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Dr. Robert Sutton

Office: S511-B

REL 111 Spring 2015

Phone: 362-7133

E-Mail: robertcsutton@yahoo.com

Office Hours: MWF 9-10:00, T 9:00-11:00, by appointment.

Mail S202

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COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course introduces the major Asian religious traditions.  Topics include Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shinto.  Upon completion, students should be able to identify the origins, history, beliefs, and practices of the religions studied.  This course has been approved to satisfy the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement general education core requirement in humanities/fine arts.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:  Upon completion of this course a student should be able to:

  1. Define certain religious and theological terms as they pertain to the study of the major Eastern religious traditions.
  2. Identify certain persons and events with their respective religion.
  3. Associate particular religious concepts and traditions with the historical circumstances and religious situations in which they developed.
  4. An ability to discuss the origins, history, beliefs, and practices of the religions studied.  An appreciation for the diversity of religious traditions and their importance in the public and private lives of adherents.


Written Communication

Understanding Social Structure

Oral Communication

Problem Solving

Critical Thinking

Understanding Scientific Concepts & Application

Basic Computer Usage




Baird, Forrest E. and Heimbeck, Raeburne S.  Asian Philosophy, Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice-Hall



Fisher, Mary Pat. Living Religions: Eastern Traditions, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2003.


TOPICS:  Chapters in the primary texts will be assigned in an order and at a pace according to the demands of the class and will be assigned at the discretion of the instructor. The course readings will be divided into four sections:

· Introduction to religion and overview of Asian Religions (3 weeks).

· Religions of Indian and South East Asia (5 weeks).

· Religions of China (4 weeks).

· Religions of Japan and conclusion (4 weeks).

REQUIREMENTS: There will be two tests during the semester, the mid-term and final, given at the end of units 2 and 4, as indicated above. Each test will count 1/3 toward your final course grade. To prepare for your tests, there may be periodic vocabulary tests at the end of chapters.

In addition, there will be 6 reflection papers, each 2 pages in length.  Five (5) papers are responses to the chapters in the Baird and Heimbeck text and one (1) is your responses to the four (4) introductory questions. Students will share these papers in small groups on the designated days.  A failure to come with a paper or a failure to be in class that day will result in a grade of "F" for that paper.  In addition to bringing a hard copy of your paper to class, you must also submit these papers electronically through Blackboard (not email).  Each paper will count approximately 17% toward the remaining 1/3 of the course grade.

Class format is lecture-discussion. All assigned readings must be completed prior to class. Students are expected to critically participate in class discussion.

The Syllabus: There are various ways to look at the first day handout that influences how you view a course. Often, students think of the syllabus as a blueprint, analogous to an architect's drawing of a house. Such a conception leads to the conclusion that a course simply follows steps until one arrives at the end where one can measure the outcomes in relationship to the plans. I would urge you to think of the handout as a map. Like a blueprint, the map provides us with information necessary to arrive at our destination. But, the analogy of the map alerts us to the fact that a journey, like a course and all good education, is to be enjoyed and meaningful from the moment one begins the adventure, not simply when one arrives.

ATTENDANCE POLICY: There is a direct correlation between attendance and academic success.   Absences seriously disrupt your progress in a course and diminish the quality of the educational experience and group interaction. Consequently, you are ex­pected to punctually attend all class sessions in this course. A failure to do so will likely result in low performance measures, including failing the course but, attendance will not be used in any calculation of your course grade.

GRADING: School wide grade scale is as follows:

A=100-92(4), B=91-84(3), C=83-76(2), D=75-68(1), F=67(0), WP, WF, I

No withdrawals will be granted without a face to face consultation with the instructor and it is CFCC policy that, No withdrawals may be requested after the 80 percent point of a class. Students who wish to appeal should secure an Instructional Appeal Form from the Office of the Vice President for Instruction. Permission will be granted for extenuating circumstances only. Documentation will be required. The Vice President for Instruction’s decision is final.”

PLAGIARISM STATEMENT:  Plagiarism is using as your own the words or ideas of another, whether written or oral.  When you use material from a source, you must quote or paraphrase accurately and properly cite the information.  Failure to do so is considered plagiarism.  Examples of plagiarism include word-for-word copying without correctly indicating that you are quoting, inaccurate quoting and paraphrasing and incomplete or missing documentation.  Purchasing a paper or copying someone else's work and submitting it as your own are also plagiarism.  Any misrepresentation of the source in your writing or speaking would constitute a form of plagiarism. Whether intentional or unintentional, plagiarism is not acceptable.  The Humanities and Fine Arts Department adheres to the CFCC policy on cheating as stated in the Catalog and Student Handbook. In the unlikely event of an act of plagiarism, I will give the student a failing grade for the course.

CONTINGENCY PLAN:  If there is an emergency and the instructor or an appropriate substitute does not meet with the class, wait fifteen minutes.  If no instructor shows, the class should sign a roll sheet and designate someone to take it to the Humanities/Fine Arts Department Secretary or Chair. In the event of faculty absences, unless an assignment is given, it is expected that students will use the time studying in the library.

ACCOMMODATION OF SPECIAL NEEDS: Any student who requests classroom accommodations because of a disability must present documentation to verify his/her disability.  This documentation must be furnished to the Disabilities Service Coordinator.  On a confidential basis, the student, disabilities services and the instructor will determine the appropriate accommodations following documentation.  These accommodations will be provided in a manner that is consistent with the objectives, outcomes, and academic standards of the course. Absences must not exceed class attendance policy.

CELL PHONES:  Please make sure that your cell phone is off before entering the classroom.  There is no reason to ever have your cell phone out during class time, thus I do not want to see any cell phones in the class.

STUDENT ACCOUNTS:  Your myCFCC account is a single username and password for all of your CFCC network accounts: email, WebAdvisor, Blackboard, campus computer access, and more. The email account provided to you (yourusername@mail.cfcc.edu) is used for all official communication with CFCC instructors and staff. Some information will ONLY be sent by email and not by postal mail, so it is very important that you check this account. This account may also be used for personal mail, but is subject to the CFCC Acceptable Use Policy. Be sure to logout of your account in each service you may have opened (email, Blackboard, etc.) when you leave a shared computer, otherwise it is possible for the next user of the computer to access your information.


TOBACCO USE:  Tobacco use is prohibited on all CFCC property.  The first offense is a warning and the second offense may result in disciplinary action.

Disclaimer on First-Day Handouts:  The instructor reserves the right, acting within the policies and procedures of Cape Fear Community College, to make changes in course content or instructional techniques without notice or obligations.

PREREQUISITES: Proficiency in reading or a grade of "C" or better in ENG 095.

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Updated 12/1/2014