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COURSE NUMBER: THEO 397
COURSE TITLE: Engaging Difference: World Religions
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Dr Michael Kok
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3 (hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Through studies of the histories, sacred texts and practices of Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, native Canadian and tribal religions, students will gain some understanding of the variety and complexity of living religious traditions in the modern world. Attention will be paid to the current debate on religious pluralism and Christian claims about the person and work of Jesus Christ in this context.

This course does not fulfill theology foundations requirements.

Prerequisites: THEO 250
REQUIRED TEXTS: Thomas A. Robinson and Hillary P. Rodriguez, World Religions: A Guide to the Essentials (Second Edition; Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2014).
MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
Attendance and Participation10%
Online reading quizzes20%
Reflection paper20%
Midterm Exam25%
Final Exam25%
100%
COURSE OBJECTIVES:
  • To critically survey the main beliefs and practices represented in different Western and Eastern religious traditions (Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Shinto). 
  • To introduce students to the methods and theories utilized in the academic study of religion.
  • To equip students to bring their Christian worldview into dialogue with other religious worldviews.
COURSE SCHEDULE:
  • Tuesday, Sept. 6: Introduction to the Course 
  • Tuesday, Sept. 13: Introduction to Academic Religious Studies: Theories and Methods
  • Tuesday, Sept. 20: Introduction to Hinduism
  • Tuesday, Sept. 27: Introduction to Buddhism 
  • Tuesday, Oct. 4: Introduction to Jainism; Review for the Midterm Exam
  • Tuesday, Oct. 11: Midterm Exam
  • Tuesday, Oct. 18:  Christian engagement with Eastern Religious Traditions
  • Tuesday, Oct. 25: Introduction to Judaism with an excursus on Zoroastrianism
  • Tuesday, Nov. 1:  Introduction to Islam
  • Tuesday, Nov 8:  Introduction to Sikhism
  • Tuesday, Nov. 15:  Introduction to Daoism and Confucianism
  • Tuesday, Nov. 22: Class cancelled as I am attending the Society of Biblical Literature
  • Tuesday, Nov. 29:  Introduction to Shinto
  • Tuesday, Dec. 6:  Christian Engagement with Western Religious Traditions and Final Exam Review 


Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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