In our global society, we interact daily with people from many different cultural backgrounds whose worldviews are shaped by a multiplicity of religious traditions. In order to communicate effectively with other people and to understand why people of different religious orientations act in certain ways, it is important that we are aware of their religious worldview. This course will explore the phenomenology of the world’s major religious traditions through examination of their beliefs, sacred spaces, practices, life-cycle rituals, and festivals. Although we will discuss Christianity and Judaism, there will be an emphasis on the dominant religious traditions of the countries we will visit during the term. This is a course about questions and the variety of ways that humans have answered them.
Field ClassCountry: Myanmar (Burma)
Day: 2 - Wednesday, 25 February
This field lab will take students to the major pagodas and shrines in Rangoon, Myanmar. Students will observe Buddhist tourists and pilgrims at the Shwedagon Pagoda, the Sule Pagoda, the Chaukhtatgyi Paya, and the Ngahtatgyi Paya. Field Lab Paper due March 16. Academic Objectives: 1. Observe Buddhist pilgrimage rituals 2. Investigate Buddhist stupa style pagoda architecture 3. Observe Buddhist rituals