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103 syll Aut 2009


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RELIGIOUS WORLDS IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE Religious Studies 103 Section 101, TTh 2:40-4:10 Section 102, TTh 4:20-5:50 Autumn, 2009 Dr. Frida Kerner Furman SAC 294 Lincoln Park Campus COURSE DESCRIPTION . This course examines the nature and function of religion in human life. It applies theory to a rich diversity of religious experience and expression across time and cultures. The course thus investigates multiple ways of being religious. But it also seeks to discover common patterns, structures, and concerns underlying these different illustrations of religious life. GENERAL GOALS . Six of the Ten Learning Goals of DePaul University and four of the Learning Goals of the Department of Religious Studies will be emphasized in this class. We will work at DePaul University learning goals: 1) Mastery of Content, 2) Articulate Communication, 3) Capacity to Work Toward Accomplishing Goals Both Independently and Cooperatively, 4) Knowledge of and Respect for Individuals and Groups Who are Different from [Students] Themselves, 6) Critical and Creative Thinking, and 9) Self Reflection/Life Skills. We will consider Religious Studies learning goals: 1) Demonstrate a working knowledge of some significant elements of religion—such as myth and narrative, symbol, ritual, law and doctrine, ethics, experience, and systems of cosmic, social and individual order—as they are manifested in particular traditions and cultures, past or present. 2) Make critical comparisons among religious traditions, experiences, and practices across culture, time, ethnicity, race or gender. 3) Analyze and reflect on the meaning of religious beliefs and practices. 5) Demonstrate the ability to read and critically interpret religious texts. COURSE OBJECTIVES. By the conclusion of the term, students will be able to demonstrate 1. new conceptual and factual knowledge regarding: a. the nature and function of religion across human cultures b. the classical forms of religious expression, including sacred time and space, myth, ritual, religious experience, and community, and their application to Judaism, Islam, and Zen Buddhism c. how religions contribute to the development of the believer’s sense of reality and to the shaping of personal and communal action; 2. an understanding of the phenomenological approach to the study of religion; 3. an appreciation of difference in the realms of religious ideas, practices, and persons; 4. enhanced performance in the basic skills of reading, writing, and oral expression and the cognitive skills of analysis, reflection, and evaluation. REQUIRED TEXTS Ari L. Goldman, The Search for God at Harvard Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Islam: Religion, History, and Civilization David R. Smock, Ed., Interfaith Dialogue and Peacemaking Thich Nhat Hanh, Essential Writings Miscellaneous readings, to be found on Blackboard (B)
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COURSE REQUIREMENTS 1. Reading . You are expected to do the reading on a regular and timely basis. The reading assignment is due on the date posted in the Class Schedule. Careful, critical, and active reading,
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