Fred Glennon, Ph.D. (Courses)
Professor (RH 216)
Department of Religious Studies
Le Moyne College
Syracuse, New York 13214
(315) 445-4343

REL 200-08, 09

Religious Perspectives on the Human Situation

Fall 2013    Location: RH 338    TTH 1:00-2:15; 2:30-3:45pm   Email:

Course Description and Objectives


Student Responsibilities and Rights

Learning Covenant Guidelines

Course Reading and Assignment Schedule (Fall  2013)

Methods of Instruction

Office Hours


Activity Options

Why Study Religion?

Internet Guide to RS Research

Mission Statement:  Le Moyne College is a diverse learning community that strives for academic excellence in the Catholic and Jesuit tradition through its comprehensive programs rooted in the liberal arts and sciences. Its emphasis is on education of the whole person and on the search for meaning and value as integral parts of the intellectual life. Le Moyne College seeks to prepare its members for leadership and service in their personal and professional lives to promote a more just society.











Course Description and Objectives:  

This course is a study of the religious dimensions of human experience. During our time together, we will explore answers religion has given to some of life's most important questions: What is the nature of reality? What is humanity? Why do people suffer/die? How can I be saved? What may I hope? What must I do? What kind of person should I become? The approach is to study religious experience academically, using the categories developed in the field, such as myth, ritual, ethics, creed, and doctrine. In addition, we will look at the relationship between religion, the individual, and society, particularly the way religion promotes and restricts individual and social change. By the end of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. formulate and defend a reasonable understanding of religion (synthesis and evaluation);
  2. provide accurate descriptions and examples of the language of religion (myth, symbol, metaphor, doctrine, ritual, ethics, etc.) (knowledge/comprehension);
  3. relate the way (s) religions help humanity to create order to their own search for meaning (application);
  4. provide examples of the relationship between religion, society, and individual and social change (comprehension);
  5. explain ways religion promotes alienation and reconciliation (comprehension);
  6. analyze the structure (organization, context, purpose, etc.) and worldview (symbols, myths, doctrines, ethos, etc.) underlying a religious action in a tradition other than his/her own (analysis);
  7. work cooperatively with others on various tasks in a group context (affective); and
  8. take an active role in and responsibility for her/his learning (affective).

Methods of Instruction: The content of the course will be covered by lectures, group discussions and presentations, audio-visual presentations, structured reading and writing assignments, and other media depending upon student interest and involvement.

[go to top of page]

Texts and Other Readings: The following required texts are available in the bookstore:

Ring, Nash, MacDonald, and Glennon, Introduction to the Study of Religion, 2nd edition (Orbis Books, 2012).
Elie Wiesel, Night (Bantam (1982) or Hill and Wang (2006) editions)
Patel, Acts of Faith (Beacon Press, 2007).
 A copy of the bibleóeither the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) or the New American Bible: both are fairly recent translations based on the original languages (Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic) (I will provide online links to passages we will read for class in the course schedule.)

In addition, I will place other required readings on reserve in the library, distribute them in class, or insure their availability electronically. Reference is made to these readings in the course schedule.

Office Hours: I will be in my office at the following times: Tues/Thurs. 10:00-11:15am; Wed. 2:30-4:00pm.  If these times are not convenient, see me to make other arrangements. Come by if you have any questions related to the course.

[go to top of page]

Student Responsibilities and Rights: Students have the responsibility for sharing in and contributing to the learning process. This responsibility includes developing a learning covenant (click here for Learning Covenant Guidelines), reading assigned material prior to class, participating actively in group process, class presentations and discussions, completing written assignments on time, and evaluating and suggesting positive directions for the class. In fulfilling these responsibilities, the student has certain rights. These include a right to voice an opinion that is based on a self-chosen value system, a right to dissent or differ from the professor or from others in the class, a right to papers and tests returned at a reasonable time, access to the professor at hours other than class time, and a right to know the grading system.

Evaluation: Student evaluations will be based on successful completion of assigned and self-chosen activities. The assigned activities include group participation (15-20%), an analysis of a religious action from a tradition other than one's own (15-25%), and a group final exam (15-25%). The remaining 30-55% of the student's grade will be determined on the basis of the student choosing from a menu of activities (click here Activity Options).  The grading scale will be as follows:

For College grading policies, including grievance policies for grades, please refer to the College Catalog, pp 10-11, or online.

 Course Grading Scale













































< 60


 [go to top of page]

BlackboardBlackboard: The bulk of the materials for this course will be distributed through the use of Blackboard at Le Moyne. To access these materials, just point your Internet browser to The course will be listed under Fall 2013, REL 200-08, 09, Religious Perspectives on the Human Situation. Students who are enrolled in the course already have access to the course and just need to register their password for the course. I will use the email given to you by the school (your Le Moyne account) as the official means to communicate with you.

Web Page: I have created a Web Page that includes my courses, pedagogy, etc. You can access my Web Page through the Le Moyne Page under faculty. Or you can access it directly by typing: primary reasons for accessing this page are because I have included other web sites in the syllabus to provide additional information, and because I have a course evaluation form that you can send to me any time you want to provide feedback about the course. The information comes to me anonymously (unless you add your name).

Special Needs: In coordination with the Academic Support Center (ASC), located on the first floor of the Noreen Reale Falcone Library, reasonable accommodations are provided for qualified students with disabilities. Qualified students should register with Mr. Roger Purdy (, Director of Disability Support Services (445-4118 [voice] or 445-4104 [TDD]), for disability verification and determination of reasonable accommodations. After receiving the appropriate form from the ASC, students should meet with the instructor to review the form and discuss their needs. Students should make every attempt to meet with the instructor during the first week of class so that accommodations can be implemented in a timely manner.  

Students with Personal Problems: Students who encounter personal problems of any kind, especially problems that might affect their academic performance, are encouraged to contact the Wellness Center for Health and Counseling. The Center is located in Romero Hall; appointments may be arranged by phone at 445-4195. The Center provides both individual and group counseling on a strictly confidential basis. The professional staff is also available on an emergency basis.

Policy on Academic Honesty:  Academic dishonesty (plagiarism, cheating) undermines the trust between instructors and students and among students themselves.Such dishonesty is the attempt to fulfill a course requirement by representing as your own the intellectual property (ideas, words, or work) of another person (living or dead; professional writer or student) found in print or electronic sources, even with the personís permission. Please note that this definition includes paraphrasing anotherís work: if you read it somewhere, cite it. As a member of an intellectual and academic community, you are obliged to acknowledge the source of phrases and ideas that are original to someone else.The minimum penalty is failure of the assignment but could lead to failure of the course.In addition, I will report the incident to the Dean of Arts and Sciences who may decide to take further disciplinary action.A second act of academic dishonesty during your career at Le Moyne often results in expulsion from the college (College Catalog, p. 10).The Landmark Citation Machine is an excellent resource for students.This website will format any type of citation into MLA or APA style: 


[go to top of page]