Ethics / Religion and Society
Course Criteria for E/RS Status
- While preserving the integrity of the discipline from which it comes, the course integrates in a substantive way the ethical and/or religious analysis of a socially significant issue or issues.
- Substantive integration means that the incorporation of moral reflection and/or religious analysis is neither peripheral nor incidental, but rather is central and intentional. Simply devoting one or two classes in the semester to ethical and/or religious analysis is inadequate.
- Substantive integration of moral reflection and/or religious analysis is to be demonstrated explicitly in the course's structure, choice of required texts, and assignments.
- "Socially significant" means that the issue under study constitutes an important dimension in the structure of society and has implications that go far beyond its effects upon isolated individuals.
- Ethical and/or religious analysis entails that the course clearly identifies the values, principles, and methodology that are to be used in moral or religious reflection on the issue.
- The course is clearly identified as an E/RS course.
- Minimally, this means that the course syllabus clearly states the course's status as an E/RS course and explicitly describes how the course intends to meet E/RS objectives.
- Ideally, this means that, the professor of the course regularly draws the students' attention explicitly to the E/RS objectives of the course.
- The course provides regular and substantive opportunities for critical discussion.
- Although the professor is expected to identify a set of values and principles according to which the social issue can be analyzed, the professor creates an atmosphere in which students feel comfortable to express their judgments.
- By encouraging free discussion, the professor helps students to consider different points of view and to appreciate the complexity of issues.
- A strictly lecture format is discouraged.
- The course complements, in some demonstrable way, the other required courses that make up the E/RS Focus.
- Minimally, this means that the professor of the E/RS course has some awareness of the method and content of the three required E/RS courses and makes occasional connections to one or more of them.
- Ideally, this means that the professor has a good grasp of the method and content of the three required E/RS courses and makes regular and relevant connections to them.