Undergraduate Courses

Philosophy & Religious Studies

CourseCredit Hours
PHH3100: Ancient Greek Philosophy

Description: This course is a survey of the major metaphysical, epistemological and ethical issues which concern the ancient Greek philosophers. Included will be pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, the stoics, the epicureans, the skeptics, and the neo-Platonists.
3
PHH3104: Socrates and the Sophists
This course introduces students to Socratic thought on a focused, intensive level. Students will read the central dialogues of Plato that present Socrates arguing against the most influential teachers of ancient Athens, the Sophists. In the process of reading these works, students will analyze Socrates's arguments that virtue consists in wisdom and that the life of continuous self-examination and striving for virtue is superior to the life of political power based on rhetorical prowess. Students will also determine for their own lives whether they prefer the life of a philosopher, and the values on which it is founded, or the life of the Sophist and master of rhetoric.
3
PHH3120: (FC) The Greek Experience
An interdisciplinary course, weaving together the history, art, and philosophy of ancient Greece. We will focus on certain concepts the Greeks bequeathed us which are still important. We will try to think about polis, logos, nous, psyche, arete, in the way that a Greek might have thought about them.
3
PHH3400: Modern Philosophy
An examination of major philosophical developments accompanying the emergence of the modern world. The course focuses on the chief thinkers of the 17th and 18th century, including Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant.
3
PHH3500: Kant to Nietzsche
Prerequisite:  One course in philosophy other than a foreign culture. An exploration of major philosophical developments which follow the French Revolution and culminate with the beginning of the 20th century. Special attention is given to the contemporary relevance of 19th century thought. Readings from Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Dilthey and Nietzsche.
3
PHH3810: Introduction to Buddhism

Description: In this course we will critically engage Buddhist philosophy and religion, from its origins in ancient India to its spread across Asia and its impact on the contemporary world. The course will include a focused survey of key ideas, practices, and texts, and a more in-depth examination of one particular idea, practice, or text.
3
PHH3811: The Philosophy of Zen Buddhism
Zen is the meditation school of traditional Buddhism. This course is a critical examination of the literary, philosophical and historical roots and teachings of Zen. We will begin with a general introduction to Buddhism, then read some Chinese and Japanese Zen texts, in an effort to understand them as expressions of Asian culture, as responses to philosophical problems, as exercises testing the limits of reason, and as expedient means to awaken "the true self of compassionate wisdom".
3
PHH3820: (FC) Chinese Philosophy
Chinese Philosophy traces the historical development of the major, traditional movements in thought, religion, and philosophy. Beginning with the Chinese classics, its explores the ideas of Confucianism, Mohism, Daoism, Legalism, Buddhism, and Neo-Confucianism. Readings in primary sources are emphasized.
3
PHH3860: (FC) Japanese Philosophy

Description: This course is an introduction to Japanese philosophy through key elements of Japanese culture. We will explore Shinto, the indigenous world-view and practices of Japan; Japanese Buddhism, including Zen, Pure Land, and Nichiren; bushido, or the samurai spirit; distinctive contributions of Japanese thinkers to neo-Confucianism; and Japanese aesthetics. As we do so, we will explore the differences between orientalism and responsible approaches to non-western cultures and philosophies. We will also discuss Japanese responses to the Buddhist problem of original enlightenment, think through the role of ritualized activities in Japanese culture, and learn what the hierarchical nature of Japanese language can tell us about life in Japan.
3
PHH4121: Ancient Greek Ethics

Description: In this course we will study the origins of Western ethical thought in ancient Greece. Beginning with Aristotle, we will go on to examine the work of the Hellenistic philosophers, who more fully developed several distinctive schools of ethical thought and behavior. While these philosophers are interesting in themselves, they are also important because they formulated the basis of contemporary ethics, both in the questions asked and in the solutions offered.
3
PHH4601: Contemporary European Philosophy

Description: This course offers an examination of major issues and figures in 20th and 21st century European philosophy. It considers topics such as the alterity or difference of others, the relation of language to thought, the nature of human experience and perception, the nature of power, as well as contemporary perspectives on justice, ethics, and politics. The course draws on the works of influential theorists such as Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Beauvoir, Heidegger, Adorno, Deleuze, Derrida, and Foucault in order to gain insight into some of the main philosophical movements of the 20th century: phenomenology, existentialism, structuralism, post-structuralism, and deconstruction.
3
PHH4620: 20th Century Philosophy: Anglo-American Tradition

Description: The history of philosophy in the present century in the English-speaking world is marked by a turn away from speculative metaphysics toward the logical analysis of language. This course traces the history of that development from Russell through Wittgenstein and the "logical positivists" up to the present trend toward applied ethics.
3
PHH4821: Confucianism

Description: This course will explore the thought and influence of one of the most influential people of all time, Confucius. Much of what we see today as distinctive contributions of East Asia to world culture comes from a Confucian approach to the world. We will begin in ancient China with the great Confucian classics, and then proceed historically through movements and developments in Confucian thought, from the Analects and the Mengzi to Dong Zhongshu, Zhu Xi, and New-Confucianism as it exists today. We will examine questions of how to categorize Confucianism: philosophy, religion, both, neither? We will also explore the Asian Values controversy and discuss the rise of Confucianism in contemporary China, including various Confucian responses to problems such as human rights, environmental ethics, and bioethics.
3
PHI2010: (GW) Introduction to Philosophy
An introduction to the rudiments of philosophical thinking, which is designed to clarify the differences between philosophy and other human activities such as science and religion. The course will introduce students to a range of philosophical problems and methods. Gordon Rule Additional Writing credit.
3
PHI2100: (GW) Critical Thinking: The Art of Reasoning

Description: This course is an introduction to the art of thinking and reasoning well. Thinking and reasoning well are of paramount importance for not only philosophy, science, history, politics, business, medicine, or engineering, but for any human endeavor that seeks to give rational support for its assertions. Throughout the course we will seek to refine the habits, patterns, and activities of thinking so as to become more careful, more critical, and more competent thinkers. We will do this by first cultivating the skills of identifying and evaluating arguments; we will then learn to identify patterns of bad reasoning and how to improve an argument. At various points in the course we will turn our critical thinking skills toward selected contemporary issues for analysis. By the time the course is finished, successful students will be more confident in analyzing the arguments of others, constructing their own arguments, and discoursing civily with others about complex and contentious issues.
3
PHI2101: Introduction to Logic

Description: This course will introduce students to symbolic logic. In logic we study the principles of correct reasoning as revealed through language. In this course, students will study both how and why good reasoning works. Our focus will be on the principles of deductive reasoning (in contrast to inductive reasoning). In symbolic logic we use artificial, formal languages to study deductive inferences. In this course students will be introduced to and come to understand two such formal languages (sentential logic and predicate logic) in order to assess and construct good deductive arguments and test for other logical properties. This course satisfies a core requirement for the major in Philosophy.
3
PHI2630: (GW) Critical Thinking: Ethical Issues

Description: This course is an introduction to thinking critically about a range of ethical issues. As such, we will examine the differences between opinions and positions, debates and arguments, and stereotypes and assumptions. We will learn to identify, analyze, and respond to arguments using ethical standards and logical criteria. Because ethical issues are often heated and emotionally charged, we will spend time focusing on how to listen to one another, building our community around intellectually safe inquiries. In order to engage these questions together, we will develop a basic theoretical framework from which to begin, and then drawing on significant philosophical theories of ethics, we will focus our attention on selected issues, which may include but are not limited to issues such as abortion, euthanasia, informed consent, research ethics, food justice, friendship, sex, cheating, and parenting.
3
PHI2885: Philosophy through Fiction

Description: This course explores the ways in which philosophy and literature inform one another. We will consider how philosophical positions, arguments, and problems are illustrated in works of fiction, and whether fiction itself can be a form of philosophy. Students should gain an understanding of several philosophical issues and positions, develop an appreciation of the importance of fictional narrative to the reflective understanding of life and how it may also inform philosophical theory, as well as the value of philosophy to literary criticism.
3
PHI3084: Philosophical Methods

Description: This course is an investigation of various central methods in philosophical inquiry. The course covers analytic, continental European, comparative (non-Western/Western), and historical perspectives. Attention is paid to developing students’ abilities to interpret philosophical material, construct and evaluate arguments, and write philosophical essays. Specific topics will vary by instructor. This course is required for the philosophy major and minor, and is a prerequisite for all 4000 level courses.
3
PHI3300: Introduction to Epistemology

Description: Epistemology is the study of knowledge and justified belief. In this course, we will critically examine numerous accounts of the nature and sources of knowledge and justified belief. In addition, we will look at epistemological puzzles concerning skepticism, the problem of induction, epistemic relativism, and the epistemic significance of disagreement. The philosophical questions to be discussed include: What is knowledge? Can we know anything worthwhile? Given that we do know things, how do we know them? Under what conditions is a belief rational? Is it rational to believe controversial propositions? Is there more than one standard of rationality?
3
PHI3320: Philosophy of Mind
Prerequisite:  One course in philosophy other than foreign culture.
Description: An attempt to define the relationship between the mind and the body and to explore the relationship between the mind-body problem, freedom and immortality. Topics include the history of the notions of soul, mind, and body; the relation between the brain and the mind; and computer intelligence.
3
PHI3400: The Philosophy of Science
Prerequisite:  One course in philosophy other than foreign culture.
Description: A philosophical exploration of nature and the foundations of both the natural and the social sciences. Topics will include the structure of scientific explanation, the nature of theories, the possibility of scientific revolution, the idea of a science of human behavior and the relationship between science and human values.
3
PHI3453: Philosophy of Psychology

Description: This course examines the philosophical and ethical issues raised by the theory and practice of psychology. Questions to be considered are: What philosophical and ethical problems are raised by the very idea of mental health? In what sense do different approaches to psychological care embody different underlying philosophical assumptions? What different philosophical reasons are there for thinking that psychological treatment should be aimed at the mind, the brain, behavior, the self, the soul, or the whole person?
3
PHI3500: Introduction to Metaphysics

Description: This course will be a topical introduction to central themes in metaphysics, a branch of philosophy that tries to answer the fundamental questions about the nature of reality. In the course we will carefully consider accounts of causation, the relation of freedom and determinism, laws of nature, personal identity, mental states, time, material objects, and properties. The philosophical questions to be discussed include: What makes it the case that one event causes another event? Is free will compatible with determinism? What are material objects? Given that material objects exist, do such things as properties exist? What makes it the case that a person may exist at two different times?
3
PHI3601: Ethics
Ethics considers questions such as "How should I live?" and "How do I decide the right thing to do and why should I do it?" This course deals with those questions in the areas of moral metaphysics, meta-ethics and normative theories of moral conduct which come from the history of philosophy back to the time of Plato and Aristotle. Other theorists to be discussed include Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill, and may include figures such as Thomas Hobbes, David Hume and John Dewey, as well as contemporary theorists.
3
PHI3632: Ethics of Sex and Gender
This course will explore ethical dimensions of sex and gender and the gendered dimensions of ethical thought and practice. We will ask whether women and men approach moral problems differently and whether women's traditional concerns, such as child care, can enhance ethical theory. We will also consider how "feminist ethics" has been altered by the perspectives of women in different social locations. We also address practical ethical issues related to sex and gender, such as reproductive technologies, prostitution, and militarism. We will explore each of these topics from a variety of both masculine and feminine perspectives.
3
PHI3633: Bioethics
This course employs tools of ethical theory to examine a number of moral issues arising in health care. Issues to be considered include the physician-patient relationship, informed consent, advance directives, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, experimentation on human subjects, and access to health care. Throughout this course we will examine assumptions about rights, persons, and ethical principles at play in the medical arena. Readings will include discussions of ethical principles in medical contexts, legal decisions, and case studies, providing students with the opportunity to sharpen their analytic skills and develop a deeper understanding of some of the major bioethical issues currently being debated.
3
PHI3637: Ethical Issues in Public Health
This course introduces students to moral issues in public health. Students will learn to recognize relevant moral issues and analyze them in light of basic ethical principles. Topics to be covered may include allocation of scarce health care resources, public vs. private health care funding, access to care, ethics and infectious disease control (STDs, HIV, TB), public health genetics (screening programs and individual testing/counseling), and research ethics in public health (e.g. experimenting on uninformed populations). Case analysis and group discussion will be emphasized.
3
PHI3640: Environmental Ethics
This course will cover intrinsic and instrumental value approaches to environmental ethics, alternative environmental ethical approaches, and special environmental ethical issues. The goal of the course is to familiarize students with all the major approaches to environmental ethics and with a few particularly philosophically interesting environmental ethical issues. Students will appreciate and understand the complexity and intricacy of the arguments involved in adopting one approach or position over another.
3
PHI3641: Business Ethics
This course examines the theoretical foundations of business ethics as well as various ethical issues which arise on personal, corporate, national and global levels in the business world. The course will include: an examination of a philosophical context for business ethics; and exploration of relevant ethical and social-political theories; consideration and discussion of real-world business ethical issues. Readings and lectures will be complemented by class discussion and an ongoing focus on case studies.
3
PHI3664: Ethics East and West
This course explores ethical theory and some contemporary ethical problems from the perspective of comparative philosophy. The focus will be on Asian approaches to ethics, and how differing views of nature and human nature alter the quest for what is good and for the good life. We will discuss the Hindu, Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist traditions, as well as contemporary Japanese theory.
3
PHI3670: Relativism and Disagreement

Description: Disagreement concerning how we should live and what we should believe is widespread and persistent. A prevalent response to such disagreement is some kind of relativism – some claim that both parties to the disagreement are correct. In this course we will look at the case for and against ethical relativism (relativism about what we should do) and epistemic relativism (relativism about what we should believe). We will also look in a more direct way at the epistemic significance of disagreement itself. Can reasonable people come to different conclusions even when they have the same evidence? How should we modify our beliefs (if at all) when we encounter another who disagrees with us? And when (if ever) can beliefs be rationally maintained in the face of disagreement?
3
PHI3674: Lies and Self Deception

Description: Self deception is a common phenomenon. In fact, most people seem to have a friend or family member who they think is self-deceived (e.g., about the faithfulness of his or her lover, about his or her beliefs concerning a particular religion or political party, etc.) This apparent ability to lie to oneself in the face of the evidence seems to be a rather contemptuous vice. However, recent psychological studies seem to suggest that at least some forms of self deception are life-enhancing. Thus, it might seem that self deception can be a virtue. In this course, we examine the nature of self deception, evaluate its ambiguous ethical status, and reflect on how these insights should affect the way that we live.
3
PHI3700: Philosophy of Religion
Prerequisite:  One course in philosophy other than foreign culture. This course approaches religion as a phenomenon common to human experience. Religion is examined from the perspective of reason rather than revelation. Philosophy of religion is concerned with philosophical conceptions of deity, the truth claims of differing religions, of revelation, faith, and the problem of verification.
3
PHI3800: Aesthetics
This course will examine questions such as What is art? What is beauty? What is the nature of aesthetic experience? What is an aesthetic object? What is the role of creativity in making and judging art? Can a work of art have more than one meaning? What is the role of the art critic? and Can art be immoral? We will examine the theories of philosophers and members of the art community from the time of Plato to the present day.
3
PHI3880: Philosophy of Film
Philosophy of Film is a course in the aesthetics of film. The course is divided into four parts: (1) film aesthetics, focusing on aesthetics vocabulary and the aesthetic components of film; (2) film as art, focusing on art theory and the film artist; (3) film form, focusing on the mechanics and aesthetics of film form, on film genre, and on film theory; (4) film criticism, focusing on criticism, censorship, and critical film reviews.
3
PHI3881: Philosophy of Music
This course introduces students to the variety of philosophical perspectives that have enhanced our understanding of the phenomenon of music. The identity of "music" is explored in light of different cultural, social, and aesthetic contexts. We focus on the linguistic character of music as a symbol form, the source and nature of emotional experiences through music, the cultural and social contexts of music production and reception, and the normative question of how to evaluate musical products and performances. The course offers original insights into music, while teaching basic theoretical insights of linguistic, social-psychological, and cultural philosophy.
3
PHI3930: Selected Topics
May be repeated for a total of 12 credits under different topics.
v. 1-4
PHI3931: East and West: Selected Topics
This course in comparative philosophy examines a specific problem from both Western and Asian perspectives. One topic for each semester will be chosen; topics include freedom, action, the body, the self, and God. Contrasts discovered in different philosophical traditions will be used to identify unquestioned assumptions and formulate creative alternatives to problems.
3
PHI3932: Special Topics in Asian Thought and Practice

Description: This is a special topics course in Asian Thought and Practice, as such the particular theme and content of the course will vary. The course will examine an important topic within the broader category of Asian Thought and Practice. Course topics may include but are not limited to Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism.
Repeatability: This course may be taken for a total of 12 credits.
3
PHI3934: Selected Topics in Value Theory

Description: This is a selected topics course in the field of Value Theory. Topics will vary by semester, and may include but are not limited to ethics, ethical theory, applied ethics, social and political philosophy, and aesthetics.
Repeatability: This course is repeatable for up to 12 credits.
3
PHI3935: Ancient Greek Philosophy: Special Topics
This course examines diverse topics in ancient Greek Philosophy, focusing on issues in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, psychology, or political philosophy. Each semester the course typically addresses a theme, a single author, a school, a comparative analysis, or an assessment of the contemporary relevance of the thought of Greek philosophy. Works studied include those of the Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, Hellenistic, or Neoplatonic philosophers.
3
PHI3939: Selected Topics in Knowledge and Reality

Description: This is a selected topics course in the field of Knowledge and Reality. Topics will vary by semester, and may include but are not limited to epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, philosophy of history and social science, and philosophy of language.
Repeatability: This course may be repeated for up to 12 credits.
3
PHI4220: Philosophy of Language

Description: The course explores the lasting significance of the linguistic turn in philosophy, including its different philosophical perspectives in analytic philosophy, speech act theory, semiotics and poststructuralism, and philosophical hermeneutics. Central questions include: What is the role of language for human consciousness and experience? How is linguistic meaning constituted, and what are its essential components? What is the basic structure of language, and how does it affect our access to reality? What is the relation between language and truth? What is the role of language and linguistic meaning for the constitution of culture, society, and politics? The course clarifies concepts like consciousness, meaning, reflexivity, truth, reference, normativity, and social practices through the philosophy of language.
3
PHI4420: Philosophy of the Social Sciences

Description:  This course is an examination of the nature, foundations, and aims of the social sciences. Attention is given to differing accounts of human action, the nature of social explanation, the structure of comparative social analysis, and the conditions for societal evaluation. Special consideration is given to the relationship of the social sciences to the humanities and the natural sciences.
3
PHI4641: Business Ethics

Description: This course examines the theoretical foundations of business ethics as well as various ethical issues which arise on personal, corporate, national and global levels in the business world. The course will include: an examination of a philosophical context for business ethics; and exploration of relevant ethical and social-political theories; consideration and discussion of real-world business ethical issues. Readings and lectures will be complemented by class discussion and an ongoing focus on case studies.
3
PHI4905: Directed Individual Study
Prerequisite:  PHI 3084
Description:  This course is a directed individual study in philosophy. Topics will vary by instructor.
Repeatability: May be repeated for 12 credits under different topics.
v. 1-3
PHI4930: Special Topics in Philosophy

Description: This course covers topics of importance in philosophy. Course topic will vary by instructor.
Repeatability: May be repeated up to 9 credits under different topics.
3
PHI4935: Philosophy Seminar

Description: This course is an investigation of specific philosophical problems or issues. Topics vary by instructor.
Repeatability: May be repeated for 12 credits with consent of instructor.
v. 3-4
PHI4970: Senior Honors Thesis
Prerequisite:  PHI 3084
Description: This course is for research and writing an Honors thesis, under the direction of a department advisor and committee.
Repeatability: May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.
v. 3-6
PHM3020: Philosophy of Love and Sex
This course is an examination of contemporary views of love and sex as well as their roots in earlier philosophical conceptions. The course covers such topics as erotic love and the self, homosexuality and heterosexuality, non-erotic love, and the ways love, sex, and marriage may affect women and men differently.
3
PHM3050: Ethical Issues in Death and Dying
In this course, we take a philosophical approach to death and dying in order to understand and analyze some of the ethical, medical, psychological, and legal issues surrounding death and dying. Topics to be covered include whether life is always preferable to death, deciding how much control we should have over our own deaths, how much control (if any) advance directives should have in directing end-of-life treatments plans, how much money should be spent on expensive treatments which provide little benefit, the right of hospitals to decide when life prolonging treatment is futile, the moral obligation of doctors to tell their patients their prognosis, differential criteria for determining death, and whether one is allowed to bring about or assist in the death of another.
3
PHM3100: Social Philosophy
An analysis and evaluation of different accounts of society, social order, and human sociation. Readings from classical social philosophers and contemporary social theorists.
3
PHM3128: Philosophy of Race and Racism

Description: This course investigates race and racism from a philosophical perspective. As such it focuses on the metaphysics of race, critical analysis of core concepts pertaining to race and racism, and ethical evaluation of racism and race-related injustices. Central considerations include what race is; its social construction; the relationship between concepts of race and racism; the impact of race and racism on social, political theories and ideals; different kinds of ethical wrongs related to race and how best to address them; and racism and personal character.
3
PHM3304: Political Philosophy
An examination of central concepts in political thought, including rights, laws, justice, liberty, obligation, political sovereignty, legitimate authority and the nature of political community. Emphasis is on classical theories and their relation to contemporary issues.
3
PHM3361: Philosophy of Democracy
A philosophical exploration of the nature of democracy. Principal consideration is given to ancient Greek, classical modern and contemporary accounts of democratic theory. Themes in democratic theory are also examined as they pertain to notions such as constitutionalism, group representation, worker self-management, media politics, multiculturalism, feminism, and globalism.
3
PHM3362: Global Justice
This course examines the phenomenon of globalization from a moral and ethical perspective. Questions include the following: What are universal human rights and how are they compatible with the diversity of cultural practices and traditions worldwide? What duties do we have to the global environment? What obligations, if any, do members of affluent countries have to address world hunger and poverty? What are the forms of governance appropriate to a globalized world? Is humanitarian military intervention in the internal affair of another country justifiable? Should we understand ourselves first and foremost as citizens of the world or as members of bounded communities?
3
PHM3400: Philosophy of Law
Prerequisite:  One course in philosophy other than foreign culture. Introduction to philosophical issues in legal theory. Focus is on such concepts as justice, rights, civil liberties, authority, responsibility and punishment. Attention is also given to the relation of law to psychiatry and to morality.
3
PHM4100: Social Philosophy

Description: This course is an advanced introduction to social philosophy. While most of philosophy focuses on ontological, transcendental, or otherwise universal categories, inhering either in being or the subject, social philosophers analyze the extent to which basic conditions and structures of experience are socially constituted or shaped. This involves a rethinking of rationality, agency, and freedom—even truth and meaning—as grounded in social structures or processes. The relation between social reality and normative issues like autonomy, rationality, and truth distinguishes social philosophy from sociology, while grounding normative issues in social processes differentiates social philosophy from other domains in philosophy. The course covers classic roots in Marx, Durkheim, and Weber, as well contemporary philosophers like Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu, Jürgen Habermas, Anthony Giddens, and Judith Butler.
3
PHM4340: Contemporary Political Philosophy

Description: This course examines main trends in recent and current political philosophy. Emphasis is on contemporary philosophical treatments of concepts like rights, liberty, justice, equality, democracy, power, the state, and the political itself. These concepts are explored while examining (a) new theoretical developments like communitarianism, feminism, poststructuralism, hermeneutics, discourse and difference theory, and (b) current reformulations of such classical positions as utilitarianism, liberalism, socialism, and republicanism.
3
PHP3786: Existentialism
The course offers a systematic introduction into the major issues and ideas of Existentialist thought, drawing on both philosophical and literary works of Jaspers, Heidegger, Sartre, deBeauvior and Camus, among others. Topics include the definition of human nature, the relation to others, and the possibility of an Existentialist ethics.
3
PHP3790: American Philosophy

Description: This course is an introduction to the depth and variety of philosophical movements that have occurred in the Americas. While much of the course will focus on canonical philosophies and philosophers of the United States such as Henry David Thoreau, Charles Sanders Pierce, William James, and John Dewey, the course will also introduce students to Native and Latin American philosophers and philosophies.
3
PHP4782: Phenomenology

Description: This course deals with the central questions and methods of contemporary phenomenology, with emphasis on the primacy of experience, the structures of perception and the construction of the world, with readings in Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty and others.
3
REL2300: (CD) Comparative Religion
Comparative Religion first introduces students to the major religions of the world, and then seeks points of comparison between those religions in an effort to come to terms with the common bases of human religious experience.
3
REL2930: Selected Topics
Variable topics in religion.
v. 1-4
REL3040: Theories of Religious Studies

Description: Understood as an advanced course in theory and method, this course will help students bring together the various theorists important to the academic study of religion whom they have studied previously in their course work for the Religious Studies major and help them to understand the development of Religious Studies as an academic discipline.
3
REL3074: (CD) Myths and Rituals

Description: This course will examine the use of myths, rituals and symbols in the structuring of religious worlds of meaning or "sacred worlds." For this study a "religious" world will refer to a world that is structured from a "sacred" source of life-giving power for the human and natural world. The focus of the course will be the study of Native American stories, practices, and symbols that exemplify a "religious world". The second part of the course studies the effects of modernity on myths, rituals and symbols through a study of the process of secularization. The final part of the course concerns remything processes in postmodern culture through a study of current approaches to reestablishing a sacred context using myths, rituals and symbols.
3
REL3101: Religion and Popular Culture
If modern society is, indeed, becoming more secular, what does this mean for the continuing influence or religion? Institutional religion seems to be less and less significant in the lives of individuals, yet the "religiousness" of those individuals persists. This course will explore the presence of themes and functions traditionally associated with religion as they are found in less clearly "religious" aspects of popular culture. This focus will raise questions about the definition of religion and point to the power dynamics implicit in the act of defining.
3
REL3102: (CD) Religion as Culture
This course will introduce students to one of the primary approaches to Religious Studies: the Social Scientific Study of religion as culture (other, complementary, approaches being History of Religions/Comparative Religions and Philosophy of Religion). We will begin with a unit examining classical theorists (Durkhiem and Weber), current theoretical developments and exploring some key methodological issues. In Units Two and Three we will draw on case studies illustrating religious diversity to refine/apply our understanding of theory and method.
3
REL3110: Religion and the Arts in the US

Description: This course is a study of religious ideas and cultural forms in the United States through an examination of a variety of genres including novels, movies, music, art, poetry, essays, and sermons.
3
REL3111: Religion and Film

Description: The course explores the politics of representing religion at key moments in both film and religious history. The films, regions, and eras will vary according to the instructor. Issues might include representations of religious belief, practice, individuals, and institutions and constructions of nation, race, gender, and sexuality. The course will consider what the processes of movie production and the cultural experience of movie going can disclose about modern religious life.
3
REL3120: Religion in America
This course will give students an overview of the variety of religious expressions found in the United States. We will begin with a unit designed to provide historical context, and then move to a unit that explores the development of social and political conflict around religion and religious issues, and conclude with a unit that provides a sampling of current movements and trends in religion. In each unit, we will pay attention to the practice of religion (as opposed to merely emphasizing belief systems) as well as to the relationship between religion and culture. Through readings, lectures, class discussions and a group project, the course explores the growth and diversity in American religion and the conflict produced by that diversity.
3
REL3127: Religion and the Courts
Religion in America is profoundly shaped by a "religious free market" rooted in the separation of church and state and the first amendment religion clauses. Yet, when the first amendment religious clauses were written, they limited only the federal government (Congress). This course will explore the evolution of the first amendment religion clauses from the Bill of Rights, through the fourteenth amendment applying the religion clauses to the states, culminating in a discussion of important religion cases currently before the courts. Special attention will be paid to the role of specific religious traditions in the development of religious freedom, the significance of this legal status of religion for the religious character of American culture broadly and for the distinctive cultures of American religious traditions.
3
REL3146: Women and Religion: The Western Experience

Description: This course involves a historical examination of the connection between gender and religion in Western culture. The role of women in the Judaic-Christian tradition will be the focus. Attention will be paid to the transition of emphasis on the female principle in early spiritual movements to the patriarchal structure of contemporary religious expression.
3
REL3148: Religion and Violence
This course will explore the relationship between religion and violence by looking at studies of several different groups (Muslims, Jewish, Christian, and Buddhist) that claim religious justifications for violence. We will then explore some theoretical perspectives aimed at explaining what many see as this paradoxical relationship. Finally, we will look at American cultural religion (sometimes called American Civil Religion) to explore the ways in which Americans have sacralized and memorialized recent acts of ritual violence. There are no prerequisites for this three credit hour course. Instructional methods include readings, lecture, discussions and a group project.
3
REL3152: Race and Religion in the United States

Description: This course is an interdisciplinary theoretical inquiry into ethnicity, race, and religion as constituents of personal and communal identity. While the geographical focus is on North America, the class will explore questions and theories that have applications globally. Depending on the instructor, the course will examine theories pertaining to global migrations, colonial and postcolonial relations, diasporic communities, and religious pluralism.
3
REL3168: Religion and Nature

Description: This class will explore the intersection of religion and nature through religious texts and specific case studies. Students will read primary sources from a variety of religious traditions and secondary, or interpretative, texts to gain a deeper understanding of the varieties of religious worldviews people have constructed to understand themselves in relationship to the natural world. The course will examine case studies from numerous religious traditions.
3
REL3213: Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
Students will explore the classical Old Testament texts as well as historical background material and will exchange their views in classroom discussions. This class will seek to encounter the great adventure of the human race discovering itself and its place in the world-a challenge which still confronts us with greater urgency in our own time.
3
REL3241: New Testament
Students will explore the classical New Testament texts as well as historical background material and will exchange their views in classroom discussions. This class will seek to encounter the great adventure of Christianity discovering itself and its place in the world- a challenge which still confronts Christians with even greater urgency.
3
REL3293: Selected Topics: Biblical/Scriptural Studies
May be repeated for a total of 9 credits under different topics.
3
REL3330: Religions of India
This course studies the major religions that originated in India or which have had major influence upon the Indian subcontinent. It is a critical analysis of some of the primary scriptures and a respectful comparison with European and American philosophical ideas and religious beliefs. The course will focus upon Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam, but there will be consideration of the Jains, the Sikhs, the Zoroastrians, and upon Jews and Christians in India.
3
REL3380: American Indian Religions

Description: This course will introduce students to the diverse religious traditions of American Indians and the major theoretical and ethical concerns related to the study of American Indian religions. Class topics will include theoretical models useful to studying American Indian religions, case studies about specific eras and tribes, and modern concerns, such as the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act. The course will consider a diversity of practices, ranging from traditional ceremonies and American Indian Christian practices.
3
REL3420: Twentieth Century Religious Thought
This course surveys the major movements of religious thought in this century: Idealism, Ethical Theism, Naturalism, Philosophies of History and Culture, Theology of History and Culture, Sociology and Religion, Pragmatism, Phenomenology of Religion, The New Physical and Christian Apologetics, Realist Metaphysics, Neo-Thomism, Logical Empiricism, Existentialism.
3
REL3505: History of Christian Thought
This course surveys the historical phenomenon of Christianity. It traces its growth and influence and gives attention to key figures active in the process, from primitive Christianity, the medieval period and the Reformation, to modern times. It seeks not so much to discern the unfolding of a grand design as to see people dealing with the immediate realities of life, thereby finding or creating meaning in the engagement.
3
REL3930: Selected Topics: History of Religion
May be repeated for a total of 9 credits under different topics.
3
REL3931: Special Topics: Christianity

Description: The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will focus on the Christian Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and others in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve.
3
REL3932: Special Topics:Judaism

Description: The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will focus on the Jewish Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and others in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve.
3
REL3933: Special Topics: Islam

Description: The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will focus on the Muslim Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and other in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve.
3
REL3934: Special Topics: Hinduism

Description: The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will focus on the Hindu Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and other in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve.
3
REL3935: Special Topics: Buddhism

Description: The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will focus on the Buddhist Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and others in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve.
3
REL3936: Selected Topics: Religious Thought
May be repeated for a total of 15 credits under different topics.
3
REL4900: Directed Independent Study Religious Studies
Prerequisite:  consent of instructor, program coordinator, and department chairperson. May be repeated for up to 6 credit hours, check enrollment restriction. This course will allow students to design a religious studies course to fit their own needs and interests. Broadly speaking it will examine the phenomenon known as religion in an impartial, academic manner. The course might compare aspects of the variety of the world's religions, ask philosophical questions about the nature of religion, and/or explore the relationship between religions and the larger cultural context in which religions are found.
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REL4910: Senior Seminar Capstone
Prerequisite:  REL 2300 and REL 3102 and REL 3040
Description: This course should bring together the theoretical and methodological skills developed in the major and apply them to a specific area of data that could vary by instructor and/or by student interest. This is as an undergraduate thesis course. Students will learn how to put together their own research project within a supportive setting. Students will select their own topic and spend most of their time working on it. Class sessions will be oriented towards identifying research methods and then strategies for honing a research project and getting it to its final product. The skills developed and, at the culmination of the course, demonstrated, will be those skills the Religious Studies Major is designed to foster: clear writing, thinking, the ability to engage systematically with theoretical models and the ability it see the world through the eyes of someone else.
3
REL4930: Advanced Special Topics: Buddhism

Description: The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will be an advanced study on some aspect(s) of the Buddhist Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and others in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve. In this advanced level course, students will build on the skills acquired in their lower level courses.
3
REL4936: Advanced Special Topics: Hinduism

Description: The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will be an advanced study on some aspect(s) of the Hindu Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and others in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve. In this advanced level course, students will build on the skills acquired in their lower level courses.
3
REL4937: Advanced Special Topics: Judaism

Description: The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will be an advanced study on some aspect(s) of the Jewish Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking “Spiritual Truth,” this course and other in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve, in this advanced level course, students will build on the skills acquired in their lower level courses.
3
REL4938: Advanced Special Topics: Christianity

Description: The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will be an advanced study on some aspect(s) of the Christian Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and other in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve. In this advanced level course, students will build on the skills acquired in their lower level courses.
3
REL4939: Advanced Special Topics: Islam

Description: The content of this course will vary depending on the faculty member offering it but it will be an advanced study on some aspect(s) of the Muslim Tradition. It will exemplify the academic approach to the study of religion which, as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, explores varied meaning-making systems in all their complexity including beliefs, practices, texts, history and social-cultural functions. Rather than approaching religions from the standpoint of a believer seeking "Spiritual Truth," this course and others in the Religious Studies major will help students gain an understanding of the origins of particular traditions, how they function, and what purposes they serve. In this advanced level course, students will build on the skills acquired in their lower level courses.
3