RE109 World Religions

for S2M 2009

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RE 109 World Religions


S2M 2009 CH


Andrews, Claude ("Tweetybird")


Adjunct Senior Faculty


B. A., M. Div., M. Ed., Ph. D. work ("A. B. D.")
for other information, location, and particulars, see bio-sketch attached.

Office Location

Home office:  147 Hoop Pole Creek, Atlantic Beach, N. C.

Office Hours

time and location may be scheduled ahead of time

Daytime Phone

252-407-1485 ("blind" pager--may leave very brief message or dial in number with area code.)

Other Phone

Since Tweetybird is subject to be anywhere in the state, the pager is the best way for contact.  If you do not wish him to call you at "all hours," let him know of your own time frame.


--please e-mail both addresses when making contact

Semester Dates

Spring II March 16-May 6, 2009

Class Days


Class Time



none required, although good writing skills are important

Credit Hours



Matthews, Warren.  WORLD RELIGIONS. Sixth Edition.  US:Thomson/Wadsworth--required
Suggested supplimental text--NOT required but helpful and useful Smith, H. (2007).  THE ILLUSTRATED WORLD'S RELIGIONS: A GUIDE TO OUR WISDOM TRADITIONS. San Francisco:  HarperSanFrancisco

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Additional resources and readings will be cited as we proceed through the class. The internet pages below list the APA style references that may be used for work that is to be presented in this class:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:

An introduction to the religion of humankind from the earliest records of spiritual life to the great religions of today.  The course recognizes the possibilities of dialogue among the living traditions around the world and the resources within the local community.  3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

The educational philosophy Tweetybird uses in this course is one of interactiveness based on weekly journaling,  stimulus materials that he and the students will be presenting, along with readings, story-telling, student papers/presentations, videos, possible guest speakers and writings.  Our learning experience is not only individual, but also group oriented.  Everyone contributes and has the opportunity to learn from each other.  The student grades are dependent upon mastery of the material AND making use of it for life-long learning and living.  The student will not be "graded" upon his/her opinion, if well developed, but on how well the student uses the learning experience.  
There is a LOT of reading for this class--so please keep up the reading between classes.  Remember the "mini-semester" philosophy--each class is the equivalency of a regular one-hour class three times per week for one full semester.  Please note that not all material may be directly covered in formal class presentations, but the student is responsible for the basic content of the readings.  
Another further note:  given Tweetybird's background in private practice as well as his consultation and direct service work with public safety and consulting with many other organizations, he has many varied experiences and "war stories" that illustrate many of the issues that are germaine to the class.  Given the issues of professional confidentiality as well as HIPAA laws, the illustrations he uses have been heavily disguised to protect anonymity and confidentiality.  It may have the feel of "reality" because the situations are based on "real life."

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Have a beginning understanding of the theories of religions and human kind
  2. Develop an understanding how theories are applied from the "primitive" religions to the religions of today.
  3. Learn to examine concepts, think critically, and review research in regards to how applied to religions.
  4. Have a beginning understanding of religions today and how that may shape people
  5. Be able to compare and contrast his/her belief system/value system with another system.
  6. To be introduced to some of the basic scripture readings of the major religions in the world and how they relate to that belief system.
  7. To be able to articulate some of the basic tenets of the religions of the world and the commonality they may share.
Class Assessment:

Class assessment is dependent upon the following:   
1.  Weekly journaling starting the second week of semester, active class participation, and one presentation to the class.
2.  Mid-term exam   
3.  Final exam   
4.  Paper of Comparison and Contrast of religion different from his/her heritage/value system consisting of 7 pages plus abstract page, title page and a reference page with a minimum of 7 references following APA style.


Each of the above four items will be worth 25%:   

1.  Since much of the material will be presented in seminar format, it is important that all students participate in the class--this will be noted.  Starting the second week of class each student is to e-mail to the instructor his/her objective-the first  paragraph and subjective reflections--the second paragraph on what was experienced the week before.  This will consist of a minimal of 1/2 to 1 page of material.  Please note:  any journals submitted after the sixth week will only count for 1/2 value.  The student is to also share his "Compare/Contrast" paper with the class using any media he/she wishes.  The class will evaluate this particular item following a checklist used for evaluation.  
                          These two items make up 25% of the final grade.
2.  Mid term exam (see schedule) will cover content material covered to that point.  There may be some essay questions to be covered as well.  
                          This exam counts for 25% of the final grade.   
3.  Final exam will cover content material primarily on the last section of the class with some questions from the beginning.  
                          This final counts for 25% of the final grade.   
4.  The final paper (see schedule) as described above will count for 25% of the final grade.  The paper will be graded based on form, content, and style--equally distributed.  
                          The final paper will count for 25% of the final grade.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

If material is submitted late, one letter-grade is counted off of the original grade for each class late.  If an exam is missed, it must be made up within two classes after missing.  Plan ahead and let Tweetybird know, if for some reason you will be absent--and he is willing to work with the student.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

We are talking here about not only "classroom rules of conduct," but also of courtesy.   

1.  What goes on in the classroom remains in the classroom.  Sometimes in our enthusiasm some people make comments that they really did not mean to say and would not wish them to be revealed beyond the doors of the classroom.  Thus, the first rule is that we observe other people's classroom confidentiality.  If a student says something about him/herself and wishes to repeat it out side of the classroom, that is his/her prerogative.   
2.  Personal perspectives will be valued.  No personal or character attacks are allowed.  Any degrading or discrimnatory remarks or behaviors to or about the person are not acceptable nor are they conducive to learning.  If the issue at hand may be appropriately challenged based upon educational constructs, then that is allowed.   
3.  All discussions will reflect an exchange of information, experiences, ideas, and opinions focused on the subject(s) at hand.
4.  Because of some potential sensitive subject matter, courtesy needs to maintained in the classroom at all times.  From time to time there may be words or expressions used that may appear "offensive" to some, but yet often used by others witout intending to "offend."  Generally, while in class, we will use more "neutral" and academically correct terms.   
5.  Remember what we learned in kindergarten:  talking one at the time, no hitting, no wandering around from our seats, and no private conversations while the class is in session (...and of course, no running around with scissors!).   
6.  Active cell phones (--NO use of "Bluetooth"-over-the-ear devices in class), PDAs, pagers, Ipods, and/or laptop computers are not permitted during any scheduled class period unless directly used in a presentation.  This means no use of any forms of electronic communications or devices during class--whether they are verbal, pictorial, or text messaging.  Such devices are disruptive of the class.  Use break times to conduct personal communications.  If, for some reason, you are on work-related call, please put your communication device on vibrate or silent messsaging.  Remember, you signed up for this class and at the time of signing up for the schedule knew the time frame.  Thus you have encumbered this time to attend class as stated.  If there is a problem, the instructor must know ahead of time unless it is a documented emergency.     
7.  Communication with instructor between sessions of class:  From time to time, it may be necessary to communicate with Tweetybird between classes.  The best way is by e-mail and those addresses are posted as above.  From time to time, it may be necessary for him to communicate with the class as a whole or individually.  He will be using the Park University e-mail system for that process as well as the e-college on-line program as found in  You may follow your academic progress by going to the page for the course to see how you are doing.  The dropbox for the course may be used for receiving documents pertaining to this class--feel free to use the dropbox AND also e-mail to Tweetybird's two e-mail addresses your journals, the paper, and any other communications (all attachments will need to be in .doc form or any other recognized Micro Soft format.  The feature is becoming a requirement for just about all classes here at Park University.  Each student of Park University, as an added benefit of being a student, has an e-mail address which can be reached from any computer with internet access throughout the world.  If you have not activated your e-mail account, you can very easily do so by using your student id number and password.  If you do not kow that information, you can contact the Park University administrative office at 252-447-0461 and they will be pleased to help you.  Since Tweetybird is on-call, he does not use a traditional land-line phone, but rather the cell phone.  His pager (number already listed above) is used for all incoming messages, phone numbers and calls.  He will return the calls or messages as soon as practical for all incoming calls (see "caveat" above in terms of late calls).     

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

This is the proposed schedule, although there may need to be some adjustment as we go forward:
Monday, March 16  Start Spring II
Monday, March 16  Orientation, syllabus review, formulating questions, ground-rules                   
                "A Thousand mile journey starts with one step."  --G. Funikoshi
Wed.,   March 18  "My corn is arising-my corn is continually arising.  In the middle of the wide field my corn is arising.                   White Corn Boy he is arising."  --Navaho Corn growning chant                   
                  Primal religions, Warren, Chptrs 1, 2
Monday, March 23  Last day of drop/add
Monday, March 23  Special class presentation of WICCA, The Revs. Doug and Anna Helvie, priest and priestess of the
                  New Bern Congregation will be with us.  Also, read ahead in Warren, Chptr 3 
                  ****NOTE:  Journals due by Midnight tonight for five consectutive weeks and so documented through
                  the e-mail system and sent to both e-mail addresses as listed previously.****
Wed.,  March 25  "In the beginning this was Self alone, in the shape of a person." --Upanishads   
                  continue readings in Chptr 3
Monday, March 30  "This is that Aryan eightfold path, to wit: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right doing, right                    livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right rapture."  --Arayan Eightfold Path,                   
                   Buddhism, Chptr 4
Wed.,   April 1  "All men tremble at punishment, all men love life; remember that thou art like unto them, and do not kill, nor
                   cause slaughter."  --Dhammapada                       
                   continue readings in Chptr 4, start chptr 5
Monday, April  6  "Do not try to cultivate fields too large; --the weeds will only grow luxuriantly"  --Shih King 
                   Chptr 5 and 6                   
Wed.,   April  8  "The Tao that can be expressed is not the eternal Tao."  --Tao-Te King   
                   continue on catchup if needed                     
                   ***NOTE MID-TERM EXAM**** 
Monday, April 13  "We worship the souls of the holy men and women, born at any time, whose consciences struggle, or will
                   struggle, or have struggled, for the good."  --Parsi  Zoroastrianism,                           
                   Chptr 7
Wed.,   April 15  "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.  And God saw the light that it was good. 
                  continue readings chptr 7, 8  Judaism (early-Torah)    
Sunday, April 19  Last day of withdrawal from classes (in person at office, last day is Friday, April 17)
Monday, April 20 "Praise the name of thy Lord The Most High, Who hath created and balanced all things."  --Koran                   Skip to chptr 10 (time-line flow)
Wed.    April 22  "The East and the West is God's:  therefore, whichever way ye turn, there is the face of God: Truly God is
                  immense, knowing (omnipresent, omniscient).   --Koran                   
                  ****START PRESENTATIONS****                           
                  continue readings in Chptr 10
Monday, April 27  We hope to have a special speaker this date who has worked with Mother Teresa in her ministry in
                   India before she died--her focus will be on the theme of "committment." 
                   "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God."    --New Testament, later Judaism      
                   Judaism,  Christianity, Chptr. 9                   
Wed.,   April 29  "I am the Alpha and the Omega."  --New Testament                   
                  continue on 9, recent religious formulations                   
                  ****NOTE "Compare/Contrast" hard-copy papers DUE by Midnight as electronic attachment****    
Monday,  May   4  More "recent" religions 
                  ****NOTE FINAL EXAM****
Wed,     May   6  Continuations on recent religions                   
                  ****REST OF PRESENTATIONS****                    
                  ****EVALUATION****   Class ending...
Thanks for being in this class.  Have a good break!  (If all work is completed, and if you will wait a few minutes, I may be able to give you your final grade.                              ---Tweetybird

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
Thus, academic honesty and appropriate use of other people's ideas are expected of students at all times.  Remember, your word is your bond as so signed in the student educational contract (see attached).

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

Review of Syllabus and Educational contract

CLA Brief Bio-sketch

Who Are You Activity


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Last Updated:3/11/2009 1:07:29 PM