Introduction to Christianity (RelS 133)

Summer 2003: University of Pennsylvania

Alan Humm
Office Hours: by appointment

Required Textbooks:

John McManners, ed., The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity
Class Home Page: JewishChristianLit/Courses/Xianity

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.

Office Policy:

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 me.


Class Home Page
Course Outline


Last Modified May 27, 2003
by Alan Humm