Philosophy 103 - World Religions - Fall 2012

Taught over the World Wide Web!!!! So, print this out and tape it on the refrigerator!!!

PHL 103 web class begins on August 20th
PHL 103 web class ends Monday, December 10th
Nothing can be submitted after noon on December 10th.

No attendance, no on-campus orientation, and no on-campus tests
[Please email me if you are a SLU student as they "may" require proctored tests, sorry.]

Dr. Michael Fuller - Professor of Anthropology
Office - Social Science Rm. SO 230 at Meramec
Office Phone: (314) 984-7987 [please use email because I can check email easily but voicemail is a pain!!]


Web Notes are at

New to Blackboard learning? Go here for help...

St. Louis Community College Blackboard Help Desk for Blackboard related issues.
* Toll Free: 877 708-2934 or Local: 314 539-5934
* From an SLCC phone: Ext. 5934

Students in this courses absolutely must use their new email account.  Failure to do so will result in students not receiving important information about the course and official communication about add/drop dates, financial aid information etc. from the college. Go to this website for further instructions:

Email address:

Office Hours: 10 to 1 TTh and 11 to 1 MWF

Purpose of the Course:
An orientation course, examining the nature and function of religion in human experience and culture, and an introduction to the history, content, and present status of selected world religions, such as Traditional African religions, Traditional Native American religions, Hinduism, Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and New Age religions.

Purpose of this class:
To think, reason, analyze, decide, discern and evaluate. These are the goals a liberal arts education.

On-line readings (think of it as a free Textbook):
You will be assigned to read a dozen chapters that are embedded within Blackboard. You can print out one copy of each reading, if you wish. I recommend that you read the chapters, on-line.

You will be reading selections from these books:

Abdul Rauf, Imam Feisal
2004 What's right with Islam : a new vision for Muslims and the West. Harper, SanFrancisco.

Bocking, Brian
2010 "Shinto" in the Encyclopedia of Religion in America. Second edition. Edited by Charles H. Lippy and Peter W. Williams. CQ Press, Washington D.C.

Carmody, Denise L. and John T. Carmody
1992 "Chinese Religion" in An Introduction to the religions of Asia. Wadsworth Publishing Company.

Grayling, A. C.
2010 "Religion" in Ideas that Matter: The concepts that shape the 21st century. Basic Books, New York.

Hiltebeitel, Alf
2005 "Hinduism" in the Encyclopedia of Religion, Second edition. Edited by Lindsay Jones. McMillan Reference, Detroit.

Hockings, Paul
1968 On Giving Salt to Buffaloes: ritual as communication. Ethnology 7:411-426.

Hockings, Paul and John Beierle
2004 "Badaga" in Electronic Human Relations Area Files. New Haven, Yale University.

Kitagawa, Joseph M.
1987 "Shinto" in On Understanding Japanese Religion. Princeton University Press.

Matthews, Warren
1999 "Jainism and Sikhism" in World Religions. 3rd edition. Wadsworth Publising Company.

Östör, Akos
1980 The play of the gods: locality, ideology, structure, and time in the festivals of a Bengali town. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Prothero, Stephen
2010 "Judaism: The Way of Exile and Return" in God is Not One. HarperCollins Publishers, New York.

Simpkins, Annellen
2000 "Confucius: The First Teacher" in Simple Confucianism. Tuttle Publishing.

Smart, Ninian
1998 "Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union" in The World's Religions. 2nd edition. Cambridge University.

Tinker, Tim
2010 "Indians of the Plains" in the Encyclopedia of Religion, Second Edition. Edited by Lindsay Jones. Thomson - Gale Publishers, New York.

Turnbull, Colin
1962 The Forest People. Simon and Schuster, New York.

Young, Wlliam A.
1995 "Theravada Buddhism: The Middle Way" in Worldviews and Contemporary Issues. Prentice-Hall Inc.

YOU WILL do significant reading, but not from a paper textbook.


Streaming Videos that you will be required to watch:

"Touching the Timeless" - PBS program about Huichol Indians in Mexico on college server

"Religion in Hindu India" -

"Buddhism" -

"Sikhs" - BBC program on youTube

"The Essence of Being Japanese" -

"Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon" - in college library collection

"Jewish Law: in the Community" -


1. We will use on-line readings, web resources, streaming videos, and pod-casts to study religion's impact on humankind's socio-political, historical, economic, and spiritual quest.

2. Understand how religions are formed and respond to change.

3. Recognize the beliefs and rituals of the world's major religions.

Equipment Requirements:

Specific hardware and software requirements are a functional PC or Mac that can support Netscape or Explorer. Personally, I use the Safari and Firefox browsers on my Apple PowerBook G4. The computer that you use for this class can be at home, work, or in the college library. YOU REALLY, REALLY have to check you STLCC student email account. Blackboard ONLY talks to the college email address for you (and not your hotmail or yahoo mail accounts).

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT....All homework must be submitted in the SUBMIT HERE folder at Blackboard. Do not email your answers to me. Answers emailed through Blackboard are not acceptable. There is no way to assign a grade if the homework was not properly submitted through Blackboard.

MEGA IMPORTANT... When submitting a homework assignment or taking a quiz, then the easy way to FAIL is by having multiple applications running at one time. Students from last semester have demonstrated that you can flunk an assignment by having Windows media player, facebook, myspace and black board at the same time. Blackboard will crash when multiple applications are running. Also, if you walk away from the computer and go to the movie, then Blackboard will shut down the application and leave you without a score for any open homework or Quiz. Always click SUBMIT and don't rely on the SAVE button.

Calendar of Learning:

Week 1 (August 20 to 27) Start the class by logging into Blackboard and clicking on "Start Here."

YOU MUST TAKE can I pass this class or be dropped from the class during the first week!! It is found by clicking on the SUBMIT HERE button! Click on the DO THIS button and watch "Welcome" streaming video.

Next, Click on DO THIS button and then Click on Homework 1 - Religion in America. Watch my streaming video lecture and Read "Ideas that Matter " pdf that you will find in the folder on Religion in America. Click on the study guide for Homework 1 that analyzes student survey data. Follow the directions and write two essays. Submit the essays by clicking on the SUBMIT HERE button.

Weeks 2 throught 5 (August 27 to September 26) - Watch "Overview" streaming video at Blackboard. Submit two essays that analyze the STLCC survey data.
- Watch "Osage" streaming video at Blackboard. Read "Native American Overview" PDF file at Blackboard. Do Hopi Assignment.
- Do Quichol Assignment. Do Mbuti Assignment. Submit Homework 2.
- Read "Hinduism" PDF file in Blackboard. Do Badagas Assignment. Do Bengali Assignment.
- Submit Homework 3. Read "Theravada Buddhism" as PDF file in Blackboard.
- Submit Homework 4. Take Quiz 1 covering assignments 1 to 4. It will consist of 40 questions. IT MUST BE TAKEN BEFORE 10 PM ON September 26TH WHEN IT DISAPPEARS FOREVER!!! Also, homeworks 1 to 4 will not be accepted after September 26th!

Weeks 6 through 11 (September 26 to Octobert 31) Read "Jainism and Sikhs" as PDF file at Blackboard. Submit Jain essay and submit Sikh essay.
- Read "Japanese Mythology", "Shinto", and "Handbook of Japanese Religion" as PDF file at Blackboard. Submit Shinto essay.
- Read "Chinese Religion" and "Confucius: The First Teacher" as PDF file at Blackboard. Submit Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon essays.
- Read "Judaism" as PDF file at Blackboard. Watch "Judaism" streaming video at Blackboard. Submit Judaism essays.
- Watch "Christianity Part 1" streaming video. Take Quiz 2 covering up through Judaism, but not covering Christianity. The quiz consists of 40 questions. IT MUST BE TAKEN BEFORE 10 PM ON October 31st WHEN IT DISAPPEARS FOREVER!!! Also, homeworks 5 to 8 will not be accepted after October 31st.

Weeks 11 through 16 (November 1 to December 14th) Read "The Scope of Christianity". Do Homework 9.
- Watch"Christianity Part 2" streaming video at Blackboard. Read "Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union" as PDF file in Blackboard. Do Homework 10.
- Read "What's right with Islam : a new vision for Muslims and the West." Watch "Streaming Video: pilgrimage to Mecca." Do homework 11.
- Take Quiz 3 with 40 questions covering readings on Islam and Christianity; MUST BE TAKEN BEFORE NOON ON DEC 10TH WHEN IT DISAPPEARS FOREVER!!! Likewise, Homeworks 9, 10, and 11 will not be accepted after NOON on Dec 10th.

The class has a total of 230 points possible.
- 120 points from 3 exams
- 110 points from 11 homework assignments

Add up the points and check your grade:

207 to 230 points equals "A"
183 to 206 poins equals "B"
159 to 182 points equals "C"
135 to 158 points equals "D"
below 134 points is Failing...

There are 3 Quizzes during the semester. Each quiz is 40 multiple choice questions. You will have precisely 80 minutes to take a quiz in the Blackboard computer system. You get one chance to take a quiz. Don't goof it up!!!

Yes, each quiz is open book, and open notes. Not fair to have your mother take the quiz (mainly because she won't know the answers!!!).

Beware, if you go surfing for the answers, then that often crashes Blackboard and voids your test. That is very, very bad, because you will have to take an essay makeup examination. You do not want to take the makeup test!!! Makeup tests are far more challenging.

How can you prepare for a quiz? There will be reviews for each quiz posted in blackboard!!!!

PS. The homework assignments calling for essays MUST reflect your thoughts. I run your essays through TURNITIN which will alert me to the unacceptable practice of Plagiarism. When you write an essay you will probably find supporting material for your ideas from works by others. It's okay to use the ideas of other people, but you do need to correctly credit them. If you cut and paste large quantities of their text, even if in quotes, that still reflects very little concern for your grade (which will be rock botom).

ALSO.... I do not give incomplete or PR grades in myh classes. Your grade options are A, B, C, D and F. I can not withdraw or drop you from this class. You must contact the Admissions/Registration office to withdraw or drop from this class. The college can require you to come to campus to drop the class. Late drops can only be done with a doctor's note or hospital report. Here is the information on campus admission/registration:

Florissant Valley
3400 Pershall Road
1st Floor Admin Bldg.
St. Louis, MO 63135-1408

Phone: 314-513-4244
Fax: 314-513-4724
M-Th: 8 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Fri: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.