Religion and Philosophy Courses

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS (RLGN AND PHIL)
(Textbook Information)

Core Exploratory Courses:
Explorations of the Christian Faith

(RLGN Core courses)
Completion of any course in this area (1000-level courses) will meet the College's Core Curriculum requirement for an Exploratory Studies course in Religion. Please note: No other courses in Religion or Philosophy will fulfill this requirement. These courses have no prerequisites.

RLGN 1101 Introduction to Christianity.
(3)
An introduction to the Christian tradition of faith through a study of its central symbols, sacred texts, and practices.

RLGN 1102 Jewish Origins in Context.
(3)
A study of the Hebrew bible, commonly called by Christians ―the Old Testament,‖ in the context of the ancient Near Eastern world. The course asks students to reflect on the impact of the Hebrew bible on Western civilization and its implications for the contemporary world.

RLGN 1103 New Testament Writings in Context.
(3) Fall 2011, Spring 2012
A study of the New Testament writings in the context of Greco-Roman civilization. The course asks students to reflect on the impact of Christian scriptures on Western civilization and to consider their implications for the contemporary world.

RLGN 1104 Dialogue with World Faith Traditions.
(3) Fall 2011
This course places the insights of the Christian faith in dialogue with those of major living world religions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Confucianism, and Daoism.

RLGN 1105 Christian Ethics and Contemporary Social Issues.

(3)
A study of contemporary ethical issues in the light of the moral traditions central to the Christian faith. This course examines such issues as marriage and family, war and peace, racism, abortion, and the environment. Servant leadership component.

RLGN 1106 American Christianity.
(3) Spring 2012
This course will be an investigation of the origins of denominationalism in America. The class will read a history of American Christianity, but will look further afield by analyzing some of the particularly American expressions, such as Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Christian Science. The course will enable students to answer questions about their own denominations and the now global framework of movements such as Pentecostalism and evangelicalism.

RLGN 1107 Earth Theology.
(3) Fall 2011
This course explores the inherent value of the Earth, examines the human impact on the environment, and explores ways to address the present global environmental crisis with Biblical and theological resources. Students will become acquainted with some prominent thinkers and theologians who are taking action regarding environmental concerns while discovering sustainable connections between theological reflection and ethical living.

RLGN 1108 Religious Faith in a Scientific Age.
(3) Spring 2012
Contemporary debates over intelligent design, climate change, evolution, and stem cell research demonstrate the lively and sometimes contentious interactions between science and religious faith. Students will develop personal positions about the relationship of science and religion and develop ethical perspectives on such controversial biomedical practices as human reproduction, genetic engineering, and end-of-life care.

Religion and Philosophy Departmental Courses
Area I: Biblical Studies


RLGN 2120 Introduction to Hellenistic Greek I.

(3)
A beginning course designed to teach the fundamentals of Hellenistic or Koine Greek, which includes the language of the New Testament. Completion of the two-course sequence in Greek will fulfill the College's foreign language requirement.

RLGN 2121 Introduction to Hellenistic Greek II.
(3)
A continuation of RLGN 2120.
Prerequisite: RLGN 2120

RLGN 3150 The Apostolic Age.
(3)
An examination of the origin and expansion of the early Christian Church, with studies in the Epistles and the Acts of the Apostles.
Prerequisite: RLGN 1103 or permission of professor

RLGN 3160 The Gospel s.
(3)
An examination of one of the four canonical gospels, with emphasis on the historical context, history of interpretation, and modern appropriations of the text.
Prerequisite: RLGN 1103 or permission of professor

Area II: Historical Studies

RLGN 2210 Early Church History.
(3)
A survey of the history of the Christian Church from the close of the Apostolic age to the end of the Middle Ages.

RLGN 2220 Modern Church History.
(3)
A history of the Christian Church from the Reformation era to the modern period.

RLGN 2230 Race and Religion in America.
(3)
This course examines the role that religion played and continues to play in American race relations and racial identities. The course will study the history and the theorists of the Civil Rights movement, but also dynamics of race and religion in America's newer immigrant communities.

RLGN 3210 United Methodist Studies.
(3)
A survey of the history, theology, and polity of the United Methodist Church.
Prerequisite: any RLGN Core course

Area III: Theology, Ethics, and the Social Scientific Study of Religion

RLGN 2320 Religion and Non-Violent Social Change.
(3)
An examination of models of non-violent social change that are grounded in religious faith commitments. The course focuses on the Christian faith tradition but works comparatively with figures and movements from Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam. The course includes practice in the skills of peace-building that are guided by the principles of restorative justice.

RLGN 3310 Contemporary Christian Thought.
(3) Fall 2011
A survey of the development of Christian thought, with particular attention to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Prerequisite: any RLGN Core course

RLGN 3320 or The Ethics of Sexuality, Marriage, and Gender.
(3) Spring 2012

WMST 3320
A study of the moral issues related to sexuality, gender roles, and family life. Topics vary per offering, but may include ethical reflection on such topics as the meaning and purpose of sexuality, gender roles, pre-marital and extra-marital sexuality, homosexuality, and family structure. We will compare the range of positions on these issues within Christianity, and also compare them with positions in other world faiths.
Prerequisite: any RLGN Core course

RLGN 3340 Sociology of Religion.
(3)
A sociological analysis of the interplay between religion and culture.
Prerequisite: any RLGN Core course

Area IV: Philosophy

*PHIL 1410 Introduction to Philosophy.
(3)
A survey of major philosophical themes and figures that were formative in Western civilization.

PHIL 2410 Moral Philosophy.
(3)
A study of the major philosophical understandings of morality and the good life.

*PHIL 2440 Elementary Logic.
(3)
An introduction to the logic of propositions with attention to the structure and evaluation of informal arguments. The rhetoric of persuasion and its use of logic and emotions are discussed.

PHIL 3410 Philosophy of Religion.
(3)
An investigation of problems related to philosophical reflection on religious thought and experience.
Prerequisite: at least one (1) prior course in Philosophy or permission of professor

PHIL 3420 or Themes in Political Philosophy.
(3)

POLS 3340
An introduction to the basic ideas of political philosophy. Topics considered include the social and historical context of political theory, the development of major ideas in political philosophy, critical analysis of theoretical arguments, and the relation of political theory to contemporary politics.

PHIL 3430 Bioethics.
(3)
A study of the ethical issues raised by the practice of nursing, medicine, and biomedical research.

PHIL 4410 Selected Topics in Philosophy.
(3)
A seminar course on a major subject of concern in philosophy based on individual research and assigned readings.
Prerequisite: at least one (1) prior course in Philosophy or permission of professor
*Denotes PHIL courses that may substitute for a CORE Humanities course in the Core Curriculum.

Area V: Church Leadership

RLGN 3510 Christian Education in the Local Church.

(3) Fall 2011
A study of issues confronting those participating in a local church setting. Required of all students in the Internship.
Prerequisite: any RLGN Core course

RLGN 3520 Christian Worship.
(3)
The study and practice of Christian worship in its historical and contemporary contexts. Topics include the theology of worship, sacraments, liturgy, and the place of music in worship.
Prerequisite: any RLGN Core course

RLGN 3540 Youth Ministry.
(3)
The study and practice of ministry to persons from adolescence through young adulthood.
Prerequisite: any RLGN Core course

RLGN 3560 Congregational Leadership.
(3) Spring 2012
The study of the leadership styles and skills necessary for leadership of a religious institution. Topics may include congregational dynamics, leading institutional change, working with volunteers, avoiding burnout, and racial and gender issues in leadership.
Prerequisite: any RLGN Core course

RLGN 3550 Internship.
(1-6) scheduled individually on demand
Supervised participation in the local church setting. May be repeated for credit up to 6 hours.
Prerequisite: two (2) courses from Area V

Area VI: Capstone and Other Courses

RLGN 4610 Selected Topics in Religion.
(3) Spring 2012
A seminar course on a major subject of concern based on individual research and assigned readings.
Prerequisite: permission of professor

RLGN 4620 Senior Thesis or Project.
(3) scheduled individually on demand
A directed study normally taken in the Fall of the senior year. The student should choose a project director from within the department and work with this director to refine a topic in the semester prior to which the student enrolls for the course. Thus, most students should select a director and topic by the end of the Spring semester of the junior year.

Prerequisite: application to Department of Religion and Philosophy chair