RELST 113: Schedule of Readings & Assignments (F’18)


August 30: Course Introductions, expectations

September 4: Class discussion: “Bracketing”

READ: ELIADE, “Chronological Survey”; McCutcheon, What is the Academic Study of Religion (.pdf)

Part I: Thinking about Religion

September 6: Learning to think outside the box…

READ: SEXSON, chapters 1-2

September 11: NO CLASS (Rosh HaShanah)

September 13: … by seeing what’s in the box…

READ: SEXSON, chapters 3-4

September 18: … and redefining “box.”

READ: Bruce, “Defining Religion”

Part II: Myth & Ritual

September 20: Defining Myth

READ: Honko, “The Problem of Defining Myth”

September 25: Deconstructing Myth


September 27: Defining Ritual

READ: Geertz, “Religion as a Cultural System”

DUE: “Evidence of…” #1 (Myth)

October 2: Experiencing Ritual


October 4: Discussion of The Holy Ghost People (No new reading)

[Please watch the film BEFORE class, and complete the WORKSHEET]

October 9: Mid-Term REVIEW (No new reading)

Download: RELST 113 – Study Sheet #1

DUE: “Evidence of…” #2 (Ritual)


October 16: NO CLASS (Fall Break)

Part III: The Sacred

October 18: Introducing the Sacred


October 23: Defining the Sacred, I

READ: ELIADE, “Introduction”

October 25: Defining the Sacred, II

READ: ELIADE, chapters 1-3

October 30: The Living & the Dead

IN-CLASS: Day of the Dead

November 1: Time & the Divine

READ: HESCHEL (entire)

Part IV: Good & Evil

November 6: Good & Evil, I

READ: Kohlberg, “Stages of Moral Development” worksheet; Gilligan, “In a Different Voice”

DUE: “Evidence of…” #3 (Sacred time / space)

November 8: Good & Evil, II


Part V: Religion in the World

November 13: Religion & Politics

READ: Farnsley, “It’s Time We Think of Politics More Like Religion”

November 15: Religion & Politics in the US

READ: Bellah, “Civil Religion in America

November 20: Religious Organization: Cults, Sects, Texts

November 22: NO CLASS (Thanksgiving)

November 27: Religious Organization: Sex & Gender


November 29: The Future of Religion

READ: Barber, “Jihad v. McWorld”

DUE: “Evidence of…” #4 (Text)

December 4: NO CLASS (PORT Day)

Port Day Extra-Credit Form

December 6: Conclusions (No new reading)

December 11: Exam Review (No new reading)

Download: RELST 113 – Study Sheet2

Final Exam

December 13 (Thursday), 8:00 – 10:30 a.m.