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RET3000 Cults and Sects: Exploring Good and Evil

Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : Band 1
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 26 May 2022

Requisites

Pre-requisite: RET2000

Overview

In the last 100 years, and especially since the 1960’s, the increase in new religions, cults and faiths has been enormous. Many of the followers are in their teens or early twenties. But they also come from all ages and backgrounds. In the contemporary world, religion has a significant influence on individuals and societies across the globe, informing significant global events, as well as the everyday detail of people’s lives. An understanding of some of the major cults and sects in our society is important in understanding other people’s psyche and cultures. These movements are studied in such a way that students acquire a sense of what it is like to belong to a particular belief system and how that influences the way in which the followers of that movement understand the world, act in it, and relate and respond to others.

Exploring Good and Evil (Cults and Sects) provides an overview of some of the more popular or notorious cults and sects throughout contemporary society. This course presents an analysis of religious and spiritual ideas held by members of those groups. It provides an introduction into contemporary culture as well as the psychology of people more likely to be involved in such a movement. The course compares some cults and sects with one of the five main world religions. Each cult and/or sect will be examined in terms of its conception, its leader or deity, main tenets of belief, contemporary history, peculiar customs and practices, and view of the afterlife. Some specific cults and sects studied will be Mormons, Seven Day Adventists, Jehovah Witnesses, Christian Science, Scientology, Freemasonry, Unification Church, New Age Movement, The Children of God, The Divine Light Mission, Eckankar, Krishna Consciousness, The Worldwide Church of God, Transcendental Meditation and Baha'i. Students will build upon their existing understanding of the main world religions to compare and contrast them to the practices and beliefs of specific cults and sects. It is in this comparison that students will gain further understanding of the particular views and observances of the chosen religious movement.

Course offers

Semester Mode Campus
Semester 3, 2022 Online
Date printed 26 May 2022