TEACHING

 

REL 1300 - WORLD RELIGIONS

May 9 - June 20, 2017

Download Course Syllabus for Summer Session A

This course teaches a comparative survey of the philosophical ideas, historical routes, and social implications of world religions, both East and West, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. The course also examines the institutional practices of these various religions. Students demonstrate college-level writing through multiple assignments.

REL 1300 - WORLD RELIGIONS

June 26 - August 8, 2017

This course teaches a comparative survey of the philosophical ideas, historical routes, and social implications of world religions, both East and West, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. The course also examines the institutional practices of these various religions. Students demonstrate college-level writing through multiple assignments.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ FOR REL 1300

 

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO LEARN ABOUT RELIGIONS?

No matter what your personal beliefs are, we live in a diverse and pluralistic world. Most hatred and acts of violence occur because we do not take the time to understand where other people are coming from. Religion for many people is very deep and personal - but can also easily be used and manipulated. Learning what the major religions actually teach will help you separate fact from fiction... even sometimes what your own faith tradition teaches that you were not aware of!

WHY IS THERE SO MUCH WRITING?

The writing really is not that difficult. Your required discussion questions and journal entries after each chapter doesn't take much more time than what you would be writing on Facebook, texting or snap-chatting to your friends every day. I just require you do it with proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. The larger papers are primarily expressing your experiences and thoughts, with the exception of section 3 of the term paper (that requires you actually cite some sources). Religious studies require time for reflection to be understood properly. Plus all of your smaller assignments will aid you in writing your larger assignments. I do not assign random busy-work, but it all has a specific purpose and learning objective.

WHY DO WE HAVE TO VISIT OTHER WORSHIP SITES?

Experience is the best teacher. There is only so much you can learn about faith in the classroom. Religion was meant to be experienced. I know many are nervous because this pushes you outside your "comfort zone." However, I guarantee, you will come back glad for the experience. Students who go on the visits always come back thanking me for making them do something they would not have done on their own and were surprised by how warm and accepting they all were. The expectation is not that you will "convert" to one of the religions - but that will you gain a better understanding of what they actually do in worship.

ARE YOU A HARD GRADER?

I believe A's should be earned, and that average work receives an average grade. I recognize not everyone is a great writer, but I do recognize the effort (or lackthereof) that you put into your assignments. You put minimal effort in - you will get a minimal grade. Generally, if you follow the instructions and do the assignment to the best of your ability - your grade will reflect that.

WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY ON TEACHING?

I believe my job is not only to teach you the subject matter, but to help prepare you for life in general. The real world rarely gives you extended deadlines or cares much about your problems. I do care, and am willing to work with students and their struggles - but the work still has to get done in a timely fashion in order for you to both learn the material and learn how to manage your time. Life only gets more hectic and demanding, and is always full of one crisis or another. I am not doing you any favors if I let you slide by.

SINCE YOU'RE A CHRISTIAN, ARE YOU BIASED WHEN YOU TEACH?

I would be lying if I didn't say my personal beliefs don't influence how I teach any given subject. I think it's impossible for your own views not to slip in there somehow. However, my job is to teach you what each of these religions are about, not what is "right" or "wrong" to believe. You will hopefully learn from me what is beautiful in all of them, as well as what down-sides they all contain. One of the major learning objectives is to think critically about religion. Whatever your current beliefs are, I simply want you to explore them more deeply and figure out for yourself why you believe what you do. IRSC is a secular school and I'm here to help you understand ALL the major world traditions from as much of their perspective as possible, and not to convert you to any particular viewpoint.

©2017 by rebeccajcraig. Proudly created with Wix.com

This site was designed with the
.com
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now