1. Contact Information
  2. Prerequisites
  3. Course Description and Credit Hours
  4. Required Texts
  5. Course Objectives
  6. Student Learning Outcomes
  7. Other Course Materials
  8. Outline Of Topics
  9. Exams and Assignments
  10. Grading Policy
  11. Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework
  12. Attendance Policy
  13. Custom Sections
  14. Statements on Academic Misconduct
  15. Statement On Disability Accommodations
  16. Severe Weather Protocol
  17. Pregnant Student Accommodations
  18. Religious Observances
  19. UAct Statement

Honors Intro Relig Stdy

REL 105-001Spring 2017 | 3 Credit Hours

Recitation or Discussion

Suma Ikeuchi

Contact Information

UA Campus Directory:

Prerequisites

UA Course Catalog Prerequisites:

No prereqs found

As the Honors/Core Humanities introduction to the study of religion, REL 105 examines the material in greater detail than REL 100, and in a smaller class setting. A minimum 3.3 GPA is required to register.

Course Description

Course Description and Credit Hours

Honors version of REL 100.

In this introductory course, students will learn about different approaches and debates that shape the academic study of religion. The course surveys a broad range of theoretical and conceptual frameworks that have influenced the field, such as the definition of religion, theories and origins of religion, the comparison of religion, and religion’s psychological, social, and political effects. As the Honors/Core Humanities introduction to the study of religion, REL 105 examines the material in greater detail than REL 100, and in a smaller class setting. A minimum 3.3 GPA is required to register.

Required Texts

Required Texts from UA Supply Store:
  • LUHRMANN / WHEN GOD TALKS BACK (Required)
  • LUHRMANN (RENTAL) / (RENTAL) WHEN GOD TALKS BACK (RENTAL)
  • JOSEPHSON / INVENTION OF RELIGION IN JAPAN (Required)
  • JOSEPHSON (RENTAL) / (RENTAL) INVENTION OF RELIGION IN JAPAN (RENTAL)

Course Objectives

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

1.      explain key concepts, methods, and approaches in the academic study of religion

2.      support claims with textual evidences

3.      respond to inputs in constructive ways

4.      articulate the overarching and comparative themes of course content

5.      implement the above knowledge in writing assignments

Student Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes:

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

1.      explain key concepts, methods, and approaches in the academic study of religion

2.      support claims with textual evidences

3.      respond to inputs in constructive ways

4.      articulate the overarching and comparative themes of course content

5.      implement the above knowledge in writing assignments

Other Course Materials

Blackboard

Blackboard site will include areas for private correspondence with the teachers, an open discussion forum and areas where students will find useful files.  A copy of the Syllabus will also be archived here. Assigned Electronic Texts will also be found on Blackboard. Exam papers and project essays will be handed in Blackboard.  MS Word will be the default format for these posted documents. 

Outline of Topics

Schedule (BB = BlackBoard) 

1.      Introduction 

Jan 12 (Thu)

introduction 

2.      Beginnings 

Jan 16 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (1) Due Noon

Jan 17 (Tue)  

Rudolph Otto, “Religion is an Experience of Awe and Mystery” (BB)

Jan 19 (Thu)

            Edward Tylor, “Religion in Primitive Culture” (BB). 

3.      Enduring Themes and Approaches in the Study of Religion 

3a. Religion, Function, and Society 

Jan 23 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (2) Due Noon

Jan 24 (Tue)

            Durkheim, “The Elementary Forms of Religious Life” (BB).

Jan 26 (Thu)

            Karl Marx, “Religion is the Opium of the People” (BB)

Jan 30 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (3) Due Noon

Jan 31 (Tue)

Eric Wolf, “The Virgin of Guadalupe: A Mexican National Symbol” (BB).

Feb 2 (Thu)

Bellah, “Civil Religion in America” (BB).

Feb 7 (Tue)

            ✔First Test 

3b. Religion, Self, and Mind 

Feb 9 (Thu)

            Sigmund Freud, “Obsessive Acts and Religious Practices” (BB)

Feb 13 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (4) Due Noon

Feb 14 (Tue)

Dulaney and Diske, “Cultural Rituals and OCD: Is There a Common Psychological Mechanism?” (BB)

Feb 16 (Thu)

Levi-Strauss, “The Effectiveness of Symbols” (BB)

Feb 20 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (5) Due Noon

Feb 21 (Tue)

Boddy, Janice. “Spirits and Selves in Northern Sudan: The Cultural Therapeutics of Possession and Trance.” (BB)

Feb 23 (Thu)

            Luhrmann, Tanya. When God Talks Back (1)

Feb 27 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (6) Due Noon

Feb 28 (Tue)

Luhrmann, Tanya. When God Talks Back (2)

Mar 2 (Thu)

            Luhrmann, Tanya. When God Talks Back (3)

✔Practice Essay Assignment Due

Mar 6 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (7) Due Noon

Mar 7 (Tue)

            Luhrmann, Tanya. When God Talks Back (4)

Mar 9 (Thu)

            ✔Second Test 

Spring Break 

4.      Category of Religion and Insider/Outsider Problem 

Mar 20 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (8) Due Noon

Mar 21 (Tue)

McCutcheon, “Religion and the Insider/Outsider Problem” (BB)

Mar 23 (Thu)

Geertz, Clifford. “Religion as a Cultural System.” (BB).

✔Practice Essay Assignment Revise and Resubmit Due

Mar 27 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (9) Due Noon

Mar 28 (Tue)

            Asad, Talal. “The Construction of Religion as an Anthropological Category” (BB).

Mar 30 (Thu)

Mathew Engelke, “The Problem of Belief” (BB)

Apr 3 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (10) Due Noon

Apr 4 (Tue)

Donald Lopez, “Belief” (BB)

Apr 6 (Thu)

            Sharf, The Zen of Japanese Nationalism (BB)

            Movie: The Souls of Zen

Apr 10 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (11) Due Noon

Apr 11 (Tue)

            Josephson, Jason. The Invention of Religion in Japan (1).

Apr 13 (Thu)

            Josephson, Jason. The Invention of Religion in Japan (2).

Apr 17 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (12) Due Noon

Apr 18 (Tue)

            Josephson, Jason. The Invention of Religion in Japan (3).

Apr 20 (Thu)

            ✔Third Quiz

Apr 25 (Tue)

            Josephson, Jason. The Invention of Religion in Japan (4).

            Review

Apr 27 (Thu) Last Day to Meet in Class

            ✔Drafting Sample Essay Questions in Class

            Summing Up 

May 1 (Mon)

            ✔Take-Home Essay Questions Distributed on BB at 6am, due in 72 hours

E-mail Policy:

Please write concise emails and allow at least 48 hours for response (longer for times when I am traveling). For substantial questions, please talk to me during office hours rather than using e-mail, as it is mutually more beneficial.  

Syllabus Revision

This syllabus may be revised if necessary due to changes in scheduling and other factors. The most updated copy of this syllabus will always be available on Blackboard.

Exams and Assignments

Course Requirements and Assignments:

1.      Class Attendance and Participation (20 points):

Class attendance and participation are an important part of this class. Attendance is taken at regular intervals. You can miss up to 3 classes with no repercussions for participation grade (unless that makes you miss your own presentation, discussion moderation, or other responsibilities). If you need to miss more than 3 sessions for valid reasons (e.g. job interviews, health problem), please contact me prior to the day you will be missing the class and provide appropriate documentation. You may be assigned to do additional work in that case. More than 3 absences without a valid document will significantly impact your attendance/participation grade. If you miss more than 6 classes, then you will fail this course. Please make sure to be in class on time. Repetitive late attendance will count as absence. 

What is distinctive about this class is that it is not a course that provides “facts” to learn but which prompts you to reflect on the subjects we explore. You are expected to understand the facts and concepts, but also to develop a critical assessment of them. Therefore, close reading of the material with a critical mind and active class participation that reflects a) an in-depth understanding of the reading material, and b) reflective thinking on the subjects we discuss are required. Just attending will not lead to the full 10 points. The quality of your participation and response to other students’ contributions will be assessed.  

2.      Weekly responses posted to Blackboard Discussion Board (3 x 10 = 30 points):

Almost every week by Monday noon, you are required to submit a one-paragraph response of at least 150 words on one of the readings for the coming week to the Blackboard discussion board. In some instances this response may be to a required video that you will watch outside of class time or on an assigned task such as a mini-analysis of a news article. The response should consist of a statement and at least one question. There are 10 weekly responses you are required to post for this class, out of 12 possible dates of submission (In other words, you can choose to “take a break” from weekly response for whichever 2 weeks you desire). Each response will earn 3 point if it shows good understanding of the material and reflective thought. These responses will be graded simply as submitted/not submitted, but responses which do not exhibit the evidence of reading the material or your reflection will not earn any point. The instructor may address questions based on the response you have posted. You cannot make up missed responses.

·         Responses that do not exhibit a comprehension of the reading material and a reflection on that material will earn no credit. 

3.      Three Multiple-Format Tests (30 points each, 90 in total): There will be three tests, each of which will cover all the readings, class lectures, films, multi-media materials, and discussions up to that point. Most tests will have questions of multiple formats (e.g. multiple-choice, short analysis of a song, etc.). The instructor will provide students with more information on how to prepare for them during class. 

4.      Take-Home Essay Exam (60 points in total)

·         Practice Essay Assignment (10 points)

·         Revised and Resubmitted Practice Essay Assignment (Those who did not score 10 points in the practice essay can earn the deducted points by resubmitting.)

·         Making Sample Essay Question and Outline in Class (10 points). This is to help students prepare for the upcoming essay exam.

·         Final Take-Home Exam Essay (40 points). A list of essay questions will be available on BB at 6am on May 1 (Mon). You are asked to choose 1 question from each of the 2 “groups,” thus choosing 2 questions in total to answer. They are due within 72 hours, by 6am on May 3 (Wed).

Grading Policy

Total Points: 200 

Grading Policy:

A+

200 – 190

A

189 – 180

B+

179 – 170

B

169 – 160

C+

159 – 150

C

149 – 140

D+

139 – 130

D

129 – 120

D-

119 – 110

F

109 – 0

Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework

On Late and Missed Coursework:

I do note accept any late work or make-up assignments unless there is a documented emergency (injury, sickness, job interview, urgent health problem of close family member, etc.). Computer and network issues, traffic issues, lost items, etc. are not considered as emergencies, so please plan accordingly. I reserve the right to ask for a document or email from someone who can attest to your situation. Please see “Consultation” above – then we discuss appropriate accommodation for your situation.

Attendance Policy

Class Attendance and Participation (20 points):

Class attendance and participation are an important part of this class. Attendance is taken at regular intervals. You can miss up to 3 classes with no repercussions for participation grade (unless that makes you miss your own presentation, discussion moderation, or other responsibilities). If you need to miss more than 3 sessions for valid reasons (e.g. job interviews, health problem), please contact me prior to the day you will be missing the class and provide appropriate documentation. You may be assigned to do additional work in that case. More than 3 absences without a valid document will significantly impact your attendance/participation grade. If you miss more than 6 classes, then you will fail this course. Please make sure to be in class on time. Repetitive late attendance will count as absence.

Statement on Academic Misconduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the official Code of Academic Conduct provided in the Online Catalog.

Statement On Disability Accommodations

Contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) as detailed in the Online Catalog.

Severe Weather Protocol

Please see the latest Severe Weather Guidelines in the Online Catalog.

Pregnant Student Accommodations

Title IX protects against discrimination related to pregnancy or parental status. If you are pregnant and will need accommodations for this class, please review the University’s FAQs on the UAct website.

Religious Observances

Under the Guidelines for Religious Holiday Observances, students should notify the instructor in writing or via email during the first two weeks of the semester of their intention to be absent from class for religious observance. The instructor will work to provide reasonable opportunity to complete academic responsibilities as long as that does not interfere with the academic integrity of the course. See full guidelines at Religious Holiday Observances Guidelines.

UAct Statement

The UAct website provides an overview of The University's expectations regarding respect and civility.