Philosophy and Religion Courses
PHL 115Introductory LogicPhilosophy and Religion4FreshmanAn examination of what constitutes sound or persuasive reasoning. The course aims at enhancing the student’s ability to discover the structure of an argument. Satisfies philosophy and religion exploratory requirement. Fall.
PHL 116Introduction to PhilosophyPhilosophy and Religion4FreshmanAn introduction to the perennial questions" of philosophy: Is knowledge possible? Does God exist? What is truth? Do persons have souls? What constitutes the good life or human fulfillment? Satisfies philosophy and religion exploratory requirement. Fall and spring."
PHL 120Knowledge and RealityPhilosophy and Religion4FreshmanThis course will cover major philosophical thought in the areas of metaphysics and epistemology. The major subject matter of analysis of the course will concern the nature of reality and existence, and the nature of knowledge and belief. Topics covered will include the nature of identity, existence, causation, and time; theories of knowledge and justification, skepticism, testimony, disagreement, and epistemic injustice. Spring odd. Fulfills Reasoning and Values exploratory requirement.
PHL 210LogicPhilosophy and Religion4SophomoreThis course is an examination of what constitutes proper and improper reasoning, argumentation, and critical assessment of arguments. Topics covered include fallacies, major types of arguments, categorical syllogisms, formal deductive logic, as well as the philosophy of logic itself. Fulfills Reasoning and Values exploratory requirement.
PHL 220Principles of EthicsPhilosophy and Religion4SophomoreAn examination of the classical sources of ethical thought, such as Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Mill, and others, with attention to their relevance to contemporary problems in business and social ethics. Satisfies philosophy and religion exploratory requirement. Spring.
PHL 230Philosophy of LanguagePhilosophy and Religion4SophomoreThis course concerns major developments in the philosophical study of language, including both theoretical examinations of language and their application to contemporary issues. The course will focus on how philosophers have come to understand the nature of communication and discourse, as well as major structural forms of linguistic expression. Topics covered include truth, meaning, reference, linguistic conventions and norms, the difference between semantics and pragmatics, context-sensitivity, presupposition, implication, speech acts, as well as what type of moral or political (if any) norms ought to apply to linguistic discourse itself. Fall Even. Fulfills Reasoning and Values exploratory requirement.
PHL 250Living Religions EastPhilosophy and Religion4SophomoreHistorical development, cultural influences, and contemporary expression of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Shinto. Same as REL 250. Satisfies philosophy and religion and intercultural exploratory requirements. Spring, even academic years.
PHL 314History of PhilosophyPhilosophy and Religion4JuniorThis course covers key figures in the history of western philosophy. Time periods covered will include Pre-Socratic, Ancient, Medieval, Modern, and developments in the early 20th century. Will cover major works by Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hume, Kant, James, Wittgenstein, Sartre, and Beauvoir. Prerequisite: one additional Philosophy course. Spring odd.
PHL 325Topics in ValuePhilosophy and Religion4JuniorThis course offers a rotating topic of major concern in value theory, broadly construed. Areas within value theory include: Metaethics, Normative Ethics, Social and Political Theory, Applied Ethics, Aesthetics, and Non-Ideal Theory. This course will focus on creating students’ knowledge and understanding of the nature of value and normativity, and cultivating students’ ability to critically assess claims on what is and is not of value and what ought or ought not to be. Prerequisite: One additional Philosophy course.
PHL 360Social and Political ThoughtPhilosophy and Religion4JuniorStudy of social and political ideas such as the nature and justification of political power, the nature and legitimacy of governments, and related topics from Plato to the present. Same as POL 360. Fall.
PHL 365Philosophy of ReligionPhilosophy and Religion4JuniorPersistent philosophical problems of historical religions, such as the nature of religion, religious knowledge, and the nature and existence of God, and human freedom. Same as REL 365. Fall, even academic years.
PHL 470Seminar: Themes in Philosophic InquiryPhilosophy and Religion3SeniorA study of the theory of knowledge, metaphysics, axiology, advanced logic, or some particular thinker, tradition, or theme, depending on needs and interests of students. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
PHL 498Porfolio Development PracticumPhilosophy and Religion0SeniorEach student must develop a portfolio containing an appropriate body of work that, by the time of graduation, demonstrates the student is ready to make the transition to the professional workplace or graduate school. The specific format and content of the portfolio is determined through consultation of the student with the department and by attending appropriate sessions of PDP 200. PHL 498 is one component of the SNR/SNT 489 requirement. Portfolios will receive either a passing or failing grade. Co-requisites: PHL 499 and SNR/SNT 489.
PHL 499Senior Competency PracticumPhilosophy and Religion0SeniorTaken concurrently with SNR/SNT 489 (PHL), but may include at the department’s discretion a multiple-hour comprehensive essay examination covering the history of philosophy and related topics (Oriental thought, political philosophy, ethics, etc.) depending on the student’s transcript and senior year experience. A grade of C or better is required for graduation. Co-requisites: PHL 498 and SNR/SNT 489.
REL 114Introduction to ReligionPhilosophy and Religion4FreshmanAn exploration of introductory topics in religious studies: the origins of religion, God, the problem of evil, revelation and scripture, morality, and religious experience. Satisfies philosophy and religion exploratory requirement. Fall and Spring.
REL 210Religion and the EnvironmentPhilosophy and Religion3FreshmanThis course is a study of the relationship between religion and the environment. It will explore the connection between religious faith tradition(s) and the environmental problems that challenge sustainability in God’s creation. Satisfies philosophy and religion exploratory requirement. Course is open to first-year students. Fall and spring.
REL 215Religion in America I:History of RelPhilosophy and Religion4SophomoreWhy is the United States the most religiously active and religiously diverse nation in the world? How has religion shaped the nation’s democratic society? This course examines the role of religion in the United States from its founding, through the beginnings of the 20th century. Students will explore the nation’s major religious movements, the relationship of politics and religion, as well as important national debates that have highlighted the tension between religious ideology and scientific theory. Open to all students. Fulfills Philosophy/Religion exploratory requirement. 4 credit hours. Fall even.
REL 220Old Testament Life and LiteraturePhilosophy and Religion3SophomoreA study of the literature of the Old Testament as this literature arose in the historical experience of the people Israel. Satisfies philosophy and religion exploratory requirement. Fall.
REL 225Religion in America II:Contemp Rel ExpPhilosophy and Religion4SophomoreReligion has always been a dynamic influence on American culture, but the 20th century has seen American religion respond to national financial desperation, multiple international conflicts, and a host of civil rights issues. As a result, religion has undergone significant change in America, and has likewise changed American culture. This course examines the role of religion in the United States throughout the most turbulent and inspiring eras of the 20th century and emphasizes the writings of religious figures at the center of those cultural shifts. Open to all students. Fulfills Diversity exploratory requirement and Philosophy/Religion exploratory requirement. 4 credit hours. Fall odd.
REL 230New Testament Life and LiteraturePhilosophy and Religion3SophomoreA study of the literature of the New Testament, particularly as this literature reveals the early church’s understanding of Jesus and the Christian faith. Spring.
REL 240Giving in ReligionPhilosophy and Religion3SophomoreThis course explores how different religious traditions understand the importance of giving and the relationships that the offering of timetalent and treasure" promote between the divine and humanity. The course will focus on religious understandings of volunteerism through a variety of service projects with members of different religious traditions as well as on religion in faith-based organizations. Fulfills Philosophy/Religion requirement. 3 credit hours. Fall even."
REL 250Living Religions EastPhilosophy and Religion4SophomoreHistorical development, cultural influences, and contemporary expression of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Shinto. Same as PHL 250. Satisfies philosophy and religion and intercultural exploratory requirements. Spring, even academic years.
REL 260Living Religions WestPhilosophy and Religion4SophomoreHistorical development, cultural influences, and contemporary expression of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam studied through primary as well as secondary sources. Satisfies philosophy and religion and intercultural exploratory requirements. Spring, odd academic years.
REL 310Historical Faith and Modern CulturePhilosophy and Religion4JuniorEmergence and expressions of Christian faith in the history of Western and world cultures. Attention given to major personalities; interaction between religion and science, church and state in the modern era. Spring, even academic years.
REL 325Theories of ReligionPhilosophy and Religion2JuniorThis course explores the various anthropological, psychological, and sociological theories for the presence of organized religion throughout the world; moreover, this course serves to educate students regarding the rise of religious studies as a unique discipline apart from theology and philosophy. Special attention will be given to the work of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, William James, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Clifford Geertz, among other scholars. Prerequisites: REL 114 or PHL 116. 2 credit hours. Spring odd.
REL 350Life of Jesus and Gospel FormationPhilosophy and Religion2JuniorA study of what the critical tools of literary criticism, form criticism, and redaction criticism can tell us about the historical Jesus; the formation of the Synoptic gospels and John, and Christological formulation in the New Testament. Prerequisite: REL 230. Fall, odd academic years.
REL 360Contemporary Christian ThoughtPhilosophy and Religion4JuniorAn exploration of themes and issues in the thought of significant 20th and 21st century Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox theologians. Spring, even academic years.
REL 365Philosophy of ReligionPhilosophy and Religion4JuniorPersistent philosophical problems of historical religion, such as the nature of religion, religious knowledge, and the nature and existence of God and human freedom. Same as PHL 365. Fall, even academic years.
REL 470Seminar: Themes in Religious InquiryPhilosophy and Religion3SeniorTopics in the biblical, historical, or theological area of religious inquiry, depending upon interests of students. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
REL 490Religion Independent StudyPhilosophy and Religion1SeniorAn academic project designed to encourage student initiative and to provide a degree of flexibility in the departmental program. Normally the subject is not sufficiently or appropriately covered in departmental course offerings. Departmental permission is required.
REL 498Portfolio Development PracticumPhilosophy and Religion0SeniorEach student must develop a portfolio containing an appropriate body of work that, by the time of graduation, demonstrates the student is ready to make the transition to the professional workplace or graduate school. The specific format and content of the portfolio is determined through consultation of the student with the department and by attending appropriate sessions of PDP 200. REL 498 is one component of the SNR/SNT 489 requirement. Portfolios will receive either a passing or failing grade. Co-requisites: REL 499 and SNR/SNT 489.
REL 499Senior Competency PracticumPhilosophy and Religion0SeniorTaken concurrently with SNR/SNT 489 (REL), but may include at the department’s discretion a multiple-hour comprehensive essay examination covering topics in religious studies (biblical studies, historical theology, systematic theology, comparative religions, and philosophic theology) depending on the student’s transcript. A grade of C or better is required for graduation. Co-requisites: REL 498 and SNR/SNT 489.

r. 11-8-19