Introduction to World Religions
What do we mean by 'world religions' and why might this phrase be controversial? How should we approach the study of the spiritual paths, key beliefs and practices of the main religious traditions? This course will give you the tools to study world religions in a balanced and sensitive way.
This course aims to help to develop a clearer framework for understanding different approaches to the study of religion and to consider in particular what the term 'world religion' might mean. It does not assume prior knowledge of religion, the study of religion or world religions. It will allow examination of 'what' each religion teaches as well as 'how' each religion developed historically and functions in the world today. It does not aim to provide an in-depth study of each religion, but rather to help to make the first steps in such a study. Nor does it aim to make judgements about the validity or otherwise of truth statements made by religions, but rather to allow the religions to speak for themselves and approach their study with an open mind and an awareness that no perspective will be unbiased. In particular it will examine how religions can be studied from within (the insider perspective) as well from outside it (the outsider perspective) and how the interplay between these two is often what is involved in the study of religion.
There will be guided reading of texts and students will be directed to various online resources, including some interactive ones.
By the end of this course, students will be expected to understand:
- What is meant by Abrahamic and Asian religious traditions
- The beliefs and practices of key world religions
- How religions have adapted and changed in the modern world
- Different approaches to the study of religion e.g. the insider-outsider approach
By the end of this course students will be expected to have gained the following skills:
- Be able to apply understanding of different approaches to at least one Case Study of a world religion
- Use key terms (e.g. diaspora, hierophany) connected with religions in their context
- Be able to critically engage with issues surrounding the study of religions
For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.
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