World Religion Adult Education Series with Pastor Chris Spruill

Class Description:

During our time together we will explore the major religions of the world. We will study the origin and subsequent development of each religion to gain an understanding of the religion from its historical context. In addition to the history of the religion, we will explore the doctrines, beliefs, rituals, and practices of each religion to gain knowledge of the content of the religion and the religious experience of its believers. The overarching purpose of our work together is to form an understanding and appreciation of each world religion from the outside (the history of the religion) and from the inside (the practice of the religion).

Readings:

The Class leader will provide, at the end of each class session, an outline of the information we will go over together in our next session together. Class meets every other Wednesday evening at 7PM at Incarnation United Church of Christ.

Expectation:

Respect for divergent points of view. It is expected that each participant will demonstrate respect for all involved by submitting respectful comments and honoring others viewpoints. Disagreement is normal and expected particularly around the subject of religion. The challenge of living in a religiously diverse society is to respectfully disagree.

Class

Date

Subject

Additional Comments

1

5/20/15

Introduction to the Study of Religion

 

2

6/3/15

Pluralism

Please read, from the Pluralism Project Website (www.pluralism.org) “What is Pluralism?”

and “From Diversity to Pluralism” (copies of each will be available for those with limited access to the internet)

3

6/17/15

Pluralism, cont

 

4

7/1/15

North American Indigenous Religion

From the Great Spirit to the Ghost Dance

5

7/15/15

African Indigenous Religion

The Cradle of Civilization

6

7/29/15

European Indigenous Religion

Vikings, Pagans, Greeks and Romans

7

8/12/15

Australian Indigenous Religion

The Outback/Aboriginals

8

8/26/15

Hinduism, Part I

The Stable of Gods

9

9/9/15

Hinduism, Part II

Hindu worship and sacred stories

10

9/23/15

Buddhism, Part I

The Life and Times of Siddartha Guatama

11

10/7/15

Buddhism, Part II

Buddhism Develops Legs

12

10/21/15

Chinese Religion, Part I

Confucianism

13

11/4/15

Chinese Religion, Part II

Daoism

14

11/18/15

Chinese Religion, Part III

Chinese Buddhist Merit System

15

12/2/15

Japanese Religion

Shinto, State Religion

16

1/6/16*

Discussion on Religious-Themed Holidays

 

17

1/20/16

Discussion on Monotheism

The importance of Jerusalem

18

2/3/16#

Discussion on Fundamentalism

 

19

3/30/16

Judaism, Part I

God Speaks to Abraham

20

4/13/16

Judaism, Part II

Monarchy, Exile and the Return to Jerusalem

21

4/27/16

Christianity, Part I

From Jewish Cult to Roman State Religion

22

5/11/16

Christianity, Part II

From the Reformation to Post-Modernism

23

5/25/16

Christianity, Part III

Scripture/Worship/Beliefs

24

6/8/16

Islam, Part I

The Life and Preaching of Muhammad

25

6/22/16

Islam, Part II

The Global Spread

26

7/6/16

Sikhism

The Gurus

27

7/20/16

New Religious Movements, including a conversation about Paganism

Class members are asked to research new religious movements and bring in examples for us to discuss

28

8/3/16

New Religious Movements, cont.

 

*Class will break following this session for the Christmas Holiday

#Class will break following this session for the Lenten Season

Class members are encouraged to attend regularly but anyone is welcome to come at any time when a session looks interesting to them.