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Week

Topic(s)

Learning Objective(s)

Reading(s)

What is Religion
and How can we
Study it?

Bowker, pp. 10-23


Livingston, pp. 3-35
Van Voorst, pp. 1-22

The Nature of the


Sacred
Hinduism

Sacred Ritual and


Scripture
Buddhism

Social Formation
and Concepts of
the Divine
Confucianism
and Taoism

Cosmogony and
Anthropology
Judaism

Define "religion",
Describe the importance of
religion.
Summarize and evaluate the
major academic methods
used in the study of religion.
Define "sacred" and "holy".
Summarize the religious
significance of symbols.
Describe the "truthfulness"
of religious beliefs and
experiences.
Assess the relationship
between ethnicity,
nationality and religion.
Identify and describe the
historical development and
central beliefs of Hinduism.
Define ritual, rite,
sacrament and scripture.
Determine the purposes of
religious rituals and
scripture.
Describe the challenges and
rewards of interpreting
religious rituals and
scripture.
Identify and describe the
historical development and
central beliefs of Buddhism.
Describe the nature of
natural and voluntary
religious communities.
Determine what gives rise to
sects, cults, and new
religious movements.
Identify and describe the
major concepts of divinity,
Evaluate the relationship
between religion and
politics.
Identify and describe the
historical development and
central beliefs of
Confucianism and Taoism.
Identify and compare the
cosmogonies of the major
world religions.
Identify and describe the
four classic diagnosis of the
human problem.
Identify and describe the
historical development and
central beliefs of Judaism.

Assignment(s)
Reflection Paper #1

Bowker, pp. 26-53


Livingston, pp. 3979
Van Voorst, pp. 2565

Bowker, pp. 74-109


Livingston, pp. 80134
Van Voorst, pp. 67105

Reflection Paper #2

Bowker, pp. 110143


Livingston, pp. 135195
Van Voorst, pp. 137175

Bowker, pp. 182213


Livingston, pp. 196246
Van Voorst, pp. 199242

OC543 History of Religion


Mark D. Wessner
Page 1 of 2

Theodicy,
Morality and
Ethics
Christianity

Soteriology and
Eschatology
Islam

The Future of
Religion
New Religions

Describe the major religious


theodicies,
Identify and describe the
source(s) of morality and
ethics.
Discuss the modern
implications of religious
morality and ethics.
Identify and describe the
historical development and
central beliefs of
Christianity.
Identify and assess the four
classic "paths" to salvation,
Describe the most
significant religious
concepts the end of life
and/or time.
Identify and describe the
historical development and
central beliefs of Islam.
Discuss the impact of
secularization and pluralism
upon modern religious
thought and expression.
Identify and describe the
historical development and
central beliefs of the more
prominent new religious
movements.

Bowker, pp. 232269


Livingston, pp. 247300
Van Voorst, pp. 245280

Reflection Paper #3

Bowker, pp. 272303


Livingston, pp. 301352
Van Voorst, pp. 283321

Book Review
Research Paper

Bowker, pp. 305309


Livingston, pp. 355389
Van Voorst, pp. 323358

Discussion Board
Final Exam

OC543 History of Religion


Mark D. Wessner
Page 2 of 2