Resurgence and Change in Religion: Behaving in Transition

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Resurgence and Change in Religion: Behaving in Transition

<p>All religions teach their followers how they should behave to members of their own religious community and to outsiders. Rules on Behaving are an outcome of both their Believing and their

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All religions teach their followers how they should behave to members of their own religious community and to outsiders. Rules on Behaving are an outcome of both their Believing and their Belonging, and offer rewards and punishments which are often highly contentious and may conflict with civil law. This course looks at changes in the ethical and moral teachings of the great religions over the centuries, and how they have influenced, and been affected by, changes in secular culture in the centuries since their foundation. Can religious law override civil law in a multi-faith society?


COURSE OUTLINE

  • Religious v. secular ethics and morality – basic areas of agreement; relations between ‘good’ and ‘God’ (or gods). Areas of moral decision. Theories of obligation, virtue and reward.
  • Ethics in Hinduism – dharma and consequentialism; the caste system; duty and responsibility; moral lessons in the epics; the impact of sants and social reformers. The impact of secularism.
  • Ethics in Judaism – the Torah and the Mishnah; the 613 commandments; central virtues and principles; the impact of Western philosophy.
  • Ethics in Buddhism – ethics as evidence of personhood; avoiding all harm; the seven virtues; the Five Precepts; suffering and compassion; karma and samsara.
  • Ethics in Christianity – obeying the Truth; the law and the Spirit; the three Biblical virtues; the seven cardinal virtues; Christian ethics applied.
  • Ethics in Islam – the sources of moral teaching; active submission to Al’lah; the ten precepts of wisdom; individual and social morality; environmentalism.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Recognise the similarities and differences in the moral injunctions of the five great religions.
  2. Identify changes in emphasis and focus over the centuries.
  3. Evaluate the links between personal morality and community ethics in each of the five great religions.