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Christine L. Williams, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Spring 2008

SOC 308 • Intro to Global Relations

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46370 MWF
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
UTC 3.110
Kurtz

Course Description

"Global Religions" surveys a variety of religious traditions and introduces scholarly methods for the study of religion from an interdisciplinary perspective. The major religious traditions began primarily in Asia and spread throughout the world, encountering indigenous traditions on every other continent. This course will explore the nature and origin of religious beliefs and practices around the world, both historically and in the contemporary context.

Of particular interest will be the relationship between religion and conflict. Content will also focus on the ways in which religious traditions form and change over time as they become increasingly cosmopolitan and diffuse geographically, and the relationship between those traditions and the current globalization of culture and society.

Grading Policy

Each participant will take two examinations unless they choose to write a major research paper (ca. 20 pages in length) and observe a religious ritual or event and write a short paper analyzing it. The two exams may be replaced with a major research paper. In calculating the course grade, each assignment will be weighted as follows:

Examination #1 30%
Ritual analysis 30%
Examination #2 30%
Class Attendance 10%

Texts

Mary Pat Fisher, The Living Religions, 6th ed. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 2006
Lester Kurtz, Gods in the Global Village: The World's Religions in Sociological Perspective, 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Pine Forge Press, 2006
Readings packet available online and at Paradigm Notes.

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