PAR 103: Introduction to Religions

PAR 103: Introduction to Religions

Summer I 2020 (May 20-June 22, 2020): Online, Section 800
Fall 2020 (Aug 19-Dec 2, 2020): Online, Sections 004 and 006

For the Fall or Spring semesters, this is a 15-week online course.

The Summer course is 4.5 weeks, more condensed with more hours of work per week, but designed to be manageable, and features a focus on Indigenous Religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as a project in which students present on an additional religion from the textbook.

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 in syllabus when course begins.

Credit Hours: 3

University Studies: Approaches and Perspectives/Historical and Philosophical Approaches. Course Repeatablility: Course may not be repeated. Maximum Repeatable Hours: 3

The cover to the book Introduction to World Religions, Third Edition; General Editor, Christopher Partridge; Third Edition Revised by Tim Dowley

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.
* Update (May 1): This e-textbook is available through online sellers such as Amazon for Kindle and Barnes & Noble for Nook

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: 9 April 2020