Philosophy & Religion Home Page
Department Chair: Dr. Steve Hendley
The Department of Philosophy and Religion brings together two of the core disciplines in the humanities.
In the western world, philosophers from Plato to Whitehead have attempted to do systematically and consistently what every reflective person does fragmentarily and haphazardly: to reflect on beliefs about the physical world, moral and religious commitments, aesthetic experiences, relations of the individual to the community, and other phases of human experience. In doing so, philosophers have hoped to deepen their insights into the meaning of human existence and to explore the possibilities for individuals to participate creatively in the reconstruction of their values to meet the new conditions of the contemporary world. In this process, philosophers also have undertaken the task to examine critically what is elsewhere taken for granted. They have developed analytical techniques, such as various systems of logic, studies of the nature and limits of the human understanding, and linguistic analysis.
Collegiate courses in philosophy are invitations to modern undergraduates to participate in this intellectual heritage and to develop analytical techniques essential to it. Upon completion of the philosophy major, students will be able to
- make appropriate use of scholarly literature relevant to the topic in defense of a thesis,
- sympathetically articulate the views of scholarly literature which present arguments that run contrary to a thesis,
- construct a cogent argument in defense of a thesis,
- write in a clear and well organized manner in defense of a thesis,
- speak in a clear and well organized manner in defense of a thesis.
For more information about the Philosophy program, contact Dr. Bill Myers.
The purpose of the study of religion is to introduce the student to the religious heritage of humankind and to challenge the student to think critically and constructively in dialogue with this heritage. An academic understanding of religion is an essential ingredient of a liberal arts education, and thus the faculty of religion teaches a variety of courses in Biblical studies, religious thought and practice, and history of religions to aid students in interpreting the religious dimension of life.
Upon completion of the religion major, students will be able to
- demonstrate a significant familiarity with at least one religious tradition, recognize its diverse manifestations in particular cultural contexts, and engage in informed discussion of its history and practices,
- interpret “textual religion” and apply the methodologies ( linguistic, literary, sociological, historical, rhetorical, or ideological) that relate to the critical interpretation of sacred texts and religious writings,
- integrate the study of religion into other disciplinary studies,
- conduct original scholarly research in the academic study of religion,
- present scholarly research to a public audience.
For more information about the Religion program, contact Dr. Larry Brasher
For more information on these disciplines, including a course listing, please visit the Disciplinary Major/Minor section of the most recent issue of the Birmingham-Southern College Catalog.