Education In Religion And Philosophy Term Paper

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tatement of philosophy

The education mission of the philosophy and religion department serves the

general studies core and the major. The department takes seriously its

obligation to introduce general studies students to philosophy and religion as

humanities disciplines. All courses at the 100 and 200 level are open to and

designed for students at different stages of their general education, yet the

department also seeks to offer a balanced array of courses for majors and


Course offerings in philosophy introduce students to logic, the history of

western philosophy, a sample of important areas of philosophical investigation

and applied philosophy. In every philosophy course, the careful analysis and

construction of arguments is emphasized. Reading and discussion of primary

sources is preferred to textbook summaries in most courses.

Course offerings in religion cover biblical studies, the history of Christian

thought, world religions (Judaism, Islam, and South and East Asian religions),

and religious ethics. Nearly all courses contain a strong emphasis on the

historical development of religious ideas and practices. Students are taught to

interpret texts rather than to amass pre-interpreted information.

Since the core religion requirement is connected with the college’s identity as

a liberal arts college in the Christian tradition, the department offers a wide

variety of courses which introduce students to the sources and development of

the Christian tradition, with other religious traditions presented on their own

terms, not in relation to Christianity.


Philosophy major requirements

30 semester hours

Including 3 semester hours in logic:

PHIL 125 General Logic (3)

221t Classical Thought (3)

222t Modern Thought (3)

18 semester hours at the 200-300 level

Philosophy minor requirements

15 semester hours

9 semester hours at the 200-300 level, including:

PHIL 125 General Logic (3)

3 semester hours in history of philosophy:

221t Classical Thought (3)

222t Modern Thought (3)

3 semester hours from the following:

240t Political Philosophy (3)

260t Metaphysics (3)

261t Moral Philosophy (3)

262 Philosophies of the Sciences (3)

264t Theory of Knowledge

360It Readings in Metaphysics (3)

361It Readings in Moral Philosophy (3)

399I Independent Study (Arr)

Philosophy/religion minor requirements

18 semester hours

18 semester hours from the philosophy/religion tracks, selected to focus on a

particular theme such as great ideas, beliefs and values, or the Christian

faith. The department must approve the minor, both as to thematic focus

and to the courses used to satisfy it.

Students wishing to complete such a minor should have a minor adviser within

the department. With department approval, one course from outside the

department and outside the student’s first major may be used to count

toward the minor.

Critical thinking minor requirement

18 semester hours

18 semester hours chosen from the following list:

One advanced course from the student’s major field which treats theory or

methodology (subject to the approval of the philosophy and religion).

At least one course in logic or persuasion:

PHIL 125 General Logic

221t Classical Thought or

COMM 318 Persuasion

At least two courses in the history of thought:

PHIL 221t Classical Thought

222t Modern Thought

223 Contemporary Thought or

REL 230r Asian Religions

272r Modern Christian Thought or

One course (if needed) from:

PHIL 120ft Introduction to Philosophy

121ft Ethics or

REL 112fr The Christian Heritage or

255r Christian Ethics

Communication skills endorsement

The skills endorsement of the philosophy and religion department indicates

that the student who completes a major in either philosophy or religion can

verbally communicate at the high level appropriate for the recipient of a

Bachelor of Arts degree in core areas of a liberal-arts curriculum.

To insure achievement at the required level, the communication performance

of philosophy and religion majors will be monitored from the time of

declaration. An evaluation of the student’s abilities will be made in the

earliest class possible and assessments and recommendations deriving from

this evaluation will be discussed with the student and the student’s adviser.

Where appropriate, evaluation and recommendation will continue through the

coursework in the major until such time as the appropriate faculty (philosophy

or religion) is satisfied that the student is consistently performing at the

desired level.

Course offerings in PHIL

120ft Introduction to Philosophy (3)

An examination of four significant philosophical issues, typically including one

social issue (e.g., the morality of capital punishment), ethical relativism and

objectivity, relationship between human freedom and the scientific outlook,

and rationality of belief in God). Develops analytical thinking, critical reading

and writing and sensitivity to argumentation.

121ft Ethics (3)

The course examines two questions which have exercised moral philosophers

in the West at least since the time of Plato: Are assessments of moral right

and wrong any more than expressions of personal or group preferences? What

is the proper relation between morality and the law in a society that values

highly the rights and interests of individuals? The course promotes college-level

skills especially writing and analytical reading.

122f Social Issues (3)

Addresses issues that create conflicts and controversies in contemporary

society such as the legality and morality of abortion, the death penalty,

homosexuality, and pornographic material. Promotes college-level skills,

especially writing and analytical reading.

Word Count: 841

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