Politics and Society

56:606:621:90 The Collapse of Complex Civilizations
Pearson ECollege Platform
*There is a $100 Online Course Support Fee
Professor Lantzas

For the last several years, and with increasing frequency, environmental, economic, and socio-political disasters have dominated the news. Almost every day there is a new story about the Global Economic Crisis and the state of the American economy. Is this just a case of history repeating itself?

In this course, we will ask what, if anything, can we learn from the rise and fall of past civilizations, and is this knowledge applicable to developments in modern society? Using concepts from sociology, economics, history, anthropology, and archaeology, we will analyze examples of societal collapse, such as the civilizations in ancient Egypt, Greece, the Maya, and the early Middle Ages. These will then be used to analyze current events in Europe and the America in light of the lessons of the past.

56:606:622:91 War and Peace in U.S. Foreign Policy
Hybrid Course: 50% online, second seven-week session
M 6 – 8:40 pm
Professor Clemis

This course examines the idea that the practice of war and the making of peace have been intimately linked to the nature of American society. From Cold War competition with the Soviet Union to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the “how, who, when, where, and why” America fights has been directly related to our national culture, our values, and other social, political, and economic characteristics. The course will use both theoretical approaches and historical case studies to explore how this linkage of war, peace, and society has played out over the past six decades of American history. Although its primary mediums are military and diplomatic history, students will be exposed to and engage in other basic elements of social science methodologies, including political science, sociology, and anthropology.

Philosophy and Religion

56:606:641:90 Psychology of Religious Beliefs, Values and Symbols
Professor Charme

Religion remains one of the most puzzling aspects of human behavior for psychologists to explain, since it involves some of the strongest and strangest beliefs, values, emotions, and experiences that people have. This course will explore a variety of theories intended to show possible psychological interpretations for belief in God, prayer and rituals, religious myths and symbols, and altered states of consciousness involved in phenomena such as mysticism, near-death experience, possession, and apparitions. We will analyze the work of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Erich Fromm, and others.

56:606:642:01 Contemporary Moral Issues
Online: Pearson ECollege Platform
*There is a $100 Online Course Support Fee
Professor Young

This course will focus on the study of articles written on a broad range of contemporary issues of ethical concern. These issues potentially include but not limited to capital punishment, abortion, euthanasia, sexuality, animal welfare, and poverty. Studying the works of respected thinkers on these matters will afford students an opportunity to think more thoroughly and systematically about these issues than would otherwise be likely.

Major western ethical theories, potentially including but not necessarily limited to those authored by Bentham, Mill, Aquinas, Kant, and Aristotle will also be studied. Representing the most widely studied attempts to bring unity to our particular judgments of right and wrong under a more general ethical perspective, they are not only the basis of many of the articles we will study, but are also useful in revealing inconsistencies in our own views.