I gave a test to students on an overview of what religions are, Hinduism, and Buddhism, and for many of them it was the first time they had studied a religion other than Christianity. I asked a question at the end of the test for extra points: “Explain the most significant piece of religious information that you’ve learned so far this semester from this class and how it has impacted you.” Here was one response:
I learned so much from these chapters, since I am from Asia where Buddhism is a great influence. I always wanted to learn about this religion. However, I never knew that they don’t have God and that their teachings have mostly to do with one’s self. This was kind of shocking to me because I have believed in God my entire life and couldn’t imagine how a religion could exist without believing in God. Also, the eight characteristics common with religions helped me to define religion easily. I actually had an opportunity to talk to a friend in Life Group who is Buddhist. She said her family is not vegetarian and goes to the temple only for special events. Talking with a friend of another religion was fun because now I know some key terms from their teachings. However, I knew more about the Buddha’s words than her. I learned that knowing other religions’ teachings makes it easier to evangelize people.