Dr. Jonathan Y. Tan
(513) 745-3794
121 Hinkle Hall

Office hours by appointment

Course Requirements
Book Reports
Lecture Reports
Religion: Web Resources
Religion: News Resources
Library Research Resources
Grade Computation
Grading Guidelines
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(Religion, Globalization & Pluralism)


  1. Organizational Structure and Procedures of Class Discussion
  2. Posting to the Class Blog
  3. Attendance and Participation
  4. Book Reports
  5. Lecture Reports
  6. Professor Tan's Twitter
  7. Extra Credit Opportunities
  8. Tutoring/Learning Assistance
  9. Prohibition against the Use of Electronic Devices in Class
  10. Academic Honesty
  11. Sexual Coercion/Victimization Resources at XU

  1. Organizational Structure and Procedures of Class Discussion

    Unless otherwise indicated in the Weekly Schedule/Readings, all class sessions will be held in the discussion format according to the following procedures:

    • Each class session will begin with a 5-10 minute presentation by a student presenter summarizing the salient facts, principal ideas or issues, key individuals, and/or important events which are discussed in the required readings assigned for the class on that day.

    • For this purpose, all student presenters are required to prepare:
      • a two-page typed summary of the presentation which will be distributed to all students and the instructor; and
      • a short PowerPoint Presentation (maximum of 10 slides) to accompany their class presentation.

    • The instructor shall grade every oral presentation (35%), typed summary (35%), and PowerPoint Presentation (30%) on the following criteria:
      • evidence of engagement with assigned readings,
      • potential for stimulating discussion,
      • accuracy, and
      • depth of analysis.
      Student presenters should e-mail their PowerPoint Presentation to the instructor at ProfessorJTan@gmail.com for grading purposes before coming to class.

    • For the remainder of the class, the instructor will moderate discussion and analysis of the materials and relevant issues among the students. For this purpose, every student (other than the student presenter for the day) will be required to post to the Class Blog before coming to class. Please see Posting to the Class Blog below for requirements and detailed instructions.

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  2. Posting to the Class Blog

    All students, other than the student presenter for the day, are required to post to the Class Blog for each class session before coming to class. For this purpose, clickable links to the relevant posting pages on the Class Blog are provided for each class session in the Class Schedule & Readings. All student postings for each class session consist of the following:

    • A short paragraph summarizing the insight(s) that are gleaned from the required readings (and additional readings, if assigned) for that class session; and

    • One or more questions dealing with the issues raised in the required readings (and additional readings, if assigned).

    Please read each other's postings to see what insights and questions your classmates have pertaining the assigned readings for the class session. Because these insights and questions serve as a stimulus for class discussion, they cannot be made up later (i.e., after the class session has been concluded). Each class blog posting is worth one (1) point. Students who attend class without first posting their insights and questions before coming to class will not receive any points for class blog posting for that day (please refer to the Grades Computation for further details).

    1. Click "Post a Comment."
    2. This opens a pop-up entitled "Leave your Comment."
    3. Type your response/posting in the box.
    4. To prevent accidental loss of connection (especially if you are using the campus wireless system), you should first type your response/posting in MS Word, then cut and paste it onto the box in the "Leave Your Comment" pop-up.
    5. Next, type in the CAPTCHA Word verification/challenge characters.
    6. Under "Choose your Identity," click the third radio button to select Name/URL (ignore the first and second radio buttons).
    7. Type your name in the "Name" field and leave the "URL" field as blank.
    8. Please do not select "Anonymous," as I will not be able to give you any credit for posting.
    9. Once you are satisfied with your post, click "Publish your Comment," and you are done.

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  3. Attendance and Participation

    As the primary format of this course is discussion, it is imperative that students complete all reading assignments before class, post to the Class Blog, as well as attend and participate at all class sessions. Students are expected to do all the required readings assigned for every class before coming to class on that day, and encouraged to read the readings marked "Additional Readings," which complement the required readings and provide additional discussion for those who are interested to explore further. A 1% point will be deducted for each class you miss without excuse. Excuses will be accepted only for grave emergency situations (e.g., major illness with proper written documentation, death in family) or university-approved activities off-campus (e.g., varsity sports) and only at the instructor's discretion. Every two late arrivals will count as an unexcused absence and a 1% point will be deducted accordingly. Please note that any student with six or more unexcused absences will receive a grade of F for this course.

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  4. Book Reports

    Please visit the Book Reports section for detailed instructions and important deadlines about writing your book reports.

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  5. Lecture Reports

    Please visit the Lecture Reports section for detailed instructions, schedule of lectures, and important deadlines about writing your lecture reports.

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  6. Professor Tan's Twitter

    You are invited to follow Professor Tan's Twitter for his latest insights, musings, interesting news reports and articles, public lectures, etc., that are relevant to this course.

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  8. Extra Credit Opportunities

    Please consult with the instructor for extra credit opportunities. Unless otherwise specified, please write a 3-4 page double-spaced and typed report for each lecture that you attend. The report should:

    • summarize the speaker's presentation and identify the insights and implications that are raised;
    • summarize the issues raised by the audience during the Question-and-Answer segment; and
    • conclude with your own critical analysis and assessment of the issues discussed by the speaker and the audience.

    Please submit your written report by the specified submission deadline. Late submissions will not be accepted. Unless otherwise specified, each report submitted is worth 2% towards your final grade. Please pay attention to the Theology Department's Guidelines for Written Assignments when you write your reports. Please visit Xavier University's James A. Glenn Writing Center if you require assistance in writing your reports.

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  9. Tutoring/Learning Assistance

    Xavier University's Learning Assistance Center provides one-on-one and group tutoring, assistance with general study skills, e.g., reading, note taking, time management, organization, learning styles and test taking, as well as services to students with disabilities. For more information, please contact Stephanie Mosier by phone at 756-3214 or by e-mail at mosier@xavier.edu. Referral by the instructor is also available on request.

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  10. Prohibition against the Use of Electronic Devices

    Please turn off all cellphones, pagers, laptops, notebook computers, tablet PCs, PDAs, and other electronic devices when class is in session. Laptops, notebook computers, and tablet PCs may not be used in this class. A first-time offender will receive a one-time warning and the consfication of the electronic device in question for the duration of the class. Thereafter, subsequent violations will result in the loss of all extra credit privileges for this course, as well as the reduction of the student's final grade for this course by 5% for each violation.

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  11. Academic Honesty

    According to the provisions on Academic Honesty in Xavier University's Undergraduate Academic Policies and Regulations:
    The pursuit of truth demands high standards of personal honesty. Academic and professional life requires a trust based upon the integrity of the written and spoken word. Accordingly, violations of certain standards of ethical behavior will not be tolerated at Xavier University. These include ... cheating, plagiarism, unauthorized assistance in assignments and tests ...

    All work submitted for academic evaluation must be the student's own. Certainly, the activities of other scholars will influence all students. However, the direct and unattributed use of another's efforts is prohibited as is the use of any work untruthfully submitted as one's own.
    Please be warned that there is a zero tolerance policy on academic dishonesty in this course. The instructor expects all work that appears under the student's name to be that student's own, and will follow up on evidence that a student has contravened the university's regulations on academic honesty. If an incident of academic dishonesty is established, the student will automatically receive a grade of F for the entire course, in addition to a letter of warning from the Dean and details of the offense being noted down in the student's record file.

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  12. Sexual Coercion/Victimization Resources at XU

    If you believe you have been the victim of sexual coercion, victimization, assault, harassment or discrimination, please call the advocate hotline, which is off-campus, at 513 872-9259 and identify yourself as being from Xavier. Advocates are available 24 hours a day for emergency calls and will provide you with support and information about your options. Non-emergency calls will receive a response within 24 hours. If you are in immediate danger, call campus police at 513 745-1000. For additional information, please see:

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Revision 2.0.0002. Originally created: 22 December 2007. Last updated: 10 December 2008.
Designed, created and maintained by: Jonathan Y. Tan. © Copyright Jonathan Y. Tan, 2007-2008. All rights reserved.

Reza Aslan
No God But God
(Random, 2006)

Robert Wuthnow
America and the
Challenges of
Religious Diversity


Bruce Lawrence
New Faiths,
Old Fears

(Columbia, 2004)

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