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Course Description

World Religions 101 provides a clear and concise introduction to the major world religions. You'll learn about the people, places, practices and philosophies shaping today's events.  Some religions might be familiar, some strange and some you may never have heard about but why not discover karma, nirvana, yin and yang and the Holy Trinity?


Although many of us think of religion as a belief system practiced through faith, obedience, prayer and worship, you'll find that some religions are more than just a belief in a deity, but an entire philosophy and way of life. 


Explore the religions that have shaped history, civilizations and your next door neighbors views. You will learn about the founders, the history and essential teachings of each of these major religions: Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, and Taoism, plus brief descriptions of other religions and religious practices.


Why not join this self-paced course and learn about the diverse spiritual paths humanity has taken?  Everyone is welcome!

Course Requirements

This course will not require you to have previous experience in any particular area but you should have a high school reading level. No books will be required.

Course Goals

Over the millennia of human existence, there has always been a spiritual or mystical component to people’s lives.  Due in large part to vast differences in language, culture, and geography, each region of the world developed a separate belief system which has garnered millions (or, in some cases, billions) of adherents.  Many of these religions are rooted in the Orient or “the East”, and still exert a great deal of influence on thought patterns and daily life in many countries of that part of the world.  In the Occident or “the West”, our familiarity with some of these religious traditions may not be much more than a mere recognition of the names by which they are known.

However, it should be noted that, in recent years, the number of adherents to many of these religions has increased, especially in the Western world.  More and more adherents of these faiths are appearing in traditionally Christian nations throughout Europe, North America, Australia, and South America.  Thus, it would behoove one to attain at least a perfunctory understanding regarding the nature of these religions and what their various belief systems are.

In this brief course, a number of the world’s leading religious, mystical, and philosophical movements are examined in order to provide a better understanding of these highly influential traditions, as well as a basic introduction to the idea of religion itself.  The major faiths or belief systems introduced in this course are, in alphabetical order: Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, and other minor and/or developing religious traditions.

Course Materials

All course material will be provided in the lessons and netlinks. There are no required materials to purchase before taking the class.

Grading Policy

Each lesson will include a lesson review quiz along with one or two assignments. Students will successfully complete this course by mastering all learning outcomes with 70% or higher overall grade.

Course Outline

Lesson 1: An Introduction to the Religious Experience
Lesson 2: Buddhism
Lesson 3: Christianity
Lesson 4: Confucianism
Lesson 5: Hinduism
Lesson 6: Islam
Lesson 7: Judaism
Lesson 8: Taoism
Lesson 9: Other Religions & Religious Movements

Recommended Books

There are no Required books for this course but here are two Recommended books for additional study:
1.  World Religions: The Great Faiths Explored & Explained (Paperback)
 Booklink to World Religions
2.  Religions Of The World: The Illustrated Guide To Origins, Beliefs, Customs & Festivals  Booklink to: Religions Of The World

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Know Buddhism.
  • Know Christianity.
  • Know Confucianism.
  • Know Hinduism.
  • Know Islam.
  • Know Judaism.
  • Know Taoism, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
Differing views of the New and Old Testament50
Lesson 1 Assignment: Introduce Yourself10
Why do Humans have Religion?20
Lesson 1 Quiz: Introduction to World Religions50
Lesson 2: Assignment20
Lesson 2 Quiz: Buddhism40
Lesson 3: Assignment20
Protestant Reformation40
Lesson 3 Quiz: Christianity18
Lesson 4: Assignment20
Lesson 4 Quiz: Confucianism18
Lesson 5: Assignment20
Lesson 5 Quiz: Hinduism20
Lesson 6: Assignment40
Lesson 6 Quiz: Islam50
Differences between Judaism and Christianity40
Lesson 7: Assignment20
Lesson 7 Quiz: Judaism20
Lesson 8: Assignment20
Lesson 8 Quiz: Taoism20
Lesson 9 Quiz: Other Religions & Religious Movements18
Total Points:574

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