The Religions of the world

Overview

Most persons who live in the Western world have until recent times considered Judaism and Christianity to be the only religions of consequence. However, during the last twenty years which have coincided with the rapid growth of Islam, there is now growing interest in learning about the other religions of the world.

This 12-week course introduces students to the major religions. Its point of departure is that most persons who live in the Western world have until recent times considered Judaism and Christianity to be the only religions of consequence. However, during the last twenty years which have coincided with the rapid growth of Islam, there is now growing interest in learning about the other religions of the world. It will cover the following topics:

  • Hinduism, a polytheistic religion whose main teaching is that there are four paths to God through knowledge, love, work and psychophysical exercises
  • Judaism, the first Abrahamic religion whose main teaching is Monotheism, the doctrine of One God
    Shinto, an indigenous Japanese religion whose main teaching is that the “kami”, the gods, exist in everyone and everything
  • Confucianism/Taoism, an indigenous Chinese religion whose main teaching is that propriety in all things is to be pursued
  • Buddhism, whose main teaching advocates the Middle Way, the path of non-extremism
  • Christianity, the second Abrahamic religion whose main teaching is Monotheism, the doctrine of One God that emphasizes the elimination of social barriers in a discipleship of equals
  • Islam, the third Abrahamic religion that teaches Monotheism and oneness with God