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The Postmodern Catholic

Sacred Paths: East and West

College Recommendations Guidelines
Sacred Paths
Homeworks and Outline: Sacred Paths
Reading Guide Questions Taoism 211-218
Reading Guide Questions Taoism
Homeworks: and Outline: Introduction to Catholicism
Unit IV Moses Reluctant Hero
Unit III God's Imperfect Instruments
Unit III God's Chosen Ones
The Mass, Vestements, and Sacred Vessels
Unit III The Sacraments
Iona Prep Interfaith Society
Islam Notes

This full-year course will provide students with a solid education in the world's major religions.  It will draw on the sacred writings and founders experiences of each tradition.  Students will be exposed to underlying spiritualities circulating throughout the world's religions.  A major theme of this course is that one can gain a better sense of who one is, whether a catholic, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. by gaining a better sense of who the religious other is. 
     The first semester will begin with a brief look at the nature of religions and religious experience.  Common themes, questions, and concerns will be outlined. The Christian mystical and contemplative traditions will be examined and will act as a jumping off point for the nontheistic religions of Hinduism and Buddhism.  
     The second semester will focus on the monotheistic religions of the West (Judaism, Christianity, Islam).  However, the religious/philosophical tradition known as Taoism will be a linking tradition that can be a bridge to the East and West.  It will be shown how the Eastern religous traditions can offer insight into how the theistic religions might engage more fruitfully in interreligious dialogue

Mr. King can be reached via e-mail at, or by phone at (914) 632-0714, ext. 340

Required Texts


  • Hesse, Herman.  Siddhartha.  Bantam Classics: NY, 1982.
  • Smith, Huston.  The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions.  Harper Collins: San Francisco, CA, 1991.
  • Wiesel, Elie.  Night.  Bantam Books: NY, 1982. 
  • Computer Disk for journaling


Students are responsible and will be held accountable for all classwork and

homework, regardless of circumstances (within reason).  Because all work is available on this site, absences do not excuse late assignments.  Notebooks, laptops, texts, writing utensils, assignments, etc., are to be brought to class daily, unless otherwise instructed by the teacher.  The primary text is occasionally used in class.

Homework Policy: All homework is worth 10 points and is to be typed.  It is due on the assigned day.  If it is not handed in class, it is considered late.  You can hand it in one class day late for half credit (5/10pts.).  After that, it is a zero.  Simple  


Assessment Policy:

Grading is simple: a student's total number of points from assignments, tests, quizzes, and papers will be added up and divided by the total number of possible points.  A minimum of two quizzes, ten homework assignments, five journal entries, and three full-period tests are given per quarter.



Plagiarism is both a form of copyright infringement and an ethical problem. Students who, for whatever reason, pass off someone else's words as their own (* without citing properly: see below link to Purdue University) will be subject to a failing grade.


Reaction Papers:

Dances with Wolves (Lakota), Schindler's List (Judaism), Seven Years in Tibet (Buddhism), or The Karate Kid (Taoism) are some of the films that classes might be assigned to watch and react to with a three-page paper.


Website and E-mail:

My website contains all homework assignments, test dates, paper information, important links, and reading guide questions.  It is the student's responsiblity to check the website on a daily basis.  All homework assignments are to be typed and if a printer is unavailable, the student is required to e-mail the assignment as a MS Word attachment.



*NOTE:  Students should check this site daily for updated assignments, test dates, projects, etc.  Students who are absent due to medical necessities or family emergencies will be given time to make up missed work.  Students who are absent for other reasons are expected to hand in missed work or take make-up exams upon their return.


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D. “The more I am able to affirm others, to say ‘yes” to them in myself, by discovering them in myself and myself in them, the more real I am. I am fully real if my own heart says yes to everyone” Thomas Merton