Syllabus for Psych 459 (WI & O)  (Thursdays)   Fall  2005  G23

Instructor: Dr. Leon James, Professor of Psychology
Telephone contact and messages (call during normal office hours): 261-2382   
e-mail:  Walk in office hours: Before and after classes (M, T, R) at Gartley 213A.

Course Description:  Rational Spirituality in Theistic Psychology
Focuses on the difference between rational and mystical spirituality in contemporary thinking and behavior, with special attention to the work of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) on theistic psychology and current interpretations of his ideas. Students publish their reports on the Web, give oral presentations in class, and exchange email on course topics. Includes computer lab where students can do their Web work and can receive help in Web publishing. This is a WI course and requires more writing than the average class. Students will publish a minimum of two reports and will make the requested changes when the instructor reads the drafts. Students also read each other's reports online and make appropriate suggestions.

Required Readings:

  1. Theistic Psychology. By Leon James (2005). Available at:
  2. The Swedenborg Epic. The Life and Works of Emanuel Swedenborg.  By Cyriel Sigstedt, (1952).  (New York: Bookman Associates, 1952) Available online:
  3. Life in the Spiritual World. By Hugo Lj. Odhner (1968)  Available online in three Parts:
    Part 1: (chapters 1 to 16)
    Part 2: (chapters 1 to 7)
    Part 3: (chapters 1 to 17)
  4. Forty Studies That Changed Psychology. By Roger Hock (2005). Pearson / Prentice Hall.


40 points

Three class oral presentations -- 10 points each = 30 points (this includes evaluation of participation in class discussions)

Ten typed one-page outlines selected from the assigned readings for oral presentations -- 1 point each = 10 points

25 points

Appearance, content, and quality of your Web site containing your Home Page, your oral Outlines, and  Report 1 totaling approximately 15 pages.

35 points

Appearance, content, and quality of your Report 2  totaling approximately 15 pages.

A+ =95 points; A =94-90; A- =89-85; B+ =84-80; B =79-75; B- =74-70
C+ =69-65; C=64-60; C- =59-55;  D=54-50; F=49-0

Attendance is taken at the start of each class. Absence Penalty: - 3 points per absence.  Being late for class: -1 point each occurrence. Late Work Penalty: - 3  points per week late (maximum = -9 points per report).   Due Dates are given in the instructions for report 1 and 2 (see G23 Class Home Page)

Grading Policy:  (1)  If technical reasons prevent you from uploading any required work on time, you must submit a printed version of it to the instructor to avoid a late penalty. Always keep a back up copy of your files on a separate disk or CD not just on your hard drive.  Also, you can upload your files to your UH UNIX account where you can get them if needed.

(2) You will receive email from the instructor with your grade for each oral presentation you give and for each report you publish on the Web, along with recommendations on how to improve them. You are allowed to apply for re-grading of the two reports after you made the recommended revisions.  Send your request to Dr. James by email  To be valid, your request must consist of these separate numbered lines: (a) your first and last Name, and the Pseudonym on your reports, if any; (b) the class you are taking (Monday-409a, Tuesday-409b, Thursday-459); (c) the Web address of the report you are requesting for re-grading; (d) grade received for the report being re-graded; (e) list or describe what improvements you actually made that were recommended, and any new ones of your own (this is recommended). Note: Unless your email request contains numbered points (a) through (e) above, your request cannot be considered. The number of points you will receive may vary from 1 to 4, depending on the grading of the improvements.

(3) For publishing your work on the Web, you are allowed to use a Pseudonym that is registered with the Instructor by email. To be valid, your email request must consist of these separate numbered  lines: (a) your first and last Name; (b) the Pseudonym you will use for your Web published reports and your folder name; (c) the class you are taking (Monday-409a, Tuesday-409b, Thursday-459). You are allowed to delete your own published files at any time during the semester, or you can request the instructor to remove them from the Web after the semester, and at any other time in the future (just email the instructor: The purpose of publishing your reports on the Web is threefold: (i) to enhance your Internet literacy skills; (ii) to leave your reports for future generations of this course who will be instructed to read and review them for their own reports; (iii) to share your scientific reports and topical reviews with the entire world.

(4) If you take more than one course with Dr. James, consult him in class for an alternative to report 1, which is similar in the three courses. You cannot get grade credit for doing Report 1 twice, either in different semesters or the same semester. The due date for the alternate report is the same as for Report 1.

Class Structure: Every class is made up of three portions. First Portion: instructor answers your questions about preparing for the oral presentations and  doing the written reports. He also discusses the topic of the week. Second Portion: several students give the scheduled oral presentation of 10 minutes (for details see Instructions for Oral Presentations on the G23 Class Home Page. A general discussion follows. Be prepared to speak up in class. It is part of the requirement for getting an A grade. Third Portion: Optional Lab work in Saunders 635, reserved for this class from 3:00 to 3:30.

Computer Lab:  Times when the computer lab is reserved for the students of the three classes: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays: 2:30 to 3:30 Saunders 635.  A personal password is needed to access lab computers.  You must register as a Lab User during the second week of the semester. Instructions are given in Report 1, Task 1.

The G23 Class Home Page to access all course information is at:  
The Instructor's Home page is at:
The Instructor's email is: