Course Summary

A survey of Eastern religious faith systems including history, beliefs, and analysis

The course is organized in three modules: (1) Hinduism, (2) Buddhism, and (3) Other Eastern Religions. 3 semester hours of undergraduate credit.  Credit will not be awarded if the student has completed BRS 17.


1. Discover the origins, history, and spread of select Eastern religions.

Detect common underlying themes of Eastern religions.

3. Contrast Eastern religious systems

4. Analyze essential tenets of Eastern religions.

Credit. Credit for the course requires a score of 70% or greater on three multiple choice examinations, a 2,000 word paper analyzing one Eastern religion, and a 2,000 word paper comparing and contrasting two other Eastern religions.  Also required are two discussion forum postings for each module. The exams and papers count for 20% each toward the course grade. A sample exam problem is given below.

The Sikh religion began as (A) a means to create a higher level of Hindu philosophy, (B) a schism of Islam, (C) a synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism, (D) an attempt to draw nearer to God.


Coogan, Michael D. (ed.). Eastern Religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shinto. Oxford University Press, 2005. 552 pages. $14.95. ISBN: 978-0195221915