What I gained from this course:
The twenty-lesson course in Comparative Religion was a validation of my beliefs. I have always thought that the various religions that developed around the world were based on the same basic belief in a higher energy, Creator, Source, Divine Bring or any other term developed by humanity's limited language skills that one would care to use to describe the underlying power of the Universe.
It has been my life long belief that all the religions of the world lead to one place, it is just a matter of how one gets there. A brief visual description may assist in understanding my point. Imagine a large mountain and the goal is the summit. Each person is located at the base. There are paths that spiral around the mountain climbing ever higher. There are some paths whose course takes them directly up the side of the mountain on a vertical ascent. These paths all start at different points at the base of the mountain, but all end at the summit. Some of these paths even travel the same course at times, some never meet. While all start at a different point, all take a varied route; all arrive at the same point in the end - the summit or to phrase it another way - reunification with Divinity.
I believe that the vast differences are there to accommodate the various level of spiritual development evident in each culture at any given point in their evolution. That is to say, an early pagan would have had a hard time comprehending the higher teachings of the Buddhist religion. Another example of this is the evolution from
Hinduism into Buddhism. This difficulty in comprehension is just as true for the modern day Christian. By that I mean that a Christian has trouble accepting that each individual is responsible for their own evolution on the wheel of life, death and rebirth. Most of the Christians that I have spoken with believe that unless one believes in Jesus salvation can never be obtained.
What I liked best and least about this course, and how to improve:
While I was pleasantly surprised to see the more obscure religions given the same basically fair treatment as the more commonly practiced ones, I would also have liked to have seen a more in depth comparison of each of the religions covered. Many times I was waiting in vain for the next religion to be explained to the extent that the last one had been discussed. This was true not only of the obscure ones, but even the common ones. The discussions (lessons 16 and 17) on Divine Messengers for example as well as the discussion on Religious Titles (lesson 18) serve to illustrate this point.
I would have preferred to see a systematic breakdown showing how each religion compared and contrasted with each other one during the course of each lesson. Using the above examples, if each religion's terms for angels had been laid out in table format and each religion's titles had been detailed side by side I believe it would
have more fully explained how they relate to one another.
Over all, this was an excellent course. I would definitely be willing to take another course from Reverend Kythera Ann; and am looking forward to Part 2 of this course. I am of course assuming there is a Part 2.
Theresa A. Bedwell
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