World Religions/Religious Worlds

RELS 131/6.0

Introduces religion in India, China and Japan; also the movements of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Humanism.

Learning Outcomes

**Subject to Change**

 

After completing RELS 131, students will be able to:

 

  • Develop a definition of religion that recognizes the diversity of religious traditions.
  • Compare and contrast the components of the major world religions.
  • Identify the world’s religious traditions within their global and cultural context.
  •  Situate contemporary religious issues in their historical roots.

 

Description

Welcome to Religion 131, World Religions/Religious Worlds. In this introductory online religious studies course, I will present some of the global world religions to you, with the expectation that you will use these building blocks as the foundation for later, more specialized research into religions, philosophy, anthropology, science, politics--really, the list is endless!

There are certain things that this course isn’t, so let’s get that out of the way first. This course is not a complete and thorough history of all world religions. This is only one course and we must work within the limits of time and space. I will present to you a sampling of religious traditions, all of which contribute to that larger category of world religions, and hope that by introducing the history, beliefs, and practices of some of these traditions that you will be prepared to study the global world in a more critical and expanded way.

This course is also not a place for personal religious reflection. While I encourage you to take the material from the lecture notes, readings, or discussion groups and apply it to other areas of your life (because isn’t that in part what an education is supposed to do?), the goal of this course is to introduce the academic study of world religions. To this end I request that you do not use your assignments or discussion groups as a place to engage in personal religious dialogue.

So what is this course? It is a way for you to become familiar with Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. You will be introduced to each of these religions through their history, literature, world views, and ritual lives. You will gather information on each religion’s past and present, as we consider each of these traditions as histories and as lived traditions (which means that religions are made up of more than the ancient texts that we sometimes find at their centre). We take this time to encounter these world religions, because we live in a global world populated by millions of people whose world views are often informed by these very religions. We engage in the study of religion because we want to see the world with bigger eyes.

**Subject to Change**

Terms

Fall-Winter 2016-17
Course Dates: 
Sept 12, 2016 - Apr 7, 2017
Exam Dates: 
Apr 13 - 27, 2017

Evaluation

Small group debates20%
2 Podcast reflections20%
Peer-reviewed research outline10%
Research Essay25%
Final Assignment/Exam25%

**Evaluation Subject to Change**

Instructor

Professor Danielle LaGrone (danielle.lagrone@gmail.com)

Instructor message

 imageHello! Welcome to Rels 131: World Religions/Religious Worlds. My name is Danielle LaGrone, and I will be your instructor for this year.

Because this is an online class, your experience will be different than the traditional classroom courses you might have already experienced at Queen’s. One of the wonderful things about this course is that no matter where we find ourselves in the world, we can share in this class together. I encourage you to participate in the “Course Questions” and “Community” forums, places where we can get to know one another and ask questions that come up through the course. I will post announcements in the “Course News” forum with weekly updates and tips and suggestions for assignments.

To get things started, here is a little bit about myself: I have been teaching this course at Queen’s University since 2005. Originally I taught the traditional, in-person version of the class, but then in 2007 I developed the course for online learning. I love the opportunities that online learning affords students and I am eager to develop new ways of both presenting course material and supporting an interactive online community. In my courses I emphasize the value of learning to think critically about religion and using these critical perspectives as a springboard from which to engage with the world. I’m excited to work with you this year.

I completed my undergraduate degree in religion at Queen’s (2000) and then continued with M.A. in religion at the University of Alberta (2003). I am a PhD Candidate in Religion (University of Toronto), though I’m on a break from my doctoral studies while I pursue my studies as a student midwife at Ryerson University. As a researcher I am most interested in how religions redefine their boundaries and reinterpret themselves in the face of contemporary challenges, such as feminism and globalization. My particular areas of research include gender and religion, motherhood, and birth. I have published research on gender and Buddhism and co-edited a large volume of essays on women and religion.

I live in Toronto with my partner and two daughters. When I’m not working on the course, you’ll most likely find me running after my children, baking, reading, knitting, or drinking one of many cups of coffee. You are always welcome to contact me at any time throughout the course with questions, comments, and suggestions. I really look forward to working together!

All the best for a wonderful course,

Danielle

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend, on average, about 10-12 hours per week (228 hours total) on the course.

Summer 16: May - July
Course Dates: 
May 2 - July 22, 2016
Exam Dates: 
July 26 - July 29, 2016

Evaluation

Discussion Forums20%
Contemporary Issue (Podcast) Reflection10%
Essay Assignment 115%
Essay Assignment 220%
Final Take-Home Exam35%

**Evaluation Subject to Change**

Instructor

Professor Danielle LaGrone (danielle.lagrone@gmail.com)

Instructor message

Instructor PictureMy name is Danielle LaGrone and I have been teaching at Queen’s University since 2005. I did my undergraduate degree in Religion at Queen’s (2000) and then continued with my M.A. in religion at the University of Alberta (2003). I am currently a Ph.D Candidate at the Centre for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. I am most interested in studying how religions redefine their boundaries and reinterpret themselves in the face of contemporary challenges, such as feminism and globalization. My particular areas of research include contemporary Buddhism, feminism, and motherhood. In my graduate work I have studied ancient India and East Asia, including Sanskrit and Tibetan languages. I have published research on gender and Buddhism and co-edited a large volume of essays on women and religion. In addition to this introductory course on world religions, I have also taught courses in women and religion, and Buddhism. I am impressed by the opportunities that online learning affords students and I am eager to develop new ways of both presenting course material and supporting an interactive online community. In my courses I emphasize the value of learning to think critically about religion and using these critical perspectives as a springboard from which to engage with the world. I live near Toronto with my husband and two young daughters. When I am not teaching or writing, you will probably find me somewhere chasing after my children.

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend, on average, about 15-18 hours per week (228 hours total) on the course.

Course Resources

About SOLUS

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About OnQ

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About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

  • Laptop or Desktop computer purchased within the last 5 years. (mobile devices are not supported)
  • Windows Vista SP2/Mac OSX 10.9 or higher
  • Up to date versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. Please note that Google Chrome is not recommended for use in our courses.
  • Most recent version of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash

 See also Getting Started.

Dates/Deadlines

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Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for 2016-17 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Canadian students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $648.40; for a 6.0-unit course, $1296.80. See also Tuition and Fees.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point
A+4.30
A4.00
A-3.70
B+3.30
B3.00
B-2.70
C+2.30
C2.00
C-1.70
D+1.30
D1.00
D-0.70
F0.00

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How does this affect my academics?
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Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

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