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CS367_Spring syllabus - CS 367.03 RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY IN...

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5/11/2009 CS 367.03 RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY IN AMERICA Ilana Maymind Department of Comparative Studies 451 Hagerty Hall e-mail: [email protected] Office hours: Mondays 11:30 AM to 1 PM and by appointment Purpose and Outline This course is designed to give students an opportunity to learn about religious diversity in the United States while also improving their ability to write college-level essays. The overall goal is to increase understanding; broaden vocabulary; develop historiographic awareness; widen theoretical and conceptual parameters; and nurture critical skills requisite to making informed judgments. We will learn how to study religions academically, and we will not be asking which religion is better or true, but how religious people behave, what they believe, and how they express themselves. Comparing religions will also allow us to see human culture in its commonality and diversity. We will read critically and analyze texts from a variety of disciplines to help students’ articulate ideas and arguments in discussion as well as in written communication. Formal and informal writing will be a big part of this course. The course does not provide an occasion for either students or instructor to advance (or attack) personal religious beliefs and commitments. This course will be structured in two different ways of approaching the academic study of religion: (1) The hermeneutics (interpretation) of respect : An empathic or generous approach to religion in which one "suspends ordinary disbelief "in order to learn and appreciate other people's outlooks on the world; and (2) The hermeneutics of suspicion : A skeptical or "suspicious" approach to religion which critically examines how people can use religious claims as a means of deceiving or manipulating others or even themselves. READINGS With the exception of the textbook, all readings and other important course materials are posted on Carmen www.carmen.osu.edu . Students are responsible for printing all the readings and bringing them to class according to the reading schedule. Required: World Religions in America , 3rd Edition, Jacob Neusner, Ed. Westminster John Knox Press, 2003. (WRA) 1
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Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy, by Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, David L. Weaver-Zercher Recommended: Tomoko Masuzawa, The Invention of World Religions Andrea Lunsford, The Everyday Writer, or some other style manual Religious Tolerance website: www.religioustolerance.org (also posted on Carmen) Writing resources: Purdue University Online Writing Lab http://owl.english.purdue.edu OSU Writing Center www.cstw.osu.edu (485 Mendenhall Lab, 688-4291) REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATIONS Attendance and Participation: This is a seminar rather than a lecture course. Students are expected to attend every class and to complete the required readings as outlined in this syllabus. More than two (2) unexcused absences, late arrivals, or early departures will negatively affect students’ participation grade. Each student should come to class prepared to discuss the readings.
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