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GEK1045: Introduction to World Religions Guidelines and Instructions for the IVLE Forum Semester 1, A/Y 2009/10

Dear Students, As you know the IVLE Forum is an important component of your overall grade. On Friday, 16 November 2009, you are required to submit in hardcopy the five (5) forum posts which you feel best represent the quality and insightfulness of your contributions. These five MUST be in different weeks throughout semester. It shall be handed in to the Office of Programmes. Some criteria that we use in evaluating these submissions include: Have you posted across different weeks and different topics? Have you elicited responses youre your peers by asking thought provoking questions? Is the post clearly understood and not just babbling on? Are you able to express ideas succinctly and straightforwardly? Have you merely cut-and-paste from a website? This guide is meant to orient you towards contributing properly and meaningfully to the Forum. Please note the following: 1. Each weekly heading (e.g. Lecture 5: Islam) will be open for posting for two weeks. Please take note of the due dates that I will indicate in the initial post. Posts made outside of these dates will still be displayed, but will not be counted in your final hardcopy submission (yes, we do check). 2. You may propose any topic you like as long as it is relevant to the issues discussed in the lecture or readings for that week. For example, if you want to talk about Christianity, you may have "Was Jesus a black man?" as a subject heading. 2. Please USE A SUBJECT LINE that contains the spirit of your argument. I cannot emphasise how important this is. This ensures that your fellow students are enticed to read what you have to say, and you might elicit more responses. The idea is for you to be engaging each other in topics of common interest. I hope to see different threads on relevant topics of discussion. So do try to make your comments as attractive as possible. 3. Please post only WITHIN THE WEEKLY HEADINGS. To do this, click on the appropriate week (e.g. Lecture 1: Introduction) and then click on the reply tab ( i.e. not the post tab on the menu). I repeat. NEVER click the post tab. This will create an entirely new heading. ALWAYS click on the reply tab if you want your contribution to be within the Weekly Heading (e.g. Lecture 1: What is World Religion?) 4. Please understand that this is a closed FORUM and restricted to students of GEK1045 only. Our discussions, therefore, are in the spirit of academic inquiry and exchange. The forum (this entire module in fact) is not intended to promote a

particular religious belief or ideology. By all means, question and discuss topics that have relevance to the week's lecture topic. But please do so in the spirit of scholarly curiosity and academic exchange. Similarly, please discuss in a respectful and mature way. I feel uncomfortable having to even say this, seeing as youre all very mature and all. I just want to reiterate that this is not quite an ordinary chat room. It is very specific in its scope and purpose, which is to talk about the lecture topics of our module. 5. The IVLE forum is not intended for posts of an administrative or trivial nature. Do not post things about "When is the essay due?" or "Does anyone wanna buy my textbook?" or how should I dress my cat today?. If you do, they will be deleted. This forum is for discussion of lecture topics, not a chat room for administrative or random issues. 7. The rules of plagiarism apply equally to the forum as well as the essays and exams. If you have not visited the website about plagiarism yet, please do so now. You may want to refer to a book or a website, but please ensure that you identify and cite your sources properly. On the next page Ive drafted some sample IVLE posts, just to give you a feel for what these comments might look like. It also demonstrates the format your eventual submission will take. Remember, these are just samples. Theyre not meant to be taken literally, if you know what I mean. Please have a look at them. If you have any queries, do let me know. Otherwise, happy posting everyone! Regards, Dr. J.

**SAMPLE IVLE FORUM SUBMISISON** GEK1045: Introduction to World Religions IVLE FORUM SUBMISSION Semester 1, AY 20xx-20xx Name: Ms Britney AGUILERA Matric number: U0654332 Tutor: Dr. Bautista Time: D06, Thursday 12-1pm POST NUMBER 1 Week 3: Christianity From: Topic: AGUILERA, BRITNEY The BBC Jesus Date: 27/01/2006 04:28:00 PM

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Hi Rhianna, I do not think the issue of skin colour is somehow less serious, or even irrelevant, to our discussion on religion. After all, when we were talking about the BBC "jesus", his "olive" complexion was one of the things that shocked people (at least in Britain) most. Like i mentioned, the caste system has its roots on skin tones as well. I think there is some justification for studying the relationship between skin hue and perceptions (religious or otherwise) But in relation to the west/east distinctions between skin colours...we're not even mentioning tan lines, which I'm assuming is demonstrative of contrast. POST NUMBER 2 Week 5: Islam From: Topic: Dear Dr. Dre, I kinda like your topic with regards to the comparison between Jesus and Prophet Mohammad. It provides great insight for us all. I agree with your viewpoint that the depiction of Jesus Christ can very much be seen in Christianity, while Prophet Mohammad's is not seen in Islam. I believe this might be due to the rich artistic background of the country that Christianity expands from? The renaissance period if famous for the mutliple artworks, such as paintings and sculptures. However, there are not many artworks from the country of Islam that are very wellknown. Hence, this may lead to the lack of representations of Prophet Mohammad. AGUILERA, BRITNEY Islam in our minds Date: 17/02/2006 04:28:00 PM

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POST NUMBER 3 WEEK 7: Hinduism From: Topic: AGUILERA, BRITNEY Re: Ultimate Reality Date: 28/02/2006 01:21:00 PM

Topic Heading: Default Heading This is rather thought provoking, Snoop. You seem to really have great insight into religious politics. There's a discussion in Buddhism thread in relation to Hinduism...how both perceive each other that I though relevant to Mr. Arthur's thought provoking questions. Hereby attached here for discussion... Rather, this perceived "ambiguity" in some sense can be intentional, for example, Zen tradition. For as said by Nagarjuna in his Madyamika exposition of Shunyata (Emptiness) as free from the 4 Extremes, indicating the Buddhists' belief of the limits of intellectual conceptualizations and rationalizations in comprehending Emptiness. It demands in one, an experiential realization of these doctrines and thus explicates partly why these higher teachings are sometimes explained through analogies. POST NUMBER 4 Week 9: Buddhism From: Topic: AGUILERA, BRITNEY Date: 15/03/2006 09:49:00 PM

Topic Heading: Default Heading Hello, Boddhisattva how are you this lifetime? Dear Simon Cowell, Some Singaporeans seem to believe and practice a mix of daoism and buddhism... how do daoists and buddhist feel aboutthis? Is it considered a religion by itself? Some people lean more towards daoism but also incorporate Buddhists practce... at least that's what i heard. POST NUMBER 5 Week 11: Daoism From: Topic: AGUILERA, BRITNEY Date: 28/03/2006 03:45:00 PM

Topic Heading: Default Heading Re: monkey king, of religion or folk? Dear Marshall M.,

If one goes to visit some Daoist temples in Beijing, which are more as places of interest now, he or she might find amazingly large number of statues there, ranging from ba xian guo hai (eight gods crossing the sea, from Dao related stories), to human dying from all kinds of ways (hanging, hunger, birth, sickness, drowning etc) in front of Dead God; from monkey king to pregnant women standing in front of Birth God...

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