There is a widespread perception in the West that we live in a secular age, an age in which religion is at best an optional extra, if not a false delusion completely out of place. However, religion still arouses passion and causes controversy; it controls and transforms lives. An informed understanding of the contemporary world thus requires an appreciation of the role of religion in shaping ideas, world-views and actions that have an impact on the social as well as on the personal life of the individual. This free course, Religion today: Themes and issues, gives you a glimpse into this fascinating area.
This free course, Studying religion, will give you an opportunity to think about some of the key concepts and methods of the discipline of Religious Studies. You will meet examples of different forms of religious practice and belief, mostly from Britain and India.
Why study religion? An understanding of the world’s religious traditions is crucial in helping us to appreciate not just the varied forms of belief and practice that we encounter at home, abroad and in the media, but also the influence that religion has on world affairs. This course offers an introduction to the study of religions, and in particular to six major religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism, including the various roles of their founders and leaders, their texts, rituals, practices and behaviors. This practical insight will enable you to develop a better understanding of different beliefs and worldviews and what these mean to their adherents. This material is taken from The Open University Course A217 Introducing Religions.
In the world of economics, does a person’s well-being really matter? What is more important, social objectives or profit maximisation – or are they even compatible? During a trip to Burma in 1955, Ernest Schumacher pioneered the concept of Buddhist Economics, a set of principles based on the belief that the function of business is to supply goods and services for need and true well-being. Schumacher argued that Buddhist Economics could serve as a vehicle for human development to overcome self centeredness and augment human creativity and knowledge.
Presented by Dr Mike Lucas from The Open University Business School and Alan Shipman from the Department of Economics at The Open University.