Decolonizing Interfaith Interaction

Instructor: Teresa Crist ( )

Course Synopsis

This course will take a look at current models of interfaith interaction in the United States with an aim toward disrupting and dismantling their problematic foundations and structures.  Utilizing postcolonial theorists and real-life examples, we will question what is generally considered a pluralistic and diverse institution (interfaith interaction), and discuss the implications for participants and leaders if it is not.

Course Overview


Course Objectives

Evaluation Policies


Grading: The course is 2 credit hours and will result in a letter grade.  Students may petition to take the course Pass/Fail, but this must be done within the first week of the term and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Students will earn their final course grade according to their performance as follows:

            60% - Weekly thread posts and responses.  This includes nine weeks of posts and responses (20 points each, for 180 points)

            10% - Academic Decorum

            30% - Final paper (50 points)


Grade Distribution:

93-100… A  Exceptional

90 – 92… A-  Excellent – Far Exceeds Expectations

87 – 89… B+  Superior – Exceeds Expectations

83 – 86… B  Great Work – Meets Expectations

80 – 82… B-  Good Work – Nearly Meets Expectations

77 – 79… C+  Above Satisfactory

73 – 76… C  Satisfactory

70 – 72… C-  Below Satisfactory

67 – 69… D+  Above the Minimum for Passing

63 – 66… D  Minimum for Passing

60 – 62… D-  Bare Minimum for Passing

<60 … F  Failing

**Please note: Simply turning in your assignments does not guarantee an “A” grade.  A-level work is exceptional and requires well-reasoned and well-argued engagement with and analysis of course materials. 



Participation is imperative in an online course.  Students must participate in the weekly posts and responses, because this is the basis for discussion and engagement with the course content.  Posts need to be submitted on time that other students may interact with and response to them over the course of the week.  Late posts will be penalized 2 points for every day they are late.

You are also expected to proceed with Academic Decorum: post and respond with respect and consideration.  Your Academic Decorum grade will be determined according to the following:

A: The student is respectful of others. While disagreeing or challenging, the student
never dishonors or disrespects.

B: Every so often the student attacks another student rather than challenging or disagreeing with whatever point of view is being offered.

C: The student is disrespectful and is not willing to entertain different views.

D: The student disrupts the learning experience of others by the way they conduct themselves in on the forum discussions.

F: The student creates a hostile experience.


Weekly Posts: (10 points)

            Your weekly post (DUE EACH WEDNESDAY AT MIDNIGHT) is a substantive engagement of the assigned readings, considering guiding questions or prompts, if given.  Posts should not be simple summaries of the material, but should show and attempt to put the various readings in conversation with each other.  This might be through thematic discussions, compare/contrast, or critical analysis of parts of the readings.  Perhaps one argument resonated with you, you question the author’s evidence, of your see connections with your life or other coursework.  Please cite the various authors referenced within the post.  Your posts should be a maximum of 350 words and a minimum of 250 words.

            It is nearly impossible to be substantively engaged in less than 250 words, so please take the word count seriously!


Weekly Responses: (10 points)

            Your weekly response (DUE EACH SATURDAY AT MIDNIGHT) should be to one of your classmates whose post has not yet been engaged.  (Once you have done this, you may, of course, respond to any other posts that catch your eye!)  Try to respond to different people each week so that you can experience the variety and perspective of each of your unique classmates.

            The responses should also be substantive, engaging both your own analysis of the readings as well as the poster’s.  They should not be mere acknowledgments of a post: “Yeah , that makes sense,” of “I agree!” do not count as substantive.  Why does their post make sense?   Why do you agree?  Use evidence to support your positions.  Please cite the author appropriately when quoting.  Responses should be a maximum of 350 words and a minimum of 250 words.


**Please note that while there are two “assignments” for each week (one post and one response), only one will receive the grade (out of 20 points.)  The “response” category on the syllabus and Canvas Assignments page is merely a reminder of the due date.  You will actually create your responses on the Discussion thread for that week so that you are able to see and engage your classmates’ posts.


Final Paper: (50 points)

The final paper for the course will be 5-7 pages reflecting on the course material.  I will ask you a question that will incorporate all the work we have been doing throughout the term.  You will cite course materials where appropriate.  Outside materials are not required, but encouraged. 

Papers will be submitted via Canvas. 


Grading is fairly straightforward, but if you are ever worried, please feel free to email me ( 

Syllabus (PDF) *Updated!

Sep 14, 2018FriWeek 1 Introductions and Welcome!due by 11:00PM
Sep 20, 2018ThuWeek 2 Interfaith and Interreligious Dialogue as Practicedue by 05:59AM
Sep 23, 2018SunWEEK 2 RESPONSEdue by 05:59AM
Sep 27, 2018ThuWeek 3 Interfaith Dialogue from a Christian POVdue by 05:59AM
Sep 30, 2018SunWEEK 3 RESPONSEdue by 05:59AM
Oct 04, 2018ThuWeek 4 Looking Back at Dialogue Practices from a Christian POVdue by 05:59AM
Oct 07, 2018SunWEEK 4 RESPONSEdue by 05:59AM
Oct 14, 2018SunWeek 5 The Challenge of "Religion" in Interfaithdue by 05:59AM
Oct 18, 2018ThuWeek 6 The World Religions Paradigmdue by 05:59AM
Oct 21, 2018SunWEEK 6 RESPONSEdue by 05:59AM
Oct 25, 2018ThuWeek 7 The SBNR Challenge to Religion Paradigmsdue by 05:59AM
Oct 28, 2018SunWeek 7 RESPONSEdue by 05:59AM
Nov 01, 2018ThuWeek 8 Decolonizationdue by 05:59AM
Nov 04, 2018SunWEEK 8 RESPONSEdue by 05:59AM
Nov 08, 2018ThuWeek 9 Race and Interfaith - Intersectionalitydue by 06:59AM
Nov 11, 2018SunWEEK 9 RESPONSEdue by 06:59AM
Nov 15, 2018ThuWeek 10 Wrapping Up: On Decolonizing Interfaith Interactiondue by 06:59AM
Nov 17, 2018SatFinal Paper Outlinedue by 06:59AM
Nov 18, 2018SunWEEK 10 RESPONSEdue by 06:59AM
Nov 22, 2018ThuAcademic Decorum Statementdue by 12:00AM
Nov 22, 2018ThuFinal Paperdue by 06:59AM