REL3800 Comparative Religion
Educational Level: Upper undergraduate, Bachelor
Credit Hours: 3 Credits
Instructor: Dr. Kevin O’Brien
Introduction to the worlds great religions and to the social scientific methods and approaches used to study and compare religions. Students will survey, explore and describe: the nature of religion; the indigenous religions of Africa, the Americas, China, and Japan; the great religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; their own Biblical understanding of religion; their own faith commitment and religious perspective.
How This Course Benefits Students:
It has been said of religions, He (or she) who knows one, knows none, which is to say that a missionally-minded follower of Jesus may learn more about her or his own faith by learning how other people believe, think and feel. This course serves student needs by surveying the worlds great religions in order to help in the understanding and appreciation of different belief systems. Christian missionaries who understand other religions are better suited to proclaiming the Gospel in pluralistic and cross-cultural contexts.
Why This Course Is Important:
The churchs missional strategy has often been to conform new converts according to the social expectations of the sending culture rather than understanding, respecting and appreciating the indigenous culture. This course gives students the tools needed to understand, respect and appreciate the worlds religions as a God-given drive designed to help people seek Him (Acts 17:27).