World Religions Courses

Read about courses in world religions, including Eastern, Western and Native American faiths. Find out where you can take classes, what topics they may cover and how they can prepare you for future studies in a variety of areas. Schools offering Christian Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Topics Do World Religions Courses Cover?

World religion courses can provide an overview of multiple religions or investigate a particular faith. Religions commonly covered in these courses include Eastern religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism and Shinto; Western religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam; mysticism; religions of island cultures; and Native American religions. Studies of holy books may include analysis of the Old or New Testament, Koran, Vedas of Hinduism or other sacred texts.

Some classes investigate the fundamental practices and beliefs of different religions, while others may analyze religions from a sociological viewpoint to determine their impact on a country or geographic area's culture and interactions. These classes may cover religion and death, the psychology and sociology of religion, religious ethics and philosophy, the meaning of existence or the role of women in religion. Other classes discuss the impact of religion within and across cultures. These classes might include religious history, art, myths and architecture; topics like supernatural beliefs may also be explored. Examples of classes one might take include:

The Writings of Paul

The writings of Paul are found in thirteen chapters of the New Testament of the Bible. In this course, students will study the history around these texts and their major philosophical and theological themes as well as their political, religious, and social effects.

Women and World Religion

In a world dominated by men, it is important to examine the effects that women have on it, such as how the female sex affects religious beliefs. Students will learn about how women's roles in society and in the home are impacted by different religions. They will also explore depictions of women in various religious texts, along with famous female religious leaders and figures.

Islamic Law

In a course on Islamic law, students will learn about the religious-based legal system and how the ethics of Islam play a role in it. Topics will include history, education, and methodologies of Islamic Law, as well as the difference between older and more modern approaches in practice and implementation.

Witchcraft

Witchcraft is a broad term, so this class would be examining a great many topics. Students could learn about practices of magic and sorcery; ritual, trance and possession experiences; Paganism; witches across the world; and the effects of witchcraft across history and culture.

Jewish Mysticism

Kabbalah wasn't always a trendy fashion statement for the Hollywood elite - it has real and serious roots in the Jewish faith. Students studying Jewish mysticism will learn about its history within Judaism, common literature, and its theological and philosophical implications.

Where Are These Courses Offered?

Religion courses can be found at community colleges or universities. They may be offered by a department of religion or as part of degree programs in history, literature, anthropology, sociology, psychology or philosophy. Both online and campus-based classes are available, and some classes may combine both online and classroom learning.

Some institutions offer free courses in subjects like comparative religion, Bible study, religious history and philosophy. Free courses are also available online through audio and video downloads or podcasts.

For What Do These Courses Prepare Me?

These courses are useful for understanding how religious beliefs shape societies in political, economic and cultural contexts, and they also offer insight into historical events and conflicts. They can prepare you for future study in law, economics, political science, journalism, seminary or graduate programs.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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