Explores the spiritual impulse as reflected in non-traditional as well as traditional contexts. Examines various aspects of religions that influence both individuals and cultures including the nature of ultimate reality and its communication through symbols, rituals, scriptures, religious experiences, prophets, and sages. All of these religious phenomena will be considered in light of the contemporary influences of globalization, science, and environmental challenges.
Goals, Topics, and Objectives
- Studying religion in a global society.
- Analyze various factors involved in globalization.
- Analyze how religions are being affected by globalization.
- What is religion?
- Identify and describe several aspects of "religion" that contribute to a polythetic definition of the term.
- How do various cultures and traditions identify the absolute, the ultimate or the holy?
- Identify and describe different ways of understanding the "absolute" or the "ultimate reality."
- What are the origins or who are the founders of the world's great religious traditions?
- Analyze various versions of the origins and/or founders of religions.*
- How do religious narratives inform basic values, worldviews and norms of cultures and societies?
- Differentiate between denotative and conotative writing.
- Analyze the nature of myths, stories, and histories and how they combine to create religious narratives and beliefs.*
- What are rituals? What are the functions of rituals in both individual lives and in the larger cultural context.
- Identify and describe how rituals function in religions.
- Religious Beliefs and Values Applied to Social Problems.
- Examine how the ethical dimension of religions deals with global and societal problems such as the environment, peace, war, and social justice.
- Demonstrate how religions play an important role in shaping our individual and collective response to current events.
Assessment and Requirements
Each instructor will identify and implement appropriate methods to assess the achievement of the learning objectives for the course. Such methods could include objective style tests, essays, research papers, journals, projects, etc.
Required course materials are on file with the department.
Credit for Prior College-Level Learning
Determined by department