World Religions series

ClassesReligious Diversity ➞ World Religions series

WORLD RELIGIONS series

Term 3 Registration and payment information is available now our Registration page.

This series provides an in-depth look at the world’s main religious traditions, and goes into much greater detail than the information provided in the introductory Discovering Religious Diversity series. Over an entire Term of eight sessions focused on a single belief tradition, we’ll examine the history and development of each tradition, key figures associated with its founding or development, its sacred texts, contemporary beliefs and practices, and the major festivals and commemorations associated with each. During the final session of each Term, we’ll view a representative film for each tradition that accentuates and highlights the main points discussed during the Term.

All classes are taught from an objective point of view. These are classes about religion and religious behavior, taught from an anthropological point of view, and are designed for participants to get a greater understanding of the depth and scope of the diversity that exists within the world’s various faith and belief traditions.

NEW DISTANCE-LEARNING OPTIONS AVAILABLE: In addition to our regular in-person classes which are offered in Hamilton, we now offer ‘Distance Learning’ options for all of our World Religions series courses. Distance-learning options have been added for those living outside the Waikato or for those unable to attend our in-person classes in Hamilton. If you are a Distance-Learner you have the option of joining our regular live classroom sessions via Zoom at the regularly scheduled class time, or you can watch a video-recording of the Zoom classroom session at your leisure and learn at your own pace..

The following classes are offered in 2020:

RD301: “Judaism”

Offered: 2020 Term 1 – Hamilton

This eight-week class provides a detailed introduction to the Jewish religion. Individual classes focus on:

  • Early Biblical History: Genesis
  • Early Biblical History: Exodus through Second Temple Period
  • Diaspora, Development and the Emergence of Rabbinic Judaism
  • Sacred Texts: Torah & Talmud
  • Contemporary Beliefs and Practices
  • Jewish Festivals and Commemorations
  • Jewish Ethics & the concept of Tikkun Olam
  • Movie night

During 2020 Term 1 this class meets in Hamilton on Thursday evenings from 7:00-9:30pm. Class is held at Artmakers, 2 Seddon Rd, Hamilton.

Cost per person per Term (8 classes):

  • Waged: $104 (includes $4 online registration fee)
  • Unwaged (unemployed, students, seniors): $84 (includes $4 online registration fee)

RD302: “Islam”

Offered: 2020 Term 2 – Hamilton

This eight-week class provides a detailed introduction to the Islamic faith. Individual classes will focus on:

  • Week 1: Course Introduction; Al-Jāhiliyyah (جاهلية) – The Time of Ignorance
  • Week 2: the Life of the Prophet Muhammad (saw)
  • Week 3: Early Islamic History: Succession & Caliphates
  • Week 4: Context: Islamic Denominations, Sects and Schools of Thought
  • Week 5: Sacred Texts & Traditions: Qur’an (القرآن), Tafsīr (تفسير), Hadith (حديث) and Sharī’a (شريعة)
  • Week 6: Central Islamic Concepts, Contemporary Beliefs and Practices
  • Week 7: Islamic Festivals and Commemorations
  • Week 8: Movie night

During 2020 Term 2 this class meets in Hamilton on Thursday evenings from 6:30-9:00pm beginning Thursday 7 May. Class is held at Artmakers, 2 Seddon Rd, Hamilton.

Cost per person per Term (8 classes):

  • Waged: $104 (includes $4 online registration fee)
  • Unwaged (unemployed, students, seniors): $84 (includes $4 online registration fee)

RD303: “Hinduism”

Offered: 2020 Term 3 – Hamilton

This eight-week class provides a detailed introduction to the Hindu Faith. Individual class sessions will focus on:

  • Week 1: Course Introduction; The Indus Valley Civilisation
  • Week 2: Creation Myths and Hindu Cosmology
  • Week 3: Hindu Deities: The Hindu Trinities of Trimūrti & Tridevi
  • Week 4: Hindu Deities: Major Gods & Goddesses
  • Week 5: Hindu Denominations and Sects
  • Week 6: The Sacred Texts of Hinduism: Vedas, Upanishads, Mahābhārat, Gītā and Rāmāyan
  • Week 7: Hindu Beliefs and Concepts
  • Week 8: Movie Night

During 2020 Term 3 this class meets in Hamilton for eight consecutive sessions on Thursday evenings from 6:30-9:00pm beginning Thursday 30 July and ending Thursday 17 September. Class is held at Artmakers, 2 Seddon Rd, Hamilton.

Cost per person per Term (8 classes):

  • Waged: $104 (includes $4 online registration fee)
  • Unwaged (unemployed, students, seniors): $84 (includes $4 online registration fee)

REGISTER:

Term 3 Registration and payment information is available now on our Registrations page.


RD304: “Buddhism”

Offered: 2020 Term 4 – Hamilton

This eight-week class provides a detailed introduction to Buddhism. Individual class sessions will focus on:

  • Week 1: Course Introduction; Buddhism: Overview & Historical Context
  • Week 2: The Life of the Historical Buddha
  • Week 3: Buddhist Sacred Texts and Teachings: Tripiṭaka, the Sutras, Dharmapāda
  • Week 4: Buddhist Development and Spread: Sangha, Early Buddhist Schools of Thought, Emperor Ashoka, Theravāda, Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna (Tibetan) traditions
  • Week 5: Core Concepts in Buddhism: Saṃsāra, karma, rebirth & reincarnation, anātman, Nirvāṇa, emptiness
  • Week 6: Buddhist Philosophy: Mādhyamikā, dependent co-origination
  • Week 7: The Buddhist Path-Precepts & Practice: The Three Jewels, the Four Nobel Truths, the Eight-Fold Path, The Four Immeasurables
  • Week 8: Historic Decline of Buddhism in India, Global Growth and Expansion; Buddhist Denominations and Sects today

During 2020 Term 4 this class meets in Hamilton for eight consecutive sessions on Thursday evenings from 7:00-9:30pm beginning Thursday 22 October and ending on Thursday 10 December. Class is held at Artmakers, 2 Seddon Rd, Hamilton.

Cost per person per Term (8 classes):

  • Waged: $104 (includes $4 online registration fee)
  • Unwaged (unemployed, students, seniors): $84 (includes $4 online registration fee)

RD305: “Other ’Isms”

Offered: 2021 – Hamilton

This course focuses on a wider variety of religions and belief systems, including: the Indian traditions of Sikhism and Jainism, the Chinese religious traditions (Folk religion, Taoism, Confucianism, and Chinese Buddhism), the Japanese religious traditions (Shinto, Shingon, Tendai, Nichiren and Zen Buddhism), followed by an exploration of the Bahá’í Faith, and the moral and ethical secular ideologies of Atheism, Agnosticism, Rationalism and Humanism.

Weekly sessions include the topics:

  • Week 1: Course Intro; Chinese traditions: Folk, Taoism, Confucianism, & Chinese Buddhism
  • Week 2: Japanese traditions: Shinto, Shingon, Tendai, Nichiren & Zen
  • Week 3: Indian traditions: Sikhism
  • Week 4: Indian traditions: Jainism
  • Week 5: Zoroastrianism & Yazidism: Struggle for Survival
  • Week 6: Christian traditions and denominations: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovahʻs Witnesses, Christian Science, etc.
  • Week 7: Islamic traditions: Sufism, Ahmadiyya, Bahá’í Faith & Nation of Islam
  • Week 8: Ethical Ideologies: Atheism, Agnosticism, Rationalism & Humanism

Cost per person per Term (8 classes):

  • Waged: $104 (includes $4 online registration fee)
  • Unwaged (unemployed, students, seniors): $84 (includes $4 online registration fee)

page last updated on 9 July 2020.