Religions of Island Southeast Asia

Course Number:

ASAN 496
Course Title:Religions of Island Southeast Asia
Course Description: This writing intensive and ethics course is intended to provide a comparative survey of the religious development of contemporary island Southeast Asia, focusing on the ethical issues which arise as religious beliefs and state policies interact. In considering the six countries of island Southeast Asia, the course will establish the basis for discussions on ethical issues, especially as outside indigenous beliefs and the localization of world religions encounter new and pressing influences from religious heartlands. As the globe shrinks, expectations of greater conformity as well as demands for increased religious loyalty have increased, and different interpretations of this loyalty can often be intense. Questions regarding the degree to which compromise is or should be possible, both historically and in the contemporary environment, will provide the basis for discussions in lecture periods and assignments.

Through the use of lectures, discussions, and assignments, students will develop basic competency in recognizing and analyzing ethical issues; responsibly deliberating ethical issues; and making ethically determined judgments about the interactions of religious issues both in local and global contexts. The course framework will be provided by a consideration of five approaches to ethical consideration to allow students to explore varying approaches (or combinations of approaches) might best be applied in different ethical situations.
Learning Objectives:

  • An appreciation of the difficulties involved in making ethical decisions regarding religious beliefs in Southeast Asia

  • An understanding of the effects of the global influences and how this affects ethical decision-making in Southeast Asia

  • An improvement in writing, both in grammar and style

  • An improved understanding of how to present an academic argument and how to correctly reference sources