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Learning About Religion


Volume 1 in the series "Learning about Religion"


By Michel Clasquin-Johnson

Department of Religious Studies&Arabic

University of South Africa

About this series

The material in this series was originally part of the OBE for FET (Religion Studies) series published by Nasou Via Afrika Ltd. When the OBE system of education was ended in South Africa, that series of books, as it was designed at the time, became obsolete and was taken out of print.

About the original authors

As at the time of original publication: Proff Chrissie Steyn, Gerrie Lubbe, JS (Kobus) Krüger and Dr Michel Clasquin teach Religious Studies at the University of South Africa. Dr N Phaswana is involved with education in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

Some of us felt that this was good material, too good to just consign to oblivion. There were three years of our lives locked up in there, and it was some of the most accessible material ever to emerge from our department. There had to be a way to rescue it.

The first four of the authors mentioned above requested that the rights to the material they had written be reverted and the publisher granted this request. We then decided that, ten years after the fact, there was no realistic possibility of determining which of us had written which sections and that we would regard the material as our common property. This Open Educational Resource series reflects what I have done with it. My colleagues may well have plans of their own.

Originally written for students in grades 10 to 12, this text has been amended, added to and rewritten for a general audience. It still reflects the old OBE curriculum in its chapter and section structure, but I have taken out the framework of Outcomes and Individual, Pair and Group Activities.

Volumes in this series:

  1. Learning About Religion - 2015 on CNX, 2016 on other platforms.
  2. Learning about Judaism - Forthcoming
  3. Learning about Christianity - Forthcoming
  4. Learning about Islam - Forthcoming
  5. Learning about Hinduism - Forthcoming
  6. Learning about Buddhism - Forthcoming
  7. Learning More about Religion - Forthcoming

Although the numbering system above will be used, volumes will not necessarily be published in this order. There will probably never be a volume on “Learning more about African religion”. We were unable to obtain the rights to Dr Phaswana’s part of the material.

About this book

This book is being developed on Openstax CNX (www.cnx.org) and is licensed under the current CC license used by Openstax. The online version on Openstax is the official, reference version - it supplies the external links that will enable the reader to enjoy a more extended and immersive experience. PDF and EPUB versions from Openstax should be regarded as curtailed versions for mobile convenience.

Static snapshots of this book will be made available on an occasional basis on platforms such as Smashwords and Amazon Kindle, and will become available in formats supported by those platforms and under those vendors' respective licenses.

Early versions of this book will reflect its origins as a school textbook for South African Grade 10-12 students. However, it is an ongoing project and as time goes by it will increase in scholarly density and decrease in South African parochialism. The aim is to produce a book readable by the general well-educated public, not one for subject specialists.

In its current format is no longer written as a textbook for students. However, it is extremely modular in nature and educators can easily create a derived copy on Openstax and create small additional modules for each section containing the objectives and self-test exercises suitable for their particular educational system. If time permits, I may create such a version for the South African school system.



In this book you will learn about a variety of religions. You will be able to indicate where they can be found today, where they come from and how they came to South Africa and developed further once they were here. You will also be able to give a rough estimate of how many members each religion has and how people from different religions interact with one another. By the time you have finished reading this book, you will know the "what", the "where", the "when" and the "how many" of the world's religions. You will be able to apply your knowledge to specific issues and you will have gained an appreciation for the wide diversity of religious thought.

You will explore new worlds, from the fertile plains of Africa to the burning sands of Arabia, from the cathedrals of Europe to the pagodas of Asia. Together we will walk alongside the acknowledged greatest of our species: Christ, Mohammed, the Buddha, Moses, Freud, Luther, Nagarjuna, Shankara, Marx ... you will already recognise some of these names, and the others too will become known to you as deep and profound thinkers. Some you will agree with, others not - but you will undoubtedly learn to appreciate how their efforts to understand and explain reality have influenced the history and development of humankind.

I will concentrate largely on the five main religions found in South Africa: African Religion, Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism. I am a South African writer and we all work within a specific context. But we cannot be narrow–minded: there are other religions that do not have many followers in this country, but that play a major role elsewhere. Among these are Buddhism and the Baha'i Faith. There are religions that have played an important historical role, like Zoroastrianism. We also need to look at the emergence of New Religious Movements.

Some of the religions we will explore together will be well known to you already. In fact you might even belong to one of them yourself! Others will be new and strange to you. Nevertheless, even if you think you already know a religion, try to approach it with an open mind and see if you can learn something new.

Prof Michel Clasquin-Johnson .

(External Link) .

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Learning about religion. OpenStax CNX. Apr 18, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11780/1.1
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