BLUE RIDGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Religions of the World I
Dr. E. Perry Neel, Instructor
Office Hours: Tuesday before and after class
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. Video series: "The Wisdom of Faith," Huston Smith with Bill Moyers; "Religions of the World," Ben Kingsley.
Attendance is expected. I do not distinguish excused and unexcused absences. A fifty point penalty for absences will incur on your second absence. Three 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. Remember that the summer session is compressed time. Each week, and therefore each class, is more than what would be covered in a regular semester.
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. Religions Essays. The student will write an essay on each of the five traditions studied in the course. All of the source materials for the course must be used in the form of quotations and reference citations. Each essay will address the following: A. The conception of the Divine. How is divinity understood and how is this understanding ascertained in the tradition. B. The conception of the world. C. The conception of human nature. No page limit for this assignment. Be thorough and substantiate your points. Each paper due the week following the religion. 12 font, DS, parenthetical references. 500 points.
2. 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; Huston Smith walking the tightrope between faith and the being a student of religion. A microcosm of religion: The Gospel According to Prum (on my website)
Week 2 Judaism (For each religion, please read the assigned text, and read the assigned scripture readings in preparation for class. For Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, reading the corresponding sections in Wright. The videos will be watched in class.)
Week 3 Judaism
Week 4 Christianity
Week 5 Christianity
Week 6 Islam
Week 7 Islam
Week 8 Hinduism
Week 9 Buddhism
Week 10 Conclusion. Final Essay
"'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.