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  Jul 24, 2017
 
 
    
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2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Philosophy and Religious Studies


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Philosophy

Professor Alles; Associate Professor Jakoby (Department Chair); Visiting Professor Oh; Lectures Baron and Krebs.

Areas of particular teaching interest: Professor Alles: religions of South Asia and the Mediterranean world, method and theory in the study of religions; Professor Jakoby: 19thand 20th-century continental philosophy, history of philosophy;

Philosophy has been called the queen of sciences because it deals with basic questions concerning our world and ourselves, the underlying ideas upon which the more specialized disciplines are based. Because its methodology is one of rigorous and critical thinking, students find it a valuable preparation for such fields as law, medicine, business, literature, history, and religion, to mention a few. Courses are offered in both the historical and contemporary perspectives, with many of them being issue-oriented.

Philosophical studies are generally divided into two groups: the historical and the issues oriented. Courses in the history of philosophy cover topics from early Greek thought to contemporary philosophy and are closely related to other fields of study such as the sciences, literature, political thought, the arts, language, and economics. Issues-oriented courses deal with the nature of knowledge and truth, the meaning of justice, and ethical values of our time such as war, sex, honesty in government and business, the determination of freedom, the relationship between mind and body, the most desirable society, and gender relations.

The Department offers classes in Continental, Anglo-American, and Asian philosophy and a number of courses in Asian civilization, which allow students to explore various ways of living, thinking, expression, and self-development. Students may plan their programs for general liberal education, for graduate study, or for special objectives in related fields.

Other Educational Options in Philosophy:

Dual major in Philosophy and Religious Studies, and special programs combining Philosophy and other disciplines.

Please see the Dual Major section for dual majors with Religious Studies.

Please see the Education section under Curriculum in this catalog for teacher certification requirements in Philosophy.

Departmental Honors

Students who have a 3.50 GPA in courses in the major, a 3.20 GPA overall and receive an “A” grade on their senior thesis (PHI 4492) receive departmental honors.

Religious Studies

Professor Alles; Associate Professor Jakoby (Department Chair); Assistant Professor Bradley.

Areas of particular teaching interest: Professor Alles: religions of South Asia and the ancient Mediterranean world, methods and theories in the study of religions; Professor Jakoby: philosophy of religion, especially in 19th- and 20th-century continental philosophy, critique of religion in Nietzsche and Heidegger; Professor Bradley: philosophy of science, cognitive science, logic.

Religions make crucial contributions to the human worlds in which we live. They affect our pasts and presents, ideas and convictions, emotions and desires, actions and values, associations and antagonisms, artistic, literary, and musical creations. Courses in religious studies aim to provide students with knowledge and skills that will enable them to understand religions and their contributions, both positive and negative, and so to live intelligently and humanely. They do not presume any religious commitment on the part of the student, nor do they endorse, promote, or condemn any particular religion, set of religions, or religion in general. Instead, they examine religions as subjects of academic inquiry, and they use a variety of methods to do so, humanistic, social scientific, at times even natural scientific.

Students often find courses in Religious Studies helpful in broadening their perspectives not only on religion but also on the world. A major or minor in Religious Studies is often a good way to broaden or globalize a primary major.

The Baltimore-Washington area is home to a particularly rich variety of religions. In addition to sponsoring films, speakers, and other cultural events on campus, the Department regularly supplements course work with visits to religious institutions in the area.

Other Educational Options in Religious Studies: Special programs combining Religious Studies with other disciplines.

Four hours in Religious Studies or permission of instructor are prerequisite for all courses numbered 3000 and above.

Please see the Education section under Curriculum in this catalog for teacher certification requirements in Religious Studies.

Please see the Dual Major section for dual majors with Philosophy.

Departmental Honors

Students who have a 3.50 GPA in courses in the major, a 3.20 GPA overall and write a Senior Thesis with a grade of A– or higher receive departmental honors.

A student who completes a major in religious studies will be able to: identify an intellectual problem pertaining to religion as a human phenomenon; bring knowledge of religions and academic traditions in the study of religions to bear upon the problem; and propose, communicate, and defend a solution. In keeping with these objectives, the major in religious studies has three components: (a) a core of courses which develop critical thinking skills with respect to religion and introduce students to academic traditions in religious studies; (b) a concentration in a major religious tradition or community; and (c) electives. Most students will take the Senior Seminar in Religious Studies as their capstone experience.  Selected students may complete this requirement with Collaborative Research in Religious Studies.  Students who wish to graduate with honors in Religious Studies must write a Senior Thesis.

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