Spring 2022 | Mediterranean Exploration

PHIL 174 World Religions [CRN 17870]

Overview of Course

"[Humans] expect from the various religions answers to the unsolved riddles of the human condition, which today, even as in former times, deeply stir the hearts of [humans]: What is [a human]? What is the meaning, the aim of our life? What is moral good, what is sin? Whence suffering and what purpose does it serve? Which is the road to true happiness? What are death, judgment and retribution after death? What, finally, is that ultimate inexpressible mystery which encompasses our existence: whence do we come, and where are we going?" – Nostra Aetate

The study of world religions allows us to understand the traditions and world views of cultures and societies different from our own. The course will begin with an exploration of what religion is: how it is formed and studied. Students will be expected to respect cultural differences and the religious traditions and experiences of others. The course will look at major religious traditions. These will include Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Each of these will be looked at in light of their history, world view, understanding of the human condition, understanding of life and death, institutions and rituals, ethical expression and modern practice. A text will be used in this course along with English language translations of select primary source readings. Other media including documentaries, art, music and literature will also be used to enhance the student’s understanding of these religions. Articles, case studies, discussion questions, study guides, and rubrics will be available on the class LMS site. Students are not required to print out most documents, however they must have access to them for reference during class.