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

Unit status: Approved (Minor revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Religious Studies

Delivery Mode: Online

Proposing College: Whitley College

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


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;


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


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


Demonstrate awareness of the complexity of religious thought and expression;


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


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.


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.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Personal & 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

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 20 Oct, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-20 12:17:01 +1100