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Critical Thinking About World Religions

Mike Hatcher
Average rating:4.6Number of reviews:(381)
5,874,000,000 people (74%) follow four world religions with unique beliefs, culture, history, and geography. This class will use critical thinking and reasoning to gain a deeper understanding of these belief systems.

Class experience

US Grade 6 - 9
1. Students understand, summarize, and memorize the basic beliefs of the major 4 world religions: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
2. Teach healthy unbiased research methods and create a spreadsheet charting the main beliefs of the 4 religions.
4. Look not only at the major beliefs but also look at the cultural values and customs of these world religions.
5. Foster an "always respectful" perspective as curious learners.
6. Apply critical thinking comparisons discussing the uniqueness and differences of traditions and beliefs of these religions.
I hold a Master of Divinity degree. It’s a hefty 94-unit degree and includes 4 years of Hebrew study, 3 years of Greek language study, ethics, theology, beliefs, philosophy, history, and critical thinking. 

•	I learned to highly value examining beliefs in their historical context.
•	I love to challenge that we think in categories of logic and reasoning. 
•	I respect evaluating belief systems in a side-by-side methodology.
•	I value the process and instruction of critical thinking about our values and belief systems.
•	I’ve taught comparative religions many times in the public-school sector with 5-6th graders up through High School.
•	As a homeschool Dad (5+ years), I taught critical thinking classes with other homeschool students regarding “Beliefs: What and Why?”

I bring 35 years of teaching experience – half of which was within the nonprofit sector focused on religious beliefs. I’ve visited various places of worship and spoken with believers of the 4 world religions. I’m the curious type and enjoy interviewing those within these religions about their experience, culture, and practice.
Homework Offered
Student Presentation exercise of building their own spreadsheet of the major world religions.
1 - 2 hours per week outside of class
Assessments Offered
Grades Offered
We will explore and gather the beliefs of the major religions. Sources will include books written by believers of each religion. We will critically discuss their uniquenesses and make comparisons. This will always be done with respect. Part of my goal is to help the students learn critical thinking which will include looking at views from the perspective of followers of each belief system. I am not advocating for any of these world religions - but want to help students assess, compare, and think through the beliefs of each system as a critical thinking process. 
Primary Texts
1. Comparative Religion: Investigate the World Through Religious Tradition (Inquire and Investigate), by Carla Mooney  (Author), $13-18.
2. Comparative Religions (Quickstudy Reference Guides – Academic, by Inc. BarCharts  (Author), $7.

Supplemental Texts (suggested but not required)
I selected a text from each of the 4 religions, written by followers of each in order to lend credibility.
1. Know what you Believe, by Paul E. Little, $14. 
2. Islam Explained: A Short Introduction to History, Teachings, and Culture by Ahmad Rashid Salim, $13.
3. Hinduism: What You Need to Know about the Hindu Religion, Gods, Goddesses, Beliefs, History, and Rituals by Crystal Moon, $14.
4. No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners: Clear Answers to Burning Questions About Core Buddhist Teachings, Noah Rasheta, Kindle $6.99.
Average rating:4.6Number of reviews:(381)
I've been teaching here on Outschool since May 2020. It has been my pleasure to teach more than 2200 students here this last year. I find that a dialog with parents is very helpful for encouraging success for students.

Truth, Beauty, and Goodness... 
Group Class


for 6 classes
1x per week, 6 weeks
50 min

Completed by 2 learners
Live video meetings
Ages: 11-16
3-6 learners per class

This class is no longer offered
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