Spring 2018 – World Religions Part 2

World Religions, Part 2

Presented by Brian Carwana

Tuesdays, April 3 to May 22, 2018

April 3        To See, To Be, To Do: The Landscape of World Religions

This introductory talk offers an insightful yet compact overview of the world’s major religious families. You will come away with a helpful map for understanding how major religious groups are related to each other and how they compare and differ.

April 10        Hinduism: Thou Are That

We will explore arguably the world’s oldest major religious tradition, which has undergone innumerable changes and developments over time. We will learn how Hinduism’s collector nature and its multiple origins has created one of the most diverse and colourful religions on the planet.

April 17      Sikhism: Disciples of the True Name

Five hundred years ago in India, a man torn between the Hindu and Muslim spiritual paths had an encounter with God that led him to believe the differences in these two traditions did not matter. Guru Nanak would develop disciples devoted to being learners of God. We will explore this tradition’s plain theology and immense devotion to the idea of service.

April 24      Judaism: A People Set Apart

Judaism is a numerically small but historically influential tradition. It emerged, took shape, changed after major catastrophes and showed a stunning resilience to create itself amidst times of trauma. We will learn about monolatry and monotheism, temples and torahs, as this people maintained a distinct identity for thousands of years.

May 1         Christianity: But I Say Unto You

The world’s largest religion started in a backwater of the Roman Empire but later profited from its roads, its relative order, and its common language to spread its message. We will explore about how scriptures get written, how Christianity developed so many diverse forms so quickly, and how a non-Jewish religion arose from the death and resurrection of a devout Jewish man.

May 8         Islam: And Muhammad is his Prophet

The prophet Muhammad serves as the template for ideal Muslim living. We will discuss the split into Sunni and Shi’a and the key practices and beliefs of the world’s fastest-growing religion. We will look at key sources of authority in Islam (Qur’an, hadith and shariah) and address topical issues from recent decades around violence and secularism.

May 15       Rastafarianism

Rasta is a new religion, formed in the 20th century through the fusion of black power and Christian messianism. We will hear about the interesting life of Marcus Garvey and how this Bible-based movement found scriptural proof regarding who is the messiah, how we should live, and how the nations can be healed.

May 22       Mormonism

Perhaps no religious group captured the nineteenth-century American spirit better than the community founded by Joseph Smith. We will explore his fascinating life, the development of the community after Smith was killed, and how this quintessential American religion has moved from the margins to the mainstream of American life while simultaneously spreading across the globe.