SRJC Course Outlines

12/6/2021 3:36:43 PMRELS 7 Course Outline as of Fall 2021

Changed Course

Discipline and Nbr:  RELS 7Title:  WISDOM RELIGIONS OF ASIA  
Full Title:  Wisdom Religions of Asia
Last Reviewed:4/12/2021

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum3.00Lecture Scheduled3.0017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled52.50
Minimum3.00Lab Scheduled06 min.Lab Scheduled0
 Contact DHR0 Contact DHR0
 Contact Total3.00 Contact Total52.50
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  105.00Total Student Learning Hours: 157.50 

Title 5 Category:  AA Degree Applicable
Grading:  Grade or P/NP
Repeatability:  00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
Also Listed As: 

Catalog Description:
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This course is an introductory survey of the religious traditions, beliefs, and practices of ancient and modern India, ancient and medieval China, and medieval and modern Japan.


Recommended Preparation:
Eligibility for ENGL 1A or equivalent or appropriate placement based on AB705 mandates

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
This course is an introductory survey of the religious traditions, beliefs, and practices of ancient and modern India, ancient and medieval China, and medieval and modern Japan.
(Grade or P/NP)

Recommended:Eligibility for ENGL 1A or equivalent or appropriate placement based on AB705 mandates
Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:CSU;UC.
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP


Associate Degree:Effective:Fall 2016
Global Perspective and Environmental Literacy
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 C2HumanitiesFall 2016
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 3BHumanitiesFall 2016
CSU Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 2016Inactive:
UC Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 2016Inactive:

Certificate/Major Applicable: Major Applicable Course


Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
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1.  Describe several religious practices, beliefs, and major tenets of religions originating from South Asia: Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism.
2.  Describe several religious practices, beliefs, and major tenets of religions originating from East Asia: Chinese folk traditions, Daoism, and Shinto.

Objectives: Untitled document
Students will be able to:
1. Articulate several differences between the Sramana vs. Brahmanical traditions of India.
2. Identify several rituals and practices of Jain, Hindu, and Sikh religions in India and articulate
     their intended purpose.
3. Distinguish between the holy sites of Jain, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist religions in India.
4. Analyze commonalities and differences among Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain doctrines.
5. Identify elements of ancient Chinese cosmology and analyze these in relation to ancient
     Chinese folk religious practices.
6. Articulate purposes of Daoist religious rituals and religious texts in relation to Daoist ideals.
7. Articulate major differences between what the Buddha taught and Chinese Buddhism, with
     reference to Mahayana and Theravada doctrinal differences.
8. Distinguish features of Shinto worship in comparison to Buddhist worship in Japan.

Topics and Scope
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Required topics:
I. HINDUISM: Doctrine & Practice
    A. Scripture: Vedas, Upanishads, Epics, Sutras, Puranas
    B. Brahmanical practices prior to 500 BCE
    C. Later Hindu rituals & traditions (Ganga pilgrimage, cremation, Kumbh Mela,
          Char Dam, daily puja, temple-based worship)
    D. Vedic deities vs. later Hindu deities
    E. The principal yogas (Raja, J├▒ana, Bhakti, Karma, Kundalini, Ashtanga,
         Kriya) & disciplines of spiritual-development
    F. Current gurus: their teachings, lineages, followers, practice
II. JAINISM: Doctrine & Practice
    A. Sramana vs. Brahmanical traditions of ancient India (c. 2000 BCE)
    B. Mahavira & the jina lineage
    C. Principle edicts & codes of conduct
    D. Modern Jain societal influence
III. SIKHISM: Doctrine & Practice
    A. Guru Nanak & the 10 gurus
    B. Guru Granth Sahib (scripture)
    C. Five K's and behavioral directives
    D. Sikhs in Punjab in modern history
IV. BUDDHISM: Doctrine & Practice
    A. Life of the Buddha
    B. The Pali Canon
    C. Theravada vs. Mahayana traditions
    D. Vajrayana Buddhism in Tibet, China & Japan
    E. Buddhist lineages of medieval China & Japan: Pure Land/Jodoshu,
          T'ienTai/Tendai, Ch'an/Zen
    F. Buddhist lineages unique to Japan: Shingon, Jodo Shinshu, Nichiren,
         and further developments in Zen
    G. Buddhist lineages in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam
    H. Buddhist lineages in the U.S. & Western Europe
V. FOLK TRADITIONS of ancient China: Doctrine & Practice
    A. Variety of supernatural beings & their functions
    B. Hell & hungry ghost realms: beliefs re. death & afterlife
    C. Shamanism, exorcism, related rituals
VI. DAOISM of medieval China: Doctrine & Practice
    A. History & origin of initial lineage
    B. Deities, immortals, the celestial universe
    C. Major lineages and texts
    D. Rituals and immortality practices
    E. Influence of Buddhism on the rise of religious Taoism
VII. Kami Interaction/SHINTO of Japan: Doctrine & Practice
    A. Cosmology
    B. Role of Kami
    C. Nature of rituals performed by priests
    D. Interplay with Buddhism; Kami & Shinto shrines coexisting with Buddhist temples
    E. State Shinto and the role of Japanese nationalism
Optional topics may include:
1. Sufism and its relation to Sikhism
2. Tibetan Buddhism currently in exile in Himachal Pradesh, India
3. Christianity in Sri Lanka, India, China, & Japan
4. Zoroastrianism in India
5. Baha'i in India
6. Japanese New Religions

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1. Weekly readings from various textual materials (approximately 30-50 pages per week)
2. Quizzes, including 5-12 reading quizzes (multiple choice, true/false, short answer, completion, essay)
3. In-class discussion and group activities covering assigned readings and lecture topics
4. Final exam such as: multiple choice, true/false, short answer, completion, essay
5. Papers ranging from 3-5 pages in length on specific individualized research within the scope of the course topics
Other assignments may include:
7. Visits to local meditation centers, temples, and/or museums, followed by a written report
8. Summary-response reports on films recommended by instructor
9. Research project on a specific aspect of either ritual or doctrine of one of the religions focused on for the course or on one that was not a major focus of the course, depending upon the choices of the instructor

Methods of Evaluation/Basis of Grade.
Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.Writing
20 - 30%
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
0 - 0%
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
0 - 0%
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
50 - 70%
Quizzes, final exam
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
10 - 20%
Class participation, in-class activities, and/or written reports on field trips and/or films

Representative Textbooks and Materials:
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Dhammapada (any translation, esp. online)
Guru Granth Sahib (selections, online)
Lotus Sutra (any translation, esp. online)
Purana (selections, online)
Religions of China: the World as a Living System. Overmyer, Daniel L. Waveland Press. 1986. Kindle. 2013 (classic)
Religions of Japan: Unity & Diversity. Earhart, H. Byron. Cengage Learning. 2013 (classic)
Shinto, the Kami Way. Ono, Sokyo. Tuttle Publishing. 2004 (classic)
Understanding Shinto. Littleton, Scott. Watkins Publishing. 1999 (classic)
Vedanta Sutra of Shankara (any translation, esp. online)
What the Buddha Taught. Walpola, Rahula. Grove Press. 1974 (classic)
World Religions: Eastern Traditions. 4th ed. Oxtoby, Willard and Amore, Roy and Hussain, Amir. Oxford University Press. 2014 (classic)
Yoga Sutra of Patanjali (any translation, esp. online)
Sources of Chinese Tradition From Earliest Times to 1600. 2 ed, Vol 1. Compiled by W. T. de Bary and Irene Bloom. Columbia University Press. 1999 (classic)
The Invention of World Religions. Masuzawa, Tomoko. University of Chicago Press. 2005 (classic)
Shinto: A History. Hardacre, Helen. Oxford University Press. 2016 (classic)
The Invention of Religion in Japan. Storm, Jason. University of Chicago Press. 2012 (classic)
Was Hinduism Invented?: Britons, Indians, and the Colonial Construction of Religion. Pennington, Brian. Oxford University Press. 2005 (classic)
A Brief Introduction to Jainism and Sikhism. Ed. Patridge, Christopher. Fortress Press. 2018.
Understanding Sikhism. Cole, W. Owen. Dunedin Academic Press. 2004 (classic)
The Hindus: An Alternative History. Doniger, Wendy. Penguin Publishing. 2010 (classic)
Our Religions. Sharma, Arvind. Harper Collins. 1993 (classic)
Understanding World Religions. Hexham, Irving. Zondervan. 2011 (classic)
Early Buddhist Teachings. Karunadasa, Y. Wisdom Publications. 2018.

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