This course will examine the major global religions from a cross-cultural, multi-religious perspective. Taking into consideration that a course that explores many religions cannot be comprehensive, we will consider the religions from a thematic perspective by analyzing fundamental beliefs and practices in the various religious traditions. In addition, we will also examine assumptions underlying the discipline of religious studies. Students will engage through weekly readings and forum discussion, as well as other interactive learning activities, as part of the online learning community. Students of all faiths and backgrounds are invited and encouraged to enroll. Priority given to off-campus SKSM students. [Faculty approval required; 20 max enrollment. Auditors excluded]
The online education format brings with it both benefits and challenges. On the one hand, it provides greater flexibility and the opportunity for all of us to gather together in collaborative learning—no matter where we are in the world. On the other hand, certain limitations can sometimes render the format less interactive than a traditional in-person course. Taking all of this into consideration, and in the hopes of providing a lively learning experience, this course has been designed to provide as much quality interaction as possible—both with the material and with the class community. The course material will include images, video clips, and music relevant to the faith traditions we will be studying, along with the textual readings. In addition, collaborative dialogue with classmates (weekly forum postings as well as “live” discussion via Skype, phone, etc.) will hopefully create a dynamic and stimulating learning environment where we can all engage in thoughtful discussion and reflection.