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January 1, 2008

Welcome!

Welcome to this web site. How to use? Find your way, over time, by the links at the bottom right (I'll post things in categories so they will be easy to find). Or just page down, as the oldest postings will remain on top here, and the newest will sink to the bottom.

Religion and psychology - hmmm . . . what's that about? This is a place to explore the history of American popular psychology and non-mainstream religious practice - and you'll find that the two have quite a bit of overlap.

In specific, we will be having a semester-long conversation with turn-of-the-century psychologist and philosopher William James; a contemporary James scholar and historian of psychology, Eugene Taylor; and others (including British athiest priest Don Cupitt, who speaks to us from a series of rare videos). We'll read and discuss short works by Freud and Jung and discuss the connections between contemporary religion and depth psychology. We'll read materials on Buddhist mind science. And we'll read some "street psychology" by Starhawk, in whose work feminist Wiccan ritual practice meets humanistic psychology.

January 2, 2008

Important Assignment Policies

Important! Reading Reflection Assignment Policies

Please note that this is a four-credit college class, so you should be spending an average of 12 hours a week total on attending class, reading, and writing for the class. This is a formula used by all U.S. universities in setting course work-load expectations (e.g. 1 credit hour is one classroom hour plus two additional hours of preparation and research).

Please check here on the blog for reading questions for each week. Please write a response to the "reading reflection" question or questions at the bottom of each set of reading discussion questions (there are two reflection questions in your first assignment). Use the discussion questions to guide your focus in reading, and to prepare for class discussion. Submit the written response to the reflection questions to me at the beginning of class each week.

I will accept late reading reflections up to one week, but not beyond that except for unusual situations which you will have to clear with me. Late reading reflection responses will be graded down at least one grade point.

The reason for this policy is to keep you on track, so that these assignments don't pile up. Also, the purpose of doing written responses to the reading is to help you clarify your insights and questions as we work through the texts, and to prepare you to participate in class discussion.