Recommended text: Denise L. Carmody and T.L. Brink, Ways to the Center (6th edition)
students find it helpful to
use a textbook, and this is one of the better ones that I know
of. However, there are other ways to get at the material,
including other textbooks that you may find in a library or
elsewhere. I do ask you to make use of my web lectures as
indicated on the syllabus, and there is a study guide for the material
that includes links to sources, including YouTube videos,
recommended by past students.
with broadband access (DSL, cable, etc.), I strongly recommend
listening to the lectures podcast by Dr. Cynthia Eller as "Revealing
World Religions" (the link is on the syllabus; you may download these
to an iPod as well as to your computer).
Outcomes (what you
be able to do by the end of the course):
There are seven major traditions discussed: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Other traditions may be discussed as examples of general points being made about how traditions appear or change.
the history and beliefs of the seven
major religious traditions.
-- This includes both the actual history and the legends passed down as part of the tradition. For instance, in the study of Islam we have the historical facts about Muhammad and we have traditional beliefs that involve supernatural events, such as Muhammad's ascent into heaven at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
the historical/critical method to analysis of the seven
major religious traditions.
-- What we attempt to do is look at religious traditions as cultural products so that the expectations of a particular time and place play an important role in understanding both the beliefs and the practices of each tradition. This also involves being able to study each tradition as a significant factor in the events of the cultures in which these traditions appear or where they have been adopted. For instance, the history of Western Europe from the fourth century on was first shaped by the acceptance of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire and then reshaped with the Protestant Reformation. What we want to look at to some extent is the manner in which religions both change these cultures and are changed by them.
We will be using Moodle as the CMS (content management system) for the course, and all activities with the exception of the midterm and final exams will be through this portal. However, I recommend that you bookmark this Internetlogic site as a back-up in case you have any problems in accessing the lecture material on the Moodle site.
Since email contact is
important feature in the course, I recommend that you set up a distinct
account with Yahoo or Hotmail or some other provider (these are all
if you otherwise use a spam filter that might keep messages from
you. Also, please be sure to check your junk mail in case your
email provider does treat messages delivered through Moodle as spam
(unfortunately, this does happen).
Additional FAQ's for his course:
(OK, these may not be questions students do ask but the ones that they should ask)
1. What kind of computer access
should I have?
Ideally you would have a home computer with fast, reliable Internet access. While it is possible to make use of the computers at a public library or the computer stations available at Mission College, both have limitations or restictions that could make it more difficult to complete the work required for this course. A computer at your place of work may be available, but you need to make sure that your employer will allow personal use in this way. For those with laptops WiFi is increasingly available, often at no cost at places such as Borders or Starbucks, but the setting may not always be conducive to quiet study.
|Weeks beginning||Topic (with links to the study guide)
||Sections from the text||Lectures, review questions
||What is this course about?
Religion and Spirituality
The Three Circles
|for those with broadband access I recommend subscribing to the following podcasts through iTunes (they're free, and they may be helpfu): Revealing World Religions|
The Hindu tradition(s)
The World of the Forest Ascetic
Thinking About an Empty Mirror
Confucianism and Daoism
and Japanese traditions
Earning the Mandate of Heaven
reviewing Chinese and Japanese traditions
The midterm exam will be online to be submitted from 9 AM to 9 PM Friday, October 21
Example questions from past midterms
Additional review items
Redefining Sacred Time
The End of the World
The World of the Benedictine Monk
Defining and Redefining Christianity
Dancing for Allah
New religious movements
A Rumor of Angels
The final exam will be online to be submitted from 9 AM to 9 PM Friday, December 16
Example questions from past finals
Additional review items
SOCIAL SCIENCE DEPARTMENT
Cheating- unauthorized material used during an examination (including electronic devices), changing answers after work has been graded, taking an exam for another student, forging or altering attendance sheets or other documents in the course, looking at another student’s paper/scantron/essay/computer or exam with or without their approval is considered cheating. Any student caught cheating will receive a zero for the assignment/exam and referred to the Department chair and/or Student Services for further disciplinary action.
Plagiarism- Plagiarism is defined as
the act of using ideas, words, or work of another person or persons as
if they were one’s own, without giving proper credit to the original
sources. This includes definitions found online on Wikipedia, materials
from blogs, twitter, or other similar electronic resources. The
following examples are intended to be representative, but not all
- failing to give credit by proper citations for others ideas and concepts, data and information, statements and phrases, and/or interpretations and conclusions.
- failing to use quotation marks when quoting directly from another, whether it be a paragraph, a sentence, or a part thereof
- Paraphrasing the expressions or thought by others without appropriate quotation marks or attribution
- Representing another’s artistic/scholarly works such as essays, computer programs, photographs, paintings, drawings, sculptures or similar works as one’s own.
First offense, you will receive a zero for the assignment in question. Any further offenses may result in expulsion from the class, as determined by the disciplinary action from the Office of Student Services.
Recording devices in the classroom- Section 78907 of the California Education Code prohibits the use of any electronic audio or video recording devices, without prior consent of the instructor. (including cell phones, laptops, MP3 players, and more)