Religion & Philosophy Course Descriptions

Religion & Philsophy Courses

RPH 110 OLD TESTAMENT / 3 credits
Introduction to critical and interpretive methods in the study of the Old Testament.

RPH 120 NEW TESTAMENT / 3 credits
Introduction to critical and interpretive methods in the study of the New Testament.

RPH 130 INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY / 3 credits
Basic beliefs and forms of the Christian religion.

RPH 140 INTRODUCTION TO WORLD PHILOSOPHIES / 3 credits
Philosophical problems, methods, and values as they have developed in various world cultures, with a comparison between western and non-western world views such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Emphasis is given to the ways different world views affect international relations today.

RPH 150 WORLD RELIGIONS / 3 credits
This course will provide a survey of several major living religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shinto, Judaism, and Islam. Each religion will be studied in terms of its social, cultural, historical, ritual, and symbolic experiences.

RPH 201, 202 THE WESTERN INTELLECTUAL TRADITION I & II / 3 credits each
An introduction to some of the “Great Books” of Western philosophy and theology. The first semester will include authors such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther and Machiavelli. The second semester will include all or some of the following: John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, J. S. Mill, Karl Marx, J-J Rousseau, David Hume and Immanuel Kant.

RPH 205 INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS / 3 credits
This is a course in philosopical and religoous ethics. The course provides students with an understanding of the place of ethics within philosophy and religion, major ethical theories, and how ethical theories can be applied to contemporary issues, such as abortion, homosexuality, capital punishment, the environment and euthanasia.

RPH 306 LOGIC / 3 credits
The study and practice of the basic skills of critical thinking. Deductive, inductrive, analogical, cause-effect, statistical analysis and normative argument will be discussed.

RPH 310 PHILOSOPHY OF ART / 3 credits
Readings from western and some non-western texts on the nature of art, the central questions to be discussed will be: What is art? What is beauty? What is creativity? What is the relation between a work of art and the artist? The audience? The critic? What is the relation between art and politics? Ethics? Education? Psychology? Religion? Reason? Faith? What makes an experience an aesthetic experience? Issues of race, gender, multiculturalism, and the natural environment will be discussed. Prerequisites: RPH 201 or 202.

RPH 315 FEMINIST THOUGHT / 3 credits
An examination of patriarchy (male domination) as it has manifested itself in western and non-western societies. The course will examine definitions and patterns of behavior in cultural views of masculinity, femininity, marriage, family, and education. The course will also examine patterns of behavior in artistic, economic, political, and social communities throughout the world.

RPH 320 CHRISTIAN ETHICS / 3 credits
A study of the basic approaches and principles of Christian ethics, with special attention to the ethics of character and the use of the Bible and theology in ethics. Application will be made to several contemporary ethical issues, including character formation; marriage, family, and sexuality; the sanctity of life; and environmental issues. Prerequisites: RPH 110, 120, or 130.

RPH 325 JESUS AND THE GOSPELS / 3 credits
The four canonical gospels, along with some non-canonical documents (e.g., Gospel of Thomas), will be examined in terms of their literary and historical meanings to better understand the nature of Jesus Christ as a focus of religious faith and as a focus of historical research.
Prerequisites are at least one of the following courses or permission of instructor: RPH 110, RPH 120, or RPH 130.

RPH 329 THE EARLY CHURCH / 3 credits
The development of Christian thought and life to 600 A.D. Prerequisite: RPH 120 or permission of instructor. Same as HIS 329.

RPH 331 THE MIDDLE AGES / 3 credits
This course is a survey of the History of Europe from the fall of the Roman Empire to the end of the 15th century. Topics include the Christianization of Europe, the evolution of feudalism, the rise of the papacy, the Crudades and the Hundred Years’ War. Prequisites: HIS 201/RPH 201 or permission of the instructor. Same as HIS 331.

RPH 333 HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION / 3 credits
Emphasis on the history of ideas in American thought as related to education; special attention to the educational implications of major philosophical traditions: Particular emphasis on the philosophical roots of significant influences on American education: the colonial religious mind, the American enlightenment, nineteenth-century democracy, naturalism, and the contemporary neo-democratic and post-modernist thought. Same as EDU 333.

RPH 350 BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL ETHICS / 3 credits
An examination of professional responsibility with case studies of ethical issues in business and the professions. Same as ECO 350.

RPH 351 ANCIENT POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY / 3 credits
This course is designed to allow students to work with those political thinkers who started the Western political tradition. Concentrating on original sources, the class considers the origin of political philosophy in selected works by such authors as Xenophon, Plato, and Aristotle. Same as POL 351.

RPH 353 MODERN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY / 3 credits
A study of some major political thinkers such as Machiavelli, Locke, Rousseau, Hume, and Marx. Concentration will be on selected works and topics that have influenced contemporary politics. Same as POL 353.

RPH 354 THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE / 3 credits
This course will examine the rise and fall of the Byzantine Empire from 330-1453. Major emphasis will be on the political, social, and economic structures of Byzantium and the religion and culture of its peoples. The influence of Byzantium on the Slavs, Arabs, Turks, and Western European kingdoms will also be studied. Prerequisite: HIS 201 or RPH 201 or permission of instructor. Same as HIS 354.

RPH 358 THE REFORMATION / 3 credits
This course will explore the causes and consequences of the Reformation. Major emphasis will be placed on understanding the role of the major reformers such as Luther, Calvin, and Loyola. In addition, we will explore its socio-political and cultural dimensions. Prerequisite: HIS 201/RPH 201, or permission of instructor. Same as HIS 355.

RPH 362 ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS / 3 credits
Readings in environmental ethics. The course will address the ways western and non-western philosophies have shaped understanding of the environment and responses to environmental problems. Some of the philosophical traditions discussed will be utilitarianism, libertarianism,
Christianity, Hinduism and Deep Ecology. Among the problems discussed will be overpopulation, global warming and various plans for addressing environmental needs. Prerequisite: 100- level RPH course or RPH 201 or 202.

RPH 365 TOPICS IN RELIGION / 3 credits
Study in such areas as biblical interpretation, systematic and historical theology, and world religions. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

RPH 370 TOPICS IN PHILOSOPHY / 3 credits
Study in such areas as philosophical psychology and philosophical perspectives on various contemporary moral problems. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

RPH 399 RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY INTERNATIONAL STUDIES COURSE:
Variable topics / 1 credit Studies of varying topics in religion and philosophy, including a two week Nichols trip. Prerequisites will vary depending upon course topic.

RPH 410 VIRTUE ETHICS / 3 credits
The study of virtue, beginning with Aristotle’s Doctrine of the Golden Mean and including Greek tragedy, current scholarship in virtue theory, and other literature and artistic works connected to different understandings of virtue and to educating people to live virtuously. Prerequisites: RPH 201 or permission of the instructor.

RPH 415 PLATO SEMINAR / 3 credits
“Know thyself, an unexamined life is not worth living, nothing to excess.” Most Westerners have heard these expressions and know something about the Golden Age of Greece. Plato lived in the greatest democratic society in the world. He watched as ignorance, lust, pride, greed, delusion, arrogance, and self-absorption led to the collapse of Athens. Plato’s dialogues describe Athens “before the fall,” so that future generations will learn from the Athenians’ mistakes and dedicate themselves to living in ways that preserve intellectual and political freedom. Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing, RPH 201 or permission of the instructor.

RPH 450 INDEPENDENT STUDY / variable credit
Concentrated study in selected fields.

RPH 460 PRACTICUM / variable credit

RPH 480 ADVANCED SEMINAR IN RELIGION OR PHILOSOPHY / 3 credits
This course is an advanced study of a topic(s) or person(s) in Religion and/or Philosophy. The course will allow RPH majors and minors to engage in in-depth study that will integrate knowledge and methods gained from previous study in RPH. Topics will reflect areas of interest agreed upon by students and the lead professor. Prerequisites: junior or senior class standing, at least 12 hour of RPH, or by permission of instructor.