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Philosophy and Religion



PHIL 103. Introduction to Philosophy. (3) A survey of basic problems in philosophy: the nature of reality, the reaches of human knowledge, the quest for identity, the relation of mind and body, freedom and necessity, definitions of truth, and various conceptions of the good life.

PHIL 211. Introduction to Logic. (3) A study of the techniques of critical thinking with the aim of making logic a tool for data analytics and reasoning in everyday life. Emphasis will be on distinguishing between arguments and non-arguments, distinguishing between deductive and inductive arguments, evaluating arguments in terms of their soundness and validity, identifying common formal and informal fallacies, and translating ordinary language statements into various systems of logic. No prerequisite; open to all students. Cross-listed with DATA 211.

PHIL 220. Contemporary Ethical Problems. (3) An introduction to ethical methodology and its practical application to contemporary problems. Current issues to be explored may include pornography, sexual ethics, affirmative action, criminal justice, abortion, and the environment.

PHIL 222. Business Ethics. (3) Explores the moral problems that are often raised for people working in the professions. This class will begin by examining moral theory and the logical reasoning of moral decision making. Issues to be studied may include due process, race, gender, prefessional codes of ethics, confidentiality, loyalty, corruption, just use of force, and contemporary issues in the business world.

PHIL 226. Leadership Ethics. (3) This course will introduce students to the ethical dilemmas that face leaders and will prepare students to create and sustain themselves as ethical decision makers.

PHIL 310. Philosophy of Law. (3) An examination of fundamental issues in the philosophy of law, including the origin, evolution, and current status of law in the West. Issues to be explored will include the relationship between morality and the law, theories of punishment and reform, theories of justice, and the obligation to obey the law or dissent from the law.

PHIL 312. Social and Political Philosophy. (3) Humans are social beings and work and live in political communities, yet we have different values, moral rules, and views on how resources are distributed. We argue about how to organize, who should lead us, equality, when or if we should fight each other, issues of race and gender, and the limits of religion. These are the concerns of social and political philosophy. This course will serve as an introduction to social and political philosophy looking at these issues and others through the work of such intellectual giants as Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Mill, Hobbes, Marx, Hume, Rawls, De Beauvoir, and a slate of more contemporary figures concerned with social justice in pluralistic globalized societies.

PHIL 315. Philosophy of Religion. (3) A critical examination of the philosophical arguments offered for the existence of God, the occurrence of miracles, the status of religious experience, faith and reason, the relationship between God and morality, the Problem of Evil, the conflicting claims of the world's religions, and the existence of an afterlife.

PHIL 356. Ethics for Health Care Professionals. (3) Nurses encounter issues on a day-to-day basis, for example, questions about keeping people alive indefinitely and end-of-life care. Other ethical issues that arise are related to informed consent, confidentiality, and reproduction and genetics. Nurses have a responsibility to protect patients. While nursing knowledge and skills are important, an understanding of ethical principles and models are also important to influence patient care outcomes. Along with the ANA's Code of Ethics, this course will help guide nurses through the ethical decision making process. Cross-listed with NURS 356.


RELG 201. Introduction to Religion. (3) A study of the various forms of expression found in religious systems. The focus will be on people's understanding of God/gods, rituals, moral issues, and notions of sin, evil, and salvation.

RELG 203. Interpreting Christian Traditions. (3) Who wrote the Bible? What do Christians believe about heaven, hell, and Satan? What is the difference between Roman Catholics and Protestants? The answer to these and many other questions will be explored as we study the basic beliefs, rituals, and social formations of Christianity from New Testament times to the modern era. The class will examine both the development of Christian doctrines within their historical contexts as well as the institutional structure and spiritual formation of a variety of Christian groups.

RELG 219. Introduction to World Religions. (3) An examination of several of the world's major religious traditions. The course will study the various components that comprise religious systems as well as the diverse ways religious groups express themselves on the current global stage. Religions to be studied may include Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

RELG 238. Religion in America. (3) A survey of major religious groups and movements within the American context. Special emphasis will be given to the diversity of religious experience in America. Topics to be discussed may also include the relationship between church and state, religious freedom, institutional revivalism, and evangelicalism.

RELG 240. New Religious Movements in America. (3) An in-depth look at several homemade varieties of religion. The course will study the historical context in which new religious activity occurred as well as the ideas, experiences, and significant individuals unique to each religious movement. Topics may include Mormonism, Christian Science, Pentecostalism, Christian Identity Movement (white supremacists), and Scientology.

RELG 308. God, Persons, and the World. (3) The Christian faith is explored both systematically in terms of its major components as a belief system, and topically in terms of representative contemporary thinkers who attempt to explore the relationship between the claims of faith and the particular era in which we are living. Prerequisite: RELG 203 or permission of the instructor.

RELG 343. Women and Religion. (3) A study of various expressions of Christianity by and about women. The course will explore the relationship between women, the church, and culture throughout the Western tradition, as well as contemporary religious issues in light of feminist arguments.