Cat. I This course provides an overview of key concepts, methods and authors in both fields. These introduce the student to the types of reasoning required for the pursuit of in-depth analysis in each discipline. Emphasis on topics and authors varies with the particular instructor.
Cat. I The purpose of this course is to examine how the two institutions of religion and culture interact and mutually influence one another. To do this a variety of definitions of religion and culture will be presented as well as an analysis of how religion interacts with such cultural phenomena as economics, politics, the state, war and the basic problem of social change. The purpose of this is to obtain a variety of perspectives on both religion and culture so that one can begin to articulate more clearly the different influences that occur in the development of one?s own personal history and the culture in which one lives. Suggested background: knowledge of key terms and concepts as given in PY/RE 1731.
Cat. I Notions of good and evil shape many of our day to day religious and philosophical claims and arguments. This course concerns questions and approaches to what is often called ?evil,? through a study of classical and contemporary texts and problems. The focus of the course will vary, but will include metaphysical, moral, and political ideas about kinds and relations of goods and evils from different religious and philosophical perspectives. This study takes into account notions of error, ignorance, wrong-doing, freedom and responsibility evident in contemporary religious and philosophical debate.
The purpose of this course is to examine, from an historical, doctrinal, scriptural and philosophical perspective, major Western religions. The course will focus primarily on Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Other religions will be examined. The course will attend to the social context in which these religions developed and will examine their continuing influence on Western society. Suggested background: RE/PY 1731 and RE 2721.
The purpose of this course is to examine, from the perspectives of history text, practice, and philosophy, some or all of the following religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shinto. The course will attend to the social context in which these religions began, their relations with their culture, their rituals and their continuing influences in the East and West. Suggested background: PY/RE 1731 and RE 2721.
Cat. I This course will review at an introductory level theories of ethics, individual figures in the history of ethics, and selected problems in ethics. The emphasis will be on philosophical or religious ethics depending on the instructor.
This course examines medicine, not from a scientific or professional view, but from a specifically humanistic approach. Using essays, films, fiction, poetry and plays, we will aim to make explicit the moral values most deeply held by practitioners in the healing professions. What other kinds of values can get in the way of those most deeply held aims? What are the responsibilities of a medical professional in today?s society? What are the sources of those responsibilities? The course will focus both on professional and personal dilemmas and will help students think through some moral problems that are likely to confront them in their professional and personal lives. The class should also help prepare students to navigate through the tough moral issues they are likely to face, either as a medical professional, a citizen, a parent, a child of parents, or as potentially a sick person themselves. This class proposes to grant students the reflective time to read some of the most eloquent authors on suffering, caretaking, and sickness (for example, Oliver Sacks, Jerome Groopman, Susan Sontag, Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf, Tony Kushner, Tracy Kidder, Perri Klass, etc.) and to express their reflections on these resources in effective communication. Recommended Background: PY/RE 1731 or an introductory level literature course.
The purpose of this course is to expose students to somewhat more advanced or specialized study in religion. The focus will vary, but the material will be drawn from a particular religious thinker, a particular religious tradition or a particular historical or contemporary problem. The topical theme of the class will be provided as a modified course title in the course description posted online. RE 3721 may be taken only once for credit.
This course provides an opportunity for advanced study of selected problems in ethical theory and social philosophy. Students will consider the theoretical underpinnings of our moral, political, and social relations and the nature of right and wrong as they apply beyond the level of the individual to society, culture, the state, the earth, and global politics. While the course always emphasizes critical thinking with theoretical arguments and problems, the thematic focus and content of the course will change according to the instructor who offers it. The specific focus may be on global justice, public debates regarding ethical issues, the relation of capitalism to democracy, social contract theories, questions of gender, sexuality, race, and class, or other areas that engage ethics and social philosophy. Suggested background: knowledge of either PY/RE 2731 or PY 2712