Religion & Philosophy Minor - Undergraduate

Religion and Philosophy Minor

A minor in Religion and Philosophy consists of 18 semester hours or more in Religion and Philosophy.

Courses in Religion (Undergraduate)

RELG1100 Faith, Love, and Thought 3 s.h.
An exploration of the many rich meanings of “faith” as faithfulness, love, fidelity, integrity, courage, ultimate commitment, and openness to creative transformation, as well as the creative role of doubt in faithfulness. We will examine concepts of faith within different traditions like Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Humanism. Attention will be given to the relationships of faithfulness, trust, hope, and love in human relationships such as marriage, parenting, and friendship. Goal 3E

RELG1120 Basic Ethics (also PHIL1120) 3 s.h.
Introduction to basic ways of thinking and acting ethically. Examines basic ethical theories, both religious and philosophical, but focuses on practical, daily application of sound values and ethical consciousness. Goal 3E

RELG1280 History of the Community of Christ (Also HIST1280) 3 s.h.
The rise of the Latter Day Saint movement, the migration to the Midwest, the disruption at Nauvoo, the development of the Reorganization and other factions, and a survey of the conditions, trends, and problems in the contemporary Community of Christ and other factions of this unique American religious movement.

RELG1310 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible 3 s.h.
Introduces students to the Hebrew Bible, a diverse collection of writings that emerged from the faith and experience of ancient Israel and early Judaism. Themes, stories, characters, and the entire collection itself inform 3 of the world’s major religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This fact makes the Hebrew Bible a sacred library with global significance. Explores the diverse literature of the Hebrew Bible in light of its genres, historical and social contexts, ethical/theological aims, and relationship to Ancient Near Eastern cultures. Of special importance is how the Hebrew Bible’s images of social justice have informed and can still inspire the search for justice in the contemporary world. Goal 2B, ELO3 Ethical Thinking and Action - World Citizenship

RELG1700 Missional Ministry and Leadership Practicum 0-1 s.h.
This practicum is designed for freshman students interested in participating in ministry on campus at Graceland University. It provides students with an opportunity to learn the relationship between concepts and practices of missional ministry. Students will encounter a broad range of topics in weekly class settings, engage those topics in practical experiences through individual, small group, and congregational ministry, and will reflect and respond on their experience with instructors and peers. The capstone (final) event will be designed to evaluate student learning outcomes through a missional ministry project or reflection paper.

RELG2000 Individual Study 1-3 s.h.

RELG2100 Introduction to Religion 3 s.h.
An inquiry into the fundamental issues involved in an understanding of the place and meaning of religion in human experience. Course includes introduction to the world’s living religions. Goal 2B

RELG2130 Introduction to New Testament 3 s.h.
A study of the early Christian community and the literature that it produced. It seeks to enable the student to discern the contemporary relevance of the New Testament faith. History, literature, and theology are unified into one approach. Goal 2B, ELO3 Ethical Thinking and Action - Peace

RELG2200 Religion and Popular Culture in America 3 s.h.
Examines religion in American popular culture. Focus on the use of contemporary media by religion and the presentation of religious motifs and themes in popular culture. Goal 2B

RELG2220 Religion and Social Justice 3 s.h.
What are the stories and inspiration of those who work for social justice? Religion and Social Justice introduces students to social justice as a basic concept of Western social and political thought. Students will explore religious and ethical foundations for social justice and the role of religion that shape the imperative for social justice in a pluralistic and secularizing world. Goal 2B, ELO3 Ethical Thinking and Action - Equality

RELG2320 Introduction to Christian Theology 3 s.h.
An introductory overview of the contents of the Christian faith, including interpretations of the major symbols of that tradition for today. Goal 2B

RELG2340 World Religions and Ecology 3 s.h.
An introduction to theology as it addresses and is informed by ecological concerns. How is global climate change a religious problem? What does religious faith have to do with the environment? Do religious beliefs address questions of species conservation and extinction? Students will explore beliefs regarding the natural world from the perspectives of several major world religions. Goal 2B

RELG2380 Life and Writings of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 3 s.h.
Examines the life and circumstances of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a black Baptist preacher, scholar, and American prophet who has been whitewashed, romanticized, and misunderstood. Central themes include racism in America, the US Civil Rights Movement, black Christianity and the black church, non-violence, and MLK’s vision for America. ELO3 Ethical Thinking and Action - Innovation

RELG2400 Science and Religion (also PHIL2400) 3 s.h.
A survey of historical and contemporary relationships between science and religion (mainly in Western culture) from ancient mythology and the pre-Socratic philosophers, through medieval scholasticism, the rise of modern science and theological responses to it, and an examination of selected contemporary perspectives. Students will also examine the nature of faith and the role of faithfulness in scientific inquiry. Goal 2B

RELG2490 Suffering and Meaning 3 s.h. (Also PHIL2490)
The first Noble Truth of Buddhism is that all life involves suffering. Much of human life, religion, and the arts is an effort to create meaningful responses to our suffering. This course will examine some of those responses. Goal 3E

RELG2700 Internship in Church Leadership 0-6 s.h.
An internship designed to give practical experience in a field setting where ministry is taking place in the Community of Christ or related institution, and where effective church leadership skills are being modeled. The student will play an active role in identifying potential field sponsors. (Graded on a pass/fail basis.) Prerequisite: Instructor's consent.

RELG2900 Topics in Religion 1-3 s.h.

RELG3000 Individual Study 1-3 s.h.

RELG3100 World Philosophies & Religion: Great Texts (Also PHIL3100) 3 s.h.
A reading of great texts in world philosophies and religions; E.g., The Qur'an (Islam), The Upanishads and The Bhagavad Gita (Hinduism), The Dhammapada (Buddhism), The Analects of Confucius and Tao Te Ching (Confucianism), the Bible, and other works by important religious/philosophical thinkers, old and new. Goal 3E

RELG3200 Religions of the World 3 s.h.
An introduction to the thought, practice, and history of the major religions of the world. Goal 4

RELG3300 Jesus: Cultural and Historical Representations 3 s.h.
Since shortly after Jesus’ death people have told stories that interpret his significance. From canonical and non-canonical Gospels to contemporary fiction and film, the life of Jesus continues to be re-interpreted. This course will examine representations of Jesus in literature, contemporary culture, and film. Goal 2B

RELG3340 World Religions and Ecology 3 s.h.
An introduction to theology as it addresses and is informed by ecological concerns. How is global climate change a religious problem? What does religious faith have to do with the environment? Do religious beliefs address questions of species conservation and extinction? Students will explore beliefs regarding the natural world from the perspectives of several major world religions. Goal 2B

RELG3360 Ethics of Hope 3 s.h.
Hope is a central construct of Western theology and thought. Ethics of hope introduces students to the intellectual tradition and spiritual resources of hope. Students will be encouraged to explore hope in their own worldview, and how application of the ethics of hope can shape individual, collective (communal and global), and professional life. ELO3 Ethical Thinking and Action - Innovation

RELG3430 Restoration Scriptures 3 s.h.
A study of the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and Joseph Smith's "New Translation" of the Bible, considered in light of their historical setting, literary qualities, and theology.

RELG3440 Process Philosophy and Theology (Also PHIL3440) 3 s.h.
An examination of a major modern movement in Christian theology which responds to the challenges of science and human sufferings by arguing that God’s power is persuasive rather than coercive, and the supporting view of reality as a web of relationships in process. Special attention will be given to the problems of God, freedom, power, creativity and suffering, and the interpretation of process theology in terms of Christian symbols. Goal 2B

+ RELG3450 Philosophy of Religion (Also PHIL3450) 3 s.h.
This course is designed to investigate the nature of religious beliefs by applying the philosophical attitude to the practice of religion. The investigation will apply the principles of inquiry; clarity in the meaning of words and assumptions; consistency in statements about the subject; respect for all discoverable facts that bear upon the issues under investigation; and impartiality to interpretation of pertinent facts. Goal 3E

+ RELG3520 History of Christianity - The Last 1000 Years (Also HIST3520) 3 s.h.
An advanced study of the history of Christianity as it developed from the Crusades into the 20th Century. Topics will include the Crusades, the Avignon Papacy and Great Schism, the push for unity, early reform groups, the Reformation, wars of religion, religious imperialism, modern challenges to Christianity, and the Church to Vatican II. Aspects of both continuity and change within the doctrine, popular belief and structure of Christianity will be emphasized.

RELG3530 Theology of the Community of Christ 3 s.h.
An examination of major themes and issues in Restoration thought. Particular attention will be paid to the development of theology in the Reorganization. Non-Community of Christ students will participate in this course by exploring how the basic issues addressed are related to their own religious communities.

RELG3540 Peace and Justice in the Christian Tradition 3 s.h.
Christian theology is a centuries-long conversation about the meaning of Jesus’ life and message. As theologians have interpreted their faith, they have often pondered questions of justice and peace. How can the nonviolent message of Jesus challenge cultures of oppression? Can war ever be ‘just’? What insights might theological traditions offer to help critique forces that perennialize poverty? What ethical resources can Christian traditions apply to environmental degradation or the search for gender justice? This course explores such questions by focusing them through the thought of key theologians from across the centuries: e.g., Augustine of Hippo, Julian of Norwich, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Oscar Romero, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Letty Russell. We explore how these thinkers’ questions and proposals remain ethically meaningful in the contemporary World. Goal 2B, ELO3 Ethical Thinking and Action - Peace

RELG3550 Ministries of the Church 3 s.h.
An examination of the nature and purpose of the church as an important institution in society. The study of major functions such as worship, education, outreach, and administration will be included. 

RELG3900 Topics in Religion 1-3 s.h.
Study of selected topics of interest in religion, to be announced prior to the semester when the course is offered. May be repeated for credit as topics change.

RELG4000 Individual Study 1-3 s.h.

Courses in Philosophy

PHIL1120 Basic Ethics (also RELG1120) 3 s.h.
Introduction to basic ways of thinking and acting ethically. Examines basic ethical theories, both religious and philosophical, but focuses on practical, daily application of sound values and ethical consciousness. Goal 3E

PHIL1200 Environmental Ethics 3 s.h.
An overview of environmental ethics, which analyzes the ethical responsibilities of human beings toward the natural world. Explores the diverse perspectives on and responses to environmental problems and analyzes the ethical underpinnings of these responses and perspectives. Goal 3E, ELO3 Ethical Thinking and Action - Sustainability

PHIL1350 Basic Logic 3 s.h.
An introduction to the fundamental principles of inductive and deductive logic.

PHIL2260 The Ethics of Technology 3 s.h.
This course introduces the ethical concerns and considerations inherent in modern technology. Focused on key ethical principles (human dignity, goodness, justice, truth, and freedom), the course considers the impact of technology on the human condition. The application of Kant's Categorical Imperative and the precepts of Utilitarianism will be explored, compared, and contrasted. The course fosters a deeper understanding of the ways in which technology, broadly defined, profoundly affects the individual, the society, and the culture. Goal 3E

PHIL2300 Basic Issues in Philosophy 3 s.h.
An introduction to some of the traditional theories of knowledge, reality, and value, and an interpretation of their relevance to the modern world. Goal 3E

PHIL2340 Finding Peace in Identity 3 s.h.
A survey of personal identity, appealing to metaphysical and value theoretical issues as they relate to the self. Addresses the influence of memory, collective experience, and narrative on accounts of the nature of persons and assesses ethical implications of the accounts. Goal 3E, ELO3 Ethical Thinking and Action - Peace

PHIL2360 Literature and Philosophy: Ways of Criticizing 3 s.h.
Designed to expose the student to the theory and practice of criticism and help the student develop critical abilities, especially the skills used in responding to works of literature. Includes the study and application of both classic texts and contemporary trends in criticism. Provides active learning opportunities involving the student in the process of criticism. Goal 2B

PHIL2370 Literature and Philosophy: Ways of Thinking 3 s.h.
Designed to familiarize students with the ideas, issues and influences important to the literary and philosophical processes and traditions, such as the concept of self, the problem of evil, and the nature of reality. Goal 2B

PHIL2400 Science and Religion (also RELG2400) 3 s.h.
A survey of historical and contemporary relationships between science and religion (mainly in Western culture) from ancient mythology and the pre-Socratic philosophers, through medieval scholasticism, the rise of modern science and theological responses to it, and an examination of selected contemporary perspectives. Students will also examine the nature of faith and the role of faithfulness in scientific inquiry. Goal 2B

PHIL2420 World Philosophy 3 s.h.
A survey of philosophical worldviews with origins in differing traditions, appealing to historical and contemporary Western and non-Western philosophy. Addresses fundamental philosophical issues from a variety of perspectives and evaluates points of convergence and divergence. Goal 3E, ELO3 Ethical Thinking and Action - World Citizenship

PHIL2440 Social Dimensions of Equality 3 s.h.
An examination of different conceptions of ethical social relationships and ethical behavior. Considers varying accounts of theories of value and right action with critical analysis of systemic and social influences on individual and collective interactions. Goal 3E, ELO3 Ethical Thinking and Action - Equality

PHIL2490 Suffering and Meaning 3 s.h. (Also RELG2490)
The first Noble Truth of Buddhism is that all life involves suffering. Much of human life, religion, and the arts is an effort to create meaningful responses to our suffering. This course will examine some of those responses. Goal 3E

PHIL2520 Medical Ethics 3 s.h.
An exploration of contemporary ethical issues in modern medicine. The course will begin with an introduction to ethical theories and principles, and then apply these to specific problems in health care. Goal 3E

PHIL2900 Topics in Philosophy 1-3 s.h.

PHIL3000 Individual Study 1-3 s.h.

PHIL3100 World Philosophies & Religion: Great Texts (Also RELG3100) 3 s.h.
A reading of great texts in world philosophies and religions; E.g., The Qur'an (Islam), The Upanishads and The Bhagavad Gita (Hinduism), The Dhammapada (Buddhism), The Analects of Confucius and Tao Te Ching (Confucianism), the Bible, and other works by important religious/philosophical thinkers, old and new. Goal 3E

PHIL3440 Process Philosophy and Theology (Also RELG3440) 3 s.h.
An examination of a major modern movement in Christian theology that responds to the challenges of science and human sufferings by arguing that God’s power is persuasive rather than coercive, and the supporting view of reality as a web of relationships in process. Special attention will be given to the problems of God, freedom, power, creativity and suffering, and the interpretation of process theology in terms of Christian symbols. Goal 2B

+ PHIL3450 Philosophy of Religion (Also RELG3450) 3 s.h.
This course is designed to investigate the nature of religious beliefs by applying the philosophical attitude to the practice of religion. The investigation will apply the principles of inquiry: clarity in the meaning of words and assumptions, consistency in statements about the subjects, respect for all discoverable facts that bear upon the issues under investigation, and impartiality in interpretation of pertinent facts. Goal 3E

PHIL3900 Topics in Philosophy 3 s.h.
Selected in-depth topics in philosophy. Will deal with perennial problems of epistemology, ontology, cosmology, ethics, and values. Course may be repeated for credit when topics change.

PHIL4000 Individual Study 1-3 s.h.

+Denotes an alternate year course.