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World Religions

The religions of the world have tremendous influence on the world’s communities and cultures. Religions shape every aspect of life including political and economic policies, human rights, literature, art, and the environment. At Loyola, you will explore the past, present, and emerging future of these religions. You will examine what people believe, why they believe it, and how their beliefs form private and public lives. Our Jesuit community has long been committed to understanding the various religions of the world. By deepening your understanding of spirituality and religions both well-known and little-known, you will join in the Jesuit tradition of exploring your world in new ways. Whatever your beliefs, we invite you to explore with us as we grow in appreciation of each other.

Overview of Courses

In addition to a core set of courses exploring religious texts and traditions, you’ll select electives to tailor the program to your interests and complete a research seminar. Here’s a sample of what you can expect to learn and do:

  • Women, Religion, and Culture
    This course investigates the mutual impact of religious belief and gender roles: Special topics include the origin of patriarchy, structures of patriarchy, function of shamanism in women’s lives, women in patriarchal religions, violence perpetuated against women in patriarchal cultures/religions, and women creating women’s religion.
  • World Religions and Ecology
    The course explores questions concerning the intersection of religious diversity and ecological perspectives. Within the context of the major world religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Chinese religions, and representatives of indigenous traditions) students will look closely at scriptures, stories, myths, symbols, and rituals that convey teachings regarding the relationship between Ultimate and Phenomenal realities and between human beings and non-human nature.
  • Buddhism Across Asia
    This course explores the many-faceted world of Buddhism, particularly in its historical contexts from the 5th century BCE to rise of the Mahāyāna movement. Primary sources cover teachings on cosmology, ritual and monastic life, ideas on nirvāna and how one pursues it. Two segments of the course focus on older traditions (India, China, Japan) while a third explores contemporary Asian developments in Tibet and Vietnam through literature and political developments
  • Religion and Media
    This course explores the impact of media on religious beliefs and practices. It examines how the critical consumption and production of media shapes modern concepts of religion.

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World Religions Course Information

Find out more about the World Religions major:

Contact the Department of Religious Studies:
Phone (504) 865-3943 | Location: Bobet Hall, Room 402
Mailing Address: 6363 St. Charles Avenue, Campus Box 81, New Orleans, LA 70118