World Religions – REL 501

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course offers a review of all the great spiritual traditions of the world. Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Taoism are introduced withemphasis on both Judeo-Christian and Eastern thought on consciousness.

 

 

COURSE SESSIONS AND TOPICS

This course is divided into ten, one-hour sessions. The introductory session,
Understanding the World’s Religious Heritage is presented in both audio and video format to better acquaint the student with the instructor.

Session 1 | Understanding the World’s Religious Heritage
Session 2 | Prehistoric and Tribal Religion
Session 3 | Hinduism
Session 4 | Buddhism
Session 5 | East Asian Religions
Session 6 | Monotheism and Judaism
Session 7 | Christianity
Session 8 | Islam
Session 9 | New Religious Movements
Session 10 | World Religion Today and Tomorrow

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LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR THIS COURSE

By the end of the third week, students will demonstrate the ability:

Outcome 1: To meet the objectives identified at the beginning of
each of the assigned chapters in the text: Many Peoples, Many Faiths.

Outcome 2: To meet the following objective related to the text by Porterfield:
(a) To identify that Navajo sand-painting expresses a view of the universe.
What is that view and how do humans fit into it?  (b) To give short responses
indicating an understanding of the role of goddesses and of the Puja or
devotional worship, in Hinduism. (c) To identify ways in which Lakota
self-sacrifice represents initiation.  (d) To identify correctly Arjuna’s question
and Krishna’s answers in terms of Jnana yoga, Karma yoga, Bhakti yoga,
and the place of the Theophany or divine vision at the climax.

By the end of the seventh week, students will demonstrate the ability:

Outcome 3: To meet the objectives identified at the beginning of each of
the assigned chapters in the text: Many Peoples, Many Faiths.

Outcome 4: To meet the following objective related to the text by Porterfield:
(a) Explain how the Seder is done. Interpret its meaning as ritual.
(b) Describe how to do Zazen and what experiences or insights it induces.
(c) Identify some of the main themes of Jewish mysticism.
(d) Discuss Tantric Buddhism and how it is practiced.

Outcome 5: Students will analyze a visit to a religious service and institution in
terms of the interaction of the three forms of religious expression—theoretical or
teaching; practical or worship, and personal devotion; sociological or the role of
leadership, social interaction, demographics and institutional structure.

By the end of the tenth week, students will demonstrate the ability:

Outcome 6: To meet the objectives identified at the beginning of each of the
assigned chapters in the text: Many Peoples, Many Faiths.

Outcome 7: To meet the objectives by reading the text by Porterfield:
(a) Describe how the Roman Catholic Eucharist is understood as a sacrament,
a sacrifice, a communal experience, and a devotional experience.
(b) Explain what is distinctive in Islamic prayer and concept of God, and what
they have in common with other religions with which you are familiar.
(c) Discuss in writing the inner spiritual meaning of the Presbyterian, Reformed,
or Calvinist concept of divine grace. How is it sometimes misunderstood?
(d) On the basis of “PART III” (from Porterfield text) and your own observation,
discuss what you see as changes going on in American religion today,
how the present situation compares to the past and what these trends portend
for the religious future.

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PROFESSOR

This course was created and recorded by:

Robert Ellwood, Ph.D. | (History of Religion, University of Chicago Divinity School). Dr. Ellwood is the Emeritus Professor of Religion, University of Southern California. Author of 22 books, including: Many People, Many Faiths; The Pilgrim Self; and The Fifties Spiritual Marketplace.This course will be administered and graded by:

James Santucci, Ph.D. | (Asian Civilizations, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia). Chair & Professor of Comparative Religion at California State University, Fullerton. Author of over 45 articles and five books, including:  An Outline of Vedic Literature; La società teosofica; and An Educator’s Classroom Guide to America’s Religious Beliefs and Practices.

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PURCHASE AUDIO / VIDEO

The lecture series from this course is also available for independent study.
>> Click Here to order these course materials.

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