By late June 106,000 people, from 181 countries, had registered for the six unit course to study five major world religions. The course is broken into the six units or modules to study Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Each of these faiths will be explored mainly through the use of their sacred texts.
The course is offered through the Religious Literacy Project of the Harvard Divinity School. This course is called World Religions Through Their Scriptures. Diane Moore* is director of the Religious Literacy Project. She is also the primary scholar leading the course. She is assisted by four more Harvard scholars and also one from Wellesley College.
Dr Moore believes that misconceptions about religion affect us all.
The misunderstanding and misrepresentation of religion, in my view, have tremendous civic consequences in that they fuel bigotry and prejudice and hinder cooperative opportunities in both local, national and international arenas. A better understanding of religion, the ways religions function, won’t completely eradicate the terrible challenges we’re facing globally, but I do believe they would be minimized—especially those related to religious representation…if people had a more sophisticated understanding of how religions function.
Most of those who have signed up to take the course are from the US, but there are also folks from around the world and from different ages, educational opportunities and geographical regions represented by those showing interest. Students of the course will have the opportunity to discuss the course work through online forums. The courses may be taken for free. A certificate of completion is also available for $50 per unit/module. To learn more about the course and to sign up please visit the course website.
Director, Religious Literacy Project
Senior Lecturer on Religious Studies and Education
Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions
MDiv, Harvard Divinity School
DMin, Episcopal Divinity School
PhD, Union Theological Seminary
Photo: Kristie Welsh/Harvard Divinity School.
Information for this story is from the Anglican Journal.