Oct 4th 2016

Oriental Beliefs: Between Reason and Traditions (edX)

Explore the spiritual and magical beliefs of cultures, from ancient Egypt to modern Japan, as we discuss gods, the universe, cosmos, dreams and so much more! This course takes a journey through the world of beliefs as they have developed in a great variety of cultures, ranging from Ancient Egypt, the Near East to Central Asia, India, China, and the Far East. We will discuss where these beliefs, theories and practices originated from, how they were passed on over the ages and why some are still so central to large communities of believers across the world today, whether it be amongst Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists or Shintoists.

We'll be dealing with everything from gods and spirits, to angels and demons, to afterlife and the netherworld, as well as the great cycles of the universe and the tremendous power of lunar and solar eclipses. The interpretation of dreams and all sorts of magic and miraculous deeds will also be covered during this course.

Students will have the opportunity to travel extensively in time and space. The comparative, critical and contextualized approach of this course will allow for a valuable and thought-provoking experience.

We are a course team of about twenty-five specialists working at, or in close interaction with, the Department of Greek, Latin and Oriental Studies (GLOR) at the University of Louvain. We are all historians or philologists, all passionate about our respective fields of expertise, and all fully determined to help you as much as we can as we progress through this course. Most of all, we're looking forward to "meeting" you and to having lively discussions with you on the forums.

If you're curious about the cultures of this world, past and present, this course is definitely for you. Put your wings on and get ready to ride on our “GLOR-ious” dragon and to enjoy the whole adventure with us!

At the end of this course, you will:

- Have a panoramic scope of the cultures, societies, languages and belief systems of a wide variety of people

- Develop a personal and critical approach to understanding the beliefs of cultures