Details for World Religions: An historical overview
In the context of our increasingly multicultural world, an understanding of the contemporary spiritual supermarket on offer today is vital. This unit begins with an introduction to religious studies and God’s design of people as spiritual beings. It then explores the historical, cultural and theological foundations of religions of antiquity, indigenous religions, major global religions and minority religious groups. The significant rise of new religious movements is also discussed. This study reveals the uniqueness of Christianity in a pluralistic world and provides practical guidance for ministry to people of other faiths.
- Currently offered by Alphacrucis: Yes
- Unit code: HIS206
- Credit points: 10
- Total workload hours per week: 10
- Number of timetabled hours per week: 3 *
The following courses are prerequisites:
The unit World Religions: An historical overview is part of the subject area Church History and is offered as a part of the following Awards: Bachelor of Contemporary Ministry (Alphacrucis College (NSW Dept. of Education)).
This unit seeks to introduce students to the academic study of religion and of world religions, and to the great world religious traditions. Primal or “oral” religions will also be studied, and contrasted with “historical” religions. The course examines the historical evolution, the fundamental doctrines and beliefs, the practices, institutions and cultural expressions of these religious traditions.
- The academic study of religion: theories and approaches.
- Shamanistic and the concept of ‘primal’ religions.
- The religions of the Book: Judaism, Christianity, Islam.
- Religions of Asia and Africa: Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Taoism,etc
- New Religious Movements: global flows, identity and syncretism.
- The value of studying world religions: a conclusion.
This course may be offered in the following formats
Lectures, class presentations, discussion, tutorials, web-based interaction, distance learning material
Ethnographic Interview (25%, 1500 words); Exam (25%); Major essay (50%; 2500 words)
- Berkwitz, Stephen C.(ed), Buddhism in world cultures: comparative perspectives, Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2006
- Durkheim, Emile, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, New York: Free Press, 1915 (various modern editions)
- England John C. [et al.], Asian Christian theologies: a research guide to authors, movements, sources, Delhi: ISPCK, 2002-2004
- Fletcher, R. A., The cross and the crescent: Christianity and Islam from Muhammad to the reformation, London: Allen Lane, 2003
- Hewer, C. T. R., Understanding Islam: an introduction, Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2006
- Otto, Rudolf, The Idea of the Holy: An Inquiry into the non-rational factor in the idea of the divine and its relation to the rational, London: Oxford University Press, 1958 (various modern editions)
- Oxtoby, Willard G. (ed), World Religions: Eastern Traditions, and World Religions: Western Traditions, Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2002
- Rosen, Steven, Essential Hinduism, Westport, Conn.; London: Praeger, 2006
- Rubinstein, Hilary L., The Jews in Australia: a thematic history,Port Melbourne: William Heinemann Australia, 1991
- Waines, David, An Introduction to Islam, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995