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RST-311-20, World Religions (SU15)

INSTRUCTOR: Wakoh Shannon Hickey

SCHEDULE/DAY/TIME: Monday through Friday, 6 to 8:45 p.m., June 15-26.

CONTENT:

This course introduces the major “Abrahamic” traditions — Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; and some of the major “Dharmic” traditions originating in India — Hinduism and Buddhism, and if time permits, Jainism and Sikhism. We will see how each has developed over time, how they are similar and different, how they are related. We will visit religious sites in the Baltimore area. Students will develop both religious literacy — intellectual understanding of the traditions we study — and interfaith literacy, the relational skills necessary to build peace among people who orient around religion differently.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a solid, basic understanding of key events, teachings, and practices of the religious traditions we study, by answering questions about them in clear, effective prose.
  • Demonstrate reflexivity, empathy, and appreciative understanding of unfamiliar religious traditions, by reflecting on a “Careful Conversation” with a person who is religiously different from themselves, and/or insights gained through participant-observation in field trips to religious sites.
  • Working individually or as part of a team, plan an interfaith event on campus, and present the plan orally and in writing.

METHODS:  

The course will draw upon a textbook and some primary texts, and will employ a variety of methods: lectures, discussion, video, audio, reading and writing assignments, site visits, and quizzes.

REQUIREMENTS AND ASSIGNMENTS: 

Assignments will include quizzes and reflection papers. Grading percentages to be determined.

REQUIRED TEXT(S) OR MATERIALS: 

Living Religions, A Brief Introduction, 3d ed., by Mary Pat Fisher, Prentice-Hall 2012

Additional materials will be available on the course site in Joule. Internet access is required for this course.

RECOMMENDED READINGS OR MATERIALS: 

Many supplemental materials will be available on Joule: please explore!

READINGS AND/OR ASSIGNMENTS TO BE DONE PRIOR TO THE FIRST CLASS:

Please read Chapter 1 and pages 303-315 before class begins. Time permitting, it would also be very helpful for you to read Chapter 8. We will cover the text in this order: Chapters 1, 8, 9, 10, 3, and 5. We may skim chapters 4 and 11 if time permits. The course will move very quickly, and there’s a lot to cover. The more you can read in advance, the easier it will be to use class time efficiently to review key points and address any questions you may have. We’ll definitely have fun!