Harvard to offer free online classes to promote religious understanding
Making religion palatable isn’t easy but Harvard is going to give it a shot. Starting March 1st, professors from Harvard Divinity School and Wellesley College will host free online classes to better explain world religion and enrollment is open to the public.
Did I mention that the classes are free?
The classes are being offered to give depth and better understanding of different religions around the world, and to potentially make them more appetizing. But not for reasons of acceptance, more for compassion.
Because of geopolitical behavior in the Middle East and other parts of the world, many believe the instability is due to religion. Religious intolerance abounds — mainly as a result of those who describe factions of Islam as radical and apply it to the entire faith. There are misconceptions about other religions too, even mainstream ones in the U.S. like Christianity.
The courses will not only talk about the history of each faith, but what makes each distinct and complex.
Students of all ages, and mainly adults, should be encouraged to register for the free courses. During a presidential year where the history and point of Islam is being debated as if its the breakfast special at a local diner, the course on the topic of the Islamic faith is needed.
To combat that religious bigotry, Harvard is will present courses on five different faiths including Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.
Each class will run four weeks and the first one will start March 1st. For more information on each course, or to register, visit courses.edx.org. The courses are being offered through edX, an online learning tool developed by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).