Philosophy and Religious Studies Courses

Philosophy

PHI 110: Philosophical Thinking (3)

Fulfills core competency: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. An exploration of the nature and content of philosophical inquiry. Offered Each Semester. (UG)

PHI 113: Critical Thinking (3)

Fulfills core competency: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. In this course critical thinking will be presented as a set of skills that has been long established and well defined in our philosophical tradition. Offered Each Year (Spring). (UG)

PHI 203: The Question of the Human (3)

Fulfills core competency: Affective Awareness. Cross-listed as REL 203. In order to explore the dignity and worth of the human, the course examines the relationship between the individual and community. Through a series of readings and reflections, the attempt is made to expose the inter-relatedness of various thinkers from the liberal arts tradition. Offered Alternate Years. (UG)

PHI 209: Science and Values (3)

This course will explore the standards, values, and goals of science by examining issues related to bioethics and health care, technology, the environment, and animal rights. Rather than viewing science merely as a cold impersonal way of arriving at the objective truth about natural phenomena, this course is premised on the idea that science is intimately involved in questions of values; it is committed to standards of right and wrong, and in doing so it moves toward larger social aims. Offered As Needed. (UG)

PHI 211: African American Thought (3)

Fulfills core competency: Moral and Ethical Discernment. Cross-listed as REL 211. This course explores the tradition of African-American response to slavery and legalized racism. After some brief historical background, this course will focus on three particularly important moments in this tradition of resistance: the slave narratives (especially Frederick Douglass and Linda Brent), the turn of the century debates over education (especially Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois and Marcus Garvey), and the civil rights movement (especially the student movement, Martin Luther King, Malcom X, and the Black Power movement.) Offered As Needed. (UG)

PHI 213: Reflections on Contemporary Moral Issues (3)

Fulfills core competency: Moral and Ethical Discernment. Cross-listed as REL 213. Designed to be offered in learning community format with BIO 200 Science and Contemporary Social Issues. The course introduces students to moral issues and questions with regard to such matters as human cloning, genetic engineering, stem cell research, euthanasia, the environment and sustainability, and the emergence of life (e.g., fetal development). Offered As Needed. (UG)

PHI 222: Healing, Holism and Spirituality in Health Care (3)

Fulfills core competency: Affective Awareness. Cross-listed as NUR 222. This three (3) credit course is a truly inter-disciplinary, inter-divisional course team-taught by a faculty member of the nursing department and a faculty member of the humanities. The course is designed to explore the meaning and mutual inter-connectedness of healing, holism, spirituality and care. Students will investigate the role of spirituality in their own personal lives, the power of healing and care both in medicine and everyday experience. Complementary therapeutic modalities such as prayer, therapeutic touch, meditation, friendship, etc. will be explored. There will be special focus on matters relating to the living-dying continuum, exploring end-of-life matters, the inter-relatedness of the universe, and the implications of certain cultural differences, especially those in eastern cultures. Assignments for the course, including journal assignments and a hospice experience, are designed to stimulate personal as well as professional growth. Assigned readings, faculty presentations, and class discussions are intended to encourage student self-reflection, as well as a shared learning experience. Lecture/seminar, 3 hours. Offered as Needed. (UG)

PHI 225: Readings in World Culture (3)

Fulfills core competency: Affective Awareness. Cross-listed as REL 225. This course is part of a learning community exploring the relationship among texts, historical contexts, and cultural conflicts. Students will study crucial moments in the modern era (i.e. slavery, the Holocaust, the Native American experience, the Cold War, and the immigrant experience) and will examine a variety of different texts (film, memoirs, novels, speeches, etc.) that reflect and comment upon these seminal historical moments and conflicts. Offered As Needed. (UG)

PHI 231: Moments of Vision (3)

Fulfills core competency: Affective Awareness. Cross-listed as REL 231. Co-sponsored by the Jewish Chautauqua Society and the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods. The objective of this course is to consider the human imagination as it gives rise to certain visions which speak to dimensions of human experience with respect to a depth otherwise lost and hidden in the everyday world. The course explores the predicaments of evil and suffering, joy and silence, to gain an understanding of the need for visions about the boundaries and depths which open within human experience. Offered As Needed. (UG)

PHI 232: Learning Through Service (3)

Fulfills core competency: Civic Responsibility. Fulfills Service Learning requirement. Cross-listed as REL/HSC 232 (HSC listing limited to majors in the Health Professions). Learning experience through participation as a volunteer for approximately four hours per week in a community-based agency within the area. Students will also be expected to keep a journal account of their experiences and attend class every other week for about an hour to process with others what is being learned. The focus of the course is to help students gain an appreciation that being of service to others is a way of learning and a way of growing as a person. Offered As Needed. (UG)

PHI 234: Scientific and Religious Views of the World (3)

Fulfills core competency: Affective Awareness. Cross-listed as REL 234. The focus of this interdisciplinary course is to engage in healthy dialogue with respect to problems and possibilities, conflicts and complementarities, differences and/or similarities of religious and scientific perspectives. Offered Each Year (Spring). (UG)

PHI 248: Selected Periods in the History of Philosophy (3)

Selected periods in the History of Philosophy, e.g. ancient philosophy, medieval philosophy, modern philosophy, etc. Offered As Needed. (UG)

PHI 306: Eastern Philosophies (3)

This course will explore various philosophical and religious concepts in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism. Some cultural and historical background will be provided from which students can understand better how these various concepts, with their associated symbols and myths, arose. A methodology will be provided by which these concepts might be related to the spectacle of our age. Offered As Needed. (UG)

PHI 308: The Religious and Spiritual Traditions of the World (3)

Fulfills core competency: Contextual Integration. Cross-listed as REL 308. This course will help the student appreciate the religious and spiritual approaches of both the East and West. Attention will be paid to such classic Indian traditions as Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism; to such Western spiritual traditions as Judaism, Christianity and Islam; and to Native American and Goddess worship. Offered Each Year. (UG)

PHI 309: The Holocaust (3)

Fulfills core competency: Moral and Ethical Discernment. Cross-listed as REL 309. This course analyzes the variety of historical, religious, philosophical and political issues posed by the Nazi policy of systematic genocide. We will explore religious and racial anti-Semitism, the philosophy of fascism, the logic of genocide and the development and implementation of the final solution. Attention will also be paid to concentration camp life and to its effect upon the perpetrators and the survivors. Offered Each Year. (UG)

PHI 310: Nature in Human Experience (3)

Fulfills core competency: Moral and Ethical Discernment. This course will examine the philosophical foundations of our relations with nature. It will explore the values humans find in nature, and the responsibility humans have to the natural environment. It will discuss the ethical dimensions of our relation with animals. Finally, it will study a number of contemporary environmental issues. Offered Each Year. (UG)

PHI 312: Ethics (3)

An examination of the principal ethical theories and their relevance to problems of conduct. Readings from classical and contemporary philosophy on the nature of the moral life. Offered Alternate Years. (UG)

PHI 314: Aesthetics (3)

An analysis of aesthetic experience in art, nature, and life worlds. Offered As Needed. (UG)

PHI 315: Social Philosophy (3)

An examination of some of the philosophical concepts and moral principles employed in the rational appraisal of social life. Offered As Needed. (UG)

PHI 321: Medical Ethics (3)

Fulfills core competency: Moral and Ethical Discernment. Topics to be discussed include general introduction to ethical theory, health as a value, death and dying, euthanasia, behavior control, medical care and distributive justice. Offered Each Year. (UG)

PHI 322: Philosophy of Law (3)

Fulfills core competency: Moral and Ethical Discernment. An exploration of some of the fundamental issues in the philosophy of law. Topics discussed include: the nature of law, law and morality, issues involving freedom of speech and constitutional interpretation, equality and the law, responsibility, crime and punishment, issues in tort law. Offered As Needed. (UG)

PHI 326: Meaning of Care in a Technological Society (3)

Fulfills core competency: Contextual Integration. Cross-listed as REL 326. This course will probe the complexity of the issue of human values as these relate to a humane and meaningful future for society. It is a course committed to discovering the interrelations of religious and ethical thinking with the social issues of economics, politics, science and technology. Offered Alternate Years. (UG)

PHI 328: Comparative Genocide (3)

Fulfills core competency: Moral and Ethical Discernment. Writing Intensive. Cross-listed as REL 328. This course will examine phenomenon of modern genocide, with particular attention to the ideological motivation of the perpetrators and to the effect upon families and individuals. After some opening theoretical reflections on the connection between modernity and genocide, the course will focus on four particular examples: American slavery, the Nazi final solution, the Khmer Rouge revolution, and the Rwanda genocide. Offered As Needed. (UG)

PHI 329: Magic and Science: Principles of Scientific Reasoning (3)

Fulfills core competency: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. Writing Intensive. Scientific reasoning applies the principles of critical reasoning to the pursuit of scientific activity, which consists of description, explanation, prediction, and control of empirical real world-phenomena. This course will examine the answers to a set of philosophical questions concerning the structure and the limits of scientific explanations, the principles of research design, and research methodology (e.g., quantitative or qualitative) in natural sciences, and social sciences, the differences and similarities between natural sciences and human sciences, discrimination of science from pseudoscience, objectivity of scientific knowledge, and the place for values in science. Students will learn to identify and apply the forms of critical reasoning (e.g., inductive or deductive) to evaluate these philosophical problems pertaining to scientific activity. Prerequisite: One 100/200/300 level Philosophy course or a writing intensive course. Offered As Needed (UG)

Religious Studies

REL 105: God and Violence (3)

Fulfills core competency: Contextual Integration. This course explores the nature of the three Western monotheistic religions of the Book (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) and seeks to understand the way that these religions both encourage and discourage inter-communal violence. The course focuses upon the way that holiness and holy spaces function within the foundational texts and practices of each religion. Includes exploration of the role that the holy places in Jerusalem and Saudi Arabia have played in conflicts between Jews and Christians, between Muslims and Jews, and between Islam and the United States. Offered As Needed (UG)

REL 109: Contemporary Religious Thought (3)

Fulfills core competency: Moral and Ethical Discernment. An examination of the different approaches to religious thinking. The content and methodological assumptions of various schools of religious inquiry. Offered Each Semester. (UG)

REL 114: Culture and Story (3)

Fulfills core competency: Contextual Integration. This course, which compliments and will be in continued dialogue with THA 119 Theatre, Madness and Power, examines the role that ancient religious belief plays in establishing and maintaining categories that have been essential to modern life: purity, holiness, morality, sexuality, and honor. We will then look at how modern life maintains, redefines and transgresses these fundamental categories. For the first part of the course, which deals with antiquity, we will primarily employ the Bible, which will be put in dialogue with the plays of Sophocles and Shakespeare. The modern part of the course will explore the relevant issues with the help of both historical events and secular and religious writers. Offered as Needed. (UG)

REL 200: Introduction to the Old Testament (3)

A course for beginners in the literature of the Hebrew Bible. Particular emphasis will be directed to the Pentateuch, especially the Book of Genesis. Special attention will be paid to the archeology, sociology, anthropology and geography of the Bible as keys to interpretation. Offered Alternate Years. (UG)

REL 203: The Question of the Human (3)

Fulfills core competency: Affective Awareness Cross-listed as PHI 203. In order to explore the dignity and worth of the human, the course examines the relationship between the individual and community. Through a series of readings and reflections, the attempt is made to expose the inter-relatedness of various thinkers from the liberal arts tradition. Offered Alternate Years. (UG)

REL 211: African American Thought (3)

Fulfills core requirement: Moral and Ethical Discernment. Cross-listed as PHI 211. This course explores the tradition of African-American response to slavery and legalized racism. After some brief historical background, this course will focus on three particularly important moments in this tradition of resistance: the slave narratives (especially Frederick Douglass and Linda Brent), the turn of the century debates over education (especially Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois and Marcus Garvey), and the civil rights movement (especially the student movement, Martin Luther King, Malcom X, and the Black Power movement). Offered As Needed. (UG)

REL 213: Reflections on Contemporary Moral Issues (3)

Fulfills core competency: Moral and Ethical Discernment. Cross-listed as PHI 213. Designed to be offered in learning community format with BIO 200 Science and Contemporary Social Issues. The course introduces students to moral issues and questions with regard to such matters as human cloning, genetic engineering, stem cell research, euthanasia, the environment and sustainability, and the emergence of life (e.g., fetal development). Offered As Needed. (UG)

REL 221: Introduction to the New Testament (3)

Fulfills core competency: Moral and Ethical Discernment. An introduction to the historical and cultural background of the New Testament era. The emphasis will be upon methods of interpretation and textual investigation of central ideas. Presentation of contemporary insight in New Testament criticism. Offered Alternate Years. (UG)

REL 224: Women and Religion (3)

Fulfills core competency: Moral and Ethical Discernment. Cross-listed as WST 224. This course will explore the place of women in the three Western monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam). The course will explore the views of women found in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, the non-canonical Gospels, and the Koran. It will also explore modern attempts to rework the biblical tradition (e.g., in the novel "The Red Tent") and to confront the Islamic revolution (e.g., in the graphic novels "Persepolis I & II"). The class will also explore a number of contentious gender related issues (e.g., birth control, women clergy, traditional marriage, homosexuality). Offered As Needed. (UG)

REL 225: Readings in World Culture (3)

Fulfills core competency: Affective Awareness. Cross-listed as PHI 225. This course is part of a learning community exploring the relationship among texts, historical contexts, and cultural conflicts. Students will study crucial moments inthe modern era (i.e. slavery, the Holocaust, the Native American experience, the Cold War, and the immigrant experience) and will examine a variety of different texts (film, memoirs, novels, speeches, etc.) that reflect and comment upon these seminal historical moments and conflicts. Offered As Needed. (UG)

REL 231: Moments of Vision (3)

Fulfills core competency: Affective Awareness. Cross-listed as PHI 231. Co-sponsored by the Jewish Chautauqua Society and the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods. The objective of this course is to consider the human imagination as it gives rise to certain visions which speak to dimensions of human experience with respect to a depth otherwise lost and hidden in the everyday world. The course explores the predicaments of evil and suffering, joy and silence. To gain an understanding of the need for visions about the boundaries and depths which open within human experience. Offered As Needed. (UG)

REL 232: Learning Through Service (3)

Fulfills core competency: Civic Responsibility. Fulfills Service Learning requirement. Cross-listed as PHI/HSC 232 (HSC listing limited to majors in the health professions). Learning experience through participation as a volunteer for approximately four hours per week in a community-based agency within the area. Students will also be expected to keep a journal account of their experiences and attend class every other week for about an hour to process with others what is being learned. The focus of the course is to help students gain an appreciation that being of service to others is a way of learning and a way of growing as a person. Offered As Needed. (UG)

REL 234: Scientific & Religious Views of the World (3)

Fulfills core competency: Affective Awareness. Cross-listed as PHI 234. The focus of this interdisciplinary course is to engage in healthy dialogue with respect to problems and possibilities, conflicts and complementarities, differences and/or similarities of religious and scientific perspectives. Offered Each Year (Spring). (UG)

REL 241: Introduction to Islam (3)

Fulfills core competency: Contextual Integration. With 1.5 billion adherents, Islam is the second largest religion in the world and in the United States today. It is also the fastest growing religion of our time. One out of every five people is a Muslim. As we study Islam, we will be examining a religion that dominated and shaped world history for many centuries. This course will provide an outline of the history of Islam and the impact of Islamic belief and culture on the world's social and political development, as well as an introductory survey of the fundamental tenets and practices of the last religion in the Semitic tradition. Attention will also be given to contemporary Islam and to the modern interpretation of the Islamic tradition. The course will be divided into three parts: the first will focus upon the history of Islam; the second will examine Islamic faith, sources of authority, and practice; and the third will explore contemporary Islam. No prior knowledge is assumed. Offered as Needed. (UG)

REL 308: The Religious and Spiritual Traditions of the World (3)

Fulfills core competency: Contextual Integration. Cross-listed as PHI 308. This course will help the student appreciate the religious and spiritual approaches of both the East and West. Attention will be paid to such classic Indian traditions as Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism; to such Western spiritual traditions as Judaism, Christianity and Islam; and to Native American and Goddess worship. Offered Each Year. (UG)

REL 309: The Holocaust (3)

Fulfills core competency: Moral and Ethical Discernment. Cross-listed as PHI 309. This course analyzes the variety of historical, religious, philosophical and political issues posed by the Nazi policy of systematic genocide. We will explore religious and racial anti-Semitism, the philosophy of fascism, the logic of genocide and the development and implementation of the final solution. Attention will also be paid to concentration camp life and to its effect upon the perpetrators and the survivors. Offered Each Year. (UG)

REL 313: Religious Values and Contemporary Moral Problems (3)

The interaction between religious values and contemporary moral concerns. A discussion of selected ethical topics and perspective, nature of religious ethics and the meaning of religious values for modern society. Offered Alternate Years. (UG)

REL 315: Religious Themes in Modern Literature (3)

Fulfills core competency: Moral and Ethical Discernment. Cross-listed as LIT 315. The purpose of this course is to analyze the relationship of theology to literature by examining the religious dimensions as they are portrayed in modern creative literature. Themes to be developed will be: religious perspectives in eastern and western religions, the pursuit of religious identity in western culture, good and evil, relationship of sacred to profane, the loss of innocence, love, suffering, freedom and destiny, time and eternity. Prerequisite: CMP 101 or permission of instructor. Offered Alternate Years. (UG)

REL 316: Gospels Scholarship: Assessing the Field (3)

Fulfills core competency: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. Writing Intensive. This course will examine recent trends within New Testament scholarship, with particular attention to recent scholarship on the Gospels. The course will focus on three large sets of topics: methodological questions (what is the best approach to reading the Gospels?), ideological questions (what is the place of gender and social status in the analysis of the Gospels?), and historical questions (what is the relationship between the Gospels and their historical environment?). In particular, the course will focus on the following topics: historical reconstructions of the situation in Palestine during and immediately following the life of Jesus; feminist readings of the Gospel; Christian conflicts with Judaism; the relationship between early Christianity and the Roman empire; and the interrelationship between the Gospels. Students will be asked to read and evaluate the recent forms of criticism and to draw their own conclusions on how best to approach the text. Offered As Needed. (UG)

REL 322: The Gospels (3)

Fulfills core competency: Affective Awareness. After locating the Gospels in the complex and diverse world of first century Judaism, we will examine the four New Testament Gospels as well as other, non-canonical Gospels (The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, The Sayings Source). Particular attention will be paid to the distinctive structure, characterization, themes, rhetoric and theology of each Gospel. Offered As Needed. (UG)

REL 326: Meaning of Care in a Technological Society (3)

Fulfills core competency: Contextual Integration. Cross-listed as PHI 326. This course will probe the complexity of the issue of human values as they relate to a humane and meaningful future for society. It is a course committed to discovering the interrelations of religious and ethical thinking with the social issues of economics, politics, science and technology. Offered Alternate Years. (UG)

REL 328: Comparative Genocide (3)

Fulfills core competency: Moral and Ethical Discernment. Writing Intensive. Cross-listed as PHI 328. This course will examine phenomenon of modern genocide, with particular attention to the ideological motivation of the perpetrators and to the effect upon families and individuals. After some opening theoretical reflections on the connection between modernity and genocide, the course will focus on four particular examples: American slavery, the Nazi final solution, the Khmer Rouge revolution, and the Rwanda genocide. Offered As Needed. (UG)

REL 331: Reading List (2)

Seminar provides a discussion of literature in the discipline. Offered As Needed. (UG)

REL 332: Reading List (2)

Seminar provides a discussion of literature in the discipline. Offered As Needed. (UG)

REL 351: Psychology and Religion (3)

A comparison of healthy personality development with theological models of sanctity. Freud, Jung, Fromm, Frankl, Maslow, et al. Offered Alternate Years. (UG)

REL 443: Proseminar (3)

Fulfills core competencies: Communication Skills; Information Literacy. Research & Presentation; Writing Intensive. Introduction to research through an individual project. Required of all seniors. Offered As Needed. (UG)