Religion & Philosophy
Religion & Philosophy Courses
GRK 111. Elementary Greek I 3
Basic introduction to Koine Greek, the language of the New Testament. Meets GE Language requirements. Fall in alternate (odd numbered) years.
GRK 112. Elementary Greek II 3
Continuing basic instruction in Koine Greek, the language of the New Testament. Meets GE Language requirements. Spring in alternate (even numbered) years.
GRK 327. Special Topics 3
Options for students to study, according to their interests, a variety of topics not covered in regular courses, e.g. Greek New Testament. Offered on demand.
GRK 457, 458. Directed Readings 2–3
Independent readings directed by a member of the department faculty and approved by the department chairperson.
GRK 460. Independent Study 3
An individual program of reading and research directed by a member of the department faculty and approved by the department chairperson.
HEB 115. Hebrew I 3
Introduction to classical Biblical Hebrew. Meets GE Language requirements. Fall in alternate (even numbered) years.
HEB 116. Hebrew II 3
Continuation of HEB 115. Meets GE Language requirements. Spring in alternate (odd numbered) years.
HEB 327. Special Topics 3
Options for students to study, according to their interests, a variety of topics not covered in regular courses. To be announced by the department.
PHI 215. Problems in Philosophy 3
The meaning of life, the meaning of death, what is real, how do you know, what is a self, are male and female selves different, and so what? These questions and more are explored, reading philosophers from around the world, male and female, who write in a variety of styles.
PHI 261 Internship 1–3
A student/agency originated and departmentally approved field-learning experience.
PHI 325. Ancient Philosophy 3
Thales, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics – the Greek and Roman roots of the western intellectual tradition.
PHI 326. Modern Philosophy 3
Key philosophers from the 17th to 19th centuries, including Continental Rationalism (Descartes) and British Empiricism (Hobbes and Locke) to Kant and 19th century responses (Kierkegaard and Nietzche).
PHI 327. Special Topics in Philosophy 3
Occasional or experimental courses offered due to particular student or faculty interest. To be announced by the department.
PHI 330. Social and Organizational Ethics 3
This course is an exploration of the ways in which ethical theory from the western tradition can inform serious issues and problems in business and non-profit organizations. Conversely, the course will explore ways in which actual situations and contexts of case studies from business and non-profit organizations challenge and shape ethical theory. Fall.
PHI 331. Contemporary Philosophy 3
Twentieth-century developments in philosophy including existentialism and phenomenology; process and feminist philosophy; deconstruction and post-modernism; issues concerning language and science.
PHI 344. Philosophy of Religion 3
The nature of religious language; the existence of God; reason, revelation, and faith; the problems of evil, miracles and prayer, and immortality.
PHI 457, 458. Directed Readings 2–3
Independent readings directed by a member of the department faculty.
PHI 460. Independent Study 3
An individual program of reading and research directed by a member of the department faculty and approved by the Curriculum Committee of the college.
PHI 461: Internship 1–3
See PHI 261.
REL 111. Bible: Hebrew Scriptures Introduction 3
Introduces academic Biblical studies focusing on the literary and historical critical study of the Hebrew Scriptures, otherwise known as the Old Testament. Prerequisites: none. Offered every third semester (Fall 2008, Spring 2010, etc.). Required for majors.
REL 112. Bible: New Testament Introduction 3
Introduces academic Biblical studies focusing on the literary and historical critical study of the New Testament and Early Christian Literature. Prerequisites: none. Offered every third semester (Spring 2009, Fall 2010, etc). Required for majors.
REL 115. Religion: Search for Meaning 3
Introduces the fundamental significance of the religious dimensions of life through an exploration of an array of religious systems that express the human experience of ultimate meaning. Prerequisites: none. Offered every third semester (Fall 2009, Spring 2011, etc.). Required for majors.
REL 201. The Bible as Literature 3
A literary-critical introduction to the sacred scriptures of Judaism and Christianity. We seek to understand the many genres of Biblical literature and to consider how the narratives, images, and themes of Biblical literature have shaped our world. Meets GE connector requirements for Literature. Prerequisites: ENG 112 or the equivalent. Every other Spring.
REL 203. Jesus 3
A semester long study of Jesus of Nazareth, focusing on the historical, religious, theological, and literary significance of his life and teachings. Prerequisites: it is strongly suggested that students complete REL 112 before taking this course. Every other Fall.
REL 235. Judaism 3
Judaism is at once a sister faith with Christianity, and the faith from which Christianity developed much of its form, beliefs and worship styles. The two share many touchstones of belief: sacred literature, the idea and role of God, and God’s purposes in creation and history. This course introduces the distinctive history, literature, thought, beliefs and practices of Judaism. It presents the wide diversity of faithful Jewish expression, from earliest times depicted in the Old Testament, through the faith’s modern expressions. Sponsored by the Jewish Chautaqua Society. *Meets American Diversity Connectors requirement.
REL 237. Religions in America 3
This course traces themes and influences in American religion. In addition to investigating various Christian expressions of religion in America (e.g. Puritanism, the rise of denominations, and sects), the course will examine how other world religions (including Native American religion) have made their presence seen and impact felt upon the American religious scene. Finally, using lenses of race, class, and gender, this course will view the fuller pluralism that makes up “Religion in America.” Throughout we will maintain a dual focus on how the various religious traditions change the American environment and how America changes its multi-religious context. Meets American Diversity Connectors requirement.
REL 240. Islam 3
An introduction to the theologies, practices, cultures, and varieties of Islam, from its founding in the 7th century C.E. to its present forms around the world. The course will include the life of Mohammed and the incorporation of Muhammad the Prophet into the faith tradition; the early spread of Islam and the relationships between religion and politics throughout Islamic history and cultures; the teachings of the Qur’an, the Hadith and the Shar’iah; Islam and other religious traditions – interreligious dialogue; the practice of Islam in daily lives; the roles of women and men in Islam across cultures; the varieties of Islam (Sunnis, Shi’ites, Sufism), and contemporary Islamic movements. Offered every third Spring. Prerequisites: REL 115 or permission of instructor.
REL 241. Hinduism and Buddhism 3
This course examines two of the religions born in India: Hinduism and Buddhism. These ancient traditions respond to human questions about the nature of suffering and anxiety and how to live in a world filled with loss. The relationships between Buddhism and its parent religion, Hinduism, will be explored historically and philosophically. India, Nepal, and Thailand will be the geographic and cultural context for the course, which will consider philosophical and doctrinal issues, as well as cultural issues, such as the roles of men and women, the relationship between politics, and religion, inter-religious dialogue, and ecological concerns raised by in these traditions in the past and today. Offered every third Spring. Prerequisite: REL 115 or permission of instructor.
REL 242. Confucianism, Taoism, and Zen 3
This course introduces the historical, signature religions and philosophies of East Asia. Attention in the course will focus upon the historical, theological and cultural dimensions of each tradition, and how each tradition has not only shaped the countries where these religions have flourished, but how the traditions keep on influencing the larger world today. Prerequisite: REL 115 or permission of instructor. Offered every third Spring.
REL 261. Internship 1-9
A first-time student/agency-originated and departmentally approved field-learning experience which enables students to apply previously attained knowledge and skills and to attain certain specified new learning goals in a work-related environment.
REL 312. OT Studies 3
An in-depth study of a special topic in the study of the Hebrew Scriptures, Apocrypha, or Pseudepigrapha. Prerequisites: it is strongly suggested that students take REL 111 prior to registering for this course. Every other Fall.
REL 315. Youth Ministry 3
An introduction to theories and practices of ministry with youth in the Christian tradition. Special consideration is given to : 1) philosophical and theological foundations for youth ministry; 2) psychological and social science research on the needs and challenges of adolescence; and 3) practical expressions of ministry with young people. Offered during Spring in alternate (odd numbered) years.
REL 320. The Ancient World 3
Students and the professor will conduct critical historical inquiries into the societies, religions, and cultures of the major civilizations of the Ancient Mesopotamian, Near Eastern, and Mediterranean worlds, beginning with ancient Sumer and continuing as far as the birth of Islamic civilization in Late Antiquity. Offered every other year.
REL 322. NT Studies 3
An in-depth study of a special topic in the study of New Testament and Early Christian Literature. Prerequisites: it is strongly suggested that students take REL 112 prior to registering for this course. Every other Spring.
REL 327. Special Topics 1–3
Options for students to study, according to student and faculty interests. Courses will explore a variety of topics not covered in regular courses. Topic announced in advance by the department. Offered as announced by the department.
REL 331. Prodigal Sisters: Rabbinic Judaism & Early Christianity 3
This course examines the early history and origins of the “sister religions” Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism. We seek to understand how and why these once very closely related religions “parted ways,” and to explore the legacy of their mutual alienation. Prerequisites: REL 111 and REL 112, or permission of instructor. Every other Spring.
REL 332. The Church from the Reformation to the Present 3
A survey of the Christian Church from the sixteenth century, tracing the main developments within the Roman Church and the emergence of the major Protestant denominations with emphasis on the free church tradition. Offered on demand.
REL 334. Contemporary Christian Thought 3
The roots of contemporary Christian thought, the basic theological issues today, and major theologians and their thoughts are studied. Offered every third Fall.
REL 336. Women and Religion 3
An exploration of autobiographical, critical, and creative work on the roles of women in the texts, history, and theology of the Christian tradition. Opportunity will also be given for study of women in Judaism, Islam, and goddess traditions. The course will examine tensions between the tradition and the experience of women with regard to some central issues, including religious language, conceptions of human and divine natures, diversity and sexuality. Offered during Spring in alternate (odd numbered) years.
REL 337. Renaissance and Reformation 3
The Renaissance, the Reformation, and the development of modern states under absolution. Alternate years.
REL 341. Christian Ethics 3
The basis for making ethical decisions is related to the different areas of life in which decisions are made. Offered every third Fall.
REL 343. Religion in Appalachia 3
The nature, development, and practice of religion in its theological, ethical, and institutional dimensions within the context of Southern and Appalachian society and culture. Meets Regional Studies and Women’s Studies requirements. Offered on demand.
REL 345. Answering Critics of Christianity 3
This course engages students with the historic challenges to the Christian faith, and prepares one to interact intelligently with these challenges’ rejection or questioning the meaning of religion in general and Christianity in particular. After reading C.S. Lewis and getting in touch with the faith’s non-negotiable elements, the course is then divided into two sections: (1) Rock Throwers: those positioned outside the Christian faith and who cast their intellectual stones at the faith and the faithful; and (2) Lover’s Quarrels: those who choose to stay within the CHurch and attempt to love, wrestle, argue and otherwise seek to convert the Church into what they think it must and should be: a vessel of grace and peace, large enough for all humankind. Through both, the course seeks to render Christian faith more difficult, and thus more possible. Offered during Spring in alternate (even numbered) years. Suggested prerequisite: REL 115 or a philosophy course.
REL 426. Social and Psychological Aspects of Religion 3
A seminar designed to review selected sociological and psychological theories of religion with attendant supporting data. Attention is given to the structure and function of religion at the individual, group, and societal levels with emphasis on the causes, patterns, and consequences of religious behavior for the individual and for society. Offered on demand.
REL 450. Religion Seminar 3
Research and writing with the focus on textual or biblical, historical, and philosophical or theological studies. Prerequisites: ENG 112 and senior status. Fall.
REL 457, 458. Directed Readings 2–3
Independent readings directed by a member of the departmental faculty.
REL 460. Independent Study 3
An individual program of reading and research directed by a member of the department faculty and approved by the department chairperson and the college curriculum committee.
REL 461. Internship 1–9
Advanced internship possibilities. Work with LifeWorks Learning Partnership and with Religion/Philosophy Department.