REL 3547-101 Biblical Research: The Priest and Priesthood in Ancient Israel
CAUTION! THIS SYLLABUS IS
Instructor: Dr. Rodney K. Duke Hours:
Office: 116A I.G. Greer
General Course Goals:
This course is a research course for the self-disciplined student who enjoys independent learning. (Learning is fun!) The main goals of this course are: to train students in the skills and resources needed to do basic research on special topics biblical studies; to develop skills in writing, presenting and critiquing papers; and, to learn in particular about the role and institution of the priesthood in ancient Israel.
Some Specific Course Objectives: Students should...
|Develop taking responsibility for their own learning.|
|Learn how to access, assess, and utilize information on biblical studies from various library and computer resources.|
|Improve skills of writing formal papers directed toward instructing their peers.|
|Learn to approach topics and issues from several perspectives.|
|Develop skills of leading discussion.|
|Practice working together with a community of learners.|
|Learn about the culture of ancient Israel and its priestly system.|
|Reflect on the contemporary implications/application/relevance of the Israelite priestly system for societies today.|
|Have fun learning!|
This course will be run like a seminar in which the instructor and students together pursue knowledge on a topic of interest. First, we will identify what members of the class currently know about the Israelite priestly system and about priestly roles in general. We will then identify specific research topics about what we want and need to discover to come to a better understanding of the Israelite priesthood. In general, students will be responsible to conduct research on specific topics, present a synthesis of their research in paper form, lead at least one class session, participate in discussion and evaluation of material presented, and help formulate the content of the final examination. The teacher will be responsible to provide background information, training for research in biblical studies, and guidance through the research process. (The instructor expects that students will help identify those areas in which they need more background training and that they will set up office appointments with the instructor to discuss problems and issues involved in their research projects.)
It is important that everyone assume ownership and responsibility for the success of this class. We all need to come to class ready to raise questions, present viewpoints, and give and receive constructive criticism in a respectful and stimulating environment.
Course Requirements: (Percent of grade to be determined by the instructor and class together on the first day of class. Initial suggestion found in parentheses.)
Research Paper (30%): Each student will prepare a 12-15 page (250 words/page) formal research paper on a relevant topic approved by the instructor. One week before the due date for the class discussion of the paper topic, the paper will need to be disseminated via e-mail (attached in WordPerfect or Word-for-Windows format) to each student, and a hardcopy of the paper with all reference material (books and articles) needs to be turned in to the professor.
Major Response Paper (5%): Each student will write at least one 4-5 page (250 words/page) response paper to a research paper and will use that paper in class as the basis for summarizing the research and leading into the class discussion. A copy will be submitted to the instructor by 8 AM on the day that the topic will be discussed.
Leadership of Class Discussion (5%): Each student will lead the class discussion on a specific topic by summarizing, evaluating, and exploring further through questions the research paper on that topic.
Minor Response Papers (20%): Each student will write a 1 page (250 words/page) response paper to each of the research papers. A copy needs to be submitted to the instructor by 8 AM on the day that the topic will be discussed.
Relevance Paragraphs (10%): Each student will write at least a paragraph in response to each class summarizing what was most relevant and important to retain. [When and how submitted? I would like to use these to help students prepare for the final.]
Multimedia Presentation (option to be explored): I would like for students, while conducting their research, to look for multimedia ways of demonstrating or illustrating points of their topic. These means could be worked into a class presentation prior to the summary and discussion of the research paper. Im looking for suggestions on how to incorporate and evaluate such presentations.
Final Examination (20%): Along with the instructor the students will compose a final examination of essay questions that will assess each students control over the relevant material that we have learned during the semester.
Attendance & Participation (10% determined by peer rating and instructor): Both are required! Unexcused absences will lower your final grade by 2.5% each. In case of illnesses and emergencies a written explanation needs to be submitted to the instructor on the day you return to class for the instructors approval as an excused absence.