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Interfaith Studies Concentration

Division of Humanities and Social Sciences

The concentration in Interfaith Studies is an interdisciplinary program, consisting of 10 credit hours. The concentration allows students in any major and/or pre-professional program to acquire the knowledge base and skills needed to work within and across religious diversity to promote peace, stability, and enduring cooperation and problem-solving across religious difference.

Students must complete the following courses:

This course introduces theoretical and practicalparadigms within the emerging field of InterfaithStudies. It explores how college students canbecome interfaith advocates and leaders who shiftpublic discourse and practices from conflict tocooperation. It teaches foundational tenetswithin multiple religious traditions thatadvocate for and promote peace skills inherentto interfaith advocacy current interreligiousissues in the news and successful models ofinterfaith understanding and cooperation. It willprovide foundational concepts and skills forstudents interested in Global Studies InterfaithStudies and Peace Studies. Prerequisite PDP-150 or PDP-350

Unit(s): 3

This course is the one-credit capstone seminar ofthe Interfaith Studies concentration. It willbring students in the concentration together fromtheir different disciplinary and pre-professionalprograms to reflect together upon their learningwhile in concentration courses and to explore howthe core competencies of Interfaith Studiestranslate into their academic and professionalareas of interest. Much of the course willinvolve interfaith case studies relevant to eachof the range of academic and professional domainsof the concentration (health seriespre-medpolitical sciencepre-law interfaithstudiespre-ministry sociologypre-social workand communicationstheatre. Emphasis will be onreflection upon cases and experiences and publicdeliberation skills. An interview with a localreligious leader will also be assigned.Prerequisites REL-215 and 2 additionalconcentration courses

Unit(s): 1


And two courses from the following:

Examination of the development of US SupremeCourt decisions in the areas of civil rights andcivil liberties. Topics include first amendmentrights to freedom of speech press and assemblydue process rights and rights to equalprotection. This course also considers the FirstAmendment as a site for interfaith dialogue. Alternate years offered 2016-2017

Unit(s): 3

Delineates a new field of Neuroethics concernedwith the social legal and ethical implicationsof modern research on the brain. Brings togethercontemporary writings from neuroscientistsbioethicists public policy makers and scholarsin the humanities for discussion and debate onthese issues. The relationship between differentfaith and philosophical positions on decisionmaking from an applied (clinical) perspectivewill also be investigated.PDP-150 or PDP-350 ENG-110 and PSY-101 andPSY-210 or BIOL-110 or permission ofinstructorGeneral education ethical reasoningAlternate years offered 2017-2018

Unit(s): 3

A critical survey of ethical perspectives adissues in the thought and practices of severalreligious traditions.Prerequisites PDP-150 or PDP-350 and ENG 110General education philosophy and religion andethical reasoning

Unit(s): 3

Biblical historical and social attitudes towardviolence and peace including a study ofpolitical social and scientific factors thataffect violence at the interpersonal and throughwar at the international levels of human andinterfaith experience. A seminar approach isused.Prerequisites PDP 150 or PDP 350 and ENG 110General Education philosophy or religion andEthical Reasoning

Unit(s): 3

Examination of how society supports controls andconstrains our arrival into and departure fromthe world revealing the ways that events oftenassumed to be natural are in fact conditionedby social and cultural forces. Special emphasison the communication of cultural norms regardingbirth and death the impact of advances inmedicine and technology and how birth and deathbecome cultural metaphors for other socialphenomena. The course includes an interfaithstudies component focused on Jewish MuslimBuddhist and Native American death rituals.Prerequisite SOC 101

Unit(s): 3

Examination of religion as a powerful force ofsocial cohesion order meaning and change inhuman societies. Special attention will be givento why people are religious or not religious thegrowth and decline of religious organizationsreligious conversion and loss of faith theimpact of modernity on religion and religiousbelief especially among young and emergingadults. The social context in which variousreligious communities exist and how they shapeand are being shaped by their social context willalso be investigated.Prerequisites PDP-150 or PDP-350 ENG-110 andSOC-101FILA Ethical Reasoning

Unit(s): 3

This course will introduce the student to thephysical vocal and mental worlds of variousstyles and techniques of non-realisticperformance traditions. Students will experimentwith a variety of acting styles and techniquesincluding physical masked post-modernnon-western and devised performance. Thiscourse includes interfaith components of easternmeditative movement and centering practices asthey are linked to acting methods and techniques. This course is a practical expression of thetheoretical and historical. Textual analysisscene work monologues and various trainingexercises will be used. Corequisite PDP-150 or PDP-350

Unit(s): 3

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Questions? Contact Us!

Dr. William Abshire, Anna B. Mow Endowed Professor and Department Chair
540-828-5346
wabshire@bridgewater.edu