World Religions takes seriously the idea that to be religious involves not only faith or belief, but also practice. Just as an athlete trains her body, religious people train their spirits and their hearts. We study the major religious traditions of the world to understand how and why those who follow these traditions train their spirits the way they do.
Students not only learn from an excellent textbook, but also have a chance to actively ask how the practices of the world's religions (their own included) could strengthen their own spiritual lives.
Specifically the course examines the Hindu Traditions and various Yogas, Buddhism and Meditation (or the interpretation of a Koan), Taoism and Tai Chi, Islam and Prayer, Christianity and Worship, as well as Judaism and the study of the Torah.
Note on the teaching of religion at Chatham Hall:
There are a number of ways to approach the teaching of religion (historical, literary, traditions-based, or through cultural studies). As a school with an affiliation with the Episcopal Church, we follow the guidelines of the National Association of Episcopal Schools in teaching other faiths with integrity and from their own perspective without judgment or bias. In addition, we follow the guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Religion for teaching religion at the high school level. These guidelines include three basic premises that are important to Chatham Hall:
Religions are internally diverse
Religions are dynamic
Religions are embedded in culture
Thus we seek to follow our “Purple and Golden Rule” which asks students and adults to respect the beliefs and faiths that are different than our own.
One Semester – ½ Credit
Fulfills Religious Studies requirement
Prerequisite: Sophomore (recommended), Junior (recommended), or Senior Standing