus on personalized medicine will be discussed.

Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST)

HPS100H1 Introduction to History and Philosophy of Science and Technology: An investigation of some pivotal periods in the history of science with an emphasis on the influences of philosophy on the scientists of the period, and the philosophical and social implications of the scientific knowledge, theory and methodology that emerged.

HPS110H1 The Science of Human Nature: Why do we do what we do? What factors play a role in shaping our personality? What biological and social elements help configure a person’s moral and emotional character? In this course, we examine landmark studies that shook standard beliefs about human nature in their time. We analyze those studies in their historical context and discuss their relevance to social, ethical, and policy debates.  The studies may include research on mother love, obedience, conformity, bystander intervention in emergencies, deception, race, and gender stereotypes.

HPS200H1 Science and Values: An introduction to issues at the interface of science and society. Including the reciprocal influence of science and social norms, the relation of science and religion, dissemination of scientific knowledge, science and policy. Issues may include: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons; Genetic Engineering; The Human Genome Project; Climate Change.

HPS250H1 Introductory Philosophy of Science: This course introduces and explores central issues in the philosophy of science, including scientific inference, method, and explanation. Topics may include underdetermination, realism and empiricism, and laws of nature.


NEW302Y1 C.G. Jung: Stories, Patterns, Symbols: Impact of Jung’s analytical psychology, critical methodology and interpretative practice on issues in religion, anthropology, art and literature, popular culture, gender studies and postmodernist critique. Theoretical studies include traditional Jungian and contemporary post-Jungian texts together with feminist and non-Jungian sources.

NEW303H1 Hypotheses of the Unconscious: Current discussions of the hypotheses, starting with Freud’s and Jung’s hypotheses, especially Jung’s collective unconscious; critical examination through retrospective analysis of the evolution and development of the concept in works from philosophy, psychology, poetry, ethnology, science and popular culture that anticipated, influenced or were influenced by the work of Freud and Jung, post-Freudians and post-Jungians.


PHL100Y1 Introduction to Philosophy (Historical): An introduction to the central branches of philosophy, such as logic, theory of knowledge, metaphysics, ethics, and political philosophy. Writings from the central figures in the history of Western and non-Western philosophy, as well as contemporary philosophers, may be considered.

PHL200Y1 Ancient Philosophy: Central texts of the pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, and post-Aristotelian philosophy.

PHL201H1 Introductory Philosophy: An introduction to philosophy focusing on the connections among its main branches: logic, theory of knowledge, metaphysics, and ethics. This course is intended for those with little or no philosophy background but who have completed Year 1 in any area of study.

PHL217H1 Introduction to Continental Philosophy: An introduction to some of the post-Hegelian thinkers who inspired the various philosophical movements broadly referred to as continental, such as phenomenology, existentialism, deconstruction, and post-modernism. Questions include the will, faith, death, existence, history and politics, rationality and its limits, encountering another. Authors studied may include: Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Marx, Freud, Heidegger, Sartre.

PHL232H1 Knowledge and Reality: An introduction to issues in the fundamental branches of philosophy: metaphysics, which considers the overall framework of reality; epistemology, or the theory of knowledge; and related problems in the philosophy of science. Topics in metaphysics may include: mind and body, causality, space and time, God, freedom and determinism; topics in epistemology may include perception, evidence, belief, truth, skepticism.

PHL235H1 Philosophy of Religion: Some central issues in the philosophy of religion such as the nature of religion and religious faith, arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil, varieties of religious experience, religion and human autonomy.

PHL237H1 Introduction to Chinese Philosophy: A historical introduction to Chinese philosophy, covering selected figures and texts from the Warring States period through the Qīng dynasty. Schools of thought covered include Confucianism, Mohism, Daoism, Legalism, “Profound Learning,” Neo-Confucianism, and “Evidential Learning.” Texts and thinkers include the Confucian Analects, Mòzǐ, Mèngzǐ, Xúnzǐ, Dàodéjīng, Zhuāngzǐ, Hán Fēi, Guō Xiàng, Zhū Xī, Wáng Yángmíng, and Dài Zhèn.

PHL240H1 Persons, Minds and Bodies: Consciousness and its relation to the body; personal identity and survival; knowledge of other minds; psychological events and behaviour.

PHL244H1 Human Nature: Aspects of human nature, e.g., emotion, instincts, motivation. Theories of human nature, e.g., behaviourism, psychoanalysis.

PHL275H1 Introduction to Ethics: An introduction to central issues in ethics or moral philosophy, such as the objectivity of values, the nature of moral judgements, rights and duties, the virtues, and consequentialism. Readings may be drawn from a variety of contemporary and historical sources.

PHL281H1 Bioethics: An introduction to the study of moral and legal problems in medical practice and in biomedical research; the development of health policy. Topics include: concepts of health and disease, patient rights, informed consent, allocation of scarce resources, euthanasia, abortion, genetic and reproductive technologies, human research, and mental health.

PHL302H1 Ancient Philosophy After Aristotle: A study of selected themes in post-Aristotelian philosophy. Topics may include Stoicism, Epicureanism, Neoplatonism, and various forms of scepticism.

PHL310H1 The Rationalists: Central philosophical problems in philosophers such as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, and their contemporaries.

PHL311H1 The Empiricists: Central philosophical problems in philosophers such as Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and their contemporaries.

PHL319H1 Philosophy and Psychoanalytic Theory: A study of the fundamentals of psychoanalytic theory from a philosophical perspective, focusing on the works of Freud and others. Topics include mind (conscious and unconscious), instinctual drives, mechanisms of defence, the structure of personality, civilization, the nature of conscience, and the status of psychoanalysis.

PHL320H1 Phenomenology: Phenomenology is a method used in the analysis of human awareness and subjectivity. It has been applied in the social sciences, in the humanities, and in philosophy. Texts studied are from Husserl and later practitioners, e.g., Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Gurwitsch, and Ricoeur.

PHL331H1 Metaphysics: Historical and systematic approaches to topics in metaphysics, such as the nature of reality, substance and existence, necessity and possibility, causality, universals and particulars.

PHL332H1 Epistemology: Historical and systematic approaches to topics in the theory of knowledge, such as truth, belief, justification, perception, a priori knowledge, certitude, skepticism, other minds.

PHL335H1 Issues in Philosophy of Religion: Some specific problem(s) in the philosophy of religion, such as the relationship of religious faith and religious belief, the ontological argument for the existence of God, theories about divine transcendence, the philosophical presuppositions of religious doctrines, the modern critique of religion.

PHL340H1 Issues in Philosophy of Mind: Typical issues include: the mind-brain identity theory; intentionality and the mental; personal identity.

PHL341H1 Freedom, Responsibility, and Human Action: Human action, and the nature of freedom and responsibility in the light of contemporary knowledge concerning the causation of behaviour.

PHL375H1 Ethics: An intermediate-level study of selected issues in moral philosophy, or of influential contemporary or historical works in ethical theory.

PHL376H1 Topics in Moral Philosophy: A focused examination of a selected issue in moral philosophy.

PHL382H1 Ethics: Death and Dying: An intermediate-level study of moral and legal problems, including the philosophical significance of death, the high-tech prolongation of life, definition and determination of death, suicide, active and passive euthanasia, the withholding of treatment, palliative care and the control of pain, living wills; recent judicial decisions.

PHL383H1 Ethics and Mental Health: An intermediate-level study of moral and legal problems, including the concepts of mental health and illness, mental competence, dangerousness and psychiatric confidentiality, mental institutionalization, involuntary treatment and behaviour control, controversial therapies; legal issues: the Mental Health Act, involuntary commitment, the insanity defence.

PHL404H1 Seminar in Epistemology: Typical problems include the nature of knowledge and belief; perception; theories of truth and necessity; skepticism.

PHL405H1 Seminar in Philosophy of Mind: Advanced study of a problem in the philosophy of mind.

PHL406H1 Seminar in Metaphysics: Typical problems include causality and determinism; ontological categories; mind and body; the objectivity of space and time.

PHL407H1 Seminar in Ethics: Advanced discussion of issues in moral philosophy, including issues of applied ethics.

PHL414H1 Seminar in Philosophy of Religion: Advanced study of topics in the philosophy of religion.

PHL478H1 Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Religion: Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Religion.

PHL479H1Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Mind: Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Mind


PSY100H1 Introductory Psychology: A brief introductory survey of psychology as both a biological and social science. Topics will include physiological, learning, perceptual, motivational, cognitive, developmental, personality, abnormal, and social psychology.

PSY210H1 Introduction to Developmental Psychology: The developmental approach to the study of behaviour with reference to sensorimotor skills, cognition, socialization, personality, and emotional behaviour.

PSY220H1 Introduction to Social Psychology: Contemporary areas of research in social psychology: social perception, attitudes, inter-personal relations, and group processes.

PSY230H1 Personality and Its Transformations: Theory and research in personality structure and dynamics: the interaction of cultural and biological factors in the development and expression of individual differences.

PSY240H1 Introduction to Abnormal Psychology: A critical survey of concepts, theories, and the state of research in the area of psychopathology and therapeutic methods.

PSY260H1 Introduction to Learning and Plasticity: Concepts, theories, and applications of classical and contemporary learning theories, including classical and operant conditioning. Current theories of the physiological and anatomical basis of learning and memory, including synaptic plasticity, the role of the hippocampus, amygdala, frontal cortex and other brain regions. Theories will be related to a practical understanding and applications such as drug addiction, phobias and other disorders.

PSY270H1 Introduction to Cognitive Psychology: An introduction to research and theory on the neural and cognitive architecture of attention, memory, language, thinking and reasoning.

PSY280H1 Introduction to Sensation and Perception: An introduction to the physiological and psychological basis of perception across the different sensory modalities in humans and lower animals, with an emphasis on vision. Exploring visual perception such as shape and objects, scenes, colour, space, and motion as well as auditory perception of simple and complex sounds, and location. Further topics may include touch, including perception of temperature, pain and body posture, the chemical senses, and cross-modal influences of the senses on one another. In-class demonstrations may supplement the lectures.

PSY311H1 Social Development: Theory and research in social attachment, aggression, morality, imitation and identification, altruism, and parental discipline, with discussion of methodological issues.

PSY312H1 Cognitive Development: Examines the developmental of knowledge in fundamental domains such as spatial perception, navigation, object perception, number, language, and theory of mind. Emphasis is on current experimental findings and how they address centuries-old debates surrounding the origin and nature of human knowledge.

PSY313H1 Psychology of Aging: Age changes in sensory and perceptual processes, motor skill, learning, memory, and personality. Theory, methodological problems, social, cultural, and environmental influences that shape behaviour and attitudes towards and among the elderly.

PSY321H1 Cross-Cultural Psychology: One of the hallmarks of human behaviour is its diversity. Some of the ways in which we differ are thought to be relatively idiosyncratic (e.g., specific aspects of personality), whereas others are fairly systematic. Cultural psychology is one area of research in human behaviour that examines systematic differences resulting from individuals’ cultural backgrounds. This course will introduce you to the consideration of cultural variation in the study of human thought and behaviour.

PSY326H1 Social Cognition: An examination of theory and research on how we make sense of ourselves and our social world. Topics covered include goals, mood, memory, hypothesis testing, counterfactual thinking, stereotypes, and culture.

PSY331H1 Social Psychology of Emotion: An in-depth review of the role of emotion in human psychology, with an emphasis on the links between emotion and cognition. Topics include theories of emotion, emotion regulation, emotional expression, and emotional experience, the role of emotion in decision-making, and the relationships between emotion, motivation and behaviour.

PSY333H1 Health Psychology: Examines research evidence concerning the impact of psychological factors on physical health and illness.

PSY336H1 Positive Psychology: A review of the field of positive psychology, which is the study of happiness and fulfillment. Topics include personal growth, meaning, hedonic and eudaimonic approaches to well-being, gratitude, awe, flow states, mindfulness and meditation.

PSY337H1 Advanced Personality Psychology: This course covers major topics in personality psychology including prominent theories and current research in the area. Theoretical frameworks are integrated with specific applications in primary sources. Specific topics may include personality structure, personality development, psychodynamic approaches, genetic methodology, and emotion regulation.

PSY341H1 Psychopathologies of Childhood: This course focuses on cognitive and neuropsychological aspects of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders in children from clinical and theoretical perspectives.

PSY342H1 Cognition and Psychopathology: Work in psychological disorders has increasingly used the theories and methodologies of cognitive psychology to guide research. This course will examine accounts of clinical disorders informed by cognitive experimental psychology, with emphasis on recent work in affective disorders.

PSY343H1  Theories of Psychopathology and Psychotherapy: Examines various theories of how personality functioning may become impaired and corresponding psychotherapeutic interventions. Emphasis on empirical assessment of personality dysfunction and therapy effectiveness.

PSY370H1 Thinking and Reasoning: Problem-solving as a model of directed thinking; conceptual behaviour and mental representation; induction, deduction and learning; probabilistic reasoning; creative thinking and complex problem solving.

PSY371H1 Higher Cognitive Processes: This course covers selected topics pertaining to higher cognitive processes including rationality, consciousness, creativity, and human and artificial intelligence.

PSY414H1 Moral Development: Lecture courses examining cognitive-developmental, psychoanalytic, sociobiological, behaviouristic and cultural-anthropological approaches to moral development. Issues covered include definitions of morality, the relationship between moral judgement and action, gender differences and commonalities, and the role of culture in moral development.

PSY425H1 Self-Consciousness: The distinguishing feature of our species is the reflexivity of our consciousness — the ability to conceive of and interpret ourselves and our experiences. For us, consciousness involves self-consciousness. All our higher symbolic capabilities rest upon this foundation. The aim of this lecture course is to trace out a variety of frames through which we can examine and understand the shared aspects of our subjectivity as self-conscious agents. Using a multidisciplinary approach that draws together ideas and insights from psychology, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, and biology, the course is designed to foster articulacy and critical acumen in how we think about reflexive experience.

PSY426H1 Motivational Theories in Social Psychology: With intensive reading and discussion of ‘classic’ and contemporary articles, this advanced lecture course in social psychology focuses on the central issues, methods, and findings in the study of motivation. Topics include self-regulation, achievement, and reward/punishment.

PSY434H1 Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief: This lecture course is based on the book Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. Maps of Meaning lays bare the grammar of mythology, and describes the relevance of that grammar for interpretation of narrative and religion, comprehension of ideological identification, and understanding of the role that individual choice plays in the maintenance, transformation and destiny of social systems.

PSY435H1 Environmental Psychology: This lecture course explores how psychologists can contribute to finding solutions to today’s pressing environmental challenges. Topics include persuasion, community-based social marketing, social influence, social capital, and the many ways in which the physical environment affects psychological processes. The course takes a multi-scalar approach to the human-environment relationship, covering individual, community, cultural and global levels of scale, through the lens of complex dynamic systems theories.

PSY450H1 History of Psychology: This lecture course discusses the philosophical predecessors and early development of modern psychology, schools of thought, and shifts in areas of theory and research, as well as history and philosophy of science, in general.

PSY473H1 Social Cognitive Neuroscience: Social cognitive neuroscience is an emerging interdisciplinary field that seeks to integrate theories of social psychology and cognitive neuroscience to understand behaviour at three fundamentally interrelated levels of analysis (social, cognitive, and neural). Topics such as self-regulation, cooperation, decision-making, emotion, morality, and prejudice will be examined in this lecture course.

PSY493H1 Cognitive Neuroscience: This is a capstone lecture course surveying research on how the mind arises from the brain. The first objective of the course is to understand how processes in human brains (ranging from the firing of a single neuron to the dynamics of billions) support cognitive abilities (such as recognizing a face, remembering a birthday from childhood, understanding the words in a spoken lecture, or planning a route home from class). The second objective of the course is to understand the methods of contemporary cognitive neuroscience research, to enable students to read primary literature and to understand ongoing debates.


RLG200H1 The Study of Religion: An introduction to the discipline of the study of religion. This course surveys methods in the study of religion and the history of the discipline in order to prepare students to be majors or specialists in the study of religion.

RLG206H1 Buddhism: The development, spread, and diversification of Buddhist traditions from southern to northeastern Asia, as well as to the West.

RLG209H1 Justifying Religious Belief: A survey course that introduces students to a range of epistemological and ethical issues in the study of religion. The issues include: the justification of religious belief; the coherence of atheism; reason vs. faith; the nature of religious language; religious pluralism, exclusivism, and inclusivism.

RLG211H1 Psychology of Religion: A survey of the psychological approaches to aspects of religion such as religious experience, doctrine, myth and symbols, ethics and human transformation. Attention will be given to phenomenological, psychoanalytic, Jungian, existentialist, and feminist approaches.

RLG212H1 Anthropology, Religion and Culture: Is religion a matter of belief or a matter of practice? Do all religions share common features? Is one born into religion, or does one learn to be religious? This course is designed to introduce students to some of the ways in which anthropologists have studied and thought about religion. The emphasis is not on memorizing things people believe and do in different societies but on understanding how anthropologists have tried to explain religious phenomena. The themes covered in the course include: magic and religion; the (ir)rationality of belief; the body as a site of knowledge; ritual; ethical self-cultivation; and religion’s role in the secular age.

RLG301H1 Religion on the Couch: Freud and Jung on Religion: A comparative, critical analysis of the key writings on religion by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Particular attention will focus on the unconscious and its role in the transgenerational transmission of trauma, especially through myths and religions. Freud’s theory of dreams are compared with Jung’s ideas of universal symbols and archetypes, including the personal and collective unconscious. Jung’s theory of synchronicity will be discussed alongside Freud’s theory of telepathy or thought-transference, including their implications for different understandings of the unconscious and archaic inheritance expressed and manifested in religions and religious experience.

RLG303H1 Evil and Suffering: The existence of evil poses a problem to theistic beliefs and raises the question as to whether a belief in a deity is incompatible with the existence of evil and human (or other) suffering. This course examines the variety of ways in which religions have dealt with the existence of evil.

RLG304H1 Language, Symbols, Self: Theories of the self that involve the constitutive role of language in its various forms. Problems of socially-conditioned worldviews and sense of self as related to discourse. Myth, symbol, metaphor, and literary arts as vehicles for personality development and self-transformation along religious lines.

RLG311H1 Gender, Body and Sexuality in Asian Traditions: A study of women in the religious traditions of South and East Asia, including historical developments, topical issues, and contemporary women’s movements.

RLG372H1 Engaging Tibet: A course in Tibetan Studies, with a different focus each year. Topics may include Tibetan Buddhist literature, Tibetan Buddhism and medicine, Tibet as a historical entity, the Tibetan diaspora, geographic perceptions of Tibet, or foreign representations of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism.

RLG373H1 Buddhist Ritual: Daily worship, the alms round, life-crisis celebrations, healing rituals, meditation, festivals, pilgrimage, the consecration of artefacts and taking care of the ancestors are among the forms of Buddhist ritual introduced and analyzed in this course. Liturgical manuals, ethnographic descriptions and audiovisual records form the basis for a discussion of the role of ritual as text and event.

RLG374H1 Buddhist Life Stories: This course explores the genres of autobiography and biography in Buddhist literature. The course will begin with theoretical studies on narrative and religious life-writing. We will then consider the development and distinctive features of auto/biographies and hagiographies in the literature of one or more Buddhist cultures, analyzing representative examples of these genres from a range of traditions and historical periods, and considering how these sources have been understood and used in secondary scholarship.

RLG375H1 Biohacking Breath: This course explores Buddhist practices of manipulating – or “biohacking” – the breath or “winds” (prāna) of the human body, covering relevant theories of human anatomy and physiology and the religious, philosophical, and medical teachings alongside which these practices developed. Intentional breathing practices in the history of European thought and the role of breathwork in contemporary global biohacking movements will also be studied for comparison and contrast. During experiential lab sessions, basic prānāyāma and other breathing practices will be learned and practiced with the guidance of qualified teacher-practitioners.

RLG376H1 Touching the Earth: A study of Buddhist relationships with the earth, including “earth touching” contemplative practices, ritual ceremonies for land spirits or sacred sites, geomantic and cosmographic traditions, the use of landscape imagery to depict enlightenment, contrasts between wilderness and urban spaces, and contemporary ecological movements in Buddhist communities and their responses to climate disruption. The course combines experiential learning approaches and outdoor excursions with reading and written work.

RLG379H1 Religions of the Silk Road: An historical introduction to the religious traditions that flourished along the Silk Road, including Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Nestorian Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Islam. Drawing on a variety of sources (textual, archaeological, works of art), the course will focus on the spread and development of these traditions through the medieval period. Issues include cross-cultural exchange, religious syncretism, ethnic identity formation and so on. Emphasis will also be placed on religious and political events in modern Central Asia.

RLG421H1 Fragments of Redemption: Sigmund Freud and Theodor Adorno: This course will challenge the prevailing view that the thought of Sigmund Freud and Theodor Adorno is so deeply pessimistic as to be devoid of hope. Freud’s psychoanalytic theories are widely (mis)interpreted in the register of a crude pansexualism and biological determinism. Adorno’s critique of society and the individual is often (mis)interpreted as so ruthlessly pervasive that it forecloses on any possibility for emancipatory transformation. This is a distorted view of both thinkers, that misses the hopeful, utopian currents that motivate and shape psychoanalysis and critical theory. The course will explore the emancipatory currents in Freud and Adorno, and their implications for potentialities of individual, social and ecological transformation.

RLG462H1 Newar Religion: An academic legend recounts that if you ask a Newar whether he is Hindu or Buddhist the answer is yes. The course deals with the problem of how to study religions which coexist and compete with each other creating shifting coordinates of religious identification from the perspective of one specific Nepalese community.

RLG463H1 Tibetan Buddhism: Close study of major themes, texts, and thinkers in Tibetan Buddhism. Themes and texts will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this year’s course description.

RLG465H1 Readings in Buddhist Texts: An advanced study of select Buddhist texts with a focus on issues of translation, interpretation, commentarial approaches, narrative strategies, as well as issues related to the production, circulation, and consumption of these works. Themes and texts will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this year’s course description.

RLG466H1 Sravakayana and Theravada Text: An advanced study of key texts pertaining to the Theravada and other Sravakayana schools produced in Southern and Southeastern Asia from the early centuries BC till today with a focus on issues of translation, interpretation, commentarial approaches, doctrinal and narrative strategies, as well as issues related to the production, circulation, and consumption of these works. Texts will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this year’s course description.

RLG467H1  Reading Mahayana Texts: An advanced study of key texts pertaining to the Mahayana schools with a focus on issues of translation, interpretation, commentarial approaches, doctrinal and narrative strategies, as well as issues related to the production, circulation, and consumption of these works. Texts will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this year’s course description.

RLG468H1 Special Topics in Buddhism: Advanced study of specialized topics in Buddhist Studies.

RLG469Y1  Readings in Tibetan: Advanced readings in Tibetan literature using Tibetan language. Tibetan language skills required.

RLG470H1 Buddhist Tantra: A study of Tantric Buddhism, addressing ritual and scholastic practices, and problems of translation and interpretation. Themes will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this year’s course description.


SOC243H1 Sociology of Health and Illness: This course examines (1) the social causes of illness and disease, (2) the experience of illness, and social processes that shape both of these issues, including medicalization. It focuses on population health, the relation between agency and structure, and macro-micro connections. Professional health care is discussed to the extent that it provides context for analyses of illness patterns and experiences.

SOC250Y1 Sociology of Religion: This course will examine religious beliefs, practices, and experiences from a historical-sociological and comparative perspective. Classical and contemporary theories will be reviewed and applied to investigate such topics as: the social origins of religions; the formation of religious communities; heresies, schisms and the making of orthodoxies; secularization and fundamentalism; cults and new religious movements; religious regulation of the body and person; and the variable linkages of religion to politics, war, art and science.

SOC363H1 Sociology of Mental Health and Mental Disorders: An overview of the link between social inequality and emotional inequality, focusing on differences in mental health across social groups and the role of stress and coping resources in explaining group differences.

SOC448H1 Sociology & Emotions: From social cohesion to intergroup violence, emotional processes influence social outcomes. Moral aspects of experience in particular are linked to emotions such as shame and pride. Students in this course will review major theories of, and a variety of empirical approaches to, the link between social and emotional processes. They will be encouraged to extend ideas and analyses in the published literature to new topics. Restricted to 4th-year sociology majors and specialists.

SOC483H1 Culture and Cognition: This course examines the social foundations of thinking and action, with a focus on how individuals think and act through shared cognitive schemas that are embedded in larger social structures. The course is organized around a wide-ranging array of classical and contemporary theories that help explain the various factors that shape culture and cognition. There is a research component to put this analytical understanding into practice. Restricted to 4th-year sociology majors and specialists.


VIC106H1 Psychology and Society: This course explores central developments and ongoing controversies in the scientific study of the human mind, brain and behaviour. It examines topics such as: psychoanalysis, behaviourism, humanistic psychology, evolutionary psychology, intelligence testing, and feminist perspectives. Goals include understanding the historical evolution and social relevance of scientific psychology. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

VIC206H1 Psychology and Society: This course explores central developments and ongoing controversies in the scientific study of the human mind, brain and behaviour. It examines topics such as: psychoanalysis, behaviourism, humanistic psychology, evolutionary psychology, intelligence testing, and feminist perspectives. Goals include understanding the historical evolution and social relevance of scientific psychology.