June 19 – July 7, 2023
World Religions 1
Class Meeting Times:
This course will introduce students to the history, texts, beliefs, and practices of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam with special emphasis placed on how these traditions have been expressed through culture and politics. Our approach to the study of religion is academic and non-devotional, meaning that we seek to gain an intellectual understanding of these traditions and the cultures in which they live, but we do not expect students to adopt any particular practices or beliefs. This course emphasizes how all religions are internally diverse and evolving over time. We will acknowledge and respect the wide variety of — and sometimes contrasting — ways that Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims express their faith. Students will engage with a wide variety of course materials and, along the way, they can expect to learn new skills for interpreting sacred literature, developing research studies, and analyzing current events about religion.
This online course offers students a unique opportunity to learn from a distance without losing or diminishing the collaborative nature, academic rigor, and emphasis on critical self-reflection that are hallmarks of Westtown’s religion classes. Learning objectives and student expectations in this course are similar or the same to what is typical during a full semester course, but the syllabus will be adapted and amended in order to provide the best possible learning experience.