REL109Fall2008

REL109Fall2008 - FallSemester2008...

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Fall Semester 2008 REL 109 INTRODUCTION TO WORLD RELIGIONS 25L LIBRARY TU/THUR 4:00 - 5:15 Professor: Phillip Lucas OFFICE: Allen Hall 205 TELEPHONE: 822-8894 email plucas@stetson.edu Office Hours: Mon 12:00-2:15 p.m. or by appointment COURSE DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE: This course provides an introduction to significant forms of religion around the world, including Neolithic religions, new religions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Through a combination of lectures, discussions, writing exercises, films, and readings, we attempt to enter into the worldview of each of these traditions, and to understand, in a critical yet non-hostile way, the way the world looks to believers. As we explore these traditions' scriptures, doctrines, architecture, rituals, ethics, social structures, spirituality, and art, we will have an opportunity to consider alternative conceptions of human nature, enlightenment, community life, divinity, gender roles, and life after death. We will also look at the significant question of religious violence, where it comes from, and why people feel justified killing in the name of God. It is my hope that this class will help you gain a greater appreciation and respect for the world's diverse religious traditions. I also hope you will learn the interpretive and analytical skills necessary to evaluate critically the religious dimension of human life. Religion is a controversial subject, and I look forward to a lively and open discussion of ideas and perspectives. REQUIRED TEXTS: (available at the Hatter bookstore) Living Religions , Mary Pat Fisher, 7th edition Sacred Fury: Understanding Religious Violence (2008 edition) by Charles Selengut GRADING: Your grade will consist of the following: Class Participation 25 points Exam on Neolithic religions, New Religions, Judaism (Sept. 25) 25 points Exam on Christianity and Islam (Oct. 28) 25 points Final Exam: Hinduism, Buddhism (Dec. 9) 25 points ------------ TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS 100 POINTS Exams will include material from lectures, assigned readings, class discussions, and films. You need to pay attention to all of these! Grading scale: 98-100 A+, 93-97 A, 90-92 A-, 88-89 B+, 83-87 B, 80-82 B-, 78-79 C+, 73-77 C, 70-72 C-, 68-69 D+, 63-67 D, 60-62 D-, Less than 60 F CLASS PARTICIPATION : Your class participation grade will be based on your constructive participation in classroom discussions, attitude, attendance, punctuality, and the timely completion of
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short writing exercises (to be assigned during the semester). Written assignments handed in late will
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2009 for the course REL 109 taught by Professor Lucas during the Fall '08 term at Stetson.

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REL109Fall2008 - FallSemester2008...

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