Experiential Learning Courses
The Department of Philosophy and Religion offers many courses that integrate experiential learning and academic learning.
PHIL 2100 The Religious Worlds of Boston: Faith and Devotion in Urban Life
Examines the nature of religion and religious life in Boston, emphasizing the lived experience of the sacred in an urban setting. Offers students an opportunity to develop research methods based in ethnography, the analysis of texts, and the interpretation of material culture. Readings include works in the method and theory of religious studies, the practice of ethnography, and case studies of lived religion, especially those that focus on urban religion. Expects students to engage in fieldwork in Boston, examining the implicit religious dimensions of everyday life and particular religious communities. Assignments include field reports, analysis of the religious landscape of Boston, and a research paper on a designated religious community. Requires prior completion of one introductory-level course in the social sciences or humanities.
PHIL 2143 Philosophy for Children
Explores big questions in philosophy—how should one conduct oneself, what does it mean to know something, are there object values in an aesthetic domain such as art? Offers students an opportunity to learn methodologies and tools of philosophical inquiry and apply them to works of children’s literature in order to be able to facilitate philosophical discussions in the elementary school classroom. Emphasizes creating a community of inquiry and learning how to devise and communicate different answers to philosophical questions at the elementary level. Students develop lesson plans to help engage young children in philosophical discussion and reflection.
PHIL 3000 Interdisciplinary Methods for PPE
Trains students in interdisciplinary use of the tools of the three disciplines constituting the PPE major: Philosophy, Political Science and Economics. Through guest lectures, discipline specific research, course lecture and discussion, and a service learning opportunity that accompanies the duration of the course, students are exposed to the evaluative process through the lens of each of the disciplines that comprise the PPE major. Facilitates both an appreciation for each discipline and the value of their combination with respect to the evaluation and solution of a social issue.
PHIL 4903 Seminar in Religion: Religion, Politics, and Violence
Religious groups and political groups have deployed the language and actions of violence and non-violence to achieve their goals. This course is particularly interested in examining political movements that invert, disrupt, and repurpose religious discourse in creative ways that challenge our pre-existing views on religions and on political issues. This course will analyze several political streams including: Abolition: Opposing slavery to police and prison abolition; Anti-racism: Civil rights, Black Panthers and Nation of Islam to Black Lives Matter; Environmental Rituals: Earth First and Green Peace to Earth Liberation Front; HIV and Queer Liberation: Hospice to Act Up and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.