Philosophy and Religion (B.A.)

The department offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree with a major in Philosophy and Religion. If a student has a first major that requires a Bachelor of Science or other bachelor's degree, the department may approve the Philosophy and Religion major as a second major under the B.S. or other bachelor's degree.

Majors and minors have the option of blending courses between philosophy and religion. Graduating majors will complete a traditional thesis with opportunities for public presentation and publication, or a culminating project with real-world focus and opportunities for practicum.

Core Requirements

3 courses;
9 hours minimum
Philosophy and Religion major (34 hours hours)
Select one course in Philosophy, one course in Religion, and a third course from either.  

Philosophy Courses:

 

Religion Courses:

 
Intermediate-Level Requirements 5 courses;
15 hours minimum

At least two courses must be 3000 or 4000 level.

 
Electives 2 courses;
6 hours minimum
See department chair for a list of Electives  
Capstone Courses 2 courses;
4 hours minimum
Senior Proposal  
PHIL 3990 Senior Proposal or
RELIG 3990 Senior Proposal
 
Senior Project  
PHIL 4990 Senior Project or
RELIG 4990 Senior Project
 

* Minimum 12 hours of 3000-4000 level work must be completed in major. Make sure to work with advisor to check that all upper-level hours are completed in plan.

**A Philosophy and Religion major customarily earns a B.A. degree. However, if a student has a first major that is associated with a different baccalaureate degree, the Philosophy and Religion major may serve as a second major for the degree associated with the first major (B.S., B.FA., B.M., B.S.N.). 

PHIL 1100FYW Introduction to Philosophy (4 hours)

This course examines a variety of philosophies and practices types of philosophical writing. As part of the Archway Curriculum Chaos thread, this course asks about what is or was radical and transformative in the history of philosophy, and engages with what is - or could be - radical and transformative by today's standards.
(Normally offered each fall semester.)

Archway Curriculum: First-Year Curriculum: First-Year Writing
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Chaos Thread
PHIL 2020 Ethics (4 hours)

This course examines several normative ethical principles and examines how these principles are used to argue for and justify ethical conclusions. Students will study normative principles from the western philosophical tradition and examine applied ethical issues including, but not limited to animal ethics, abortion, euthanasia, economic justice, and capital punishment. Students will develop their critical thinking and writing skills by evaluating real-world case studies in light of what they learned.

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Writing Instructive
Archway Curriculum: Justice Thread
PHIL 2030 Logic (3 hours)

Logic offers the study and application of the four integrated systems of formal logic: categorical, propositional, symbolic, and predicate logic. Study of these systems provides in-depth analysis of deductive reasoning and arguments. You will learn how to quantify ordinary language statements, analyze their component logical functions, evaluate and construct deductive arguments, classify premises and conclusions, test for truth value, prove the validity of arguments, test and provide for missing premises, and apply the skills and methods of formal logic to complex arguments.

Archway Curriculum: Foundational Literacies: Mathematical Problem Solving
PHIL 2040 The Origin of Western Democratic Thinking: Ancient Greece (3 hours)

We engage with ideas from a variety of ancient Greek sources, including the preserved texts of mythmakers, philosophers, "sophists," politicians, and playwrights, to explore the philosophical origins and practices of Western democracy. We examine Athenian and non-Athenian forms of life through the collapse of Athenian democracy, and conclude with an examination of the 'schools of thought' that emerge from this collapse. Along the way, we discern and evaluate a variety of concepts and practices integral to ancient political life, including the defining features and cultural requirements of a democracy, criticisms and challenges to these features and requirements, and multiple accounts of citizenship and justice.

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Discourse Instructive
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Democracy Thread
PHIL 2050 God and Science in Medieval Christian, Jewish, and Islamic Philosophies (3 hours)

This course examines issues about God, faith, reason, knowledge, causation, whether the world is eternal or has a beginning, and science among other issues as found in the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic philosophical traditions from about 400 CE to about 1400 CE.

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Speaking Instructive
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Science and Religion Thread
PHIL 2060 God and Science in Early Modern Philosophies from 1600-1899 (3 hours)

This course examines issues about God, faith, reason, certainty, doubt, causation, immortality of the soul, and science among other issues as discussed in mostly European philosophical traditions from 1600-1899.

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Speaking Instructive
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Science and Religion Thread
PHIL 2260 Philosophy of Education (4 hours)

This course examines some of the most influential theories and ideas about education from an historical and thematic perspective.

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Discourse Instructive
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Power Thread
PHIL 2300 Philosophies of Race and Gender (3 hours)

Most Americans have some understanding of how the categories of race and gender influence our personal and social identities. Yet many Americans also assume that race and gender are "natural," i.e., that we are born into a certain race and naturally embody a certain sex. In this course, we will examine these assumptions by reading, discussing, and critically assessing the arguments for and against the "naturalness" of race and gender. We will consider how categories of race and gender position us, historically and philosophically, as a person of a certain "type" from whom certain behaviors are expected. We will look at socio-economic conditions and philosophic positions that support or challenge racism, sexism, classism, segregation, and violence.
Cross listed with GEND 2300P.
(Normally offered alternate years.)

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Diversity Instructive: U.S.
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Gender and Sexuality Thread
PHIL 2400 Social-Political Philosophy (4 hours)

This course focuses upon modern, late modern, and contemporary thinking that influences the philosophy and practice of "democracy." We study a variety of a traditional and innovative writings that support and challenge 'democratic' living. We also engage in informed analyses and discussions of our own social and political experiences, culminating in the collaborative creation of our own 'democracies' toward the end of the semester.

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Discourse Instructive
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Democracy Thread
PHIL 2410 Theories Of Justice (4 hours)

Theories of Justice explores the theoretical foundations of justice work by studying diverse theories of justice, examing the inter-relationships between theory and practice, considering the possibilities inherent in such a realtionship, and prompting critcal assessment of subject positions within "efforts to realize a more just society".

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Writing Instructive
Archway Curriculum: Justice Thread
PHIL 2800 Mythologies Mythologies (4 hours)

In this course we study and assess a variety of mythologies from around the world, paying attention to the cultural circumstances from which these myths emerge, and the different types of belief systems the myths answer to and inspire. The instructor of the course will determine which mythologies are studied. These may include, but are not limited to: Greek, African, Celtic, Egyptian, Buddhist, and Hindu mythologies. Students may repeat the course with departmental permission when the study of different mythologies is offered.

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Discourse Instructive
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Science and Religion Thread
PHIL 3210 Philosophy of Religion (3 hours)

This is a survey of issues in the philosophy of religion.  The main focus will be on issues found in western religious traditions, especially Christianity, with brief excursions into non-western traditions. These issues may include: arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil, understanding the divine attributes, miracles, mysticism, religious pluralism, and life after death.

Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Science and Religion Thread
Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Writing Instructive
PHIL 3250 Philosophy of Science (3 hours)

An examination of selected topics in philosophy of science.  Topics may include theories of explanation, confirmation, reduction, laws, the status of theoretical entities, and the epistemological foundations of scientific theories.  This course may be taken more than once with department approval.

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Writing Instructive
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Science and Religion Thread
PHIL 3270 Feminist Theories (3 hours)

An exploration of the varieties of contemporary feminist thought. We will examine ideas of convergence among feminist philosophers but also attend to the issues that divide them. Special consideration will be given to race, class, and gender both in terms of the sex/gender distinction and theorists who argue against this distinction. Having established that feminism is not a single, homogeneous system, we will also explore the local, national, and global implications of feminisms for the 21st century.
Cross listed with GEND 3270.

Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Gender and Sexuality Thread
Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Speaking Instructive
Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Diversity Instructive: Global
PHIL 3300 Radical Philosophies (4 hours)

This course focuses on a radical thinker or radical thinking within the late modern, postmodern, or contemporary era. We explore what is radical, revolutionary, experimental, or 'avant garde,' and learn to identify what places a person, idea, or movement outside the "norm." We address questions like: What influences or impacts a philosophically innovative idea? How do we distinguish what is radical or subversive from what is merely repetitive or conservative? What is the impact of a philosophy on its larger culture? What role does experience and context play on the radicals who live these ideas? The course may be taken more than once with departmental approval.

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Speaking Instructive
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Chaos Thread
PHIL 3950 Independent Study (1-4 hours)

This is a research course. The student initially meets with the department chair to select a study topic and review research methods. At this time the student will be assigned a faculty resource person to guide his or her work and assist in an advisory capacity. A copy of the student's work is filed in the archives for the department. Independent Study may not duplicate courses described in the catalog.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the department chair.

PHIL 3960 Special Projects (1-15 hours)

Supervised individual projects for students on topics selected by the student in consultation with the instructor. Special Projects may not duplicate courses described in the catalog.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

PHIL 3990 Senior Proposal (1-3 hours)

Required of graduating majors prior to or concurrent with their senior projects. The course consists of designing, preparing, and developing the proposal for the final project. Schedules and requirements to be determined in consultation with the student's primary reader or departmental supervisor.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the department chair.

PHIL 4980 Senior Seminar (3 hours)

A research seminar in which students conducting their research to satisfy the senior comprehensive requirement meet regularly to share insights, progress, and problems encountered along the way.

PHIL 4990 Senior Project (3 hours)

A semester-long project for majors that fulfills the requirements of PHIL 3990 Senior Proposal.
Prerequisite(s): PHIL 3990.

RELIG 1150 World Religions (3 hours)

This course is a study of the cultural settings, lives of founders when appropriate, oral or written traditions and literature, worldviews, myths, rituals, ideals of conduct, and development of some of the world's religions. Religions studied will typically include tribal religions, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confuciansim, Shinto, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, and Bahai. Readings, videos, and websites will help introduce and illustrate not only the cultural settings in which these religions appear, but also the voices and faces of contemporary religious practitioners.
(Normally offered each fall semester.)

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Diversity Instructive: Global
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Power Thread
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: UC Reflected Self Thread
RELIG 1220 Introduction to the Old Testament (3 hours)

This course provides the historical, cultural, and religious contexts of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (the Torah, Prophets, and Writings) - a collection of texts whose creation, interpretation, and transmission takes place over many generations and represents a multiplicity of voices.
(Normally offered each fall semester.)

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Speaking Instructive
RELIG 1230 Introduction to the New Testament (3 hours)

This course offers an introduction to the collections of materials documenting the origins of Christianity, commonly known as the New Testament. Focus lies in the texts and beyond, including the social, literary, ideological, and theological contexts in which they emerged and which they reflect, and to the various critical methodologies and terms employed in interpreting them.
(Normally offered each spring semester.)

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Speaking Instructive
RELIG 2250 Religion, Peace and Social Justice (3 hours)

This course explores religious responses to social justice issues, such as conflict, poverty, oppression,discrimination, and the environment. Particular focus is lent to the distribution of resources, gender and racial discrimination, war and other forms of violent behavior and the historical, philosophical, religious, economic, cultural influences therein. The course will also show some implications that theories and implementations of justice have that could aid in framing public policy and social justice activism around particular issues.

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Speaking Instructive
Archway Curriculum: Justice Thread
RELIG 2300 Women and Religion (3 hours)

This course will examine the roles and views of women in religious traditions. Students will encounter scholarship on gender, religion, and feminist theology in different traditions. The primary focus of this course will be on the religious traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, although other traditions and contemporary religious movements may be considered.
Cross listed with GEND 2300R.
(Normally offered every year.)

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Diversity Instructive: Global
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Gender and Sexuality Thread
RELIG 2340 Religious Diversity in the United States (3 hours)

Religion in the U.S. is vital and diverse and its study illuminates not only early American society, but also the current pluralism within our contemporary culture. This course will introduce religious traditions in the U.S. through thematic, historical, denominational, and cultural considerations. Though the Puritan roots of U.S. religious history will be considered, this course emphasizes the variety and diversity of religious experiences in the U.S., including Native American, Protestant, Catholic, African-American, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, and Buddhist traditions.
(Normally offered every year.)

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Diversity Instructive: U.S.
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Democracy Thread
RELIG 2350 Judaism, Christianity and Islam (3 hours)

This course explores the formation, differences and conflicts among and between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam through comparative themes.

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Writing Instructive
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Identity Thread
RELIG 2800 Apocalyptic Imagination in America (3 hours)

This course explores a religiously diverse range of end of time stories. Ancient and modern, oral and written, apocalyptic scenarios can function as ethical and political criticism of the status quo, a literature of, by, and for the marginalized, and offer alternative, cosmic justice or future renewal. All of the religions examined, which include tribal, world religions as well as movements that prioritize ethnicity, race, and anti-colonialism are international but will be examined in the context of their contemporary North American expressions.
(Normally offered every year.)

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Diversity Instructive: U.S.
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Chaos Thread
RELIG 2970 Internship Practicum (1-8 hours)

This course allows students to participate in an internship for the purpose of supplementing their academic coursework, exploring vocational options, and professionalizing their approach to career choices. Students might intern as a volunteer in a non-profit organization, as a research or field case study assistant, or in formal or informal ministry or in other relevant areas. P/F only.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the department chair.

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Experiential Learning: Exploratory
RELIG 3110 The Life and Times of Jesus (3 hours)

A study of ancient and modern interpretations of the story of Jesus with a focus on the New Testament, cultures of the early Christian world, and contemporary scholarly issues surrounding the search for the historical Jesus.

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Writing Instructive
RELIG 3120 Life and Letters of Paul (3 hours)

This course will discuss the life and teachings of the apostle Paul and explore how the Pauline legacy that comprises nearly half of the New Testament is received and interpreted. The purpose of this course is to deepen the knowledge of Paul and the Pauline trajectory in the through primary and secondary sources, including non-Christian and contemporary sources.

Prerequisite: 3 credits in Religion or instructor permission.

RELIG 3200 Constructing Religious Identity (3 Hours)

The course explores the modern construction of religion and religions as a legal, international, historical, and cultural category. We will investigate what definitions and assumptions are at work and who religious tradition is invented, maintained, or changed and for what ends. Classifications interrogated include religious, spiritual and secular, academic and folk. Materials and movements examined include intentionally provocative juxtapositions of ancient, new, tribal, world, localized and international. It is common in contemporary discourse to privilege individual freedom to choose or create a religious identity, therefore, this course will pay special attention to the ways in which spirituality obscures the extent to which individualistic ideology legitimates the creation of self-identity through consumer and lifestyle choices.

Archway Curriculum: Essential Connections: Diversity Instructive: Global
Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Identity Thread
RELIG 3950 Independent Study (1-12 hours)

An examination of a particular topic selected by the instructor and the student. This course is primarily research oriented and serves to fill in gaps in the student's academic program or to pursue topics not covered by the regular course offerings. Depending on the topic and the material available, it will be decided whether one final paper, a series of papers, or a reading program is the format to be followed. The student may take this course no more than four times.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor and approval of the department chair.

RELIG 3960 Special Projects (1-15 hours)

Supervised individual projects for students on topics selected by the student in consultation with the instructor. Special Projects may not duplicate courses described in the catalog.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

RELIG 3990 Senior Proposal (1-3 hours)

Required of graduating majors prior to or concurrent with their senior projects. The course consists of designing, preparing, and developing the proposal for the final project. Schedules and requirements to be determined in consultation with the student's primary reader or departmental supervisor.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the department chair.

RELIG 4260 Christian Theology from the Enlightenment to the Mid-Twentieth Century (3 hours)

This course examines the beginnings of modern theological reflection, following the Reformation, and moves forward, following historical developments in Christian theology, into the first half of the twentieth century. The impact of the Enlightenment on theology characterizes the first third of the course. The rise of nineteenth century liberal theology and varied responses to it characterize the second, while the last third of the course takes up neo-orthodoxy, process, and secular theologies.

Archway Curriculum: Integrative Core: Science and Religion Thread
RELIG 4270 Religious Studies from the Mid-Twentieth Century to the Present (3 hours)

This course is an examination of movements in theology and religious studies from the mid-twentieth century to the present. Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant theologians and other contemporary scholars of religion will be considered. Topics to be covered will include theological responses to the holocaust, the modern state of Israel, the debate over the historical Jesus, liberation theologies, and the place of theological and religious scholarship in both the academy and society.

RELIG 4980 Senior Seminar (0-4 hours)

A research seminar in which students conducting their research to satisfy the senior comprehensive requirement meet regularly to share insights, progress, and problems encountered along the way.

RELIG 4990 Senior Project (3 hours)

A semester-long project for majors that fulfills the requirements of RELIG 3990 Senior Proposal.
Prerequisite(s): RELIG 3990.