ME/ST 735 World Religions – Online Masters

May 26, 2020 - August 21, 2020
311 Eleventh St.
Ambridge PA15003

Summer 2020

Course Syllabus

Departments: ME/ST

Credit Hours: 3

Sean M. Doyle, Ph.D.

Professor of World History, Geneva College

[email protected]


Course Description

An introduction to some of the major living religions of the world, with a special focus upon Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam in their doctrinal, ritual, and historical dimensions.  The course will also explore some methodological questions, such as approaches and concerns in the contemporary study of religion.  Finally, the course will address some of the specifically Christian theological concerns and different theological approaches raised by the existence of other religions besides Christianity.


Course Objectives

  • By the end of the course, you should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the key doctrines, practices, and historical developments of several of the major living world religions, with an emphasis on Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam.
  • You should be able to think theologically regarding the metaphysical and soteriological positions of these religious traditions, appraising the doctrines from a Christian perspective.
  • You should be able to articulate a distinctively Christian theology of religions, including an appreciation of what Christians might learn from other religious traditions.

Course Texts


Fieser, James and John Powers, eds.  Scriptures of the World’s Religions.  McGraw-Hill, 2007.

ISBN-13: 978-0073386652.

Muck, Terry and Harold Netland, eds.  Handbook of Religion: A Christian Engagement with Traditions, 

Teachings, and Practices.  Baker, 2014.  ISBN-13: 978-0801037764.

Tennent, Timothy.  Christianity at the Religious Roundtable.  Baker, 2002.  ISBN-13: 978-0801026027.


Recommended, for Further Exploration:

Donin, Hayim.  To Be a Jew: A Guide to Jewish Observance in Contemporary Life.  Basic Books, 1991.

ISBN-13: 978-0465086320.

Dundas, Paul.  The Jains.  Routledge, 2002.  ISBN-13: 978-0415266062.

Flood, Gavin.  An Introduction to Hinduism.  Cambridge 1996.  ISBN-13: 978-0521438780.

Gethin, Rupert.  The Foundations of Buddhism.  Oxford, 1998.  ISBN-13: 978-0192892232.

Lipner, Julius.  Hindus: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices.  Routledge, 2010.  ISBN-13: 978-0415456777.

McLeod, W. H.  The Sikhs: History, Religion, and Society.  Columbia, 1989.  ISBN-13: 978-0231068154.

Neill, Stephen.  Christian Faith and Other Faiths.  Intervarsity, 1984.   ISBN-13: 978-0877843375.

Netland, Harold.  Dissonant Voices: Religious Pluralism and the Question of Truth.  Eerdmans, 1991.

ISBN-13: 978-1573830829.

Newbigin, Leslie.  The Gospel in a Pluralist Society.  Eerdmans, 1989.  ISBN-13: 978-0802804266.

Rippin, Andrew.   Muslims: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices.  Routledge, 2011.              ISBN-13: 978-1138219687.


Williams, Paul.  Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations.  Routledge, 2008.              ISBN-13: 978-0415356534.


Course Evaluation

Scripture Readings & Online Responses:  15 points each week, 10 weeks:  150 points

Tennent Reading & Online Reflections:  15 points each week, 8 weeks:  120 points

Lecture/Handbook Quizzes: 10 points each week, 11 quizzes: 110 points

Research Paper: 150 points

Total:  530 possible points

Categories: Programs  |  Theology  |  World Religions