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Course Descriptions

Religious Studies

Philosophy
PHIL110 INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS (C)
This course introduces students to philosophy through the exploration of fundamental ethical questions. Among the themes treated in this course are moral obligation, virtue, justice, law, good and evil. Students will learn to read primary texts, to develop reasoning skills, and to explore the nature of the good life (3 credits). 
Pre-requisite: ENGL 110 

PHIL 241 LOGIC
The opportunity to acquire the logical tools for coming to rational conclusions and making responsible choices. Both formal and informal logic will be considered with practical applications in the modern world, including reasoning in law, science, medicine, art, business and ethics (3 credits).

PHIL 302 PHILOSOPHY OF THE PERSON
An investigation into the basic questions about human nature, such as “What does it mean to be human?” and “What are people for?” The answers offered by philosophers will be compared with the ideas presented in contemporary media, theatre and literature. (WE) 3 credits

PHIL 314 ETHICS
An examination of the questions pertaining to human conduct and happiness: ‘What should I do?” ‘What is good?” ‘What is evil?” ‘What is freedom?” ‘What is happiness?” Various philosophical positions will provide insight for the students to examine their own moral code. (WE) 3 credits

PHIL319 AESTHETICS
An investigation into the nature of art, the claims art makes, and how art is different from other pursuits. The major arts will be explored not only from a spectator position, but from the perspective of the artist as well. (WE) 3 credits

PHIL 326 THOUGHT AND CULTURE
An analysis of the world we live in as reflected in the ideas, myths, and symbols that surround us. The focus will be on questions that reveal conflicts deep within the culture. For example: ‘Why is there so much violence?” ‘What does technology really do for us and to us?” “How did ‘the environment’ become a problem?” “Is the family relevant anymore?” (WE) 3 credits

PHIL 330 AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY
The exploration of the cultural history of America as revealed in philosophical thought. The works of several philosophers will be examined in an effort to understand the ideas that have shaped our country. (WE) 3 credits

PHIL 334 EXISTENTIALISM
The study of existentialist themes including: the individual, freedom and choice, the role of extreme experiences, and the nature of communication. The ideas of several philosophers will be studied with the personal and social implications of their ideas. (WE). 3 credits

PHIL 370, 470 TOPICS IN PHILOSOPHY (C)
This course offers an in-depth philosophical investigation of contemporary issues. Students will be offered the opportunity to explore and analyze issues critically and within a moral framework when appropriate. They will be encouraged to propose thoughtful solutions to problems and to empower themselves to have the courage of their convictions. (WE) 3 credits

PHIL 412 DIALOGUES WITH GREAT THINKERS
The historical background and ideas of one or more major philosophers will be examined. The philosophers to be studied will be specified at the time of registration. Students are welcome to suggest philosophers and topics of interest to them. (WE) 3 credits

PHIL 460,461 INDEPENDENT STUDY (WE). 3 credits

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Religious Studies 
RELS 208: THE LIFE OF FAITH (C)
A critical and in-depth study of fundamental dimensions of religious experience common to a wide diversity of faiths. This includes reflection upon the responsibility of the individual to and for the community of other people and nature (3 credits). 

RELS 211 JUDAISM: FAITH AND HISTORY
A study of the Jewish People as they evolved through many ages; how the major historical events affected them as a people, in their theology, and in their religious practices and beliefs (3 credits)

RELS 215 INTRODUCTION TO THE EASTERN RELIGIONS
A survey of the major Eastern religions, opportunities afforded for visits to Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic and other religious centers, institutions and monasteries in the New York area (3 credits).

RELS 295 INTRODUCTION TO SPIRITUALITY
A look at self-development within a religious context, the journey of an emphasis on the self into the sacred, spiritual methods and as traditions of Christianity and other religions; readings and discussions of significant spiritual texts (3 credits)

RELS 305 UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE
What is the Bible; texts, authorship, literary forms, transmission through manuscripts and translation, the ecumenical Bible canon. How to read the Bible; history of interpretation hermeneutics and the new hermeneutic experience of the Bible (3 credits).

RELS 313 CHRISTIAN BELIEF
An exploration of the major beliefs of the Christian faith tradition emphasizing the interconnections among the symbols of creation, fall, salvation, and consummation. Emphasis will be placed on contemporary theological interpretations of these symbols (3 credits).

RELS 327 MODERN CATHOLIC THINKERS
A study of Catholic faith and experience in the light of modern thought. Examples of innovative Catholic thinkers of this century such as Merton, Rahner, Daly,Teilhard de Chardin, Kung, Sobrino, Ruether will be examined (3 credits)

RELS 350 THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
An introduction to the history, distinctive doctrines and practices, structure, and contemporary controversial issues of the single largest Christian church. Emphasis will be placed on comparing and contrasting the values of this tradition with those prevalent in contemporary society (3 credits).

RELS 410 DEATH AS A FACT OF LIFE
An examination of the religious, legal, medical, and psychological questions concerning death. Reflections on the moral aspects of such issues as care of the dying and bereaved, cessation of treatment, euthanasia, suicide, and the hope of life after death (3 credits).

RELS 416 SAINTS: YESTERDAY AND TODAY
The course examines the function of holy men and women both within their religious traditions and more especially in their ethical perspectives on the contemporary world. Included will be a study of the cult of the saints, hagiography, and “Saints” in our own times (3 credits).

RELS 420 BELIEF AND UNBELIEF
A critical analysis of the historical, philosophical, scientific, and religious roots of contemporary atheism and agnosticism. It will include an in-depth critical analysis of the various reasons why people do and do not believe in God (3 credits).

RELS 429 EVIL, SUFFERING, AND GOD
A critical study of perhaps the most poignant of all religious issues: the “Problem of Evil”, or “How can a good God allow suffering and evil?” A variety of responses to this question from several major religious and philosophical traditions will be examined and brought to bear upon contemporary problems such as the Holocaust, AIDS, world hunger, abortion, euthanasia, etc (3 credits).

RELS 430 CONTEMPORARY MORAL ISSUES (C)
A theological and ethical investigation of selected moral problems of our time such as truth in government, violence, economic injustice and racism. Student participation and discussion of additional moral issues (3 credits).

RELS 435 CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE
The concept and development of human love. Scriptural, sacramental, and ethical considerations in marriage and sexuality. The problems of sexual relationships, contraception, abortion and other topics are considered in the light of Judeo-Christian theology, other religious traditions and the social sciences (3 credits).

RELS 370, 470 TOPICS IN RELIGION (C)
In-depth investigation of particular areas of religion occasioned by contemporary major events or controversies within religion and/or the availability of experts in a particular field. Each Spring the 470 course will be conducted in a seminar fashion for the sake of the Religion majors. Detailed course descriptions will be available in the Department at the time of registration (3 credits).

RELS 460, 461 INDEPENDENT STUDY (3 credits)

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