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.

Biblical Literature

Students in this course will explore biblical proverbs, including the books of Job and Koheleth. An emphasis is also placed on the historical concepts associated with the English Bible.

Hebrew Prophets

This course will introduce students to the political, economic, and societal factors of the Hebrew Prophets. The second part of Hebrew Canon will be discussed in addition to the Book of Daniel.

Christianity

The doctrines of Christianity will be the main focus of this course, including the history of world religion. Students will also cover the main figures of Christianity, the age of the Reformations, and the way the religion is practiced in today's society.

Islam

Students will study the Qur'an and its origins in the 7th century in today's Arabian peninsula. The legal systems of Islam will also be explored in addition to Muslim ethical practices.

Buddhism

This course will explore the concepts associated with Zen Buddhism and its ancient beginnings in China, Korea, and India. Students can also study the spread of Buddhism throughout Southeast Asia and its influence on Western societies, including the teachings on nirvana, rituals, and spiritual fulfillment.

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 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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  • Johns Hopkins University

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