2014-16 Academic Catalog
Download PDF

Department of Philosophy and World Religions

(College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences)


www.uni.edu/philrel

The Department of Philosophy and World Religions offers the following undergraduate programs.  Specific requirements for these programs are listed within this Department of Philosophy and World Religions section in the following order:

  • Undergraduate Majors (B.A.)
    • Philosophy
    • Study of Religion
  • Minors
    • Ethics
    • Philosophy
    • Religion

Bachelor of Arts Degree Programs

Majors

Philosophy Major

The Philosophy major requires a minimum of 120 total hours to graduate. This total includes Liberal Arts Core requirements, 36 hours of coursework in the major, plus electives to complete the minimum of 120 hours.

The Philosophy major is designed to provide depth and breadth in the study of philosophy, emphasizing the skills of logical reasoning, analytic reading, effective writing, and ethical reasoning, as well as focused study of the history of western philosophy, and fundamental conceptions of human nature and human practices. The major is also flexible, so that students can take courses of interest to them.  Courses in the philosophy major give students an opportunity to gain useful conceptual tools, increase their flexibility of mind, and improve their ability to view issues from multiple perspectives. Philosophy is one of the best pre-law majors; philosophy majors typically do extremely well in admission tests to graduate and professional schools.

The philosophy major stresses learning goals that enable students to achieve the skills deemed essential by employers, in particular, strong critical thinking and communication skills. Because the major is organized around learning goals, students know exactly why they are taking each class. As they explore philosophy, they also see that each class is helping them to become college graduates who possess knowledge and skills valued by employers as well as professional and graduate schools.

Philosophy Major - Learning Goals and Courses

What is a learning goal?

A learning goal is a set of skills or body of knowledge that a student should expect to acquire or expand their mastery of by completing a particular major. 

By establishing “learning goals”, majors in Philosophy know exactly why they are taking each class.  These learning goals divide the classes taken by majors in Philosophy into categories that are easily understood and that guide the student through the major and the learning process.

Learning Goal 1: Skills: Philosophy majors will demonstrate proficiency in analyzing evaluation, writing and constructing arguments.
Courses that support Learning Goal 1:
Logical Reasoning
Required:
PHIL 1030 (650:045)Elementary Logic3
Reading for Arguments and Assumptions
Two courses from the following:6
Philosophy of Mind
Society, Politics, and the Person
Death, Sex and the Body: Phenomenology and Foucault
Knowledge and Reality
Nietzsche, Nihilism, and Technology
Philosophy of Language: Wittgenstein
Analytic Writing
Two analytic writing courses from the following:
Philosophy of Art
Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy of Mind
Death, Sex and the Body: Phenomenology and Foucault
Existentialism
Bio-Medical Ethics
Nietzsche, Nihilism, and Technology
Philosophy of Language: Wittgenstein
On a semester-by-semester basis, other courses will occasionally count toward meeting this requirement. Check the "notes" posted to list of course offerings for a given semester; if "writing enhanced" appears there, then this specific course will count toward meeting this requirement.
Learning Goal 2: Ethical Reasoning: Philosophy majors will use their understanding of ethical theories to think through moral problems in a principled and systematic way.
Courses that support Learning Goal 2:
Required:
PHIL 2500Ethics3
Although not required, students are free to take any of the following courses in applied ethics as electives, but no more than two courses (6 hours) can be counted toward fulfilling the Philsophy major:
Ethics for College Students
Reasoning About Moral Problems *
Ethics in Business *
Environmental Ethics *
Money, Sex and Power: Theories of Race, Class and Gender ^
Perspectives on Death and Dying *^
Bio-Medical Ethics *^
Marxisms *
Ethics Practicum *

*

 Courses followed by asterisk (*) count toward the Ethics minor (15-hour minor).

^

 Courses followed by ^ fulfill the Liberal Arts Core Capstone requirement.

Learning Goal 3: History of Philosophy: By reading key texts from the rich Western philosophical tradition, Philosophy majors will gain useful conceptual tools, increase their flexibility of mind, and improve their ability to view issues from multiple perspectives.
Courses that support Learning Goal 3:
Required: three course from the following:9
Dawn of Western Thought: Ancient Philosophy
Faith and Reason: Philosophy in the Middle Ages
The Age of Reason: Philosophy in the Renaissance and Enlightenment
The Limits of Reason: Modern Philosophy
Learning Goal 4: Philosophy majors will investigate fundamental conceptions of what it means to be a person and to engage in essential human activities.
Courses that support Learning Goal 4:
A. Understanding Human Nature
Required: (two courses from the following)6
Philosophy of Mind
Death, Sex and the Body: Phenomenology and Foucault
Existentialism
Nietzsche, Nihilism, and Technology
B. Basic Human Practices
Required:
Two courses from the following. At least one of these courses must be "analytical philosophy": either PHIL 3350 or PHIL 3620. (Taking both of these courses will completely satisfy this requirement.)6
Philosophy of Art
Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of Religion
Society, Politics, and the Person *
Knowledge and Reality
Philosophy of Language: Wittgenstein

*

 Courses followed by asterisk (*) count toward the Ethics minor (15-hour minor).

Learning Goal 5: Philosophy majors will be able to relate their major to their career and to their future goals.
Required:
PHIL 4490Senior Seminar3
Through thoughtful reflection and critical discernment, students synthesize their work in the major, clarifying what they have done and linking their achievements with life goals, while they also explore how deep learning outcomes in the major offer preparation for a career, graduate or professional school.

Additional electives in Philosophy:

Philosophy: The Art of Thinking
Individual Readings in Philosophy
PHIL 4186 Studies in Philosophy
Total hours 36

 

Study of Religion Major

The Study of Religion major requires a minimum of 120 total hours to graduate. This total includes Liberal Arts Core requirements, 36 hours of coursework in the major, plus electives to complete the minimum of 120 hours.

The Study of Religion major is designed to provide depth and breadth in the study of religion, emphasizing the beliefs and practices of the major world religions, as well as focused study of the multiple ways that religions shape and reflect the world around us.  The major is also flexible, so that students can take courses of interest to them.  Courses in the study of religion give students an opportunity to become reflective and respectful global citizens in our increasingly diverse world.

In planning the Study of Religion major, we have listened to employers. The major prioritizes learning goals that enable students to learn about religion and achieve outcomes that employers value.  We know that employers want to hire college graduates who have strong communication and critical thinking skills and who can interact empathetically and effectively with persons from different cultural and religious backgrounds.  Because the major is organized around learning goals, students always know exactly why they are taking each class.  As they explore religion, they also see that each class is helping them to become college graduates who possess knowledge and skills valued by employers.

Study of Religion Major - Learning Goals and Courses

What is a learning goal?

A learning goal is a set of skills or body of knowledge that a student should expect to acquire, or expand their mastery of, by completing a particular major.

having established "learning goals", allows majors in Religion to know exactly why they are taking each class. These learning goals divide the classes taken by majors in Religion into categories that are easily understood and that guide the student through the major and the learning process.

Learning Goal 1:

Majors in the Study of Religion demonstrate an ability to reflect critically and emphathetically on the subject.

Courses support Learning Goal 1:
A. Religion and Culture
Required: one course from the following:3
Religion, Ethics, and Film
Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft
Perspectives on Death and Dying
Women and Christianity *
Malcolm, Martin, and Justice
Black Liberation and the Black Church
Religion and Ethics
Religion in America
B. Textual and Analytical Explorations of Religion3
One course from the following:
Old Testament and Other Hebrew Scriptures
New Testament and Early Christian Writings
Philosophy of Religion *
Myth and Symbol
Religion and Its Critics *
Why We Believe *
Existentialism
Learning Goal 2:

Majors in the Study of Religion have knowledge of the beliefs, practices, and worldviews of major living religions.

Courses support Learning Goal 2:
A. Historical and Cultural Studies of Religion
One course from the following:3
Great Living Religions: Hinduism and Buddhism
Great Living Religions: Confucianism, Daoism, and Zen
Tribal Religions
One course from the following:3
Great Living Religions: Judaism and Islam
Great Living Religions: Christianity
B. Interactions Within and Among Religions
One course from the following:3
What is Religion?
Angels Across Cultures
Meditation and Mystical Experience
Faith and Reason: Philosophy in the Middle Ages
Religion and Sexuality *
Religion and Society *

 

Learning Goal 3:

Majors in the Study of Religion have skills that are highly valued by employers; they are able to relate their major to their career and to their future goals.

Courses support Learning Goal 3:
Writing Enhanced Courses
Two writing enhanced courses are required. Students must take at least two courses marked with an asterisk (*) for the Study of Religion major.
Senior Seminar
Required:
RELS 4490Senior Seminar 3

Through thoughtful reflection and critical discernment, students synthesize their work in the major, clarifying what they have done and linking their achievements with life goals, while they also explore how deep learning outcomes in the major offer preparation for a career, graduate or professional school.

Electives: in order to reach 36 hours, students can choose from courses not used above or from the following courses in Religion:
Religions of the World
Individual Readings in Religion
Studies in Religion
Ethics Practicum
and not more than two courses from:
Ethics in Business
Environmental Ethics
Bio-Medical Ethics
Total hours 36

 

Pre-Theological Emphasis

Students preparing for ministry or for graduate professional education in theology at a seminary or divinity school, regardless of major, are advised to consult with the pre-theological advisor, who will help them to know the requirements of individual schools and to plan an undergraduate program appropriately designed for their professional interests.

Minors

Ethics Minor

The Ethics minor is intended to provide students of diverse major fields of study a way to focus and develop their interest in ethics both by offering them a core of courses essential to an understanding of the field of ethics and by advising them in the selection of courses that enable them to develop depth and detail in theoretical, professional and applied ethics.

Required
Study of Religion:
RELS 3500 (640:171)Religion and Ethics3
Philosophy:
PHIL 2500Ethics3
Select one of the following: 3
Study of Religion:
Religions of the World
Religion, Ethics, and Film
Philosophy:
Philosophy: The Art of Thinking
Reasoning About Moral Problems
Select one of the following: 3
Philosophy or Study of Religion:
Ethics in Business
Environmental Ethics
Bio-Medical Ethics
Electives: select one of the following:3
Management:
Legal and Social Environment of Business
Finance:
Risk Management and Insurance
Teaching:
Human Relations: Awareness and Application
Psychology:
Social Psychology
Social Work:
Seminar in Social Work
Communication:
Performance and Social Change
Ethics in Communication
Study of Religion:
Religion and Its Critics
Philosophy:
Society, Politics, and the Person
Nietzsche, Nihilism, and Technology
Marxisms
Philosophy or Study of Religion:
Perspectives on Death and Dying
Existentialism
Ethics Practicum
Humanities:
Culture and Philosophy of African American Life
Political Science:
Classical Political Theory
Modern Political Theory
History:
African-American History
United States Constitutional History
Modern European Women's History
Total Hours15

 

Philosophy Minor

Required
Philosophy:
PHIL 1020 (650:021)Philosophy: The Art of Thinking3
Two courses in history of philosophy series6
Electives in philosophy12
Total Hours21

 

Religion Minor

Required:
RELS 1020 (640:024)Religions of the World3
Eelctives: 15 hours of RELS xxxx courses15
Total Hours18

 

Philosophy, B.A. 

Freshman
FallHoursSpringHours
HUM 1022 (680:022)3Other Liberal Arts Core9
PHIL 1020 (650:021)3PHIL 1030 (650:045)3
Other Liberal Arts Core9HUM 1023 (680:023)3
 15 15
Sophomore
FallHoursSpringHours
Liberal Arts Core12Ethics3
PHIL 22103Liberal Arts Core9
 PHIL 22203
 15 15
Junior
FallHoursSpringHours
University Electives9University Electives9
PHIL 22303Any Philosophy Course3
PHIL 33503PHIL 22403
 15 15
Senior
FallHoursSpringHours
University Electives9University Electives12
Any two Philosophy Courses6Any One Philosophy Course3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120

 

 

 

Study of Religion, B.A. 

Freshman
FallHoursSpringHours
HUM 1021 (680:021)3Liberal Arts Core3
RELS 1030 (640:030)3University Electives6
Liberal Arts Core6RELS 20023
University Elective3HUM 1022 (680:022)3
 15 15
Sophomore
FallHoursSpringHours
Liberal Arts Core6One RELS Course in Interactions/Religions3
University Elective3Liberal Arts Core6
RELS 20013University Elective3
RELS 21003RELS 21203
 15 15
Junior
FallHoursSpringHours
One RELS Course in Religion and Culture3Liberal Arts Core3
One other RELS course3University Electives6
Liberal Arts Core3Two RELS (Religion) Courses6
University Electives6 
 15 15
Senior
FallHoursSpringHours
Liberal Arts Core6University Electives9
University Electives6Liberal Arts Core3
RELS 44903One RELS (Religion) Course3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120

Philosophy Courses

PHIL 1020 (650:021). Philosophy: The Art of Thinking — 3 hrs.

Introductory exploration of the Western philosophical tradition. Topics may include the nature of happiness, freedom & responsibility, truth & knowledge, faith & reason, and the self & personal identify. Emphasis on critical thinking, logical reasoning, careful reading, and effective writing. (Fall, Spring, Summer)

PHIL 1030 (650:045). Elementary Logic — 3 hrs.

Critical thinking, using both formal and informal methods, including proof techniques and recognizing logical fallacies. Enhances reading, writing, and thinking in any area of study, and in preparing for grad-school exams (e.g., LSAT, GMAT, and GRE). (Fall and Spring)

PHIL 1510. Ethics for College Students — 3 hrs.

Students learn how, not what, to think about ethical issues of personal and college life: academic ethics, sexual conduct, alcohol and drugs, career choices, religious/political/social/racial diversity, and ties to family, friends and community. (Variable)

PHIL 1520. Reasoning About Moral Problems — 3 hrs.

Introduction to critical thinking and writing about moral and social problems. Topics may include hunger, economic justice, anti-Semitism, sexism, animal rights, affirmative action, abortion, and homosexuality. (Variable)

PHIL 1540. Ethics in Business — 3 hrs.

Application of ethical principles and analytic methods to contemporary issues in business. Topics include moral responsibility of corporations and their regulation; economic policy, business practices, and social justice; rights and obligations of employers and employees; meaningful work, motivation, and the worker; affirmative action and reverse discrimination; environment and natural limits of capitalism. (Same as RELS 1540) (Fall and Spring)

PHIL 2120. Philosophy of Art — 3 hrs.

Examines the question of the nature of art through a discussion of the major philosophical theories: imitation theory, expression theory, and formalism, as well as a critique of these theories. Field trips included. Prerequisite(s): One philosophy course or consent of instructor. (Even Falls)

PHIL 2130. Philosophy of Science — 3 hrs.

Philosophical problems of the sciences; nature of laws and theories, causation, explanation and scientific method, and relation between natural and social sciences. (Variable)

PHIL 2140. Philosophy of Religion — 3 hrs.

Examination of philosophical discussions on the nature and function of religion and religious language; special attention to how philosophical frameworks and methods shape understanding of religion and talk about God and human fulfillment. (Same as RELS 2140) (Even Springs)

PHIL 2210. Dawn of Western Thought: Ancient Philosophy — 3 hrs.

History of philosophy from the Pre-Socratics to late antiquity, with emphasis on Plato and Aristotle. (Odd Falls)

PHIL 2220. Faith and Reason: Philosophy in the Middle Ages — 3 hrs.

Traces the historical development of philosophical thought on the interrelation of religious faith and reason, from late Roman times through the Middle Ages, in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic philosophical traditions. (Same as RELS 2220) (Even Springs)

PHIL 2230. The Age of Reason: Philosophy in the Renaissance and Enlightenment — 3 hrs.

History of philosophy from Renaissance through Hume, with emphasis on continental rationalism and British empiricism. (Even Falls)

PHIL 2240. The Limits of Reason: Modern Philosophy — 3 hrs.

History of philosophy from Kant to present; emphasis on idealism, romanticism, materialism, positivism, phenomenology, existentialism. (Odd Springs)

PHIL 2500. Ethics — 3 hrs.

Study of the major schools of ethical theory through reading major thinkers and their contemporary commentators. Examination of selected theoretical and practical problems in contemporary ethics. Prerequisite(s): one philosophy course or consent of instructor. (Fall and Spring)

PHIL 2550. Environmental Ethics — 3 hrs.

Introduction to and application of ethical theory to environmental issues, including responsibility for plants and animals, pollution, natural resources, and population growth. (Same as RELS 2550) (Odd Falls)

PHIL 3010 (650:151). Money, Sex and Power: Theories of Race, Class and Gender — 3 hrs.

Examination of social and ethical aspects of oppression and privilege in personal and political life. Study of concepts and meaning of categories such as race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality, and evaluation of strategies of resistance and/or accommodation. Prerequisite(s): junior standing. (Same as CAP 3151 (CAP:151)) (Variable)

PHIL 3110 (650:194). Perspectives on Death and Dying — 3 hrs.

Multidisciplinary study of death, dying, and bereavement across cultures, religious and ethnic groups, and historical periods, with attention to ritual and memoir, ethical dilemmas at the end of life, and psychology of mourning. Prerequisite(s): junior standing. (Same as CAP 3194 (CAP:194) and RELS 3110 (640:194)) (Fall and Spring)

PHIL 3186. Studies in Philosophy — 3 hrs.

Study of a philosophical thinker or a problem listed in Schedule of Classes. (Fall and Spring)

PHIL 3310 (650:153g). Philosophy of Mind — 3 hrs.

Examines fundamental questions about the nature of mind, soul, consciousness, artificial intelligence, personal identity and free will, with emphasis on contemporary philosophical theories. (Odd Springs)

PHIL 3320 (650:172). Society, Politics, and the Person — 3 hrs.

Critical investigation of contexts of engagement and responsibility of persons as members of social institutions and as participants in public discourse on policy and law. (Even Springs)

PHIL 3330. Death, Sex and the Body: Phenomenology and Foucault — 3 hrs.

Examination of phenomenology, the description of basic structures of human experience. Focus on Martin Heidegger and others on conscious, practical, social, mortal, and embodied life; then Michel Foucault on forms of power in social science and modern culture. (Odd Falls)

PHIL 3340. Existentialism — 3 hrs.

The unique contribution of existentialism to philosophy in its sustained focus on everyday life: the contradictions of human existence, the human body, the existence of others, and human freedom. (Same as RELS 3340) (Odd Falls)

PHIL 3350. Knowledge and Reality — 3 hrs.

Examines fundamental questions about the conditions, sources, functions and limits of human knowledge, and the nature of belief, truth, evidence, rationality and objectivity, with emphasis on contemporary philosophical theories. (Fall)

PHIL 3510 (650:173). Bio-Medical Ethics — 3 hrs.

Application of principles and analytic methods of ethical theory to contemporary issues in medical practice and research. Topics include fundamental concepts of health and disease, life and death; rights and obligations of medical practitioners and their patients; informed consent and confidentiality; abortion and euthanasia; reproductive and transplantation technologies; and health policy and the provision and rationing of health care. Prerequisite(s): junior standing. (Same as CAP 3173 (CAP:173) and RELS 3510 (640:173)) (Fall and Spring)

PHIL 3610. Nietzsche, Nihilism, and Technology — 3 hrs.

Examination of Nietzsche's genealogy, diagnosis, and prognosis of contemporary nihilism, the experience of one's values as empty or meaningless. Examination of Heidegger's later critique of Nietzsche's views as expressions of problematic aspects of the modern technological age. (Variable)

PHIL 3620. Philosophy of Language: Wittgenstein — 3 hrs.

Examination of Wittgenstein, sometimes called "the two most important philosophers" of the 20th century. Topics include language and formal logic, language as social practice, and ways in which classic philosophical problems arise from a misunderstanding of how we use common words. (Even Springs)

PHIL 3680. Marxisms — 3 hrs.

Marxism as a critical method to examine social, political, and economic issues. Includes classic works of Marx and Engels, varieties of socialism and communism, 60s New Left, socialist feminism, liberation theology, third world liberation, and anti-globalization movements. (Variable)

PHIL 4080. Individual Readings in Philosophy — 1-3 hrs.

Individually arranged readings and reports drawn from history of philosophy or contemporary philosophical problems. May be repeated for maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite(s): junior standing; consent of department head. (Fall and Spring)

PHIL 4490. Senior Seminar — 3 hrs.

Through reflection, integration, and professional discernment, majors in philosophy and in the study of religion will bring their work in their major to critical integration, clarifying what they have done and linking their achievements with life goals. Prerequisite(s): junior standing. (Same as RELS 4490) (Variable)

PHIL 4550. Ethics Practicum — 1-3 hrs.

Combines service-learning with study of theoretical and applied ethics. Students work 4-6 hours per week in a community agency and meet with instructor. May be repeated once. Prerequisite(s): one completed or concurrent ethics course; consent of instructor. (Same as RELS 4550) (Variable)

PHIL 6010 (650:250). Critical Perspectives on Gender — 3 hrs.

Examines gender as a category of critical analysis, including intersections with race, ethnicity, class, sexualities, identities, embodiedness, etc. Explores how feminist theories become methods, ideologies, strategies, lenses and metaphors to understand and challenge our worlds. (Even Springs)

Religion Courses

RELS 1020 (640:024). Religions of the World — 3 hrs.

Living religions with emphasis on texts, beliefs, tradition, values, and practices. (Fall, Spring, Summer)

RELS 1030 (640:030). What is Religion? — 3 hrs.

Basic forms and views of religious phenomena, such as encounter, tradition, ritual, community, divine law, meditation, mysticism, response to life-crisis, and personal growth and fulfillment. (Variable)

RELS 1510 (640:040). Religion, Ethics, and Film — 3 hrs.

Introduction to study of religion through critical examination of a variety of contemporary films. Draws on student visual literacy as an approach to the study of religion. (Variable)

RELS 1540. Ethics in Business — 3 hrs.

Application of ethical principles and analytic methods to contemporary issues in business. Topics include moral responsibility of corporations and their regulation; economic policy, business practices, and social justice; rights and obligations of employers and employees; meaningful work, motivation, and the worker; affirmative action and reverse discrimination; and environment and natural limits of capitalism. (Same as PHIL 1540) (Fall and Spring)

RELS 2001. Old Testament and Other Hebrew Scriptures — 3 hrs.

Introduction to history and ideas of Old Testament and other Hebrew scriptures. (Fall)

RELS 2002. New Testament and Early Christian Writings — 3 hrs.

Introduction to history and ideas of New Testament and early Christian writings. (Spring)

RELS 2100. Great Living Religions: Hinduism and Buddhism — 3 hrs.

Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam. (Even Falls)

RELS 2110. Great Living Religions: Confucianism, Daoism, and Zen — 3 hrs.

Daoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Shintoism. (Odd Falls)

RELS 2120. Great Living Religions: Judaism and Islam — 3 hrs.

Study of the doctrines and practices of Judaism and Islam in their cultural context with attention to historical development and current situation. (Odd Springs)

RELS 2130. Great Living Religions: Christianity — 3 hrs.

Introductory survey of development, beliefs, practices, and varieties of Christianity. (Even Springs)

RELS 2140. Philosophy of Religion — 3 hrs.

Examination of philosophical discussions on the nature and function of religion and religious language; special attention to how philosophical frameworks and methods shape understanding of religion and talk about God and human fulfillment. (Same as PHIL 2140) (Even Springs)

RELS 2210. Angels Across Cultures — 3 hrs.

Study of the persistent belief in angels and angel-like, superhuman beings in different religions and cultures, and examination of dynamics of popular religion. (Odd Springs)

RELS 2220. Faith and Reason: Philosophy in the Middle Ages — 3 hrs.

Traces the historical development of philosophical thought on the interrelation of religious faith and reason in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic philosophical traditions. (Same as PHIL 2220) (Even Springs)

RELS 2225. Meditation and Mystical Experience — 3 hrs.

Examination of various techniques of meditation and their results, drawing from Yoga, Zen, Buddhist, Christian, and secular sources, including first-hand accounts of meditational practice and philosophic and psychological studies in the area of mysticism. (Variable)

RELS 2401. Tribal Religions — 3 hrs.

Tribal Religions is designed to provide students with an introduction to the religions and spirituality of indigenous societies from around the world. Special attention is given to the relationships between religion and the environment, and between religion and the social, political and economic organizations of a society. (Same as ANTH 2401) (Fall)

RELS 2550. Environmental Ethics — 3 hrs.

Introduction to and application of ethical theory to environmental issues, including responsibility for plants and animals, pollution, natural resources, and population growth. (Same as PHIL 2550) (Odd Falls)

RELS 3080/5080 (640:189g). Individual Readings in Religion — 1-3 hrs.

Individually-arranged readings and reports from: (1) biblical studies, (2) history of religions, or (3) contemporary religious thought. Can be repeated for maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite(s): junior standing; consent of department head. (Fall and Spring)

RELS 3103 (640:161). Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft — 3 hrs.

This course emphasizes a comparative and anthropological approach to the study of religion, magic and witchcraft. Course content includes the study of classical theoretical frameworks that explain religious beliefs and practices and in-depth discussions on diverse religious systems. Prerequisite(s): ANTH 1002 (990:011) and junior standing; or consent of instructor. (Same as ANTH 3103 (990:161)) (Spring)

RELS 3110 (640:194). Perspectives on Death and Dying — 3 hrs.

Multidisciplinary study of death, dying, and bereavement across cultures, religious and ethnic groups, and historical periods, with attention to ritual and memoir, ethical dilemmas at the end of life, and psychology of mourning. Prerequisite(s): junior standing. (Same as CAP 3194 (CAP:194) and PHIL 3110 (650:194)) (Fall and Spring)

RELS 3120. Myth and Symbol — 3 hrs.

Investigation of meaning and significance of religious myths and symbols, and theories used to study them. (Variable)

RELS 3130. Religion and Sexuality — 3 hrs.

Examination of ways in which religions shape and reflect ideas about the body and sexuality. (Variable)

RELS 3140. Religion and Its Critics — 3 hrs.

Issues raised by encounter between traditional Christian faith and modern concepts and methods of philosophy, science, history, sociology, and cultural criticism. Examination of positions of both 19th- and 20th-century theologians. (Odd Springs)

RELS 3150. Women and Christianity — 3 hrs.

Examination of history and function of gender in symbolization of Christian tradition; exploration of institutionalization of sex roles in Christianity; discussion of interaction between the Christian religion and cultural patterns that define the social role, status, and image of women. Interested students are encouraged to contact the instructor. (Variable)

RELS 3160. Religion and Society — 3 hrs.

Religious institutions and their social context; key issues located at the intersection of religion and society (e.g., violence), and social function of religion. (Odd Springs)

RELS 3170. Why We Believe — 3 hrs.

What do witches, monsters, and gods have in common? This course draws on psychology to explore the origins of human religious belief among children and to understand how we develop our capacity for religious belief. (Odd Falls)

RELS 3310 (640:138). Malcolm, Martin, and Justice — 3 hrs.

How might religious leaders insert themselves in the struggle for justice and human rights? Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. represent the intricate involvement of black religious leaders in the African American struggle for social, political, and economic justice. (HUM 3138 (680:138)) (Variable)

RELS 3320 (640:140). Black Liberation and the Black Church — 3 hrs.

Explores black liberation in America through advancing the understanding of black nationalism, the black church, and black liberation theology from an historical and social/political perspective. Some knowledge of African American culture and thought recommended. (Variable)

RELS 3340. Existentialism — 3 hrs.

The unique contribution of existentialism to philosophy in its sustained focus on everyday life: the contradictions of human existence, the human body, the existence of others, and human freedom. (Same as PHIL 3340) (Odd Falls)

RELS 3500 (640:171). Religion and Ethics — 3 hrs.

Examination of key issues having to do with religion and ethics, including the moral function of religion, religious pluralism, war and peace, freedom and responsibility, religion and politics, religion and gender, and social justice. (Variable)

RELS 3510 (640:173). Bio-Medical Ethics — 3 hrs.

Application of principles and analytic methods of ethical theory to contemporary issues in medical practice and research. Topics include fundamental concepts of health and disease, life and death; rights and obligations of medical practitioners and their patients; informed consent and confidentiality; abortion and euthanasia; reproductive and transplantation technologies; and health policy and the provision and rationing of health care. Prerequisite(s): junior standing. (Same as CAP 3173 (CAP:173) and PHIL 3510 (650:173)) (Fall and Spring)

RELS 4186/5186 (640:186g). Studies in Religion — 3 hrs.

Topics listed in Schedule of Classes. Prerequisite(s): junior standing. (Fall and Spring)

RELS 4230/5230 (640:117g). Religion in America — 3 hrs.

Investigation of religious movements and beliefs from colonial times to present, with attention to religion and the U.S. Constitution. Prerequisite(s): junior standing. (Same as HISUS 4250/5250 (961:145g)) (Fall)

RELS 4490. Senior Seminar — 3 hrs.

Through reflection, integration, and professional discernment, majors in philosophy and the study of religion will bring their work in the major to critical integration, clarifying what they have done and linking their achievements with life goals. Prerequisite(s): junior standing. (Same as PHIL 4490) (Variable)

RELS 4550. Ethics Practicum — 1-3 hrs.

Combines service-learning with study of theoretical and applied ethics. Students work 4-6 hours per week in a community agency and meet with instructor. May be repeated once. Prerequisite(s): one completed or concurrent ethics course; consent of instructor. (Same as PHIL 4550) (Variable)