Course Spotlight: REL 301 - Comparative Mysticism

November 07, 2023 · 2 min read · By ASU Online
Explore Arizona State University’s REL 301 course, Comparative Mysticism. Learn about the topics covered in the course and the online degrees available to those looking to continue their religious studies education.

Course description: REL 301 - Comparative Mysticism

In this program, you’ll learn about the comparative examination of Eastern and Western mystical traditions from antiquity to present day.

By studying the historical background of mysticism throughout religious studies, you’ll be able to explore if you’ve had any of your own personal mystical experiences. This course will also help you identify your religious autobiography and the religious influences you’ve had throughout your life.


Your instructor: Charles Barfoot

As part of the Religious Studies faculty, Charles Barfoot’s research interests include religions of the world, biblical Hebrew and witchcraft. Today at ASU, Professor Barfoot teaches American Religious Traditions, Religion in America and Religion and Popular Culture, in addition to Comparative Mysticism.

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How you’ll learn

You’ll learn about experiences of mysticism and how these moments have resulted in the birth of a new religion to many who learn about them. You’ll explore this topic through video lectures, readings and written work that requires content summaries and your personal view of the subject. Since the course focuses on comparative mysticism, most of the world's greatest religions are covered throughout the coursework.

According to Professor Barfoot, the course concludes by exploring the recent use of psychedelic substances for the treatment of chronic illnesses and end-of-life care, shedding light on the notion that spirituality is not solely confined to traditional religious avenues.


What you’ll get out of REL 301

REL 301 is helpful for students pursuing religious studies majors, as well as those looking for an interesting elective to add to their curriculum.

“Recently I’ve had several students request letters of recommendation hoping to find employment in places like The Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research,” Professor Barefoot stated.

Barfoot believes that knowledge of these new resources for treatment and healing opportunities may prove invaluable for someone contemplating a career as a hospice or hospital chaplain.


Earn a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies with ASU Online

ASU Online offers two Bachelor of Arts in religious studies programs with two different concentrations: 

Everything you need to know about ASU Online classes and degree programs

We’ve compiled what you need to know about online classes and degree programs at Arizona State University. Read on to learn all about what to expect from the ASU Online learning experience.


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