If we understand religion using theologian Paul Tillich’s definition, as that which is of “ultimate concern,” then there is no more profound study than religion.
When we make the scope of our study the world itself, then we have a course about the deepest meanings made by all the people of the world and throughout history. Welcome to
Introduction to World Religions. It is going to be a fascinating, challenging, and rewarding journey. Fascination will turn quickly to challenge as we explore worlds vastly different from our own. To succeed in our quest, we must use our imagination to visit these new worlds and bracket our familiar one. We will accomplish this feat by using five concepts drawn from the discipline of religious studies: the sacred, myth, ritual, community, and the individual. These concepts will be used as lenses to frame and focus our study of beliefs and practices from around the world.
1. Describe essential features of world religions.
2. Compare and contrast religious traditions.
3. Analyze the relationship between culture and religion.
4. Apply objective methodologies to the study of world religions.
5. Communicate effectively.