PHIL-328 Religious Diversity in Southeastern Pennsylvania

Fall 2009 TuTh 1:30-245pm (Olin 008) Instructor: Nathan Rein Office hours MW 10-12 and always by appointment Olin 211, x. 2571, nrein at ursinus dot edu

Course description Students will participate in an ongoing, hands-on effort to explore, document, and build connections with the religious diversity of our region. The course will involve frequent field trips and site visits to religious institutions and organizations near Ursinus, including Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic sites, with the possibility of including other traditions as well. Transportation and scheduling of site visits will be arranged after the semester begins. Attendance and preparation Please attend all class meetings. This is a seminar and informed participation (i.e., thoroughly preparing, showing up, and taking part in our collaborative work) is the point of the whole thing. There will also be a number of course activities that take us outside the classroom. To begin with, there several organized visits to various field sites. (Later on in the course, you will be visiting some sites independently, in groups or alone.) You are expected to attend these as well. I realize that there may be scheduling conflicts that make it impossible for everyone to attend every event. We will do our best to work around everyone's time constraints. But please plan on working these events into your schedule as much as possible. Assignments and grading Your final grade will be based on three things, each weighted more or less equally: your ongoing participation on course activities, documented in the form of online journal that you will be required to keep updated; weekly, short writing assignments that will be graded and returned to you with a quickness you won't believe; and a final project and presentation, which you will begin working on about halfway through the semester. If desired, I will make available a rubric sheet with more precise information about how grades are determined. Reading list Most of the readings will be in the form of handouts or a course reader. However, we will be reading the full text of three monographs, so you should plan on buying them. They are: Soul Searching: The Religious Lives of American Teenagers by Christian Smith and Melinda Denton (ISBN: 019518095X)


A New Religious America: How A "Christian Country" Has Become the World's Most Religiously Diverse Nation, by Diana L. Eck (ISBN: 0060621591) Between Heaven and Earth: The Religious Worlds People Make and the Scholars Who Study Them, by Robert Orsi (ISBN: 0691049033) The fine print HOW TO CONTACT ME: You should feel free to contact me by email or phone at any time. Unless things are really crazy, I should respond within 24 hours. You can also phone me at home if it’s before, say, 10:00 p.m. (610-973-7186). If that’s not good enough, try IMing me; my AIM screen name is nathanrein. And finally, I am usually in my office, though it’s always a good idea to call or email in advance and make an appointment. WRITTEN WORK: Rule 1. All written work must be submitted in order to receive a passing grade for the class. This means that if the end of the semester comes and I don’t have one of your papers, you will receive an F for the course. If you don’t hand something in, I’ll assume that’s your decision and I won’t bother you about it. If you want to email me a paper, that's fine. But remember: if something goes wrong and I never get the email, I’ll never know, so you should follow up and make sure I receive your work, and always keep a copy. Rule 2. Late papers will be penalized by one grade-step (from B+ to B, etc.) for each day they are late, unless you have arranged with me for an extension well in advance of the due date. If you need an extension, talk to me about it — life is complicated — and we can probably work something out. Rule 3. Informal writing will never be accepted late. Rule 4. Follow the formatting guidelines that I give you. All written work must include both page numbers and a word count in the upper right corner of the first page. Staple it or I’ll throw it out. This sounds crazy, I know, but I’m not kidding. ATTENDANCE: Attendance at every class meeting is expected. Missing class shows disrespect for your classmates and professor and for the collective enterprise of the class. Missing two class meetings may result in the issuance of an academic warning slip. Missing more than four meetings may result in a failing grade for the course. In general, absenteeism will harm your participation grade. ACADEMIC HONESTY: Plagiarism is a serious offence. In written work, all quotations must be properly attributed and appear in quotation marks. But at least as importantly, any time you are drawing on someone else’s work you MUST cite it! This includes paraphrases, summaries, or any time you make use of an idea that’s not your own. Anything else is plagiarism and can result in one or both of the following: (1) a failing grade for the course or (2) College-level disciplinary action, including expulsion. If you have questions about the proper use of sources,


please don’t hesitate to contact me. Either parenthetical citations or footnotes are appropriate. INCLEMENT WEATHER: In the event that class must be cancelled due to inclement weather, an announcement to that effect will be recorded on my office answering machine (call x2571).


Planned schedule of readings (this will change, I guarantee it) Tu 9/1 Intro to the course Th 9/3 Lahiri, Lee, Eck Tu 9/8 Yearley, Paden Th 9/10 Proudfoot, Boyer Tu 9/15 Lame Deer, add'l. selections t.b.a. Th 9/17 Thanksgiving, Miner, Pike (et al.) Tu 9/22 Bellah, "Civil Religion" and Kiely, "Monticello and Graceland" Th 9/24 Gleason, "The Melting Pot" Tu 9/29 through 10/8 Tu 10/13 through 10/22 Tu 10/27 through 11/5 Tu 11/10 through 11/24 M 12/1 through 12/10 Eck, A New Religious America Denton and Smith, Soul Searching Orsi, Between Heaven and Earth t/b/a Presentations

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