Online Religion

REL 101 - Religion, Culture, and Public Life


Religion continues to be a site of conflict, confusion and controversy. It maintains a space in the modern world that is either perceived as a source of peace and morality or as an unnecessary and obsolete source of conflict. In this course, students will discuss the many facets of religion in a globalizing world. We will examine why religion persists in its various forms across the globe. In addition, we will analyze the ways that religion interacts and engages within the public realm, in both positive and negative formats. Identity, politics, gender, technology, and media are just a few of the places where we will find religion and religious influence.

Course prerequisites and requirements

To be successful in this course, we recommend English language fluency and computer literacy. We also encourage you to make sure your laptop or desktop computer meets the technical requirements.

Quick facts

Next start date:

Oct. 10, 2023

Mar. 06, 2024

  • Credits: 3
  • Length: 8 weeks
  • Cost: $25 + $400

What you’ll learn

  • Summarize the nature and scope of religious studies
  • Contextualize the study of “religion” throughout history
  • Explain the historical development of the concept of religion
  • Describe the key methodological approaches to studying religion
  • Analyze cultural assumptions about what constitutes rituals and religions
  • Identify the ways that religious authority is constructed
  • Analyze how religion, gender, race, and power intersect
  • Determine how loyalties to nation-state, global identity, and religious commitments intersect
  • Describe how religious identity compels some individuals and groups to engage in or disengage from ecological issues
  • Analyze how “indigenous religion or spirituality” (re)emerge as resources for environmentalism
  • Analyze the emergence of artificial intelligence and its relationship with religion
  • Explore the future of technology and religion

What to expect in class

Narrated lectures, active learning activities, asynchronous group discussion, and a session-long interview project

Exams and grading








Project Parts


This course appears on your transcript identically to how it appears on the transcript of an enrolled ASU student who has taken the course on one of ASU’s campuses.

This course satisfies 3 credit hours toward the Humanities (HU) and Global Awareness (G) General Studies requirements for Arizona State University. It is strongly encouraged that you consult with your institution of choice to determine how these credits will be applied to their degree requirements prior to transferring your credit.

Faculty and course staff




Assistant Teaching Professor,

School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

Arizona State University

Read bio

Why take ASU Universal Learner Courses

  1. Credit you receive is from a regionally accredited university
  2. Your credit is highly transferable
  3. You only pay the $400 course cost if you pass

Related programs

Online BA in Religious Studies – Religion, Culture and Public Life

Online BA in Religious Studies – Religion, Politics and Global Affairs