The "Best of" James' Varieties

Here's an interesting question that you might find fun to consider:

    I am currently taking a course in the Teaching of Psychology. It is a course geared to prepare Psych grad students for future careers as college instructors as well as serving as a quality check for some of us who will be Teaching fellows in one of the undergraduate schools at the university next year. As part of the course requirements, we must construct several syllabi for courses we would like to teach. One of the courses I chose is The Psychology of Religion (as a Senior's
    Honors seminar).

    Here's the question. As I am wrestling with developing the curriculum, I am trying to determine the most cost efficient way of presenting James's The Varieties of Religious Experience. If I will have 3-4 sessions spread over two weeks to lecture, which chapters of James should I assign to get the most breadth and depth for the core concepts in the work?

So what would you recommend to someone who has 3 or 4 sessions during a two week period? Which chapters of James' Varieties of Religious Experience would you emphasize in your class?

My response was this:

    Hello- You ask a hard question, along the lines of which of all these delicious candies would you most like to eat? But if I were limited to 3 or 4 lectures (chapters), I would probably choose:

    2- Circumscription of the topic

    6 & 7- The Sick Soul (which begins with a summary of the Healthy minded, so this choice isn't quite as skewed as it might appear to be)

    16 & 17- Mysticism

    If I thought there was sufficient time (or that students were sufficiently motivated, as the case may be!) I would include excerpts from Lectures 9 & 10 on conversion. The case studies he includes can really grab students' attention and illustrate the core concepts well.

    I hope this helps!
    best wishes,

Now it is your turn! What 3 or 4 topics do you think would benefit most? Or engage them with the material and leave them wanting to read more? Any suggestions?

Remember, although I have turned on the "moderated comments" feature it is only in order to screen for off-topic messages.

1 comment:

Kailash said...

I would be keen to have some views on reincarnation. Is it more of wishful fancy or reality? I am psychologist by profession and teaching Psychology in New Delhi.