The purpose of this course is to assist you in achieving an informed appreciation for the religious life of humankind as this is reflected in some of the most influential religious traditions in the world. It is intended neither to convert you to any particular religion nor to persuade you to reject any or all religion. Religion, however, is a vast field. The information now available concerning the religious traditions of humankind is too vast to encompass even in a lifetime. Thus the material we examine will be necessarily cursory and selective. Nevertheless, it will include a span of material sufficient to engender an appreciation of the great variety of the forms of religious life that exist in the world, as well as those pervasive features of such phenomena that justify our referring to them all as religions.