• Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI)
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Religions From The Inside: Improving Interreligious Dialogue

Explore the value of cooperation between faiths and learn how the five main world religions’ core beliefs relate to each other.

2,228 enrolled on this course

  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Learn how to encourage and benefit from respectful interfaith dialogue

This short course, led by the Faculty of Theology of Lugano in collaboration with USI, will develop your knowledge of what interfaith dialogue means from a philosophical and epistemological point of view, and teach how to enjoy productive interfaith dialogue.

Understand the value of a multi-faith society

Until a few decades ago, it seemed secularisation processes were inevitable and that religion would be confined to the private conscience. However, the new millennium saw religions return – both as places for spiritual reflection, as well as movements that could affect the public sphere.

This course will enhance your understanding of the relationship between different faiths and help you to explore why religions play such an active role in promoting peaceful coexistence among humans.

Learn how to create the right conditions for effective interfaith dialogue

From the perspective of a speaker representing each of the world’s five main religions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism – you’ll explore the core characteristics of each religion from a historical and conceptual perspective before discussing a principle of the religion which relates to interfaith dialogue and promotes peace.

You’ll discover how each religion offers similar lessons that encourage humans to relate, connect with each other, as opposed to withdrawing into themselves and sparking conflict.

By the end of the course, you’ll understand how to have a positive interfaith discussion that encourages mutual cooperation and understanding between different faiths and forms of faith.

You’ll even have the chance to put your new knowledge to the test as you join an online interfaith debate with your fellow learners.

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What topics will you cover?

  • The main tenets of the five main world religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism.
  • The conditions necessary for the practice of interreligious dialogue: elements that advance the cooperation and mutual understanding among different forms of faith.
  • The five religions will be presented from the perspective of an interreligious dialogue.
  • Every religion will be described in its structure from both its historical and conceptual viewpoints.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify the most important characteristics of the main five religions.
  • Describe the fundamentals of the main five world religions.
  • Explain the relationship between the different forms of faith.
  • Reflect on what dialogue among religions means from a philosophical and epistemological point of view.
  • Develop a critical thinking about dialogue among religions and what makes it possible.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in religion and interreligious dialogue.

It will be of particular interest for bachelor and master’s students with a background in philosophy, theology or history.

Who will you learn with?

Full Professor of Moral Philosophy at Pisa University
and Director of ReTe (Religions and Theology) Institute at the Theological Faculty of Lugano.

Graduated with honours in Philosophy at the University of Pisa in 2019, is now a PhD student at the Faculty of Theology in Lugano and member of the team project 'Religions from the inside'.

Since 2004 he is managing director of USI eLab - eLearning Lab; he is lecturer at USI at the Faculty of communication sciences.

Instructional design. Since February 2016, Giorgia is part of the eLab’s team and she is involved in several eLearning projects, in particular the MOOC promoted by the University (USI).

Who developed the course?

Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI)

Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) is one of the 12 certified public universities in Switzerland. It comprises of five faculties and is active in several study and research areas.

The Faculty of Theology of Lugano (FTL)

The Faculty of Theology of Lugano (FTL) - founded as the Theological Institute of Lugano by decree of Mons. Eugenio Corecco (Bishop of Lugano from 1985 to 1995) of 27 April 1992, approved by the Holy See on 8 May of the same year - was established on 20 November 1993 and is the first university institution erected in Ticino.

  • Established

    20 November 1993
  • Location


Learning on FutureLearn

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  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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