background

Philosophy and Religion

Professors Okrent, Tracy, Strong (chair), Allison, Bruce, and Cummiskey; Associate Professor Stark; Assistant Professors O'Callaghan and Schomburg; Visiting Instructors J. Swan Tuite and T. Swan Tuite

Philosophy

The practice of philosophy is a careful, in-depth study of humanity's most basic ideas, presuppositions, and beliefs. Its goal is to understand as clearly as possible one's conception of the world and humanity's place in it, and to see to what extent one's beliefs are justified. Some topics in philosophy include the nature of morality, the justification of law, the possibility of free will, the nature of beauty, the place of mind in a physical world, the nature of perception, the justification of our beliefs, the possibility of knowledge, the social construction of gender, the understanding of the self, the understanding of time and space, the possible existence of god, the nature and possibility of truth, the purpose and proper understanding of language, and the nature of emotions, as well as the point and value of philosophical inquiry. Beginning students can get a sense of the historical development of the current philosophical context by taking either Classical and Medieval Studies/Philosophy 271, Greek Philosophy, or Philosophy 272, Philosophy from Descartes to Kant. Students new to philosophy are also encouraged to start out with 200-level courses that focus on particular problems of philosophical interest. Although critical reading, thinking, and writing skills are developed in all philosophy classes, Philosophy 195, Introduction to Logic, provides a more focused study of proper reasoning that is beneficial to majors and nonmajors alike. The study of philosophy, with its creative interplay of insight and reason, has ancient roots, yet the subject remains in continual ferment. The Bates philosophy curriculum emphasizes both the history of philosophical thought and the striking innovations, insights, and relevance of contemporary philosophy. More information on the philosophy curriculum is available on the Web site (www.bates.edu/PHIL.xml).

Major Requirements. (Note: Students graduating in or prior to 2010 may choose to fulfill the old major requirements listed in the 2006–2007 Catalog). Students who major in philosophy are expected to complete eleven courses in the field. Eight of the eleven courses must meet the distribution requirements indicated below. The philosophy faculty has structured these requirements to allow students the flexibility to plan their own programs within the constraints of a broad philosophical education. Philosophy Short Term units may count toward the eleven required courses. In addition, students may, with departmental approval, fulfill one of the eleven courses with a course from another field. Students arrange their programs in consultation with their departmental advisors. Those considering attending graduate or professional school are encouraged to consult with their advisors in order to design an appropriate course of study.

1) Logic.
PHIL 195. Introduction to Logic.

2) History of Philosophy. Both of the following:
CM/PH 271. Greek Philosophy.
PHIL 272. Philosophy from Descartes to Kant.

3) Ethics and Political Philosophy (the good, the right, and community). One of the following:
PHIL 256. Moral Philosophy.
PHIL 257. Moral Luck.

4) Metaphysics and Epistemology (being, meaning, knowledge). One of the following:
PHIL 211. Philosophy of Science.
PHIL 234. Philosophy of Language.
PHIL 235. Philosophy of Mind.
PHIL 236. Theory of Knowledge.
PHIL 245. Metaphysics.

5) Seminars.
Two courses at the 300 level.

6) Senior Thesis.
PHIL 457 or PHIL 458.

Students are urged to take the courses listed in 1) and 2) as soon as possible after they decide to major in philosophy.

The department encourages students to design interdisciplinary majors involving philosophy.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major.

Minor. The minor in philosophy consists of six courses. A coherent program for each student's minor is designed in accordance with program guidelines and in consultation with a member of the philosophy faculty who is chosen or appointed as the student's departmental advisor for the minor. Among the six courses there should be at least four courses related in a coherent group. Examples might include a group of courses relevant to philosophical reflections about the student's major field, or a group of courses on ethical and political questions, or a group of courses on a specific historical period. This group of courses should be designated, in consultation with the departmental advisor, before registration for the third course in the group. The minor may include up to two Short Term units in philosophy.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may be elected for only one course applied toward the minor.

General Education Information for the Classes of 2008, 2009, and 2010. Any one philosophy Short Term unit may serve as an option for the fifth humanities course.

Courses

PHIL 112. Contemporary Moral Disputes.The course focuses on particular moral issues and the ethical arguments provoked by them. Topics discussed in the course may include abortion and euthanasia, war and nuclear arms, world hunger, and the use of natural resources. Not open to students who have received credit for PL/RE 212. Enrollment limited to 30 per section. Normally offered every year. D. Cummiskey. Concentrations

PHIL 195. Introduction to Logic.An investigation of the nature of valid reasoning, coupled with training in the skills of critical thinking. Close attention is paid to the analysis of ordinary arguments. Enrollment limited to 40 per section. Normally offered every year. C. O'Callaghan. Concentrations

PHIL 211. Philosophy of Science.Science has become our model for what counts as knowledge; the course examines that model and discusses how far its claims are justified in the light of the nature and history of science. Topics for consideration are drawn from the nature of scientific explanation, scientific rationality, progress in science, the nature of scientific theories, and the relations of science to society and to other views of the world. Readings include traditional, contemporary, and feminist work in the philosophy of science. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. M. Okrent. Concentrations

PHIL 213. Biomedical Ethics.The rapid changes in the biological sciences and medical technology have thoroughly transformed the practice of medicine. The added complexity and power of medicine has in turn revolutionized the responsibilities and duties that accompany the medical professions. This course explores the values and norms governing medical practice; the rights and responsibilities of health care providers and patients; the justification for euthanasia; and the problems of access, allocation, and rationing of health care services. Not open to students who have received credit for Philosophy s26. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. D. Cummiskey. Concentrations

ES/PL 214. Ethics and Environmental Issues.A study of selected issues in environmental ethics, including questions about population growth, resource consumption, pollution, the responsibilities of corporations, environmental justice, animal rights, biodiversity, and moral concern for the natural world. The course explores debates currently taking place among environmental thinkers regarding our moral obligations to other persons, to future generations, to other animals, and to ecosystems and the Earth itself. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. T. Tracy. Concentrations

PHIL 218. The Constitution of Selves.In Western philosophy, the idea of a self is central. The once dominant view held that selves were atomistic, isolated, literally individuals. Now many theorists regard selves as constituted and maintained through relationships. With this idea as a baseline, this course examines what selves or agents are, the ways in which selves are constituted and sustained, and the role of emotion in the constitution of a self. The course examines the idea of autonomy, especially in light of feminist critiques. And finally, the course explores the possibility of agency in a deterministic, scientific, though not necessarily scientistic worldview. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. S. Stark. Concentrations

PHIL 220. The Rise of Philosophical Analysis.This course explores the history of twentieth-century philosophy by examining the methods and characteristic doctrines of two successive philosophical movements. Students first focus on the early twentieth-century attempt, pioneered by Russell and the early Wittgenstein, to apply the newly developed techniques of formal logic to the analysis of the cognitive significance of our ordinary ways of talking. The course then considers the way in which a later generation of "ordinary language" philosophers, including Ryle, Austin, and the later Wittgenstein, reacted against this attempt. Readings are taken from the works of Russell, G. E. Moore, Wittgenstein, Ayer, Ryle, and Austin. Prerequisite(s): one course in philosophy. Recommended background: Philosophy 195 or two courses in philosophy. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. M. Okrent. Concentrations

PHIL 227. Philosophy of Art.An introduction to central issues in contemporary philosophy of art through the lens of artistic works and practice. Students investigate what constitutes a work of art, artistic representation, the nature of aesthetic qualities, and the relevance of artists' intentions to the evaluation of works of art, with close attention to visual, performance, literary, and experimental art forms. Not open to students who have received credit for AR/PL 226 or AV/PL 226. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30 per section. Normally offered every other year. C. O'Callaghan. Concentrations

PHIL 232. Philosophy of Psychology. The fundamental question philosophers of psychology ask is: Can there be a science of the mind? The major obstacle to an affirmative answer is the nature of consciousness. Thus a significant part of the course focuses on the philosophical problem of consciousness. Emotions, however, also pose problems for the science of the mind, and are also implicated in the nature of consciousness. A second focus of the course is the nature of emotion and its relationship to consciousness. Prerequisite(s): one course in philosophy. Not open to students who have received credit for Philosophy s21. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. S. Stark. Concentrations

PHIL 234. Philosophy of Language.This course is an advanced introduction to contemporary issues in the philosophy of language. Students investigate the natures of reference, meaning, and truth while reading the work of Frege, Wittgenstein, Russell, Kripke, Lewis, Putnam, and others. They address questions such as: What is it for a sign or a bit of language to be meaningful? What is it for words to represent or identify something? What is it for a statement to be truthful? What is a language, and what is it to know a language? How can you believe that Superman flies while believing that Clark Kent doesn't? Prerequisite(s): one course in philosophy. Recommended background: Philosophy 195. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. M. Okrent. Concentrations

PHIL 235. Philosophy of Mind.An inquiry into the nature of human mentality that pays special attention to the issues raised by experience and the relation between thought and language. Is mind distinct from body? If not, are mental states identical with brain states, or does the mind relate to the brain as programs relate to computer hardware? What is the connection between linguistic meaning and thought? Readings are drawn from historical and contemporary sources. Recommended background: one course in philosophy. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. C. O'Callaghan. Concentrations

PHIL 236. Theory of Knowledge.Is knowledge possible, and if so, how? The course investigates how we can know the ordinary things we take ourselves to know. Students are introduced to major philosophical theories concerning when our thoughts about ourselves and the world are rationally justified. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. Staff. Concentrations

PHIL 245. Metaphysics.This course introduces students to some of the central issues in metaphysics. Possible questions considered include: Which kinds of things exist? What is one saying when one says that something "exists"? What does it mean to say that something causes something else? What is one saying when one says that something might possibly be other than it is? What does it mean to say that something is the same identical thing at one time that it is at another? Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. C. O'Callaghan. Concentrations

PHIL 256. Moral Philosophy.Is there a difference between right and wrong? Is it merely a matter of custom, convention, preference, or opinion, or is there some other basis for this distinction, something that makes it "objective" rather than "subjective"? How can we tell, in particular cases and in general, what is right and what is wrong? Is there some moral principle or method for deciding particular moral problems? Philosophers discussed include Aristotle, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Mill, and the Dalai Lama. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30 per section. Normally offered every year. D. Cummiskey. Concentrations

PHIL 257. Moral Luck.This course explores the relationship between luck and morality. It examines the moral and metaphysical problem of free will, determinism, and responsibility, and the related problem of moral luck. It looks at the role friendship plays in the moral life and the ways "relational goods" help to protect us from some of the exigencies of bad luck. It considers Kant's attempt to make morality "safe" from luck and the way Aristotle embraces luck in his moral outlook. It also looks at the nature of evil and the extent to which evil is under our control. Not open to students who have received credit for First-Year Seminar 288 or Philosophy 170. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30 per section. Normally offered every other year. S. Stark. Concentrations

PHIL 258. Philosophy of Law.What is law? What is the relationship of law to morality? What is the nature of judicial reasoning? Particular legal issues include the nature and status of liberty rights (the right to privacy including contraception, abortion, and homosexuality), the legitimacy of restrictions on speech and expression (flag burning and racist hate speech), and the justification of the death penalty. Readings include traditional, contemporary, and feminist legal theory; case studies; and court decisions. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every year. D. Cummiskey. Concentrations

PL/RE 260. Philosophy of Religion.A consideration of major issues that arise in philosophical reflection upon religion. Particular issues are selected from among such topics as the nature of faith, the possibility of justifying religious beliefs, the nature and validity of religious experience, the relation of religion and science, and the problem of evil. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. T. Tracy. Concentrations

PHIL 262. Philosophy and Feminism.Feminist philosophy is an approach to philosophy that takes the experiences, viewpoints, and views of women as primary. One experience of women that is important in a feminist philosophy is the experience of oppression. This course studies the concept and phenomenology of oppression: What is it? How is oppression maintained and perpetuated? What role do men and women play in the oppression of women? How are the different aspects of oppression (oppression on the basis of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or ability) intertwined in the experiences of individuals and groups? The course also focuses on various arenas in which women experience oppression, examining the ways in which gender-based oppression interacts with other forms of oppression, including racism, classism, ageism, abilism, and anti-gay oppression. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every year. S. Stark. Concentrations

CM/PH 271. Greek Philosophy.A study of the basic philosophical ideas underlying Western thought as these are expressed in the writings of the Pre-Socratics, Plato and Aristotle. Greek thought is discussed in its historical and social context, with indications of how important Greek ideas were developed in later centuries. Not open to students who have received credit for Philosophy 271. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every year. M. Okrent. Concentrations

PHIL 272. Philosophy from Descartes to Kant.The problems of knowledge, reality, and morality are discussed as they developed from the time of the scientific revolution and the birth of modern philosophy until their culmination in Kant. The course considers thinkers from among the classic rationalists (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz) and empiricists (Locke, Berkeley, Hume) as well as Kant. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every year. C. O'Callaghan. Concentrations

PHIL 273. Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century.The course follows the development of modern thought from Kant, through the rise and breakup of Hegelianism, to the culmination of nineteenth-century thought in Nietzsche. The impact of science, the relation of the individual and society, and the role of reflection in experience are examined in readings drawn from among Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Feuerbach, Marx, Mill, Nietzsche, and Kierkegaard. Recommended background: two courses in philosophy or Philosophy 272. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. M. Okrent. Concentrations

PHIL 274. Phenomenology.A survey of several of the dominant themes in twentieth-century phenomenology. The course is designed to familiarize students with this area through the study of some of the works of Husserl and Heidegger, among others. Prerequisite(s): one course in philosophy. Normally offered every other year. M. Okrent. Concentrations

DN/PL 290. Aesthetics and Dance.This course approaches issues of aesthetic theory in terms of dance and human performance. Using some of the pivotal texts that have advanced aesthetic understanding through time, students draw dance into the ongoing dialogue of the arts and their cultural significance, investigating the experience of art, the making of meaning, aesthetic perception, and the curse of beauty. Not open to students who have received credit for Dance 290. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 12. Offered with varying frequency. C. Dilley. Concentrations

PL/RE 304. The Problem of Evil.The presence of profound suffering and appalling injustice in the world raises some of the deepest questions that religions seek to address. Can the evils we see around us be reconciled with the classical affirmation that the world is created by a just and all-powerful God? This seminar considers the problem of evil as it arises in the theological and philosophical traditions of the West. Readings include Genesis and Job, Holocaust literature and Jewish theological responses, and contemporary writings in philosophy of religion and theology. Prerequisite(s): one course in philosophy or religion. Not open to students who have received credit for Religion 304. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. T. Tracy. Concentrations

INDS 315. African American Philosophers.This course focuses on how African American philosophers confront and address philosophical problems. Students consider the relationship between the black experience and traditional themes in Western philosophy. Attention is also given to the motivations and context sustaining African American philosophers. Recommended background: African American Studies 140A or African American Studies/American Cultural Studies 119. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, and philosophy. Not open to students who have received credit for Interdisciplinary Studies 165. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. Staff.

PL/RE 316. Nietzsche and Contemporary Religious Thought.This seminar develops a comprehensive and systematic interpretation of Nietzsche's thought and its subsequent influence on contemporary religious thought. The seminar focuses the study of Nietzsche and his legacies around his critique of morality, particularly Western religious morality in his mature writings. The second half of the course is devoted to Nietzsche's influence on contemporary religious thought through an examination of major themes such as critique and tradition, religion and imagination, and the limits of morality. Recommended background: one course in philosophy or religion. Not open to students who have received credit for PL/RE 315. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. J. Swan Tuite. Concentrations

PHIL 321. Seminar: Topics in the Contemporary Philosophy of Mind and Language.An examination of recent discussions of topics concerning language, intentionality, and what it is to be a person. Topics vary from year to year. Concentrations

PHIL 321B. Meaning Holism. Meaning holism is the doctrine that "only whole languages or whole theories or whole belief systems really have meanings, so that the meaning of smaller units are merely derivative." Meaning holism characterizes a variety of twentieth-century views regarding mind and language in both the analytic and Continental traditions. This seminar considers meaning holism in W. V. O. Quine and his descendants, Donald Davidson and Daniel Dennett, among others, as well as recent criticism of this position by Jerry Fodor. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. M. Okrent. Concentrations

PHIL 321C. Colors and Sounds.Traditionally, philosophical thought about perception and consciousness has focused primarily on vision—in particular, on color and color experience. Philosophers interested in the nature and content of experience have much to learn through attention to the distinctive features of other sensory modalities and the things we perceive through them. In this seminar, students examine what colors are, what sorts of things are colored, and the relationship between colors and our experiences of them. They then investigate the nature of sounds and of auditory experience, and address the questions associated with developing a philosophical theory of auditory perception. Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 211, 232, 234, 235, 236, 245, 272, or 274. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. C. O'Callaghan. Concentrations

PHIL 322. Seminar: Topics in Contemporary European Philosophy.An examination of recent developments in Continental philosophy. Normally offered every other year. Staff. Concentrations

PHIL 324. Seminar: Topics in Ethics.This course focuses on important issues in ethics and political theory. Prerequisites(s): Philosophy 256 or 257. Concentrations

PHIL 324A. Seminar: Kantian Ethics.This seminar uses Kant's moral theory as a vehicle to explore some of the central questions and assumptions of Western moral theory. Kantian ethics is typically contrasted with the moral theory of David Hume and its heirs, the utilitarians. Central to this contrast between Kantians and Humeans is an emphasis on the dualisms of reason and passion, duty and sentiment, principle and sympathy, autonomy and heteronomy, right acts and good consequences. In each case, Kant is identified with the first and Hume with the second of the pairs. On the other hand, recent interpretations of Kant's ethics by Marcia Baron, Barbara Herman, Thomas Hill, Christine Korsgaard, and Onora O'Neill present a more unified, and perhaps more compelling, picture of Kantian ethics. This seminar focuses on these new interpretations of Kantian moral theory. Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 256 or 257. Offered with varying frequency. D. Cummiskey. Concentrations

PHIL 324B. Consequentialism and its Critics.Consequentialism is the view that the morally right act is whatever act produces the most good. The appeal of such a view is obvious; it provides a clear way of judging between moral claims, and it generally requires acts that benefit society. Critics complain that consequentialists can manipulate and even kill individuals to achieve their ends, and may also destroy themselves in the process of promoting the good. This course looks at this contemporary debate and the truth about what we ought morally to do. Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 256 or 257. Enrollment limited to 12. Offered with varying frequency. D. Cummiskey. Concentrations

PHIL 324C. Liberty and Equality.Liberty and equality are the central values of contemporary political philosophy. These values, however, inevitably seem to conflict. Unlimited freedom leads to inequality, and remedies to inequality restrict liberty. This seminar focuses on competing accounts of the proper balance of liberty and communitarian political theories, and the issues of economic class, racial injustice, gender difference, and the basic liberties, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship. Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 256 or 257. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. D. Cummiskey. Concentrations

PHIL 324E. Virtue Ethics.Virtue ethics emerged as an important kind of moral theory during the last half of the twentieth century. There are many virtue theories, but they share a focus on the morality of character rather than the morality of individual actions. Many seek an answer to the question, "How shall I live?" rather than, "What should I do?" This course explores both the historical roots of virtue theory found in Aristotle and, according to some scholars, Kant. It also examines several contemporary theories of virtue as well as critics of this approach to moral theory. Prerequisite(s): First-Year Seminar 248 or Philosophy 256. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. S. Stark. Concentrations

PHIL 325. Seminar: Topics in Metaethics.This course examines contemporary theories on the meaning of moral language, the possibility of moral knowledge, the existence of moral facts, the nature of moral arguments, and the relationship between morality and rationality. Philosophers discussed include Moore, Ayer, Stevenson, Hare, Foot, and Mackie. Some background in moral or political theory is recommended. Enrollment limited to 15. Staff. Concentrations

PHIL 350. Seminar on Major Thinkers.The course examines in depth the writings of a major philosopher. Thinkers who may be discussed include Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hume, Marx, Wittgenstein, and Quine. Offered with varying frequency. Staff. Concentrations

PHIL 351. Kant.This course is an intensive study of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Interpretations by contemporary critics are considered. Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 272. Offered with varying frequency. M. Okrent. Concentrations

PHIL 360. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Normally offered every semester. Staff. Concentrations

PHIL 365. Special Topics.A course or seminar offered from time to time and reserved for a special topic selected by the department. Concentrations

PHIL 365A. Human Nature.This course examines human nature from philosophical, evolutionary, and cultural perspectives. Students focus on ideals of rationality, the role of the emotions, the nature of free will, the role of culture and biology, and conceptions of human happiness. Recommended background: two philosophy courses. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: Philosophy 150, 256, 271, or 272. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. D. Cummiskey. Concentrations

PHIL 395. Seminar: Topics in Logic.Students address topics from among: basic metatheory of first-order logic, including soundness and completeness; computability theory and mathematical logic, including Turing machines, the halting problem, and Gödel's incompleteness results; and modal logics and possible worlds semantics. Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 195. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. C. O'Callaghan. Concentrations

PHIL 457. Senior Thesis.Students register for Philosophy 457 in the fall semester and for Philosophy 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Philosophy 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations

PHIL 457, 458. Senior Thesis.Students register for Philosophy 457 in the fall semester and for Philosophy 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Philosophy 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations

PHIL 458. Senior Thesis.Students register for Philosophy 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Philosophy 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations

Short Term Courses

PHIL s17. The Ethics of Care.Several decades ago, Carol Gilligan introduced the idea that women might speak about morality in a different voice from men. Her important work has inspired and contributed to the development of the ethics of care, an approach to ethics that takes women's moral commitments and orientations seriously. This unit presents a careful study of the ethics of care and a critical examination of it. Students read both the historically significant works from which the ethics of care began as well as recent developments of the theory and criticism of it from within feminist circles. [W1] Offered with varying frequency. S. Stark. Concentrations

PHIL s21. Philosophy of Psychology. The fundamental question philosophers of psychology ask is: Can there be a science of the mind? The major obstacle to an affirmative answer is the nature of consciousness. Thus a significant part of the unit focuses on the philosophical problem of consciousness. Emotions, however, also pose problems for the science of the mind, and are also implicated in the nature of consciousness. A second focus of the unit is the nature of emotion and its relationship to consciousness. Prerequisite(s): one course in philosophy. Not open to students who have received credit for Philosophy 232. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. S. Stark. Concentrations

PHIL s25. Asian and Islamic Ethical Systems.This unit provides a comparative study of Islamic and several Asian conceptions of ethics, including Confucian, Buddhist, and Hindu belief systems. Students carry out their own research, focusing on the beliefs, practices, and social structure of a particular tradition or community of their choice. The unit ends with seminars in which students share the results of their research. Prerequisite(s): one course in philosophy. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. D. Cummiskey. Concentrations

PHIL s26. Biomedical Ethics.During the past forty years, the rapid changes in the biological sciences and medical technology have thoroughly transformed the practice of medicine. The added complexity and power of medicine has in turn revolutionized the responsibilities and duties that accompany the medical professions. This unit explores the values and norms governing medical practice; the rights and responsibilities of health care providers and patients; the justification for euthanasia; and the problems of access, allocation, and rationing of health care services. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 12. Normally offered every other year. D. Cummiskey. Concentrations

PHIL s50. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study during a Short Term. Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations

Religious Studies

The study of religion is a humanistic discipline that focuses on religion as one important element in culture. Historical, literary, anthropological, and theological methods of study offer a critical approach to understanding religion and its expressions in myths, symbols, and ideas, as well as in religious communities, rituals, and moral actions.

Because this study often considers fundamental human questions that are asked by every generation, it is closely linked with other academic disciplines that study the nature and character of human life.

Majoring in the field of religion provides a focus for integrated study in the humanities. Majors are expected to consult with members of the department in designing their program. The study of religion often embraces work in other fields, and majors are encouraged to coordinate courses in other fields with their work in religion. More information on the religion curriculum is available on the Web site (www.bates.edu/REL.xml).

Major Requirements. (Note: Students graduating in or prior to 2010 may choose to fulfill the old major requirements listed in the 2006–2007 catalog). The religion major consists of eleven courses (twelve for honors candidates), one of which must be taken in another academic department/program. These courses must comprise:

1) Two courses in theoretical and/or comparative studies of religion. The courses that satisfy this requirement should include a 100-level religion course (preferably taken before the senior year), and one of the following:
RE/WS 207. Adam, Eve, and the Serpent.
REL 211. Religion and Sexuality.
CM/RE 218. Greek and Roman Myths.
REL 222. Myths and Their Meaning.
AN/RE 225. Gods, Heroes, Magic, and Mysteries: Religion in Ancient Greece.
AN/RE 234. Myth, Folklore, and Popular Culture.
PL/RE 260. Philosophy of Religion.
AN/RE 265. Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Religion.

2) Two courses or Short Term units from two of the following areas (for a total of four courses—courses taken that are listed in more than one area cannot be counted twice):

Area A (Judaism/Islam):
REL 213. From Law to Mysticism.
REL 235. Ancient Israel: History, Religion, and Literature.
REL 238. Early Jewish History and Thought.
REL 246. Biblical Narrative.
REL 258. From Shoah to Shoah: Judaism in the Modern World.
REL 264. Introduction to Islamic Traditions.
AN/RE 266. Islam, the Muslim World, and the West.
REL 267. Modern Jewish Thought.
REL 268. Muslim Worlds.

Area B (Christianity):
REL 236. Introduction to the New Testament.
REL 241. History of Christian Thought I: Conflict, Self-Definition, and Dominance.
REL 242. History of Christian Thought II: The Emergence of Modernity.
REL 243. Religion and Its Discontents.
REL 245. Monks, Nuns, Hermits, and Demons: Ascetic and Monastic Christianity.
REL 247. City upon the Hill.

Area C (Religion and Modern Society):
PHIL 112. Contemporary Moral Disputes.
INDS 228. Caring for Creation: Physics, Religion, and the Environment.
REL 243. Religion and its Discontents.
REL 247. City upon the Hill.
REL 255. African American Religious Traditions.
REL 270. Religion and American Visual Culture.
REL s27. Field Studies in Religion: Cult and Community.

Area D (Religion in South and East Asia):
AS/RE 208. Religions in China.
AS/RE 209. Religions in Japan.
AV/RE 244. Visual Narratives in South and Southeast Asia.
AS/RE 249. The Hindu Tradition.
AS/RE 250. The Buddhist Tradition.
AS/RE 251. Religions of Tibet.
AN/RE 263. Buddhism and the Social Order.

3) Two 300-level seminars.

4) A course or Short Term unit from outside the religion curriculum that is associated either with a course listed in requirement 1) above (theoretical and/or comparative studies of religion) or with one of the areas chosen under requirement 2). A list of examples of such courses (in African American studies, anthropology, art and visual culture, Asian studies, classical and medieval studies, English, environmental studies, history, philosophy, politics, and women and gender studies) may be obtained from the department's Web site. Other courses in the curriculum are acceptable with the approval of a student's major advisor. Alternatively, this requirement may be met through two semesters of study at the college level of a relevant foreign language.

5) Religion 450. Senior Research Seminar.

6) Religion 457 or 458 (thesis) or both Religion 457 and 458 (honors thesis).

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major.

Minor. The minor in religion consists of six courses (or five courses and one Short Term unit), which must normally be specified prior to the start of a student's senior year. These courses are to be selected according to the following guidelines and in consultation with a member of the religion faculty who is chosen or appointed as the student's departmental minor advisor: a) one course or unit from requirement 1) above (theoretical and/or comparative studies of religion); b) at least one 300-level seminar; c) four other courses in religion.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may be elected for only one course applied toward the minor.

General Education Information for the Classes of 2008, 2009, and 2010. Any one religion Short Term unit may serve as an option for the fifth humanities course. First-Year Seminars 071, 152, and 309 count toward the humanities requirement.

Courses

REL 100. Religion and Film.This course introduces students to cinematic representations of religion in feature and documentary films. Films about religion are cultural documents in and through which individual artists, religious and nonreligious groups, and nations symbolically construct their conceptions of themselves and the world. They are also the occasion for political, social, and cultural debates about ethnic and national identities. This course adopts a cultural studies approach to the study of films about religion and invites students to investigate the public debate and interdisciplinary questions and issues raised by the release of films such as Jesus of Montreal (Canada), The Last Temptation of Christ (the United States), The Mahabharata (England and India), Shoah (France), and The Color Purple (the United States). Enrollment limited to 40 per section. Normally offered every year. T. Swan Tuite. Concentrations

REL 102. Encountering Religious Diversity.Historically, on a global scale, religious experience appears to be ubiquitous as well as uniquely compelling. In today's interdependent "global village," however, religious diversity, competing truth claims, religious misunderstanding, and religious violence are facts of life — inviting creative thought and initiative. This course promotes an informed understanding of the essential beliefs and practices of several of the world's major religious traditions — Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam — while focusing on contemporary scholarship and voices from within each of these traditions on "religious encounter." Enrollment limited to 40. Offered with varying frequency. S. Schomburg. Concentrations

REL 110. Death and Afterlife: Bodies and Souls in Comparative Perspective.An introduction to the comparative study of religion centering on the ways in which various traditions have addressed a basic question: What happens to humans when they die? Primary attention is given to the answers of at least three of the following religions: Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Chinese and Japanese religions. Ways of studying these answers in their many dimensions (ritual, doctrinal, mythological, sociological, psychological) are introduced; and topics such as notions of heaven and hell, reincarnation, relics, burial patterns, ghosts, visionary journeys to the other world, quests for immortality, near-death experiences, and resurrections are addressed. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. J. Strong. Concentrations

REL 124. Religion and Life Stories.An introduction to Western religious thought through autobiographical writings. Topics explored include the nature and functions of religion, the formation and questioning of religious beliefs, religious conceptions of good and evil, and the links between religion and social-political action. Readings are drawn from figures such as Augustine, Joyce Hollyday, Malcolm X, Rigoberta Menchu, and Elie Wiesel. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. T. Tracy. Concentrations

RE/WS 207. Adam, Eve, and the Serpent.This course examines the historical formation of Genesis 1–3 against the background of its literary, cultural, and historical context and its subsequent interpretation and use in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions. Special attention is given to the ways in which the biblical texts have been interpreted and used to imagine, promote, and justify social orders — both hierarchical and egalitarian — as well as how the construction of gender relations links to the ways in which other social institutions are articulated and justified. Topics include the creation of the cosmos, characterizations of the Creator, the origins and perfection of humanity, the origins of evil, and the human fall from perfection. Offered with varying frequency. T. Swan Tuite. Concentrations

AS/RE 208. Religions in China.A study of the various religious traditions of China in their independence and interaction. The course focuses on the history, doctrines, and practices of Taoism, Confucianism, and various schools of Mahayana Buddhism. Readings include basic texts and secondary sources. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. J. Strong. Concentrations

AS/RE 209. Religions in Japan.A study of the various religious traditions of Japan in their independence and interaction. The course focuses on the doctrines and practices of Shinto, folk religion, and various schools of Buddhism. These are considered in the context of Japanese history and culture and set against their Korean and Chinese backgrounds. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. J. Strong. Concentrations

REL 211. Religion and Sexuality.A study of the variety of ways human conceptions of sexuality are constructed, complicated, consecrated, and institutionalized by religious discourses. This course examines major doctrines, institutional rituals and practices, and visual representations concerning sexuality in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Additional topics include figurations of the sacred; myths of origin; gender; singleness, marriage, and celibacy; sexual orientation; sanctified and taboo sexual practices; eroticism and mysticism; and religious iconography. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. T. Swan Tuite. Concentrations

REL 213. From Law to Mysticism.The literary works of Jewish sages were largely formed under the impact of catastrophe. This course surveys how social, religious, and political events shaped Jewish writings, beginning with the postbiblical works of the Chariot in the first century B.C.E. and C.E., through the Qabbala (Jewish mysticism) in thirteenth-century Spain, to the Hassidic movement in eighteenth-century Eastern Europe. This course includes readings from the Book of Formation, the Zohar, and stories of Hassidic masters, as well as interpretive texts. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. Staff. Concentrations

REL 216. American Religious History, 1550–1840.This course introduces students to the major themes and movements in American religious history from the Colonial period to the end of Jacksonian reform. Among the topics discussed are Reformation "churches" and "sects," Puritanism and secularism in seventeenth-century America, ethnic diversity and religious pluralism in the Middle Colonies, slavery and slave religion, revivalism, religion and the American Revolution, and social reform. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Offered with varying frequency. M. Bruce. Concentrations

REL 217. American Religious History, 1840–Present.The course seeks to understand the importance of religion in the evolution of a sense of national identity and of national destiny for the United States. Consideration is given to the importance of religious traditions both in the development and sanctioning of national mythologies, and in the critique or criticism of these mythologies. The historical background of such considerations begins with Native American religions. The course concludes with a study of "religious freedom" in a multicultural nation again uncertain of its grounds for unity. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Offered with varying frequency. M. Bruce. Concentrations

CM/RE 218. Greek and Roman Myths.Did the Greeks and Romans believe their myths about winged horses, goddesses, and golden apples? How are myths related to the religious, political, and social world of Greece and Rome? This course examines Greek and Roman myths from a variety of theoretical perspectives in order to understand their meaning in the ancient world and their enduring influence in Western literature and art. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 60. Normally offered every other year. L. Maurizio. Concentrations

REL 219. Psychiatric Ethics.This course considers recent developments within psychiatric ethics. It begins with a survey of standard problems raised by psychiatric medicine and vulnerable populations for normative theories. In addition, the course considers how the conceptions of illness and health bear on moral appraisals of psychiatric practices. Recommended background: one course in neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, religion, or ethics. Enrollment limited to 40. Offered with varying frequency. J. Swan Tuite. Concentrations

REL 222. Myths and Their Meaning.Specific examples of myths drawn from a variety of religious traditions (the ancient Near East, India, and nonliterate societies) are examined in the light of classic and contemporary theories about myth. What role do myths play? What do they mean? How do they reflect and relate to other forms of religious expression? These questions are among those addressed from a variety of perspectives. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Offered with varying frequency. J. Strong. Concentrations

AN/RE 225. Gods, Heroes, Magic, and Mysteries: Religion in Ancient Greece.An anthropological approach to ancient Greek religion in which archeological, literary, and art-historical sources are examined and compared with evidence from other cultures to gain an understanding of the role of religion in ancient Greek culture and of changing concepts of the relationship between human beings and the sacred. Topics explored include pre-Homeric and Homeric religion, cosmology, mystery cults, civil religion, and manifestations of the irrational, such as dreams, ecstasy, shamanism, and magic. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. L. Danforth. Concentrations

INDS 228. Caring for Creation: Physics, Religion, and the Environment.This course considers scientific and religious accounts of the origin of the universe, examines the relations between these accounts, and explores the way they shape our deepest attitudes toward the natural world. Topics of discussion include the biblical Creation stories, contemporary scientific cosmology, the interplay between these scientific and religious ideas, and the roles they both can play in forming a response to environmental problems. Cross-listed in environmental studies, physics, and religion. Enrollment limited to 40. [S] Offered with varying frequency. J. Smedley, T. Tracy. Concentrations

AN/RE 234. Myth, Folklore, and Popular Culture.A variety of "texts," including ancient Greek myths, Grimms' folktales, Apache jokes, African proverbs, Barbie dolls, Walt Disney movies, and modern Greek folk dances, are examined in light of important theoretical approaches employed by anthropologists interested in understanding the role of expressive forms in cultures throughout the world. Major emphasis is placed on psychoanalytic, feminist, Marxist, structuralist, and cultural-studies approaches. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 80. Normally offered every other year. L. Danforth. Concentrations

REL 235. Ancient Israel: History, Religion, and Literature.Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (in English translation) with readings in related ancient literature. This course traces the history of ancient Israel from its prehistory in the Bronze Age (the time of the Patriarchs) through to the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonian Empire (the end of the First Temple Period). Major topics of study include the evolution of Israelite religious ideas and practices and the various literary traditions represented in the Hebrew Bible (especially the prophetic, priestly, and wisdom traditions) and such topics as biblical mythology, nationhood, women in ancient Israel, internal politics, and international relations with the ancient Near Eastern centers of civilization. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. Staff. Concentrations

REL 236. Introduction to the New Testament.Readings in the New Testament and related Greek and early Christian literature. Studies of the gospels include investigation into the nature of the early Jesus movement and Jesus' place in the Judaism of his day, the interpretation of Jesus' teaching in the context of Roman-occupied Palestine, and the growth of the Jesus tradition in the early Church. Topics such as the diversity of ideas about salvation, influence of Greco-Roman religious thought, the place of women in the early Church, the break between Christianity and Judaism, and the formation of the early Church in its first century are covered in the study of the New Testament epistles (emphasis on the apostle Paul's epistles) and the book of Revelation. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. Staff. Concentrations

REL 238. Early Jewish History and Thought.Introduction to the later books of the Hebrew Bible and to the literature, religion, and history of Judaism from the Persian Period through the Second Temple Period and the beginnings of the Roman occupation of Palestine. Major topics of study include the formation of Judaism, concepts of nationhood and the Diaspora, the origins of anti-Semitism, Hellenized Judaism, and Jewish apocalyptic. Readings include the later biblical books, selected writings from wisdom and apocalyptic works from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha and from the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jewish historian Josephus, Philo of Alexandria, and selected early rabbinical writings. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. Staff. Concentrations

REL 241. History of Christian Thought I: Conflict, Self-Definition, and Dominance.This course is a study of the convictions, controversies, and conflicts by which an egalitarian Jewish revitalization movement in Palestine became a worldwide religion. Students follow Christianity's development from martyrdom and persecution to a state-sponsored religion of the Roman Empire, from internal heresy and schism to the "One Great Holy and Apostolic Catholic Church." Special attention is given to regional diversity and the changing place of women in the church. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Offered with varying frequency. Staff. Concentrations

REL 242. History of Christian Thought II: The Emergence of Modernity.A study of the development of Christian thought from the fall of the Roman Empire to the beginnings of the modern era. The history of religious ideas in the West is considered in its social and political context. Readings include selections from Augustine, Gregory the Great, Anselm, Hildegard von Bingen, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Offered with varying frequency. T. Swan Tuite. Concentrations

REL 243. Religion and Its Discontents.A study of some encounters between Judaic and Christian traditions and modern culture, as they have developed since the Enlightenment. Attention is given to significant critiques of religion that have helped define the context for understanding religious meaning in a modern and postmodern culture. Readings are drawn from critics such as Spinoza, Hume, Kant, Mendelssohn, Schleiermacher, Kierkegaard, Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Offered with varying frequency. J. Swan Tuite. Concentrations

AV/RE 244. Visual Narratives in South and Southeast Asia.This course examines the narrative art of South and Southeast Asian traditions and the important artistic tradition of narrative paintings, bas-reliefs, and stone carvings. The course focuses on Buddhist and Hindu legends, stories, and folklore. Philosophically, it deals from the visual perspective with religious and popular concepts of reincarnation, rebirth, cause and effect, meritorious accumulation, wisdom perfection, and the ultimate enlightenment. The course explores different contexts in which the works of art were produced. Topics include narrative theory, text-image relationships, Jataka stories (the Buddha's previous lives), a youthful Sudhana's long search for wisdom and enlightenment, and the Ramayana epic. Not open to students who have received credit for AR/RE 244. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 45. Normally offered every other year. T. Nguyen. Concentrations

REL 245. Monks, Nuns, Hermits, and Demons: Ascetic and Monastic Christianity.The history of Christian monasticism from the hermits of the Egyptian and Palestinian deserts to the monastic orders of the Western Middle Ages, to Eastern Orthodox Palamism, and to modern monastic revivals. Topics include monastic demonology; hermit sages and wonderworkers; ascetical mysticism; virgins, widows, and the escape from sexual suppression; pilgrimage and the cult of relics; and the rise of monastic orders. Includes a field trip to a New England monastery. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Offered with varying frequency. Staff. Concentrations

REL 246. Biblical Narrative.Biblical narratives present various stories where we find fear, loss of love, death, and anxiety, all of which are part of the human condition. These aspects are examined through the narratives of creation, and the stories of Joseph, Moses, Samson, Jonah, and Job. Enrollment limited to 40. Offered with varying frequency. Staff. Concentrations

REL 247. City upon the Hill.From John Winthrop to Ronald Reagan, Americans imagined themselves as a chosen people, a righteous empire, and a city upon a hill. The course examines this religious view of America and its role in shaping American ideas regarding politics, education, work, women, ethnic groups, and other countries. Assigned readings include works by Edmund Morgan, Sacvan Bercovitch, R. W. B. Lewis, and William Clebsch. Prerequisite(s): one course in religion. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. M. Bruce. Concentrations

AS/RE 249. The Hindu Tradition.An examination, through the use of primary and secondary texts, of the various traditions of Hinduism, with some consideration of their relation to Jainism and Indian Buddhism. Special attention is paid to the Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagavad-Gita, as well as to the classical myths of Hinduism embodied in the Puranas, and to ritual and devotional practices. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. J. Strong. Concentrations

AS/RE 250. The Buddhist Tradition.The course focuses on the Buddha's life and teachings; on early Buddhism in India and the rise of various Buddhist schools of thought; on the development of Mahayana philosophies; on rituals, meditation, and other forms of expression in India and Southeast Asia. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. J. Strong. Concentrations

AS/RE 251. Religions of Tibet.Tibetan religions are a complex mixture of Indian, Chinese, and indigenous elements. This course focuses on the history, doctrines, practices, literatures, major personalities, and communities of the different religious traditions that are expressions of this mixture, including the rNying ma, bKa' brgyud, Sa skya, and dGe lugs sects of Buddhism as well as the Bön and "folk" traditions. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. J. Strong. Concentrations

REL 255. African American Religious Traditions.This course examines the origins, historical development, and diversity of African American religious traditions from the Colonial era to the present. Throughout American history, African Americans have used religion not only as a means of expressing complex views of themselves and their world, but also as a form of cultural critique, social reform, economic independence, and political activism. Among the movements and topics discussed are African and Caribbean religious influences, slave religion, the rise of African American denominations, the Nation of Islam, the importance of spirituals and gospel music, Afrocentricity, and the civil rights movement. Given the complex nature of African American religious experience, this course adopts an interdisciplinary approach and draws upon scholarship on religion in sociology, politics, history, art, literature, and music. Prerequisite: Religion 100. Enrollment limited to 40. Offered with varying frequency. M. Bruce. Concentrations

REL 258. From Shoah to Shoah: Judaism in the Modern World.This course explores issues and thinkers in modern Judaism. Topics vary from year to year, and may include one or more of the following: twentieth-century European and American Jewish experience, the varieties of modern Judaism, religion and politics in contemporary Jewish thought, gender issues in Judaism, and interreligious relations with Islam and Christianity. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. Staff. Concentrations

PL/RE 260. Philosophy of Religion.A consideration of major issues that arise in philosophical reflection upon religion. Particular issues are selected from among such topics as the nature of faith, the possibility of justifying religious beliefs, the nature and validity of religious experience, the relation of religion and science, and the problem of evil. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. T. Tracy. Concentrations

AN/RE 263. Buddhism and the Social Order.The West looks upon Buddhism as an otherworldly religion with little interest in activity in this world. Such has not been the case historically. The Dhamma (Buddhist doctrine) has two wheels, one of righteousness and one of power, one for the other world and one for this world. Lectures and discussions use this paradigm to consider the several accommodations Buddhism has struck with the realities of power in various Theravada Buddhist societies in ancient India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. S. Kemper. Concentrations

REL 264. Introduction to Islamic Tradition.This survey course introduces the religious traditions of Islam, along with aspects of Islamic civilization and culture. Topics to be addressed include Islamic theology, the Prophet Muhammad, the Qur'an, Sunni and Shi'i traditions, Sufism, Islamic art, women and Islam, and postcolonial Islamic experience, including the rise of Islamic extremism. What does Islam mean to a Muslim? What makes Islam one of the most popular and influential religious traditions in the history of humankind? This course is recommended as a first course in Islamic studies. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Offered with varying frequency. S. Schomburg. Concentrations

AN/RE 265. Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Religion.As human societies change, so do the religious beliefs and practices these societies follow. The course examines the symbolic forms and acts that relate human beings to the ultimate conditions of their existence, against the background of the rise of science. Emphasis is placed on both Western and non-Western religions. Open to first-year students. Offered with varying frequency. S. Kemper. Concentrations

AN/RE 266. Islam, the Muslim World, and the West.The course examines the challenges Muslims confront as they adapt Islam to everyday life in the West. What does it mean to be a Muslim in a non-Muslim context? The course focuses on Muslim immigrants, tracing their movement from country of origin to settlement in the West. It explores the relationship between religion and culture as Muslims redefine Islam in these new contexts. Topics include social practices, identity formation, gender relations, body and space, and representations of Islam. Not open to students who have received credit for Anthropology 266. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Offered with varying frequency. H. Lindkvist. Concentrations

REL 267. Modern Jewish Thought: From Spinoza to Levinas.This course surveys modern Jewish thought with a specific focus on the ways modern Jewish thinkers reconsidered traditional Jewish concepts in modern life. The working assumption is that modern Jewish thought is a complex, creative phenomenon arising from an encounter with three things: 1) non-Jewish philosophical thought, 2) non-Jewish religious thought (especially Christian), 3) social and political realities both inside and outside the Jewish world. Particular attention is given to how Jewish thinkers reconceptualized Jewish ideas in light of the Enlightenment, nationalism, the industrial and technological evolutions, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, the founding of the State of Israel and the emergence of feminism. Prerequisite(s): One course in religion. Enrollment limited to 40. Offered with varying frequency. J. Swan Tuite. Concentrations

CM/RE 268. Religion and Politics in Three Medieval Traditions.This course compares three conceptions of the relationship between religion and politics in three medieval traditions through a careful examination of representatives from each: Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon /Maimonides, Thomas Aquinas, and Ibn Rushd/Averroës. Drawing on recent work in the field of comparative religious ethics, this course utilizes tools and techniques from comparative study of religion to illuminate the intersection or religion and politics in its varied complexity. Enrollment limited to 40. Offered with varying frequency. J. Swan Tuite. Concentrations

REL 269. Muslim Worlds: A Literary and Cinematic Exploration.This course explores diverse "worlds" of Muslim experience and self-understanding through contemporary fiction and feature film by writers and directors from across the Muslim world. In addition to geographical and cultural diversity, the course explores a broad spectrum of Muslim perspectives: those of women and men, adults and children, homosexuals and heterosexuals, socioeconomic elites and subalterns, urbanites and rural village dwellers. What constitutes a "Muslim" life? What does contemporary literature and film tell us about the specific experiences and concerns of Muslims in the modern world? Enrollment limited to 30. Offered with varying frequency. S. Schomburg. Concentrations

REL 270. Religion and American Visual Culture.A study of the constitutive role of visual culture in the formation of American religious traditions and the influence of religious experience on American art and mass culture. Moving from the Colonial period to the present, this course examines the symbiotic relationship between American visual culture and religion in painting, photography, illustrated media, mass-produced objects, memorials, architecture, and decorative items. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. M. Bruce. Concentrations

RE/WS 302. The Body, Liberation, and Medieval Mysticism.This course focuses on some of the more important mystical texts and visionary literature from the High and Later Middle Ages, both orthodox and heterodox. Exploring the varieties of mystical expression and the social and cultural contexts underlying them, students pay particular attention to the role of gender and authority in figures such as Angela Foligno, Mechtild of Magdeburg, Marguerite Porete, Julian of Norwich, and Teresa of Avila. The course also considers several contemporary retrievals of medieval Christian mystics including the work of Simone de Beauvoir, Luce Irigaray, Grace Jantzen, and Frederick Bauerschmidt. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. T. Swan Tuite. Concentrations

REL 303. Seminar in Biblical Criticism.Each year the seminar focuses upon a particular subject in biblical studies, employing the techniques of textual, historical, and form criticism and exegesis for the purpose of developing sound hermeneutical conclusions. Concentrations

REL 303C. Apocalypse.From the perspective of a new millennium, this seminar looks back at 2,000 years of Christian apocalypses and books of revelation to gain an understanding of how this kind of thinking originated and developed. The seminar focuses on apocalypse as a genre and on the major themes, images, and symbol systems of Judeo-Christian apocalyptic imagination. Readings include a wide range of Jewish and Christian books of revelation and personal accounts of journeys out of the body to heavens and hells. These texts are from the Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Jewish and Christian apocrypha ("hidden books"). Prerequisite(s): one of the following: Religion 100, 235, 236, or 238. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. Staff. Concentrations

PL/RE 304. The Problem of Evil.The presence of profound suffering and appalling injustice in the world raises some of the deepest questions that religions seek to address. Can the evils we see around us be reconciled with the classical affirmation that the world is created by a just and all-powerful God? This seminar considers the problem of evil as it arises in the theological and philosophical traditions of the West. Readings include Genesis and Job, Holocaust literature and Jewish theological responses, and contemporary writings in philosophy of religion and theology. Prerequisite(s): one course in philosophy or religion. Not open to students who have received credit for Religion 304. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. T. Tracy. Concentrations

REL 306. Seminar on American Religious Thought and History.The seminar focuses on a different figure, movement, or issue of significance for the development of American religious thought and history. Recommended background: a course in American cultural studies or philosophy. Enrollment limited to 15. Staff. Concentrations

AS/RE 308. Buddhist Texts in Translation.This seminar involves the close reading and discussion of a number of texts representing a variety of Buddhist traditions. Emphasis is placed on several different genres including canonical sutras, commentarial exegeses, philosophical treatises, and popular legends. Prerequisite(s): Asian Studies/Religion 250, Anthropology/Religion 263, or Art and Visual Culture/Asian Studies 243. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] Offered with varying frequency. J. Strong. Concentrations

AS/RE 309. Buddhism in East Asia.This seminar focuses on the teachings, traditions, and contemplative practices of a number of East Asian schools of Buddhism, including the Tiantai (Tendai), Huayan (Kegon), Chan (Zen), Zhenyan (Shingon), and Pure Land traditions. Special consideration is given to the question of the continuities and discontinuities in the ways these schools became established in China, Korea, and Japan. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: Asian Studies/Religion 208, 209, or 250. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] Normally offered every other year. J. Strong. Concentrations

PL/RE 316. Nietzsche and Contemporary Religious Thought.This seminar develops a comprehensive and systematic interpretation of Nietzsche's thought and its subsequent influence on contemporary religious thought. The seminar focuses the study of Nietzsche and his legacies around his critique of morality, particularly Western religious morality in his mature writings. The second half of the course is devoted to Nietzsche's influence on contemporary religious thought through an examination of major themes such as critique and tradition, religion and imagination, and the limits of morality. Recommended background: one course in philosophy or religion. Not open to students who have received credit for PL/RE 315. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. J. Swan Tuite. Concentrations

REL 360. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Normally offered every semester. Staff. Concentrations

REL 365. Special Topics.Offered from time to time on topics of special interest. Concentrations

REL 365A. The Sublime.What is the sublime? Can it be described, labeled, categorized, analyzed, and/or presented? Or is it, as the French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard suggests, the unpresentable, that which we can conceive of and allude to but never present? Can both the desire and attempt to present the sublime in some enduring form become the occasion for terror? This seminar seeks to address these questions in the writings of Lyotard and four contemporary authors who have become witnesses of the unpresentable: Toni Morrison, Primo Levi, Edward Said, and Paul Monette. Each views narration as both a responsible act and a way of mediating the terror of such moments as slavery, genocide, exile, and disease; each attempts to say and write what seems and appears to be unpresentable. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level religion course. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. M. Bruce. Concentrations

REL 400. Religious Studies Capstone Seminar.This seminar is designed to give students completing the General Education concentration Religious Studies a common core/capstone experience. Students examine a variety of theories of religion and use them to consider retrospectively some of the topics already considered in their various courses undertaken as part of their concentration. Required of all Religious Studies concentrators, the course is open to minors and majors also. Prerequisite(s): Three courses or units in religion and a declared General Education concentration in Religious Studies, a major in religion, or a minor in religion. Normally offered every year. J. Strong. Concentrations

REL 450. Senior Research Seminar.A course designed to give senior majors a common core experience in research in religion. Through writing, presenting, and discussing several papers, students explore topics of their own choosing from different theoretical and comparative perspectives. Required of all majors. Enrollment is limited to junior and senior majors and, by written permission of instructor, to interdisciplinary majors. Normally offered every year. T. Tracy. Concentrations

REL 457. Senior Thesis.Research for and writing of the senior thesis, under the direction of a member of the department. Majors writing a regular thesis register for Religion 457 in the fall semester or Religion 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Religion 457 in the fall semester and 458 in the winter semester. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations

REL 457, 458. Senior Thesis.Research for and writing of the senior thesis, under the direction of a member of the department. Majors writing a regular thesis register for Religion 457 in the fall semester or Religion 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Religion 457 in the fall semester and 458 in the winter semester. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations

REL 458. Senior Thesis.Research for and writing of the senior thesis, under the direction of a member of the department. Majors writing a regular thesis register for Religion 457 in the fall semester or Religion 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Religion 457 in the fall semester and 458 in the winter semester. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations

Short Term Courses

REL s27. Field Studies in Religion: Cult and Community.The unit provides an opportunity for in-depth study of one of the many religious groups in southern Maine. In addition to mainstream Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish communities, there are many nearby religious movements of particular interest: Shakers, Jehovah's Witnesses, Eckanckar, Transcendental Meditation, the Shiloh Community, Catholic charismatics, Unitarians, and others. Students carry out their own field research, focusing on the social structure, beliefs, and practices of a community of their choice. The unit ends with a seminar in which students share the results of their research. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. T. Tracy. Concentrations

REL s50. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study during a Short Term. Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations