Religious Studies | Religion, Ethics and Public Life
R170 | 6399 | R. Miller

COLL A&H distribution and credit hours will count in the Religious
Studies major.

This is an introductory course in religion and ethics, focusing on
social responsibility and moral reasoning.  We begin by examining
basic methods and tools in ethics, after which we will examine six
topics: abortion; war and peace; death and dying in medicine;
economic justice; discrimination; and environmental ethics. The
chief goal of the course is to explore the complexity of these
topics and to understand how religious thought, belief, and practice
inform moral discussion in American public life today.  Along the
way, we will ask whether individuals or groups have a responsibility
to protect the interests of vulnerable or “at-risk” populations:
fetuses, political communities under attack, women in the economic
and cultural marketplace, sick and dying patients, the poor, racial
minorities, and nonhuman lives.  These groups, and the issues that
surround their needs, stand at the center of debates in public
culture today. With each topic we will examine different arguments
and points of view.  We will close the semester by studying some
religious themes that inform most of the readings, focusing on
creation and covenant.  Sources draw from Judaism, Christianity, and
contemporary social thought.