Introduction to World Religions

University of Mary

Audio Sample:

The study of religions is as integral to our shared humanity as it is to our world citizenship.

Both as a wellspring of hope and as an author of tragedy, religion has profoundly shaped the great civilizations of human history. An unequivocal force in the ancient world, religion continues to fire the imagination of millions in our own time and remains a fascinating index of human aspiration and creativity. 

In his Introduction to World Religions, Catholic theologian Prof. Peter A. Huff, Ph.D. delves into theories about the origin and nature of religion, basic principles of religious studies, and the necessity of interreligious dialogue in the contemporary world. 

Over the course of this comprehensive 24-lecture series, you will explore the many myths, rites, beliefs, ethical codes, worldviews, sacred institutions, and artistic achievements that underlie the human search for ultimate meaning. Along the way, you will encounter an extraordinary company of individuals from across the map: saints and sages, martyrs and mystics, reformers and restless souls. 

Authoritative and accessible, these lectures present balanced perspectives. More than that, they help you recognize the lens through which you are viewing other traditions. Despite the breadth of its sweep, the series goes beyond a superficial tour of other cultures: it brings you off the beaten path.

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  •  Introduction: A World of Religions
  •  Religions of Africa
  •  Religions of the Americas
  •  Hinduism: The Eternal Religion
  •  The Development of Hinduism
  •  Hindu Sacred Classics
  •  Modern Hinduism
  •  Buddhist Beginnings
  •  The Four Noble Truths
  •  The Development of Buddhism
  •  Buddhism’s Sacred Library
  •  Varieties of Buddhism
  •  Religions of East Asia
  •  Judaism: The Way of Torah
  •  Classical Judaism
  •  Modern Judaism
  •  The Jewish Sacred Library
  •  The Origins and Growh of Christianity
  •  Christianity’s Sacred Library
  •  Modern Christianity
  •  Islam: The Straight Path
  •  The Islamic Library
  •  The Five Pillars of Islam
  •  Islam in the Modern World

Prof. Peter A. Huff is Professor of Theology at the University of Mary and an expert on ecumenism and interreligious dialogue. He is the author of The Voice of Vatican II (Liguori, 2012), What Are They Saying About Fundamentalisms? (Paulist, 2007), and Allen Tate and the Catholic Revival (Paulist, 1996) and he co-edited volumes: Knowledge and Belief in America (Cambridge University, 1995) and Tradition and Pluralism (University Press of America, 2008). His articles and reviews have appeared in journals such as Cross Currents, Horizons, and the Journal of the American Academy of Religion.

Previously, Prof. Huff held the Besl Family Chair in Ethics/Religion and Society at Xavier University and the T. L. James Chair in Religious Studies at Centenary College of Louisiana. A 2007 Resident Scholar at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research, he has also taught at the University of Puget Sound and Saint Anselm College. Prof. Huff received a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Saint Louis University. A former board member of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies, he is active in interreligious dialogue.

Praise for Prof Peter A. Huff

“Peter Huff is one of the leading scholars advocating for responsible religious dialogue and working to make a better world. Peter is able to capture critical ideas with great precision and force. He combines excellent scholarship with an eloquent style.”
– Harold Kasimow, George Drake Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies, Grinnell College

“Peter Huff brings an extraordinary background to the study and practice of world religions—both from his extensive research in the field and his personal experience. He knows firsthand the breadth of Roman Catholicism in America, the Evangelical Protestant traditions of the South, and the beauty of Buddhist and Hindu ways of seeking the Divine. Best of all, he invites the reader to value (and engage with) each one.” 
– Belden C. Lane, Professor Emeritus of Theological Studies, Saint Louis University 

“Peter Huff consistently produces accessible, expert studies of religions in America. An engaging teacher, Huff introduces students to the entire spectrum of religious existence: beliefs, communities, rituals, and ethics. His scholarship is no different. His work encompasses and illuminates while advancing new analysis. Huff’s clear presentation style belies his subjects’ complexities.”
– Jeffrey Marlett, Professor of Religious Studies, The College of Saint Rose

“Professor Peter Huff is an unusually well-rounded scholar whose educational roots go back to such diverse sources as Hans Kung and Josef Ratzinger. He is an innovative teacher and a distinguished contributor to interreligious dialogue, especially among Christians, Buddhists and Mormons.”
– Prof. Michael Sweeney, Xavier University


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