Courses Offered in the Fall Semester

Scroll down to view information about all courses offered in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies during the Fall 2020 semester. 

  • Elective courses 
  • Philosophy course schedule 
  • Religious Studies course schedule

The CHBS Advising Center is available to help with questions about courses and degree requirements outside the department.

View the complete Class Schedule for Radford University.

Fall 2020 Elective Courses

PHIL 200: The Origins of Western Philosophy

  • CRN: 12685
  • Schedule: M-W-F, 9:00–9:50 AM
  • Instructor: Dr. Steven Fesmire
  • Catalog Course Description: Introduces students to philosophy by tracing the development of the discipline from its origins in ancient Greece to the decline of the ancient world in the 4th and 5th centuries CE. Through an examination of the work of such thinkers as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, students learn to engage in careful and critical reflection on both the human and the natural world and to experience the sense of wonder that animates the discipline of philosophy.

PHIL 213: Critical Reasoning & Argumentation

  • CRN: 14047
  • Schedule: Online (RUC)
  • Instructor: Mr. Darrel Shomaker
  • Catalog Course Description: This course aims at advanced student skills and dispositions in critical reasoning and argumentation. It moves from review of general critical thinking competencies applicable to thinking within all domains and subjects, to the introduction and study of more domain-specific competencies in legal, moral, and scientific reasoning.

PHIL 215.01 Healthcare Ethics

  • CRN: 12686
  • Schedule: Online (RUC)
  • Instructor: Mr. Darrell Shomaker
  • Catalog Course Description: Focuses on the field of bioethics, including the study of theoretical approaches in bioethics, principles and historical precedents in bioethics, legal aspects, and methods applicable to practical ethical decision making regarding bioethical issues, dilemmas, and problems. Examination of ethical and legal issues in landmark and contemporary cases build a foundation for clinical application.

PHIL 290.02: Social and Political Philosophy (Honors)

  • CRN: 12688
  • Schedule: M-W-F, 10:00–10:50 AM
  • Instructor: Dr. Steven Fesmire
  • Course Description: This course takes a multi-disciplinary, cross-cultural, and experiential approach to social and political philosophy in order to intensively explore the worldviews that give rise to basic conflicting social, moral, political, and economic positions in the United States today. We may draw from philosophy, history, cognitive science, psychology, linguistics, sociology, religious studies, African-American studies, gender studies, Latin-American studies, Asian studies, political science, communications, art, or many other areas to help us examine conflicting values on issues in the headlines of this semester’s national election. Topics may range from gay marriage and abortion to racial justice to economic opportunity.

PHIL 330: Theories of Knowledge

  • CRN: 12689
  • Schedule: T-R, 2:00–3:15 PM
  • Instructor: Dr. Guy Axtell
  • Catalog Course Description: Investigates the nature, extent, and sources of human knowledge and the relation between the concepts of knowledge, belief, and truth. Major theories which are examined include empiricism and rationalism.
  • Prerequisite: Three hours of philosophy

PHIL 350: Philosophy of Religion

  • CRN: 12690
  • Schedule: T-R, 11:00 AM–12:15 PM
  • Instructor: Dr. Glen Martin
  • Catalog Course Description: Examines major approaches to the philosophical understanding of religion. It investigates a number of specific issues within contemporary philosophy of religion such as those of religious “truth, faith,” and “experience.”
  • Prerequisite: Three hours of philosophy or religious studies

PHIL 360: Existential Philosophy

  • CRN: 12691
  • Schedule: M-W-F, 4:00–4:50 PM
  • Instructor: Dr. Gilburt Goffstein
  • Catalog Course Description: Detailed study of the origins and historical development of the 20th century movement in philosophy called existentialism. Through a careful reading of both literary and philosophical texts, students explore such fundamental existential themes and issues as freedom, responsibility, anguish, alienation, authenticity, and death. Special emphasis is given to major thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Sartre.
  • Prerequisite: Three hours of philosophy

RELN 206: Survey of Religious Experiences

  • CRN:  12701
  • Schedule: M-W-F-, 3:00–3:50 PM
  • Instructor: Dr. Eric Rothgery
  • Catalog Course Description: Cross-cultural and interdisciplinary examination of religious experiences, defined as “reported direct encounters with the supernatural.” Students will read accounts from around the world of religious visions and calls, possession, mystical union, and journeys to the afterlife, along with the biographies of shamans, mediums, and mystics. Theories from a variety of academic disciplines will illuminate the human causes and consequences of these extraordinary phenomena.

RELN 290.01: Islam in Global and Historical Contexts

  • CRN:  12702
  • Schedule: T-R, 11:00AM–12:15 PM 
  • Instructor: Dr. Geoffrey Pollick
  • Catalog Course Description: This course introduces students to the origins, development, and contemporary significance of Islam, understood through its expressions in religion, culture, society, and politics, in global perspective.

RELN 305: Religion and Women

  • CRN: 13095
  • Schedule: T-R, 9:30–10:45 AM
  • Instructor: Dr. Kay K. Jordan
  • Catalog Course Description: Examines the presentation of women in religious texts and history, feminist criticism of religious traditions, and the roles of women (past and present) in selected Western, Eastern, tribal, and neopagan religions. 
  • Prerequisite: Three hours of philosophy or religious studies

RELN 312: Exploring the New Testament

  • CRN: 12703
  • Schedule: M-W, 5:00–6:15 PM
  • Instructor: Mr. Ryan Lytton
  • Catalog Course Description: This course examines the New Testament using the tools of contemporary scholarship. Through a study of the history of the early Church and the varied stories presented by the different authors of the New Testament, students will learn to see the formative Christian tradition in all of its variety.
  • Prerequisite: Three hours of religious studies

RELN 370: American Sects and Cults

  • CRN: 12704
  • Schedule: M-W-F, 10:00–10:50 AM
  • Instructor: Dr. Paul Thomas
  • Catalog Course Description: Investigates nonconventional religious groups in the United States, from colonial Quakers and Puritans to contemporary Scientology and the Church of Satan. Lectures will survey mainline religious and cultural trends salient to the appearance of sects and cults. Students will evaluate social/scientific theories on topics such as the mental health of leaders and followers, cult-related violence, conversion and defection, the law and deviant religions.
  • Prerequisite: Three hours of religious studies

RELN 420: Histories and Experiences of African-American Religions

  • CRN: 12705
  • Schedule: T-R, 2:00–3:15 PM
  • Instructor: Dr. Geoffrey Pollick
  • Description: This advanced course explores the topic of religion in African-American history and culture. Through application of scholarly theories and methods in the academic study of religion, course participants will explore questions such as: What forms of religion have found expression among African-American communities and individuals? How have African-American peoples impacted the U.S. American religious landscape? How have concepts of racial differences and experiences of racism impacted religious ideas, practices, and experiences of African-Americans? How do notions of race, nation, and religion function together in constructing collective identities? 
  • Prerequisite: Three hours of religious studies

Philosophy Course Schedule for Fall 2020

Number CRN Title Day Time Instructor
PHIL 111.01 12664 Intro: Knowledge & Reality Online Axtell
PHIL 111.02 12665 Intro: Knowledge & Reality Online Zarella
PHIL 111.03 12666 Intro: Knowledge & Reality MWF 9-9:50AM Zarella
PHIL 111.04 12667 Intro: Knowledge & Reality MWF 11-11:50 AM Zarella
PHIL 111.05 12668 Intro: Knowledge & Reality MWF 3-3:50 PM Goffstein
PHIL 111.06 12669 Intro: Knowledge & Reality Online Axtell
PHIL 111.07 12670 Intro: Knowledge & Reality TR 3:30-4:45 PM Goffstein
PHIL 111.08 12990 Intro: Knowledge & Reality TR 9:30-10:45 AM Axtell
PHIL 112.01 12671 Intro: Ethics & Society Online   (RUC) Shomaker
PHIL 112.02 12672 Intro: Ethics & Society MWF 8-8:50 AM Shepard
PHIL 112.03 12673 Intro: Ethics & Society MWF 10-10:50 AM Shepard
PHIL 112.04 12674 Intro: Ethics & Society MWF 12-12:50 PM Parks
PHIL 112.05 12675 Intro: Ethics & Society MWF 1-1:50 PM Parks
PHIL 112.06 12676 Intro: Ethics & Society MWF 2-2:50 PM Fesmire
PHIL 112.07 12677 Intro: Ethics & Society MWF 11-11:50 AM Shepard
PHIL 112.08 12678 Intro: Ethics & Society TR 9:30-10:45 AM Martin
PHIL 112.09 12679 Intro: Ethics & Society TR 12:30-1:45 PM TBA
PHIL 112.10 12680 Intro: Ethics & Society TR 2-3:15 PM Martin
PHIL 112.12 12682 Intro: Ethics & Society TR 3:30-4:45 PM Martin
PHIL 112.13 12683 Intro: Ethics & Society Online  (RUC) Shomaker
PHIL 112.14 12684 Intro: Ethics & Society TR 5-6:15 PM TBA
PHIL 200.01 12685 Origins of Western Philosophy MWF 9-9:50 AM Fesmire
PHIL 213.01 14047 Critical Reasoning & Argumentation Online (RUC) Shomaker
PHIL 215.01 12686 Healthcare Ethics Online   (RUC) Shomaker
PHIL 290.02 12688 Social and Political Philosophy (Honors) MWF 10-10:50 AM Fesmire
PHIL 330.01 12689 Theories of Knowledge TR 2-3:15 PM Axtell
PHIL 350.01 12690 Philosophy of Religion TR 11-12:15 PM Martin
PHIL 360.01 12691 Existential Philosophy MWF 4-4:50 PM Goffstein

Religious Studies Course Schedule for Fall 2020

Number CRN Title Day Time Instructor
RELN 111.01 12692 Intro to Religion TR 9:30-10:45 AM Pollick
RELN 111.02 12693 Intro to Religion MW 5-6:15 PM Pollick
RELN 111.03 12694 Intro to Religion MWF 1-1:50 PM Thomas
RELN 112.01 12695 World Religions Online Jordan
RELN 112.02 12696 World Religions Online Jordan
RELN 112.03 12697 World Religions MW 5-6:15 PM Rothgery
RELN 112.04 12698 World Religions W 6-8:30 Lytton
RELN 112.06 12700 World Religions TR 2-3:15 PM Jordan
RELN 206.01 12701 Religious Experience MWF 3-3:50 PM Rothgery
RELN 305.01 13095 Religion & Women TR 9:30-10:45 AM Jordan
RELN 312.01 12703 New Testament M 6-8:30 PM Lytton
RELN 370.01 12704 American Sects & Cults MWF 10-10:50 AM Thomas
RELN 420.01 12705 African-American Religions TR 2-3:15 PM Pollick