The purpose of Religion/Philosophy (REL/PHIL) 110 is to help you understand the beliefs, practices and communities of some of the world’s largest religious traditions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—focusing on the doctrines, beliefs, rituals, myths, institutions, social structures, and spiritual ideals of each. Some of you are taking this course to learn more about your own religious tradition. Others of you have chosen it to become more familiar with religions different from yours, but which, as the consequence of a growing global culture, increasingly affect your lives. In either case, it is important for you to enter the course with an open mind, not only prepared to learn brand new things, but also ready to hear more familiar ideas described in new and unfamiliar ways. The purpose of the course is not simply to provide you with new information, nor is it to make you more comfortable with ideas you already hold. On the contrary, the goal of the course is to challenge you by introducing you to new ideas as well as new views of old ideas, and thus to deepen and enlarge your thinking about the world’s religions.