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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.

1,773 enrolled on this course

Religions From The Inside: Improving Interreligious Dialogue
  • 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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Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Possibility and necessity of an interreligious dialogue

    • Welcome to the course

      Before you get started, take a moment to watch the introduction video and take the opportunity to meet your fellow learners, plan your learning journey and set your objectives.

    • The world’s religions scenario and our project

      How did this project develop? Which are the main goals? Professor Fabris will explain how he came up with the idea of this project and the major topics.

    • The world’s religions and the answer to the evil

      Waht is evil? Why is there a connection between evil and religions?

    • Practice of dialogue in an interreligious context

      What is actually dialogue? What does it means interreligious dialogue?

    • Summary and conclusion - Week 1

      In this activity, you can check what you have learnt in this week in a quiz and share it with other participants in the final discussion.

  • Week 2

    The interreligious dialogue in Hebraism

    • An introduction to Hebraism

      The Rabbi Ephraim Meir will gives an introduction to the fundamentals of Hebraism.

    • Dialogical elements in the Jewish tradition

      The Jewish biblical and post-Biblical tradition contains many dialogical elements that are crucial for the construction of an interreligious theology from a Jewish vantage point.

    • The concept of trans-difference

      Professor Meir gives explanations of what he calls 'trans-difference'

    • Summary and conclusion - Week 2

      In this activity, you can check what you have learnt in this week in a quiz and share it with other participants in the final discussion.

  • Week 3

    The interreligious dialogue in Christianity

    • An introduction to Christianity

      Father René Roux will give us an explanation about the fundamentals of Christianity.

    • Christianity and interreligious dialogue

      Professor Roux focuses the attenction on the relationship between Christianity and interreligious dialogue

    • Christianithy and the promoting peace

      How can peace be constituted? Professor Roux leads us to the reflection on a fruitful interfaith dialogue.

    • Summary and conclusion

      In this activity, you can check what you have learnt in this week in a quiz and share it with other participants in the final discussion.

  • Week 4

    The interreligious dialogue in Islam

    • An introduction to Islam

      Professor and Imam Yahya Sergio Yahe Pallavicini gives an introduction to the fundamentals of Islamic faith.

    • Fraternity and dialogue

      Professor introduces us to the concept of fraternity and its importance in the contest of the Muslim faith

    • Dialogue between communities

      An in-depth examination of dialogue between different religious communities: how Islam relates to religious minorities

    • Summary and conclusion

      In this activity, you can check what you have learnt in this week in a quiz and share it with other participants in the final discussion.

  • Week 5

    The interreligious dialogue in Buddhism

    • An introduction to Buddhism

      Professor Seung Chul Kim describes the main principle of Buddhism

    • Zen Buddhism

      Professor Seung will teach us the concept of "Zen Buddhism": "In short, Zen teaches us the way of self-power, and on the contrary, Christianity teaches us the way of other-power".

    • Buddhism and dialogue

      During this third week, Professor Seung will explain his definition of "dialogue" related to Buddhism.

    • Summary and conclusion

      In this activity, you can check what you have learnt in this week in a quiz and share it with other participants in the final discussion.

  • Week 6

    The interreligious dialogue in Hinduism

    • An introduction to Hinduism

      Svamini Hamsananda Giri, Vice-president of the Italian Hindu Union, presents the Sanātana Dharma, the eternal and universal religion

    • Hinduism and the promotion of peace

      How is it possible to promote peace? Hamsananda Giri will present his vision.

    • Hinduism and interreligious dialogue

      We will learn how Hinduism promotes interreligious dialogue and respect between different cultures

    • Summary and conclusion

      In this activity, you can check what you have learnt in this week in a quiz and share it with other participants in the final discussion.

    • The course wrap up

      We have reached the end of our course. Express your opinion.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. 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

    Ticino

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