Scroll Through Some of Our Courses
Scroll Through Some of Our Courses
An investigation of Buddhist images, symbols, stories, doctrines, ethics, and practices as they relate to understanding the environment and humanity's relationship with it. Classical texts as well as modern commentaries by Buddhist teachers, writers and activists will be examined.
Examines a wide range of controversial issues concerning the moral responsibilities of human beings toward the natural environment with special attention to competing philosophical theories on the moral status of non-human species and natural ecosystems.
Since Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands over 175 years ago there has been much debate over whether the theory of evolution necessarily eliminates a belief in God. Even in theological circles ideas about God and how God creates and maintains the universe have been severely revised. This course will examine the Judeo-Christian understanding of creation, modern views of evolution, and current debates about God and creation, review developments of creation theology through the centuries and then move on to learn about the science of evolution. Theological sources will include the classical theism of Thomas Aquinas and the notion of emergent probability developed by Bernard Lonergan in our contemporary era.
In this course students examine human relationships with non-human animals through the lenses of Buddhism, Christianity, theories and methods in religious studies, and through reflection on their own lives. What roles have non-human animals played and do they play now in these religious traditions, in other aspects of culture, and in the lives of students themselves? How does having a body, an attribute that human and non-human animals share, relate to religion, its study, and human-animal relations? Students volunteer in animal-related groups (veterinarian offices, animal shelters, and farms, for example) as they find their own voices in this emerging interdisciplinary field.
This seminar will examine the unprecedented ethical challenges raised by climate change. Readings will incorporate religious and non-religious ethical approaches and a variety of disciplinary lenses, including natural sciences, social sciences, and economic and policy perspectives. Students will engage these arguments through readings, discussions in class and online, and a final synthetic essay, in order to address questions of why and in what ways climate change matters morally, and how moral agents might respond.
This course, which calls for involvement in some faith-based or otherwise engaged form of appropriate activity or service, offers students a capstone opportunity to examine their spiritual experiences and religious beliefs in the context of active engagement with environmental issues in a variety of ways. Reflection on the engagement experience, expressed both in written form and through oral presentation, is required.
The issue of anthropogenic alterations to the climate and biosphere raises ethical dilemmas that are related to climate breakdown, mass human migrations, species loss, and the quandaries posed by end-stage global capitalism. This course examines such dilemmas.
At the root of social, political, and ecological injustices in our society is a vision of people and land fundamentally at odds with the Biblical testimony. This course explores Biblical understandings of the relation of people to land and their implications for social justice and ecological sustainability. Particular attention is given to agrarian and political ecological perspectives.