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Course Descriptions


Religion

1310: The Bible in One Semester
No Prerequisites. The course emphasizes reading though the entire Bible; and becoming familiar with general historical backgrounds, important figures, themes, and teachings.

1330: Introduction to Christianity
No Prerequisites. An Introductory level course for all students. Satisfies 3 hours General Education requirement. The course is a general introduction to the history, theology, and social impact of Christianity past and present with attention given to the relationship of Christianity to persons and institutions in the modern world. (Fall, Spring)

2309: The Holocaust through the Eyes of Elie Wiesel
No Prerequisites. This course examines the Holocaust through the writings of Elie Wiesel, a renowned Holocaust survivor. Readings by Weisel are augmented with film and documentary presentations. Implications and events of the Holocaust are examined through religious, literary and historical perspectives. (Same as REL 4309 but for lower level credit) (May)

2310: Introduction to Christian Ministry
No prerequisites. Faithful Christian ministry requires spiritual and intellectual formation. This course introduces students to ministry within the context of Christian discipleship. It is intended for all students discerning a vocation to ministry, and is required of all Religion majors and minors.

2330: Introduction to the Old Testament
No Prerequisites. This course satisfies 3 hours General Education requirement. The course is a survey of the Old Testament which investigates the history of the Hebrew people, the nature and development of their relationship with God, and the transmission of their tradition and experience in literary form. (Fall, Spring)'

2340: Introduction to the New Testament
No Prerequisites. This course satisfies 3 hours General Education requirement. The course is a survey of the New Testament which investigates the life of Jesus, the emergence of the Christian movement, and the articulation of the Christian experience in literary form. (Fall, Spring)

2350: Religions of the World
No Prerequisites. For all students, Majors and Minors. Satisfies three hour optional Humanities General Education requirement. The course surveys selected major religions with some considerations of their founders, their major concepts, their historical development and influence. (Fall)

2360: Research Methods in Religion and Philosophy
Prerequisites: Completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, REL 1330 or REL 2330 or REL 2340 or PHIL 2350. An introduction to methods of research and writing germane to the disciplines of religion and philosophy, with an emphasis on critical assessment of relevant disciplinary scholarship.

3300: Homiletics
Prerequisites: REL 1330 or REL 2330 or REL 2340. This course focuses on the development and delivery of sermons grounded in a Christian theology of preaching. Theological and hermeneutical foundations for preaching are explored and applied. Careful attention is devoted to sermon development, form, structure, and delivery. Students develop, write, and orally deliver sermons in class.

3310: Eastern Orthodox Theology
Prerequisite: REL 1330 or permission of instructor. Satisfies the three-hour optional Humanities General Education Requirement. A study of major figures and themes in Eastern Orthodox thought, with attention both to points of commonality and difference between Eastern and Western Christian theology.

3315: Catholic and Protestant Theology in Dialogue
Prerequisite: REL 1330 or permission of instructor. Satisfies the three-hour optional Humanities General Education Requirement. A comparative study of Catholic and Protestant theology, with special attention to points of commonality and difference between these traditions of Christian belief.

3320: Biomedical Ethics
Prerequisites: REL 1330 or permission of instructor. Satisfies the three-hour optional Humanities General Education Requirement. A study of the major ethical issues at stake in health care. Attention is given to religious, philosophical, professional, and historical dimensions of the moral analysis of medicine.

3330: Christian Ethics
Prerequisites: REL 1330 or permission of instructor. This course satisfies the optional Humanities General Education requirement. An introduction to major themes and figures in Christian moral analysis, with attention to both applied and theoretical dimensions of ethics. Topics addressed include abortion, sex, war and peace, euthanasia, and political action.

334(a-k): Advanced Biblical Studies
Prerequisites: REL 2330 or 2340 or permission of instructor. For majors and minors or an advanced elective. The course involves intensive study of one Biblical book, theme, problem, or concept. The content of the course will be specified each time the course is offered. A student may repeat the course when the topic differs. (Fall, Spring)

3335: Introduction to Hospital Ministry
Prerequisite: REL 2310 or permission of instructor. This course introduces students to hospital ministry with special attention to the foundational concepts and basic skills necessary for engaging patients and families, reflecting with peers, and interacting with healthcare professionals.

3340: Pastoral Care and Counseling
Prerequisite: REL 2310. The work of the minister is explored with particular attention to pastoral caregiving in congregational contexts. Topics include pastoral theology, pastoral counseling, professional limits and counseling referrals, bereavement, mental health crises, alcohol and drug adition, family ministry, hospital ministry, prayer ministry, ministry through the lifespan, and self-care of the minister.

3375: History of Christianity to 1500
Prerequisite: REL 1330 or permission of instructor. Satisfies the three-hour optional Humanities General Education Requirement. This course examines the intellectual, institutional, and social history of the Christian church up to the eve of the Protestant Reformation.

3385: History of Christianity from 1500
Prerequisite: REL 1330 or permission of instructor. Satisfies the three-hour optional Humanities General Education Requirement. This course continues the survey of the history of Christianity begun in REL 3375, exploring the Protestant Reformation and the many Christian churches, sects, and movements that have developed since 1500.

3390: Christianity in Scotland
Prerequisites: REL 1330, 2330, or 2340, or permission of instructor. A course on the history of Christianity in Scotland from its origins to the present day. In addition to reading and research in the subject matter, the course requires participation in a study tour of Scotland, (May or Summer, even years)

4309: The Holocaust through the Eyes of Elie Weisel
Prerequisite: none. This course examines the Holocaust through the writings of Elie Wiesel, a renowned Holocaust survivor. Readings by Weisel are augmented with film and documentary presentations. Implications and events of the Holocaust are examined through religious, literary and historical perspectives. This course satisfies the three-hour optional Humanities General Education requirement. Cross-listed with ENG 4309. (Same as REL 2309 but for advanced credit) (May)

4320: Philosophy of Religion
No Prerequisites. Cross-listed in Philosophy. For majors and minors and fulfills Humanities General Education requirement. This course examines the conceptual basis and logic of religious commitment. Emphasis on the varieties of theism together with appraisals of competing views, rational grounds for belief in God, the problem of evil, and human destiny. Issues will be related to contemporary theology. (Fall odd years)

4330: Sociology of Religion
Prerequisite: For majors and minors and advanced elective credit. Sociology 2300, or Senior classification. (Also cross-listed as Sociology 4330). This is a study of the effect of social forces in shaping the thought and practices of Religious institutions. Special attention will be given to American denominational politics, congregations, and seeker culture. (Spring odd years)

4340: Worship and Liturgy
Prerequisite: REL 2310. This course focuses on the history and theology of Christian liturgy and the development of skills for planning and leading worship in the local church.  Topics include the service of the Word, the celebration of sacraments, weddings, funerals, and the liturgical calendar.

4365: The Christian Bible: Formation and Interpretation
Prerequisite: REL 1330, 2330, 2340, or permission of instructor. This course explores both the canonization process of the Christian Bible (Old and New Testament) and the various methods of scriptural interpretation employed within the Christian tradition.

4370: Medieval Church and State
Prerequisite: REL 1330 or permission of instructor. This course focuses on the prolonged struggle within Christendom to determine whether the church or state was to play the dominant role in medieval Christian society.

4375: Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, and Luther
Prerequisite: REL 1330 or permission of instructor. This course explores the lives and thought of four giants in the history of the Christian church in the West. Each figure will be studied in his own context and placed in dialogue with the other thinkers.

4380: The Methodist Movement, Pietism and Evangelical Revival
Prerequisite: REL 1330 or permission of instructor. This course examines the development of Pietism and Evangelicalism, including the Wesleys and the rise of Methodism.

4388: Internship in Christian Ministry.
Prerequisites: 24 hrs toward requirements for the major or 15 hrs towards the minor. Supervised field experience in various forms in Christian education. For majors or minors. Students can take up to two terms (including summer) to complete internship. The amount of credit for each term will vary in accord with specific arrangements. Christian education directors, pastors and laymen cooperate with college faculty to supervise students in the development of professional awareness and skills needed for leadership in the educational programs of the Church. (As needed)

4390: Senior Seminar in Religion
Prerequisite: Senior Standing as a Religion major or permission of instructor. A senior seminar required for all Religion majors. The course focuses on directed readings of classic texts in relation to perennial issues in religion. (Spring)

4X95: Independent Studies
Prerequisite: 6 hours of religion. For religion majors and minors. This course is arranged between an advanced student and an instructor to provide intensive study in a particular area of interest. The course includes a definition of goals appropriate for the advanced student, ways of attaining those goals, a schedule for frequent consultation, and means of measuring progress. (By arrangement)

XX99: Special Topics
Prerequisite: 3 hours of religion. For religion majors or minors. A course of study offered occasionally to groups of students to broaden departmental curriculum, to meet student demand, or to observe special events. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. (By arrangement)

4X96: Honors Tutorial
Prerequisite: See requirements for honors. For religion majors. This course provides the honors student in religion with the multifaceted disciplines in the study of religion (both academic and practical) Those admitted to the honors program will work with the religion department faculty in this tutorial either in conjunction with existing advanced departmental offerings or in an independent study tutorial. (By arrangement)

4X97: Senior Thesis/Project
Prerequisite: See requirements for honors. For honors candidates. The student wishing to graduate with honors in religion will successfully complete a Senior thesis or Senior project in religion. The Thesis/ Project incorporates independent research and the gathering of data, analytical and hermeneutical skills, and the presentation of results in both written and oral form. Each student will have a thesis or project supervisor from the Department of Religion and the thesis must have the approval of the supervisor and at least one more member of the religion department. (By arrangement)

Greek

The department of Religion and Philosophy administers studies in New Testament Greek in order to fulfill its goal of preparing students for graduate or seminary work.

2410, 2420: New Testament Greek Grammar I and II
No prerequisites. The fundamentals of New Testament Greek grammar, vocabulary, and orthography, with emphasis on the use of language in Biblical translation and interpretation. Readings from the Gospel according to John and other early Christian writings in the second semester. (2410 every other Fall even years; 2420 every other Spring odd years)

3310: Greek Translation I
Prerequisites: 2410, 2420. Translation and interpretation of the synoptic accounts of the life and significance of Jesus in the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, with further grammatical study and introduction to textual criticism and the use of commentaries on the Greek text. (every other Fall odd years)

3320: Greek Translation II
Prerequisites: 2410, 2420, 3310. Translation and exegesis of a New Testament document with special attention given to the writer’s theology and its interpretation by commentators. (every other Spring even years)

4X95: Independent Studies
Prerequisites: advanced standing in a major or minor and permission of instructor. Upper level elective for majors and minors. This is an advanced study or research program arranged between supervising faculty and the student, which defines goals appropriate for the advanced student, ways of attaining those goals, a schedule for frequent consultation, and a means for measuring progress. (by arrangement)

XX99: Special Topics (level and credit variable)
Prerequisites: permission of instructor. Elective for majors and minors. Courses of this nature are infrequent or unique topics of study offered occasionally to groups of students to broaden the departmental curriculum, to meet student demand, or to observe special events. Courses of this type may be repeated for credit when topics vary. (by arrangement)

Philosophy

2350: Introduction to Philosophy
Prerequisites: None For all students. May count as fulfilling the additional three hour option in humanities or elective credit. This course acquaints students with the fundamental problems of philosophy and the cardinal issues confronted in major areas of philosophy, aimed at giving historical background in philosophical, scientific, and religious traditions as well as providing resources for understanding issues and problems of contemporary society. (Fall, Spring)

3300: History of Ancient Philosophy
Prerequisites: PHIL 2350 or permission of instructor. For all students. May count as fulfilling the additional three hour option in humanities or advanced elective credit. This course examines the development of the basic problems and perspectives of Ancient Greek and roman philosophical thought, with major attention to the pre-Socratic period; Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle; Epicureanism, Stoicism, Skepticism, and Neoplatonism (Fall odd years)

3305: Medieval Philosophy
Prerequisites: PHIL 2350 or permission of instructor. For upper level students. May count as fulfilling the additional three hour option in humanities or advanced elective credit. This course examines the main problems, influences and major thinkers of the Middle Ages; the origins of Christian philosophy, its development through the early and later Middle Ages; Scholastic philosophy and its critics. (Fall even years)

3310: History of Modern Philosophy
Prerequisites: PHIL 2350 or permission of instructor. For upper level. May count as fulfilling the additional three hour option in humanities or advanced elective credit. This course examines the main developments in modern philosophy from the Renaissance and Seventeenth Century to the post-Hegelian philosophies of the Nineteenth Century, showing the relation of philosophical theories to the political, economic, religious, and cultural aspects of modern society. (Spring even years)

3320: Logic
Prerequisites: None. May count as fulfilling the additional three hour option in humanities or advanced elective credit. This course analyzes the principles of sound reasoning with regard to the development of clear thought and accurate expression. The course provides a basic introduction to informal and formal logic; traditional and symbolic deductive logic; the logic of the sciences and the philosophy of language. (Fall, Spring)

3325: Symbolic Logic
Prerequisites: None. For upper level students. May count as fulfilling the additional three hour option in humanities or advanced elective credit. The course is an introduction to the concepts, methods and theory of Modern Logic, with emphasis on acquiring basic skills for analytical reasoning and expression, proofs of validity, and understanding the nature and application of formalized logistic systems. (Spring even years)

3330: Topics in Ethics
Prerequisites: PHIL 2350 or permission of instructor. For upper level students. May count as fulfilling the additional three hour option in humanities or advanced elective credit. Classical and modern theories of value and morality posing alternative views of responsibilities to self and society; designed to assist in application of ethical principles in contemporary society. (Fall odd years)

3340: Social and Political Philosophy
Prerequisite: PHIL 2350 or permission of instructor. A study of the nature and foundation for political society and the state, basis for political obligation, and rights of the State vs. those of individuals. Representative figures include Nozick, Rawls, Rousseau, Hegel, and Marx.

3345: Philosophy of Mind
Prerequisite: PHIL 2350 or permission of instructor. A study of the mind-body problem with particular attention to materialism, the nature of consciousness, qualia, and artificial intelligence. Or, a study of the nature of human action with special attention to intentionality, practical rationality, and moral psychology. Course may be repeated for credit with permission of instructor.

4300: Metaphysics and Epistemology
Prerequisites: PHIL 2350, a 3000 level PHIL course, or permission of instructor. A study or the nature and foundation of knowledge and the ultimate nature of reality. Issues include skepticism and justification, internalist vs. externalist accounts of knowledge, the status of universals, free will vs. determinism, and realism vs. anti-realism. Designed primarily for philosophy minors or students with advanced standing in philosophy. Course may be repeated for credit with permission of instructor.

4310: Contemporary Philosophy
Prerequisites: PHIL 2350, a 3000 level PHIL course, or permission of instructor. For upper level students. This course covers the main philosophical movements and individual thinkers of the 20th century; including idealism, realism, pragmatism, logical positivism, scientific empiricism, phenomenology, linguistic analysis, existentialism, deconstruction and philosophical hermeneutics. (Spring odd years)

4320: Philosophy of Religion
Prerequisites: None. For upper level students. Fulfills Humanities option and may be counted for advanced Religion credit. This course examines the conceptual basis and logic of religious commitment. Emphasis on the varieties of theism together with appraisals of competing views, rational grounds for belief in God, the problem of evil, and human destiny. Issues will be related to contemporary theology. (Fall odd years)

4X95: Independent Studies
For minors. This is a study program arranged between an advanced student and an instructor to provide intensive study in a particular area of interest. The course includes a definition of goals appropriate for the advanced student, ways of attaining those goals, a schedule for frequent consultation, and means of measuring progress. (as needed)

XX99: Special Topics
For minors. This course is offered occasionally to groups of students to broaden departmental curricula, to meet student demand, or to observe special events. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. (as needed)

4X96: Honors Tutorial
Prerequisites: 12 hours in philosophy and admission to departmental honors program. The course concentrates on a major area or complex of problems in philosophy, draws on relevant contemporary and classical sources, and will cultivate the student’s ability to think and write philosophically. The course requires weekly conferences with the instructor. (as needed)

4X97: Senior Thesis
Prerequisites: 12 hours in philosophy, admission to departmental honors program and approval of thesis project by department and honors committee. Findings will be reported in writing and orally to an appropriate forum. (as needed)

4398: Senior Seminar
Prerequisite: 15 hours of philosophy. For honors students, majors or minors or advanced elective credit. This course concentrates on one, two, or three of the classic philosophers or philosophical problems. Students taking the course for honors credit must enroll concurrently in PHIL 4X97, Senior Thesis, and complete the thesis as part of this course. (as needed)


For More Information Contact

Dr. Jeffery Kinlaw, Chair
Department of Religion and Philosophy
1 McMurry University #1028
Abilene, TX 79697

Office: Old Main 204C
Phone: 325-793-3897