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REL 101 IS, Introduction to Religion, v2

 

University of Mississippi
3 credit hours 

Instructor Information:

Dave Nichols

Dr. Mary Thurlkill
Bryant Hall 21
maryt@olemiss.edu
662.915.1400

My name is Dr. Mary Thurlkill, Professor of Religion, specializing in medieval Christianity and Islam. I am thrilled that you have chosen to take REL 101, which provides a basic introduction to many of the world's major religious traditions. With a Sikh Temple in Tupelo; a variety of Orthodox Christian churches in Memphis; and several Hindu temples throughout Mississippi, religious diversity clearly plays an important part of our contemporary world. In this class, we will strive both to understand and appreciate a variety of religious identities.

Although on-line instruction is not my preferred manner of teaching, I understand it has an important part in our busy lives today. Please note: this medium is difficult for me because I cannot see your faces--looks of terror, confusion, or delight! So, if you have questions concerning the content of the course-- or, you want to discuss an exciting topic in more detail — please do contact me directly at maryt@olemiss.edu.

IMPORTANT: whenever sending email, please be sure to indicate your course title and section number in the subject line (ie, REL 101, iStudy). You may also reach me by phone (662.915.1400) but I tend to check my phone messages less regularly than my e-mail! And, my "live" office hours are MWF 9-10:50 in Bryant Hall 21, on the Oxford campus. I try my very best to respond to all e-mails quickly.

Contact Information:

If you have questions concerning the content of the course, you may contact the instructor directly using the Email Your Instructor link in the Lessons or Content page. NOTE: Whenever sending email, please be sure to indicate your course title and number in the subject line. You can expect a response within 72 hours, although it may be longer on weekends. Many instructors reply within 24 hours.

For lesson or test administration issues, please contact the iStudy department:
The University of Mississippi
Division of Outreach and Continuing Education
iStudy
P. O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677
Phone: (662) 915-7313, toll-free (877) 915-7313
Fax: (662) 915-8826
E-mail: istudy@olemiss.edu

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to Religious Studies as a discipline and a survey of some of the world's religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese Religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Textbook Information:

REL 101 TEXTBOOK

Hopfe and Woodward, Religions of the World, 13th edition (ISBN: 978-013-379400-7

You may purchase the regular paperback or e-textbook, as you prefer.

It is the student's responsibility to order her text. I recommend purchasing the assigned/current edition (13th), so that page numbers will align with those referenced in course content. However, older editions may be used with careful attention to topic/subject headings.

It is your responsibility to order your textbook. Online textbook retailers such as Amazon.com or ABEbooks.com usually provide used textbooks at economical prices.

Semester Midpoint Requirements

Requirements for semester students: (Note: this does not apply to Flex (asynchronous) students. If you are unsure of your status, the information appears in your gradebook.)

  1. Complete the syllabus quiz as soon as you have access to your Blackboard course. This is mandatory to verify your attendance.
  2. Reach the midpoint of your course, as indicated on the lesson page, two weeks after the first day of midterm week. The exact date is posted in the Announcements section of the course in Blackboard. Any lesson assignment or exam needed to reach the midpoint, but not completed by the midpoint deadline, will receive a grade of zero.
  3. The last day to submit lessons and complete course exams (other than the final) is the last day of class per the UM Registrarís academic calendar.
  4. The final exam must be taken by the last day of finals week.

Course Objectives:

Objectives include (but are not limited to):

  1. Provide an academic definition of religion.
  2. Display a basic literacy in the world's religions covered in class. Basic literacy includes explanation of basic beliefs, rituals, scripture, and major figures.
  3. Provide a survey of each religion's historical development and inherent diversity.
  4. Provide examples of each religion's cultural production, including art, music, film, and/or architecture.

Course Outline:

This course consists of 11 instructional modules (or lessons).

Unit
Topics
Reading Assignments
Due for Grades
Pacing guide to complete the course in a traditional semester
Syllabus

*You MUST complete the syllabus quiz as soon as you have access to your Blackboard course. This is mandatory to verify your attendance.* NOTE: you must pass the Syllabus and Orientation Quiz for the course materials to appear on the Lessons page.

Syllabus Quiz
Week 1

Unit 1: What is Religion? Hinduism

1

What is Religion?

Hopfe and Woodward, Introduction pp. 2-8, online materials

Introduction post, "The Church of Body Modification" essay
Week 1
2

Hinduism -- History, the first "Path of Knowledge," and the Vedas

Chapter 4, Hinduism, online materials

none
Week 2
3

Hinduism -- the second "Path of Action/Dharma" and the Bhagavad Gita

Chapter 4, Hinduism, online materials

ìReligion in the Newsî essay
Week 3
4

Hinduism -- and the third "Path of Love/Bhakti"

Chapter 4, Hinduism, online materials

Quiz #1
Week 4
Course Exam 1

Proctored and password-protected exam covering Unit 1

To be scheduled
and completed
before proceeding
Week 5


Unit 2: Buddhism and Chinese Religion

5

Life of the Buddha

Chapter 6, Buddhism, online materials

none
Week 6
6

Historical Divisions: Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana Buddhisms

Chapter 6, Buddhism, online materials

Quiz #2
Week 7

7

Chinese Religions: Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism

Chapter 8, online materials

Quiz #3

Asian Religions and American Consumerism Assignment

Week 8
MIDPOINT OF COURSE

If you are a semester student, you must complete all lesson assignments or exams needed to reach the midpoint by two weeks after the first day of midterm week.

If you are a full-year UM student, you CANNOT WITHDRAW from this course after the next lesson has been submitted.

All lesson assignments or exams needed to reach the midpoint of the course

Two weeks after the first day of midterm week. The exact day is posted in the Announcements section of the course in Blackboard.

Course Exam 2

Proctored and password-protected exam covering Unit 2

To be scheduled
and completed
before proceeding
Week 9

Unit 3: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

8

Jewish History

Chapter 10, Judaism, online materials

none
Week 10
9

Judaism: Tradition and Ritual

Chapter 10, Judaism, online materials

Jewish Holiday Assignment, Quiz #4
Week 11
10

Christianity: History, Tradition, and Ritual

Chapter 11, Christianity, online materials

Quiz #5, Christianity Collage Assignment
Week 12
11

Islam: History (Muhammad, Qur'an and Hadith)

Chapter 12, Islam, online materials

Quiz #6, Tweeting Islam Assignment
Week 13
Course Exam 3

Proctored and password-protected exam covering Unit 3

All course work needs to be submitted and graded to take this exam.

To be scheduled
and completed
to finalize credit
Week 14

Grading:

GRADING SCALE

446-495 pts = A
396-445 pts = B
347-395 pts = C
297-346 pts = D
296 pts and below = F

GRADE BREAKDOWN:

The grading format is as follows:

Lesson assignments/essays 50 pts
Quizzes 120 pts
Exams 300 pts
"Religion in the News" 25 pts
——
495 pts total

FAILURE TO PASS THE FINAL EXAM WILL RESULT IN FAILURE OF THE COURSE.

You must submit the lessons required to take the course exam(s). Lessons required but not submitted will receive a grade of zero. For the final exam, all coursework must be submitted and graded

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