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HIS 250: History of Eastern Religions

Course Description

This unique and interactive course takes a comprehensive look at the Eastern traditions of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Hinduism, and Shinto. Using a variety of both current and historical materials, the class promotes understanding of Eastern cultural perspectives, and notes differences with traditional Western ideals. Weekly discussions are based on thought provoking questions that promote intriguing and meaningful conversation. Together with entertaining lectures and readings from legendary figures such as the Dalai Lama and Confucius, the class joins together for an overall fulfilling and memorable learning experience.

Prerequisite

  • None

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast histories, philosophies and practices of the major East Asian Religions.
  2. Appreciate ideologies and philosophies that may be different from their own.
  3. Critically analyze the merits and constraints of these global religions.
  4. Identify the role of geography in the development of these cultures.
  5. Demonstrate critical thinking through inquiry based discussion, interpretation of primary source materials, writing assignments, and exams.
  6. Exhibit a thorough understanding of ideas and principles of each topic religion.
  7. Assess the importance tolerance, empathy, and cultural understanding.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

Assignments

Weight

Discussions (Weeks 1-7)

25%

Written Assignments

20%

Quizzes (Weeks 4 & 6)

10%

Group Project (Week 6)

5%

Research Project (Week 7)

15%

Final Exam (Week 8)

25%

Total:

100%

Required Textbooks

Available through Charter Oak's online bookstore

  • Nadeau, Randall L. Asian Religions, A Cultural Perspective. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2014. ISBN-10: 1-118-47196-2 or ISBN-13: 978-1-118-47196-8
  • Dalai Lama. Ethics for the New Millennium Riverhead Books, 1999. ISBN-10: 1-57322-883-4 or ISBN-13: 978-1-57322-883-1

Course Schedule

Week

SLOs

Readings and Exercises

Assignments

1

3,4,5

Topics: Introduction to Hinduism

  • Reading:
    • Textbook: Asian Religions - Chapters 14-17
    • Read selections from the Bhagavad-Gita

 

  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Practice Quiz (not graded)

2

1-5

Topics: Hinduism: Traditions and Castes

  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Submit Written Assignment - Pusalar's Story
  • Review Research Assignment - Due Week 7

3

1,2,3,5

Topic: Buddhism Across the East

  • Reading:
    • Textbook: Asian Religions - pages 141-170
    • Ethics for the New Millennium, Chapters 1-4
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Submit Fable Assignment - The Blind Men and the Elephant

4

2,3,5

Topic: The Dalai Lama & Tibet

  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Submit Compare and Contrast Essay
  • Complete Quiz

5

2,3,4,5

Topic: Confucianism

  • Read assigned pages
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Submit Assignment - Create a Confucian Fable
  • Begin Group Project

6

1,2,3

Topic: Taoism

  • Reading:
    • Textbook: Asian Religions - Chapters 8, 9 & 13
  • Read assigned pages
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete quiz (graded)
  • Submit Group Project

7

3,5

Topic: Shinto and Japan

  • Reading:
    • Textbook: Asian Religions - Chapters 27 & 29
  • Read assigned pages
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Submit Independent Project
  • Take the quiz (ungraded but required)
  • Prepare for Final

8

1-5

Final Exam
Will cover material in both texts
SLOs 1 - 5

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.