PHIL1304PCM: World Religions

Matthew Daude Laurents, Ph.D.

Synonym: 18858
TTH 10:35-11:50 AM
RGC 220

Fall, 2004

Contact Information

Office Rio Grande Campus
Peach Street Office Building, Room 2-I
ACC email
Instructional email
Instructional Web

Instructional Office Hours

Monday 9:00 to 10:30 AM RGC, Peach Street, 2-I
Tuesday 9:00 to 11:00 AM online (Windows Messenger or Blackboard)
Wednesday 9:00 to 10:30 AM RGC, Peach Street, 2-I

Other times by appointment

Course Description

The ACC catalogue describes this course as "A study of religious consciousness and the major religions of the world including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam."

There are no course prerequisites for World Religions. A passing score or the equivalent on the reading portion of the TASP is required.

Course Materials

 Fisher, Mary Pat. Living Religions, 5th edition (ISBN 0130992283)

There will be additional assignments linked to the online course calendar.

Instructional Methodology

The class will consist predominantly of lecture and in-class group work, but it will also include a significant online component using my instructional web. Internet access, including an email account, is required. All written work and most course business will take place by means of email and the web pages for these sections. (To find the main page for your section, go back to the top of this page and click on your section number.) The major form of individual assessment will be writing assignments (essays), quizzes, and exams. I may also use online forms to gather information about your progress in the coursework.

Course Rationale

Religion has been and continues to be one of the principal forces that have shaped human societies and history. For this reason, a basic understanding of the major religions of the world affords both a deeper appreciation of other cultures and traditions and a richer understanding of ourselves.

Course Objectives

Departmental Objectives/Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate understanding of the central beliefs and concepts of major living religious traditions of the world, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
  2. Students will demonstrate familiarity with the structure and ritual life of religious communities, including significant holidays and rituals.
  3. Students will demonstrate a basic grasp of the methodology of the study of religion.

Coursework and Grading Policy

Coursework includes reading assignments, online lectures, quizzes, and essays. (See the Coursework Guide for a more detailed discussion of the coursework.) We will also use a bulletin board and a virtual classroom for class discussion. I encourage you to post questions and comments about the course material, but I will remove material that is not substantially relevant to the coursework.

Your grade for this course will be based on written work demonstrating the pursuit of the goals of the course. There are two types of written assignments: (1) online quizzes and exams on the reading assignments and (2) essays on religious events. The final grade is determined by the grades on these four elements, weighted according to the following chart:

Quizzes 25%
Exams 25%
Descriptive Essay 30%
Analytical Essay 20%

Please review the Grading and Evaluation System for a detailed exposition of my approach to evaluation. You will find additional guidelines for each assignment in the online classroom. You may hand in assignments earlier than the due date, but assignments must follow the stated sequence. (For instance, you may not take exam 2 before exam 1, etc.)

Course Policies

Review my Course Policies online. There are links to the Course Policies on the main page of my instructional web and on the main page for this course. The Course Policies page is part of this syllabus.

Course Outline

This is a broad outline of the major topics we will cover in the course:

  1. Introduction to the Study of Religion
  2. Eastern Religious Traditions
    1. Hinduism
    2. Jainism
    3. Buddhism
    4. Taoism
    5. Confucianism
    6. Shinto
  3. Western Religious Traditions
    1. Zoroastrianism
    2. Judaism
    3. Christianity
    4. Islam
    5. Sikhism
  4. Recent Religious Movements
  5. Conclusion: Contemporary Religious Experience

The Course Calendar available in the online classroom (Blackboard) includes a complete outline for the course. Check the Course Calendar frequently for due dates, announcements, and important links.

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This page was last updated 08/23/2009 08:16:55 PM by drdaude.