Exploring the diverse belief traditions contributing to New Zealand society.

Learn about the history, development and contemporary practice of the world’s major religions in this introductory series of Term courses. Each Term has a different focus and covers different material. The first two Terms focus on the history and development of each of the world’s main faith and belief traditions, while the second two Terms focus on Selected Topics in the Contemporary Practice of each of the major world religions. In the first half of this four-Term series, we explore both Western and Eastern Traditions. In the second half, we look at selected topics in the contemporary practice of religion, focusing on a different topic during each class, and viewing how each religion approaches that particular topic. Structuring discussions in this way allows us to focus on the similarities between the major world religions rather than on any perceived differences. The second half of this series focuses on a comparative examination of the contemporary values and practices of the major world religions, and involves a critical exploration of lifecycle rituals and beliefs, from birth to death, food and clothing preferences, festivals and other activities associated with what religions do.

Any Term course can be taken independently of the others and at any time and in any order. There are no prerequisites for any of the Religious Diversity courses.

All classes are taught from an objective point of view. These are classes about religion and religious behaviour, taught from an anthropological point of view, and are designed for participants to get a greater understanding of the depth and scope of the diversity that exists within the world’s various faith and belief traditions.

DISTANCE-LEARNING OPTIONS AVAILABLE: In addition to our regular Hamilton in-person classes, we offer ‘Distance Learning’ options for all of our Religious Diversity courses. Distance-learning options have been added for those living outside the Waikato or for those unable to attend our in-person classes in Hamilton. If you are a Distance-Learner you have the option of joining our regular live classroom sessions via Zoom at the regularly scheduled class time, or you can watch a video-recording of the Zoom classroom session at your leisure and learn at your own pace.

RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIP ANNOUNCED: EarthDiverse is pleased to announce that beginning in 2022 Term 1 the Waikato Interfaith Council (WIFCO), through the generosity of its Alan Leadley Memorial Fund, is providing free tuition for any young person (below the age of 30) to enrol in any of the following Religious Diversity courses offered by EarthDiverse. Depending upon the number of applicants, the scholarship is for one person in each of the four Terms throughout the year. This can either be for one person for all four Terms (allowing the recipient to enrol in a series of courses), or for four different people to take one course each Term.  If you, or someone you know, is interested in applying for this scholarship, please send an introductory email expressing your interest for the Alan Leadley Memorial Scholarship using the Contact Form available on our Contact page accessible from the Menu Bar above. Please provide your full name, address, email address, phone number and your age at the time of submission. We will then send you an application form. The deadline for receipt of expression of interest is two weeks before the start of any given term (Our Term 1 deadline is 1 February 2022) . All applications for tuition reimbursement will be reviewed by a committee composed of members of the Waikato Interfaith Council. Recipients will be expected to meet with WIFCO members upon completion of the course(s). Open to any young person in New Zealand.