Search

ANCarroll

A Contemplative Crafter

Category

Sample Syllabi

Religion in American Society: Colonial Period to the Civil War

REL XXX

Religion in American Society: Colonial Period to the Civil War

Course Description: This course introduce students to major themes and movements in American religious history from the colonial period through the Civil War. We will consider Native American religions, the Revolution, slavery and slave religions, New Religious Movements, and immigration. The purpose of this course is to foster an understanding of religious diversity in early American history, the role of religion in the development of America, and the relationship between religion and aspects of American society.

Objectives: 

Course Goals:

During this course, students will:

  1. Develop a knowledge and understanding of relevant traditions, teachings, practices, and figures involved in the American society;
  2. Explore historical events that demonstrate various aspects of American religious history;
  3. Engage modern writers to understand contemporary thought and investigation into aspects of American religious history.

Learning Goals:

At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify major teachings, figures, and thought within American religious history;
  2. Recognize aspects of American religious history at work in current events;
  3. Reflect critically on the interrelationship of religion and American society;
  4. Articulate the difficulties inherent in discussing religion in America.

Instructional Methods:

This course will consist of a combination of discussion, group work, lecture, and film that draw upon class readings and materials prepared by the students.

Required Texts:

The following required texts should be purchased from the bookstore.

  • Jon Butler & Harry Stout, Religion in American History: A Reader
  • C.C. Goen, Broken Churches, Broken Nations
  • Marie Griffith, American Religions: A Documentary History
  • David Hackett, Religion and American Culture
  • Albert Raboteau, Slave Religion: The “Invisible Institution” in the Antebellum South
  • Peter Williams, America’s Religions: From Their Origins to the Twenty-First Century 
  • Charles Reagan Wilson, Baptized in Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause, 1865-1920

Readings marked with an ** in the course schedule are located on Blackboard under their respective module tab.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

  1. Discussion Participation (15%)

Total discussion participation will be calculated on a 10-point scale (see RUBRICS in the COURSE PACK on Blackboard). Every day that you are present in class I will assign you a grade on the 10 point scale. Your final grade will be an average of every participation grade you accumulate over the number of class days we have (x/25). For those of you who are on the quieter side: aim to make at least one, thoughtful comment during each fishbowl discussion. Remember: quality trumps quantity.

  1. Homework (25%)

Homework (HW) for specified classes will be completed for respective modules on Blackboard and is due by the beginning of class (i.e., the time class starts). The purpose of homework at the beginning of class is to make sure everyone understands basic concepts from our reading material. The purpose of homework during the last third of the semester is to prepare you for discussion. The more prepared everyone is for discussion, the better our class discussions will be. Please see the COURSE PACKET on Blackboard for homework instructions and grading rubrics. Please see syllabus section on Late Policies for information on late homeworks.

NOTE: I will drop the lowest homework grade for students who complete every assignment (homework and journal) on time (i.e., no assignments are late or missed).

  1. Reflection Journal (25%)

Instead of writing a paper, students will keep a weekly reflection notebook on all readings. Entries should be a full 2 pages, double spaced (2 pages single-spaced if you wish to write your journal longhand–please be legible!). Journal reflections are due for each class meeting. If you submit your entry through Blackboard, please bring a copy to class with you for reference during discussions. Students who choice to hand write their entry may hold onto their reflection until the end of class. Think of it this way: you have already thought about the material AND written a comment about it, so all you have to do is look at your reflection, see what you wrote, and make a comment. That means, in a discussion all you have to do is look at the paper and there’s your class participation! NOTE: Journal entries are not summaries of the readings but are analytical, critical and constructive responses to the readings.

Please see the COURSE PACK for further information on journal specifics. NOTE: I will drop the lowest journal grade for students who complete every assignment (homework and journal) on time (i.e., no assignments are late or missed).

  1. Final Exam (35%)

One final exam will be administered on Blackboard. The exam will be open for two full days (48 hours) to be decided at a later date (dates depend on the course’s scheduled exam day). The exam will consist of two parts: (1) a section consisting of quote identification, short answer, fill-in-the-blank style questions (similar to the homework), (2) a section containing 3 short essay questions based on class material. The purpose of this exam is to demonstrate knowledge and mastery of material covered within this course. For detailed instructions on the exam see FINAL EXAM in BB where I will post more information in February.

Extra Credit Opportunity +5%

Students may elect to write one 5-7 page paper for extra credit. Extra credit will be applied to the Attendance/Participation grade. See the EC tab on Blackboard for more details. The EC paper is due the last day of class.

 

*****

Course Schedule:

Readings designated with ** are located on Blackboard.

Textbook readings are listed by the AUTHOR’S LAST NAME.

NOTES: This course schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.

Week 1:

1: Introduction to course and syllabus

2: Native American Traditions

READ: Williams, Ch. 1; Hackett, Ch. 1

DUE: HW#1

Week 2

1:Labor Day

2: African Religions

READ: Raboteau, Ch. 1

DUE: Journal #1

Week 3

1: The City Upon the Hill

READ: Butler/Stout, Ch. 2; Williams, Ch. 21; Griffith, Ch. 1

DUE: HW #2

2: Puritans

READ: Williams, Ch. 13; Griffith, Ch. 3

DUE: HW#3

Week 4

1: Colonial Religions & Violence

READ: Hackett, Ch. 3; Williams, Ch. 2 (pp63-74)

DUE: Journal #2

2: Challenges to the Mainstream I– the Supernatural

READ: Hackett, Ch. 2; Griffith, pp80-90

DUE: Journal #3

Week 5

1: Challenges to the Mainstream II–Quakers

READ: Williams, Ch. 15; Griffith, Ch. 3, 76-80; Butler/Stout, Ch. 3

DUE: Journal #4

2: Slavery & Religion I–African Religions & African Christianity

READ: Hackett, Ch. 4, 9; Butler/Stout, Ch. 4

DUE: Journal #5

Week 6

1: Revivalism & the Great Awakening

READ: Williams, Ch. 16, 17; Griffith, Ch. 6, Ch. 7 (115-121)

DUE: HW#4

2: Slavery & Religion II– Religious Life

READ: Raboteau, Ch. 5

DUE: Journal #6

Week 7

1: Religion and the American Revolution I

READ: Butler/Stout, Ch.5, pp 88-108; Williams, Ch. 22; Griffith, Ch. 10

DUE: HW#5

2: Religion and the American Revolution II

READ: Hackett, Ch. 6, 7

DUE: Journal #7

Week 8

1: The Feminization of Religion

READ: Hackett, Ch. 8; Butler/Stout, Ch.6

DUE: Journal #8

2: Discussion Day

Week 9

1: New Religious Movements: Mormonism

READ: Williams, Ch. 30; Griffith, Ch 11 (pp163-171); Butler/Stout, Ch.9

DUE: HW #6

2: New Religious Movements: Millennialism & Transcendentalism

READ: Williams, Ch. 28, 29; Griffith, Ch. 11 (pp172-82)

DUE: Journal #9

Week 10

1: Slavery & Religion II: Slave Life

READ: Griffith, Ch. 8, Ch. 14 (239-244); Butler/Stout, Ch. 11

DUE: Journal #10

2: Immigrants & Religion I: Catholics

READ: Butler/Stout, Ch. 7; **Donlan, “Evangelical Catholicism”

DUE: HW #7

Week 11

1: Immigrants & Religion II: Jews

READ: Williams, Ch. 38; Griffith, Ch. 9 (pp148-149); Hackett, Ch. 12

DUE: Journal #11

2: Slavery & Religion II: Resistance &Pro-Slavery Christianity

READ: Griffith, Ch. 13 (pp239-244); Raboteau, Ch. 6

DUE: Journal #12

Week 12

1: Women, Abolitionism, & Social Justice

READ: Williams, Ch. 24; Griffith, Ch. 14

DUE: Journal #13

2: Religion and the Civil War I

READ: Goen, Ch. 3

DUE: HW #8

Week 13

1: Religion and The Civil War II

READ: Goen, Ch. 4

DUE: Journal #14

2: The American Civil Religion I

READ: Wilson, Ch. 1, 2

DUE: HW #9

Week 14

1: The American Civil Religion II

READ: Wilson, Ch. 3, 4

DUE: Journal #15

2: Thanksgiving—No Class

Week 15

1: Conclusions

DUE: EC papers; Journal rewrites

TAKE HOME EXAM: Date TBD

 

Advertisements

Intro to Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution

 PSTD xxxx

Introduction to Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution

 Course Description: This course explores major thinkers and themes within the field of peace studies and conflict resolution by focusing on philosophical and religious foundations of 20th century peace and justice movements. This course further examines peace and conflict through an interdisciplinary lens and on personal, local, and international levels. Please remember: PSTD xxxx is not a survey of public policy, but rather an exploration into the meanings of peace and conflict as part of the human experience.

 

Objectives: 

Course Goals:

During this course, students will:

  1. Develop a knowledge and understanding of relevant traditions, teachings, practices, and figures involved with peace studies and conflict resolution;
  2. Explore historical events that demonstrate various approaches to peace and conflict resolution;
  3. Engage modern writers to understand contemporary thought and application of traditions and methods peace in the context of conflict resolution;

Learning Goals:

At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify major teachings, figures, and methods of peace and conflict resolution;
  2. Recognize methods of peace activism and conflict resolution at work in current events;
  3. Reflect critically on the interrelationship of world religions, peace studies, and conflict resolution;
  4. Articulate the difficulties inherent in peacefully resolving contemporary conflict;
  5. Detect misinterpretations and/or misapplications of methods of conflict resolution in contemporary events.

 

Instructional Methods:

This course will consist of a combination of class discussion, group work, lecture, and film clips that draw upon class readings and materials prepared by students.

 

Required Texts:

Readings marked with an ** on the course schedule are located on Blackboard under their respective module tab. The following required texts should be purchased from  the GW bookstore:

 

  • Daniel Smith-Christopher, Subverting Hatred: Nonviolence in Religious Traditions, 10th edition
  • Mohandas Gandhi, Non-Violent Resistance (Satyagraha)
  • Thich Nhat Hanh, Calming the Fearful Mind
  • Albert Einstein, Ideas & Opinions
  • Leo Tolstoy, Last Steps
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., Testament of Hope

 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

  1. Discussion Participation (15%)

Because this course fulfills the GPAC oral and written communication requirement, your participation in class discussions will be graded. Total discussion participation will be calculated on a 10-point scale (see RUBRICS in the COURSE PACK on Blackboard). Your final grade will be an average of every participation grade you accumulate over the number of class days held (x/28). For those of you who are on the quieter side: aim to make at least one, thoughtful comment during each discussion. Remember: quality trumps quantity. Talking a lot is not necessarily the same as contributing constructively.

NOTE: Chatting amongst yourselves while I am speaking or while a classmate is speaking is rude and unproductive discussion time. If I have to stop class to speak to you, this will influence your participation grade (there is such a thing as “negative participation” so be aware). Playing on your phones, etc. is also grounds for a lower participation grade.

 

  1. Homework (18%)

Homework (HW) for specified classes will be completed for respective modules on Blackboard and is due by the time class starts (i.e., 3:45pm/11:10am); NOT DURING CLASS. The purpose of homework at the beginning of the semesters is to make sure everyone understands basic concepts from our reading material. The purpose of homework during the last third of the semester is to prepare you for discussion. The more prepared everyone is for discussion, the better our class discussions will be. Please see the COURSE PACKET on Blackboard for homework instructions and grading rubrics. Please see syllabus section on Late Policies for information on late homeworks.

NOTE: I will drop the lowest homework grade for students who complete every assignment (homework and Journal) on time (i.e., no assignments are late or missed).

WARNING: There is a time stamp on everything submitted to Blackboard. If I notice that assignments are being submitted DURING class, I will suspend computer privileges for the entire semester.

 

  1. Reading Journals (20%)

Instead of writing a paper, students will write Journals on all primary source readings excluding background readings during the first third of the semester. Entries should be 400-500 words (no longer than 550 words) in 12-pont serif font. If you would like to handwrite your Journal: roughly two pages, double spaced (1.5 page single spaced). Journals are graded according to criteria that assess the entry’s readability, analytical quality, completeness, length, and content.

With the exception of the first journal entry, I will collect Journals three times over the course of the semester. Be sure to keep up with your Journal writing in the meantime as you will be asked to express the contents of your Journal in class. Review the prompts and at least make an outline while you are reading. This makes it easier to write for the collection days. Bring your Journals (entries or outlines) to class with you for reference during discussions. Think of it this way: you have already thought about the material AND written a comment about it. That means, in a discussion all you have to do is look at the paper and there’s your class participation!

NOTE: Journal are not summaries of the readings but are analytical, critical, and constructive responses to the readings.

Please see the COURSE PACK for further information on journal specifics. Here is a quick overview:

  • Journals will span readings from the first two thirds of the course. You will see “(Journal #)” along with the readings on which you will write.
  • I will post Journal questions on BB for each Journal. (See COURSE PACK for further details.)
  • With the exception of Journal 1, Journals will be collected in groups (see Course Schedule for dates). You may either post the Journals as you write them in BB, post all your entries on the collection day, or handwrite your entries and turn these in on collection day.

NOTE: I will drop the lowest journal grade for students who complete every assignment (homework and Journal) on time (i.e., no assignments are late or missed).

 

  1. Evaluation Paper (12%)

Students will write one 4-6 page paper (see Course Schedule below for due date) that evaluates material covered during the first portion of the semester. Further instructions for the paper will be posted on Blackboard under PAPER a minimum of two weeks prior to the paper’s due date.

 

  1. Final Exam (35%)

Students will complete one final 2-hour take home exam on Blackboard. The due date is TBD based on the final exam time as scheduled by GWU. The exam will be based on a case study of your choosing (“Introduction to Negotiation and Conflict Management” or “Introduction to Interfaith Conflict Resolution”) and will consist of 20-25 multiple choice questions, plus one short essay (you may chose from given options). The purpose of this exam is to demonstrate knowledge and mastery of material that deals with peacebuilding and conflict resolution. For detailed instructions on the exam see FINAL EXAM in BB where I will post more information later in the semester.

 

Extra Credit Opportunity +5%

Students may elect to write one 5-7 page paper for extra credit. Extra credit will be applied to the Attendance/Participation grade. See the EC tab on Blackboard for more details. The EC paper is due the last day of class.

* * * * *

 

COURSE SCHEDULE

 

Readings designated with ** are located on Blackboard.

[This course schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.]

 

Week 1: Introduction

Tuesday: Introduction to Course & Syllabus

Thursday: What is Peace & Nonviolence?

READ: **Webel, “Introduction: toward a philosophy and metapsychology of peace”; **Johansen, “Nonviolence: more than the absence of violence”

DUE: HW 1

Week 2:

Tuesday: Hinduism Intro

READ: Subverting Hatred, chapter 4; Gandhi, Non-Violent Resistance: #8 (sections I &II), #68, #124

DUE: HW 2

Thursday: Gandhi & Satyagraha I

READ: Gandhi, Non-Violent Resistance: #1, #2, #5, #6, #7, #11, #26

DUE: Journal 1

Week 3:

Tuesday: Gandhi & Satyagraha II

READ: Gandhi, Non-Violent Resistance: #37, #47; #126; #141, 142, 143, #182 , #152, #157; **excerpt from Gandhi’s Way

(Journal 2)

Thursday: Buddhism Intro

READ: Subverting Hatred, chapter 2 ; **excerpts from Engaged Buddhist Reader

DUE: HW 3

Week 4:

Tuesday: Thich Nhat Hahn & Living Mindfully

READ: Thich Nhat Hahn, Calming the Fearful Mind: Chapters 3, 4, 5 (all)

(Journal 3)

 

Thursday: The Dalai Lama & Universal Responsibility

READ: **The Dalai Lama, select messages on World Peace; **The Dalai Lama, Five Point Peace Plan; **Tibetan Conflict

OPTIONAL: **Tibet-China Timeline, **Tibet Background

(Journal 4)

DUE: Journal collection, Entries 2-4.

Week 5:

Tuesday: Judaism: Intro

READ: Subverting Hatred, chapter 9; **Waskow, “Swords and Ploughshares as Tools of Tikkun Olam”

DUE: HW 4

Thursday: Elie Wiesel & Torah Study

READ: **Wiesel, Nobel Lecture; **Wiesel, “The Sacrifice of Isaac” from Messengers of Peace

(Journal 5)

Week 6:

Tuesday: Einstein, Pacifism, & Disarmament

Einstein, Ideas and Opinions: (from Part II): “The Disarmament Conference of 1932,” “The Question of Disarmament,” “The Pacifist Problem,” “Active Pacifism,” “The War is Won But the Peace is Not,” “Atomic War or Peace,” “On the Abolition of the Threat of War”; **Sharp, Making the Abolition of War a Realistic Goal

(Journal 6)

Thursday: No Class. Instructor @ Conference

Week 7:

Tuesday: Christianity: Intro

READ: Subverting Hatred, chapter 10; **New Testament, “Sermon on the Mount”; Tolstoy, The Last Steps: “Letter to a Non-Commissioned Officer,”

DUE: HW 5

Thursday: Tolstoy & Non-Resistance to Evil

READ: Tolstoy, The Last Steps: “From The Kingdom of God is Within You,” “Letter on Non-Resistance to Ernest Howard,” “From The Law of Love and the Law of Violence

(Journal 7)

Week 8:

Tuesday: MLK & Civil Rights in America

READ: King, Testament of Hope, Chapters: 1, 10, 11, 46

(Journal 8)

DUE: Journal collection, entries 5-8.

 

Thursday: Islam: Intro

READ: Subverting Hatred, chapter 7; **Abu-Nimer, “An Islamic Model of Conflict Resolution: Principles and Challenges”

DUE: HW 6

 Week 9:

Tuesday: Badshah Khan & Jihad

READ: **Kurtz, “Abdul Gaffar Khan’s Nonviolent Jihad”; **Johansen, “Radical Islam and Nonviolence”; **excerpt from Nonviolent Solider of Islam

(Journal 9)

 

Thursday: Muslim Women & Peacemaking

READ: **Kadayifci-Orellana and Sharify-Funk, “Muslim Women Peacemakers as Agents of Change”; **”Underground Woman: Sakena Yacoobi & The Afgahn Institute of Learning,” from Peacemakers in Action; **Dekha Ibrahim, “Transforming Our Woundness for Peace”

(Journal 10)

Week 10:

Tuesday: American Civil Religion: Intro

READ: **Bellah, “Civil Religion in America”; **Albright, “The Eyes of All People are Upon Us”

DUE: HW 7

Thursday: Alice Paul & Woman Suffrage

READ: **Dodd, “Parades, Pickets, and Prison,” sections IV, V, and Conclusion; **Graham, “Woodrow Wilson, Alice Paul, and the Woman Suffrage Movement”

(Journal 11)

DUE: Journal collection, entries 9-11.

Week 11:

Tuesday: Evaluation Essay Due (by start of class)

In Class: Game Day

Thursday: Religion, Peace, & International Affairs I

READ: **Fox, “Religion as an Overlooked Element of International Relations”; **Albright, “Faith and Diplomacy”

DUE: HW 8

Week 12:

Tuesday: Religion, Peace, & International Affairs II

READ: **Smock, Religious Contributions to Peacemaking (all)

DUE: HW 9

 Thursday: Terrorism I:

READ: **Smock, “Building Interreligious Trust in a Time of Fear”; **Cronin, “When to Talk to Terrorists”

DUE: HW 10

 

Week 13:

Tuesday: Terrorism II

READ: **Osama Bin Laden, “Truce Offer to the Americans”; **Osama Bin Laden, “Why We Are Fighting You”; **”What We’re Fighting For: A Letter from America”; **USIP, “Islamic Perspectives on Peace and Violence”

DUE: HW 11

Thursday: Terrorism III

READ: **Sorenson, “Nonviolent Resistance and Culture” (Skip sections on Abdul Khan, pp. 452-8: feel free to read them if you would like); **Holmer, “Countering Violent Extremism”; **Onuoha, “Why Do Youth Join Boko Haram?”

DUE: HW 12

 

Week 14:

Tuesday: Casualties of Conflict: Gender & Peacebuilding

READ: **USIP, “Gender, Conflict, and Peacebuilding,” pp5-30.; **Leymah Gbowee, “Child Soldiers, Child Wives”; **Ferstman, “Criminalizing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by Peacekeepers”

Optional Reading: **UN Security Council Resolution 1325; **UN Security Council Resolution 1325–annotated version

 DUE: HW 13

Thursday: Thanksgiving Break; No Class

 Week 15:

Tuesday: Conclusions

DUE: EC papers; Journal Rewrites


FINAL EXAM: Take home exam. Further instructions to come. Dates TBD.

 

Ethics in World Religions

 REL xxxx

Ethics in the World Religions

 

Course Description: This course explores modern concepts of ethics and their relation to five major religions; Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Course materials draw from various world religions such as primary religious documents, secondary literature, and case studies. We will consider religion as both a stimulus and barrier to moral change and discuss examples of modern moral issues as the encounter traditional religious ethics.

Objectives: 

Course Goals:

During this course, students will:

  1. Develop a knowledge and understanding of relevant traditions, narratives, teachings, and practices reflecting the ethical approaches of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam;
  2. Engage modern writers to explore contemporary applications of each religion’s respective ethical tradition;
  3. Examine the diverse application of ethical traditions between religions and within a single religion;
  4. Investigate various case studies concerning contemporary ethical dilemmas within world religions.

 

Learning Goals:

At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify themes, thinkers, and texts belonging to Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam;
  2. Reflect critically on the place of ethics in religion in general, and in world religions in particular;
  3. Recognize the application of ethical traditions from the world’s religions in the contemporary world events;
  4. Understand why ethical views result in cultural clashes between and within religions;
  5. Detect misinterpretations and/or misapplications of one religion’s ethical traditions by another religion.

Instructional Methods:

This course will consist of a combination of discussion, group work, lecture, and film that draw upon class readings and materials prepared by the students.

 

Required Texts:

The following required texts should be purchased from the GW bookstore.

  • The Blackwell Companion to Religious Ethics.
  • Fasching, Dechant, & Lantigua; Comparative Religious Ethics, 2nd edition.
  • Regina Wentzel Wolfe, Ethics and Worlds Religions: Cross-Cultural Case Studies.
  • Anthony Weston, A Practical Companion to Ethics

Readings marked with an ** in the course schedule are located on Blackboard under their respective module tab.

 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Discussion Participation(15%)

Total discussion participation will be calculated on a 10-point scale (see RUBRICS in the COURSE PACK on Blackboard). Your final grade will be an average of every participation grade you accumulate over the number of class days held (x/28). Please note, discussion participation is tied to your attendance: if you are not in class, you will not receive any credit. For those of you who are on the quieter side: aim to make at least one, thoughtful comment during each discussion. Remember: quality trumps quantity. Talking a lot is not necessarily the same as contributing constructively.

 

Homework (15%)

Homework (HW) for specified classes will be completed for respective modules on Blackboard and is due by 3:45 p.m. the day of class (i.e., the time class starts); NOT DURING CLASS The purpose of homework at the beginning of the semesters is to make sure everyone understands basic concepts from our reading material. The purpose of homework during the last third of the semester is to prepare you for discussion. The more prepared everyone is for discussion, the better our class discussions will be. Please see the COURSE PACKET on Blackboard for homework instructions and grading rubrics. Please see syllabus section on Late Policies for information on late homeworks.

NOTE: I will drop the lowest homework grade for students who complete every assignment (homework and journal) on time (i.e., no assignments are late or missed).

WARNING: There is a time stamp on everything submitted to Blackboard. If I notice that assignments are being submitted DURING class, I will suspend computer privileges for the entire semester.

 

Reflection Journal (20%)

Instead of writing a paper, students will keep a weekly reflection notebook on select course (See Course Schedule below). Entries should be a full 2 pages, double spaced (2 pages single-spaced if you wish to write your journal longhand–please be legible!). With the exception of the first journal entry, I will collect journal entries three times over the course of the semester. Be sure to keep up with your journal writing in the meantime as you will be asked to express the contents of your reflection in class. Bring your journal entries to class with you for reference during discussions. Think of it this way: you have already thought about the material AND written a comment about it. That means, in a discussion all you have to do is look at the paper and there’s your class participation! NOTE: Journal entries are not summaries of the readings but are analytical, critical and constructive responses to the readings.

Please see the COURSE PACK for further information on journal specifics. Here is a quick overview:

  • Journal entries will span readings from September 5 through October 31. You will see “Journal #” next to the readings to be included.
  • I will post reflection questions on BB for each journal. In your journal entries, reflect on how you find peace and conflict resolution operating within the readings. (See COURSE PACK for further details.)
  • Journal collection days: (See below). You may either post the journals as you write them in BB or, as mentioned above, handwrite your entries.

NOTE: I will drop the lowest journal grade for students who complete every assignment (homework and journal) on time (i.e., no assignments are late or missed).

 

Case Study Discussion Leadership (15%)

I know you’re thinking: Ick (or some four-letter word equivalent). I get it. However, this is not as scary as it sounds. During our final third of the course, a group of 4-5 students will be responsible for presenting the case studies we read for class. The discussion leaders are not expected to solve the problem, only to provide a way for the class to dig more deeply into the situation at hand and explore the complexities of the ethical dilemmas at stake. I will circulate a sign-up sheet during the second or third week of class, so you will have time to check out the case studies to see which one you would like to present. See DISCUSSION LEADER on BB for more details.

 

Final Exam(35%) Date TBD.

One final exam will be administered on Blackboard. The exam will be open for three full days to be decided at a later date (dates depend on the course’s scheduled exam day). The exam will consist of two parts: (1) a section consisting of quote identification, short answer, fill-in-the-blank style questions (similar to the homework), (2) a section devoted to responding to a case study not covered in class (case study options will be posted the week before the exam). The purpose of this exam is to demonstrate knowledge and mastery of material covered within this course. For detailed instructions on the exam see FINAL EXAM in BB where I will post more information beginning in October.

 

Extra Credit (EC) Opportunity +5%

Students may elect to write one 5-7 page paper for extra credit. No more than one paper will be accepted. Extra credit will be applied to the Attendance/Participation grade. See the EC tab on Blackboard for more details. The EC paper is due the last day of class.

 

* * * * *

 

COURSE SCHEDULE

Readings designated with ** are located on Blackboard.

[This course schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.]

 

Week 1: Introduction to Ethics

Tuesday: Introduction to course and syllabus

Thursday: **Idinopulos, “What is Religion?”; **Schweiker, “On Religious Ethics”; DUE: HW #1

 

Week 2: The Narrative of Religious Ethics & Hinduism I

Tuesday: Comparative Religious Ethics, chapter 1; Blackwell, Part I, Ch. 2, 3; DUE: HW #2

Thursday: Comparative Religious Ethics, CH 5, pp137-59; Blackwell, Ch. 33, 34, 36; DUE: HW #3

 

Week 3: Hinduism II

Tuesday: **Das, “The Concept of Dharma;” **Dhand, “The Dharma of Ethics, the Ethics of Dharma”; DUE: Journal 1

Thursday: **Bose, “Sati: the Event and the Ideology,” **Brick, “The Dharmaśātric Debate on Widow-Burning” (Journal 2)

 

Week 4: Buddhism I

Tuesday: Comparative Religious Ethics, CH 6, pp165-96; Blackwell, Ch. 29, 30, 32; DUE: HW #4

Thursday: **Epstein, “Applications of Buddhist teachings in modern life;” **Evans, “Ethical Confusion” (Journal 3)

 

Week 5: Buddhism II & Judaism I

Tuesday: **Barnhart, “Buddhism and the Morality of Abortion;” **Florida, “Buddhism and Abortion” (Journal 4)

Journal Collection Day: Journals 2-4

Thursday: Comparative Religious Ethics, CH 7, pp205-229; Blackwell, Ch. 17, 18, 20

DUE: HW #5

 

Week 6: Judaism II

Tuesday: **Rackman, “Jewish Medical Ethics and Law;” **Crane, “Because…: Justifying Law/Rationalizing Ethics” (Journal 5)

Thursday: **Jotkowitz, “The Role of Theology in Contemporary Jewish Ethical Decision-Making;” **Jotkowitz, “Surrogate Motherhood Revisited” (Journal 6)

 

Week 7: Christianity I

Tuesday: Comparative Religious Ethics, CH 8, pp234-25; Blackwell, Ch. 21, 22, 24

DUE: HW #6

Thursday: **Simpson, “Transcending Justice;” **Badham, “The Contemporary Relevance of the Just War Tradition in Christianity” (Journal 7)

 

Week 8: Christianity II & Islam I

Tuesday: **Watts, “Just War, Pacifism and the Ethics of Protection;” **Fisher, “Can a Medieval Just War Theory Address 21st Century Concerns?”; **Zahl, Bell, Stiltner, “Just War vs. Technology” (Journal 8)

Journal Collection Day: Journals 5- 8

Thursday: Comparative Religious Ethics, CH 9 pp262-286; Blackwell, Ch. 25, 26, 28

DUE: HW #7

Week 9: Islam II

Tuesday: **Kelsay, “Islam and the Study of Ethics”; **Akpinar, “The Ethics of Islam” (Journal 9)

Thursday: **Oh, “Approaching Islam”; **Hamid, “Sexual Ethics and Islam” (Journal 10)

 

Week 10: Considerations for Ethical Debates

Tuesday: Weston, Ch. 2, 3 (Journal 11)

Thursday: Weston, Ch. 4, 5 (Journal 12)

Journal Collection Day: Journals 9-12

 

Week 11: Case Studies I: Marriage & Medicine

Tuesday: Ethics & World Religions, CH 4 (student presentation)

DUE for non-presenters: HW #13

Thursday: Blackwell, Ch. 53; Ethics & World Religions, CH 15 (student presentation)

DUE for non-presenters: HW #14

 

Week 12: Case Studies II: Women

Tuesday: Comparative Religious Ethics, chapter 10; Blackwell, Ch. 54

DUE: HW #15

Thursday: Ethics & World Religions, CH 1(student presentation)

DUE for non-presenters: HW #16

 

Week 13: Case Studies III: Culture Clash

Tuesday: Ethics & World Religions, CH 7(student presentation)

DUE for non-presenters: HW #17

Thursday: THANKSGIVING–No Class

 

Week 14: Case Studies IV: Ecology

Tuesday: Blackwell, Ch 47; **Tucker & Grim, “Overview of World Religions & Ecology.” From this link, use the left-hand tab to click through to articles on: Hinduism, Buddhism, Indigenous Religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Read each one (skip the links I did not list here).

DUE: HW #18

Thursday: Ethics & World Religions, CH 11 (student presentation)

DUE for non-presenters: HW #19

 

Week 15: Conclusions

Tuesday: DESIGNATED MONDAY–No Class

Thursday: Discussion Day

DUE: EC paper; Journal Rewrites

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

Academic RX

Prescribing solutions to ease the stress of student life

Tracey's Homeschooling Weblog

My blog about the kids, homeschooling, daily life in general.

NLAPW

Linking Creative Women Since 1897

Positive Outlooks Blog

A sanctuary to promote positive thinking, offer inspiration and spiritual growth.

Gotta Find a Home

Conversations with Street People

TED Blog

The TED Blog shares interesting news about TED, TED Talks video, the TED Prize and more.

Chasing Woland

The Devastation of Mikhail Bulgakov & the Birth of the Master and Margarita

polyglossic

a many-tongued world

BrookeBrunson.com

Welcome to my world of adventure and creativity

Women LEAD

Empowering Exception Young Women and Girls to Lead the Change that will Transform Nepal

David Gaughran

Let's Get Digital

If Books Could Blog

The written word is the only saviour this world needs.

Blogging for a Good Book

A suggestion a day from the Williamsburg Regional Library

Julianne Q Johnson

Pictures and words, a writer's blog.

Girls' Globe

Voices of women and girls around the world!

The Life Poetic Blog

Thoughts on living the life poetic

The Jiggly Bits

...because life is funny.

A Little Blog of Books

Book reviews and other literary-related musings