Symbiosis International University Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts

Comparative Religion

Faculty Course Type Credits Prerequisites Semester
Dr. Shweta S. Deshpande General 4 None Any


Religion, as a set of fundamental beliefs and practices is the bedrock on which societies have evolved and developed since the evolution of Man as they contain within them the rules and codes that allow people to interact both amongst themselves and with the natural world in which they live. Religion thus played for many millennia the same role that science plays today – it evolved theories to explain natural phenomena; only it attributed the root cause to Supernatural Beings, Gods and Goddesses each with a character and garb of its own leading to the creation of many forms of belief systems referred to as ‘Religions’. Today its diverse forms range from the Nature religions of many tribal groups, to the pluralistic and monotheistic major religions like Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism.

On this voyage through the world religions, let us discover their greater similarities and finer differences and learn how minutely they pervade our very existence.

  Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d'honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification........ it is the opium of the people

Karl Marx, 1843; Contribution to Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right

 Course Objectives 

Students in this course will be able to –

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the meaning, origin and philosophy of religion, and its role as a codified social organ.
  • Understand the basic tenets of both Eastern and Western Religions.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of rituals and mythology in different religions.

 Teaching Methodology 

The course is conducted mostly through interaction based lecture method, with regular class leads by the students, analyses of texts, class discussions, etc.


Students are expected to –

  • Complete all required reading for each scheduled class as per the course outline,
  • Actively participate in class activities and discussions, and
  • Complete all evaluative processes for successful course completion!