Introduction to Christianity (RelS 133)
Summer 2003: University of Pennsylvania
Office Hours: by appointment
John McManners, ed., The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity
Class Home Page:
Exams and Requirements:
Your primary responsibility in this class is to show up prepared to
discuss. You should read the assigned materials, but most
importantly, you should be thinking critically about them. Active
participation in class will be rewarded at grade time, however I
will not penalize for shyness. Once during the semester, you will be
resident expert on some topic. This will involve your giving an oral
presentation and being prepared to field discussion from the class.
Depending on your topic, you should plan to have a reading
assignment for the rest of the class prepared the week before your
presentation. Your topic will be assigned early as well as a general
idea of target date (the specific dates will firm up soon). There
will be a a series of semi-weekly quizzes and a final "learning
experience." For the latter you will have the major discussion
question in advance. You will also be preparing a research paper,
and toward the end of the semester you will be asked to briefly
share the direction of your research with the class. The grading
breakdown will be 25% for your resident expert day, 40% for the
quizzes, 25% for your paper and 5% for your paper presentation. The
remaining 5% reflects class participation.
This class will have a computer component. There will be materials
'on line' that I want you to use. I will be glad to spend some time
early in the semester helping you learn to use them if needed. You
will each need an e-mail account. I prefer to receive your papers on
disk as well as paper. This way I can include the 'best of'
collection as a permanent part of the class page (with your
permission, of course).
The specific topic of the research paper will be of you own
choosing, but should be related to the course. I will be asking for
paper proposals early in the semester, but you are encouraged to
talk to me earlier if you have something in mind, or if you need
some suggestions on topics or how to proceed.
My on campus time is highly unpredictable this summer, so please
feel free to call me at home. (Do not call after 10:00 p.m.). I can
also arrange to be on campus at a time convenient for both of us --
do not hesitate to make an appointment with me if you want to see