Religious Studies

In the Religious Studies Department, students are expected to grow in familiarity with their own tradition, to understand other religious traditions, and to appreciate the discipline of Religious Studies in general through the conducting and the directing of the inquiry regarding the subject of religion. Informed by the understanding that religion is coterminous with human life, students are ultimately encouraged to appropriate the questions raised in their search for meaning. The Religious Studies Department seeks to develop in students an ability to reflect ethically, to exercise leadership in action, and to foster a curiosity about the more significant questions of human life beyond the classroom.

Scripture

This course is an examination of the sacred texts of the Judeo-Christian heritage. Students become familiar with the foundational story of salvation history as it has been mediated through the community of faith in the major covenants of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Health

This course is designed to introduce freshmen to issues of health and wellness and provides students with skills and information as they mature into young adulthood. Course content includes the topics of physical fitness, nutrition, anatomy, physiology, stress management, sexuality, and substance abuse. The class also deals with spirituality, ethics, and moral decision-making.

World Religions

This course is an introduction to Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. It considers each with respect to individual tenets, traditions, and practices and in relation to one another by elucidating common elements of the doctrine of God (Ultimate Reality) and common conceptions of the human person. The course focuses on the religious understandings of conversion, enlightenment, salvation, and transformation in the personal and social dimensions of those concepts.

Peace and Justice

This course is a reading seminar that draws themes from different religious traditions to interpret and discuss the lives of extraordinary people and movements. Dorothy Day, Mahatma Gandhi, and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are among those whose teachings have inspired many people to work for a more peaceful world where freedom and equality are available to all. The class emphasizes the importance of moral decision-making and individual responsibility to help break the cycle of poverty, discrimination, environmental destruction, and violence in our world.

Philosophy

This course examines the relationship between faith and reason. It demonstrates the inadequacies of rationalist and empiricist approaches (both theistic and atheistic) to answering ultimate human questions, thereby disclosing the limits of reason alone and showing the authentic faith response as transrational. Some of the texts examined in the course are by Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, St. Anselm, Freud, Camus, and Kierkegaard.

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