Religion 201: Introduction to World Religions

Samford University, Department of Religion, Fall 2006


Mon., Wed., Fri. 10:30 to 11:35am, 318 Chapman Hall

course website:


David R. Bains, Associate Professor
  325 Chapman Hall, phone: 726-2879, email:
Office Hours:  TBA


Course Description:

Investigation of major world religions, emphasizing their distinctive histories, beliefs, and practices.


Learning Objectives:

The student will be able to:

1)     explain core beliefs and practices of major world religions.

2)     demonstrate how these beliefs and practices have been shaped and reshaped by the cultural context in which the religion has developed.

3)     show how the religious tradition has continued to develop and change in the modern and post-modern world.

4)     assess the strengths and weaknesses of the use of comparative categories in the study of religion.


Required Texts:

Esposito, John L., Darrell J. Fasching, and Todd Lewis. World Religions Today. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 0195176995

The Qur'an. Translated by M. A. Abdel Haleem.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN 0192831933

The Bhagavad-Gita. Translated by Barbara Stoler Miller. New York: Bantam Books, 1986. ISBN 0553213652

reading packet