Content

This unit provides an overview of the major World Religions including the place of Christianity in the religious arena. It offers a framework for understanding the classification of religions as well as the chronological development, adaptation, geographical distribution, worldviews, and cultural impact of world faiths. A summary of major religious innovators/figures, central doctrines/teachings, sacred myths and texts – including potential emerging world religions – will lead into a discussion concerning appropriate Christian responses to the world’s religions and their adherents. Indigenous values such as respecting others and story-telling are central to the approach utilized in this course.

Unit code: AR8746W (Approved)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Religious Studies

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes

1.

Identify the essential elements of the world’s major religions and articulate an understanding of the development of them with reference to at least one;

2.

Demonstrate basic skills in comparative religious analysis and apply key concepts to their own experiences;

3.

Identify and demonstrate understanding of the differences and similarities between classical formulations of religions and contemporary practices (how and why religious worlds are constructed);

4.

Demonstrate awareness of the complexity of religious thought and expression;

5.

Describe and demonstrate an Indigenous perspective towards practitioners of other faiths;

6.

Identify and juxtapose the central teachings of Christianity with those of other religions with a view to a better understanding the uniqueness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pedagogy

Online: Online synchronous discussions, forums, reading exercises

Indicative Bibliography

  • Johnson, Greg, and Siv Ellen Kraft, eds. Handbook of Indigenous Religion(s). Brill, 2017.
  • Partridge, Christopher. Ed. Introduction to World Religions. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2013. [Note: 2013 edition required, or the Kindle edition, 2014].
  • Peace, Jennifer Howe, et al. Eds. My Neighbor’s Faith: Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth, and Transformation. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2012.
  • Aslan, Reza. No God But God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam. New York, NY: Random House, 2005.
  • Bowker, John. The Message and the Book: Sacred Texts of the World’s Religions. New Haven, CN: Yale University Press; Grove Atlantic Ltd., 2012
  • Brodd, Jeffrey. World Religions: A Voyage of Discovery. Winona, MN: St. Mary’s Press, 2009.
  • Coogan, Michael D. Ed. World Religions. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Herrick, James A. The Making of the New Spirituality: The Eclipse of the Western Tradition. Downers Grove: IVP, 2003.
  • Hexham, Irving and Stephen Rost, John W. Morehead II. Eds. Encountering New Religious Movements. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004.
  • Muck, Terry C. and Frances Adeney. Christianity Encountering World Religions: The Practice of Mission in the Twenty-First Century. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009.
  • Noss, David S. A History of the World’s Religions. Twelfth ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc., 2008.
  • O'Murchu, Diarmuid. In the Beginning was the Spirit: Science, Religion, and Indigenous Spirituality. Orbis Books, 2012.
  • Smart, Ninian and Hecht, Richard D. Eds. Sacred Texts of the World: A Universal Anthology. New York, Crossroad Books, 2004.

Assessment

Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Personal and Professional Evaluation

Personal & Professional evaluation (1000 words)

1000 10.0
Personal Reflection

Personal Reflection (2500 words)

2500 40.0
Project Report or Project Journal

Report – 3500 words

3500 50.0
Approvals

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 8 Oct, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2020-10-09 09:40:04 +1100