Monday, April 21, 2008
Rev. John R. Greisen
This course gives an insight to each of the major religions. Also it identifies the reasons for the sub groups or spin-off religions, and how they differ from the parent religion. I feel that it is imperative to have a strong understanding of the parent religion to understand the belief structure of the spin-off religions. Without this understanding, we can not understand why there are so many religions that feel that they are the “true” religion, or that they are the only way to achieve salvation. It is interesting how so many religions can believe in the “One True God”, but are so adamant that they are right and everyone else is wrong and could face eternal damnation for believing in their personal religion. It is also very enlightening to see how many of the “main” religions owe their traditions and beliefs to many pagan beliefs.
As stated above, the thing that I liked about this course is the knowledge and insight to religions that I had heard about but did not have a working knowledge of their belief structure. The layout flowed in a logical progression and did justice to most of the religions. (I will discuss some of the areas I feel could be improved later)
Probably one of the problems that arise is the use of titles and beliefs. Being foreign to many of the readers I feel that a glossary and explanation of the pronunciation of the words would improve the study. This could be placed at the end of the course or at the end of each chapter.
The area of this course that I feel does it a disservice is using Google to explain a religion. I am well versed in the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) (Mormons). Much of the rhetoric I have read and heard before. The question of whether the LDS church is Christian or not can be answered in the true name “Church of JESUS CHRIST…”. The title “Mormon” is like a nick name and has caused much confusion. Be assured the “Mormon” church is a Christian church. The main scripture used by the church is the King James version of the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Convents. All of these state the belief in Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior.
I know that the “Mormon” church is more than willing to discuss their beliefs. This would be a good source rather than Google.
The course just scratches the history of the Roman Catholic religion, I know this could be a course by itself if one delves in to the church's history. It would be of benefit to learn more of the history to understand how the church has evolved to its status today.
The chart showing the religions and how they relate to each other was helpful in understanding some of the belief structure and how it developed.
I do feel that this is a very good course for a basic understanding of several of the known and not so well known churches in today’s society.
Yes, I would be interested in taking another course from Rev. Kythera Ann. Her material flows and is easy to understand, except for the areas discussed above.
The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics, as well as courses in Mystical Christianity, Buddhism and Comparative Religion. I have been a proud member of the ULC for many years and the Seminary since its inception.