REL 110 OFFICE HRS: MWF, 12-1:00 & TTH, 11-12:00
SPRING 1999 or by appointment
E-Mail: MAIL BOX: S312
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COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course introduces the world's major religious traditions. Topics include Primal religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Upon completion, students should be able to identify the origins, history, beliefs, and practices of the religions studied.

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 world's major religions.

2. Identify certain persons and events with their respective religious traditions.

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.

5. An appreciation for the diversity of religious traditions and their importance in the public and private lives of adherents.


Nigosian, S. A., World Faiths, New York, NY: St. Martin's Press, 2nd Edition, 1994.
Gibaldi, Joseph.MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 4th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 1995.
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:

1. Introduction to religion and the religion of non-literate peoples (3 weeks).

2. Religions of Indian and the Far East (5 weeks).

3. Early Western Religions (4 weeks).

4. Late Western Religions (4 weeks).


There will be four tests during the semester, including the mid-term and final, which will be given at the end of each unit as indicated above.Each test will count 20% toward your final course grade.

One of the desired outcomes for this course is to create lifelong learners. One tool required in the pursuit of this goal and for your continued academic success is an ability to do research. Thus, in addition to the two graded papers, all students will hand in a bibliography, a quarter long project detailing the hard and electronic research resources for a particular religious tradition. Again, the citations of references must conform to the MLA Handbook. Detailed instructions will be given on how to find and store sources from the World Wide Web. CFCC librarians will offer their support in how to find traditional, hard-copy resources. The first draft will be due Monday, January 25th. Again, the citations of references must conform to the MLA Handbook. Final bibliography is due April 19th, Monday. (Counts as 20% of your total grade).

Class format is lecture-discussion. All assigned readings must be completed prior to class. Students are expected to critically participate in class discussion. To encourage your attendance and participation, I will award 4 points to your final grade average, deducting 1 point per hour of absence.

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.

CAPE FEAR ATTENDANCE POLICY: CFCC policy requires 80% attendance. Thus, a grade of No Credit is issued on the 10th hour of absence, no exceptions. It is your responsibility to keep track of your absences.

GRADING: School wide grade scale is as follows:

A=100-92, B=91-84, C=83-76, D=75-68, F=67

No withdrawals will be granted without a face to face consultation with the instructor and it is CFCC policy that, "Students who withdraw after the eighth week of classes must obtain permission in writing from the Dean of Student Development."

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

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