This course introduces students to the empathetic approach to the study of world religions, which requires that we strive to “get into the shoes” of members of the world’s religions through dialogue. In order to help students understand and become familiar with the life of some members of world’s religions, students in the course are asked to visit a religious institution or VRI in their local city. You will then write what is called a VRI paper that captures your experience in detail. Think of the paper as a report on the institution combined with your reflections on the experience. In this paper you are asked to describe the institution, and its relation to the various traditions that you study, among other things (for example, identify whether the institution is a church in the Protestant or Catholic tradition; whether the institution is a Jewish synagogue in the Reform tradition; or if it is a Buddhist temple, whether it is Theravada). Be sure to read the Rubric for the VRI paper assignment for further details.