Selected Courses

Evil

An examination of the meaning and significance of evil, particularly moral evil as visited upon human beings by one another, addressing such questions as whether such a thing as “evil” is useful to talk about, why humanity might be capable of it, whether it is compatible with the existence of a good God, and how it might or might not be expressed in phenomena such as terrorism, genocide, sexism, racism, greed, and poverty.

Children’s Rights

A study of children’s rights in terms of their theoretical foundations, global historical development, contemporary controversies, and implementation in practice. Subjects include why children’s rights are historically quite new, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, whether and how children’s rights should differ from adults’, and specific rights such as against discrimination, for health care, and to vote.

Philosophical and Religious Perspectives on Childhood

This course explores the meaning and significance of childhood in society from a variety of philosophical and religious perspectives. The first half of the course critically examines some of the most influential writings on childhood in history from antiquity to modernity. The second half investigates some of the central philosophical and religious issues concerning childhood today. 

Biomedical Ethics

An investigation of key ethical debates today around medicine, health care, and biomedical technologies – such as around health resource allocation, human cloning, abortion, genetic manipulation, and physician-assisted suicide – as well as deeper moral, philosophical, and religious resources for thinking critically about them. 

Introduction to the Bible

This course examines the historical, literary, and contemporary worlds of the Jewish Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and Christian New Testament. It discusses who wrote the Bible, the social and political contexts in which it was written, different ways to think about reading it, possible meanings for the twenty-first century, and core themes such as God, creation, evil, covenant, prophesy, justice, and love.

Religion and Contemporary Culture

This course explores the significance of religion for contemporary life. It engages in critical study of religious experience, religious ritual, and religious belief; methods for the study of religion; diverse religious traditions; and significant contemporary controversies.