Beyond Belief

World Religions and Cultures

Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism — they are just the beginning. Our world is home to an incredible diversity of religions, all of which have a profound influence on the way people live their lives and think about who they are. In this course, you will learn about a variety of belief systems and also explore your own religious identity. Come prepared to wonder, reflect and challenge yourself.

The following topics and activities have been part of this course in past summers. Your experience may include some of these or others like them, depending on the instructor’s plans.

Ask Questions

  • What is at the core of religious experiences?

  • Why are there so many different types of belief?

  • What can other religions teach me about myself?

  • What exactly is “religiosity?”

Find Answers

  • Explore how religious diversity is negotiated in the United States and other parts of the globe;

  • Look at the complexities of religious traditions and their practitioners and how religion has the potential to lead to enormous good or enormous evil and violence;

Take Action

  • Research organizations and people who represent a specific religious tradition’s teachings on social responsibility;

  • Create a personal portfolio of your reflections on religion and belief;

  • Enact a case study built on the political and religious issues around the building of a new mosque in Boston.