Graduate Studies

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
2014-2015

Some academic departments and colleges do not provide a major at the graduate level. However, these departments or colleges do offer courses for graduate credit. Permission to use these courses in a degree program must be obtained from the appropriate Departmental Graduate Committee.

Chairperson:  Gordon Pettit
Office:  Morgan Hall 456
Telephone: (309) 298-1057
E-mail: PRS@wiu.edu
Website: wiu.edu/philosophy or wiu.edu/religiousstudies

Graduate Faculty
Professors

  • Susan Martinelli-Fernandez, Ph.D., University of Chicago
  • Gordon Pettit, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
  • Christopher A. Pynes, Ph.D., Florida State University

Associate Professors

  • Amy Carr, Ph.D., University of Chicago
  • Sarah Haynes, Ph.D., University of Calgary

Associate Graduate Faculty
Professor

  • David Haugen, Ph.D., University of Washington

Associate Professors

  • Betsy Perabo, Ph.D., Yale University
  • Brian Powell, Ph.D., University of Virginia

Course Descriptions

Philosophy (PHIL)

405G (cross-listed with REL 405G) Philosophy of Religion. (3) A critical examination of the philosophical issues arising from religious beliefs, utilizing historical and contemporary writings. Topics may include the existence of God, evil, faith, religious pluralism, and the relation between religious beliefs and ethics. Prerequisites: One 100- or 200-level Philosophy course or permission of the instructor.

410G Business Ethics. (3) An introduction to ethical theory and its application to the assumptions and consequences of modern business practices. Prerequisite: any lower-division philosophy course or permission of the instructor.

420G Philosophy of Law. (3) An examination of philosophical problems raised by law including the nature and aims of law, the relation of law and morality, the rationale of legal responsibility and punishment, and legal obligation and the rule of law. Prerequisite: One 100- or 200-level Philosophy course or permission of the instructor.

425G Philosophy of Mind. (3) A critical study of selected topics in the philosophy of mind such as consciousness, intentionality, dualism, the varieties of materialism, functionalism, and artificial intelligence. Prerequisite: One 100- or 200-level Philosophy course or permission of the instructor.

499G Directed Readings. (1–3) Individual study of particular philosophical texts or problems. May be repeated, provided topics vary. Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy and permission of the instructor.

Religious Studies (REL)

405G (cross-listed with PHIL 405G) Philosophy of Religion. (3) A critical examination of the philosophical issues arising from religious beliefs, utilizing historical and contemporary writings. Topics may include the existence of God, evil, faith, religious pluralism, and the relation between religious beliefs and ethics. Prerequisites: One 100- or 200-level Philosophy course or permission of the instructor.

451G Contemporary Theology. (3) An examination of selected contemporary Christian theological themes and thinkers, as well as some recent Jewish and/or Muslim perspectives. Prerequisite: One 100- or 200-level Religious Studies course or permission of the instructor.

452G Great Jewish and Christian Thinkers. (3) An introduction to several Jewish or Christian thinkers, including theologians, or mystics who have shaped western religious imagination and culture. Such figures might include Paul, Augustine, Maimonides, Luther, Teresa of Avila, Martin Buber, or Simone Weil (among others). Prerequisite: One 100- or 200-level religious studies course or permission of the instructor.

456G Religion and War. (3) An examination of religious perspectives on the legitimacy of war, the conduct of war, and participation in or support for the military. Prerequisite: One 100- or 200-level religious studies course or permission of the instructor.

457G Ritual and Performance in Religion. (3) An examination of ritual and performance in world religions including theoretical approaches to the study of ritual and performance and an investigation into the function of religious rituals and performances in the lives of practitioners. Prerequisite: One 100- or 200-level religious studies course or permission of the instructor.

458G Comparative Asian Religious Thought. (3) An examination of key issues related to the philosophy of Asian religions and their conceptual thinkers. Prerequisite: REL 110 or permission of instructor.

464G (cross-listed with SOC 464G) Sociology of Religion. (3) An analysis of religious groups and institutions, a comparison of religion in sacred and secular societies, and the effect of religion on behavior and social institutions. Not open to students with credit in SOC 464G. Prerequisites: SOC 100 and one additional Sociology course, or permission of the instructor.

492G (cross-listed with ENG 492G) Religion, Literature, and Film. (3) Study of multicultural literary and cinematic texts engaging a wide range of religious and philosophical traditions. Examination of the religious and the secular via narrative; consideration of literary and filmic interpretation via religious and philosophical questions. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

499G Directed Readings. (1–3) Individual study of particular religious texts or problems. May be repeated, provided topics vary. Prerequisites: Two courses in religious studies and permission of the instructor.