Student Information Sheet - Philosophy 352

World Religions

Fall 2006
1-2:25 pm
Davis Center, 1909 Galileo Court, Davis
Dr. Robert T. Carroll

Text: Living Religions, Sixth Edition, Mary Pat Fisher (Prentice-Hall 2006).
Text website:

Course Description: This course is an introductory survey of selected world religions. Emphasis is on the origins, beliefs, and interpretations of philosophical concepts underlying indigenous religions, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Confucianism, Shinto, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and some recent religious movements.

Course Outline:

Chapter 1: Religious Responses

Chapter 2: Indigenous Sacred Ways

Chapter 3: Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism)

Chapter 4: Jainism

Chapter 5: Buddhism

Chapter 6: Taoism and Confucianism;

Chapter 7: Shinto

Midterm & make-up quizzes. (October 24)

Zoroastrianism (pages 222-225)

Chapter 8: Judaism

Chapter 9: Christianity

Chapter 10: Islam

Chapter 11: Sikhism

Chapter 12: New Religious Movements

Chapter 13: Religion in the Twenty-First Century

Week 16: final exam (Tuesday, December 19, 3:10- 5:10 pm)


There will be weekly homework assignments worth 40% of the grade. There will be chapter quizzes worth 40% of the grade. The midterm and final exams will be worth 10% each.

Homework assignment 1 due Tues. Sept. 12: Explain indigenous sacred ways’ spiritual specialists. Discuss ritual, purity, secret societies, initiation, mystical intermediaries, shamans, medicine, divination, ordeals, spirit animals, altered states, and journeying.

HW assignment 2 due Tues. Sept. 26: What are some major Sanatana Dharma spiritual practices? Explain Brahman / Atman, reincarnation, karma, samsara, moksha, Samkyha, Advaita Vedanta, and Yoga’s four types.

HW assignment 3 due Oct. 3: For Jainism, describe ahimsa, aparigraha, anekatwad, and meditation.

HW assignment 4 due Oct. 10: For Buddhism, describe the Four Noble Truths, anatman, impermanence, karma,  samsara, and nirvana.

HW assignment 5 due Oct. 17: Describe li, yin/yang, yi, wu-wei and jen.

HW assignment 6 due Oct. 24: Describe kami, tsumi, and kannagara.

HW assignment 7 due Oct. 31: Describe Midrash, Mishnah, Pentateuch, Talmud, Tanakh, and Torah.

HW assignment 8 due Nov. 7: Describe Kabbalah, Messiah, minyan, Sabbath, and synagogue.

HW assignment 9 due Nov. 14: What is the Nicene creed and why is it important? Describe Trinity, baptism, Eucharist, and original sin.

HW assignment 10 due Nov. 21: What are some of the main similarities and differences (list at least 3 of each) between the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Protestantism?

HW assignment 11 due Nov. 28: Describe Sunni, Shi'a, Shari'ah, Sufism, and jihad.

Dec. 5 Quiz on Islam.

HW assignment 12 due Dec. 12: Describe Guru Nanak, Guru Granth Sahib, gurdwara, sangat, and Nam.

Dec 14. Quiz on Sikhism. Make-ups.

Dec. 19 Final Exam at 3:10 pm

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Indigenous Religions