World Theology

posted Dec 14, 2015, 2:24 PM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated Sep 14, 2017, 11:25 AM ]

Learn about the origins of the World’s religions, with a look at the evolution of religious thought — including Atheism — through this SRJC Older Adult Program. Classes will take place at the Senior Center.

Check Calendar For Class  Schedule

World Theology Course Syllabus

Class Registration and Enrollment

  • Meet & Greet

  • Defining a history of theology (theo = god, logos = word)

  • Introduce three main questions of study for this fall

    • Who is God?

    • Where did he/she come from?

    • How does this affect me?

  • The story of Abraham - three major world religions birthed (Gen 15)

Who is God? (according to Hebrew, Christian, Islam)

  • Possible to see same tree from differing perspectives? Or unrelated?

  • Genesis 17 - Abraham and the birth of Israel (circa 2000BCE Abraham born)

  • Covenant - katav, to cut

  • Name changed = character/destiny

  • Jacob (deceiver) to Israel (God fights) - Genesis 35

Stories of Judaism/Hebrew (covenant, captivity, exodus)

  • Basic tenets - monotheism, sabbath, death as sleep, coming messiah, diet

  • 4 sects - secular, liberal/reform, conservative, orthodox Essene-baptism, pharisee-religious leader, sadducee-no afterlife, zealot

  • Covenant (Gen 17), Decalogue (Exodus 20, Deut 5)

  • Captivity - Egypt (1875-1445BCE), Babylon (605BCE), Greece (538BCE), Medes/Persia, Rome

  • Exodus - 1400 BCE

  • Kings - David is first King, Solomon’s temple completed 1000BCE

  • Covenant, captivity, exodus cycle prophesied to repeat in messiah

The story of Ishmael (Genesis 16)

  • Ishmael to Islam

  • Circa 600AD Muhammed is born in Mecca

  • Does God hate Islam? Ishmael’s blessing-Gen 17, Hagar-Gen 16, 25:12

  • Modern Islam and Muhammed - more than 800million, Ishmael offered rather than Isaac, lineage through Abraham Moses, John Baptist, Jesus prophet

  • Basic tenets - health, monotheism, total obedience to Allah=salvation, Salat 5x/day, giving alms, fast during Ramadan, Hajj/pilgrimage to Mecca once in lifetime, Koran as verbatim, final judgment, resurrection, forbid alcohol/gambling/pork, aiding poor,

The story of Jesus (Christianity)

  • Birth and rebirth, life from death

  • Story of Jesus not as new religion, or reformation but as the fulfillment

  • Birth of Christianity - covenant fulfilled, not exodus but conquerer

The story of Buddhism

  • Circa 500BCE Gautama (Buddha=fully enlightened) is born in Lumbini (NE India)

  • Central/East/SE Asia at one time nearly 1/3 world’s population were buddhist

  • Basic tenets - god is impersonal, key is brotherly love, health, 8 fold path (right beliefs, efforts, thinking, ideals, works, deeds, way of earning a living, meditation), ultimate goal is Nirvana=state of love/peace/nothingness/selflessness

  • Karma = righteous or evil deeds of an individual

  • Nirvana = reincarnation state of complete nothingness an unity with universe

  • Reincarnation = series of births and deaths and rebirths based on works

  • Similarities w/Hebrew/Islam/Christianity

The story of Hinduism

  • 3000BCE Hinduism takes roots in the Indus River valley (NW India)

  • Basic tenets - health, caste system, untouchables, god is impersonal, pantheism, salvation through deeds, Karma - cycle of reincarnation until state of perfection is reached, Bagda Vita is sacred text, develop god within=moral perfection

  • Similarities w/Hebrew/Islam/Christianity

The story of Atheism

  • Basic tenets

  • Review & Preview of Spring classes

  • Similarities w/Hebrew/Islam/Christianity