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. Notification of Changes
  14. Custom Sections
  15. Statements on Academic Misconduct
  16. Statement On Disability Accommodations
  17. Severe Weather Protocol
  18. Pregnant Student Accommodations
  19. Religious Observances
  20. UAct Statement

Honors Intro Relig Stdy

REL 105-002Fall 2017 | 3 Credit Hours

Recitation or Discussion

Suma Ikeuchi

Contact Information

UA Campus Directory:

Prerequisites

UA Course Catalog Prerequisites:

No prereqs found

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)

Course Objectives

1.      To view things from multiple viewpoints.

2.      To know the social and political contexts that shape the academic study of religion.

3.      To make the strange familiar and the familiar strange.

Student 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 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

 August 24 (Thu)       

introduction

2.      Beginnings

August 28 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (1) Due 4pm

August 29 (Tue)        

Rudolph Otto (1869-1937), “Religion is an Experience of Awe and Mystery” (BB)

August 31 (Thu)

            Karl Marx (1818-1883), “Religion is the Opium of the People” (BB)

Sep 4 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (2) Due 4pm

Sep 5 (Tue)

            Edward Tylor (1882-1917), “Religion in Primitive Culture” (BB).              

Sep 7 (Thu)

            W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963), “The Souls of Black Folk” (BB)

 3.      Enduring Themes and Approaches in the Study of Religion

3a. Religion, Function, and Society

Sep 11 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (3) Due 4pm

Sep 12 (Tue)

Emile Durkheim (1858-1917), “The Elementary Forms of Religious Life” (BB).

Sep 14 (Thu)

Eric Wolf (1923-1999), “The Virgin of Guadalupe: A Mexican National Symbol” (BB).

Sep 18 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (4) Due 4pm

Sep 19 (Tue)

Robert Bellah (1927-2013), “Civil Religion in America” (BB).

Sep 21 (Thu)

            ✔First Test

3b. Religion, Self, and Mind

 Sep 25 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (5) Due 4pm

Sep 26 (Tue)

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), “Obsessive Acts and Religious Practices” (BB)

Sep 28 (Thu)

Claude Levi-Strauss (1908-2009), “The Sorcerer and His Magic” (BB)

Oct 2 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (6) Due 4pm

Oct 3 (Tue)

Mary Douglas (1921-2007), “Purity and Danger” (BB)

Oct 5 (Thu)

            Luhrmann, Tanya (1959-present). When God Talks Back (1) Preface, Ch 1 & 2

Oct 9 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (7) Due 4pm

Oct 10 (Tue)

Luhrmann, Tanya. When God Talks Back (2) Ch 3 & 4

Oct 12 (Thu)

            Luhrmann, Tanya. When God Talks Back (3) Ch 5 & 6

✔✔Practice Essay Assignment Due

Oct 16 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (8) Due 4pm

Oct 17 (Tue)

            Luhrmann, Tanya. When God Talks Back (4) Ch 7 & 8

Oct 19 (Thu)

            Luhrmann, Tanya. When God Talks Back (5) Ch 9 & 10

Oct 24 (Tue)

✔Second Test

 Mid-Semester Study Break

4.      Insider/Outsider Problem in Religion: Race, Gender, Colonialism, etc.

Oct 30 (Mon)

✔Weekly Response (9) Due 4pm

Oct 31 (Tue)

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

✔✔Practice Essay Assignment Revise and Resubmit Due

Nov 2 (Thu)

David L. McMahan. The Making of Buddhist Modernism (BB)

Nov 6 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (10) Due 4pm

Nov 7 (Tue)

Podcast: Invisibilia: A Man Finds An Explosive Emotion Locked In A Word

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/06/01/529876861/an-anthropologist-discovers-the-terrible-emotion-locked-in-a-word

Nov 9 (Thu)

Miner, “Body Ritual among the Nacirema”

Nov 13 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (11) Due 4pm

Nov 14 (Tue)

Lila Abu-Lughod. “Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving?” (BB)

Nov 16 (Thu)

            Chinua Achebe. Things Fall Apart. Or Edward Said, Orientalism. (BB)

Nov 20 (Mon)

            ✔Weekly Response (12) Due 4pm

Nov 21 (Tue)

Susan Harding. Representing Fundamentalism: The Problem of the Repugnant Cultural Other. (BB)

Thanksgiving

Nov 28 (Tue)

            REVIEW

Nov 30 (Thu) AAA

            ✔Third Test

Dec 5 (Tue)

            Online Movie, TBA

✔Weekly Response (13) about the movie, Due 4pm

Dec 7 (Thu) Last Day to Meet in Class

            ✔Drafting Sample Essay Questions in Class

            Summing Up

Dec 11 (Mon)

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

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 20 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 4pm, 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 13 possible dates of submission (In other words, you can choose to “take a break” from weekly response for whichever 3 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 answers, 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 (2-page double-spaced, 15 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 (5 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). For the question you chose, please write an essay no longer than 2 pages double-spaced. They are due within 72 hours, by 6am on May 4 (Thu).

Grading Policy

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

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 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.

Notification of Changes

The instructor will make every effort to follow the guidelines of this syllabus as listed; however, the instructor reserves the right to amend this document as the need arises. In such instances, the instructor will notify students in class and/or via email and will endeavor to provide reasonable time for students to adjust to any changes.

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.