Professor: Randal Cummings
Office: SH 441
WORLD RELIGIONS Fall '07
Web course Version
RS150 Course Syllabus
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course satisfies the F2 general
education requirements for inter-cultural study since it provides an
introduction to and an overview of the major world religions in their
historical and cultural developments. We will examine the various traditions in
terms of their appropriations of Sacred Reality and the expressions of that
Reality in symbol, ritual, and myth. We will focus in each tradition on
questions of human identity and purpose (anthropology), the status of the world
(cosmology), and access to Ultimate Realtiy (metaphysics).
COURSE REQUIREMENTS: weekly web assignments (i.e. HyperNews postings, online quizes, etc.), reading assignments, class attendance, class participation via online forums, one mid-term examination, one research paper on a relevant topic of your choice, one final-examination, and, of course, good mental hygiene.
THE RESEARCH PAPER: The choice of paper topics has a wide range of flexibility in the hopes that the students will pursue subjects that command their interests and spark their imaginations. You will want to begin exploring possible topics from practically the beginning of the course and should not only feel free but consider it a necessary step in your preparation to consult the instructor concerning your topic. Various strategies for generating a viable topic will be discussed in class.
Texts: Many Peoples, Many Faiths (8th edition); by Ellwood and McGraw
Assignments and grading criteria: All assignments will be posted. Preparation and class participation are factored into the grading. Students must participate in all posted class assignments. This cannot be emphasized enough. The mid-term accounts for approximately 20% of your grade, the final about 20%, and the research paper 20% with a 40% margin based on online class participation (quality of comments, thoroughness of thought, evidence of reading and viewing, timeliness, etc). In addition, 2% will be subtracted from your overall grade for untimely participation for each assignment or any missed scheduled class session. My scale includes plus and minuses. Make-ups are possible only by divine intervention.