All assignments in the course are due at 11:59 pm Central Time on the day indicated in the syllabus.
The weekly discussion posts will allow you to engage with the course material. Each initial post should be original, insightful, relevant to the question(s) being asked, well organized, and complete by its deadline. In addition to posting your own contribution to the discussion, you are expected to read the posts of your classmates and respond to at least two other student postings in each discussion for full credit. Brief posts such as ‘good post’ and rephrasing another student’s post are not acceptable and will not count toward participation. All responses are due by the following day. Due dates in the syllabus are listed in the “initial post/response post” format, where the first day listed is the due date for your initial post, and the second day is the due date for your responses.
Each of the sixteen discussions will be graded out of 15 points, for a total of 240 points. More information about the grading criteria will be located in the course Content area.
You will write two essays in this class, each counting for 180 points. Information about the specific grading criteria will be located in the course Content area. In line with the development of the course content, the first essay will consist of a historical and social analysis of a particular religious tradition and the second will focus on the globalization of religious traditions and practices:
In this 5-page paper, you should focus on one distinct religious tradition, define it precisely, and explain the social and cultural contexts in which it emerged, developed, and is practiced today. Your essay should discuss both the institutional (organizational) and experiential (how individuals and groups of individuals practice it) dimensions of this religious tradition. Make sure to select a specific tradition; Christianity, Islam, or Buddhism, for example, are too broad. Each of these religious traditions include multiple trends and/or denominations. It is on one of these that your essay should focus.
In this 5-page paper, you should explore the organization and practice of a minority religion. A minority religion is any religion which, in a particular country, is practiced by a minority of the population. Catholicism is a minority religion in Thailand, for example, as Theravada Buddhism is a minority religion in the United States. Like for the previous assignment, I ask you to select a specific religious tradition, although it needs to be one that is significantly different from your first essay. Questions that you might want to ask include: How is the religion organized, practiced, and experienced? To what extent does it become a resource for the individual and collective identities of immigrants? Do nationals convert to it, and why? How do the beliefs and practices articulate with the predominant values and norms of the country?
There will be a midterm and a final exam, each counting for 200 points. Both exams are composed of essay questions. You will have 120 minutes to take each exam. Information about the grading criteria will be located in the course Content area. Both exams may be found under Quizzes. Only the final exam will be proctored.