UNIVERSAL LIFE CHURCH SEMINARY
Comparative Religion Course
Rev. Kythera Ann
This course was a bargain for the price. Despite the fact I already had college credits from a similar class, there was quite a bit of new information presented - and presented in a unique format making it quite worthwhile.
The graphics were valuable and kept the rote and mundane information more interesting.
I was particularly impressed with the flow chart which provides an overview of the timeline/overlaps regarding the development of major religions. In one snapshot there is a considerable amount of information.
The lesson of the virgin-birth-of-the-one-true-savior offered new insights and was particularly interesting. I was well aware of the commonality of the many creation stories, and i knew more than one religion held beliefs in a virgin-birth-of-a-savior story - making the neat, efficient one-page summary particularly helpful.
The large number of definitions will allow the text from this course to remain a valuable asset for years to come. It serves as a reference book that combines the width of an encyclopedia with the detail of a dictionary.
I did not gain that much new insight from this course but I most definitely gained a confirmation that much of what I believe is more easily substantiated now. I also gained additional web-links and additional resources for all topics discussed in the course.
The presentation of the course regarding the vocabulary of all world religions.....the commonality of terms used.....the sensitivity paid in discussing things sacred, and the professional and neutral tone is worth noting as well. There is an even tone throughout the entire course and a gentle, nonjudgmental statement of facts.
The lovely graphics did present a bit of a problem of me to download as I am on an ancient and rural phone line and a (31) page document (loaded with graphics) was a source of some "crashes". However, I realize I am a minority with that situation as most students will be connected to high speed access.
The other situation is that of the cumbersome result of all this great information and the fabulous graphics. Truly the valuable and artistic graphics are great - in fact so great I wanted to put them in plastic pages. However the weekly addition of (20 +) pages makes the end result a bit unwieldy. As a reference item on a desk it takes up a good deal of space with a 3 - 4 inch binder that weighs a hefty amount.
If there would have been an option to BUY a traditional text to accompany this class I certainly would have opted to do so. The time (and frustration) of downloading, using up reams of paper and ink cartridges would have been better served to just purchase a traditional book-but that is a very minor issue.
My only other frustration was that some weeks it was far more like a classroom of terms (dictionary-like) than a comparative study. There were some weeks when the lesson compared specific similarities between religions and contrasted those with differences between specific religions, however, for my interest there was not enough of that information.
Again, this is a minor observation and only one person's preference. It in no way should be taken as a criticism of the value of the course. It is, again, a bargain for the price charged. I paid far more at the university and was not treated to half as much interesting information. Nor did we receive the enriching and highly artistic graphics.
I would be VERY interested in taking another course from Rev. Kythera Ann as this course offered a chance to move forward ...and allowed a path of new question for me to explore.
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