|Religious Studies 410A IN: VT: "Heaven, Hell & the Last
Class Hours and Location: As arranged through
Instructor: Martin C. Albl, Ph.D.
Hours: Arranged. I am generally in the office Monday through Friday
from 8:00 A.M. -4:00 P.M.
Phone: 229- 8540 (office);
E mail: Martin.Albl@presentation.edu
Course Description: The course will
focus on the traditional Christian beliefs about final judgment and life
after death, and briefly consider beliefs from other religions and beliefs
in modern culture. The course fulfills scriptural or general requirements
for the religious studies minor. The course also fulfills the requirements
for a Humanities / Aesthetics elective.
- Understand basic methods in addressing theological questions
- Understand the nature of metaphorical and analogical language in
- Understand and practice historical-critical approaches as an aid in
- Understand basic concepts in the Christian view of the afterlife
- Understand basic Christian beliefs concerning time and the afterlife
- Understand basic Christian beliefs concerning the body and afterlife
- Understand basic Christian beliefs concerning salvation
- Discuss various Christian view concerning the afterlife
- Discuss the relationship between medical and religious views
concerning the afterlife
- Understand the basic Muslim views concerning the afterlife
- Cory, Catherine. The Book of Revelation. New Collegeville
Bible Commentary. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2006.
- Kreeft, Peter. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Heaven,
But Never Dreamed of Asking. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1990.
- Lewis, C. S. The Great Divorce. New York: Macmillan, 1946 (or
any other edition; available on Amazon.Com or other sources).
- Any edition of the Bible.
- Class notes and other material will be available on-line through the
WebCT program (http://courses3.webct.com)
Teaching through weekly notes on
Internet, weekly chat rooms (1 hour) or discussion board, quizzes,
exams, and essays.
F: below 60%
- Students will answer specific discussion
questions each week.
- The discussion board is informal, so don't worry
about perfect spelling or grammar. Simply post your honest thoughts and
- Postings for each week should be a total of 300
words. Students may post their answers all at once, or throughout the
week. Students may post them independently, or may respond to the
comments of another class member.
- Postings must be done during the week
assigned. Thus, Week 01 postings should be done anytime from Wednesday
August 26 to Sunday, August 30 (midnight deadline, Central time). No
credit is given for late postings, unless prior arrangements have been
made, or in case of emergencies.
- Two essays of 3-4 pages (750-1,000 words) will be
assigned (double-spaced, 10-12 pt. font).
- Final essay of 5-7 pages (1250-1750).
I will post specific
guidelines for each essay.
Exams will be taken online with a proctor. They will consist
of multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and short
essay questions. A detailed study guide will be provided one
week before the exam.
Exams will be taken with a proctor. Available proctors are:
|Aberdeen area students
||Kristie Morrison (PC Learning Center, 229-8581)
|Fairmont area students
||Toni Schantz, 235-4658
|Eagle Butte area students
Sr. Marilyn Dunn 964-4071
||Rose Toering, Student Success Center, 221-3207
Other students should select a proctor, subject to the
instructor's approval. All proctors should meet one of the
- An instructor or counselor at an
- Clergy or pastor at a church
- A librarian or other person working in
an educational area at a library
- A work supervisor
Personal friends or relatives should not serve as proctors.
Approved proctors must fill out a proctor agreement form (posted
under the Learning Module).
Extra Credit for Exams
- If a student wishes to raise her or
his grade on an exam, the student may write one paragraph
(3-4 good sentences), explaining why the correct answer is
correct. Students may need to add additional related
information to make sure they have 3-4 good sentences. (The
correct multiple choice answer does not count as one of the
- The student may not simply copy
from class notes or another source, but rather express his
or her understanding of the answer in his or her own words.
- When correcting an essay question,
students should simply correct the portion of the essay that
- Corrections may be e mailed to the
- The score of the corrected exam will
be averaged with the score of the original exam.
- Exams corrections are due within two
weeks after receiving the graded exam. The last exam may not
be corrected due to lack of time at the end of the semester.
Writing Assignment Policies
Work that appears to be copied
from a source with little or no changes is not acceptable, even if credit
is given to the source. Plagiarism is unacceptable. See the statement
under Academic Policies in the Presentation College catalog.
Assignments turned in within a week after the due date are reduced a
half letter grade; work turned in after one week will be reduced a
full letter grade. Work will be reduced one letter grade per week
Students should send assignments as attachments through the WebCT Mail.
I will respond back to each student, usually within 24 hours, after I
receive an assignment. If I do not respond, students should assume that I
have not received the assignment, and contact me. WebCT records the
student's Mail, and will keep a record of when assignments were sent in.
Students need to have written evidence for when assignments were sent;
simply stating that an assignment was e mailed on time is not acceptable
Any essay assignments may be rewritten for a higher grade, if time
Essays are graded on the following
a. Quality of writing (organization, clarity, mechanics). Use APA or
MLA style for citing sources and bibliography.
b. Level of understanding. Explain the concepts in your own
c. General statements are supported by specific examples and
d. When sources are used, the student shows a good understanding of the
sources, and expresses them in his or her own language.
e. Plagiarism is unacceptable. See p. 37 of PC's 2007-2008 College
ADA Accommodation Statement – Presentation
College is committed to ensuring equal learning opportunities
for all students, and provides students with disabilities
reasonable accommodations in accordance with the College’s
procedures. If you are a student requiring accommodations or
services, please contact the Office of Student Disability
Services at 1-800-437-6060, Ext. #438.
Readings/ Due Dates
Note: Readings refer to
the biblical books or textbooks. Weekly notes are posted in the
Introduction to class;
Kreeft, 251-62; 9-50
August 31-Sept 6
Old Testament views of life after death
Development of theological ideas in New Testament times
The Communion of Saints and Purgatory
The heavenly body
Take Exam 01 by Sept. 18
Space and time in heaven
Kreeft, 133-210; Class notes
Essay 01 due by Sept. 25
Sept 28-Oct 4
Kreeft, 211-49; Class notes
Kreeft 36-39; 239-49;
Angels, Demons, and Ghosts
Take Exam 02 by Oct 16
Book of Revelation (I)
Essay 02 due Oct 23
Oct 26-Nov 1
Book of Revelation (II)
Nov 2-Nov 8
Book of Revelation (III)
The Last Things in Literature
Lewis and Dante
Lewis, chapters 1-8
Take Exam 03 by Nov 13
The Last Things in Literature
Lewis and Dante
Lewis, chapters 9-14
Essay 03 due Nov 20
Near Death Experiences
Nov 30-Dec. 6
Take Exam 04 by Dec 4. All rewrites, corrections, and
assignments due Dec. 4.
Dec 7-Dec 11
Review of the semester
This syllabus is subject to revision if necessary. Any changes will
of course be communicated to the students well before any assignment due