LIBERAL STUDIES 130: INTRODUCTION TO WORLD RELIGION


North Island College, Fall 2020

Delivery Format:  Digital Learning Scheduled (We will meet regularly as a group via videoconferencing and you will be expected to spend an extra 5+ hours a week on the course yourself)

Dates: September 10 - December 10

Meeting Time: T-TH: 4:00 - 5:20 pm (A specific schedule will be determined as we proceed, but it is important that you keep the T/TH 4:00-5:20 time slot open)

Instructor: Dan Hinman-Smith

Office Hours:  By Appointment

Office Phone: 250-334-5000, Extension 4024

Web-Site: http://www.misterdann.com/contentsworldreligion.htm

E-Mail: dan.hinmansmith@nic.bc.ca


Course Description

This course is designed as an introduction to the world's major religions, with an emphasis upon those of the Abrahamic tradition: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  It combines an in-depth focus upon these three individual living faiths with study of the different scholarly approaches to understanding religion.


Books

There are three required books in the course and one recommended book.  The required books will be central to the curriculum and it is important that you purchase them early in the term.  All but the Robert Crumb volumes are available in both paper and e-book formats, though I would recommend that you get Khalidi's translation of the Qur'an in a hard copy as well.  All the required books are available at the North Island College Bookstore.

Required

Crumb, Robert.  Book of Genesis Illustrated.  New York: W.W. Norton, 2009.

Riches, John.  Bible: A Very Short Introduction.  New York: Oxford, 2000.

Khalidi, Tarif, trans.  Qur'an.  New York: Penguin, 2009.

Recommended

MacGregor, Neil.  Living With The Gods: On Beliefs And Peoples.  London: Penguin UK, 2019.

Optional Textbook

I have decided not to have an introductory survey textbook in LIB 130.  We will be using a concise basic introductory BBC web-site as one substitute.

The Teaching Company has a 30-hour Great Courses lecture series, "The Great World Religions," that is available from the North Island College library as an Audio DVD.  It features superb six-hour introductions to five major faiths, including the three featured in this course.  You could borrow any of these DVDs by contacting the NIC Library.  The six-hour introductions to Judaism and Christianity are also both available as Audiobooks from the Vancouver Island Regional Library.  You can download these lectures once you are a patron of the VIRL (Instructions for registering on-line for a library card can be found Here).  You may want to at least sample the Gafni lectures on Judaism and then continue on to the Christianity series later in the course if you find this completely optional resource to be an educational one:

Gafni, Isaiah M.  Great World Religions: Judaism.  Teaching Company: Downloadable Audiobook, 2015.

Johnson, Luke Timothy Great World Religions: Christianity.  Teaching Company: Downloadable Audiobook, 2015.

If you would like a basic text on all or individual Abrahamic religions for your own reference, I would recommend any of the following as possibilities:

Oxtoby, Willard G. and Hussain, Amir, eds.  World Religions: Western Traditions.  New York: Oxford, 2010.

Smith, Huston.  Illustrated World's Religions: A Guide To Our Wisdom Traditions.  New York: Harper Collins, 1995.

Hammond Atlas Of World Religions.  2008.

Cohn-Sherbok, Dan.  Illustrated Guide To Judaism.  New York: Lorenz Books, 2013.

Jordan, Michael.  Islam: An Illustrated History.  London: Carlton, 2002.

Isbouts, Jean-Pierre.  Story Of ChristianityNew York: National Geographic, 2014.

_____.  In The Footsteps Of Jesus: A Chronicle Of His Life And The Origins Of Christianity.  New York: National Geographic, 2017.


My Assumptions About This Course

That you are interested in world religion and eager to learn as much about it as possible in this course.

That it will be impossible to learn all that you would like to learn given the massive amount of relevant material and the time constraints involved.

That my job as instructor is to strike an appropriate balance between providing a common core curriculum and setting up structures that also allow you to study materials of personal interest.

That this course should help to set you up for future formal or informal study of world religion rather than being a survey that teaches you "all that you need to know."

That digital learning presents both opportunities and challenges.  In the case of the former, students are often provided not just with more flexibility than is the case with face-to-face delivery, but with the invitation to become more active co-designers of the curriculum.  In the case of the latter, students are faced with the challenge of both establishing and then following their own disciplinary rhythms, while students and instructor alike often struggle to create a learning community.  There needs to be sustained effort by all involved to promote the sense of connection.


Tentative Class Schedule

Week 1  (September 9-11): Course Introduction 

Orientation For Week 1


Week 2  (September 12-18):  Entering Sacred Space -- Jerusalem

Orientation For Week 2

Discussion Forum

Entering Sacred Space -- Jerusalem

Reading Assignment

Browse extensively in  Entering Sacred Space -- Jerusalem  Discussion Topic.

Listening And Viewing

Video: "Jerusalem, " Sacred Journeys, PBS (2014, 55 mins,) or

Video: "God's Address," PBS (2018, 54 mins.) or

Video:  "Jerusalem: A Rock And A Hard Place," Episode 1, Al Jazeera, March 31, 2019 and "Jerusalem: A Rock And A Hard Place," Episode 2, Al Jazeera, April 7, 2019 or

  "Jerusalem -- The Making Of A Holy City," BBC, 2011:  A three-hour overview of the city's religious history by Simon Montefiore.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Instructor Slide Show

Entering Sacred Space -- Jerusalem

Other Instructions

On Tuesday, IT expert Tyler Dean will offer us an orientation to some of the digital learning platforms that will utilized in this course and others during the year ahead. We will have a class meeting on Thursday, September 15 to discuss your response to the readings and documentaries. 

Looking Ahead


Week 3  (September 19-25):  Of God And Abraham

Orientation For Week 3

Discussion Forum

Of God And Abraham

Reading Assignment

Browse extensively in  Of God And Abraham  Discussion Topic.

Listening And Viewing

Video: "A History of God" (2001, 93 mins.)

Audio: Bruce Feiler, "Children Of Abraham," On Being, APR, April 4, 2003.  To listen to the broadcast click on the Play Episode or Download Episode icons in the right margin.

Instructor Slide Show

Of God And Abraham

***Friday, September 25:  First Half Journal And Notes Check-In Due Date (Submit your in-process Journal entry or entries and LIB 130 Notes this week.  You will not receive a grade for these submissions but I want to check in to see how you are doing on these assignments)


Week 4    (September 26 - October 2):  Book Of Genesis

Orientation For Week 4

Discussion Forum

Book Of Genesis

Reading Assignment

Robert Crumb, Book Of Genesis

Some of you may find the following Punjabi version of the Book of Genesis to be a useful extra study guide:  Genesis In Punjabi .

Looking Ahead


Week 5  (October 3-9):  An Introduction To Judaism (1)

Orientation For Week 5

Discussion Forum

What Is Judaism?

Listening And Viewing

Video: Episode 1, In The Beginning," Story Of The Jews, BBC (2013, 55 mins.).  This documentary is also available on through Daily Motion.

Video: "Judaism: The Promised Land," Let's Look At World Religions, Channel 4 Learning (2012, 25 mins.)

Video: "What Is Judaism?," Cogito, May 2, 2020.

Audio: World Religions -- Judaism (January 16, 2011):  A 12-minute explanation from Stephen Prothero.

On-Line Text And Judaism Study Guide

I have collected some resources from the BBC Religion And Ethics page in an effort to provide a basic introduction to the three Abrahamic Religions.  Use the Judaism section of the Introduction To Religion On-Line Text (the first two columns of the six-column chart) and attempt to fill out the companion Judaism Study Guide .  Try to fill the worksheet using the BBC site.  Please don't just initially Google the answers  -- you will not learn as much from that as from a very careful browsing of the BBC page -- though it is fine to fill in the remaining questions after spending considerable time browsing through the BBC religion terms.  You should submit your completed Judaism Study Guide as one component of your First Half Notes.  I will look at the worksheet to see whether you approached it with care but will not be grading it.  The worksheet is just meant as both a guide for you and as an accountability mechanism.

Instructor Slide Show

Essence Of Judaism

Optional Extras

This week's required video is the first episode in a five-part history of Judaism.  I recommend that you watch further episodes in the series during the next three weeks if you find the first one to be interesting.

  "The Story Of The Jews," BBC.  (All episodes also available through NIC and Films On Demand)

Episode 2, Among Believers

Episode 3, A Leap Of Faith

Episode 4, Over The Rainbow

Episode 5, Return  (Available through NIC and Films On Demand)

As noted in the Course Textbook section above, the Teaching Company has a 30-hour Great Courses lecture series, "The Great World Religions," that is available from the North Island College library as Audio DVDs.  The first of those DVDs features 12 half-hour lectures on Judaism.  You can borrow that DVD by contacting the NIC Library.  The Judaism lectures are also available as an Audiobook from the Vancouver Island Regional Library.  You can download these lectures once you are a patron of the VIRL (Instructions for registering on-line for a library card can be found Here).  Here is the public library link to this resource.

Gafni, Isaiah M.  Great World Religions: Judaism.  Teaching Company: Downloadable Audiobook, 2015.


Week 6  (October 10-16): The Bible

Orientation Week 6

Discussion Forum

Bible: A Very Short Introduction

Reading Assignment

John Riches, Bible: A Very Short Introduction

Listening And Viewing

Audio: "A Jewish Perspective On The New Testament," All Things Considered, NPR, December 24, 2011 (5 mins.)

Video: "By The Rivers Of Babylon," Episode 1, Kingdom Of David: Saga Of The Israelites, PBS (2009, 55 mins.) and/or

Video: "Who Authored The New Testament?," Who Wrote The Bible, Digital Rights Group Limited (2004, 53 mins.)

Optional Extras

Audio: "The Good Book," Encounter, ABC, April 14, 2012.

Video: Bruce Feiler's 2001 book Walking The Bible -- A Journey By Land Through The Five Books of Moses describes the author's 15,000-kilometer trek through the Middle East and his encounter with the Torah as a secular American Jew.  He also produced a companion television series, which I have linked below:

"Walking The Bible: A Journey By Land Through The Five Books Of Moses," PBS, 2006 (Available through NIC and Films On Demand)::

Episode 1, "Go Forth: From Creation To Abraham":

Episode 2, "A Coat Of Many Colors: The Israelites In Egypt":

Episode 3, "Toward The Promised Land: Forty Years In The Desert":

***Friday, October 16: First Half Journal And Notes Due


Week 7  (October 17-23):  An Introduction To Judaism (2)

Orientation Week 7

Discussion

Of Judaism, Death, And Holy Ritual

Reading Assignment

Browse extensively in Judaism In The News and Sacred Festivals In The News -- Judaism.  Find at least one topic of interest on which to base some notes and a Journal Entry.  Come to class prepared to talk about this topic for a couple of minutes.

Listening And Viewing

Audio: "The Mourner's Kaddish," Heart And Soul, BBC World Service, March 14, 2010.

Video: "Jewish Burial Practices," Religion And Ethics Newsweekly, PBS, February 6, 2004 (6 mins.)

Video: "Passover Themes," Religion And Ethics Newsweekly, PBS, April 15, 2011 (4 mins.)

Video: "Shabbat/Sabbath," Religion And Ethics Newsweekly, PBS, January 5, 2017 ( 3 mins.)

Audio: "Judith Shulevitz, Making Room For The Sabbath," Fresh Air, NPR, March 31, 2010 (39 mins.)

Optional Extras

Video: "Jews In Cochin, India," Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, PBS, May 13, 2016 (8 mins.)

Audio: "A Vanishing Jewish Community In The Indian State Of Kerala," The World, PRI, December 21, 2011

Listen to at least one more audio file and view at least one more video file at Judaism: Audio Links and Judaism: Video Links


Week 8  (October 24-30):  Jesus And The Birth Of Christianity

Orientation For Week 8

Discussion Forum

The Historical Jesus

Reading Assignment

Kristin Romey, "What Archaeology Is Telling Us About The Real Jesus," National Geographic (December 2017: 32-69.

Listening And Viewing

Video: "Christianity From Judaism To Christianity," Crash Course History #11, April 5, 2012 (12 mins.)

Video: "Messiahs," Episode 1, Jesus: Rise To Power, National Geographic (2015, 45 mins.)

Video: "Martyrs," Episode 2, Jesus: Rise To Power, National Geographic (2015, 45 mins.)

Video: "Christians," Episode 3, Jesus: Rise To Power, National Geographic (2015, 45 mins.)

Optional Extras

Video: "In The Footsteps Of Judas," BBC (2016, 56 mins.)

  "The Face: Jesus In Art," PBS, 2001:  Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5; Part 6; Part 7; Part 8.

Looking Ahead: Introducing the Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad Comparison Project and the BJM Comparative Grid


Week 9  (October 31 - November 6):  History Of Christianity 

Orientation For Week 9

Reading Assignment

Browse extensively in Christianity In The News Find at least one topic of interest on which to base some notes and a Journal Entry.  Come to class prepared to talk about this topic for a couple of minutes.

Listening And Viewing

Video: "Christianity: The Good News," Let's Look At World Religions, Channel 4 Learning (2012, 24 mins.)

Video: "Easter East And West," Religion And Ethics Newsweekly, PBS, April 2, 2010 (6 mins.)

Watch at least one episode from the following six-part BBC series:

  "The First Christianity," Episode 1, A History Of Christianity, BBC Four, 2011.

  "Catholicism: The Unpredictable Rise Of Rome," Episode 2, A History Of Christianity, BBC Four, 2011.

  "Orthodoxy: From Empire To Empire," Episode 3, A History Of Christianity, BBC Four, 2011.

  "Reformation: The Individual Before God," Episode 4, A History Of Christianity, BBC Four, 2011.

  "Protestantism: The Evangelical Revolution," Episode 5, A History Of Christianity, BBC Four, 2011.

  "God In The Dock," Episode 6, A History Of Christianity, BBC Four, 2011.

Optional Extras

Listen to at least one audio file and view at least one video file at Christianity: Audio Links and Christianity: Video Links

Audio: World Religions -- Christianity, January 16, 2011:  A 13-minute explanation from Stephen Prothero.

As noted in the Course Textbook section above, the Teaching Company has a 30-hour Great Courses lecture series, "The Great World Religions," that is available from the North Island College library as Audio DVDs.  The second of those DVDs features 12 half-hour lectures on Christianity.  You can borrow that DVD by contacting the NIC Library.  The Christianity lectures are also available as an Audiobook from the Vancouver Island Regional Library.  You can download these lectures once you are a patron of the VIRL (Instructions for registering on-line for a library card can be found Here).  Here is the public library link to this resource.

Johnson, Luke Timothy Great World Religions: Christianity.  Teaching Company: Downloadable Audiobook, 2015.


Week 10  (November 7-13):  The Two Marys

Orientation For Week 10

Discussion Forum

Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, And James, The Brother Of Jesus

Lost Gospels

Reading Assignment

Browse extensively in  Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, And James, The Brother Of Jesus  Discussion Topic.

Listening And Viewing

Video: "The Lost Gospels," BBC Four (2007, 89 mins.)

On-Line Text And Christianity Study Guide

I have collected some resources from the BBC Religion And Ethics page in an effort to provide a basic introduction to the three Abrahamic Religions.  Use the two columns from the Christianity section of the Introduction To Religion On-Line Text (the middle two columns of the six-column chart) and attempt to fill out the companion Christianity Study Guide .  Try to fill the worksheet using the BBC site.  Please don't just initially Google the answers  -- you will not learn as much from that as from a very careful browsing of the BBC page -- though it is fine to fill in the remaining questions after spending considerable time browsing through the BBC religion terms.  You should submit your completed Christianity Study Guide as one component of your Second Half Notes.  I will look at the worksheet to see whether you approached it with care but will not be grading it.  The worksheet is just meant as both a guide for you and as an accountability mechanism.

Optional Extras

Listen to at least one audio file and view at least one video file at Christianity: Audio Links and Christianity: Video Links

Andrew Todhunter, "In The Footsteps Of The Apostles," National Geographic (March 2012).

Looking Ahead


Week 11  (November 14-20):  An Introduction To Islam (1)

Orientation For Week 11

Listening And Viewing

Video: "Muhammad: Legacy Of A Prophet," PBS (2005,116 minutes) or

  "The Life Of Prophet Muhammad," BBC (2011, 177 mins.)

Episode 1, The Seeker:

Episode 2, Holy Wars:

Episode 3, Holy Peace:

Optional Extras

Video: "Islam: Surrender To God," Let's Look At World Religions, Channel 4 (2012, 22 mins.)

Audio: World Religions -- Islam, January 16, 2011:  A 15-minute explanation from Stephen Prothero.

Audio: "Khadijah," Beyond Belief, BBC Radio 4, September 11, 2017 (30 mins.)

On-Line Text And Islam Study Guide

I have collected some resources from the BBC Religion And Ethics page in an effort to provide a basic introduction to the three Abrahamic Religions.  Use the two columns from the Islam section of the Introduction To Religion On-Line Text (the last two columns of the six-column chart) and attempt to fill out the companion Islam Study Guide .  Try to fill the worksheet using the BBC site.  Please don't just initially Google the answers  -- you will not learn as much from that as from a very careful browsing of the BBC page -- though it is fine to fill in the remaining questions after spending considerable time browsing through the BBC religion terms.  You should submit your completed Islam Study Guide as one component of your Second Half Notes.  I will look at the worksheet to see whether you approached it with care but will not be grading it.  The worksheet is just meant as both a guide for you and as an accountability mechanism.

***Sunday, November 22:  Second Half Journal And Notes Check-In Due Date (Submit your in-process Journal entries and LIB 130 Notes this week.  You will not receive a grade for these submissions but I want to check in to see how you are doing on these assignments)


Week 12  (November 21-27):  Ramadan And Islam

Orientation For Week 12

Discussion Forum

Ramadan And Islam

Reading Assignment

Browse extensively in  Islam In The News ; Sacred Festivals In The News -- Islam.  Find at least one topic of interest on which to base some notes or a possible Journal Entry.  Come to class prepared to talk about this topic for a couple of minutes.

Listening And Viewing

Video: "Eid Al-Fitr," Religion And Ethics Newsweekly, PBS, July 17, 2015 (3 mins.)

Video: "Ramadan North And South," Al Jazeera, June 20, 2016 (46 mins.)

Audio: "Revealing Ramadan," On Being, September 10, 2009 (51 mins.)

"Inside Mecca," National Geographic (2003, 56 mins.) [Available through NIC and Films On Demand]

Optional Extras

Browse extensively in  Banning The Burqa  Discussion Topic.

Video: "Ramadan In Kenya," Al Jazeera World, July 1, 2015 (45 mins.).

Looking Ahead


Week 13  (November 28 - December 4):  The Qur'an

Orientation For Week 13

Discussion Forum

The Qur'an

Reading Assignment

Tarif Khalidi, trans., Qur'an

An oral recitation of the Qur'an in Punjabi can be found Here.

See the following URL for a Downloadable Copy of the Qur'an in Punjabi.

Listening And Viewing

Video: "A Year With The Qur'an," Religion And Ethics Newsweekly, PBS, November 3, 2015 (7 mins.)

Audio: "Recite!," Heart And Soul, BBC World Service, August 22, 2010 (27 mins.)

Optional Extras

Audio: "The Ninety Nine Beautiful Names Of Allah," Heart And Soul, BBC World Service, October 10, 2009 (27 mins.)

  "The Black Cube," Heart And Soul, BBC World Service, December 25, 2009 (27 mins.)

Video: "Hajj," Sacred Journeys, PBS, 2014 (Available through NIC and Films On Demand)

***Friday, December 4: Second Half Note-Taking/Journal Combo or Journal Due


Week 14  (December 5-11):  Buddha, Jesus, And Muhammad

Orientation For Week 14

Other Instructions

Discussion Forum

Buddha, Jesus, And Muhammad

Optional Listening And Viewing

Audio:  Listen to at least 2 of the 30 individual 14-minute episodes from Living With The Gods, BBC Radio 4, October-November 2017.

Optional Extras

  "Jesus And Islam," Arte France, 2015  (Available through NIC and Films On Demand).

Episode 1, "The Crucifixion According To The Qur'an":

Episode 2, "People Of The Book":

Episode 3, "Son Of Mary":

Episode 4, "Exile Of The Prophet":

Episode 5, "Muhammad And The Bible":

Episode 6, "The Religion Of Abraham":

Episode 7, "The Book Of Islam":

***Friday, December 11: Buddha, Jesus, And Muhammad Comparison Project Due


Evaluation

Reflections On Entering The Course  

1%

First Half Notes

15%

First Half Journal

15%

Second Half  Notes

15%

Second Half Journal

15%

Comparing Buddha, Jesus And Muhammad

20%

Class Participation 

19%

a)  Reflections On Entering The Course (1%)

Write two or three informal paragraphs to introduce yourself to me. This should be at least one hundred words in length and is designed to give me a beginning idea of who you are and how I might best serve you as a teacher, and to provide me with an opening snapshot of the class as a whole. You need not use the following questions as direct cues but they may be helpful.  Who are you? Where are you from? How might you begin to describe your community and what life is like there if you've come to NIC from far away?  What are your interests? Why are you taking this course? How would you begin to make sense of your own thoughts about religion and religious studies? Do you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions as we start the course?  If you are enrolled in more than one class with me one semester, you can combine the LIB 130 Reflections on Entering the Course with your other introduction letter.  One letter can serve for all the courses.  In the case of the Religions Reflections piece, however, you will be pairing this introductory note with a corresponding Reflections Upon Leaving the Course at the semester's end.  Submit your Reflections Letter to me through the Blackboard Learn site ( https://learn.nic.bc.ca )


b)  Note-Taking Assignment (30%) [First Half Notes 15% and Second Half Notes 15%]

You should take notes on the weekly Reading, Viewing, and Listening assignments throughout the course of the semester. You are not expected to take notes on every syllabus item, but you should clearly demonstrate that you are spending extensive time absorbing new knowledge.  The purpose of this exercise is to push you to clearly summarize the different resources.

The assignment calls upon you to engage with the material as you highlight the main points (and indeed bullet point notes are fine if that is a format that works well for you).  There may be times when you take some wording directly from a source.  However, you still need to adopt an active role here and significant cutting-and-pasting is entirely inappropriate.  I expect you to read the required books and take notes on them rather than using book reviews.  Likewise, you should watch and listen to the documentaries yourself rather than rely upon on-line summaries.

This assignment is designed to be coordinated with both the on-line Discussion Forums and with your Journal assignment.  Once you complete your notes on a particular topic, you may have some ideas as to what you want to write in a corresponding Journal entries or to contribute by way of analysis and commentary to the class Discussion Forum on Blackboard.

There are many materials on my web-site that are not integrated into the core curriculum.  It is fully appropriate to do extensive browsing in these materials and/or engage in some of your own independent research about topics of particular interest and then include these as part of the Note-Taking assignment.    It is also appropriate to include notes on the Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad project as part of your Second-Half Notes.

I will grade your notes at the half-way mark and at the end of the course.  You should submit both your First Half Notes and Second Half Notes as complete Word or PDF files through the Blackboard site so that I can conveniently access these.  I am also asking you to submit your in-process First Half Notes during the third week of the semester and your in-process Second Half Notes at the ten-week mark of the term.  These in-process notes will not be graded but I would like to monitor how you're doing. Please do your best to keep your notes organized, both for my sake and for your own.  You should clearly label each particular item that you summarize through your note-taking.

Although I prefer types notes, I am o.k. with handwritten Notes or a combination of handwritten and typed Notes as long as you can present these to me in a single file in easily accessible and legible form.  Although I will not be available to pick up any Notes-In-Progress in person, I will be available on-campus in the Comox Valley on Friday, October 23 to accept your First Half Notes from any local students who have opted to hand-write their notes.

I will be looking at your Notes and your Journal together when I grade each of those assignments.  Those students who do a strong job on their First-Half Journal and wish to deemphasize Note-Taking in the Second Half of the course will be provided with the opportunity to do so.


c)  Journal (30%) [First Half Journal 15% and Second Half Journal 15%]

The student Journal is the most substantial assignment in this class.  It will represent your on-going engagement with the class curriculum.  If the focus of the Note-Taking Assignment is on summary, the focus of the Journal should be on analysis and interpretation.  It will consist of a series of short written entries upon different course topics.  The purpose of the Journal is to provide you the opportunity for frequent thoughtful and analytical commentary upon course-related material.

The advantages of the Journal, to my mind, are that it breaks work down into regular and manageable chunks, and that it enables you to seize hold of the curriculum in a way which reflects you own interests and style.  It is fundamentally important that the Journal consist of your own ideas and thought.  Far better to have a somewhat shorter Journal in which you are putting forth strong effort to grab hold of the course material and articulate your own response to it than a longer Journal full of second-hand summaries.

This assignment is designed to be coordinated with both the Note-Taking Assignment and with the on-line Discussion Forum.  The Note-Taking Assignment will provide you with grounding and factual details for many of your Journal entries.  The Journal entries in turn will overlap with many of the Discussion Forum topics.  It is fully appropriate to share commentary from your Journal with classmates in the relevant Discussion Forums.

In order to give you a basic structure and to clearly communicate my expectations, I will specify certain mandated entries.  These will include critical commentaries upon each of the required course books.  I will also suggest other recommended entries.  However, while it is required that all work in the Journal be your own original writing, you are encouraged to be imaginative in your investigation and analysis of Contemporary History.

The Journal will be graded in two installments.  It will be due at the mid-point of the semester.  This installment will count for 15% of the course grade.  The Journal will then be due at the end of the semester.  This installment will count for another 15% of the course grade.  I am also asking you to submit your in-process First Half Journal during the third week of the semester and your in-process Second Half Journal at the ten-week mark of the term. These in-process entries will not be graded but I would like to monitor how you're doing.

  Do not hesitate to take risks and to express your own opinions.  The entries will, no doubt, vary in approach, format, length, and quality.  That is fully appropriate.  Ask yourself as the semester proceeds how best to fit together the Journal assignment with Note-Taking and with the on-line Discussion Forums.  I encourage you to slow down and go more in-depth on topics of particular interest to you.  Try to make the assignment work for you rather than merely asking what I want of you as a student.

More detailed instructions and checklists for both the First and Second Half Journals are on the LIB 130 Assignments page of my Mister Dan web-site.  But the combined semester-long Journal should

be 15+ pages long.

include analytical reviews of at least 3 of the core course books.

include at least 3 Discussion Topic commentaries.

include at least 4 reading, audio responses and/or video responses to such items as the required or supplementary articles and audio/video features, or Religion in the News readings.

include the Reflections Upon Leaving The Course entry.

include other entries that draw upon class material and/or your independent research.

demonstrate to the instructor  that you are approaching the readings and the course with care and effort.


d)  Comparing Buddha, Jesus And Muhammad (20%)

This is a research project that will ask you to research the traditions associated with each of these major religious founders in comparative perspective.  I will be providing you with a template to guide your research.  Please don't start on this until we talk about it later in the course.


e)  Class Participation (19%)

The Class Participation grade will be largely based upon your contributions to the weekly Blackboard Learn Discussion Forums ( https://learn.nic.bc.ca ).  These are designed as places in which to share your analysis of and commentary upon the core curricular materials with your classmates.  Discussion Forums are identified in the Syllabus but then you will need to log onto the Blackboard site to offer your thoughts about the different topics.  I will post questions but you are welcome to create additional threads.  A second component of the Class Participation grade will be derived from our videoconferencing sessions.  Given the challenges associated with digital technology, my only expectation here is that you attend regularly and demonstrate that you are doing your best to keep up with the course material.


Submitting Assignments

All assignments should be submitted through the LIB 130 Blackboard site.  Please do your best to submit your assignments in an organized manner and with clear file labels.  You should submit your assignments in Word or PDF format, and should include your name and the assignment identifier in each file name.  I recommend the following titles, using my first name as an example:

Reflections On Entering The Course: DanReflections

First Half Notes: DanNotesFirst130

First Half Journal: DanJournalFirst130

Second Half Notes: DanNotesSecond130

Second Half Journal: DanJournalSecond130

Comparing Buddha, Jesus And Muhammad: DanBJM

First And Second Half Notes In Progress: N1ProgressDan130, N2ProgressDan130

First and Second Half Journal In Progress: J1ProgressDan130, J2ProgressDan130


Late Policy

The curriculum for this course is organized on a week-by-week basis, in which most assignments are cumulative and on-going.  Discussion amongst students is also dependent upon classmates keeping current with their studies.  Due dates should be noted and met.  It is assumed that each student will regularly be devoting five hours+ per week to the course in addition to any class time.  Late assignments are also often an extra burden from an instructor standpoint.  However, I appreciate that there may be occasions where a very few extra days to polish an assignment in the midst of competing deadlines can be helpful, and thus I deliberately assume a good-faith effort on the part of students to meet the due dates and provide a small cushion of flexibility without any academic penalty.

As a general rule, no assignment will be accepted more than two weeks late and no end-of-the-semester assignment will be accepted more than one week late.  Discussion Forum contributions should ideally be made the week of the discussion itself and will be considered late if made more than two weeks after we have moved to a new topic.  Your ability to maintain this schedule will have a major impact upon your Class Participation Grade.


A Note On Plagiarism

Everything that you hand in should be your original work unless otherwise indicated.  Violations of this policy may result in being reported to the Academic Integrity Committee and in failing an assignment or the course in its entirety.  Please talk to me if you have any uncertainty  about what is permitted here.  I want to help you to get as much out of this course as possible but, for this to happen, you need to put forth strong and honest effort.


Related Policy

Community Code of Academic, Personal and Professional Conduct (3-06)

Instructional Accommodation and Access Services for Students with Disabilities (3-17)

Student Appeals Policy (3-30)

Student Complaint Resolution Policy (3-31)

Evaluation of Student Performance Policy (3-33)

Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy (3-34)

Course Outline Policy (3-35)

Academic Standing and Progression (3-37)

Grading System (4-14)


Welcome To The Course

 

 

free
web stats