REL 2300 World Religions: Course Introduction Fall 2014 Lake-Sumter State College
The Course Syllabus • Basically the course’s “bible” on instructor’s and college’s policy and student requirements • The “manifestation of obligations” • The road map of the learning outcomes • The most important document for this course
Syllabus, Policies, etc. Overview • The Course Syllabus: • Other LSSC Policies Reminders (not stated in syllabus, e.g. Plagiarism and Cheating • Student Responsibilities: Communications • Student Helps • Class Structure • Class Rules • LSSC DBOT rule of faculty remaining objective • The Course Frameworks for Learning
Importance of this Document • This PPT is not simply one of the several PPT presentations in this course: It… • States additional policies and responsibilities • Lists all the course documents • States the Class rules, and finally, it… • Outlines the Frames of Learning applied to this course, not only objectives but mental-visual and cognitive conceptual windows for learning the material in the course
Other LSSC Policies Reminders • Plagiarism: (stealing of other’s work/ writing) unacceptable, against policy • Cheating: also unacceptable • Both are serious matters; review LSSC’s policy of consequences in the LSSC Student Handbook • Email Reminder: check your LakeHawk email regularly
Student Helps • General/Campus-wide Resources: the library, the Learning Center, Tutoring Center, Career Center, etc. • Specific to Course: REL2300 (Wheelhouse) LibGuides accessed from LSSC Library online • ADA/Disabilities Student Support: if this applies to you, if you have not already been registered at the DSS office, do so.
Class Structure • Lecture Presentations, supplemented by multimedia clips or presentations, interspersed by discussion and small group exercises.
Class Rules • The main textbook is to be brought with you to each class session • Cell phones (& all portable electronic devices) are to be off during class • Lap top use: carefully monitored: only for typing notes and following PowerPoint lectures • No question is a stupid question • Learning other beliefs means having an open mind, broadening of your mind • Mutual respect for each other’s views and beliefs • Lively discussions are welcome but we refrain from debating
*Course Documents* • Syllabus • Course Bibliography • Assignments document (reading and writing) • Course Terms List • Course Intro. Power Point (this document) • Power Point lecture presentations • Student (in-class) Engagement Sheets • Course Study Guide • Course Study,Review, Discussion Questions
Suggested Study Method (outside class each week) • Read the list of concepts/ terms for the week • Read the Study Guide section for that week • Read the Study/Discussion Questions for that week • Read the Chapter for that week • Make flash cards and study the terms, beliefs, practices, dates/centuries • Go through and study the PowerPoint lesson for the week • Re-read and study the Study/ Review/ Discussion Questions
The Framework for Learning Religion (1) • The Foundational Division of Three: The Concepts/Terms The Beliefs and Teachings The Practices • The Fourth basic: the Historical development of each religion • Heavy emphasis on these foundational frames in learning, and in grading
Framework for Learning (2):The Ten Frame (a) • The Ten Frame of Learning each Religion: 1. The Concepts/terms 2. Names: founder(?), name of religion, and places 3. The origin of each religion (the story) 4. The main teachings, beliefs, and thought patterns including their views (worldview) on the cosmos, life, and the human condition 5. Their main practices: rituals, rites of passages, taboos, etc.
Framework for Learning (3): The Ten Frame (b) 6. Historical development: century of birth, dates and the key factors in their development 7. Sacred texts: their names and overview/meaning 8. What are the goals and ultimate concerns? 9. Their main divisions (sects/ social/political) 10. Critical Thinking: comparing/contrasting religions w/ one another, analyzing, synthesizing
Evaluation Percentage by Category • 75% Terms/Concepts, Beliefs, and Practices and Theory of Religion • 10% Historical development of the religions from origin to the present • 15% Higher Critical thinking, analyzing, explaining, comparing/contrasting, etc.
Seven Contexts for Learning the World Religions • Textual contexts (textbook, source material, sacred texts) • Linguistic context • Cultural context • Historical context • Geographical context • Political context • Social context
TCC Philosophy Statement • (Excerpt, para. 2) “In a free society, people must be disciplined by a sense of respect for others and a love of truth and justice. The basic principle on which this system is founded is the belief that each individual has dignity and worth.”
Relevance of REL2300 Course • Out of over 7 billion people on earth, over 6 billion claim adherence to or identify with at least one religion • Applicable to many careers: anthropologists,, sociologists, social workers, nurses, diplomats, ambassadors, nonprofit professionals, historians, social studies teachers, humanities teachers professors of religion missionaries, ministers, chaplains, and helpful for any worker in today’s culturally diverse world, even a person working in McDonalds. • In this global village, very helpful for just about anyone in society
Religion is Still Pervasive in Culture • from the hallowed halls of religious houses to popular books, articles, and social media (there are thousands of Tweets each day that are religious, faith-based, or spiritual in nature) • It pops up often in Popular Culture (arts, music, movies, books)
Religion in Popular Culture (2)Humans are “Wired for Spirituality”
Religion in Pop Culture (3): Movies • Religion comes up in all sorts of movies, using terms and visually portraying scenes that will connect with audiences. The educated student will ask how does Hollywood (& other movie-makers) portray religion? How do they use and interpret religious terms? And do they have their own agenda?” This is a small sampling: • Transcendence Noah God is Not Dead • Matrix: “Tsion”/Zion Avatar • Star Wars: “may the Force be with you” • Indiana Jones’ Ark of the Covenant • Bruce Almighty For Carl • The Ten Commandments Ben Hur • The Robe The Cardinal • Lion King Pocohantas Seven Years in Tibet • Tree of Life Fireproof Noah God is Not Dead
Modes of Learning • Through text • Through images/ pictures • Through audio-visual media (video clips) • Through the dialectic of asking questions (both professor and students) and discussion • Through class group activities
Beginning Inquiry Questions • What is religion? • What is faith? • What is the relationship • Of religion and culture? • Why are there so many different beliefs out there in the world or are they really that different? • How did religions arise and what were the factors that lead several of these to become “world religions?” And what are “living religions”?
Course Guiding Questions (1) • What is the distinction between “religion” and “a religion” and “religions”? • What are the basic characteristics of religion? • What are the key concepts and terms in each of the religions?
Course Guiding Questions (2) • How are religious beliefs and practices expressed? • How do their beliefs inform their worldview? • How do their beliefs, worldview, and practices shape their culture? • What common themes are found in religion? • What concepts are unique in each religion? • What are the main goals of each religion and how does one achieve them?
Why study religion?Hopfe & Woodward Religions in the World (includes practical application) • History students will find it imperative • Religion, in fact, does matter • Necessary to understand great classic works of literature (many examples to cite) • Migrations of Hindus & Muslims into the West • We may inadvertently offend some people if we don’t study the religions • Importance of religion in world affairs (political) has increased since the end of the Cold War
Why study religion?Additional Reasons • Work places are getting more and more diverse culturally in this “global village” world that has come greatly aided by technology, even in America • Successful Multi-cultural work environments requires mutual respect and a level of tolerance • Essential to being a global citizen • Important for many career paths
Applications of World Religions • Realms of application: • · Personal Life: e.g.application to one’s faith,practice (in turn could be from practical to metaphysical or mystical) • · Professional Life: e.g.From political to religious • Majors and Careers Paths where study of World Religions is very helpful or even required: • Anthropologists, Cultural Studies, Global Studies, International Studies, Diplomats, Consulates, Ambassadors, Military Advisors, CIA Operatives, Educators, Humanities, Religion scholars, Ministers (other religious vocations), Theologians, Social workers, Psychologists, Counselors, Non-profit workers, etc.
Prof. Wheelhouse Qualifications (1) • B.A. Degree in Education, Concordia College, River Forest, IL 1986 • M.Div. Degree, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO. 1994 • 1 year grad studies toward M.A. in Hebrew and Ancient History of Syro-Palestine, Jerusalem University College, Jerusalem, Israel, 1996’-97 • Continuing Education courses in Religion, Hebrew, History, Art History, Museum Studies, FL State University, Tallahassee, 2012-2014
Prof. Wheelhouse Qualifications (2) • Teaching REL 2300 since Fall 2009 at Tallahassee Community College 2009-2012 and LSSC since Fall 2013 • Inducted into Adjunct Professor Academy at Tallahassee Community College, Aug. 2012
Prof. Wheelhouse Publications • Global Prayers for All People, 2010 (self-published, 2nd ed by Tate Publishing, 2014) • Light from Above: Sacred Scriptures for the 21st Century and Beyond, Mark Ahavel, 2012 (self-published, 2nd ed by Tate Publishing, 2014) • Human Dignity: Faith and Spirit: A Charter for a Spiritual Foundation and Restoration of Souls, 2013 (self-published) • Blog: globalofaith.blogspot.com • Twitter: Follow me at GlobalFaith4U • globalprayingservants.com • Websites: http://sites.google/paulwheelhouse7
Getting To Know You • Hand out the “Getting to Know You” sheets for the students to complete and do the Pre-Test on the back side