In recent times, religion has been on the rise and its impact is increasingly pervasive and extensive because of globalization. Religion has a persistent influence on personal and public life, and a central place in cultures. Often, it is at the centre of global conflicts. This calls for a better understanding of the role of religion in today’s society. Understanding religion in this context will help to promote cross-cultural understanding and will also help shape attitudes towards other faiths. The potential of interfaith dialogues can then be more deeply exploited so that such dialogues become an integral part of communities. This will provide opportunities for greater collaboration between believers of different faiths and for ensuring peaceful co-existence.This course will provide an overview of the 5 major religions in the world. It will also explore the unique insights each religion brings to the modern world. The objectives of the course are to • Give students a general understanding of the fundamental beliefs and practices of the 5 major religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity • Guide students to undertake comparative studies of the different religions so that they have a clearer idea of the similarities and differences among the various religions• Give students insights into the cultural beliefs and behaviors of believers, and how these in turn affect their interactions with believers of other faithsIt is hoped that a working understanding of the major religions will help students understand the impact of religion on culture and vice-versa. More importantly, it is hoped that the course will help students recognize and reflect on the shared values, norms and ideals of practitioners of different faiths. It is hoped that students will gain new insights and, as members of a multi-religious society, will develop an openness towards other religions, participate more effectively in interfaith dialogues and be in a better position to help build bridges between the faiths.
Credit Units: 2.5
Presentation Pattern: Every semester
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus.