GEOG 11 — The Geography and History of World Religions
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 22—Dec 1
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Drop Deadline: Sep 24
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Instructor(s): Martin Lewis
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Sep 22—Dec 1
No letter grade
Differences in religious beliefs and how they are practiced vary tremendously across the face of the earth. Some areas are characterized by deep religiosity, whereas others are largely secular. By the same token, in some places almost everyone adheres to the same beliefs, whereas other areas are marked by profound religious diversity. All of these patterns, moreover, change over time, as various religious sects and belief systems expand or contract in different parts of the world. In this course, we will examine the historical development and current geographical patterns of the world's major religions. The complex division of Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam into different sects, schools, and inclinations will be explored at some length. We will also consider religions that have relatively few adherents, both ancient (such as Zoroastrianism) and modern (such as the Baháʼí Faith), as well as philosophical systems that are sometimes deemed to be religions (such as Confucianism). We will even look at different varieties and aspects of irreligion, which can range from atheism to agnosticism to a vague belief in a spiritual presence. Class lectures and discussion will rely heavily on maps and other forms of illustration, and will delve into religious controversies and other debated issues surrounding the geography of faith.
Martin Lewis, Senior Lecturer in International History, StanfordMartin Lewis is the author or co-author of five books, including The Myth of Continents: A Critique of Metageography and Globalization and Diversity: Geography of a Changing World. He received a PhD in geography from UC Berkeley.
Textbooks for this course:
(Required) Huston Smith, The World's Religions, 2nd edition (ISBN 978-0061660184)