Discovering Religious Diversity Series:
Exploring the diverse belief traditions contributing to New Zealand society
Learn about the contemporary practice of the world’s major religions in this introductory series. Terms 1 & 2 this year focus on Selected Topics in the Contemporary Practice of each of the major world religions.
Our Term 1 course in this series is entitled “Contemporary Beliefs and Practices, Term 1"
This Hamilton-based and online course, part of our Discovering Religious Diversity series, focuses on a comparative examination of the contemporary values and practices of the major world religions and involves a critical exploration of lifecycle rituals and beliefs, from birth to death, food and clothing preferences, festivals and other activities associated with what religions do.
Throughout, we look at a wide variety of selected topics in the contemporary practice of religion, focusing on a different topic each class. In each session, we cover how the different faith traditions approach the particular topic of the evening. Structuring discussions in this way allows us to focus on the numerous similarities between the major world religions rather than on any perceived differences.
2021 Term 1 Schedule:
Week 1: Image and Iconography
Week 2: Sacred Time: Cosmology & Creation
Week 3: Sacred Time: Calendars, Holy Days & Festivals
Week 4: Sacred Spaces
Week 5: Prayer and Worship
Week 6: Food and Ritual
Week 7: Sacred Clothing
Week 8: Sacred Music
2021 Term 2 Schedule:
Week 1: Rites of Passage: Birth and Coming of Age Ceremonies
Week 2: Rites of Passage: Marriage
Week 3: Asceticism, Monasticism and Renunciation
Week 4: Sacred Journeys and Pilgrimage
Week 5: Going Beyond: Esoteric Traditions & Mystical Experiences
Week 6: Ethical Ideologies: Agnosticism, Atheism, Humanism, Rationalism
Week 7: Rites of Passage: Death and Bereavement
Week 8: Interfaith Perspectives on the Golden Rule
Any of our Religious Diversity Term courses can be taken independently of the others and at any time and in any order. There are no prerequisites for any of the Religious Diversity courses.
All classes are taught from an objective point of view. These are classes about religion and religious behaviour, taught from an anthropological point of view, and are designed for participants to get a greater understanding of the depth and scope of the diversity that exists within the world’s various faith and belief traditions.
Class Day & Time:
This class meets on Friday mornings from 11:00am-1:00pm. There are eight weeks in the Term. The first session meets on Friday 19 February and the last session meets on Friday 9 April 2021.
Live-streamed Hamilton classes are available via free Zoom software for those living outside the Waikato. Live-streaming allows you to participate fully in your own learning, ask questions of the instructor and participate fully in the same way as if you were in the physical classroom. Those unable to attend the scheduled date and time of the actual class sessions, or those who need to miss a class or two due to previous engagements or unexpected illness, can watch any or all of the live-recorded video sessions on their computers, laptops, tablets or mobile devices and study at their own pace and in their own time. Detailed instructions on how to access our distance learning components will be sent to you in the week before your course is set to begin.
For more detailed information, visit our website.