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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Martin S. Jaffee
RELIG 502
Seattle Campus

Religion in Comparative Perspective

Analysis of selected theme or symbols in relation to several different religious traditions. Topics vary. Prerequisite: admission to the comparative religion MAIS program or permission of instructor. Offered: W.

Class description

What Students Can Expect to Learn from this Course: By the end of the course, students should have a clear grasp of the significance of selecting "orality" and "textuality" as crucial elements of comparison within and across religious cultures. They should also be >>>able to demonstrate success in comparing and contrasting the economy of >>>"orality" and "textuality" across the scriptures of at least two >>>religious traditions (either within the "Abrahamic" traditions, within >>>the Indic traditions, or in both). >

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Student learning goals

General method of instruction

The seminar has two meetings per week for roughly two hours per session. It is expected that each book-length study will receive about two-three sessions (3 -5 hours) of discussion. This should facilitate a full airing of important themes and issues. I will take responsibility for introducing the theme and major issues of each book. But students will prepare for each class session a one-page, single-spaced statement of response to issues generated from the reading assigned for that session. The subsequent hours of class discussion will emerge from these responses as determined by the seminar as a collective.

Recommended preparation

Students should be graduate students in Comparative Religion or other humanities disciplines and should have had previous experience in the general problematic of Textual Studies.

Class assignments and grading

a. It is imperative that students distribute their responses to all colleagues via the course e-list no later than 10am of the day of each meeting. The responses will not be graded, but students missing more than 3 cannot receive an A in the course. b. On Feb. 14 students should submit a 5-8 page double-spaced reflection on a theoretical issue connected to one or more of the readings discussed prior to that date. This essay will be evaluated at roughly 20% of the final grade. c. About 10% of the final grade will be based upon the student's participation in the oral give and take of the seminar. Students should be thoroughly prepared in the assigned readings and take responsibility for sharing their questions, insights, and knowledge with all participants. d. About 70% of the final grade will be based upon a 10-15 page research project, due on March 17. This project is designed to illustrate how attention to issues of the course can shape or reshape inquiry into one aspect of the study of a given religious tradition's approach to its scriptures. Students are urged to focus on a tradition with which they have some prior academic experience.


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 Loryn Hazan Paxton
Date: 10/10/2007