Make your own free website on

Greenville Technical College
 Arts and Sciences Division
Humanities Department
 REL 101 Introduction to Religion
 Course Syllabus
Spring 2007

Course: REL 101-B71
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 notes 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 8

Introductions: Chapter One: What is Religion?


No Class: MLK, Jr. Day

January 22

Chapter 1: Ways of Studying Religion

January 29

Chapter 2: The Sacred and the Holy

Review for Quiz

February 5

Quiz 1 (Chapters 1-2)

Begin Chapter 3

Feburary 12

Chapter 4: Sacred Ritual

February 19

Chapter 5: Sacred Scripture

February 26

Chapter 6: Society and the Sacred

March 5

Quiz 2 (Chapter 3-6)

Begin Chapter 7: Concepts of the Divine

March 12

Chapter 8: Cosmogony

March 19

Chapter 9: Anthropology

March 26

Chapter 10: Theodicy

April 2

NO CLASS Spring Break

April 9

Quiz 3 (Chapters 7-10)

Begin Chapter 11

April 16

Chapter 11: Ethics: Patterns of Moral Behavior

April 23

Chapter 12: Soteriology: Ways and Goals of Savlation

April 30

Review and catch up

May 7


Humanities 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.

  1. “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.
  2. “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.


Student access to computing facilities is provided only for uses associated with a course of study and activities related to that course. The use of computing facilities for non-college related purposes is prohibited. All who use computing facilities agree to do so in a manner which is ethical, legal and does not interfere with others. See College Catalog and Student Handbook. In acknowledging the course syllabus, you are accepting the following statement:

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 8, 2007

Martin Luther King’s Birthday (M)

January 15, 2007

Classes Begin for 10-Week Session (M)

February 12, 2007

Students’ Last Day to Withdraw from 1st Half (W)

February 14, 2007

Last Class Day for 1st Half Term (W)

February 28, 2007

Exams for 1st Half Term (R_F)

March 1-2, 2007

Classes Begin for 2nd Half Term (M)

March 5, 2007

Students’ Last Day to Withdraw from Full Term (M)

March 19, 2007

Students’ Last Day to Withdraw from 10-Week Session ®

March 29, 2007

Easter Holidays (M_F)

April 2-6, 2007

Students’ Last Day to Withdraw from 2nd Half (T)

April 17, 2007

Last Class Day Full Term, 2nd Half & 10-Week (M)

April 30, 2007

Study Day (T)

May 1, 2007

Exams (W-F, M)

May 2-4, 2007

Graduation (T)

May 8, 2007

Faculty Work Days (T_W)

May 8-9, 2007

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.


Add/Drop for First Half (M-R)

January 8-11, 2007

Add/Drop for Full Term (M-F)

January 8-12, 2007

Add/Drop for 10 Week Session (M-W)

February 12-14, 2007

Add/Drop for Second Half  (M-W)

March 5-7, 2007


Students’ Last Day to Withdraw from 1st Half (W)

February 14, 2007

Students’ Last Day to Withdraw from Full Term (M)

March 19, 2007

Students’ Last Day to Withdraw from 10-Week Session (R)

March 29, 2007

Students’ Last Day to Withdraw from 2nd Half (T)

April 17, 2007

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.


All courses in this department require some written work to assure competence in written communication.

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:

Humanities Dept. Head:

Mr. John Riley 

Office: UT 112-A

Phone: 250-8123

Associate Dept. Head:

Dr. Norman Raiford  

Office: UT 237

Phone: 250-8399

Dean of Arts and Sciences:

Mrs. Corrie Wiley

Office: UT 105

Phone: 250-8187

Arts and Sciences Advisor:

Mr. Travis Gleaton

Office: UT 116

Phone: 250-8137

Note: Your instructor will have you sign the “Syllabus Acknowledgement and Compliance” form in class, which will read something like this: “I have read the Syllabus and Departmental Policy Pages. I understand what is expected of me in this class and agree to comply with the policies indicated.”