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Interdisciplinary Learning Courses

World’s Religions

World’s Religions World’s Religions
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Interdisciplinary Learning CoursesWorld’s Religions

How religions shape world’s societies and political structures

Religion plays an important role for millions of people across the globe. The different religious beliefs have – or have had – an important influence over societies’ customs, identities and political structures, also in the way they establish relations with the rest of the world. In that sense, this course introduces the student to the main religions of the planet, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddism but also other religions.

The objective is to know the key aspects of those beliefs and assess why they have shaped differently – or not so – societies and what are the geopolitical implications of this phenonmenon. In addition, the second part of the course looks at specific societal issues such as globalization, migration, violence, gender, popular culture or climate change and how they are related to religion.

Learning Objectives

  • 1. Learn about the history of religions across the world and their mechanisms to shape societies, cultures and political structures.
  • 2. Study the geopolitical implications of today’s religious realities.
  • 3. Know the key aspects of the main religious beliefs in the world, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddism and other religions.
  • 4. Assess the impact of religion in societal issues such as globalization, migration, violence, gender, popular culture or climate change.
  • 5. Develop a critical approach to debate about religion and its relation with sociology, politics or international relations.

Contents of the Subject

World’s Religions

  • 1. Presentation of the course
    • 2. Religion in Huntington’s “clash of civilisations”
    • 3. The Christendom and the role of religion in European/Western identity
    • 4. Orthodoxy and other religions in Eastern Europe and Russia
    • 5. The diverse Islamic World
    • 6. Judaism: the state of Israel and Jewish realities across the world
    • 7. Hinduism and other religions in India and South East Asia
    • 8. Buddism and other religions in East Asia
    • 9. Other beliefs in Latin America, Africa and Oceania
    • 10. Religion, globalization and migration
    • 11. Religion and violence
    • 12. Religion and gender
    • 13. Religion and popular culture
    • 14. Religion and sustainable development and climate change
    • 15. Secularisation


Guiomar Gutiérrez Profesora de World’s Religions

Guiomar Gutiérrez Pascual