COURSE: HUMN 2053—THE RELIGIONS OF MANKIND
PROFESSOR: Dr. Doug Baker
Office Hours: To be Announced
Office Phone: 945-3235
E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Home Page: www.osuokc.edu/bdougla
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Major world religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, with a view to understanding the general nature of religion and its various dimensions.
TEXT: Fisher, Mary Pat. Living Religions. Boston, MA: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2010. ISBN: 0-558-91980-4.
GENERAL EDUCATION GOALS:
Upon completion of General Education Curriculum, students should be proficient in demonstrating the following competencies:
Goal #1: Critical Thinking
Critical thinking skills include, but are not limited to, the ability to comprehend complex ideas, data, and concepts; to make inferences based on careful observation; to make judgments based on specific and appropriate criteria; to solve problems using specific processes and techniques; to recognize relationships among the arts, culture, and society; to develop new ideas by synthesizing related and/or fragmented information; to apply knowledge and understanding to different contexts, situations, and/or specific endeavors; and to recognize the need to acquire new information.
*All courses will contain assignments that demonstrate critical thinking, but not all courses will include all listed critical thinking elements.
Goal #2: Effective Communications
Effective communication is the ability to develop organized, coherent, unified written or oral presentations for various audiences and situations.
Goal #3: Computer Proficiency
Computer proficiency includes a basic knowledge of operating systems, word processing, and Internet research capabilities.
Goal #4: Civic Responsibility
Preparation for civic responsibility in the democratic society of the United States includes acquiring knowledge of the social, political, economic, and historical structures of the nation in order to function effectively as citizens in a country that is increasingly diverse and multicultural in its population and more global in its view and functions.
Goal #5: Global Awareness
Global awareness includes knowledge of the geography, history, cultures, values, ecologies, languages, and present-day issues of different peoples and countries, as well as an understanding of the global economic, political, and technological forces which define the interconnectedness and shape the lives of the world’s citizens.
The student who successfully completes the course should be able to:
1. Recall and relate the major historical events and persons that played key roles in the development of each of the world religions studied.
2. Identify and briefly explain the major teachings and practices of each of the world religions studied.
3. Compare and contrast the religious traditions of the world religions studied.
1. Prerequisites: None
2. Next Course in Sequence: None
3. Instruction Methods: This is primarily a lecture class, although class discussions are also encouraged.
4. Special Information: Class participation is encouraged, but talking among yourselves during the lecture is not acceptable. OSU-OKC policy prohibits the presence of food and drink in the classroom. Also, please remember that all buildings on our campus are tobacco free. Students who persistently disrupt a class or flagrantly violate OSU-OKC policy may be asked to leave the classroom.
5. Attendance: Students are held accountable for all work covered in a course despite valid reasons for absence from class. Students are expected to attend each class period. Regular attendance is necessary for a student to earn a good grade. See #4 under “Course Requirements” for the details of the attendance policy in this class.
6. Honors Credit: A student who meets the following criteria may receive Honors credit by completing a Request for Honors Credit by Contract-Conditions form with the instructor’s permission and submitting it to the Program Coordinator. The student must achieve a “B” or above and satisfactorily complete the contract to earn Honors designation for the course. It is the Program Coordinator who must determine the eligibility of the student for the Honors Contract before the Contract is completed by the student and the instructor.
Requirements for New Freshmen: ACT composite score of 23 or higher, or a high school grade point average of 3.5 or higher.
Requirements for Students Other than New Freshman: (a) If a student other than a new freshman has completed fewer than 30 credit hours, he/she must have at least a 3.0 retention grade point average; (b) If a student other than a new freshman has completed 30 or more credit hours, he/she must have at least a 3.25 retention grade point average.
Special Cases: Students who do not meet the eligibility requirements may petition the Honors Committee by first contacting the Program Coordinator for an exception to the minimum GPA requirement. Consideration of the petition will be based upon performance during the prior semester at OSU-OKC.
Dishonesty or Misconduct: Academic
dishonesty or misconduct is not condoned nor tolerated at institutions within
8. Withdrawal Policy: Any student may withdraw from this class or change to audit on or before the published drop date, which is the Friday of the twelfth (12th) week of the semester (the sixth week of the summer semester). Withdrawals must be processed through the Admissions Office and requires the signature of an advisor within the division. All students remaining on the class roll after the published drop date will receive a letter grade in the course.
9. Incomplete Grades: The Incomplete grade (I) may be given only to a student who has completed at least 70% of the course work, is passing, and has a valid excuse for being unable to complete the course. It is the student's responsibility to contact the instructor, who will complete an "I" contract, stipulating the work that must be made up and the time allowed to do so, for both of you to sign.
10. Americans with Disabilities Act Statement: If any member of the class feels that he/she has a disability and needs special accommodations of any nature whatsoever, the instructor will work with you and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs to provide reasonable accommodations to ensure that you have a fair opportunity to perform in this class after the disability has been verified. Please advise the instructor of such disability and the desired accommodations at some point before, during, or after the first scheduled class period.
11. Electronic Device Policy: Cell phones and other electronic devices are disruptive to the class. If a student’s work or family situation requires the student to keep the device turned on during class, the student must turn the phone to a silent or vibrate mode. If a student must receive a call during class, the student will leave the room. A student may not make a call during class. Cell phones and all electronic devices may not be used during an exam unless stipulated by the instructor. Use of a cell phone or electronic device during an exam is considered academic misconduct, and the student will be subject to the appropriate penalties.
12. Unattended Children Policy: For personal safety of children and potential problems in supervision, children should not be at any location on campus without adult supervision. No children are permitted in classrooms, laboratories, teaching areas, or the Library.
1. Exams: There will be a total of five (5) exams in this course, including the Final Exam, with a total possible of 500 exam points, 100 points for each exam. Each exam will consist of a variety of types of questions, including matching, true or false, and multiple choice.
Schedule: All Exams will be taken on
the Desire to Learn (D2L) online class site.
The Exam Schedule is posted on the main page of the D2L online class
site. You will have 50 minutes to take
an exam. After the time period has
expired, D2L will not allow you to answer any more questions or to change any
answers. So please pace yourself
accordingly. IF you have a reason that
you need more time to take your exams, then you need to get certified by the
3. Exam Make-Up Policy: All exams must be taken online during the time periods listed on the main page of the D2L online class site. If you fail to take an exam during its time period, you will have to take a Make-Up Exam that is 100% Essay in nature (and one which you will NOT want to take)! The ONLY exceptions to this rule are as follows:
· There is a D2L server problem, which means that it is the fault of OSU-OKC; OR
· The student can provide official documentation of a hospital stay, a funeral attended, special medication that affected his/her ability to take an exam during the time period that an exam was available online, military orders, etc., unless there has been an obvious case of a natural or man-made disaster in the area or of widespread power outages. There is NO Make-Up Exam for the Final Exam. Failure to take the Final Exam on time will result in a “0” for that exam.
4. Attendance Policy and Participation Points:
Attendance in this class must be regarded as mandatory in the same way that going to your job is mandatory. As with a job, there will be consequences for excessive absences because, in this case, you cannot get Participation Points when you’re absent.
There will be 100 total possible Participation Points in the course. Normally, that amounts to 3 1/3 points per class period (except for students who have Excused Absences). At the end of the semester, I will simply calculate the percentage of class periods that a student received Participation Points out of the total number of class periods minus any days with Excused Absences, and put that percentage as a score over 100 points. Therefore, the Participation Points category will be worth the same as a regular exam. The rationale for this is that educators know that students who are faithfully attending class learn things that cannot be tested.
Behaviors resulting in NO Participation Points (besides being absent) include, but are not limited to, (a) habitually arriving late to class; (b) habitually communicating with someone else in class; (c) reading, texting, cell phone usage, being on Facebook or other social network sites during class; (d) habitually going to & from the class during class (unless a medical condition is documented); (e) habitually putting away your class materials before the professor has dismissed the class; and (f) otherwise engaging in behavior that distracts other students and/or the professor during class.
Only Absences for Extraordinary Circumstances will be Excused…these include, but are not limited to, jury duty, military duty, student’s own hospitalization, attendance at a funeral, etc. Ordinary doctor’s visits, job schedule conflicts, etc. will not be excused under normal circumstances. However, IF a student has a medical condition that will likely result in excessive absences, that student will receive Participation Points based on the class periods he or she is actually in class. Documentation is required for these Extraordinary Circumstances.
In the SUMMER Semester, Attendance is measured TWICE per class period, once before the Break and once after the Break. Therefore, if a student misses an entire class period, that equals 2 Absences!
5. Communication Expectations:
You can e-mail me (email@example.com) or call and leave a voice mail (945-3235) at any time day or night. However, I will not be up 24 hrs. per day to respond to your communication immediately. But I do pledge that I will usually answer your e-mail within 24-36 hours after I receive it in my Inbox. The exception to that general rule of thumb is that I do not respond to communication between sundown on Fridays and sundown on Saturdays. Leaving a voice mail on a Thursday afternoon usually means that I will not return your call until some time the next Monday.
6. Outside Assignment: You will be required to accumulate up to a maximum potential of 100 points beyond the 500 exam points, making a grand total of 600 points for the entire course. These additional 100 points may be accumulated by one of three (3) different ways:
· 5 Journal Abstracts
· 1 Visitation Report
· 1 Mini-Paper
Journal Abstracts: A Journal Abstract is a brief description of the type of material one would find if another reader actually read the entire journal article. It is not a summary of the information or viewpoint of the article. Limit each Journal Abstract to 4-6 sentences, which will require some extra thought in order to avoid simply summarizing the article (which you should not do). The OSU-OKC Library carries several religious journals representing virtually all of the major world religions that are studied in this course. Please use journals from the OSU-OKC Library. Special permission from Dr. Baker will be necessary to submit a Journal Abstract from any religious journal not found in the OSU-OKC Library.
All 5 Journal
Abstracts should be typed and double-spaced, with standard 12 pt.-font size,
black print, and 1” margins on all four sides.
All 5 Journal Abstracts should be typed on the same document, with at
least 4 blank spaces between each Abstract.
Each of the 5 Journal Abstracts should be headed by the “Title of the Article” you are abstracting (in quotation marks). Then in the body of each Abstract, please include the Name of the Journal (in italics), the Issue Date (or Number), and the Author of the actual Article you are abstracting.
Visitation Report: A Visitation Report is a report of a religious service that you attend during the semester. However, do not submit a Visitation Report from a religious service where you or your family regularly attends, if you do regularly attend a religious service. Moreover, if you have a Protestant Christian background, and you wish to visit a different Christian church, please visit either a Roman Catholic or an Eastern Orthodox Church (e.g., Greek Orthodox, Antiochian Orthodox, etc.). If you are either a Roman Catholic or an Eastern Orthodox Christian, and you wish to visit a different Christian church, then please visit a Protestant church. The idea is to experience a very different kind of religious service than you are normally used to attending, if you have a religious service that you regularly attend.
The Visitation Report is a report of your experience and what its major worship elements meant to the people there. It should consist of about 3 pages, and be typed and double-spaced, with standard 12 pt.-font size, black print, and 1” margins on all four sides. The report should include the specific name, street address, and date of the religious service you attended. It should also include a brief paragraph for each aspect of the service and what it meant to members of that faith. Your final paragraph should summarize your own thoughtful reaction to the visit.
Mini-Paper: The Mini-Paper is a long essay that incorporates some research elements (i.e., cited sources + a bibliography). It should seek to describe or explain something religious in nature. It may be a comparison and/or contrast between a certain related belief between 2 religions, an explanation for one particular belief or practice of a religious faith, or any approved topic of a religious nature. Please get your topic approved by Dr. Baker ASAP!
should be 3-5 pages long (excluding
the Title & Bibliography pages and any Endnote pages you may have), typed,
double-spaced, with 12-pt. print size and black ink, with 1” margins on all
four sides. Please place the page number
on each page at the
The Outside Assignment is due no later than Monday, March 21! NO LATE OUTSIDE ASSIGNMENT WILL BE ACCEPTED!!!
HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR OUTSIDE ASSIGNMENT: Type your Outside Assignment as a Microsoft Word document AND submit it to Dr. Baker in the Dropbox on the Desire to Learn (D2L) course site. Use the following simple steps in order to do this correctly:
1. Click on the word “Dropbox” near the top of any regular page on the D2L course site.
2. Click on the assignment link inside the Dropbox.
3. Click on the Browse button…Select the desired saved document from the appropriate computer drive (whatever drive that you saved it on), and Double-Click on the file name.
4. Click on the Upload button…and then the Done button.
Assignment will NOT be accepted at
all IF you do not send it this way. If
you need assistance or do not have Microsoft Word, then please allow yourself
sufficient time to find a friend’s computer, OR you may use the Learning Center
Computer Lab (on the 2nd floor of the
Your Outside Assignment will NOT be accepted at all IF it contains any more than 4 errors of a spelling, grammar, or punctuation nature, as determined by the Microsoft Word Spelling & Grammar Check. So check it BEFORE you submit it!
The grading scale for this course is as follows:
A = 90% - 100%
B = 80% - 89%
C = 70% - 79%
D = 60% - 69%
F = 0% - 59%
Each student is responsible for being aware of the information contained in the OSU-OKC Catalog, Student Handbook, and semester information listed in the Class Schedule.
SYLLABUS MODIFICATION STATEMENT:
Faculty has the right to change or modify the course syllabus materials during the academic year. Any changes will be provided in a written, dated addendum to the course syllabus.
KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL LEARNING
Between each time the class meets you should:
· Type your lecture notes on a computer, reorganizing them by
(1) making the headings & sub-headings stand out.
(2) numbering or bulleting listed items.
(3) highlighting key names and terms.
(4) leaving sufficient space between items and sections to avoid confusion in identifying information in your notes.
NOTE: Make a back-up copy of your typed notes on the computer, and print the notes off each time, placing them in a 3-ring notebook.
· Identify all items discussed in class on the appropriate Review Sheet, and follow the recommendations exactly for using the Review Sheet. NOTE: Remember to do any textbook items also—which requires that you keep up with class discussions and be aware of the chapter readings in the course syllabus.
· At least skim read the appropriate textbook chapter for the next lecture—which also requires that you keep up with class discussions and be aware of the chapter readings in the course syllabus.
It is estimated that college students should spend 2-3 hours outside of actual class time for every hour spent in class. NOTE: This requires a careful evaluation of your personal schedule (e.g., family, work, school, etc.) and making any appropriate adjustments in order to have this much time.
I. FIRST EXAM—Chapters 1 & 8
Introduction to Religion
Introduction to Judaism
Jewish Scriptures and Other Writings
Major Jewish Beliefs
Major Jewish Holy Days
II. SECOND EXAM—Chapter 9
Introduction to Christianity
Major Christian Branches
Major Christian Beliefs
III. THIRD EXAM—Chapter 10
Introduction to Islam
Islamic Scriptures and Other Writings
Five Articles of Faith
Other Major Muslim Beliefs
Five Pillars of Islam
Major Islamic Branches
IV. FOURTH EXAM—Chapter 3
Introduction to Hinduism
Hindu Conception of Ultimate Reality
Hindu Conception of Time and the Universe
The Many Hindu Gods
Major Hindu Beliefs
The Caste System
Four Goals in Life
Four Stages of Life
V. FINAL EXAM—Chapter 5
Introduction to Buddhism
Early Buddhist Scriptures
The Three Jewels
Four Noble Truths
Major Buddhist Beliefs
Buddhist Conception of Ultimate Reality
Monks, Nuns, and Lay Buddhists
Major Buddhist Branches
HOW TO STUDY FOR DR. BAKER'S RELIGION EXAMS
There are five (5) Review Sheets located in this course syllabus. Please notice the two (2) sections on each one.
1. Identifications: Twenty (20) to Thirty (30) items are listed in this section on each Review Sheet. You should be able to summarize the essential facts related to each Identification item.
The use of ruled (or lined) 3” x 5” index cards is recommended for your study preparation. Limit your card to one (1) side only so that you write down only the most important facts.
2. Short Essay: Several short essay questions are listed on each Review Sheet. Even though there will be NO essays to write on an exam, you need to prepare for all of the short essays on each Review Sheet as if you were going to write each of them out in an essay format. All of the short essays will be reflected in the multiple choice or true or false sections on an exam.
The use of ruled (or lined) 3” x 5” index cards is recommended for your study preparation. Label each card with an appropriate title and the number of the Short Essay on the Review Sheet. Then outline the essential points which specifically answer the question on the Review Sheet.
(1) Each exam will also feature a True or False section. Each question will be taken from items on the Review Sheet for that exam.
(2) Each exam will also feature a Multiple Choice section. Each question will be taken from items on the Review Sheet for that exam.
These guidelines have been proven to work. DON’T IGNORE THEM!!!
REVIEW SHEET #1
Rabbi Halakhah Yom Kippur
Reform Judaism Philo Hanukkuh
Conservative Judaism Maimonides Bar Mitzvah
Orthodox Judaism Shema
1. Define religion in its three-point definition.
2. Briefly trace the historical “tree” of rabbinical Judaism in terms of its authority figures.
3. Give the name of the entire Jewish Scriptures, identify its 3 divisions, and briefly outline its development and formal acceptance.
4. Define and briefly outline the rise of rabbinical Judaism. Then define and discuss the Talmud and its constituent parts.
5. Describe the Jewish concept of God’s nature and character, and briefly tell how that concept has influenced Jewish thinking and behavior.
6. Describe the Jewish view of sin and salvation and tell how that relates to the moral nature of man.
7. Briefly describe the following major Jewish beliefs: (1) Covenant and (2) Kosher dietary laws.
8. Define and discuss the person and mission of the Messiah from Judaism’s perspective.
9. Define and discuss the importance of the Sabbath, and identify the two most important aspects of Jewish worship.
REVIEW SHEET #2
Theodosius I Eucharist
Petrine Doctrine John Nelson Darby
Martin Luther Thomas Aquinas
1. Identify the 2 parts of the Christian Scriptures, discuss the reason for each part’s acceptance, and tell approximately when the canon of Scripture was fully set. (Ignore the issue of the Old Testament Apocrypha.)
2. Define apostolic succession, and briefly discuss the origin of its rise in early Christianity. Then relate this view to the relationship of the church to the Bible.
3. Identify and
briefly discuss the 3 major reasons for the split between the Roman Catholic
4. Identify the 3 major reasons for the Protestant Reformation. Then briefly outline who, when, and how the Reformation began.
5. Select and discuss any 2 of the following Christian topics: (1) Trinity; (2) Original sin; (3) the 2 oldest views on Hell; and (4) the Traditional and Dispensational views of the Second Coming of Christ.
6. Contrast the Roman Catholic-Eastern Orthodox view of how a believer receives salvation with the Protestant view, and briefly describe how this issue affects the different views of the primary role of the church.
7. Identify and discuss the 3 different interpretations of the Sabbath Commandment among Christians. Be certain to define the theology of Thomas Aquinas on this issue, and relate it to the appropriate interpretations of the Sabbath Commandment.
REVIEW SHEET #3
Islam Allah Sufi
Muslim Ulama Mosque
Ishmael Sin Minaret
Ka’bah Health Laws Muezzin
Muhammad Polygamy Ramadan
1. Identify Muhammad and give his approximate birth and death dates. Then summarize the Muslim view of Muhammad.
2. Define and describe the Quran, and how it came to be. Include its relationship to the Jewish and Christian Scriptures in Islamic thought.
3. Define and describe the development of the Hadith, and give its significance.
4. List and briefly explain the 5 major Articles of Faith in Islam.
5. Define and describe Shariah and those who interpret it.
6. List and briefly discuss the 5 Pillars of Islam.
7. Identify and describe the most important aspect of Muslim worship in terms of (1) when it’s to be done; (2) how it’s to be done; and (3) what the brief preparation for it is.
8. Compare and contrast the Shi’ite and Sunni branches of Islam in terms of (1) defining the names; (2) giving each one’s view of spiritual authority in Islam; and (3) giving the approximate percentage of members that each branch represents in Islam.
9. Discuss the major elements of Islamic eschatology, being certain to define all terms.
REVIEW SHEET #4
Sanatana Dharma Vishnu Brahmin
Veda Shiva Puja
Sanskrit Krishna Murti
Mahabharata Atman Prasad
Bhagavad Gita Loka
Kali Yuga Ten Commitments
1. Identify the 2 major categories of Hindu Scriptures and discuss their respective meanings and importance relative to each other. Then give the number of Scriptures in the most authoritative category, and describe the first and last parts of those Scriptures.
2. Discuss the Hindu conception of Ultimate Reality in both of its modes, and identify where Hinduism is on the question of monotheism or polytheism, and why.
3. What is the Hindu’s highest spiritual goal? Identify the common terms and contrast them with the concept of Nirvana. In general terms only, identify what must be achieved before this goal can be reached.
4. Identify and discuss the concepts of reincarnation, transmigration of the soul, samsara, and karma, explaining how they relate to each other.
5. List the 5 types of activities that a person may do in order to clean up some of his/her bad karma.
6. Describe and give the reasons for the dietary habits of most Hindus.
7. How many official castes are there in Hinduism, and what specific Scriptures identify and discuss them?
8. List and briefly discuss the 4 Goals in a Hindu’s life.
9. List and briefly discuss the 4 Stages in a Hindu’s life.
10. Describe typical Hindu worship activities, and explain why images are used in worship.
REVIEW SHEET #5
Middle Way Anatman Dalai Lama
Buddha Dharma Holy Day
Tripitaka (Pali Canon) Mahayana
The Three Jewels Mahayana Sutras
Sangha Lord Maitreya
Three Seals of Dharma Trikaya
Nirvana Amitabha Buddha
1. Name the founder of Buddhism, and give a brief biographical sketch of his life (include the 4 Sights).
2. List and briefly describe the Four Noble Truths and their significance. Include the 3 sections of the 8-fold Path.
3. List the 6 Categories of existence and briefly describe how they fit into the 31 Realms of the 3 Worlds.
4. Discuss the Buddhist concepts of Impermanence, No-Self, and Dependent Arising.
5. Identify the function of the Ten Precepts and outline the first 5 Precepts.
6. Compare & contrast the Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist views of a Bodhisattva (include the idea of a celestial Bodhisattva).
7. Compare & contrast the doctrine of No-Self with the Mahayana doctrine of Emptiness, and describe how Emptiness relates to the Mahayana concept of the Dharma Body.
8. Identify & briefly describe each of the 2 major wings within Mahayana Buddhism, and then name the most popular sect within each one.
9. Identify the major elements of Tibetan Buddhism.
10. List 5 objects (or types of objects) of Buddhist worship and 6 acts of worship.