in World Religions
A distance learning course
International Association for Distance Learning.
A distance learning
course for anyone interested in the emergence
and growth of the phenomenon of religion and its
social and political implications.
recommended period of study: approx.
months or less. Continuous enrolment. No time limit.
£225.00 (225 Pounds Sterling - for currency conversion see
(A FREE textbook will be sent to UK students. Non-UK students will normally have to purchase the book on-line
from an internet bookstore.)
discount for UK students: We will give UK
students a discount of £25 if they purchase the
Kindle edition of the textbook from the link in
the left-hand column of this page.
Method of study
Textbook study. Written assignments based on
textbooks and exercises. Assignment questions are issued by email and
students return their written work by email. Grades and feedback are issued by
This course focuses on the
world-wide development of religions throughout
The enormous diversity of religion is
revealed as well as its ability to develop and
take new forms in response to changes in
society, war, conquest and colonization. Against
this background, accurate and concise portraits
of faiths and aspects of religion are presented.
Religions are understood in the context of
diverse worldviews and secular worldviews such
as Marxism are also introduced.
classical religions covered include those of
South Asia, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, the
Pacific, the Americas, the Ancient Near East,
Persia, Greece, Rome, and Africa plus
Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
period covers the Reformation and European
changes in Judaism and Christianity, religion in
N. America, post-WWII religion, modern religion
and ideology in S. Asia, China, Korea, and
Southeast Asia, Japan and its new religions,
Islam and modernization, Pacific religion and
colonialism, Religion during and after the
Soviet Union, changes in African religion, and
developments in Latin America and the Caribbean.
A final section reflects on twentieth-century
changes and argues for a pluralistic religious
Extensive notes, glossary,
timelines and bibliography are provided. The key
text is profusely illustrated with photographs
and vocabularies of key terms make the text more
No specific religious conviction
is necessary in order to study and enjoy this
course, and those of any faith or none are
welcome. It is open to all who seek a wider and
deeper understanding of the role of religion in
society and its history and development.
The power of religion to govern
people's actions and to motivate people to acts
that dominate many of today's headlines can only
be understood by appreciating that historically,
religion and ideology have driven human
behaviour, sometimes to extremes.
Smart, Ninian. The World’s Religions.
Second Edition. Cambridge University Press, 1998.
criteria and suitability
No particular qualifications are required for entry.
Successful graduates will receive the Advanced Diploma in
World Religions awarded by UK College of Holistic Training which is a private UK
qualification. The college is accredited by the International Association for
Please see our FAQs page for general information.
We reserve the right to change the syllabus and other details of any course at
To apply for this course
now, go to our Application page