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Understanding Religious Symbolism

Understanding Religious Symbolism

This course aims to provide a broader and deeper understanding of how religious people have thought and practiced by introducing basic theories of religious symbolism and by demonstrating examples of religious symbols from various cultures around the world. Students will gain an acquaintance with religious symbolism and other elements of religion. Students will also develop insights into the meanings of symbols that are embedded in various cultural contexts, ranging from ancient myths to contemporary novels and movies.

In the first lecture, we will consider the question of what religion is, and ponder which cultural practices and expressions we can call “religious.” Students will evaluate current prevailing definitions of religion and query concepts such as “religious orientation” and the “religiosity” of human beings. The second lecture will begin with the notion of the sacred and then devote time to exploring the idea of hierophany, the manifestation of the sacred, closely examining symbols of hierophany from many different cultures. The third lecture focuses on characteristics of symbolism, and religious symbolism in particular.

This course offers students a basic knowledge of religion and symbolism, and serves as a preliminary to my two other courses, “Myths, Rituals, and Cosmos” and “Religious Symbols of the World,” both of which contain many more concrete examples of religious expressions from the various cultures of the world.

Understanding Religious Symbolism
This course is archived
Future dates to be announced
Estimated 4 weeks
2–3 hours per week
Self-paced
Progress at your own speed
Free
Optional upgrade available

About this course

Skip About this course

In the first lecture, we will consider the question of what religion is, and ponder which cultural practices and expressions we can call “religious.” Students will evaluate current prevailing definitions of religion and query concepts such as “religious orientation” and the “religiosity” of human beings. The second lecture will begin with the notion of the sacred and then devote time to exploring the idea of hierophany, the manifestation of the sacred, closely examining symbols of hierophany from many different cultures. The third lecture focuses on characteristics of symbolism, and religious symbolism in particular.

This course offers students a basic knowledge of religion and symbolism, and serves as a preliminary to my two other courses, “Myths, Rituals, and Cosmos” and “Religious Symbols of the World,” both of which contain many more concrete examples of religious expressions from the various cultures of the world.

At a glance

  • Institution: SNUx
  • Subject: Humanities
  • Level: Introductory
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn

1. Understanding Human Beings through Religious Symbolism Edit

2. The Sacred That Human Beings Experience, Hierophany Edit

3. Symbolism and Religious Symbolism Edit

About the instructors

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