The topic for this term is Religious Studies: a comparative look at major world religious belief systems—Buddhism, Islam, Atheism, and Christianity—using four engaging works of contemporary fiction. Using novels representative of each of four world religions allows us to experience and understand how each religion functions for the individual, family, culture, State, as well as at the level of Idea. We will proceed dialectically by looking at each religion in turn first favourably, then critically, and then with each student having opportunity to determine and express his or her own judgment. In addition the exploring the novels, each class session will collaboratively read and discuss a short article or video by important voices for and against the religious position under study that week. In addition, authoritative guest speakers representative of each religious position will visit the class. Students are encouraged to contribute their own ideas and materials to the class.
The course format will include lecture, discussion, and both individual and group activities.completion of the Course, the student will be able to identify the component characteristics of the novel and the short story, be able to recognise them in their place, be able to judge the degree of their successful function in the particular work, and be able to evaluate the artistic quality of the whole work. That is, the student will have developed the basis for literary criticism and discernment.
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood, (Vintage, 2000)
Monica Ali, Brick Lane (Scribner, 2004)
Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code (Doubleday, 2003)
Douglas Coupland, Hey Nostradamus! (Bloomsbury, 2004)
20% Productive participation
20% Mid-term Examination
25% Group Online Project
35% Final Examination
To receive credit for this course you must complete all requirements.