Folk Religions


Distributed Learning Course: INTR 565

Folk Religions (2 hours)

A. Scott Moreau, D.Miss.

Course Description

Strategies for understanding folk religions are examined and applied through theoretical discussion, case studies, and student research.

Course Expectations

•That we will develop a deeper commitment to the need for understanding folk religions in our field of service

•That we will grow in phenomenological depth on issues related to folk religions

•That we will be better able to plan, implement, and evaluate strategies for communicating Christ with adherents of folk religions


Paul Hiebert, Daniel Shaw, and Tite Tienou, Understanding Folk Religions (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000).

Mark Ritchie, Spirit of the Rainforest (Chicago: Island Lake Press, 2000).

David Burnett, World of the Spirits (London: Monarch Books, 2000).



Read the texts following the reading schedule. Note important ideas you discover and incorporate thinking from them in your journal entries (see below).

Web Database Entry:

Write a concise database entry (maximum of 500 words) about a folk religions issue that interests you.

Observations Journal and Reflective Essay:

Keep a daily journal in which you note observations about folk religions in the lives of people you encounter. There should be entries for a minimum of 40 separate days covering a total period of up to 20 weeks. The entry for each day should be between 50 and 300 words. In the entry, describe any folk religious practices that you saw (rituals, objects, formulas, actions, etc.) and formulate a hypothesis that explains what you observed.

Research paper

Write a research paper (maximum of 4000 words--roughly 15 pages in double-spaced 12 pitch type) on the topic of your choice in regard to folk religions. In this paper I want to see a clear presentation of the issues involved and an integration with practical application. You are encouraged to use whatever resources you have in your local environment for your research. This also includes Web-based resources and people whom you can interview.

Contact Information

Distance Learning, Wheaton College Graduate School, Wheaton, IL 60187-5593; telephone: toll-free USA (800) 888-0141 or (630) 752-5191 from anywhere; fax: (630) 752-5935; e-mail:

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