The objective of the course is to familiarize students with to the problem of the comparative approach within the study of religion, which examines similarities and differences between religions, in this course in particular between the Christian religion and other religions. At the same time, students will study the foundations of three major world religions: Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. This will also sensitize students to possible problems and/or tensions that can occur when adherents of various religions encounter each other. Moreover, on the basis of the prescribed literature, students will independently choose a topic in Comparative Religion that matches the subject matter of the course. They will learn to critically analyze, synthesize, and assess this topic, and to report their findings orally in the form of a coherent academic presentation.|
In line with the course objectives, the course divides into two parts. The first, more extensive part begins with a short introduction to the theory of the comparative study of religion, with a brief overview of the historical origins of Comparative Religion as an academic discipline, of the various definitions of religion, and of the relationship between religion and culture. This is followed by a series of introductory seminars on the basis of a historical and current Comparative Religion perspective on the most important religious beliefs, rituals, practices, and material aspects of Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. This first part of the course is concluded with a written test on the literature and other course materials that accompany the subject. This is followed by a corresponding shorter, concluding part of the course, which begins by discussing the problems and methods inherently involved in holding an academic presentation. With a view to practicing this academic skill, and thematically expanding the topic of the first part of the course, each student will, on the basis of personal preference, choose a subject relevant to the course content from a list compiled by the instructor. Students will then study the literature prescribed for the chosen subject and will critically summarize this. Every student will then present his/her critical summary to the group, using a multimedia application (PowerPoint, …).|
The course focuses specifically on the skill of accurately and precisely holding an academic presentation.
Admission requirements: no specific prior knowledge required.
Course reader. A number of texts by recognized specialists in the relevant fields will be provided so that students can prepare and study the subjects to be treated.