For the first class, there are two small assignments:
First, bring in a medieval primary source quote and some commentary that you think will work for the database. Also, if possible, bring a computer to class so that we can tinker with the database and make sure everyone knows how to use it. The quote and commentary can come from the coursebooks or from the reserve shelf or online if you find a suitable source.

Second, bring a short essay - between one and two pages - that addresses how you think religious interactions generally work. What roll does religion play between states and cultures? Is it usually antagonistic? In what ways is it collaborative? Are there other aspects of human interaction that either work through religion or override religion to change human contact or conflict? Is there a particular experience that you have had of religion in this regard?
This is probably better to address with regard to Christianity, Judaism and Islam, though you are not explicitly limited to these three religions. This essay will not be graded in this initial form, but will be revised based on our discussion and then resubmitted as a slightly longer essay on Friday for a grade.
Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011, 9:18 AM