REL2800EN - World Religions

Course description

Survey of major religions, from ancient foundations through current practices. Using films to illustrate lifestyle, culture and context, students explore Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, as well as some less widespread historic and newer religions. Addresses divisions within a religion, how new religions emerge, tribal practices and atheism.

How this course benefits students

Students are aware of the many religious differences around them which shape a person's values and lives. What are the roots of these belief systems and how did the denominations arise? Many points of theology and history are explored as well as the cultural and anthropological side.

Why this course is important

To be equipped for the international, inter-connected settings where we live and serve requires knowledge of belief systems different from our own, especially the major world religions.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Religion Studies
Educational level
Humanities Distribution
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Dorcas Dennis, Professor of Folk Studies

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

When people are searching for ultimate Truth, something and Someone higher than human existence, they have arrived at various conclusions and suppositions. How do we navigate this maze? In Job 11:4, Job says, "You claim, ‘My beliefs are pure,’ and ‘I am clean in the sight of God.’" What does that mean? What was Paul doing on Mars Hill when he spoke about the Tomb of the Unknown God? It is important to understand the beliefs of the people in our lives, to be better understood as we understand.

Missionally driven

Knowledge of world relgions can equip people serving in the multi-cultural environments to be change agents in the larger contexts where we serve.

Contextually informed

We will look at how people express and live out their faith in various contexts and how context shapes beliefs and practices.

Interculturally focused

The world's religions come from cultures and, in their diversity, they are quite intercultural. This course will examine the cultures that birthed particular belief systems.

Practically minded

To learn about belief systems different from our own has many practical applications.

Experientially transformed

As students view films of people practicing their beliefs and living lifestyles that reflect their values, they will see what the experience looks like and be better equipped to share in those experiences as they go out.