World Religions

The image of a “global village” has become a standard description of the ever-smaller world in which we live today, pointing to our economic, ecological, political and cultural interdependence. In religious terms, this means that we encounter new, once unfamiliar traditions with greater frequency and in more direct ways than before. This course offers an introductory overview of several religious traditions (American indigenous religions, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam) in their original historical context as well as their contemporary cultural manifestations. By looking at both scholarly accounts and writings by the adherents of these religions, we will explore the fundamental teachings, practices, ideas and values of each tradition, as well as some of the critical issues that these traditions face today.