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Introduction to World Religions andBelief SystemsModule inReligionThe course explores the main tenets and practices of major world religions: Judaism, Christianity,Islam, Hinduism, Theravada Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism andShintoism. It aims to help learners understand the historical contexts of nine religions, appreciatetheir uniqueness and similarities and promote mutual understanding among believers of differentfaiths. They are expected to demonstrate understanding and appreciation of one’s faith and that ofothers.Most Essential Learning Competencies1.1. Give an example of a belief system or a worldview1.2. Differentiate religion from:a. Spiritualityb. Theologyc. Philosophy of Religion1.3. Infer that:a. A belief system or worldview is a particular way of ordering the realities of one’s world.b. Religion is the pursuit of transformation guided by a sacred belief system.c. Spirituality is one’s integrative view of life. It involves a quest for the meaning and ultimatevalue of life as opposed to an instrumentalist or materialistic attitude to life.d.Lesson 1:Understanding the Nature of ReligionPre-test:In the context of religion, list down 10 things that you believe in by completing the followingstatements.What have you observed in your own belief system?1.I believe in/that2.I believe in/that3.I believe in/that4.I believe in/that5.I believe in/that6.I believe in/that7.I believe in/that8.I believe in/that9.I believe in/that10.I believe in/thatDiscussion:UNDERSTANDING BELIEFS AND WORLDVIEWSEvery individual sees and interprets the world quite differently fromoneanother. This overall perspective is also termedworldviewwhich isa collection of beliefs about life and the universe being held bypeople (The Free Dictionary 2014). For a certain individual, socialenvironment and upbringing are critical in the development of areligious life. All these factors have an effect on how peopleorganize their beliefs and ideas while eventually creating a
Introduction to World Religions andBelief Systemscomprehensive narrative through which they look at the world andinterrelate with it.Belief in god or gods is found in almost all religions. There is agood reason to presuppose that religion had existedduringprehistoric times and this has continued to the modern day.Human life may have produced hundreds of religions and beliefsystems. There could be more unknown than known religions inthe world since recorded history covers only several thousandyears of human existence.Theism, often used as a synonym to monotheism, is defined as “a belief in the existenceof one god viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcendsyet is immanent in the world” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary 2014).Monotheistic religionsclaim that there is only one God who could have designed and created the universe ormay have directed all events that led to the creation of everything. There is one supreme