Religious Traditions and Interfaith Dialogue: Engaging Difference in the Community

HOUSECS 59.07

Fall 2018

Mondays, 6:00 - 8:00 pm, Keohane 4B, 402SEM

Much like sociology, cultural anthropology, or psychology,an academic study of religious and nonreligious traditions offers insight intowhat motivates people around the world to do the thingsthey do. To understand religion is to understand one of the most influential forces for an individualor a community. Today, however,the understanding of religious principles and practices through literaturecomes secondarily to the images projected inmedia and public representations of other religions.

 

This course will focus on providing basic information disputing stereotypes and misconceptions about some of the worlds major religions and philosophies: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Atheism. Participants will discuss stereotypes of religions, how they originated, and how they have manifested. Discussions will revolve around religious pluralism, the tenets andbeliefs of each religion, and other contemporary issues such as sexuality, marriage, and gender; violence in thename of God and religious extremism; and a comparative study of what the religions share in common. Identifying with aspecific (non)religious path or tradition is neither a requirement nor an impediment to enrolling in this class; rather, participants mustbe curious about andopen to variousapproaches to perennial humanquestions and willing to explore the relevanceof these perspectives to their own lives, communities, and societies. In this course,everyoneshould feel encouraged todiscussand respect other students opinions and beliefs while relating them to course readings and presentations.

 

Instructor(s): 
  • Alexander Fisher, adf23@duke.edu
Sponsor/Department: 
  • Christy Lohr Sapp, Center for Jewish Studies
Class Limit: 
18