Buddhism and Interreligious Understanding

Subject code ABS920
Lecturer Dr Elizabeth McDougal
Delivery mode Online, live
On campus, live
Duration 10 weeks
Next start date Visit timetable

Subject Overview

The subject focuses on the theory of religion and interfaith dialogue. Firstly, it outlines the foundations of religious studies, then proceeds with an examination of issues in the joint history and development of the major world religions, including Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism, from a comparative perspective. In the theoretical component the major methodological approaches will be presented and examined, and in the practical part readings of key texts will be discussed in the context of modern societal problems such as approaches to conflict resolution and peace. Additionally, the subject investigates the role and future of religion and interfaith dialogue in our globalised world. Students will also explore how Buddhist perspectives could inform or contribute to contemporary interfaith dialogue.


Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the historical preconditions for interfaith dialogue within a comparative religious and theoretical framework.
  2. Critically analyse key tenets in interreligious and interfaith milieux such as monotheism, pluralism, and interfaith dialogue.
  3. Creatively participate in group work, developing critical and constructive competencies to identify, analyse and present selected tenets of religions.
  4. Develop an ability to recognise and evaluate the methods of contemporary interfaith dialogue and comparative religion as well as their key topics (religion and tolerance, violence vs. peace). 



  • Assessment 1: Short review of a prescribed reading (15%, due week 4)
  • Assessment 2: Group work report on dilemma of interfaith dialogue (35%, due week 6)
  • Assessment 3: Final research paper on an aspect of contact between two or more religions (50%, due week 10)


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