BLUE RIDGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Religions of the World I
Dr. E. Perry Neel, Instructor
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 9:39-10:30 in the library.
Course Description: Studies religions of the world with attention to origins, history, and doctrine.
Objectives: The student will be able to-
a. describe in general the history of the major religious traditions.
b. explain the significant doctrines, practices, and branches of the major traditions.
c. identify and describe major figures and movements in the world’s religions.
d. make comparisons among the religions regarding significant religious concepts and issues.
Hinduism, Kim Knott,Paperback
15 June 2000
160 Pages | 17 halftones, 2 maps
Buddhism, Damien Keown, Paperback
06 April 2013
184 Pages | 16 black and white halftones and 3 maps
Judaism, Norman Solomon, Paperback
01 September 2014
168 Pages | Approx 13 black and white illustrations
Christianity, Linda Woodhead, Paperback
01 November 2014
176 Pages | Approx 19 black and white illustrations
Islam, Malise Ruthven, Paperback
21 March 2012
200 Pages | 13 b/w illus.
THE EVOLUTION OF GOD, Robert Wright.
BBC website on World Religions. Handouts of world scriptures.
Attendance is expected. I do not distinguish excused and unexcused absences. A ten point penalty for absences will incur on your fifth and subsequent absences. Eight absences is automatic failure of the class. No late tests or assignments accepted. If you miss a test, it will be your dropped score. No exceptions.
THE CLASSROOM IS A CELL-FREE ZONE. Absolutely no cellphones. Texting in class will require you to leave your phone on the professor’s desk the remainder of class and all subsequent classes.. And No electronic devices of any type are allowed without approval of the instructor. They should be put away and not on the desk. No food or gum. Drinks are allowed. (“I don’t have pet peeves. I have deep psychological hatreds.” George Carlin)
1. a. Field Trip. You may visit a worship service of a religious tradition that is new and different to the student. The student is expected to make his/her own arrangements for this visit, but may discuss the selection with the professor prior to attending. A brief three page description and analysis of the visit is to be turned in the day of the class discussion meeting.
or: b. Interview. You may interview a member of a major religious tradition that is new and different to the student. It is the student’s responsibility to find the subject for this interview. A brief three page paper is due the day of class discussion
Either paper requires academic research prior to your field trip or interview. At least three academically credible sources must be used (in addition to assigned material for the class). This is to prepare you for your field trip observations, or to provide you topics for questions in your interview. These papers are academic essays and require appropriate quotations, reference citations and bibliography. 100 points.
2. Five objective multiple choice quizzes. Lowest score will be dropped. 400 points.
3. Final Exam: Essay. Assignment will be explained before the end of the semester. 100 points.
Total 600 points. 90% A, 80% B, 70% C, 65% D
Arrangements can be made to accommodate students for religious holidays or representing the college in an official capacity. Please regularly check your VCCS email account for communications from the college and the professor.
Week 1 The study of religion; The Gospel According to Prum (on my website)
Week 2 Judaism (For each religion, please read the assigned text, the BBC section on that religion and the assigned scripture readings in preparation for class. For Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, reading the corresponding sections in Wright.)
Week 3 Judaism
Week 4 Judaism. Thursday- Test
Week 5 Christianity
Week 6 Christianity
Week 7 Christianity. Thursday- Test
Week 8 Islam
Week 9 Islam
Week 10 Islam. Thursday- Test
Week 11 Hinduism
Week 12 Hinduism. Thursday- Test
Week 13 Buddhism.
Week 14 Buddhism. Thursday- Test
Week 15 Field Trip/Interview Paper discussion. Papers Due. Thursday- Final Exam Assignment
Week 16 Final Exam
"'So Merlyn sent you to me' said the badger, 'To finish your education. Well, I can only teach you two things. To dig, and love your home. These are the true end of philosophy.'" The Badger from "The Sword in the Stone," THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING, T.H. White.