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2017-18

Web Schedule Summer 2018


Revision Date: 06-Nov-17

HUM-2050-VO01X - Women's Spirituality


Synonym: 164207
Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Accelerated Section: This course has special meeting dates and times. See comments below or consult VSC Web Services - Search for Sections in the VSC portal for specific dates and times. If you have any questions call the site office offering the course.
Semester Dates: 05-22-2018 to 07-09-2018
Last day to drop without a grade: 05-31-2018 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 06-19-2018 - Refund Policy
Faculty: Nancy Thompson | View Faculty Credentials

Open Seats/Section Limit: 16/16 (as of 10-25-17 11:20 PM)

Course Description:

This course will examine current thought on women's theology and compare it to traditional theological paradigms. Ancient and modern expressions of women's religious and spiritual experience, women authors whose works deal with the spiritual life, and basic instruction in feminist readings will be included.

Essential Objectives:

1. Discuss a representative spectrum of women authors whose works deal with the spiritual life.
2. Describe current thought on women's theology and compare it to traditional theological paradigms
3. Critique dominant paradigms in religion, ethics and sexuality.
4. Discuss the impact of the concepts of immanence and non-hierarchy on women's spiritual expression.
5. Describe the diversity in feminist spirituality and religious pluralism.

Methods:

Hello, and welcome! I am very excited that you are thinking about taking this short course in Women's Spirituality. Here's what to expect:

1. No midterm or final exam.  Learning about women's spirituality isn't about memorizing information. Rather, it's about listening to hundreds of years worth of voices. It's about deep thinking. It's about learning to dig in.

2. It's not a "therapy" class.  No one is going to ask you to get in touch with your feelings, even though you might. It's more about what we think. I encourage you to use those words-- "I think" -- a lot.

3. No expensive books.  Many of our readings are online.  The one book we have is only $13 new from Amazon and can be had for a lot less (in the $5 range used).

4. It's heavy on discussion. Each week you all get to raise questions for us to discuss. We look at women's spirituality from an interfaith perspective.  I encourage you to look up information and to take charge of your learning. I'm a guide, not a dictator.

5.  Your final project is a self-directed experiential product. Want to focus on ethnicity? Do it. Want to create a video? Do it.  You'll have college-level options other than the traditional "research paper."

I have studied, experienced, and written about religion for years.  I've taught courses in Writing from the Spiritual Self.  What does it mean to experience the Divine from the perspective of a woman? Is it really so different from experiencing it as a man? We have so much to explore this term, and I look forward to doing so with you.

Grading Criteria:

Grading rubric

Each week you must post your first substantive posting (no "Hi, I"m here") by Thursday night at midnight.  All postings must be complete by Sunday at midnight. Mondays are used only for review and grading.


Discussion Forum:

Your participation in the discussion forum is worth 70 points. You must earn a minimum of 42 points in order to pass the course. You may earn up to 10 points each week.

9-10 points
All postings are contributed before deadlines.  Student contributes a minimum of 10 postings. Student responds to readings, responds to  three or more classmates, and raises two or more discussion questions. Student postings are thoroughly developed, free of grammatical or mechanical errors, well argued with many supportive examples and illustrations from readings and discussion, and show strong evidence of original thinking. Student postings demonstrate the essential objectives listed for the week.

8 points
All postings are contributed before deadlines.  Student contributes a minimum of 8 postings. Student responds to readings, responds to three or more classmates, and raises two or more questions. Student postings are thoroughly developed, largely free of grammatical or mechanical errors, reasonably argued with some supportive examples and illustrations from readings and discussion, and show evidence of original thinking.

5-7 points
First postings may be late.  Student contributes a minimum of 6 postings. Student responds to at least two classmates, responds to readings, and raises at least one developed and relevant question. Student postings may show average development, contain grammatical or mechanical errors, incorporate few supportive examples and illustrations from readings and discussion, and/or show marginal evidence of original thinking.

2-4 points
Student has at least three postings. Student postings may not contribute materially to discussion. Student may not meet the deadlines. Student may not post more than once or twice during the week. There is insignificant interaction with peers, and little development of thought.

0-1 point
Student does not post before end of week. Student work is plagiarized. Student work is so insubstantial that credit cannot be awarded.


Learning Project


Your learning project is worth 30 points. You must earn at least 18 points in order to pass the course. The description of the project explains the essential objectives met by the project.

A (27-30 points)
Outstanding work which complies with all requirements and demonstrates a thorough understanding of all course objectives. Each component will meet length requirements, have a clear central focus, express and fully develop original ideas, be well supported with facts and academic sources, be carefully and correctly documented, be organized in a logical fashion that is linked with appropriate transitions, utilize an academic tone, and be free of grammatical and mechanical errors. It will accurately use the special vocabulary and key concepts appropriate to the discipline.

B (24-26 points)
Fine work which complies with all requirements and demonstrates a reasonable understanding of all course objectives. Each component will meet length requirements, have a clear central focus, express and explore original ideas, be reasonably supported with facts and academic sources, be carefully and correctly documented, show an organizational strategy that usually includes appropriate transitions, utilize an academic tone, and have few grammatical and mechanical errors. It will accurately use the special vocabulary and key concepts appropriate to the discipline.

C (21-23 points)
Work of a satisfactory nature which complies with most requirements and demonstrates an understanding of a majority of the course objectives. Components may not fully meet length requirements, may have significant organizational, factual or interpretive errors, may have a vague central focus, have few original ideas. The work is still reasonably supported with facts and academic sources, correctly documented (although there may be errors in documentation and/or integration of sources), have an inconsistent academic tone (too colloquial), and have significant grammatical and mechanical errors. It may show limited comprehension of the special vocabulary and key concepts appropriate to the discipline.

D (18-20 points)
Weak work of an unsatisfactory nature which may not comply with requirements or demonstrate an understanding of some of the course objectives.
The work may indicate positions which demonstrate limited comprehension and use few relevant examples. The writing may contain significant organizational, factual or interpretive errors. It may not approach the length requirements, or may have significant documentation errors, including lack of appropriate documentation in a significant part of the body.

F (17 points or less)
Unacceptable work submitted with such significant deficiencies that no credit can be awarded.

 

Overall grade criteria based on accumulaed points on a 100 scale:

A+  99-100     A: 93-98    A: 90-92     B+ 88-89       B 83-87       B- 80-82    C+ 78-79     C  73-77     C- 70-72      D+  68-69    D 63-67     D-  60-62    59 and below=F

 

Textbooks:

Summer 2018 textbook data will be available on April 1. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be for this course only. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks.

Contact Faculty:

Email: Nancy Thompson
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Samantha Boymer

Syllabus:


 Your schedule overview follows:

 

Week 1

Readings:

Book of Ruth http://www.aish.com/holidays/shavuot/The_Book_of_Ruth_A_Mystery_Unraveled.asp

Gospel According to Mary Magdalene  http://www.gnosis.org/library/marygosp.htm

Lament for Ur   http://www.earth-history.com/Sumer/sumer-lament-ur.htm

Perpetua and Felicitas http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-03/anf03-54.htm

 

Task: Introduce yourself. What are you hoping to gain from this course? How has spirituality expressed itself in your life this far?

 Discussion question A: Start by reading this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/19/us/examining-the-growth-of-the-spiritual-but-not-religious.html?_r=0  How do you think spirituality differs from religion? Where do they connect?

 Discussion question B:  What themes seem to emerge from this week’s Internet readings?

 

Week 2

Readings:

“Part I” in Women's Spirituality. (Chapters 1-4)
Rabi’a Basri:  http://www.khamush.com/sufism/rabia.htm  

Mandarava: http://www.treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/Mandarava/9

Dhuodana: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04769a.htm

Bhiksuni Laksmi: http://www.gratefulness.org/readings/LaksmiChant.htm

 

Discussion Question A: What do you think is the traditional mythos of spirituality? What is the relationship between patriarchy and theology? Does women’s spirituality challenge patriarchy? If so, how?  

 Discussion question B:  Find more information on any of this week’s women.  What does this women contribute to your understanding of women’s spirituality?

 

Week 3

Readings

Part II (chapters 5-10) in Women's Spirituality

Hildegard of Bingen: http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bio/247.html

Christina of Markykate: http://womenshistorynetwork.org/blog/?p=248

Sun Bu-er: http://earlywomenmasters.net/masters/buer/index.html

Muktabai: http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=10432

 

Please post a discussion question related to the week's reading in Women's Spirituality and/or the links.

Reading response: Please post a well developed response to the reading in Women's Spirituality and to the information in the links.

Question A: What is a mystical experience?  Are there political reasons for discounting mystical experiences?  Do you think the mystical experiences of women differ from those of men? If so, how? Tell me what you think about the video. 

 Question B: : What is feminism? How do feminism and female spirituality intersect?   Use information from one credible website to support your point.

 Find and share a relevant writing by one of this week’s women. Alternatively, you may find a writing by Helois, Mahadevi, Clairs of Assisi, Mechtild of Magdeburg, or Gertrude the Great that is relevant. What do we learn from these women’s voices?

 

 

Week 4

Readings:

Part III (chapters 11-15) in Women' Spirituality

 read Catherien of Siena: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03447a.htm

 Julian of Norwich : http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bio/154.html

Mirabai: http://www.biographyonline.net/spiritual/mirabai.html

Sojourner Truth: http://www.biography.com/people/sojourner-truth-9511284

Sultan Raziyya: http://www.wisemuslimwomen.org/muslimwomen/bio/raziyya/  ,

 

Discussion question A: Women in Judaism, women in Christianity, women in Hinduism, women in Islam. Choose one: ask yourself three questions about the theology of women in this religion and find the answers in the Hartness Library and at least one website. Post the questions and your answers (and cite your sources, of course). Synthesize your findings: what insights did you gain from your research?


Discussion question B: Find and share one of the following: a Pawnee women’s chant; a Pygmy women’s chant; a Bedouin women’s chant; an Inuit or Yupik prayer; a Hopi creation story , Then consider in what ways might the religious and spiritual roles and experiences of women in non-organized or nature-based religions differ from those of major organized religions. Why? 

 As part of your response, work in information and/or writings by this week’s women as appropriate.

 

Week 5

Readings:

Part IV (chapters 16-22) in Women's Spirituality

Harriet Jacobs http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2923.html  In addition to the PBS page, read the text of  "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" (see the link at the bottom, then click again for the historical document text).

Pema Chodron: http://pemachodronfoundation.org/articles/  (Read "Waking Up to Your World" and the Pema Chodron primer)

Sarada Devi" http://www.belurmath.org/srisaradadevi.htm   On this page -- http://www.saradadevi.info/THM_book/p-28.html -- read through the chapter "Control of the Mind."

Mother Teresa http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/augustweb-only/135-43.0.html

  

Please post a discussion question related to the week's reading in Women's Spirituality and/or the links.

 
Discussion question A: What are ethics? Share with us a credible website that you used to build your answer.  How do women’s spirituality and ethics intersect?  Do women have any unique ethical considerations?

 Discussion question B: What are the connections between spirituality and sexuality? In what ways has women’s sexuality intersected with spirituality?  Use at least one source from the Hartness to support your ideas.

  

Week 6

Part V (chapters23-25) in Women's Spirituality

Kathleen Norris: http://www.homileticsonline.com/subscriber/interviews/norris.asp 

Alice Walker: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/alice-walker 

Linda Hogan: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/feature/-/5195/

Amy Tan: https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_tan_on_creativity 

Rigoberta Menchu:http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1992/tum-lecture.html 

Audre Lorde: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/g_l/lorde/life.htm 

 

Discussion question A: What factors might account for the change in women’s voices that we hear in the 20th century? In what ways do those voices hearken back to older voices? In what ways do the voices change? Why do we hear increasingly diverse women’s voices reflecting on spirituality?

 Discussion question B:  Find a blog on women’s spirituality and share it with us. Evaluate it: how seriously should we take it? Why or why not? Why does it teach us about the theology of women?

 

Last week

Learning projects due (please post in BOTH the discussion thread set up for it and the dropbox; I grade it from the dropbox).

Please comment on the projects of at least two classmates.

Last discussion question:  How have your views of women’s spirituality changed through the course?

Please note: In order to receive accommodations for disabilities in this course, students must make an appointment to see the Americans with Disabilities Coordinator in their site and bring documentation with them.

Academic Honesty: CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.

Course description details subject to change. Please refer to this document frequently.

To check on space availability, choose Search for Classes.


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