Fred Glennon, Ph.D. (Courses)
Professor (RH 216)
Department of Religious Studies
Le Moyne College
Syracuse, New York 13214
(315) 445-4343

REL 200-01, 02

Religious Perspectives on the Human Situation

Fall 2016    Location: RH 338    TTH 11:30-12:45; 1:00-2:15pm   Email:

Course Description and Objectives


Student Responsibilities and Rights

Learning Covenant Guidelines

Course Reading and Assignment Schedule (Fall  2016)

Methods of Instruction

Office Hours


Activity Options

Why Study Religion?

Why Study Religion rap

Internet Guide to RS Research

World Religions and Spiritualities Project

Mission Statement:  Le Moyne College is a diverse learning community that strives for academic excellence in the Catholic and Jesuit tradition through its comprehensive programs rooted in the liberal arts and sciences. Its emphasis is on education of the whole person and on the search for meaning and value as integral parts of the intellectual life. Le Moyne College seeks to prepare its members for leadership and service in their personal and professional lives to promote a more just society.


Course Description and Objectives:  

This course is an introduction to religion as a dimension of human experience which affects all aspects of life. Students will be introduced to the basic concepts and methods necessary for the study of religion and will be exposed to the basic modes of religious experience and expression as found in the world's religions. Special emphasis will be placed on the Jewish and Christian religious traditions.

During our time together, we will explore answers religion has given to some of life's most important questions: What is the nature of reality? What is humanity? Why do people suffer/die? How can I be saved? What may I hope? What must I do? What kind of person should I become? The approach is to study religious experience academically, using the categories developed in the field, such as myth, ritual, ethics, creed, and doctrine. In addition, we will look at the relationship between religion, the individual, and society, particularly the way religion promotes and restricts individual and social change.

Core Learning Outcomes to be met:Religious Inquiry; Reading, Writing, and Literacy.Institutional Learning Outcomes to be met:Academic Excellence, Jesuit Identity, and Diversity
Departmental Learning Outcomes to be met:Theory and Method, Knowledge of Traditions, and Search for Meaning,

Specific Learning Outcomes:By the end of this course, the student will be able to:

1.      formulate and defend a reasonable understanding of religion (religious inquiry, academic excellence, theory and method);

2.      provide accurate descriptions and examples of the language of religion (myth, symbol, metaphor, doctrine, ritual, ethics, etc.) (religious inquiry, academic excellence, knowledge of traditions);

3.      relate the way (s) religions help humanity to create order to their own search for meaning (religious inquiry, Jesuit identity, search for meaning);

4.      provide examples of the relationship between religion, society, and individual and social change (religious inquiry);

5.      explain ways religion promotes alienation and reconciliation (religious inquiry, academic excellence);

6.      analyze the structure (organization, context, purpose, etc.) and worldview (symbols, myths, doctrines, ethos, etc.) underlying a religious action in a tradition other than his/her own (religious inquiry, diversity; academic excellence, and knowledge of traditions)

7.      work cooperatively with others on various tasks in a group context (academic excellence); and

8.      take an active role in and responsibility for her/his learning (academic excellence).



Methods of Instruction: The content of the course will be covered by lectures, group discussions and presentations, audio-visual presentations, structured reading and writing assignments, and other media depending upon student interest and involvement.

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Texts and Other Readings: The following required texts are available in the bookstore:

Ring, Nash, MacDonald, and Glennon, Introduction to the Study of Religion, 2nd edition (Orbis Books, 2012).
Elie Wiesel, Night
Patel, Acts of Faith (Beacon Press, 2010).
 A copy of the bibleóeither the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) or the New American Bible: both are fairly recent translations based on the original languages (Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic) (I will provide online links to passages we will read for class in the course schedule.)

In addition, I will place other required readings on reserve in the library or on Canvas. Reference is made to these readings in the course schedule.

Office Hours: I will be in my office at the following times: Tues/Thurs. 10:00-11:15am; Wed. 2:30-4:00pm.  If these times are not convenient, see me to make other arrangements. Come by if you have any questions related to the course.

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Student Responsibilities and Rights: Students have the responsibility for sharing in and contributing to the learning process. This responsibility includes developing a learning covenant (click here for Learning Covenant Guidelines), reading assigned material prior to class, participating actively in group process, class presentations and discussions, completing written assignments on time, and evaluating and suggesting positive directions for the class. In fulfilling these responsibilities, the student has certain rights. These include a right to voice an opinion that is based on a self-chosen value system, a right to dissent or differ from the professor or from others in the class, a right to papers and tests returned at a reasonable time, access to the professor at hours other than class time, and a right to know the grading system.

Evaluation: Student evaluations will be based on successful completion of assigned and self-chosen activities. The assigned activities include group participation (75-100 points), an analysis of a religious action from a tradition other than one's own (75-100 points), and a group final exam (75-100 points). The remaining 200-275 points of the student's grade will be determined on the basis of the student choosing from a menu of activities (click here Activity Options).  The grading scale will be as follows:

For College grading policies, including grievance policies for grades, please refer to the College Catalog, pp 10-11.

Course Grading Scale





















































Canvas: The bulk of the materials and assignments for this course will be distributed through the use of Canvas at Le Moyne. To access these materials, just point your Internet browser to The course will be listed under Fall 2016, REL200-01(or 02)-FA16, Religious Perspectives. Students who are enrolled in the course already have access to the course and just need to register their password for the course. I will use the email given to you by the school (your Le Moyne account) as the official means to communicate with you.

Tentative Course and Reading Schedule: The daily class schedule can be accessed online through the link above or here). Students should consult the file frequently in order to be apprised of any changes in the schedule. All changes made by the instructor in this file will be considered official. 

Learning Covenant and Activity OptionsAlso under Learning Covenant module on Canvas, you will find two files related to the Learning Covenant Guidelines and Activity Options. These files describe the teaching philosophy and approach to this class and the various ways student can be evaluated.

Special Needs: In coordination with the Academic Support Center  (ASC), located on the first floor of the Noreen Reale Falcone Library, reasonable accommodations are provided for qualified students with disabilities. Qualified students should register with Mr. Roger Purdy,(, Director of Disability Support Services (445-4118 [voice] or 445-4104 [TDD]), for disability verification and determination of reasonable accommodations. After receiving the appropriate form from the ASC, students should meet with the instructor to review the form and discuss their needs. Students should make every attempt to meet with the instructor during the first week of class so that accommodations can be implemented in a timely manner.

Students with Personal Problems: Students who encounter personal problems of any kind, especially problems that might affect their academic performance, are encouraged to contact the Wellness Center for Health and Counseling. The Center is located in Romero Hall; appointments may be arranged by phone at 445-4195. The Center provides both individual and group counseling on a strictly confidential basis. The professional staff is also available on an emergency basis.


Policy on Academic Honesty:  Academic dishonesty (plagiarism, cheating) undermines the trust between instructors and students and among students themselves.  Such dishonesty is the attempt to fulfill a course requirement by representing as your own the intellectual property (ideas, words, or work) of another person (living or dead; professional writer or student) found in print or electronic sources, even with the personís permission. Please note that this definition includes paraphrasing anotherís work: if you read it somewhere, cite it.  As a member of an intellectual and academic community, you are obliged to acknowledge the source of phrases and ideas that are original to someone else.  The minimum penalty is failure of the assignment but could lead to failure of the course.  In addition, I will report the incident to the Dean of Arts and Sciences who may decide to take further disciplinary action.  A second act of academic dishonesty during your career at Le Moyne often results in expulsion from the college (College Catalog, p. 41). You may access the LeMoyne site on plagiarism at:  The Landmark Citation Machine is an excellent resource for students.  This website will format any type of citation into MLA or APA style.

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