Explores the world's major religious traditions. Stresses the wide range of perspectives within each tradition, their porous boundaries, contested beliefs, and multiple practices as they have adapted to new circumstances and the needs of changing communities over time.
In this course we will survey the world's major religious traditions including Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Confucianism, Taoism, as well as new religious movements. Our focus will be on religious thought and practice in global and local perspective. Through the course of our study we will call attention to the various approaches to the study of religion and some general theories of religion. Of additional interest will be how religion/s play a considerable role in influencing how the societies in which they exist structure and reinforce other human institutions.
Student learning goals
Students will be exposed to a wide variety of texts written by, for and about scholars and practitioners of a variety of religions, and will recognize the importance of contextualizing the production of these texts.
Students will facilitate a class discussion on their chosen topic, including soliciting responses to the reading and student insight, in prepration of their final research paper.
Students will conduct cross-cultural research on a topic on religion (of their choice), and write a research paper. They will receive significant guidance in this task.
Students will have a better grasp of scholars' critical thought around the topic of their choosing on religion.
Students will collaborate on a research project in preparation for a group presentation.
Students will understand the interdisciplinary nature of religion studies.
General method of instruction
The method of instruction for this course includes lecture, films, in-class student discussion and small group work.
Class assignments and grading
The nature of assignments include formal and informal written assignments, class participation and student presentations. A final portfolio consisting of all assignments for the course is required. This class makes use of blackboard for furthering discussion circles.