Religious Studies (RELS) 204

Introduction to World Religions (Revision 4)

RELS 204 Course website

Revision 4 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 6

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Religious Studies home page

Course website

RELS 204 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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RELS 204 is a junior-level course designed to acquaint students with the major religious traditions of the world, and to the academic discipline of religious studies.

The religions studied are Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. They are examined through a study of their history, doctrinal concerns and development, literature, and ritual practices.


  • Unit 1: Methodology and Introduction
  • Unit 2: Judaism
  • Unit 3: Christianity
  • Unit 4: Islam
  • Unit 5: Hinduism
  • Unit 6: Buddhism
  • Unit 7: Chinese Religions


To receive credit for RELS 204, you must submit all assignments and achieve a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

2 Exercises (10% each) 2 Research Papers(20% each) 2 Exams(20% each) Total
20% 40% 40% 100%

The midterm and final examinations for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Ludwig, Theodore M. 2006. The Sacred Paths, 4th. ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Smart, Ninian, and Richard D. Hecht, eds. 1982. Sacred Texts of the World: A Universal Anthology. New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company.

Other Materials

All of the other course materials are online, including detailed study guides.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the RELS 204 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “D“ (50 per cent) on the examination, and an overall grade of at least “D” (50 percent).

Essay Exam Total
50% 50% 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 4, May 6, 2013.

View previous syllabus