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RELI 4160 Moses Jesus Muhammad. Dr. Seth Ward. Fall 2019.

RELI 4160 Moses Jesus and Muhammad
3 credits
Online UW
Fall Semester 2019

Instructor: Seth Ward

Phone(s): 307 -766-WARD (9273). E-mail(s): sward@uwyo.edu
Mobile: 303-981-7561 E-Voicemail: 303-766-9273 (24/7)
E-Fax: 678-550-6288 (24/7)
Office(s): ROSS HALL 136 Office Hours: Tu 4:10-5:10 p.m.,
Th 9:15-10:15 a.m. and by
Office Hour Updates if necessary
Electronic Courseshell (Canvas): Instructor Courses Website:
https://uwyo.instructure.com/courses/528448 https://swarduwcourses.wordpress.com/

CRN: 17179

Sections in this syllabus:


Prerequisites: Prerequisite: RELI 1000 or Junior Standing or consent of instructor. Contact Instructor via
email: sward@uwyo.edu.

Course Description: RELI 4160. Moses Jesus and Muhammad: Examines the biographies of Moses, Jesus and
Muhammad found in works of history, in sacred literature, in hagiography, ritual and popular culture. The course
demonstrates strategies used to recover their historical personalities and how they are portrayed in multiple religious
traditions, offering insights into how each has shaped our world.

Format: Classroom. This semester, the course is offered Online only.

SI Leader/TA/GTA: Korah Bouma is assisting with this course as part of a Religious Studies Internship.

Religious Studies
Religious Studies: For information about Religious Studies, its program, majors and minors, popular field
courses, the Religious Studies Club and other activities, you can start with the Dept. of Philosophy and
Religious Studies webpage: http://www.uwyo.edu/philrelig/ .
Facebook: Religious Studies is on Facebook: Like us!
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Religious Studies webpage: http://www.uwyo.edu/relstds/

Instructor Instructional Webpage: https://swarduwcourses.wordpress.com/

Facebook: Religious Studies is on Facebook: Like us!

University of Wyoming Department of Religious Studies .


Note the shading of this section in this syllabus. I endeavor to “shade” policies and other information that are standard in
all UW syllabi or standard in all or most of my Syllabi. As of Fall 2019, some of the required sections of UW Syllabi are
now found in Canvas, as explained below.


Online-UW is normally an asynchronous online delivery, meaning that there is no physical classroom and no required
time for attendance in it, although there may on occasion be calls to meet at specific times. References to the classroom in
an Asynchronous Online UW course should be understood as referring to the virtual classroom within the online course

The Classroom version meets in the classroom, and assignments will be confirmed in class. The Online Course shell will
be used for many exercises and submissions, as directed by the Instructor in the classroom (some of the course shell
directions may be relevant only to the Online UW sections).

In this syllabus and generally throughout the course, the terms “Course Shell,” “Canvas” and “WyoCourses” are used
nearly interchangeably.

If this course is cross-listed there is no difference between these listings. There should not be any substantive difference
between the Campus Classroom and Online, or both formats in any term in which both are offered. There should normally
be no differences in credit, USP designations, overall curriculum, and general requirements between any of these formats
or sections.

This Syllabus and the Canvas Course Shell should be edited for the current format. However, some details from alternate
course format (Online/Classroom) may remain in Canvas or the syllabus. Some details that pertain only to the one
version may be indicated by smaller type or placed in brackets. However, sometimes editing fails or items marked as
unpublished become published (or vice versa). In Classroom courses, announcements in the Classroom are
determinative in such situations, not the directives in Canvas.

This syllabus was designed as a Word Document. Thus, an HTM or HTML file will have coding for a DOC or DOCX file
embedded in it. Most versions may display sections with shading that are standard across all or several courses I offer, or
required in each UW syllabus.

Copying and updating from previous years or from other documents sometimes introduces anomalies or copies outdated
material. Please bring anomalous items and corrections to my attention.

Classroom Climate and Conduct, and Learning Tools

Except as indicated in this subsection, these Syllabus items are now in the Classroom Climate and Conduct section
of your Course Shell:
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Classroom Behavior Policy: (See Canvas and note the following:)

“Electronic devices such as mobile phones should be set to silent. There are now numerous studies showing that using a
laptop is detrimental to your learning. No video or audio recording during class is allowed to protect the privacy of your
fellow students.”

Note the UW Code of Student Conduct and links at https://www.uwyo.edu/dos/conduct/. This section applies to
classroom courses, online and travel courses, and any activity related to the class, formal or informal, SI sessions, office
hours, interactions with Teaching Assistants or guests, and any other situations. In classroom courses, I will generally
allow laptops and tablets for notetaking purposes. Students “assume obligations of performance and behavior relevant to
the University’s mission, processes, and functions.” Conduct that does not meet these obligations, in class, at official
university activities, on campus, and in certain cases (including travel courses) off-campus may have consequences in
grades or university status or both.

Travel course students are expected to represent the University at all times and may be sent home at their own expense for

Online courses obviously use computers, laptops or mobile devices differently. Persons registered with DSS or the Dean
of Students, or known to the Instructor may work out reasonable accommodations within these guidelines, by mutual

Classroom Statement on Diversity: (See Canvas)

Academic Dishonesty Policies: (See Canvas)

Please refer to University Regulation 2-114 (Procedures and Authorized University Actions in Cases of Student Academic
Dishonesty) for any questions.

Note that, at my discretion, I may consider a student submission meant to be the student’s own work that is entirely or
nearly entirely composed of the work of others, even when properly attributed, to be an act of academic dishonesty.

Duty to Report: (see Canvas)

Substantive Changes: (see Canvas)

Disability Support: (see Canvas)

Student Resources (see Canvas and see below)

Campus Resources (see Canvas and see below)

Other Classroom Climate, Learning and Resource Information

Disability and Accommodations: Students and faculty have a right to reasonable accommodations for disabilities,
learning styles, religious holidays, family, health, professional, campus and other commitments, and similar situations.
Procedures may be established by the university or by the Instructor for managing these considerations within the scope of
academic integrity, professional demeanor, and creating a positive environment, one that is free from discrimination and
harassment. Some accommodations are managed by procedures established by DSS, Dean of Students, Registrar, and
other offices, others by the Instructor. Advise the Instructor about these and similar concerns in a timely way, and follow
the procedure established.

Discrimination: University of Wyoming policies about discrimination are found here: http://www.uwyo.edu/reportit/.
These extend beyond the items discussed in the Classroom Climate section of Canvas, including all types of
discrimination, civil rights, campus violence, harassment, bullying and micro-aggression. In many cases these may also be
reported to the Dean of Students or to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
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Sponsored and other absences: University sponsored absences are cleared through the Office of Student Life. Medical
documentation is presented directly to the Instructor. Non-attendance in class based on accommodations supported by
DSS should be coordinated with DSS and the Instructor. You must bring or email documentation regarding class missed
for medical appointments, official University activities, or use of counseling or other services, and present documentation
in a timely manner. If emailed, make sure Instructor acknowledges receipt. If you cannot be in any class meeting for any
reason (Classroom courses), or away from an Online course for a week or more, in-person or email notification to
Instructor is expected and greatly appreciated. Absence of more than a week, without advanced notice or timely
notification of the Instructor, if unprofessional and may be grounds, solely at Instructor discretion, for a course grade of

Notification of non-attendance is expected and appreciated even if non-attendance is due to weather. This is true for
regular classroom sessions, as well as activity at a different time or location, appointments for office hours, or for “real
time” components of asynchronous courses.

Student appointments with another faculty member during class time are not acceptable, even if that is the only “office
hour” time available. Your other faculty member should respect your commitment to attend a colleague’s class. If not,
please advise me. While this may be unavoidable on rare occasions, it is never allowable as an “excused absence.”

Class activities outside regular class time: Attendance outside official classroom time (or in “real-time” sessions in an
asynchronous course) is required when a student has indicated she or he will attend, or has had the opportunity to indicate
she or he cannot attend and does not do so. While I cannot demand attendance at specific times outside regular class time,
once you have indicate you will attend (or not indicated you cannot), attendance in such cases is considered to be required
just as it is for regularly scheduled classroom sessions, and expectations regarding notification of absence, and sponsored
and other absences apply.

For classroom courses, required attendance policies also apply to the Final Exam.

There are more definitions and policies related to attendance below.

Student Resources:
Emails and telephones change, and these may not be current. Many of these are listed in the Learning Tools section of

DISABILITY SUPPORT SERVICES: udss@uwyo.edu, 766-3073, 128 Knight Hall, www.uwyo.edu/udss

COUNSELING CENTER: uccstaff@uwyo.edu, 766-2187, 766-8989 (After hours), 341 Knight Hall,
ACADEMIC AFFAIRS: 766-4286, 312 Old Main, www.uwyo.edu/acadaffairs
DEAN OF STUDENTS OFFICE: dos@uwyo.edu, 766-3296, 128 Knight Hall, www.uwyo.edu/dos
UW POLICE DEPARTMENT: uwpd@uwyo.edu, 766-5179, 1426 E Flint St, www.uwyo.edu/uwpd
STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT WEBSITE: www.uwyo.edu/dos/conduct
UW VETERANS SERVICES CENTER: 307-766-6908, uw-vets, www.uwyo.edu/vetservices/.
STUDENT HEALTH: 307-766-2130.
WYOMING ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES: http://www.uwyo.edu/wind/watr/
STOPViolence: 307-766-3296, After hours 307-766-7867
UW OFFICE OF DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION 307-766-6672 http://www.uwyo.edu/diversity/

Counseling, health and other services: The University of Wyoming makes a point of offering many services to students.
Please do not be hesitant to take advantage of these services, and please make and keep your appointments with them.
These and other services can make all the difference! Many of these services are completely confidential. Get and retain
some sort of documentation from any of these offices or for medical or personal reasons, even if it just confirms you were
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seen. If appropriate, discuss these issues with the Instructor promptly (you do not—and should not—discuss confidential
details of counseling, health or other matters, just submit documentation as needed, and do so in a timely manner.

Learn http://www.uwyo.edu/learn/
Career Advising http://www.uwyo.edu/cacs/
Writing Center Coe 302. writing@uwyo.edu 766-5250.
TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT GO TO www.uwyo.mywconline.com
The Consultants at the UW Writing Center are dedicated to helping writers accomplish their short- and long-term writing
goals. They are available to assist all writers with all types of writing at any stage of the writing process. Writing
Consultants are trained to support students from all disciplines and backgrounds, and when you visit the Writing Center,
your tutor will help you to develop a revision plan that meets your needs and helps you to focus on achieving your goals.”

Oral Communication Center (uwyo.edu/cojo/occ) works to strengthen oral communication. They can help your
symposium presentation shine!

Tutoring. http://www.uwyo.edu/seo/sss/tutoring-services/ .

Early Alert https://www.uwyo.edu/learn/fac_resources_recognition/early_alert/

My courses generally require timely submission of an acceptable Term Project for a passing grade. The Early Alert
deadline is usually much too early to determine whether a student is on track to submit an acceptable Term Project and
thus pass the course. Midterm grades should thus be considered to be “UK” even if they display as “S.”

Academic Coaching. This may help you know how to prepare for advising, drop bad habits, stay motivated, manage
study time and finals-week stress, and much more. In the past they have sometimes had a full program of Drop-In
Academic Coaching. There are still drop-in hours but you will be encouraged to set up an appointment for certain types of
academic coaching. Take advantage of this program! 222 Knight Hall.

Take advantage of these resources. If you are concerned about the effect your GPA may have on University probation
or suspension, athletic eligibility, visa, scholarships, or other similar issues, talk to the instructor early—in the first three
weeks of the course, or well in advance of the date a major project is due. Use the resources available, including office
hours, advising, S I Leader or TA/GTA if your class has one, and university resources such as, writing center, etc., to plan
for success.

Online / Classroom considerations, definitions, attendance, grading and other matters

Online-UW may be “asynchronous” online delivery, meaning that there is no physical classroom and no required time for
attendance in it. References to the classroom in an Asynchronous Online UW course, including in the syllabus, should be
understood as referring to the virtual classroom within the online course shell.

Classroom courses meet in the classroom, and assignments will be confirmed in class.

A Field Course or travel course involves travel; it may have classroom or online elements as well.

Many courses are developed for Online and Classroom presentation, or are cross-listed in two or more
departments. Sometimes they are available in Campus Classroom format and Online UW format in the same term. In
such cases, all formats and sections normally have the same basic outline, contents and requirements. There are no
differences in credit, USP designations, overall curriculum, and general requirements between cross-listed sections or
between online and classroom sections in such cases. Courses with cross-listed undergraduate and graduate levels, or
variable credit hours, may have different requirements based on status or credits.

In courses that have or have had Online and Classroom versions, items from the Online Course shell may be used for
some Classroom course exercises and submissions or vice versa. Sometimes Canvas items may be copied from a previous
year’s version or adapted from a different course entirely. Efforts to eliminate anomalies (such as wrong dates, references
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to textbooks not used in the current course, outdated links, etc.) often do not remove all anomalous dates and references.
Bring these issues to the Instructor’s attention! Especially in Classroom courses, rely on classroom discussion to clarify.
In this syllabus and generally throughout the course, the terms “Course Shell,” “Canvas” and “WyoCourses” are used
nearly interchangeably. “Post” and “submit” are nearly identical in meaning. “Posting something to the course” normally
refers to electronic submission.

Links to log into this course on Canvas are generally given at the top of the syllabus.

This syllabus was designed as a Word Document but may be saved in various formats, including Web (html), PDF or
DOC/X. If you prefer document format to website format, there may already be such a format online. Generally, because
this document was created in Word, you can copy or download the syllabus in .HTM format, change the extension to
.DOCX, or even just open it with Word or a similar program, and re-save as a DOC or DOCX file. In general, there will
be a link to the Syllabus from Canvas. Since the University changed policies regarding Instructor-created pages on
uwyo.edu back in July 2018, I have found alternate locations for non-Canvas internet access to syllabi and similar
materials, such as https://swarduwcourses.wordpress.com/

Attendance: Regular, informed attendance and participation is crucial to success in this course and in just about any
professional endeavor. Please advise me about issues precluding attendance, before class if possible and in any case in a
timely manner. For example, for classroom courses, send an email prior to class to confirm that road closure or advise of
an emergency that precludes attendance that day. Attendance is required at all sessions. This includes classroom course
meeting at regular times (including the days before a UW vacation) and any make-up classes and special sessions, as
noted. Clear any and all absences in advance with the instructor, including for medical reasons. Virtual (as opposed to
physical) attendance is unacceptable except in very unusual circumstances.

For Online courses, regular attendance is expected; establish a schedule to enter the course shell at least two or three times
a week. This is measured by time spent in the course shell, frequent, informed participation in the discussion sections,
interaction with the instructor, and by other means.

Travel courses: consider all activities, even “free time” to be course-related, and all official activities as required.

Note: Policies relating to Attendance are also discussed in other paragraphs in the General Policies, such as “Sponsored
and other absences.”

Office Hours: I generally maintain multiple office hours each week, including by appointment. Some weeks there will be
additional open office hours, or changes in office hours announced in class; I will endeavor to post any office hour
changes online, but it may not be possible to do so. For office hours and other appointments, especially in the morning,
please note that I often am coming into campus from out-of-town. My mobile number is posted on my office door and is
available on this syllabus. When relevant or asked to do so, please call, text or email to determine whether I am delayed
coming to campus.
 If I am in my office, in general I will be able to see you.
 If I am with someone, please let me know you have arrived.
 If you expect me to be in my office and I am not, please look around the floor, offices and lounge in Ross Hall
near my office;
 if you do not see me then please try my mobile number and/or e-mail to see if I am nearby.
 If you made an appointment and cannot come, even for regular Office Hours, please let me know in a timely way.
Most weeks I am in my office Tuesdays through Thursdays. I post a document online and/or make classroom
announcements about possible dates on which I will have to cancel or re-schedule office hours.

S I In courses with S.I.: S I Leaders in classroom and online courses generally offer one S I session and maintain one
office hour per week, but may be available by appointment outside these parameters.

Syllabus Updates: The instructor may make changes to the syllabus as the course proceeds. These changes may be
announced in class (Classroom courses) or in Canvas (Classroom courses, Online UW) or via email, and an online version
of the syllabus may be updated to reflect them. For a travel course, all course activities are considered “in class.”
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According to http://www.uwyo.edu/regs-policies/_files/docs/regulations-2018/uw_reg_2-117_approved_7-12-18.pdf
information contained in the course syllabus, other than the grade and absence policies, may be subject to change with
reasonable advance notice, as deemed appropriate by the instructor. Substantive changes made to the syllabus by the
instructor during the semester shall be communicated in the learning management system, other electronic means, or in
class to the students with reasonable notice.

Mobile phones: Bring them to class. We might even have an exercise from time to time using a smartphone, tablet or
laptop (and sometimes you can find your homework if you forgot what you wrote up!). I’ll forgive you for not silencing
them if you forgive me when I forget to silence mine. However, I may request students to close phones and laptops.

Flexibility in class structure is crucial, which sometimes means that deadlines must also be flexible. Nevertheless,
deadlines can be very important: both classroom exercises and deadlines for ongoing projects. Please contact me if you
foresee any problem.

Electronic Resources: Students must have access to Canvas (WyoCourses or WyoGroups), and to internet sites.
Handouts, assignments etc. may be posted electronically.

Email and other communication: It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that email sent from a course shell,
WyoWeb, or any other University program goes to an email account checked daily to receive important messages. Email
sent to a student’s UWYO email will be considered sufficient means of communication with a student. In certain
classroom courses, posting via Canvas will also be considered sufficient communication with students.

Student Electronic Postings: Written assignments will generally be submitted electronically in classroom courses as well
as in online courses usually by11:59 PM on the due date, Mountain Time.

In classroom courses, assignments due “before class” are due before the official start of the class, for example, by 10:59
AM if the class starts at 11 AM. However, the Instructor may indicate in class that “before class” may refer to a larger
space of time before class (for example, an hour before class), or by a set time (such as 9 AM that morning)—for a
specific assignment or for all forthcoming assignments due to be submitted “before class.”

Please advise Instructor immediately if Course Shell does not have appropriate place for submitting assignment.
Sometimes “double-posting” may be required (that is, posting both in a dropbox or assignment, and in a discussion
section, or on-line and via email.

Final Submission: In general, anything you want to submit must be in before 11:59 p.m. on the Saturday night following
the beginning of Exam week (Fall and Spring) or by August 1 in the summer term, except as indicated by the Instructor
or announced in class. (Final Exams are an exception in terms in which Final Exam Week extends past this date). This
does not guarantee late submissions will be treated the same as if they were submitted in a timely fashion, but it may
prevent an automatic grade of “F.” Contact me in a timely way, normally at least before the end of the term, to apply for
an Incomplete. Evidence of work accomplished and plan for completion are normally required. Incompletes automatically
convert to “F” if not completed on time.

Preferred electronic formats: For files posted to Canvas or sent by email, use approved formats such as .docx, .doc,
.pdf, .rtf; do not use formats such as .pages. If you are unsure please ask.

Preferred formats for course postings:


Please do not post files in these formats:

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Programs that produce these formats can nearly always save your material in one or more of the preferred formats. Please
save them in one of the allowed formats, or convert them (you can usually find something like “PAGES2DOC” free
conversion programs online), rather than making the Instructor or your classmates do this.

Large files: Some files are too large to load easily into the Course shell or to email. Rather than figuring out ways to ship
large files, it may be preferable to upload the file to an internet-accessible copy on a shared drive such as Dropbox,
Google Drive, Jumpshare, OneDrive, Sharepoint a blog-site, or other web-accessible location, and post the Link or Share.
Please make sure that it is accessible to Instructor and, if it is in an open discussion section, to classmates. YouTube
may be the best for files capable of video streaming. Sometimes shared drives are problematic. If you learn of problems
loading your files, you may be expected to load the file in a different shared drive program. (In some cases, it may be
most practical to submit large electronic files via jump drive, SD card or other “physical” device; please check before
doing so).

Class Sessions outside regularly scheduled time or location, and class sessions in “real time” for asynchronous
courses: These may be special sessions, make-ups or off-campus sessions, including “real time” i.e. synchronous sessions
in an Online Asynchronous course. These may be for everyone or for small groups. These may be in a physical location;
in an online course these may be electronic only (for example, via Zoom) or mixed (i.e. some in the same room, others
linked in electronically). Student schedules will be taken into account in establishing such sessions, and it is recognized
that you may have a conflict with another class or with work schedules, sports or music practice commitments. Students
cannot be required to attend meetings outside of announced class and final exam times, but if such meetings are called—
for small groups, make-up sessions, presentations or any other purpose—students are expected to make every effort to
attend, and may be required to advise the instructor in advance about whether they can do so. In these situations,
attendance is required for those who indicate that they will attend (or do not indicate that they cannot attend in a timely

Fair use: Photographs and video recordings made by anyone during class activities, including recommended or required
activities outside regular class time or off-campus, may be used to illustrate, document or assess classroom activities.
Student work may be used or shared with others as part of assessment, documentation, scholarship applications, or for
other reasons.

Academic Calendar up to 2020: http://www.uwyo.edu/acadaffairs/_files/docs/acadadmin_cal-2014-2020.pdf. Make sure

to check the correct year!

Final Exams: The university policy 2-102 Final Examination Policy governs final exam policy. DSS: Please remind the
Instructor about DSS considerations for final exams at least a week or two before the end of the term. Classroom: A Final
Exam will be held in all classroom courses at the time scheduled by the Registrar, unless explicitly announced. The
Registrar posts a link to the Final Exam schedule well in advance of the beginning of the term at
http://www.uwyo.edu/registrar/final_exam_schedule/. (Note: The Registrar publishes this schedule officially about 30
days before exam week. The schedule should be checked once it is published officially, but it is extremely unlikely that
there will be any relevant exam-schedule changes for this course).
Online courses: Generally students may open the Final Exam during a period of a few days, during Exam Week as
defined for Classroom courses. Once opened, students generally have only the one opportunity to complete the Exam, and
a limited time in which to do so. Normally this procedure precludes consideration of final examination conflicts.
However, Instructor may decide that a proctored exam is needed even in an Online course.

Final Examination Conflicts: Bring known final exam conflicts, potential conflicts, required travel, or relevant cases in
which you have three or more finals on the same day to the attention of all relevant instructors as early as possible, and in
any case, before the first day of the final full week of the regular term. (There may be exceptions only for certain limited
family or medical emergencies). There is a procedure to be followed for time conflicts or three exams on one day; you
may be required to follow procedures for resolving final exam schedule conflicts delineated in the Registrar’s Final
Examination Schedule. If there is a take-home final, writing assignment (e.g., seminar paper) explicitly in lieu of a final
RELI 4160 Moses Jesus Muhammad. Dr. Seth Ward. Fall 2019. 9

exam, that assignment shall be due no earlier than the regularly scheduled final examination time for that class. During the
week right before Final Exams, UW regulations allow makeup examinations, regularly scheduled weekly exercises (e.g.,
class participation, presentation of group projects, etc.). Symposium presentations, discussion of the course, field
experiences, and other classroom exercises are deemed essential for the effective functioning of the course and will be
held in the last week of the term.

Grading Policy


“Knowledge” or “mastery” of information is not simply knowing facts but understanding them within the context which
gives them meaning and significance. Knowing “facts” about a subject is only a small part of the goals of a university
education. In papers, classroom participation, quizzes and everything else, what is sought includes
(a) mastery of technical and general information appropriate to the level and context of the course,
(b) growth in critical thinking,
(c) ability to articulate one’s thoughts in a voice appropriate to the context and discipline, and
(d) increased proficiency in the methodology and theoretical approaches needed—which includes engagement with
primary sources and serious research, and the ability to engage professionally with one’s peers.

Students demonstrate informed participation and achievements in these areas in classroom discussions, formal papers, and
exams—and in small groups, instructor conferences and online exchanges. “Knowledge” or “mastery” of information
is not simply knowing facts but understanding them within the context which gives them meaning and significance.

These standards are fairly similar to the Four Goals of the Religious Studies Major, and Religious Studies Goals
assessments may shape aspects of curriculum and grading.

Grading in this course seeks to reflect and measure achievement of the Course general academic goals, and progress made
towards achieving them. Students should be aware that simple quantitative calculation based merely on point
accumulation falls short of reaching accurate qualitative measurement of success.

Grades on individual projects, classroom assignments, quizzes or exams, etc.

These may be letter, numeric, some version of Yes/No, or other system

Canvas Gradebook

Canvas Gradebook is not used to calculate semester grades. Any attempt to use calculated percentages or grade
averages reported in Canvas Gradebook for this purpose will result in frustration, and appeals of grades based on raw data
or calculations from this source will not be tolerated.

Semester Grades

In this document “semester grade” and “course grade” are used interchangeably.

Semester grades are letter grades. As of Fall 2019, there are no plus/minus course grades. The University of Wyoming
Grading System is described here: http://www.uwyo.edu/registrar/university_catalog/grade.html. S/U course final grading
may be available , but only at student request. (see elsewhere in this syllabus for a comment on Mid-Term S/U grades).
Auditing is welcomed, although no grade will be calculated for auditors. See elsewhere in this syllabus for policy
regarding the grade of Incomplete.

Within disciplinary parameters and the overall goals for the contents of the course, the grade of “A” will indicate, inter
alia, that, taking into account class level and student preparation, a student has mastered the ability to:
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Develop and communicate written, oral, and digital messages through a variety of assignments that include
discipline-based or interdisciplinary purposes, forms, and audiences;
find, analyze, evaluate, and document information appropriately using a variety of sources
Understand the different purposes of written, oral, and digital messages and employ appropriate organizational
strategies, including developing thesis statements and main ideas;
make effective use of multiple drafts, revisions, progressive assignments, computer technology, peer and
instructor comments, and collaboration in the achievement of a final work of communication;
observe the accepted conventions including spelling, grammar, organizational structure, punctuation, delivery
and documentation in oral, written, and digital messages;
deliver prepared presentations in a natural, confident, and conversational manner, and display nonverbal
communication that is consistent with and supportive of the oral message; and
interact effectively with audience members, engage opposing viewpoints constructively, and demonstrate
active listening skills.

The course grade of B indicates that the student has demonstrated ability in these parameters.

The course grade of C indicates that the student meets minimal expectations for oral, written and digital communication
expectations consistent with the appropriate classroom or on-line presentation environment.

Here are the expectations in more pragmatic terms:

Requirements to Pass: Submission of an acceptable Term Paper, acceptable classroom attendance with informed
participation (or the Online equivalent, normally measured by, e.g., frequency of log-ins, discussion section participation
etc.), submission of at least two field experiences, and academic honesty at all times. A grade of D is considered passing
at UW. Students se overall achievement meets very minimum requirements but do not meet the requirements to achieve a
course grade of C or higher may receive this passing grade.

Requirements to achieve a course grade of C or higher: Timely submission of an acceptable Term Paper and
prerequisites, as designated in class (which may include an Abstract, progress report, Instructor conference, rough draft,
and peer review), participation as a discussant in the Symposium, and submitting work designated as “short papers”
before the end of Finals Week. Students who opt out of presentation in the class Symposium, or do not do so because of
scheduling conflicts or for any other reason, may achieve a course grade of C but may be precluded from achieving a
course grade higher than C. (See more in the section on course grade of B or higher).

Requirements to achieve a course grade of B or higher: In addition to the requirements to pass the course or to achieve a
grade of C or higher, presentation in the class Symposium, significant, regular participation in class including class
Symposium, submission of at least two field experiences before the last class, and, in classes with a final exam, passing
the final exam.

Symposium Presentations may be oral, digital, and/or poster, as defined in the syllabus or in the classroom or online
course shell. Students must meet certain prerequisites to offer a Symposium Presentation, or may opt out of presentation.
In such cases, course grade may not exceed C. An extra session may be needed to accommodate Symposium
presentations. Students must present at their assigned session and attend any extra session(s), or make timely indication of
schedule conflicts to achieve a grade higher than C. Online courses may have “real time” (synchronous) and digital only
(asynchronous) presentation opportunities. Once the Symposium schedule is announced, students who neither present as
scheduled nor make timely arrangements for an alternate presentation slot may not receive a course grade higher than C.
If they are able to present nevertheless, they may not receive full credit for their participation in the Symposium section of
the course; in practice this means that such students may or may not receive a grade higher than what they would have
received had they chosen not to present.

Requirements to achieve a course grade of A. See above. Additional clarification may be announced in class or in
Canvas for Online courses, or via Email.

Other grading details

RELI 4160 Moses Jesus Muhammad. Dr. Seth Ward. Fall 2019. 11

Mid-Term Grades: My understanding of the UW grading system is that S/U mid-term grades are only reported when the
course is offered S/U or the student has elected the S/U option. However, sometimes I will mark “S” regardless.
Nevertheless, according to the grading system, “no grade” for Mid-Term for students who have not requested S/U course
grading indicates that the Mid-Term grade should not be D or F).

Automatic failure: Judged solely at the Instructor’s discretion, disruptive behavior, actions inconsistent with University
expectations, and unprofessional practices related to spotty attendance, or other considerations such as might lead to
termination in the workplace, may all result in an automatic course grade of F. So will requests for a certain minimum
grade that reference grade requirements related to visa, scholarships, eligibility, probation or suspension—except as part
of a plan for successful achievement of that grade at the very beginning of the course. Extended absence, regardless of
reason or justification, may be grounds for an automatic course grade of F, except in rare cases when prior or timely
arrangements are made with Instructor. Other reasons for a semester grade of “F” are articulated throughout this

Submission of a Term Project, and, in courses with a Final Exam, a successful Final Exam, do not exempt a student from
expectations regarding attendance, participation, and submissions of classwork (as it might in some courses or
international systems), through to the end of the term and at the Final Exam. Attempts to argue that it does may result in a
course grade of “F.” So too, domestic and international travel, including travel for visa renewal, returning home, etc.,
sponsored absences or away games, and including travel during the time of the Final Exam, without timely advice to the
instructor, could result in a course grade of “F.”

Grades of “F” and “I” are normally reported with an indication of the last time a student participated in class. I may base
this date, at my sole discretion, on the last student visit to the course Canvas, attendance sheets, submissions, class notes,
or any other indicator available.

Studying Religion in the academic classroom

As noted, Religious Studies’ goals and objectives for majors and minors inform this class; some classroom requirements
may reflect individual goals and objectives from this list. Your participation, classroom participation, writings and other
contributions should be appropriate for the academic environment, whether in the classroom, on class-related electronic
sites, or in the field. Your contributions may reflect your religious beliefs, but should be articulated appropriately to the
secular State University: they should be research-based, and sensitive to diverse views about religion and religious
identities held by members of the UW community (including “no religious identity”). Your papers, presentations, and
comments cannot be testifying or proselytizing (for example, “preach the Gospel” or “call people to Islam”); they should
not convey acceptance of a religious system, whether it is one you personally accept or reject. You can indicate the
teaching is accepted by a particular religious community by using such language as “According to Islam,” and in some
contexts it might be appropriate to disclose whether you are or are not part of the religious tradition you are writing about.
You may convey important insights about how a text, practice or belief relates to “guidance for life” at least for those who
follow the religious tradition to which it belongs, within the disciplined, respectful academic discourse about these topics.
For field experiences, especially involving religious activities, you may participate or not according to personal beliefs,
but you must also maintain a professional and respectful attitude, and keeping with the fact that you are representing the
University and must adhere to its code of conduct.

About the General Policies Section

The General Policies section of this syllabus includes policies applicable in general to all my courses, and to all students
in my courses regardless of status. Designed to be the same for all courses, some policies may have limited applicability
to certain courses, or may be applied differently in certain courses, based on, for example, whether it is a classroom-,
online- or field course.

I try to keep this section up to date; please let me know if you find a phone number, email, campus address, University
Regulation number, or similar detail needs updating. Multiple sections of these General Policies or of this Syllabus may
address the same issue. I am sure that there are errors, outdated information, and potential contradictions. Please advise, or
RELI 4160 Moses Jesus Muhammad. Dr. Seth Ward. Fall 2019. 12

ask for clarification, if you notice things needing updates or correction, or a real or apparent difference between various
statements within this section, or in this section and another section of this syllabus, or if you are unsure how a policy
applies to your course or your situation.

This syllabus is meant to comply with University of Wyoming Regulation 2-117; as noted in this Regulation, any failure to
comply with the Regulation “does not relieve a student from the responsibility to meet the academic requirements of the
course as determined by the Instructor.”


As "founders" of the religious communities of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, these

remarkable leaders left a broad mark on the history and philosophy of all mankind. The
course examines the biographies of each within historical context, in sacred literature
and "sacred histories," in scholarly debate, and popular culture. The course will offer
historical, religious, sociological, leadership, and other perspectives to illuminate how
the narratives about each have shaped our world.

Inherent in the humanities is a values-driven examination of human life. Discussions of

the values associated with Moses, Jesus and Muhammad have shaped basic ideas about our nature as humans, about our
place in the world, and about the ethical dimensions of our action for nearly half of humanity—and on a societal or
political nature, these ideas have played a role in nearly every society on earth. This course studies the meaning, value,
history, literary and aesthetic expressions, and/or justifications of ideas linked with these personages, and the way these
ideas have determined people’s actions.

Objectives/Outcomes/Standards: The course objective is critical interpretation and analysis of the traditional narratives,
scriptures, and biographies of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, and the roles they have played in religion, culture and

Student outcomes include

 familiarity with the accounts, historic, scriptural and traditional source materials
 increased proficiency in critical analysis of traditional texts and hagiography, as well as works of literature, art
and scholarship, and
 a major academic research project, judged by academic standards of undergraduate academic research papers in
the humanities.


Please note that any edition of these books is acceptable. Some students may prefer electronic versions, paper, hardcover,
or other editions of these books. In the event that pagination or chapter markings are not identical with the edition used in
class, student is responsible for determining that the edition is identical to the classroom edition or nearly so, and for
finding assigned passages is the edition.


Jewish Study Bible


Jewish New Testament


RELI 4160 Moses Jesus Muhammad. Dr. Seth Ward. Fall 2019. 13

Watt, Tabari

Watt, Tabari

Scriptures: Students must have access to a Bible and Qur’an. Students with ability to use the
Masoretic text and/or the Arabic Qur’an should do so. Recommended Study Bibles are Oxford
(NRSV) and JPS, but students may use any reliable, unabridged translation for Bible and
NT. For Qur’an, I recommend Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s translation and commentary, but any
unabridged translation will be suitable. A note on the printed Qur’an with translation I usually
recommend for coursework use:
On line versions are not ideal but are acceptable. For further comments on websites for Jewish, Christian and Muslim
scriptures see https://swarduwcourses.wordpress.com/2018/08/23/bible-quran-and-religious-text-websites/ and for the
Qur'an: http://www.hti.umich.edu/k/koran/, http://www.oneummah.net/quran/quran.html, and http://quran.com/


(1) Quizzes and Exams:

Quiz and Exam policy will be further elaborated in class and takes precedence over what is written in this Syllabus.

3 short quizzes and a final.

Final may have an oral component. We may need to include time on the Final Exam day for final oral presentations and
discussions for those who were compelled to miss oral presentation due to illness. Final Exam is cumulative and may
include material from student term projects.

Note the instructions about Final Exam in the General Policies section of the Syllabus.

(2) Four Short Research Papers

These academic papers should be two-two and a half pages (400-750 words) but can be longer if you want. Use standard
academic practices typical in Religious Studies or History journals and monographs to reference your sources. (a “page”
is normally 200-300 words). Be prepared to present your short papers in class. In some cases, the papers will be revised
from classroom exercises.

1. Scripture Analysis
Discuss the importance of a short passage from any relevant scripture; use at least three sources, at least one “traditional”
in outlook and one a work of academic scholarship.

2. Check / Compare a Textbook

Follow textbook footnotes or references, and report on accuracy, and on perspectives gained on the textbook’s author’s
statements by checking his or her references.

3. Document oriented paper (analysis of religious literature or pre-modern writer)

Analysis of a primary source from Midrash, Targum, ancient or medieval authors, or scholars up to 1900, or work of
literature, art or music, relevant to one of the theme of the course.
RELI 4160 Moses Jesus Muhammad. Dr. Seth Ward. Fall 2019. 14

4. Book Review
Review of a book about Moses, Jesus or Muhammad. (A book about Muhammad MUST be reviewed in class but you
may submit the written review of a different book).

(3) Term Project:

The Term Paper may be on any relevant topic with instructor’s approval. It may expand on a subject from one of the short
papers or classroom exercises, with the following steps:

Initial Idea: a one or two sentence description, plus informal list of potential primary and secondary resources;

Progress Report: Preliminary Submission of at least one component; Full Progress Report Instructor conference about
progress (individual or small group).

Progress report may be based on the “Research Preparation Exercise” or other format (including first draft). Include these
abstract or summary giving scope, thesis, and context;
bibliography and a literature survey or annotations discussing at least five resources including at least a page-length
review of a relevant book-length study;
main points of organization
Main points of significance; and
research plan, report, or notes.

Please plan to submit one or more of these individual components in writing as a Preliminary Submission. You should
meet with the Instructor as part of this process. Any material in this report can be re-used in your final paper.

Rough Draft: Due one week before final submission date.

Peer Review: We will give class time for students to review each other’s papers before submission.
Final Draft: Submitted in electronic format, with one-page summaries (limited to 300 words) and handout, powerpoint,
or other presentation aid.
Symposium: Oral Presentations (for classroom courses); discussion of papers and presentations, and a Peer Assessment

(4) Attendance, Participation, Discussion Sections, and other Classroom Assignments

Regular Attendance and informed Oral Participation: Required. Regular attendance at class sessions and Informed
oral participation in classroom discussions are required. Attendance is expected at any guest lectures, tours, media or
other items during regular classroom hours, whether in the classroom or off-site.

Short classroom exercises. These may include short exercises and preparations for the classroom or for a discussion
group such as Reading Eusebius, Targum, Legends of the Jews, Rashi, Synoptic and non-Canonic Gospels exercise, web-
criticism, compare biographies of Muhammad. etc.

Field experience(s): Required. Half-page minimum. Due before final class. This is a way to build “extra credit” into the
course. Report on a campus lecture or event not during term time, or a “self-constructed field trip” or other experience
relevant to the course. This most normally is a lecture or event recommended by the Instructor. Students may do these in
groups of any size but the report is to be individual. If there is a visitor to class or a class field trip during the regular class
meeting time, a student can interview the visitor outside of class, or return to the location as a Field Experience, but the
class visit or trip cannot be used as the field experience. The Field Experience is due before the last class meeting of the
term. (Multiple field reports may be available for “extra credit” at with instructor permission).

Final Assessments: Comparison and Assessment (“two best”) and Student Course/ Self assessment. Required.
Three-five pages aggregate. Please note that this assignment is confidential. Briefly assess the Symposium as a whole;
RELI 4160 Moses Jesus Muhammad. Dr. Seth Ward. Fall 2019. 15

select about 5 papers to compare and contrast. You must identify the two best papers and why they are the best. (In
discussing the two best papers, do not chose your own, and please consider that there is no implied comparison to the
quality of your own work). Assess the course and your contributions to it. Consider what goals you had for the course and
whether you achieved them. Include an assessment of your term project, and a discussion of revisions you might make in
your Term Project. If you wish, or have been asked to do so, you may submit a revised version of all or part of your paper
with this assignment.


Grade is based on (1) quizzes and exams. (2) short papers (3) Term Project (of which the paper is the most important
component); and (4) attendance and informed participation, other written exercises, classwork etc.

Detailed discussion of my grading policies are in the General Policies section of the Syllabus.

Subtotal Total
Quizzes and Exams 20%

Four Short Papers 20%

Term Project 30%

Classroom attendance, informed participation, exercises, and final assessments 30%


As of Fall 2019, UW semester grades are letter grades, with no plus or minus.


Short papers and term project related submissions: generally, these items are to be brought to class on the due date, but
submitted electronically by 11:59 pm that day. Assignments and schedules will be modified in classroom announcements.
Unit Week Lecture/Discussion/Presentation Reading What’s Due:
Wed.-Tues. Assignment for Quizzes, exams,
until after today’s class term project.,
Thanksgiving, short papers etc.
then Monday-
Intro (Units 1-2)
1 Sept. 4 3 religions-prayer and credo, etc. Handout
Sept. 8 Abraham texts Gen. 11-25.
2 Sept. 11 Abraham Texts: NT, Qur’an, Handout Scripture Paper:
Maimonides, Nabatean Be ready for Oral
Agriculture, Targum, Midrash, Presentation IN
Tabari. CLASS.
Sept. 15 How can we read scripture and Selected Scriptural
hagiography? texts
3 Sept. 18 Moses I – the early years Exodus 1-4; Kirsch
chapters 1-3.
Sept. 22 The Decalogue Exodus 5-23,
Kirsch 3-5
4 Sept. 25 Moses II - in the wildernesss Selected readings Check / Compare a
from Exodus and Textbook Paper:
Numbers; handout Follow Kirsch’s
from Eusebius, references.
RELI 4160 Moses Jesus Muhammad. Dr. Seth Ward. Fall 2019. 16

Philo, Josephus,
Ginzburg Legends
Kirsch 6-8
Sept. 29 The final years. Legal texts from
Discuss film clips. Leviticus and
Kirsch 8-10
5 Oct. 2 Moses III Moses in Christianity, Kirsch 11-12.
Islam, modern scholarship.
Oct. 6 Review, quiz. Term Project and
Short Papers:
Initial preliminary
description of all
topics in class.
6 Oct. 9 Jesus I : Introducing “The Aslan Document Short
Historical Jesus” Film Clips Paper Be ready for
Oral Presentation
Oct. 13 Continued: Prepare a chapter
of Aslan to present
to the class.
7 Oct. 16 Jesus II: Jesus in Judaism and Aslan, continued
Islam Prepare material
about Jewish and
Muslim Jesus,
American Jesus,
Oct. 20 Handout and
8 Oct. 23 Jesus III Non Canonic Gospels, Non-canonics on Term
website.. Project: Progress
report due. Some
discussion in class.
Oct. 27 Continued, review,
9 Oct. 30 Muhammad A Very Short Book Review Short
Introduction Paper: Be ready for
Oral Presentation
Nov. 6 An intro to Qur’an and Hadith. Begin Reading
Using Primary Sources about Kecia Ali book.
Muhammad Qur’an. Hadith
10 Nov. 10 Muhammad II : Compare
approaches to Muhammad in
recent scholarly literature
Muhammad and Islam in Films Work on term
11 Nov. 13 Muhammad IIIa: Tabari on the Term
satanic verse Project: Rough
(handout) and Uri Draft Due.
Rubin on the first
RELI 4160 Moses Jesus Muhammad. Dr. Seth Ward. Fall 2019. 17

Nov. 17 Peer Review Day

12 Nov. 20 Muhammad IIIb, review, Hagarism Term
Quiz. (Handout). Project: Final Draft
Due, with summary
and presentation
Nov. 24 Student symposium Group A.
13 Dec. 2 Student presentations and
discussions: Group B
Dec. 5 Student presentations and
discussions Group C
14 Dec. 9 Student presentations and
discussions Group D
Dec. 12 Review and Assessment of course
FINALS final date for submissions Dec. 21

The instructor may make changes to the syllabus as the course proceeds. If necessary, these changes will be announced in
class (for an online class, this means an announcement visible in Course Home or an e-mail, or both; for an online class,
the Course Shell is the syllabus).