Department of Religious Studies REL 2011: Introduction to Religion. Class Time: Saturday 9:30 am- 12:15 pm Semester: Spring 2019 Classroom: PC211

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1 Department of Religious Studies REL 2011: Introduction to Religion Instructor: Jose F. Deida Class Time: Saturday 9:30 am- 12:15 pm Semester: Spring 2019 Classroom: PC211 E Mail: Office Hours: TBA Course Description This course introduces students to the academic study of religion and explores several of the major Eastern and Western religious traditions, both ancient and contemporary, as a means to discover beliefs, patterns, themes, methods, practices, rituals, and symbols that shed light on the overall meaning of religion within the context of human existence. This interdisciplinary exploration delves into the various dimensions of the nature of the sacred and religion, while taking into account historical, psychological, sociological, anthropological, archeological, philosophical and theological perspectives. Course Objectives By the end of this course, the successful student will be able: To reflect critically upon the nature of the divine and the nature of religion. To give a basic overview of the origins, functions, common themes, types of definitions of religion. To understand how and individual s identity and outlook are shaped by religious influences. To grasp the historical, contextual and developmental connections, as well as the similarities and differences between the major Eastern and Western religions. To apply Critical Thinking to various topics in the field of religious studies. To perform field research to better understand a particular religious community. Challenge one s own misconceptions of what religion and its practices are and open his/her mind to new ideas. University Requirements for the Global Learning Objectives 1. Global Awareness: Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the interrelatedness of local, global, international, and intercultural issues, trends, and systems. Course Learning Outcome: Students will demonstrate knowledge of the interrelated dynamics (social-cultural, political, economic, etc.) that shape the actions of multiple figures in diverse cultural contexts. 2. Global Perspectives: Students will be able to develop a multi-perspective analysis of local, global, international, and intercultural problems.

2 Course Learning Outcome: Student will be able to analyze the multiple causal forces that shape the perspectives of historical individuals/persons -Economic, political, sociological, technological, cultural, etc. 3. Global Engagement: Students will be able to demonstrate a willingness to engage in local, global, international, and intercultural problem solving. Course Learning Outcome: Students will demonstrate a willingness to engage in negotiation regarding actions of global import within the context of the class simulation. Required Textbooks Anatomy of the Sacred: An Introduction to Religion 6 th ed., by James C. Livingston [Prentice Hall] ISBN-10: x Note: Extra handouts may be provided by the instructor and posted online. It is your responsibility to complete the readings. Assignments Five (5) ten question quizzes- lowest score to be dropped at end of the semester o On the reading material and class lectures including multiple choice and true or false questions Midterm and Final Exams o Midterm: will cover the first half of the semester and will include multiple choice and essay questions. o Final: will cover from second half of the semester and will include multiple choice and essay questions. A Word Essay. Experiencing religion around me. In this assignment you will have to keep a personal journal for 5 days in which you will record all that happens to you and around you. Key things you should focus on: look at what you do and what people around you do, pay attention to your surroundings in general, pay attention at how you label things/people, pay attention to the news, TV shows, video games, and movies you watch, etc. You will then have to produce an essay analyzing how religion pops up in your every-day life. Remember to utilize the approaches and information learned in the course. Your grade on this essay will consist of three parts: Content and Argument (40% of Grade), Organization, Structure, and Research (30% of Grade), and Style and Grammar (30% of grade).

3 Content and Argument refers to how well you logically build your case and follow the FIRES model (Fact, Incidents, Reasoning/ Rationale, Examples, and Statistics). FIRES makes for more interesting paper in which you back your points with specific examples and facts Organization, Structure and Research refers to solid introduction (with thesis statement), building of argument and points, and finishing with a sound conclusion. Style and Grammar refers to how well you write: grammar, sentence structure, word usage, including use of interesting and varied words and phrasing. Site Field Visit and Essay One 1000 ward sit field Essay (20%). Visit a worship service or ceremony (temple, mosque, church, cathedral or worship facility) outside of own religious background or current religious practice. [Note: Remember that if your religious background or current practice is Christian, you cannot do this field Visit Essay on any other Christian Churches (Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Pentecostal, etc.). If you do, the paper will not be accepted.] Write about your experience: what you observed, what you learned, how you felt (personal reflection), and anyone you interviewed. As an ethnographic exercise, detail is essential. At least one interview with priest, minister, rabbi, imam, lay leader or church official is required with the key questions and responses integrated into the body of the paper. Provide and appendix at the end of the paper listing the questions you asked. Describe the service, building structure, art and cultic objects, clothing, rituals, ancillary practices (such as serving special food), the feel of the place, demographics of the participants, and anything else relating to the religion and the service. Demonstrate that you have done some research ahead of time (citations and Works Cited pages) so that you have some basic knowledge of what you are going to experience. Identify you own religious background or practice in the introduction. Specify the religion and the branch or sect you attended for that sit visit. [Note: Respect the church, temple, or mosque. DO NOT TAKE NOTES DURING THE WORSHIP SERVICE, PRAYERS OR MEDITATIONS. Do your research ahead of time and in interviews. Sit quietly and participate appropriately during the worship service, following the other worshippers in what to do. DO NOT MAKE ANY CRITICAL OR DISPARAGING COMMENTS TO ANYONE WHILE ATTENDING SOMEONE ELSE S SACRED SPACE.] When you use outside sources, you must cite according to MLA format and add a Work Cited page. Grading Criteria Quizzes: 10% Midterm: 25% Final: 25% Written Assignment: 10%

4 Group Work: 10% Attendance and Participation 10% Field Visit: 10% Total 100% Letter Grade Range Letter Grade Range A 93 and Above C A C B D B F Below 60 B A s are awarded for exceptional work in class and assignments. B s are awarded for good to very good work. C s are awarded for average to above average work. D s are awarded for barely passing with below average work. Late Assignments, Missed tests. Points are going to be deducted for both. If you miss a quiz, you will lose the points it s worth. If you turn in a paper after its due date, 2 points are going to be deducted per late day, up to 16 points in total. If you know in advance you won t be able to take a quiz of if you have an issue with your assignments due to date, PLEASE TALK TO ME BEFORE IT HAPPENS and I might be able to give you a make-up date. However, NO MAKE-UP DATES FOR FINAL EXAM!! NO CELL PHONES OR COMPUTERS in class please. If you need to use your computer to take notes, please talk to me. Attendance and participation are extremely important. ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. If you know you will be absent for any reason, please inform me before the class you will miss. Tardiness will be penalized as well. I value your participation and your comments, so it is very important that you take an active role in class. If you have any problems, please consult with me in advance. MORE THAN 6 ABSENCES IN THE SEMESTER WILL RESULT IN A 0 GRADE FOR ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION.

5 Students with Disabilities: Students with disabilities, as defined by law, have the right to receive needed accommodations if their disabilities make it difficult to perform academic tasks in the usual way or in the allotted time frame. However, in order to receive accommodation, students with disabilities must register with Disability Resource Center. This office will keep the student s written request, notify a faculty member who has a student with a disability enrolled in his/her class, and indicate what kinds of arrangements must be made. Religious Holidays By University policy, students must notify the instructor at least two weeks in advance that he/she wishes to observe a religious holiday. The student will be excused from class without penalty, but will still be responsible for the material studied in the class. Week 1 1/12/2019 Welcome/ Introduction Anatomy of the Sacred, Chapter 1, What is Religion? Week 2 1/19/2019 Anatomy of the Sacred, Chapter 2, Ways of Studying Religion and start with Chapter 3 The Sacred and the Holy. Quiz # 1- Chapters 1 & 2 Week 3 1/26/2019 Anatomy of the Sacred, Chapter 4, Symbol, Myth, and Doctrine Week 4 2/2/2019 Anatomy of the Sacred, Chapter 4, Symbol, Myth, and Doctrine Quiz # 2- Chapters 3 & 4 Week 5 2/9/2019 Anatomy of the Sacred, Chapter 5, Sacred Ritual Week 6 2/16/2019 Anatomy of the Sacred, Chapter 6, Sacred Scriptures Quiz # 3- Chapters 5 & 6 Week 7 2/23/2019 Anatomy of the Sacred, Chapter 7, Society and the Sacred Midterm Exam

6 Week 8 3/2/2019 Anatomy of the Sacred, Chapter 8, Concept of the Divine Week 9 3/9/2019 Anatomy of the Sacred, Chapter 9, Origins of the Natural and Social Order -Quiz #4- Chapters 7 & 8 Week 10 3/16/2019 Anatomy of the Sacred, Chapter 10, Views of the Human Problem Week 11 3/23/2019 Anatomy of the Sacred, Chapter 11, Theodicy: Encountering Evil Week 12 3/30/2019 Anatomy of the Sacred, Chapter 12, Ethics: Foundations of Moral Action Quiz # 5 Chapters 10, 11, and 12 Last Day to submit any written assignments (besides extra credit reports) Week 13 4/6/2019 Anatomy of the Sacred, Chapter 13, Soteriology: Ways and Goals of Salvation and Liberation and Anatomy of the Sacred, Chapter 14: Religious Fundamentalism and Secularization Week 14 4/13/2019 Anatomy of the Sacred, Chapter 15: Contemporary Challenges to Traditional Religion Week 15 Please consult FIU s website for Final Exam Finals schedule **Important Note: This calendar can be amended determined by the demands of the course.

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