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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Alka Kurian
B CUSP 107
Bothell Campus

Discovery Core I: Individuals and Society

Through collaborative and interdisciplinary learning, students develop a knowledge base, skills, habits of inquiry, and imaginative vision. Focuses on individuals, society. Offered: A.

Class description

This course looks at Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam in film, literature, and other media from different perspectives: namely, their origins and development, their central teachings, devotional practices, institutions and cultural expressions. Cinematic and literary texts play a central role in shaping and reflecting about national and global cultures, and we will examine a range of these texts as major cultural sites that produce, perpetuate, circulate, and problematize contemporary forms of religious faith as they relate to common themes of human experience: the sacred and the profane, knowledge and faith, death and deliverance, community and solitude. Along with these common themes of human experience we will discuss the politicization of religious practice: we will address the radical aspect of religions and the representation of the resulting violence in film and literature.

Student learning goals

Critically compare and interpret religious texts in the context of traditional beliefs

Acquire geographical and cultural knowledge in the context of selected major religions

Critically understand intersection between religion, politics, and globalization and its representation in film and fiction.

Demonstrate in writing, presentations and discussion the ability to think creatively and critically about varied issues of world religions

Build interdisciplinary research skills that enable students to pose questions on economic, political and cultural relationships

Interdisciplinary skills in critical thinking, interdisciplinary research, collaborative work, writing, and presentation.

General method of instruction

Lectures, discussion, small group work, partner work, presentations, field trips.

Recommended preparation

Familiarize yourself with members of other world religions, read fictional accounts of religious and/or spiritual experiences, learn about the history of world religions.

Class assignments and grading

Four map quizzes, one individual presentation, one group presentation, weekly journal submissions, one final project and a written mid-term.

- Active class participation. - A critical understanding of some of the major concepts which we will study and application of that knowledge in written and oral assignments. - Ability to make connections between the various authors we read, the films we watch, the lectures and discussions in class. - Evidence of adequate reading and critical reflection.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Alka Kurian
Date: 06/02/2011