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Greenville Technical College
 Arts and Sciences Division
Humanities Department
 REL 101 Introduction to Religion
 Course Syllabus
Spring 2006

Course: REL 101-701
Semester Credit Hours: 3
Course Title: Introduction to Religion

Instructor: Dr. Chuck Shaw
Office:  Dental/112-127
Office Phone: 250-8620

Office Hours: Monday – Thursday 9:00 – 5:00; Fri 8:30 – 1:00

 PREREQUISITE: Satisfactory placement in reading.

REQUIRED TEXT: James C. Livingston. Anatomy of the Sacred: An Introduction to Religion, 5th Edition. Prentice Hall, 2005.

CATALOG COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course provides a study of religion and the nature of religious belief and practice.

 COURSE PURPOSE: This course seeks to acquaint the student with the nature and diversity of religious experience within culture through the academic study of religion and the role of religious studies within a liberal arts education.  In this course, we will consider both western and non-western religious traditions.

 Students who successfully complete REL 101 with 70% accuracy or better will have demonstrated the ability required to accomplish some or all of the following objectives: 


  1. Describe and apply a basic conceptual framework of religious experience to the academic study of religion.
  2. Describe the impact of religion on contemporary American culture.
  3. Explain how religious studies inter-connect with other academic disciplines in Arts and Sciences.
  4. Explain the descriptive approach to the human religious experience.


CampusCruiser:  It is my policy to use CampusCruiser for communication and class material.  The CampusCruiser page for this course will include a link to a Website with lecture note and supplementary material.  Please remember that lecture notes are only notes. You are responsible for all material presented in class.



Grading and Evaluation

Quizzes (3)  60%
Cumulative Final Exam 20%
Class Participation & Class work: 20%



Grading Scale

100 – 90% = A 

89 – 80% = B  )
 79 – 70% = C 
 69 - 60% = D  
59 or below = F


Quizzes: (60% of your grade) :

            There will be three quizzes during the semester. Each quiz will consist of an in-class test with objective questions (true-false, multiple choice, matching, etc.) and a take-home essay question.  The take-home questions will be assigned on week before the exam and must be submitted on the day of the exam for full credit.


Class work participation:  (20% of your grade).

In this class you will be expected to complete a number of in-class assignments. Some of these will be completed in groups while others can be done individually. These learning activities will serve as the basis for class lectures and discussion. Since these are in-class assignments, you are not able to make up missed assignments. The two lowest grades will be dropped, however.


Final Exam (20% of your grade)

            Although the final exam will be cumulative, a large part will be derived from the last section of the course.  Like the quizzes, the final will include short answer, true-false, matching, and multiple choice questions. There will also be a take-home discussion question.


Making up quizzes.

Quizzes that are missed for an excused absence may be made up.  The instructor may require documentation (e.g. a doctor’s excuse) to verify that an absence was unavoidable. Missed quizzes should be made up within a week of the original quiz date. Take-home discussion questions that are not submitted on the due date will be penalized 10 points.


Schedule of Topics

Please note: this is a tentative schedule and may be revised




January 9

Introductions: Chapter 1:  Part One What is Religion?


No Class: MLK, Jr. Day

January 23

Chapter 1 Part 2: Ways of Studying Religion

Chapter 2:  The Sacred and the Holy

January 30

Conclude Chapter 2

Review for Quiz

February 6

Quiz 1 (Chapters 1-2)

Begin Chapter 3:  Sacred Symbol, Myth and Doctrine

Feburary 13

Chapter 4: Sacred Ritual

February 20

Chapter 5: Sacred Scripture

February 27

Chapter 6: Society and the Sacred

Review for Quiz

March 6

Quiz 2 (Chapter 4-6)

Chapter 7: Deity: Concepts of the Divine and Ultimate Reality Begin

March 13

Chapter 8: Cosmogony

March 20

Chapter 9: Anthropology

March 27

Chapter 10: Theodicy

April 3

Quiz 3  (Chapter 7-10)   

Begin Chapter 11: Ethics: Patterns of Moral Action

April 17

Chapter 12: Ways of Salvation

April 24

Chapter 13: The Sacred and the Secular in Modernity

May 1

Review and catch up

May 8



Departmental Policy Pages


ACADEMIC HONESTY: All forms of cheating on tests, plagiarism, collusion and falsification of information will call for discipline.  Any student involved in any of these activities will, at a minimum, receive a grade of “0” for that portion of the course.  This grade will be computed in the final course grade.  Any student who is suspended or expelled due to an act of academic dishonesty will have the right of due process.

        1.     Cheating on tests is defined to include the following:

(a)      Copying from another student’s test paper.

(b)      Using materials during a test not authorized by the person giving the test.

(c)      Collaborating with any other person during a test without permission.

(d)      Knowingly obtaining, using, buying, selling, transporting or soliciting in whole or in part the contents of an un-administered test.

(e)      Bribing any person to obtain tests or information about tests.

(f)       Substituting for another student or permitting any other person to substitute for oneself.

2.        “Plagiarism” is defined as the appropriation of any other person’s work and the unacknowledged incorporation of that work in one’s own work offered for credit.

3.        “Collusion” is defined as the unauthorized collaboration with any other person in preparing work offered for credit.


ATTENDANCE:  Class attendance is necessary in order to receive maximum benefits from courses and to have successful academic performance.  It is the student’s responsibility to attend class and to be punctual.  A student may be administratively withdrawn if more than 10 percent of the contact hours in a given course are missed.  If the limit has been exceeded, the instructor MAY (not will) administratively withdraw the student.  VA benefits and other financial aid may be affected by a student’s excessive absences.  Additionally, students should not assume that, because they stop attending classes, the instructor will administratively withdraw them from class based on the college's attendance policy.  Dropping and Adding Classes: Students may drop or add classes during the add/drop period of each term. Courses dropped during this period will not appear on the transcript. After the Add/Drop period but prior to the end of the day on the last day to withdraw, students may withdraw from one or more classes. The student will receive a grade of "W".  If a student stops attending class and fails to drop or withdraw from the class officially, he or she will receive a grade of "F" for that course regardless of the grade average at the time the student last attended.


CLASS PARTICIPATION: Class discussions relevant to the course are encouraged; however, students must respect the freedom of the instructor to teach and the rights of other students to learn.  Disruptive behavior is unacceptable; this includes persistent tardiness, rudeness, irrelevant class interruptions, etc.


CLOSINGS: Greenville Tech will follow the schedule announced by the Greenville County School District (public schools) with regard to DAY classes that meet Monday-Friday. If the school district announces that classes are cancelled because of inclement weather, day classes at Greenville Tech will be cancelled. If the school district announces a delayed opening or early dismissal because of inclement weather, day classes at Greenville Tech will begin or be dismissed (as the case may be) at the same time. The college will determine its own schedule with regard to night and weekend classes. (Night classes are considered to be those with a start time of 5 p.m. or later, Monday-Fridays.) The cancellation or delay of day classes will not result in the automatic cancellation or delay of night or weekend classes. Prior to 3 p.m. on a day of inclement weather, announcements will be sent to area news media by designated college personnel if night classes are going to be cancelled or delayed on that date. Announcements concerning the cancellation or delay of weekend classes will be made as soon as possible.  Students may call the College’s switchboard (864-250-8000) for a recorded message.


EVALUATION METHODS AND SCHEDULES: Written tests and other assignments will be used to determine the course grade.  Specifics are described on a tentative course schedule.  Graded material generally will be returned within one week.


GRADING SCALE: The following grades are used in calculating Grade Point Averages:

A - Excellent,   (90+)  earns credit hours; carries a value of four grade points for each credit hour.

B - Above Average;   (80-89) earns credit hours; carries a value of three grade points for each credit hour.

C - Average;   (70-79) earns credit hours; carries a value of two grade points for each credit hour.

D - Below Average;   (60-69) earns credit hours; carries a value of one grade point for each credit hour.

F - Failure; (<60) earns no credit hours; carries zero grade points for each credit hour.




Spring Classes Begin (M)                                                                                               January 9, 2006

Holiday  -  Martin Luther King's Birthday (M)                                                            January 16, 2006

Students' Last Day to Withdraw from Full Term (M)                                                 March 20, 2006

Easter Holidays (M-F)                                                                                                      April 10-14, 2006

Study Day (T)                                                                                                                   May 2, 2006

Exams (W-F, M)                                                                                                                May 3-5, 8, 2006

Graduation                                                                                                                        May 9, 2006






INCOMPLETE: “I” will be given only when a minor portion of work is unfinished. The student is responsible for making up all unfinished course work within the next semester. The student cannot re-enroll in the class until the “I” has been replaced with a letter grade. The “I” will be changed to an “F” one week before the beginning of exams in the next semester. “I” does not affect grade calculations; earns no credit hours.


LIBRARY SERVICES:  Written work as assigned by instructors to determine a student’s ability to comprehend and analyze the course material will benefit from a visit to the college library.  There the student will find assistance with research strategies, web research, and online periodicals, as well as hard bound materials.  The new EBSCO Information Services provides full text journal articles from thousands of indexed academic journals.



Beepers/Pagers: Devices such as beepers/pagers and personal cellular phones are permitted on campus but must not be activated in classrooms.  These devices are not allowed in the testing center. 

Firearms: Firearms are strictly prohibited at all times.

Students with Children: Students of the college may not bring children to class or labs, or leave children unattended on campus. The college assumes no responsibility for supervision of student's children.



Greenville Technical College provides equal opportunity and affirmative action in education and employment for all qualified persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status.


STUDENTS DISABILITY SERVICES:  Greenville Technical College is committed to providing equal opportunity for all students with disabilities and assisting students in making their college experience successful in accordance with Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

Student Disability Services is located in the Student Center (Building 105, Room 124) on the Barton Campus and can be reached by phone at (864) 250-8202 and (864) 250 8408 (V/TTY), or by email at Sharon. Appointments are available at the Brashier, Greer and Northwest campuses.


STUDENT CONDUCT & DRESS: It is each student's responsibility to be familiar with and observe the regulations set forth in the Student Handbook and the Student Code for South Carolina Technical Colleges.  See College Catalog and Student Handbook


STUDENT IDENTIFICATION CARDS: All students are required to have a current Greenville Tech student identification card. The ID card must be in the student's possession at all times when the student is on campus and must be presented to any faculty, staff or administrative personnel upon request.



University Transfer Advising Center – ARC 603; 250-8167      

The Learning Center of Arts & Sciences – UT (104) Room 131; 250-8241

The Math Center is open to any Greenville Tech student, faculty or staff member who needs help in communicating with numbers or with mathematics courses.  Math centers are located on the following campuses: Barton (Building 104, Room 131, the Arts and Sciences Learning Center). Brashier (Building 102, Room 133) and Greer (Building 301, Room 125).

The Writing Center is open to any Greenville Tech student, instructor or staff member who needs help in written or oral communications.  The Writing Center is located in the University Transfer Building (Building 104, Room 131, and the Arts and Sciences Learning Center.

Support Services (for tutoring information) – SC 206; 250-8380



Computer Valley at - Barton Campus - TR 150; 250-8563;     Greer Campus – GR 125; 848-2042;  Brashier Campus – BT 122; 228-5044.


WITHDRAWAL DEADLINE: The last date to withdraw from this class is March 20, 2006.  It is the student’s responsibility to complete the course update, to obtain necessary signatures, and to turn the form in to Student Records in order to accomplish withdrawal from class.  A student can withdraw (or may be administratively withdrawn for absences) with a grade of “W” until the withdrawal date.  After that date, withdrawals will not be processed and students will receive earned course grades.



NOTE: To maintain the best possible learning environment in this class, each student is invited to contact me immediately if problems related to teaching and learning occur.  I am available during my office hours.  If these times are inconvenient for you, please speak with me before or after class to arrange an appointment.  Your comments, including concerns about my teaching, will be addressed in a serious, professional manner.  Students’ views help me to judge whether I am meeting your educational needs.  If, for any reason, you do not want to share concerns with me or you are dissatisfied with my response, see the following individuals:


Department Contact:                        John Riley                                           Office: UT 112-A               Phone: 250-8123

Dean:                                                 Corrie Wiley                                       Office: UT 104                   Phone: 250-8187  

Advisor:                                            Mr. Travis Gleaton                             Office: UT 116                   Phone: 250-8137



Policy on Student Use of Computing Facilities


This policy governs student use of College computing facilities.  The terms “computing facilities” and “facilities” are used herein to include any terminal, computer, printer, network component, or other related resource belonging to or provided by the College.  This policy is applicable regardless of whether use of a facility originates at the College, at a student’s residence, or at any other location.


I.                     General

1.       Computing facilities are provided in order to support the mission of the College.

2.       Student access to computing facilities is provided only for uses associated with a course of study and activities related to that course.

3.       The use of computing facilities for non-College related purposes are prohibited.

4.       All who use computing facilities agree to do so in a manner that is ethical, legal, and does not interfere with others.

5.       Students’ children are not allowed in computer labs or classrooms or left unattended on campus.

6.       Food and drinks are prohibited in computer labs and classrooms.

7.       Cellular phones, pagers, beepers, and other similar devices may not be activated in computer labs and classrooms.


II.                    Specific Prohibitions Regarding the Use of Computing Facilities

1.       Students may use only those facilities that have been properly authorized for their use.  Students may not make their password available to others, use an account set up for another person, or attempt to discover the password of another person.

2.       Students must be aware of, and adhere to, the laws related to software copyrights and licensing.  Software may not be copied without the expressed permission of the copyright holder.

3.       Students may not copy or attempt to copy information belonging to another person without that person’s expressed permission.

4.       Student may not attempt to interfere with the operation or attempt to circumvent security measures of the College’s computing facilities.

5.       Students may not use the College’s computing facilities to send, receive, or access material that is deemed to be obscene, offensive, or harassing to others.  The College reserves the right to determine if a particular source of information may contain such information and to restrict or deny access to such sources at its discretion.


III.                  Other

1.       The College makes computing facilities consisting of hardware and software available to internal and external users.  The College accepts no responsibility for any damage to or loss of data arising directly or indirectly from the use of these facilities or for any consequential loss or damage.

2.       The College provides no facilities that guarantee the confidentiality of files. The computer systems administrator and his/her designee do have the ability to view all messages and files of any user.  It is not the routine practice of the administrator to view such files; however, privacy cannot be guaranteed.

3.       Different computer labs may have different regulations concerning their use. [Example: signing in and out may be required in some labs.]  Students who use a computer lab must learn and adhere to the regulations of that lab.


I understand that violation of this policy constitutes a violation of the Student Code for South Carolina Technical Colleges and may result in progressive disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the College.

Tear off here and turn in to instructor.


I have read the foregoing syllabus and computer use policy and understand what is expected of me in this class.




___________________________________________________                         ________________               

Student  Signature                                                                                                                        Date



ID Number