Five Great Religions of the World - Part I
Religion has been a highly important part of the lives of human beings. The great religions of the world are Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Religion has been a highly important part of the lives of human beings.
The great religions of the world are Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
This course is an introduction to these religions: to their origins and their early historical development; to their key text(s) and to some of their key beliefs and practices; and, to some of the early developments in their intellectual thought.
It does not assume any prior specialist knowledge.
Term Starts: 24th January
Week 1: Hinduism: Introduction; Vedic period: pre-Aryan and Aryan culture; Sacred Literature; Renouncer Tradition.
Week 2: Hinduism: Classical period: Literature; Gods; Some Schools of Thought.
Week 3: Buddhism: Scriptures; Buddha and his Teachings.
Week 4: Buddhism: Early Development; Expansion; Divisions; Some Schools of Thought.
Week 5: Judaism: The Hebrew Bible; Early (traditional) History.
Week 6: Judaism: Beliefs; Philo.
Week 7: Christianity: The Bible; Jesus; Paul.
Week 8: Christianity: Gnosticism; Early Church; Church Fathers.
Week 9: Islam: Pre-Islamic Arabia; Muhammad; Qur'an;
Sunna and Hadith.
Week 10: Islam: Expansion and Divisions; Law and Duties; Theology.
Smart, N., The World's Religions
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If you have enrolled on a course starting in the autumn, you can become a borrowing member of the Rewley House library from 1st September. If you are enrolled on a course starting in other terms, you can become a borrowing member once the previous term has ended.
All weekly class students may become borrowing members of the Rewley House Continuing Education Library for the duration of their course. Prospective students whose courses have not yet started are welcome to use the Library for reference. More information can be found on the Library website.
There is a Guide for Weekly Class students which will give you further information.
Availability of titles on the reading list (below) can be checked on SOLO, the library catalogue.
Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.
To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.
Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.
Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from between January 1st and July 31st after the current academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.
Course Fee: £205.00
Take this course for CATS points: £10.00
Formerly, Research Fellow, Oxford & Visiting Fellow, Harvard & Burney Student, Cambridge. Alongside international articles, he is the author of a clear & original philosophical work on God. He is a Course Director & Tutor, Cambridge.
1. To provide an understanding of the great religions of the world in terms of their origins and their early historical development, their key text(s) and some of their key beliefs and practices.
2. To provide also an understanding of some of the early developments in their intellectual thought.
- Classes will take place once a week for ten weeks.
- Classes will consist principally of lectures.
By the end of the course students will be expected to:
1. Have an understanding of the great religions of the world in terms of their origins and their early historical development, their key text(s) and some of their key beliefs and practices; and
2. Have an understanding of some of the early developments in their intellectual thought.
Option A: Three very short (c. 500 words) pieces of written work.
Option B: One short (c. 1500 words) essay. (Students will be asked to provide a very short plan for an essay in this case.)
Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form.
To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.
Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.
Level and demands
Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions for applicants and students on this course
Sources of funding
Information on financial support