Comparative World Religions


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This course will focus on major world religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Zen Buddhism, Shintoism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity), by presenting the characteristic elements of each. The religions will be viewed as traditions that develop and evolve as responses to the deep questions we ask about our existence. Where did we come from? Where are we going? Why are we here? What is the nature of the world, and what is ultimate reality? The way in which each religion seeks to answer these questions they provide for their followers a way of living and dying meaningfully. Students will approach each religion from the context of origins and history, theology and sacred writings. Discussion will focus not only on what religions say or write in books, but on what people do in following their religion and what the religion does for them. A desired outcome of this course is that students will have both a greater understanding of and appreciation for the different world religions. There will be an emphasis on reading the sacred texts of religions and writing exercises. Field trips, outside of school hours, to various houses of worship will be required of students enrolled.
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