Course Description Examples

Art Topicsl
The Face of the Invisible God: Byzantine Iconography
Introduction to Byzantine Iconography which includes to the development of the historical, the theological, and the technological aspects of Christian art from its roots in 1st century Judea to the past iconoclastic period (1100 c.e.) of Constantinople.

The class will be divided into these selections of emphasis as follows:

  • The historical development of the Icon (8 hrs)
  • The theological development & liturgical use of the Icon (12 hrs)
  • The technical aspects of the writing (making) of the Icon (16 hrs)

Museum Studies
This course will introduce the student to the history and practice of museums, with a focus on Chicago museums and collections. Study will include exposure to careers in art museums, professionals in the field, and all aspects of museum operations.


Communication Topics
Cross-Cultural Communication
This course will analyze the contemporary debates surrounding the concept of cross-cultural communication and understanding. Deriving questions and topical readings from the humanities, the social sciences, the arts and education, the course will consider subcultures, organizations, and other social groups. Specifically the readings will focus on the problems of cross-cultural and cross-social understanding, and on how misunderstanding occurs between persons representative of different sociocultural traditions. A number of written assignments and multi-media projects will allow students to draw on their own experiences in order to understand how contrasting forms of representation further aid or hinder the communication process.
 
Communication Law & the Internet
This course will focus on general legal issues that the internet age presents. Specifically, we address jurisdiction (when can an internet user be taken to court?), copyright, First Amendment protections, invasion of privacy, and trademark law. We also examine the laws Congress is considering to deal with these evolving issues.



English Topics
Creators under Communism
Two prominent 20th Century artists, Milan Kundera and Krzysztof Kieslowski, wrote novels and films that were first produced under and then highly inflected by their experiences living under Communist rule in their native countries.  Kundera's earliest novels take place in Czechoslovakia, both right after the 1948 communist coup and in the wake of the 1968 Soviet invasion, while Kieslowski's earliest films were created under the auspices of the state-run film industry in his native Poland. Both men created works that questions and critiqued communism, Kundera more directly, Kieslowski simply by showing what real life was like in Poland in his documentaries and early narrative films, and opposing it to the version of reality being propagated by the state. This course will trace the careers of both men, from their earliest beginnings as communist reactors to their metaphysically inflected later works, with an eye to understanding the relationship between the phases of each man's career as well as the extraordinary similarities between the artistic output of both men.

The Many Moods of Romeo and Juliet
The course studies the "Romeo and Juliet" story with its origin in Roman mythology and Shakespeare's dual treatments as the play-within-a-play "Pyramus and Thisbe" in A Midsummer Night's Dream and the Italian tragedy Romeo and Juliet.  The evolution of the treatment of the story will be traced as it is shaped by genre, and social and political changes, through study of the "Romeo and Juliet" theme of Berlioz and Tchaikovsky (concert works), Gounod (opera), Wagner (Tristan and Isolde-opera), Prokofiev (ballet), and Bernstein (West Side Story-musical theater).  The films by Zefferelli and Baz Luhrman will also be examined.

History & Literature of the Great War
The central thesis of this course is that World War I, the "Great War," was the defining social phenomenon of the 20th century. Students study the War's impact on European and American literature as well as the political, military, economic, social, and psychological issues more commonly associated with war and conflict in general. Readings include works of history and historiography, literary criticism, autobiography, and fiction. Each student will have the opportunity to focus on a particular area of interest.

Romance & Religion in English Drama
This course studies the relation of the art of playwriting to selected religious and social issues from the 15th to the 20th centuries. The course focuses on how plays both reflected and shaped the understanding of God, love and the social order.

America from the Inside Out
Capture the meaning of what it means to be American from the earliest time of settlement up to the present. What are the expectations that Americans have historically attached to their citizenship? To what extent are those expectations peculiar to particular times and places? Are there identifiable meanings of Americanism that transcend the limitations of a given individual experience? We answer these questions by examining first person narratives, starting with William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation.

From Gutenberg to Gates: Literature and Text through the Age of Print
The internet has resulted in renewed attention about how the media of expression affect what we say. Beginning with the introduction of moveable type in early modern Europe, pausing briefly on the advent of film and television in our own culture, and examining the social impact of internet communications, this course considers the control, characterization, and production of various forms of literature, as well as addressing what literature is and who has access to it in various media.
 
History & Literature of American Women
Focus on the experiences of early American women depicted in their own writings as well in the works of modern historians. We attempt to understand the development over time of gender roles, sexual stereotypes, and women's attempts to shape social change. Topics discussed will include: witchcraft, family life, midwifery, slavery, suffrage, war, immigration, and westward expansion.
 
World War I in History & Literature
Focus on the experiences of early American women depicted in their own writings as well in the works of modern historians. We attempt to understand the development over time of gender roles, sexual stereotypes, and women's attempts to shape social change. Topics discussed will include: witchcraft, family life, midwifery, slavery, suffrage, war, immigration, and westward expansion.

American Ethnicity in Film & Literature
In this course, students read texts in literature, film criticism, and sociology and study films which use food as a major metaphor. Through these texts and films, students will gain a richer understanding of the nature of ethnicity, especially the American bi-cultural experience. Requirements include class discussion of the material, presentation of researched and original film criticism, critical writing based in the print sources, and one final exam.

12 Great Characters in Western Music & Lit

Great characters in literature with the music they inspired, arranged in a roughly chronological order to follow the expression of character through literature and music from the antiquity to the 20th century.

Film, Food, and Family
In this course, we will study seven feature films from different ethnic backgrounds which intertwine themes of food and family. To inform our viewing, we will use texts on film study, the sociology of family and cultures, culinary studies and the anthropology of food, and fiction about food. Some central questions the course will address include: What happens to the idea of food across ethnicities? Does food really have anything to do with family in contemporary society? How does popular culture influence attitudes toward food and family?

The Folktale in the Ancient World
Explores the nature and meaning of the traditional narrative structures found in folktale's. Begins by comparing the Grimm variants of the most widespread tale types (Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, etc.), to variants from other cultures. Use of folkloric theory (Psychoanalytic, Ritual, Feminist) will attempt to explain why these stories are enduring and widespread. Finally, understanding of narrative types is applied to their more complex use in epic and tragedy with focus on The Quest, The Conquest, and The Return. Students should achieve a broad understanding of the use of traditional story types as well as the ability to identify and interpret their use in both ancient and modern texts.

Religion and Popular Culture
In what ways do Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the media represent religious imagery, ideas, and practices, and why? How are churches and religious groups changing and evolving in the midst of an increasingly entertainment-driven, consumer-oriented culture? Such questions are explored through a study of relevant topics, including religion in film and advertising, representations of good and evil in the media, mega-churches, consumerism and "selling God," cults, the evangelical revival, Promise Keepers and the Goddess of Movement.

The Historical Novel
A crucial genre in the development of the 19th- and 20th-century fiction, the historical novel created a new audience in the years immediately after Napoleon's defeat. It also served as the starting point for realist fiction which was to dominate the rest of the century. After World War I, the genre underwent a series of renewals, including the relatively recent line of "Magic realism" and the brainy excursions of professional philosophers and historians. Involves reading of historical novels and study of related films.

Women's Writing/Women's Lives
Works written by women in a variety of times and places; these writings will include canonical works, works usually considered minor, and other texts like letters, diaries, prayers, and religious and political writings, which have traditionally not been considered literature, especially when written by women without a formal masculine education. We will study the writing of women who vary in life situation, age, race, class, and wealth and read selections from critics and historians who have attempted to generalize about women's writings.

African Politics & Literature
This course uses the social and historical basis as a vehicle to achieve understanding of modern Africa and its literature. And it uses the literature as a valuable resource to achieve this social and historical understanding. We begin with an analysis of traditional (pre-colonial) society and history, then move to an examination of European colonization and the African response, and conclude with an analysis of contemporary Africa's problems and prospects.

Fiction by American Women
Short fiction and novels written by American women from the late 19th century to the present, focusing on five texts that explore representations of women establishing a sense of identity at different ages, in various cultural and historical contexts. Includes images, characters, and narrative techniques that American women writers have employed to represent the American experience(s) of women and men.

Asian and Middle-Eastern Literatures and Cultural Studies
A look at Asian and Middle Eastern literatures in English, or in English translation, by way of studying Asia and the middle East as they are imagined as cultural entities in these literatures. Pre-colonial, colonial, and postcolonial interpretations of these cultures.

Women & Gender in Early Modern Literature
Scholars have formulated theories about women and gender that have changed the way we look at early modern literature. Examines four groupings of literary texts from the 14th to the 20th century in light of the disparity between women and men in terms of legal rights, education, and social privilege.

Writing for Children and Young Adults
A course in creative writing, specifically focusing on children's literature. In order to produce children's literature, students will learn its mechanics, its genre, the formal conventions of the genre, and the deeper purpose and spirit of children's literature. This by lecture, by assigned reading, and by personal exercise. Students will produce several forms of children's material; among them: children's theater, the fable-like tale, and oral stories.

20th Century Fiction
Readings of representative works of the most important British and American novelists of the 20th century, with emphasis on various theories of fiction dominant during the period.

African-American Women Writers Since World War II
This course focuses on the way contemporary African-American women writers shape and modify their works by exploring the intersections of their own history, myths, spirituality, traditions, and literary antecedents and by using self-inspired genres, themes, and styles from their distinctive black culture. The readings will invite an exploration of these alternative (European and European American) models for ways they reshape or recreate the old structures, figures, and language that have been inherited, with emphasis on family histories, multiple identities and the role played by construction of gender. Readings will range from Ann Petry to Gwendolyn Brooks to Tina Ansa McElroy.

Presentation of Self in Romantic & Victorian Writing
In this course the goal is to become better acquainted with several writers of the period who brought into the forefront of their work the problems of presenting a self in literary forms. One of the prevailing questions will concern the "I" of the literary text; who is that "I" and what is the relation between author, "I," and the reader? We will read Dorothy and William Wordsworth, Keats, Charlotte Bronte, Gaskell, Browning, Nightingale, and Newman. Students should expect to learn not only through reading, but also through significant attention to their writing throughout the course.

Fiction of the Vietnam War
This seminar will examine important fictional responses to the Vietnam War. Among issues for discussion are the following: what, besides combat, provides the proper material for war fiction? How, during times of war, do people - soldiers and civilians - discover meaning and dignity. What is the language of war? What metaphors most compellingly represent the experience of war?



Ethics & Values
Sociomoral Issues in Medicine & Health Care
This course is for students or professionals seeking an understanding of ethical issues related to medicine and health care. A series of 5-6 workshops address a variety of topics including: why ethics; healthcare and the law, beginning of life and end of life issues.

Religion, Ethics, and the Healing Arts
Study of the controversy between religion and science and the potential benefit of on-going dialogue between theologians and scientists. Topics include creation and evolution; cosmology and theology; genetic and human uniqueness; origins both scientific and religious truth and morality. Students will be challenged to form a personal view of the world and a faith perspective that is adequate for their own treatment of these various issues.

Human Rights & Response to Social Victimization
The last century has been characterized by horrendous wars and genocide as well as a development of unprecedented recognition and guarantee of the rights of all humans. This course explores the reasons and effects of both the violence and the progress toward human cooperation and the greater respect for human rights using case studies such as the Holocaust as well as recent and current events as a way to see how the future can point toward either more instability and violence or greater prospects for peace and justice.

Legal Profession & Ethics
A study of the professional code of conduct for lawyers, including those professed by the ABA, and the role of ethics in issues such as conflict of interest, malpractice, duty of candor in the tribunal client's right to counsel, and competent performance.

Creation, Genetics & the Human Being
Genetic engineering has challenged the conventional way in which creation is understood, with deliberate alteration of genes to bring about species with "better" attributes. While understood as interference with the work of the Creator, scientists sometimes charge religions with upholding outdated convictions and hampering progress with benefits to agriculture and medicine. Both sides of the argument are analyzed in their peculiar sociocultural and historical settings, with special reference to the Human Genome Project and its implication for the very understanding of what the human being is all about. Work with the biblical texts of creation, and important Jewish, Christian, and Muslim sources are referenced.

Biomedical Ethics
A study of moral issues raised in health-care and biological research (e.g. abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering, and resource allocation). Attention is given both to ethical theory and to practical issues.

Ethics and Professional Responsibility
This course, consisting of a series of eight workshops, is designed to increase awareness of and sensitivity to ethical issues in professional and workplace environments. Each workshop focuses on a different aspect of professional ethics and is presented by an expert in the field. A final session is devoted to presentations of papers by students.

Geography Topics
Biogeography
The study of where plants and animals are distributed in the world at present and in the past, why species occur where they do and where they come from. Concepts include: community ecology, speciation and extinction, dispersal, environmental change and conservation. Field exercises, air photos, satellite images, maps and geographic information systems will be used as tools.

Anthropology-American Indian
Regional treatment of the past and current conditions of North American Indian land use and settlement from the Columbian to the Reservation periods. Attention is given to the regional analysis of native cultural areas and the impact of federal policy on contemporary social issues.

Historical Geography of the U.S.
A regional treatment of the exploration, colonization, territorial expansion, migration, transportation, settlement and economic development of our country in relation to the physical environment. Course is primarily designed for students concentrating in the social sciences.

Applied GIS
The application and execution of GIS in the marketplace. Students will enhance their applied knowledge of GIS packages. Individual projects will focus GIS technologies to practical career-oriented needs.

Field Study: Yellowstone Park
This field study course to Yellowstone National park introduces students to the breadth of the discipline of geography, including both cultural and physical geography and to the techniques and methods of geographic field work. This class will travel to Yellowstone, following the route of the historic Oregon Trail.



History Topics
History & Literature of the Great War
The central thesis of this course is that World War I, the "Great War," was the defining social phenomenon of the 20th century. Students study the War's impact on European and American literature as well as the political, military, economic, social, and psychological issues more commonly associated with war and conflict in general. Readings include works of history and historiography, literary criticism, autobiography, and fiction. Each student will have the opportunity to focus on a particular area of interest.

America from the Inside Out
Capture the meaning of what it means to be American from the earliest time of settlement up to the present. What are the expectations that Americans have historically attached to their citizenship? To what extent are those expectations peculiar to particular times and places? Are there identifiable meanings of Americanism that transcend the limitations of a given individual experience? We answer these questions by examining first person narratives, starting with William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation.

Holocaust and Social Responsibility
A systematic study of the many issues stemming from the events of the Nazi holocaust and how those events have affects both Jews and Christians. The course constructs a possible religious and moral response to events such as the Holocaust.

History & Literature of American Women
Focus on the experiences of early American women depicted in their own writings as well in the works of modern historians. We attempt to understand the development over time of gender roles, sexual stereotypes, and women's attempts to shape social change. Topics discussed will include: witchcraft, family life, midwifery, slavery, suffrage, war, immigration, and westward expansion.

World War I in History & Literature
An examination of World War I, including the origins of the war, the outbreak of hostilities, the conduct of the War, and the conclusion of the peace treaties. Emphasis will be on the political and diplomatic aspects of the "Great War," with special attention given to literary as well as economic, social, and psychological issues associated with it.

Modern Germany, 1780-1989

Survey course in the history of Modern Germany from the Enlightenment to National reunification. It addresses national politics, international relations, social and intellectual change, and the dramatic events of the 20th century. Our objective is to convey a sense of Germany's pivotal role in European and world history since Goethe. Readings include a mix of historiography, primary sources and literature.

Roots of Civil Strife: A Global Perspective
Writers, scholars, and political leaders have characterized the 1990s as the decade when "the lid was lifted off the pot," and many forms of civil strife boiled over into open conflict. This course examines the role that ethnic, religious, and territorial rivalries have played in parts of the Balkans, Central Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and other troubled areas, and explores a number of crucial questions: Is ancient hatred at the root of modern warfare? What forces could be driving riots, uprisings, and crackdowns in countries around the globe? And can anything be done to repair a society once neighbors have been pitted against each other?

Ethnicity in the US during the Century of Immigration: 1820-1924
Examines how immigration affected the creation of American identity between 1820 and 1924. The primary focus of this class will be on the interaction between minority groups and the larger society. We will seek to understand how the arrival of new immigrants prompted native-born Americans to repeatedly redefine the meaning of citizenship. Within a chronological structure, we will incorporate selected themes of immigration history, such as assimilation, nativism, gender, race, and religion.

Modern Middle Eastern History
In this class we will take a retrospective look at the history of the region beginning with the rise of Islam and the legacy of early splinter movements that profoundly impact the 20th century history -- the Iran-Iraq War being one for example. Attention will be devoted to understanding the Arab-Israeli conflict and its regional and global dimensions. Two field trips.

The Great Witchcraft Delusion
The course will examine some primary conceptions of the nature of our world for clues to the emergence of the witch stereotype and systematization of witch beliefs. It will then proceed to a study of the witch hunts themselves, moving from Western to Eastern Europe, then jumping the Atlantic for a brief look at the hunt in 17th century America.

Contemporary Europe: Century of Violence
A study of 20th century Europe, with emphasis on relations between Nazi Germany and Europe, including the USSR. The course explores the rise of ideologies such as communism and fascism and themes associated with the post World War II world.

The Age of Anxiety: United States since 1945
An examination of the post-war American response to the prospect of living in an uncertain world.

Beats & Hippies: The American Counter-Culture 1945-1970
This course will explore the nature of the postwar protest against the dominant culture through the examination of art, music, philosophy, and especially, fiction, and film.



Liberal Studies Topics

Getting it Right with the Body

The course is of an exploratory nature leaving ample space for unconventional inquiry.  It invites the participants to get actively involved in open, spirited discussion and writing.  The three main sections to be addressed are: philosophical aspects of body perception up to Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650), medical aspects and implications resulting from his definition of the ‘body as machine’, and biblical-theological basics on the corporeality of human beings.

Psychology and Music

This course provides an overview of the study of the psychology of music.  Addresses cognitive processing of music as well as music’s relationships with human emotion, behavior, coping, language, and cognitive functioning.   Functions of music for individuals and social groups are examined. Students are expected to examine the role of music in their own lives.  Prior coursework in social sciences is helpful but not required.

Cultural Contests in Making of America

It turns out that while we often speak as if American identity simply exists, it has always been a topic of rich debates—involving literature and art as much as politics.  Beginning with the Revolutionary period, this course will follow the contesting voices of these debates as they played out through the Civil War era and “the American century” to resound finally in our own time of increasing globalization.  It will familiarize students with three major cultural themes that have informed core discussions and conflicts over American identity and that have also drawn the interest of generations of American studies scholars:  “Revolution,” “Liberating Slaves,” and “Crossing Borders.”  Within these thematic parameters we will be exploring visual art, political expression, cinema, and scholarship in order to better understand and analyze key works by significant American writers, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Toni Morrison, and Cormac McCarthy.


Greek Civilization: Roots of Western Competition
Introduces students to the ancient Greek agonistic spirit and the important role athletics played in Greek civilization. This course combines the study of Greek art (male statuary and vase painting), of architecture (athletic buildings and stadium), of archaeology (Olympia, Delphi, Isthmia, Nemea and Athens), of literature (the description of contests in such works as the Iliad and Odyssey and the development of the athletic metaphor in Greek literature), of Greek social structure (no females, no foreigners in athletic competitions, etc.), and of the influence of the "ancient athletic ideal" on the development of the competitive spirit of Greece.

Ethnic Conflict: The Role of Religion, Politics, & Mass Media
Ethnic issues and conflicts have captured world headlines since the end of the Cold War. Hope for international peace has been marred by conflicts producing millions of casualties and nearly 25 million refugees. The revival of religious extremism has complicated the transition to democracy and global market economies. This course examines the multiple causes of ethnic conflict, the roots of which lie in the myths and symbols, moral values, and the narratives that people tell about themselves largely through mass media.

Evil in Modern Thought
This course will examine how the "problem of evil" has been studied and addressed by philosophers, social scientists, and in the popular media. We will examine the social and religious contexts that impact moral judgments on good and evil. Students will explore how the concepts of good and evil impact interpretations about the causes and consequences of phenomena like natural disasters, mental illness, and genocide. Students will also examine the way "evil" has been portrayed in Western literature and film and how these portrayals reflect broader social norms and conditions.

Ethics and Professional Responsibility
This course, consisting of a series of eight workshops, is designed to increase awareness of and sensitivity to ethical issues in professional and workplace environments. Each workshop focuses on a different aspect of professional ethics and is presented by an expert in the field. A final session is devoted to presentations of papers by students.

Film, Food, and Family
In this course, we will study seven feature films from different ethnic backgrounds which intertwine themes of food and family. To inform our viewing, we will use texts on film study, the sociology of family and cultures, culinary studies and the anthropology of food, and fiction about food. Some central questions the course will address include: What happens to the idea of food across ethnicities? Does food really have anything to do with family in contemporary society? How does popular culture influence attitudes toward food and family?

Religion & Contemporary Society: Is Religion Obsolete?
To better come to terms with the challenges faced by any church and any genuine believer in today's society it is important to precisely identify the factual place and the role religion is placed in by contemporary societal forces. Society functions by the constant and highly complex interactions of various macro-elements, which have been analyzed and termed "systems" by sociologists. The Systems Approach promises to be of great help in analyzing the issue as it does not require any agreed upon common conviction, difficult to arrive at in a pluralistic society. But it allows for a very pragmatic analysis of the factual state of affairs thereby opening up entirely new avenues for the articulation of genuine religious concerns. The course will consist of an in-depth study of some of the seminal texts of system theoretical thinking, especially offered by Niklas Luhmann (1927-1998). Students will be acquainted with the work of these theories toward an adequate understanding of religion and complex modern society. At the same time students will be led to gain a genuine perspective, which well might be of tremendous help and importance for their respective congregations and churches.

Creators under Communism
Two prominent 20th Century artists, Milan Kundera and Krzysztof Kieslowski, wrote novels and films that were first produced under and then highly inflected by their experiences living under Communist rule in their native countries.  Kundera's earliest novels take place in Czechoslovakia, both right after the 1948 communist coup and in the wake of the 1968 Soviet invasion, while Kieslowski's earliest films were created under the auspices of the state-run film industry in his native Poland. Both men created works that questions and critiqued communism, Kundera more directly, Kieslowski simply by showing what real life was like in Poland in his documentaries and early narrative films, and opposing it to the version of reality being propagated by the state. This course will trace the careers of both men, from their earliest beginnings as communist reactors to their metaphysically inflected later works, with an eye to understanding the relationship between the phases of each man's career as well as the extraordinary similarities between the artistic output of both men.

The Many Moods of Romeo and Juliet
The course studies in the "Romeo and Juliet" story with its origin in Roman mythology and Shakespeare's dual treatments as they play-within-a play "Pryamus and Thisbe" in A Midsummer Night's Dream and the Italian tragedy Romeo and Juliet. The evolution of the treatment of the story will be traced as it is shaped by genre, and social and political changes, through study of the "Romeo and Juliet" theme of Berlioz and Tchaikovsky (concert works), Gounod (opera), Wagner (Tristan and Isolde-opera), Prokofiev (ballet), and Bernstein (West Side Story-musical theatre). The films by Zefferelli and Bax Luhrman will also be examined.

The Face of the Invisible God: Byzantine Iconography
Introduction to Byzantine Iconography which includes to the development of the historical, the theological, and the technological aspects of Christian art from its roots in 1st century Judea to the past iconoclastic period (1100 c.e.) of Constantinople.

The class will be divided into these selections of emphasis as follows:
  • The historical development of the Icon (8 hrs)
  • The theological development & liturgical use of the Icon (12 hrs)
  • The technical aspects of the writing (making) of the Icon (16 hrs)

Music, Politics, and Society: From Opera to Hip Hop
Is it possible for music to be equated to social ideals, to deliver ideological messages, and to depict particular social groups? How do vocal musical genres use idioms to convey ideology? This seminar examines political and social qualities of opera as it emerged in Revolutionary France and developed in the 19th-century into French Grand Opera. Wagner, in specific, will be studied, focusing on the ways his music and thought lent themselves to a multifaceted ideology. Contemporary popular genres, such as jazz and hip hop will then be re-evaluated in terms of their political-social resonance.

Emotion, Arousal, & Dysfunction
Study of the evolutionary, biochemical, anatomical, and psychosocial basis of emotion. Further discussion emphasizes the measurement of emotion as well as understanding of emotional dysfunction and treatment, particularly in view of the new pharmacology.

Religion & New Scientific Research
Study of the controversy between religion and science and the potential benefit of on-going dialogue between theologians and scientists. Topics include creation and evolution; cosmology and theology; genetic and human uniqueness; origins both scientific and religious truth and morality. Students will be challenged to form a personal view of the world and a faith perspective that is adequate for their own treatment of these various issues.

Healing in the Religions
In highly diversified cultures such as the U.S., the daily routine of medicine does not reflect the intimate relationship between religion and healing. This contrasts with other cultures where religion shapes the commonly accepted ways of life. Understanding this relationship increases one's sensitivity to other's ways of coping with diseases and leads to greater competency in dealing with patients from various cultural backgrounds. With this goal in mind, this course provides background on the established healing methods of contemporary religious traditions, including some less common ones, and reflects on the connection between religious healing practices.

History & Literature of the Great War
The central thesis of this course is that World War I, the "Great War," was the defining social phenomenon of the 20th century. Students study the War's impact on European and American literature as well as the political, military, economic, social, and psychological issues more commonly associated with war and conflict in general. Readings include works of history and historiography, literary criticism, autobiography, and fiction. Each student will have the opportunity to focus on a particular area of interest.

Sociomoral Issues in Medicine & Health Care
This course is for MALS students or professionals seeking an understanding of ethical issues related to medicine and health care. A series of 5-6 Friday workshops addresses a variety of topics including: why ethics; healthcare and the law, beginning of life and end of life issues.

Health Care in the Context of Faith
An analysis of philosophical, professional, cultural, historical, ethical, and research considerations as they relate to the care of holistic human beings in a faith context. Parish nursing will be explored as a model for meeting individuals spiritual and health needs.

Women and their Health
A study of women's health with a scope beyond childbearing and child rearing that promotes a comprehensive view of the health care needs of women. Health concerns of women are examined both within the medical model and self-help framework. Emphasis is placed on the promotion and support of women's involvement in decision making and responsibilities for their health.

Romance & Religion in English Drama
This course studies the relation of the art of playwriting to selected religious and social issues from the 15th to the 20th centuries. The course focuses on how plays both reflected and shaped the understanding of God, love and the social order.

American Culture, Value, & Sports
Some say our country is changing for the worst; others say we are getting better. Depending on the values and beliefs examined, either statement could be true. This course focuses on American cultural traits, values and beliefs such as individualism, patriotism, "can-do" spirit, racism, sexism, and success. The connection of sports to society will be used as a method of analyzing the changes in American values and beliefs over time.

Holocaust and Social Responsibility
A systematic study of the many issues stemming from the events of the Nazi holocaust and how those events have affects both Jews and Christians. The course constructs a possible religious and moral response to events such as the Holocaust.

America from the Inside Out
Capture the meaning of what it means to be American from the earliest time of settlement up to the present. What are the expectations that Americans have historically attached to their citizenship? To what extent are those expectations peculiar to particular times and places? Are there identifiable meanings of Americanism that transcend the limitations of a given individual experience? We answer these questions by examining first person narratives, starting with William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation.

Homelessness
Study of homelessness in America with an emphasis on the special needs of the homeless population and the professional role in the delivery of services. A collaborative approach to the complex social problems of homelessness is the focus.

From Gutenberg to Gates: Literature and Text through the Age of Print
The internet has resulted in renewed attention about how the media of expression affect what we say. Beginning with the introduction of moveable type in early modern Europe, pausing briefly on the advent of film and television in our own culture, and examining the social impact of internet communications, this course considers the control, characterization, and production of various forms of literature, as well as addressing what literature is and who has access to it in various media.

Religion, Ethics, and the Healing Arts
Religious and ethical issues raised by advances in health care and biological research. Attention is given to contemporary challenges to both religious and philosophical ethics and to possibilities for dialogue between contemporary philosophical theories and biblical ethics. Topics will include contraception, abortion, technological reproduction, advances in genetics, management of terminal illness and the end of life and access to health care.

A History of Economic Thought
Economic thought in its historical development from the mercantilist to the present day.

Presidents, Politics, and Psychology
Interaction between psychology and political science, including psycho-political biography, psychological correlates of political behavior, the origin of ideology in personality, the authoritarian personality and other personality types with political consequences.

Marriage & Sexuality
An interdisciplinary approach including psychology, sociology, biology, philosophy, and literature used to explore how religion, culture and value shape contemporary issues associated with sexuality, gender, and marriage.

History & Literature of American Women
Focus on the experiences of early American women depicted in their own writings as well in the works of modern historians. We attempt to understand the development over time of gender roles, sexual stereotypes, and women's attempts to shape social change. Topics discussed will include: witchcraft, family life, midwifery, slavery, suffrage, war, immigration, and westward expansion.

Cross-Cultural Communication
This course will analyze the contemporary debates surrounding the concept of cross-cultural communication and understanding. Deriving questions and topical readings from the humanities, the social sciences, the arts and education, the course will consider subcultures, organizations, and other social groups. Specifically the readings will focus on the problems of cross-cultural and cross-social understanding, and on how misunderstanding occurs between persons representative of different sociocultural traditions. A number of written assignments and multi-media projects will allow students to draw on their own experiences in order to understand how contrasting forms of representation further aid or hinder the communication process.

Game Theory: Winning at War, Politics, Money
This seminar explores game theory and its impact on modern social thought. Participants actively develop the principle ideas and techniques of game theory and study applications to anthropology, philosophy, psychology, economics, and biology.

World War I in History & Literature
An examination of World War I, including the origins of the war, the outbreak of hostilities, the conduct of the War, and the conclusion of the peace treaties. Emphasis will be on the political and diplomatic aspects of the "Great War," with special attention given to literary as well as economic, social, and psychological issues associated with it.

Human Rights & Response to Social Victimization
The last century has been characterized by horrendous wars and genocide as well as a development of unprecedented recognition and guarantee of the rights of all humans. This course explores the reasons and effects of both the violence and the progress toward human cooperation and the greater respect for human rights using case studies such as the Holocaust as well as recent and current events as a way to see how the future can point toward either more instability and violence or greater prospects for peace and justice.

American Ethnicity in Film & Literature
In this course, students read texts in literature, film criticism, and sociology and study films which use food as a major metaphor. Through these texts and films, students will gain a richer understanding of the nature of ethnicity, especially the American bi-cultural experience. Requirements include class discussion of the material, presentation of researched and original film criticism, critical writing based in the print sources, and one final exam.

Legal Profession & Ethics
A study of the professional code of conduct for lawyers, including those professed by the ABA, and the role of ethics in issues such as conflict of interest, malpractice, duty of candor in the tribunal client's right to counsel, and competent performance.

Health Care in the Context of Faith
An analysis of philosophical, professional, cultural, historical, ethical, and research considerations as they relate to the care of holistic human beings in a faith context. Parish nursing will be explored as a model for meeting individuals spiritual and health needs.

12 Great Characters in Western Music & Lit
Great characters in literature with the music they inspired, arranged in a roughly chronological order to follow the expression of character through literature and music from the antiquity to the 20th century.

Identities
Who am I? Western culture more than any other has had a preoccupation with the role of the individual and in exploring various internal dimensions of personality that shape our knowledge of and interaction with our social and physical worlds. In exploring "Identities," this course will examine the concept of the "self" and "identity," as they have been shaped by political, philosophical, literary, historical, and psychoanalytical writers, including Rousseau, Freud, and Barsani. Who am I? Who are We? This course will lead us through some of the influential thinkers of the last two centuries who have described how we think about our "selves." This course serves as an introduction to the humanities because the humanities provide critical analysis of the ideas and movements that have gone into creation of the modern individual, namely, us.

Elections & Politics 1996
The purpose of this course will be to examine elections and electoral behavior in the United States. Primary emphasis will be on the presidential elections. The course includes analysis of data from past elections but will pay particular attention to the ongoing presidential election of 1996.

Madness, Romantic Obsession, and Musical Genius
Michael Drayton described artistic creation as "a fine madness" and Shakespeare wrote "the lunatic, the lover and the poet are of imagination all compact." What is the relationship between madness, obsession and the musical process? This seminar examines these issues in the lives of Tchaikovsky, Berlioz, Schumann, Mahler, and others.

Gender in Public Life
Contemplation of the role that gender plays in American public life, and the ways in which public life affects gender.  Course traces the change from (a) an earlier ideal of the men taking public, instrumental roles and women private, expressive ones to (b) the contemporary period where women and men share responsibilities in both public and private life.  Using written materials, audio-visuals, and guest speakers, students discuss such topics as historical and philosophical developments; laws; government; communication; the education of both sexes; the economy and occupational structure; the role of the media; psychological factors; and other sociological questions.

Dramatic Spaces
For many people, the word "ritual" suggest a repetitive activity drained of meaning. But, according to drama critic and theologian Tom Driver, rituals are necessary for survival, and "ritualizing" is the way we humans make contact with the unknown. In fact, rituals are so important to us that we build buildings specifically designed to accommodate them: churches, theatres, courthouses, restaurants, beauty salons, sports arenas, etc. Those buildings, in turn, say much about the rituals and "ritualizers" they house. In this course, students, using Driver's book "Liberating Rites", will explore the crucial functions rituals play in their own lives and in the life of a society. Readings on ancient Greek religion and the Christian liturgy will focus the historic roles of participants in rituals. Finally, the course will turn to a study of the architectural contexts of ritual. Students will make class presentations on the role of ritual in their own lives and a case study of a local building and the rituals it accommodates. A final paper or creative project will be assigned.

Getting it Right with the Body

The course is of an exploratory nature leaving ample space for unconventional inquiry.  It invites the participants to get actively involved in open, spirited discussion and writing.  The three main sections to be addressed are: philosophical aspects of body perception up to Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650), medical aspects and implications resulting from his definition of the ‘body as machine’, and biblical-theological basics on the corporeality of human beings.

Psychology and Music

 This course provides an overview of the study of the psychology of music.  Addresses cognitive processing of music as well as music’s relationships with human emotion, behavior, coping, language, and cognitive functioning.   Functions of music for individuals and social groups are examined. Students are expected to examine the role of music in their own lives.  Prior coursework in social sciences is helpful but not required.

Cultural Contests in Making of America

 It turns out that while we often speak as if American identity simply exists, it has always been a topic of rich debates—involving literature and art as much as politics.  Beginning with the Revolutionary period, this course will follow the contesting voices of these debates as they played out through the Civil War era and “the American century” to resound finally in our own time of increasing globalization.  It will familiarize students with three major cultural themes that have informed core discussions and conflicts over American identity and that have also drawn the interest of generations of American studies scholars:  “Revolution,” “Liberating Slaves,” and “Crossing Borders.”  Within these thematic parameters we will be exploring visual art, political expression, cinema, and scholarship in order to better understand and analyze key works by significant American writers, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Toni Morrison, and Cormac McCarthy.





Nursing Topics
Healing in the Religions
In highly diversified cultures such as the U.S., the daily routine of medicine does not reflect the intimate relationship between religion and healing. This contrasts with other cultures where religion shapes the commonly accepted ways of life. Understanding this relationship increases one's sensitivity to other's ways of coping with diseases and leads to greater competency in dealing with patients from various cultural backgrounds. With this goal in mind, this course provides background on the established healing methods of contemporary religious traditions, including some less common ones, and reflects on the connection between religious healing practices.

Sociomoral Issues in Medicine & Health Care
This course is for students or professionals seeking an understanding of ethical issues related to medicine and health care. A series of 5-6 workshops address a variety of topics including: why ethics; healthcare and the law, beginning of life and end of life issues.

Health Care in the Context of Faith
An analysis of philosophical, professional, cultural, historical, ethical, and research considerations as they relate to the care of holistic human beings in a faith context. Parish nursing will be explored as a model for meeting individuals spiritual and health needs.

Women and their Health
A study of women's health with a scope beyond childbearing and child rearing that promotes a comprehensive view of the health care needs of women. Health concerns of women are examined both within the medical model and self-help framework. Emphasis is placed on the promotion and support of women's involvement in decision making and responsibilities for their health.

Biomedical Ethics
A study of moral issues raised in health-care and biological research (e.g. abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering, and resource allocation). Attention is given both to ethical theory and to practical issues.

Homelessness
Study of homelessness in America with an emphasis on the special needs of the homeless population and the professional role in the delivery of services. A collaborative approach to the complex problems of homeless is the focus.



Psychology Topics
Emotion, Arousal, & Dysfunction
Study of the evolutionary, biochemical, anatomical, and psychosocial basis of emotion. Further discussion emphasizes the measurement of emotion as well as understanding of emotional dysfunction and treatment, particularly in view of the new pharmacology.

Presidents, Politics, and Psychology
Interaction between psychology and political science, including psycho-political biography, psychological correlates of political behavior, the origin of ideology in personality, the authoritarian personality and other personality types with political consequences.

Marriage & Sexuality
An interdisciplinary approach including psychology, sociology, biology, philosophy, and literature used to explore how religion, culture and value shape contemporary issues associated with sexuality, gender, and marriage.

Identities
Who am I? Western culture more than any other has had a preoccupation with the role of the individual and in exploring various internal dimensions of personality that shape our knowledge of and interaction with our social and physical worlds. In exploring "Identities," this course will examine the concept of the "self" and "identity," as they have been shaped by political, philosophical, literary, historical, and psychoanalytical writers, including Rousseau, Freud, and Barsani. Who am I? Who are We? This course will lead us through some of the influential thinkers of the last two centuries who have described how we think about our "selves." This course serves as an introduction to the humanities because the humanities provide critical analysis of the ideas and movements that have gone into creation of the modern individual, namely, us.

Dramatic Spaces
For many people, the word "ritual" suggests a repetitive activity drained of meaning. But, according to drama critic and theologian Tom Driver, rituals are necessary for survival, and "ritualizing" is the way we humans make contact with the unknown. In fact, rituals are so important to us that we build buildings specifically designed to accommodate them: churches, theatres, courthouses, restaurants, beauty salons, sports arenas, etc. Those buildings, in turn, say much about the rituals and "ritualizers" they house. In this course, students, using Driver's book "Liberating Rites", will explore the crucial functions rituals play in their own lives and in the life of a society. Readings on ancient Greek religion and the Christian liturgy will focus the historic roles of participants in rituals. Finally, the course will turn to a study of the architectural contexts of ritual. Students will make class presentations on the role of ritual in their own lives and a case study of a local building and the rituals it accommodates. A final paper or creative project will be assigned.

Sport & Performance Psychology
Focus on research and application of psychological principles derived from exercise science. Attention will be given to mental training and performance enhancement for success in athletics, music, and business.

Stress & Coping
Conceptual foundations of stress and coping. Includes a study and application of current stress management intervention techniques with an exploration of related research.

Faith-Based Counseling: Various Christian Perspectives
An exposure to different methodologies used within the context of Christian counseling. This course explores the current literature, considers information presented by experts in the field, and incorporates these ideas into strategies that consider the established values of the client, levels of spiritual development, and current or anticipated counseling-related career-choices.

Family Therapy
An overview of several different theoretical approaches to understanding and working with families in therapy. Emphasis is on the ways in which various schools of though view the nature of the family and family functioning, the presentation of the problem, and the requirements for change in the family during this therapeutic process.
 

 
Sociology Topics
Sociomoral Issues in Medicine & Health Care
This course is for students or professionals seeking an understanding of ethical issues related to medicine and health care. A series of 5-6 workshops address a variety of topics including: why ethics; healthcare and the law, beginning of life and end of life issues.

American Culture, Value, & Sports
Some say our country is changing for the worst; others say we are getting better. Depending on the values and beliefs examined, either statement could be true. This course focuses on American cultural traits, values and beliefs such as individualism, patriotism, "can-do" spirit, racism, sexism, and success. The connection of sports to society will be used as a method of analyzing the changes in American values and beliefs over time.

Homelessness
Study of homelessness in America with an emphasis on the special needs of the homeless population in America with an emphasis on the needs of the homeless population and the professional role in the delivery of services. A collaborative approach to the complex social problems of homelessness is the focus.

Human Rights & Response to Social Victimization
The last century has been characterized by horrendous wars and genocide as well as a development of unprecedented recognition and guarantee of the rights of all humans. This course explores the reasons and effects of both the violence and the progress toward human cooperation and the greater respect for human rights using case studies such as the Holocaust as well as recent and current events as a way to see how the future can point toward either more instability and violence or greater prospects for peace and justice.

Identities
Who am I? Western culture more than any other has had a preoccupation with the role of the individual and in exploring various internal dimensions of personality that shape our knowledge of and interaction with our social and physical worlds. In exploring "Identities," this course will examine the concept of the "self" and "identity," as they have been shaped by political, philosophical, literary, historical, and psychoanalytical writers, including Rousseau, Freud, and Barsani. Who am I? Who are We? This course will lead us through some of the influential thinkers of the last two centuries who have described how we think about our "selves." This course serves as an introduction to the humanities because the humanities provide critical analysis of the ideas and movements that have gone into creation of the modern individual, namely, us.

Gender in Public Life
Contemplation of the role that gender plays in American public life, and the ways in which public life affects gender.  Course traces the change from (a) an earlier ideal of the men taking public, instrumental roles and women private, expressive ones to (b) the contemporary period where women and men share responsibilities in both public and private life.  Using written materials, audio-visuals, and guest speakers, students discuss such topics as historical and philosophical developments; laws; government; communication; the education of both sexes; the economy and occupational structure; the role of the media; psychological factors; and other sociological questions.

Dramatic Spaces
For many people, the word "ritual" suggests a repetitive activity drained of meaning. But, according to drama critic and theologian Tom Driver, rituals are necessary for survival, and "ritualizing" is the way we humans make contact with the unknown. In fact, rituals are so important to us that we build buildings specifically designed to accommodate them: churches, theatres, courthouses, restaurants, beauty salons, sports arenas, etc. Those buildings, in turn, say much about the rituals and "ritualizers" they house. In this course, students, using Driver's book "Liberating Rites", will explore the crucial functions rituals play in their own lives and in the life of a society. Readings on ancient Greek religion and the Christian liturgy will focus the historic roles of participants in rituals. Finally, the course will turn to a study of the architectural contexts of ritual. Students will make class presentations on the role of ritual in their own lives and a case study of a local building and the rituals it accommodates. A final paper or creative project will be assigned.

Evolving American Identities
This class will examine what US citizens have meant in different historical periods by the phrase, "I am an American." Sociocultural, philosophical, political, and artistic sources of American identity will be explored, including field trips to area museums and events.

Drugs & Society
Largely from a sociological perspective, the material in this course seeks to explain why and how drugs are used and abused. While biological and historical information is discussed, emphasis is on (1) why people use drugs; (2) the effect of drugs on both body and mind functions; (3) how the various types of drugs differ, and (4) how drug use and abuse occurs throughout each stage of the life cycle from adolescence to adulthood.



Theology Topics
Religion & New Scientific Research
Study of the controversy between religion and science and the potential benefit of on-going dialogue between theologians and scientists. Topics include creation and evolution; cosmology and theology; genetic and human uniqueness; origins both scientific and religious truth and morality. Students will be challenged to form a personal view of the world and a faith perspective that is adequate for their own treatment of these various issues.

Healing in the Religions
In highly diversified cultures such as the U.S., the daily routine of medicine does not reflect the intimate relationship between religion and healing. This contrasts with other cultures where religion shapes the commonly accepted ways of life. Understanding this relationship increases one's sensitivity to other's ways of coping with diseases and leads to greater competency in dealing with patients from various cultural backgrounds. With this goal in mind, this course provides background on the established healing methods of contemporary religious traditions, including some less common ones, and reflects on the connection between religious healing practices.

Religion in the Scientific Age
Study the controversy between religion and science and the potential benefit of on-going dialogue between theologians and scientists. Topics include creation and evolution; cosmology and theology; genetics and human uniqueness; origins both scientific and religious; truth and morality. Students will be challenged to form a personal view of the world and a faith perspective that is adequate for their own treatment of these various issues.

Religion, Ethics, and the Healing Arts
Study of the controversy between religion and science and the potential benefit of on-going dialogue between theologians and scientists. Topics include creation and evolution; cosmology and theology; genetic and human uniqueness; origins both scientific and religious truth and morality. Students will be challenged to form a personal view of the world and a faith perspective that is adequate for their own treatment of these various issues.

Health Care in the Context of Faith
An analysis of philosophical, professional, cultural, historical, ethical, and research considerations as they relate to the care of holistic human beings in a faith context. Parish nursing will be explored as a model for meeting individuals spiritual and health needs.

Religion in Contemporary Society
Religion has shaped society from its very beginning.  To reconcile the challenges faced by any church or any genuine believer in today's society, it is important to identify the contemporary societal forces acting upon and giving context to the religion. Understanding religion using a sociological systems approach helps deal with the lack of common convictions among believers in a pluralistic society.

Religion & Contemporary Society: Is Religion Obsolete
To better come to terms with the challenges faced by any church and any genuine believer in today's society it is important to precisely identify the factual place and the role religion is placed in by contemporary societal forces. Society functions by the constant and highly complex interactions of various macro-elements, which have been analyzed and termed "systems" by sociologists. The systems approach promises to be of great help in analyzing the issue as it does not require any agreed upon common conviction, difficult to arrive at in a pluralistic society. But it allows for a very pragmatic analysis of the factual state of affairs thereby opening up entirely new avenues for the articulation of genuine religious concerns. The course will consist of an in-depth study of some of the seminal texts of system theoretical thinking, especially offered by Niklas Luhmann (1927-1998). Students will be acquainted with the work of these theories toward an adequate understanding of religion and complex modern society. At the same time students will be led to gain a genuine perspective, which well might be of tremendous help and importance for their respective congregations and churches.

Creation, Genetics & the Human Being
Genetic engineering has challenged the conventional way in which creation is understood, with deliberate alteration of genes to bring about species with "better" attributes. While understood as interference with the work of the Creator, scientists sometimes charge religions with upholding outdated convictions and hampering progress with benefits to agriculture and medicine. Both sides of the argument are analyzed in their peculiar sociocultural and historical settings, with special reference to the Human Genome Project and its implication for the very understanding of what the human being is all about. Work with the biblical texts of creation, and important Jewish, Christian, and Muslim sources are referenced.

Christ & Reconciliation
A study of forgiveness in Christian thoughts and practice: its basis in the work of Christ and its implications for Christian and secular communities. Students research Christian forgiveness in connection with race relations, addiction and recovery, private confession, nonviolent resistance, sexual abuse, or other topics of interest.

Lutheran & Lutheran Confessionals
A study of Luther's theology and the development and containment of the confessions of the Lutheran Church.

Biomedical Ethics
A study of moral issues raised in health-care and biological research (e.g. abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering, and resource allocation). Attention is given both to ethical theory and to practical issues.

Women, Race, & Theology
Audrey Lord says, "Difference must not be merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic." This course will explore possibilities for dialogue and creativity among women in different racial contexts in the United States, particularly regarding theological topics in the contemporary era.