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Religious Symbols of the World

Seoul National University via edX


In this course, we will look at concrete examples of various religious symbols that appear in different cultures. We will think about the religious symbols of sky, sun, moon, water, earth, stones, plants, animals, and sexuality, one by one. We will see which aspects of these things have made religious human beings regard them sacred. The focus of this inquiry is not on summing up of the symbolic meaning of each natural thing, but on how religious humans have used these symbols to show their sacredness. ****

In the last week of the course, we will focus on the symbols that show the limitations of human beings and the efforts to overcome these limitations. We will see that although religious human beings live in a variable, unstable, imperfect, and meaningless world, they try to experience the unchanging, permanent, transcendental, and meaningful sacredness beyond these limits. ****

This course is the third and final course in the series following “Understanding Religious Symbolism” and “Myths, Rituals, and Cosmos.” Through the theories and patterns that you learned in these three courses, I hope that you will be able to interpret the various religious phenomena in different cultures, and through this gain a better understanding of culture and human beings.

Taught by

Yohan Yoo

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