World Religions

Religions are not objects of curiosity to be perused like artifacts in a museum. Rather, they are lived experiences that provide profound meaning for those within them. Our religious traditions have endured for so many years because they have profoundly touched so many lives. Our study together is ultimately about these people - roughly two thirds of the world population whose lives are inextricably tied to their religious traditions and history. This lecture series not only gives you the facts about religions, but also teaches you to appreciate the internal logic behind their world views and engage some of the common myths and misconceptions for each religion.

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The Historical Muhammad

Few people probably would have predicted in his youth that a 6th century orphan on the Arabian peninsula would grow up to found the second largest religion in the world. This course tells the remarkable story of Muhammad, the founder of Islam. Based on the latest academic research, we will try to uncover the historical Muhammad from behind the many legends that arose afterwards and come away with a new appreciation for the man that over a billion and a half people believe is the last of God's messengers.


Information and registration
Course Title Instructor(s) Date(s) Schedule Fee Enroll Online
The Historical Muhammad Dr. Stephen Lloyd-Moffett 10/03/17 - 10/17/17 Tuesdays
6:10 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
$99 Enroll Now
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Wine and Religion

"Sometimes the love of wine is not just a hobby or even a passion, but is a religion!" Cal Poly Religious Studies professor and avid wine student Stephen Lloyd-Moffett argues in a forthcoming book that wine can indeed fulfill a spiritual dimension in our lives if we become attuned to its deepest potential. In this lecture and workshop, he will share his insights into the soul of wine and then lead some wine-tasting activities that aim to cultivate a deeper spiritual relationship to the fruit of the vine. Based on his popular class "The Religion of Wine," this course promises to be fun, thought-provoking, and instructional. Who knows, you might just have a wine epiphany!


Information and registration
Course Title Instructor(s) Date(s) Schedule Fee Enroll Online
Wine and Religion Dr. Stephen Lloyd-Moffett 10/21/2017 Saturday
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
$65 Enroll Now
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Islam's Origins to the Golden Age

Within a century, Islam grew from a local Arab religion to the largest empire the world had ever known. This course tells the story of this fantastic rise, based on the latest historical research. We share the surprising reasons why Islam spread so quickly, detail the formation of the Quran, and explore how a new religion struggled to define itself on the world stage. The course ends with the Golden Age of Islam, when Muslims formed the most advanced and cultured civilization in the world.


Information and registration
Course Title Instructor(s) Date(s) Schedule Fee Enroll Online
Islam's Origins to the Golden Age Dr. Stephen Lloyd-Moffett 02/06/2018 - 02/20/2018 Tuesday
6:10 PM - 8:00 PM
$99 Enroll Now
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About the Instructor

Dr. Stephen Lloyd-Moffett is an internationally known Religious Studies scholar and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Cal Poly. A dynamic, popular community lecturer, he is the recipient the Cal Poly College of Liberal Arts teaching award and the President's Community Service Award. Author of Beauty for Ashes: The Spiritual Transformation of a Modern Greek Community and the forthcoming The Soul of Wine: In Vino Sanctus, Professor Lloyd-Moffett holds a M.A. in Religious Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara; Master of Theology from St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary; Ph.D. in Religious Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara.

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