RE109 World Religions

for S2B 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


RE 109 World Religions


S2B 2012 BL


Epperson, David G.


Adjunct Faculty


B.S. Secondary Education, M.DIV (Master of Divinity), M.A. Humanities

Office Location

BLDG # 616, Room # 10

Office Hours

1:30pm - 2:00pm, Mondays & Wednesdays, (before class)

Daytime Phone

(915) 822-8573


Semester Dates

March 19, 2012 - May 13, 2012

Class Days


Class Time

2:00 - 4:30 PM

Credit Hours


Matthews, Warren, World Religions. Sixth Edition, 2010, Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 10 Davis Drive, Belmont, CA 94002-3098. ISBN - 13: 978-0-495-60385-6

Additional Resources:

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Course Description:
RE 109(MGE) World Religions: 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 with in the local community. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
My educational philosophy is one of interactiveness based on lecture, reading, dialogues, examinations, internet, videos, web sites, and writings. I will engage each learner in what is referred to as collective learning to encourage the lively exploration of ideas, issues and contradictions.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a basic level of competence in identifying the common features of the world's religions.
  2. Compare and contrast among the major religions of the world.
  3. Analyze religious worldviews and how that worldview impacts on the way an individual interprets reality.
  4. Develop an appreciation of religious diversity by analyzing and understanding a person's explanation for his/her religious beliefs.
Class Assessment:
Class Participation & Discussion............................10%

Daily Written Assignments (1-10)...........................10%

Term Paper..............................................................15%

Term Paper Presentation...........................................5%

Mid-Term (Based on textbook and lecture).........30%

Final Exam (Based on textbook and lecture)........30%


A - 100% - 90% 100-90 points

B - 89% - 80% 89-80 points

C - 79% - 70% 79-70 points

D - 69% - 60% 69-60 points

F - <59% <59 points

Late Submission of Course Materials:
If an assignment is submitted late, one letter grade is deducted from the original grade. If it is over one week late, it will not be accepted. If an exam is missed, it must be made up during the next scheduled class. Plan ahead and let me know if for some reason you will be absent. I am willing to work with students. Please note that all books must be purchased by the third week of class.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
1. Personal perspectives will be valued. No personal or character attacks are allowed; however, it is acceptable to appropriately challenge a position of the author, the teacher, or another student based on educational constructs.

2. All discussions will reflect an exchange of information, experiences, ideas, and opinions focused on the subject at hand.

3. Courtesy in the classroom should be maintained at all times. No profanity in the classroom, and students will not have private conversations.

4. Active cell phones, PDAs, pagers, Ipods, and laptop computers are not permitted during class instruction unless directly used in a presentation. In other words, do not use any form of electronic communication or device during class. Cell phones may be placed on vibrate in case there is an emergency.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Monday, March 19, 2012, SPRING 2 BEGINS
Orientation, Syllabus review, ground rules, questions and answers. Also, we'll review and discuss the Introduction: "Common Features of Most Religions," and "What is a Worldview?"
No Written Assignment.

Wednesday, March 21, 2011, Chapter One: "Religions of the Americas"
Discussion on the common features of North American Religions.
Written Assignment due on March 26: Paragraph One: How were the Aztecs involved in maintaining the universe? Paragraph Two: Which group and its religion (In Chapter One) do you find most appealing and why? If none of them appeal to you, explain why.

Monday, March 26, 2012, Chapter Two: "Religions of Africa"
Discussion on the historical development and common features of the Religions of Africa.
Written Assignment due on March 28: Paragraph One: Which is more important in the division of labor among gods and goddesses, gender or morality? Why? Paragraph Two: What elements of African Religions do you find either interesting, comforting, or disturbing, etc.? Explain why?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012, Chapter Three: "Religions Arising in India"
Discussion on the origins of Hinduism in both India and in the United States.

Written Assignment due on April 2: Paragraph One: What conflicts do devout Hindus face in their careers in business, technology, and science in both India and in the United States? Paragraph Two: What elements of Hinduism do you find interesting, comforting, or disturbing, etc.? Explain why?

Monday, April 2, 2012, Chapter Four: "Buddhism"
Discussion of Buddhism before and after the Buddha, and a look at Buddhism in Asia and in the United States.

Written Assignment due on April 4: Paragraph One: How might the Buddha's teachings and practices affect his followers in a capitalist society? Paragraph Two: What elements of Buddhism do you find interesting, comforting, or disturbing, etc.? Explain why?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012, Chapter Six: "Religions of China and Japan"
Discussion on Daoism, Confucianism, and Shinto.

Written Assignment due on April 9: Paragraph One: Describe the teachings in China that competed with those of Confucius? Paragraph Two: What elements of either Daoism, Confucianism, or Shinto do you find interesting, comforting, or disturbing, etc.? Explain why?

Pre-Test for Mid-Term

Monday, April 9, 2012, Chapter Eight: "Religions of the Family of Abraham"

Mid-Term Exam

Discussion on the historical developments in Judaism to include: Postexillic Judaism, Rabbinic Judaism, Medieval Judaism, and Judaism in the Modern Age.
Written Assignment due on April 11: Paragraph One: Why do the Jews honor King David and King Solomon? Paragraph Two: What elements of Judaism do you find interesting, comforting, or disturbing, etc.? Explain why?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012, Chapter Eight: "Religions of the Family of Abraham, continued....."
Discussion on the Holocaust and the Roots of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.
Written Assignment due on April 16: Paragraph One: Since Jews are always conscious of the Holocaust, why are memorials and museums of the Holocaust so essential for them? Paragraph Two: Give your impressions. How could something like the Holocaust occur? Could something like that happen again in the present time?

Monday, April 16, 2012, Chapter Nine: "Christianity"
Discussion on the teachings of Jesus, Saul of Tarsus, Roman persecution, Monasticism, and the Crusades.

Written Assignment due on April 18: Paragraph One: How did the Roman Government influence early Christianity? What did you find interesting, comforting, or disturbing, etc.? Explain why?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012, Chapter Nine: "Christianity continued........."
Discussion on the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Reformation, and other forms of Protestant Christianity.

Written Assignment due on April 23: Paragraph One: What splits and reforms occurred in Christian Churches in the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries? Paragraph Two: What is your opinion of Luther and Henry VIII, and should they have broken away from the Catholic Church? Explain & Clarify?

Monday, April 23, 2012, Chapter Ten: "Islam"
Discussion on the history of Islam, beliefs, practices, and the Muslim response to modernism.

Written Assignment due on April 25: Paragraph One: How do Muslims, Jews, and Christians differ on the person and role of Jesus? Paragraph Two: Do you believe that Islam is a religion of peace or violence? Explain and provide evidence.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012, Chapter Eleven: "New Forms of Older Religions"
Discussion on the newer forms of older religions.

Written Assignment due on April 30: Paragraph One: What characteristics, if any, do leaders of new religions share with each other? Paragraph Two: Do newer religions offer any features that you find attractive? If so, name them and explain why they seem desirable. If not, explain why.

Monday, April 30, 2012, Chapter Twelve: "Globalization and World Religions"
Discussion on Globalization and its impact on the religions of the world.

Written Assignment due on May 2: Paragraph One: Are religions essentially compatible, incompatible, or hostile to globalization? Explain? Paragraph Two: Is globalization essentially good or bad? Why?

Pre-Test for Final Exam

Wednesday, May 2, 2012, Student Presentations of Term Paper

Monday, May 7, 2012, Student Presentations of Term Papers

Wednesday, May 9, 2012, Final Exam

Sunday, May 13, 2012, End of the Semester

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

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: .

Additional Information:
Term papers will be 8-10 pages in length. Students will give the high points of the chapter, but at least one page will be the student's view/opinion of the chapter. What did you find positive, negative, or simply fascinating?

No more than two students may write on any given chapter. Therefore, the presentations will serve as an additional educational benefit for the class.

Presentations of Term papers: Presentations are 5-7 minutes in length, followed by questions from your fellow students. Presentations will be thorough and clear.

Written Assignments: There are 12 written assignments, but students are only required to submit 10 written assignments. Extra credit (two points) is awarded to those who complete all 12.

Participation points are awarded if a student is present for class discussions. An excused absence will not earn participation points.


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Last Updated:1/31/2012 6:52:10 PM