PAR 103: Introduction to Religions

PAR 103 803 Fa18

Fall 2018 (Aug 22 – Dec 7, 2018): Online

This is a 15-week online course. Students will gain an introduction to global religious and how scholars study them. This course partially satisfies University Studies II: Approaches and Perspectives/Historical and Philosophical Approaches.

We will be covering the religions in the textbook, including:

  • Religions in Antiquity
  • Indigenous Religions
  • Hinduism/Buddhism
  • Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Islam
  • Jainism
  • Sikhism
  • the religions of China, Korea, and Japan

There will be very cool interactive online learning activities. Among them, VoiceThread discussions will situate Dr. Laursen’s own travelogues and the images he captured from Bali, Nepal, Scandinavia, and Spain in the religions being studied.

The mode of the course is interactive, efficient, and engaging learning. As is typical for a 15-week course, there is on average about 8-9/hours of work per week on average. Short, interactive activities throughout the course fortify learning. Assignments and final exam format to be announced.

Partridge 3eTextbook:
Christopher Partridge, General Editor. Introduction to World Religions, Third Edition. Fortress Books, 2018.
* Available as e-textbook or print book.
* Available through online sellers or UNCW Bookstore.

From this introductory course, students should be able to:

  • apply the core concepts and critical theories from multi-disciplinary studies when encountering global religions historically and in the present day
  • collaborate to compare similarities and differences between world religions in ways that illuminate religious diversity, including how religions influence cultures and history
  • recognize the sacred writings, basic beliefs, worship, festivals, family and social structures, and contemporary practices associated with world religions
  • interpret major narratives, symbols, and artifacts associated with various religions
  • synthesize and analyze core concepts on world religions through a variety of learning experiences, both individually and through group collaboration, in order to apply an informed perspective about religions in historical debates and current events

Last updated: 2 April 2018