My Neighbor’s Faith: Building Interreligious Community

REL810
Spring 2017
T 3:30pm - 5:20pm
Area: 
Area IV
MDIV Requirements: 
Non-Christian Religion
Professor: 
Permission Required
Limited Enrollment
Course Description: 

As communities across the country and around the world engage religious diversity in a way they never have before, this seminar course seeks to explore theoretical and practical issues in inter-religious community building. The course will survey Western theological and social scientific models for how inter-religious relationships and communities are formed, as well as Christian theological models for inter-religious contact. We will define the qualities of effective interfaith relationships, as well as common mistakes leaders can make.  Guest religious leaders from different religious traditions will present, students will conduct interviews across traditions, and a final project will critique major current models of interreligious work

Background Expected: 

Must be a registered student at YDS.  

Course Requirements: 
  • Attendance and active participation in class and discussions.  Students will be expected to complete required reading and write weekly one-page reflection papers on readings and class content.  During the course of the semester, students will be expected to present one of these papers to the class and help lead discussion. (40% of grade).
  • Interview and research project: Each student will be expected to interview a person of another religious tradition (instructor can provide contacts) and analyze the interview in light of course readings and models.  Each student will present their project in class. (20% of grade)
  • Final small group research project and presentation based on an actual incident of interfaith cooperation or conflict. (20 % of grade)
  • Take-home final exam with choice of essay questions bringing together issues from the readings and class presentations  (20% of grade)
Basis of Evaluation: 

“H” is reserved for outstanding work that shows not only competence but also mastery: intelligent organization, vivid expression, clarity of argument, freshness and originality.

 “HP” work demonstrates that a student understands the material, has a grasp on the issues in an assignment, and can develop an interesting line of thought; written expression is good.

 “P” work is weak, in content as well as form, but still acceptable; it is a wake-up call, however, and a warning that the student is far below where he or she should be.

 “F” indicates that the work cannot receive credit.

Plus and minus grades indicate the quality of a student’s work in relation to others in the same letter category.