REL CTH Religion and Ethics Introduction to Christian Ethics Prof
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REL 201/ CTH 246 Religion and Ethics 1/ Introduction to Christian Ethics Prof. Michael Skerker Office hours by appointment. 2327 N. Racine, rm. 204 firstname.lastname@example.org Lincoln Park MW 3:30-5:00 This course fulfills a “Religious and Ethical Questions” requirement. This course will introduce students to Jewish, Roman Catholic and Protestant ethics on the fundamental level. As the basic terms of analysis will be taken from philosophical ethics, the course will also include a brief overview of styles of philosophical ethics. Attention will be paid to how theological ethics differs from philosophical ethics, and how the three traditions appropriated, criticized, or distinguished themselves from the philosophical traditions with which they had contact. Course goals: • The student should develop a basic understanding of believers’ (or all humans’) basic moral obligations, according to the various traditions; • understand the traditions’ relation to secular philosophy; • understand basic categories and organizing foci of philosophical ethics such as teleology, deontology, virtue, consequentialism, rules, character, and community; • grasp the manner in which the traditions’ positions have developed over time, through the influence of canonical texts; • develop critical reading and thinking skills; • The student will also be invited to develop a critical awareness of her or his own views on the relevant subjects, including how, if at all, these views are informed by the religious tradition in which she or he has been raised. Course requirements: • Reading assignments are to be prepared for the dates given. Study questions are to be turned in weekly via blackboard. Modes of assessment: 35% -Attendance, homework, and participation. In lieu of quizzes, students will turn in study questions weekly. Attendance is mandatory; crucial information is imparted in lectures and class discussions (students who rarely come to class almost always fail the exams). One absence is allowed without penalty, no questions asked. All other absences result in a 5 point reduction per absence from this grade (out of 100). Each missing homework assignment constitutes a 3 point reduction from this grade. Thoughtful class participation and evident effort can massively help the grade. 25% - 6 pg paper. More information on sheet posted on blackboard. 25% - multiple choice exam 15% - 3 pg paper. More information on sheet posted on blackboard. An “A” paper will skillfully and accurately explain the studied authors’ arguments, and make sophisticated critical comments. If the authors’ position is ambiguous (at least in the opinion of leading scholars), the reasons for the student’s interpretation will be readily apparent. “A” range is 90-100 A “B” paper will present the authors’ arguments in a mostly clear and accurate manner, and express the student’s opinion on the subject. If an author’s position is mischaracterized, the link between the flawed presentation and the student’s critical conclusions will at least be clear. “B” range is 80-89. A “C” paper will present the authors’ positions in a recognizable form. “C” range is 70-79. A “D” paper will at least indicate that the student did the reading and has given some thought to the question at hand, if not in a critical fashion. “D” range is 60-69. There are four required texts and a course packet for this course: Kelly Clark & Anne Poortenga, The Story of Ethics Pope John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor (The Splendor of Truth) Moshe Chaim Luzzato, The Path of the Just Martin Luther, Lecture on Galatians, ed. Fallowes course packet INCOMPLETE EXPIRATION (effective autumn 2003) Undergraduate and graduate students have two quarters to complete an incomplete. At the end of the second quarter (excluding summer) following the term in which the incomplete grade was assigned, remaining incompletes will automatically convert to "F" grades. In the case of the Law School incompletes must be completed by the end of the semester following the one in which the incomplete was assigned. Ordinarily no incomplete grade may be completed after the grace period has expired. Instructors may not change incomplete grades after the end of the grace period without the permission of a college-based Exceptions Committee. This policy applies to undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. NOTE: In the case of a student who has applied for graduation and who has been approved for an Incomplete in his or her final term, the incomplete must be resolved within the four week grace period before final degree certification. Plagiarism is easy to catch and will result in an “F” for the course. Extensions on papers will readily be granted, and extra help is there for the asking. Do not resort to copying other people's work. (This includes homework assignments.) Plagiarism: Plagiarism is a major form of academic dishonesty involving the presentation of the work of another as one's own. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to the following: A.The direct copying of any source, such as written and verbal material, computer files, audio disks, video programs or musical scores, whether published or unpublished, in whole or part, without proper acknowledgement that it is someone else's. B. Copying of any source in whole or part with only minor changes in wording or syntax, even with acknowledgement. C. Submitting as one's own work a report, examination paper, computer file, lab report or other assignment that has been prepared by someone else. This includes research papers purchased from any other person or agency. D. The paraphrasing of another's work or ideas without proper acknowledgement. CONTRACT This is a challenging course, particularly if the student has a minimal background in humanities courses. There is significant amount of reading, some of it challenging. Expect 6 hours of homework a week. This is not the course to take if the student is looking to meet a distribution requirement with the minimal amount of effort possible. Please consider if this is the course for you and sign the statement below if you wish to take the course. I, the undersigned, understand that this course has a significant amount of reading, some of it challenging. I am prepared to do 6 hours of reading a week, and am willing to work hard to meet the course goals. Signed: Date: [To access e-reserves: go to www.depaul.edu; click on “libraries,” then on “Eres” or “e-reserves” a few times, then select instructor name, then enter password “REL228” and select the reading you wish to download or print.] [To access blackboard: Go to www.depaul.edu , click on “libraries,” click on “blackboard” (at top of page), click on “log-in,” log-in with your campus connection code, click on “business, ethics, and society,” click on “course documents” (left side of page), then click on document you wish to view.] • Note that, between the books and reserve readings, there may be more than one article by a given author, and that in some cases, sections of an article are assigned for different weeks. Please look carefully at the assigned author, title, and page numbers. • Free advice: newspaper articles and case studies can be skimmed in many cases, while the philosophical and theological texts require closer attention and multiple readings. This is how scholars read: put a ruler, index card, or finger under the line you are reading (you can double your reading speed and improve your comprehension this way); underline important sections and make little notes in the margins; re-read a paragraph you don’t understand but don’t get bogged down on an incomprehensible part that may become clearer in context; look up new words or ask the professor. When you’ve finished, go over the underlined parts and jot down a brief outline; ask yourself, what was the author’s main point? Taking a few minutes to write down notes will massively come to your aid later. • Readings are to be prepared for the date under which they appear. Page numbers are inclusive: p.1-3 means read pages 1, 2, and 3. This course has a significant amount of reading; pace yourself accordingly. Do not leave all the reading for the night before it is due. Also, be aware that we will be weaving back and forth between authors and time periods. Always be cognizant of a text’s author (and his/her role, e.g. rabbi, theologian, pope, professor, etc.), the time in which it was written, and what sort of text it is, e.g. a historical summary, an interpretive essay, or a text with the authority to set official doctrine within a tradition, e.g. by a rabbi, bishop or pope. Note taking is encouraged. Mon. 3/27 First day. Wed 3/29 Greek and Roman philosophy Story of Ethics, 7-29, 34-38, 43 in bookstore WEEK 1 HOMEWORK QUESTIONS DUE TODAY HOMEWORK QUESTIONS (ON BLACKBOARD, UNDER “ASSIGNMENTS”) ARE DUE BY THE START OF EVERY WEDNESDAY CLASS. PROCEDURE FOR TURNING IN HOMEWORK: GO TO YOUR BLACKBOARD PAGE FOR THIS CLASS. CLICK ON THE “ASSIGNMENTS” BUTTON ON THE LEFT; CLICK ON “View/Complete Assignment: Week # questions” AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LIST OF QUESTIONS FOR THE APPROPRIATE WEEK AND ATTACH A SHEET OF ANSWERS USING THE “BROWSE” FUNCTION). CLICK “SUBMIT” WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED. YOU CAN SAVE PARTIALLY COMPLETED ANSWER SETS BEFORE SUBMITTING THEM. Mon 4/3 Early modern philosophy Story of Ethics, 51-54, 54-61, 72-77, 79, 81-91, 96-103 Wed 4/5 Torah [With biblical texts, e.g. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Ezekiel, Amos, Matthew, Mark, Romans, Corinthians, Galatians… “Genesis 1-4” means chapters 1-4; “Exodus 32:1-14” means chapter 32, verses 1 through 14] Genesis ch. 1-4, 12; Exodus 19-21, 32:1-14; Leviticus 18-20; Deuteronomy 26:16-19, 30:11-20; Ezekiel 18; Amos 3:1-2; 4:1-2, 10-24; 8:1-14; P Elliot Dorff, “The Covenant,”pp. 59-67 ON BLACKBOARD (BB) ONLY WEEK 2 HOMEWORK QUESTIONS DUE Mon 4/10 Talmud Abraham Cohen, Everyman’s Talmud, pp. 88-95, 210-235, 238-246 P Jewish Rationalism Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, pp. 43-47, 51-65, 88-89, 102-107 P Wed 4//12 Religion and philosophy Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed, I. 33; III. 26-27; II. 13, 15, 16, 25 P WEEK 3 HOMEWORK QUESTIONS DUE Mon 4/17 Jewish Mysticism Isaac Luria, The Pious Customs of Isaac Luria, pp. 27-29, 61-70 P Joseph Karo, The Pious Customs of Joseph Karo, 54-57 ON BB ONLY Moshe Chaim Luzzato, The Path of the Just, ch. 1-7 avail. in bookstore Wed 4/19 Moshe Chaim Luzzato, The Path of the Just, ch. 8- p. doublecheck WEEK 4 HW QUESTIONS DUE Mon 4/24 Moshe Chaim Luzzato, The Path of the Just Wed 4/26 Multiple choice test Mon 5/1 Life of Jesus; Christian conflict with philosophy Gospel of Mark, 9:2-8, 14-29; 10: 42-52; P Gospel of Matthew 27; 28:1-10, 16-20 P 1 Corinthians ch. 1-3, P Tertullian, The Prescription Against Heretics, sec. 6-10 READ BB VERSION St. Augustine, City of God, Bk. VIII. Ch. 3, 8; II. 3, 4, 6; V. 14-15; P St. Augustine, The Usefulness of Belief, sec. 2, 3, 5, 13-17, 19, 22-24, 26, 27, 34 P St. Augustine, On the Morals of the Catholic Church, ch. 2-8, 11, 13, 15, 19-28, 30 P Wed 5/3 St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, Bk I, ch. 3, 4, 7, 8, P Christian recontextualization of the law; Original Sin Romans 1:13-32, P St. Augustine, City of God, XIV 13, 15, P Romans 2:11-3:4, 3:9-5:12 P St. Augustine, City of God, XIV 12, P Romans 5:13-8:15, 9:30-10:11, 12:1-2 P WEEKS 5 and 6 HOMEWORK DUE TODAY Mon 5/8 The Meaning and Purpose of Human Life; The Significance of Moral Action Veritatis Splendor (VS), sec. 2, 3, 6-10; avail. in bookstore; also on-line in multiple langs. St. Augustine, City of God, XIV 4 P St. Thomas Aquinas packet, p. 1-6 (Q63, 64 on p. 6) BB only Natural Law VS, sec. 11-12; Aquinas packet p. 6-8 (law); Perfectionism VS, sec. 42-43; Gospel of Matthew, ch. 5-7; P Aquinas, p. 9 (Q107), 11 (ch. 54) (new law, JC) Brother Uglioni, The Little Flowers of St. Francis Assisi, ch. 2 P Moral Action VS, sec. 13-20; Aquinas, p.10-11 (Q109 on p.11); VS, sec. 22-27; Jean Porter, “The Moral Act in Veritatis Splendor,” p. 279-280, P VS, sec. 71-73, 77, 80; 38-43, 50-53 Augustine, City of God XI 2, XIV 11 P VS, sec. 95-97, 102-105 Wed 5/10 3 pg papers due. Mon 5/15 The Protestant Reformation: Luther Galatians 2:16-21; 3; 5; 6 P Martin Luther, Lecture on Galatians, ed. Fallowes, xi-xviii, 36-7, 64-76, 70-87, 90 (mid. Paragraph), 163-175, 97-99, 128-133, 145-148, 189-195, 240-243, 333-345 in bookstore Martin Luther, Bondage of the Will, 141-143 P Martin Luther, Freedom of the Christian, pp. 56-82. P Wed 5/17 Calvin Jean Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Bk. I: ch. iii. sec. 1-2; vii. 1-2, 4-5; viii. 1; xvi. 4-7, 9; xvii. 1, 3-6, 8-11; xviii. 1-4; [knowledge of God; authority of Scripture; Providence] P WEEKS 7 AND 8 HW DUE Mon 5/22 Institutes of the Christian Religion, Bk. I: ch. xv. 1, 8; Bk II: ch. i. 5, 8; ii. 8, 12; iii. 5; iv. 2; Bk. III: ch. xxi.1, 7; xxiii. 2-6, 8, 9, 12; xxiv. 2, 3, 12, 17; xvi. 3; [Original Sin; Bondage of Will; Pre-destination] P Wed 5/24 Institutes of the Christian Religion, Bk. II: vii. 1-6, 8, 10, 12, 15; viii. 1, 3, 6, 7, 29, 31, 35, 36, 39, 41, 44-46, 48, 50, 51, 53-56; [law] P WEEK 9 HW DUE Mon 5/29 Memorial Day. No Class. Keep pace with the reading. Institutes of the Christian Religion, Bk. II: xvi. 3; Bk. III: ii. 1-2; iii. 1, 21; vi. 1, 3, 5; vii. 1-7, 9, 10; viii. 1-2, 11; xix. 1-5, 12; [faith, regeneration; Christian life] P Radical Reformation Schleitheim Confession P Wed 5/31 Balthasar Hubmaier, On Free Will, pp. 118-135 P Dietrich Philips, The Church of God, 234-237, 242-255 P WEEK 10 HW DUE 6 pg paper due one week after last class, 6/7, by 4:45pm (earlier submission is fine) to 2327 N Racine, rm. 204. (Ring doorbell if locked. You can also submit paper to my mailbox in 2333 N Racine (walk straight past secretary to end of hall; mailboxes on your right.) Style and grammar guidelines denoted on the “3 and 6 pg instruction sheet” on blackboard Pick three thinkers, each from a different tradition (the Greco-Roman philosophical trad. counts), or three traditions (we sort of did the Catholic tradition as a single monolith) and present their views in a critical and comparative paper on one of the following topics: 1. how Scripture is being read and interpreted 2. what constitutes the moral life 3. virtue 4. moral rules vs. virtues 5. reason vs. faith 6. the “virtuous pagan,” i.e. the good person who is not a member of the religion in question 7. the relation of the moral to happiness 8. the relation of the moral life to one’s place in the afterlife 9. take one tradition and analyze its general picture of the moral life with respect to the three basic moral views: virtue theory, deontology, and consequentialism You can also suggest a topic to me.