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The Open University

Religious diversity: rethinking religion

The Open University via OpenLearn


Religion is not necessarily what you think it is! This free course, Religious diversity: rethinking religion, introduces you to a selection of the vast variety of religious beliefs and practices in Britain today. Having some familiarity with religion and belief is increasingly required to make sense of issues of local, national and international importance. The course will introduce you to issues and skills necessary for better understanding and interacting with religiously-motivated people in today’s world. It will explore some religious places and practices and will give more confidence to interact with contemporary religious diversity in an informed way.


  • Introduction
  • Learning outcomes
  • 1 What is religious studies?
  • 1 What is religious studies?
  • 1.1 Who is religious in Britain?
  • 1.2 What is secularism?
  • 2 Variety and vibrancy of religion in London
  • 2 Variety and vibrancy of religion in London
  • 2.1 St Paul’s: a national church
  • 2.2 St Paul’s: diverse visions
  • 2.3 The variety of Christianity in London
  • 2.4 Pentecostal Christianity in London
  • 2.5 Summary of Section 2
  • 3 Religion as lived
  • 3 Religion as lived
  • 3.1 The East London Mosque
  • 3.2 Judaism and kosher food
  • 3.3 Islam and Ramadan
  • 3.4 Summary of Section 3
  • 4 The importance of understanding religions
  • 4 The importance of understanding religions
  • 5 End-of-course quiz
  • 5 End-of-course quiz
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Acknowledgements


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