Religion & Philosophy Current Courses


COURSES FOR FALL 2014

COURSES IN RELIGION

RELG 102: Introduction to Christian Theology 

MWF 10:50/Block 3                                     Dr. Peterson

From the birth of a child to now the world's largest global movement, what does the varied Christian tradition actually say about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, who we are, the good life, and the future? Each student will choose in consultation a particular theologian to help the class think through these formative questions.

 

RELG 130: Living Religions of the World

MWF 9:40/Block 2                           Prof. Holly Jordan

This course will survey the major religious traditions of the world.  We will gain insight into primary beliefs and practices, but also gain appreciation of each religious tradition as lived.  We will focus on the ways religions live and breathe in the lives of individuals, families, communities, and cultures.  We will pay attention to sacred spaces and holy texts, individual experiences, and rituals as a way to help us understand vibrant religious communities locally and across the world. 

 

RELG 213/PHIL 213: Religions and Philosophies of India

MWF 1:10/Block 5                           Dr. Larson-Harris

This course will discover the richness of philosophical ideas and religious practices on the Indian subcontinent. We will focus on three traditions-Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism-in both their philosophical mode and their practiced reality.  We will read rich and enigmatic texts such as the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Dhammapada, epic stories such as the Mahabharata, and mystical poetry. We will also examine how these different sources of wisdom combine to produce the daily experience of Indian people. CROSS LISTED WITH PHILOSOPHY 213. 

  

RELG 225: Religious Life of Young Adults

MWF 12:00/Block 4                                     Reverend Henrickson

An introduction to the faith development of young adults and their psychological and social characteristics. This course will identify and foster communication skills for effectively communicating with adolescents. The role of adult leadership in youth groups will be examined. Finally, the course will consider resources for developing and implementing youth ministry programs in congregations.

 

RELG 330: Christian Theology and the World Religions

MW 7:30pm/Block E2                                Dr. McDermott

This course grapples with one of the most critical issues facing Christians in this new century: religious pluralism.  We will examine four lines of questioning: 1. What is the truth status of competing religious claims?  Is one true and the others false, or are they all different ways of expressing the same truth?  To put it another way, do Buddhists and Muslims worship the same God Christians worship?  2.  Will good Christians and good Buddhists join each other in heaven?  For that matter, will all human beings be saved, no matter what their religious beliefs?  Or is there only one way, so that those who don't follow it will miss out on God for eternity?  3. Is God revealed in other religions?  If so, can Christians learn from these other religions in ways that can help them understand their own revelation?   4. What is God doing through the religions?  Why did (does) he permit their origin and flourishing? 

 

COURSES IN PHILOSOPHY

RELG 213/PHIL 213: Religions and Philosophies of India

MWF 1:10/Block 5                         Dr. Larson-Harris

This course will discover the richness of philosophical ideas and religious practices on the Indian subcontinent. We will focus on three traditions-Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism-in both their philosophical mode and their practiced reality.  We will read rich and enigmatic texts such as the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Dhammapada, epic stories such as the Mahabharata. and mystical poetry. We will also examine how these different sources of wisdom combine to produce the daily experience of Indian people. CROSS LISTED WITH RELIGION 213. 

PHILOSOPHY 215: Symbolic Logic

MWF 12:00/Block 4                                   Dr. Zorn

A revolution in logic that began at the end of the 19th century has led to powerful new methods of proof as well as new ways of conceiving knowledge, and language, and thought.  This course will focus on mastering the techniques of modern logic, including the method of proof in the propositional and predicate calculus, truth tables, and truth trees.  We will also look at the philosophy of logic and some of the applications of logic in a variety of areas.  In the process, students will acquire the grounding in rigorous thinking required for serious inquiry in philosophy or any other subject.  

  

PHILOSOPHY 221: Faith and Philosophy         

TTh 1:10/Block 11                          Dr. Zorn

In this course we will take up some of the most basic questions that arise when people reflect on religious belief: Is it reasonable to believe in God?  How can we know anything about God?  How should we conceive of God-or can we?  We will examine different attempts to answer these questions, drawing on a long history of disciplined thought on religion beginning in the ancient world and extending into the present day.  As we examine ways in which philosophy has responded to questions arising from religious belief, we will also reflect on how the attempt to articulate divinity leads philosophers to push the limits of language and thought. 

 

PHIL 222: Business Ethics

MWF 9:40/Block 2                                     Dr. Peterson

Is all fair in business as in war? Is business a game with its own rules like poker? What makes for a truly successful business for stockholders, management, employees, suppliers, customers, and our society as a whole? We will work through real cases that raise challenges such as the place of deception in negotiation and marketing, fair pay, abuse of power, whistle-blowing, corporate giving, going green, and building an ethical organization.

 

PHIL 255: Modern Western Philosophy

MWF 10:50/Block 3                                   Dr. Adkins

This course will be a survey of the major thinkers of 17th and 18th century philosophy.  Through the texts of Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, and Kant this class will examine the central issues of the source of knowledge and the nature of reality.  Is knowledge gained primarily through the senses, or does reason provide us with primary knowledge of the world?  Is the world fundamentally ordered, or do we impose order on the world?

 

PHIL 330: Wittgenstein

TTh 2:50/Block 12                          Dr. Vilhauer

This course aims to offer students an in-depth study of the major issues in the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein in an advanced setting.  We will study both Wittgenstein's early and late philosophies by focusing on his two most famous works, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and Philosophical Investigations. While we read the Tractatus we will focus on the early Wittgenstein's "logical atomism" and "picture theory of language" which aim to explain the basic building-block structure of the phenomenal world, the way in which language connects with the world, and what the limits of language and thought are. While we read his Investigations, we will focus on the late Wittgenstein's new "holistic" understanding of meaning and his "use-theory of language," in which language is described as a kind of "game" that requires training to learn.  We will investigate, here, how Wittgenstein conceives of his main philosophical task as a kind of "therapy" that tries to help us recognize how most of our old philosophical problems are produced by a confused, yet deep desire to achieve a "pure" point of view from beyond our world and ourselves, which simply cannot be achieved.  This class is structured as a seminar, and is discussion-based. It is reading, writing, and dialogue intensive, and involves a final independent research project.

 
Oxford University Press publishes fifth book by Roanoke professor

Oxford University Press publishes fifth book by Roanoke professor

The book, co-authored by Dr. Gerald McDermott, evaluates Christians' treatment and debates about other religions and proposes a direction for the future.

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