Los Angeles Valley College, Spring 2005 K.L. Ross, DrKelley at AOL.com Philosophy 35, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Office: Campus Center 224 W 6:45-9:55 AM, CC 205 (3324) Phone: (818) 947-2467 SYLLABUS TEXTS: A History of the Jews, by Paul Johnson A History of Christianity, by Paul Johnson Islam by Karen Armstrong Beyond Belief by Elaine Pagels The Crisis of Islam by Bernard Lewis CONTENTS: A survey of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam with emphasis on questions in the philosophy of religion, history of religion, and contemporary political issues. Unit 1: Philosophy of Religion after Rudolf Otto. Judaism, ancient, mediaeval, and modern -- the Exodus, anti-Semitism, Israel, etc. Tentative midterm: March 2. Unit 2: Christianity, controversies over Jesus, Gnosticism, the Roman Church, Schisms and Heresies, Crusades, Reformation, etc. Tentative midterm: April 13. Unit 3: Islam, the Prophet, Caliphates, Jihad, Shi'ism, Discontents with Modernity, etc. Final: 6:45 PM, Wednesday, June 1, CC 205. ATTENDANCE: This is primarily a lecture class: tardiness and absences thus will result in missing material that cannot be found in the texts or in other sources. The texts are primary sources which are not self-explanatory; and you will not find what I say in encyclopaedia articles or in most other books. Believe me, you will not do well in the class unless you are present for the lectures or arrange to obtain lecture notes, and it is your responsibility to arrange with others to obtain the materials for classes that you miss. You may tape record lectures. Attendance is no longer taken for each class meeting. No student will be excluded for non-attendance after the first three weeks. Do not report absences to me. It is your own responsibility to drop the class if you wish to do so (final drop date: May 6th). Anyone on the roster at the end of the semester who has not been present for the tests will receive an F. It is your responsibility to obtain from other students any material or assignments you miss when absent. If you miss any examinations, including the due date for take home exams, and you return within the period when a makeup is allowed, you must be prepared to take the test, or hand in any materials, promptly at the beginning of the class on the day you return. Holidays this semester are Lincoln's Birthday & Presidents' Day, February 18 & 21; Spring Break, March 21-25; Cesar Chavez Day, March 31; and Memorial Day, May 30. The last day of classes is Friday, May 27th. Note well: Anyone who persistently disrupts my class by talking, arriving late, repeatedly leaving & returning, or through any other distracting or inconsiderate behavior may be instructed to leave the class. If you do not want to be here, don't come in the first place. OFFICE HOURS: My office hours are MWF 7:30-8:00 & 11:10-11:45 AM, TuWTh 6:30-6:45 PM, and by appointment in CC 224. The phone number is (818) 947-2467. This is a direct line, and no one else will answer the phone. You should call during office hours. If you call at other times, you can leave messages on voicemail. You do not need to report absences, or your reasons for them, by voicemail. Do not leave messages for me to call you, without the times you can be reached at your number. I will not return calls if all you want is to be brought up to date for classes you have missed. Just return to class. Any inquiries by e-mail can be answered within a couple of days: DrKelley at AOL.com TESTS: There will be two midterm exams and a final. Make-up tests for the midterms will only be given before the original tests are handed back (usually after a week). If you miss the final and cannot take it at another time I have scheduled, you cannot make it up during the current semester and will be credited with an F unless you request an Incomplete--which you may do simply by leaving a message for me before I turn in the grades. The exams will include multiple choice, short answer identifications, and essay questions. The final will count half of your grade and will be comprehensive (Midterm I + Midterm II = Final). Point values are assigned to grades as follows: F=0, D=3, C=6, B=9, & A=12. Minuses subtract one point, and pluses add one. A C+ is thus worth 7. The midterm grades will be added together the grade of the final exam multiplied by two for the course grade = [Midterm I + Midterm II + 2x(Final)]/4. Missed tests will count as F's unless made up. The lowest midterm grade will be dropped if the grade is improved by the substitution of the grade of the other midterm or of the final with the penalty of one letter grade. For instance, an A+ (13) on the final means that a Midterm grade lower than a B+ (10) is replaced with a B+. If the course grade is as much as 10 (B+), without rounding, an A will be awarded. If a 7 (C+), a B; a 4 (D+), a C; and a 1 (F+), a D. In all tests in my classes, you are not expected to agree with me on any issue; but you are expected to know what has been presented in the course, both in the lectures and in the books, and to present reasons or arguments for any views you wish to advocate. Outside materials or opinions are welcome so long as they are not a substitute for awareness or discussion of the materials of the course. In this respect we may have a particular problem in this class, for it is not difficult to find much of the material we will be dealing with presented elsewhere in devotional, uncritical, and ahistorical fashion. This is a philosophy class and thus does not endorse the truth of any religion under study, or of various claims that they may make. You are expected to do your own work, so do not prepare communal essays with your study partners. I reserve the right to exclude or fail anyone who turns in work that they have not done themselves, who plagiarizes, or who cheats in any other way. I apologize in advance for the measures it has become necessary to take to guard against cheating on examinations. This is irritating and insulting for us all.
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