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Course Description

Chalkboard drawings of various religious symbols

A wide-ranging look at the diverse religions of the world including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The course focuses on each faith’s social context and interactions from their beginnings to the present day.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Recall certain basic facts of religious doctrine and historical development in a manner which allows you to define themes and basic concepts which cut across boundaries;
  2. Consider the facts you have memorized in supporting your remarks in frequent discussion within a comparative context;
  3. Discuss concepts and events with your peers;
  4. Respond to ‘loaded’ questions posed by me (your instructor);
  5. Articulate your ideas in essays based on and evaluated through the form invented by Montesquieu (hypotheses supported by specific evidence from history or thematically oriented);
  6. Develop competence in combining and developing an understanding of basic themes through a knowledge of historical development; and
  7. Evaluate the usefulness of these themes in understanding the nature of the complex relationship between religion and society.

Course Topics

  • The Study of Religion in History
  • Primal Religions 
  • Hinduism 
  • Buddhism 
  • China and Japan
  • Zorastrianism and the Baha’i Faith
  • Judaism
  • Christianity 
  • Islam 
  • New Religious Movements 
  • Humanism 
  • The Modern World and Final Thoughts

Additional Requirements

Prerequisite(s): 2.00 credits


Assessment Item Weight
Online Discussion (5) 25%
Essays (3) 40%
Final Exam 35%
Total 100%

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.

Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Section Title
World Religions
May 12, 2023 to August 04, 2023
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
Domestic Tuition Fee - Non-Ontario (0.5 units) $713.81 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $3,106.72 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Section Notes

Note:  If you are in a degree program at the University of Guelph, please DO NOT register using the link above.  You must register through WebAdvisor.

Section Materials
  • Textbook (Unconfirmed) (Mandatory) This course does not use a textbook.
  • Textbook (Unconfirmed) (Optional) The World’s Religions by Ninian Smart © 1998 Cambridge University Press 2nd edition ISBN 9780521637480
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