Courses Offered in the Spring Semester

During the Spring 2021 semester, the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies offers a number of dynamic and engaging learning experiences, in broad introductory courses as well as elective courses that address specialized topics. 

View the complete Class Schedule for Radford University. The Academic Success Center and the CHBS Advising Center are also available to help with questions about courses and degree requirements outside the department.

Spring 2021 Elective Courses

PHIL 213: Critical Reasoning and Argumentation

  • CRN: 24053
  • Schedule: T (in-person) R (online), 11:00 AM-12:15 PM
  • Instructor: Dr. Guy Axtell
  • 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: Healthcare Ethics

  • CRN: 24056
  • Schedule: Distance-learning, Asynchronous online
  • 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 217: Modern Philosophy: Renaissance to the Present

  • CRN: 25601
  • Schedule: T (in-person) R (online), 3:30-4:45 PM
  • Instructor: Dr. Guy Axtell
  • Catalog Course Description: History of philosophy courses offer foundational literacy in the history of ideas and in key figures and cultural events shaping philosophical thought. Students will study primary texts of major philosophers from Kant to Nietzsche, with some secondary texts also included. Emphasis is placed upon the complex relations of philosophy to the development of modern science, the social and political history of the West, and man’s continuing attempt to achieve a satisfactory worldview.

PHIL 219: Environmental Ethics

  • CRN: 25602
  • Schedule: MW (in-person) F (online), 1:00-1:50 PM
  • Instructor: Dr. Steven Fesmire
  • Catalog Course Description: A systematic study of environmental ethics, a branch of philosophy that has emerged as a response to the profound impact of human practices on the natural environment, its ecosystems, and other species.

PHIL 375: Philosophy of Law

  • CRN: 24064
  • Schedule:  T (in-person) R (online), 12:30-1:45 PM
  • Instructor: Dr. Glen Martin
  • Catalog Course Description: Examines the central historical and contemporary issues in the philosophy of law. Includes an in-depth study of the central conceptual problems with philosophy of law today, the historical development of the concept of law in Western thought, and the unique issues that arise when the rule of law is envisioned on a planetary scale.

PHIL 421: Topics in Philosophy: Animal Ethics

  • CRN: 24066
  • Schedule: MW (in-person) F (online), 11:00-11:50 AM
  • Instructor: Dr. Steven Fesmire
  • Catalog Course Description: What is the appropriate ethical relationship between humans and other animals?  This course is a systematic study of animal ethics, a field that has emerged as a response to the profound impact of human practices on other species and rising concern about animal use and treatment.  Topics may include livestock agriculture, hunting, animal experimentation, biodiversity and invasive species, companion animals, vegetarianism and veganism, animals in entertainment, zoos and aquariums, activist ethics, animal rights, animals and biotechnology, and animal cognition.  The perspectives we will explore have a significant bearing on how we understand ourselves and nature and what policies we will endorse in relation to other animals.

PHIL 430: Advanced Healthcare Ethics

  • CRN: 24068
  • Schedule: M (in-person) WF (online), 3:00-3:50 PM
  • Instructor: Mr. Darrell Chomaker
  • Catalog Course Description: Introduces students to ethical theory and methods of moral reasoning as tools for analyzing bioethical problems of the twenty-first century that arise from emerging medical technology and changes to law and health policy. The bioethical issues will vary to reflect current events and debates. Examples may include the impact of changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on rural health and human service delivery, the efficacy and safety of telemedicine and telecounseling, and the ethical implications of new advances in genetic medicine.
  • Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing and permission of instructor

RELN 210: Islam in Global and Historical Contexts

  • CRN: 24207
  • Schedule: In-person, MWF, 1:00-1:50 PM
  • Instructor: Dr. Geoffrey Pollick
  • Catalog Course Description: 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 213: Healthcare and the American Religious Landscape

  • CRN: 24211
  • Schedule: Distance-learning, Asynchronous online
  • Instructor: Dr. Geoffrey Pollick
  • Catalog Course Description: Addresses religion as a significant factor in contemporary U.S. contexts of healthcare delivery. Topics include, among others: religious diversity, demographics, and healthcare institutions; collective identity and experiences of healthcare; role of religion in provider–patient interactions; and religious communities and healthcare delivery.

RELN 314: Social Problems and the Bible

  • CRN: 25605
  • Schedule: In-person, TR, 12:30-1:45 PM
  • Instructor: Dr. Paul Thomas
  • Catalog Course Description: Explores how the Bible has been used in contemporary debates related to social problems. Topics of examination may include, but are not limited to, gender, sexuality, environmentalism, family, race, politics, and war.

RELN 360: Religions in China and Japan

  • CRN: 24219
  • Schedule: Distance-learning, Asynchronous online
  • Instructor: Dr. Kay Jordan
  • Catalog Course Description: Provides students with an opportunity for advanced study in the historical development of religious thought and practice in China and Japan. It includes the study of ancestor worship, folk religion, Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, Shinto, “New Religious Movements” and communism.

RELN 381: Religion and Experiences of Illness and Dying

  • CRN: 24222
  • Schedule: In-person, TR, 3:30-4:45 PM (RU-Main Campus)
  • Instructor: Dr. Eric Rothgery
  • Catalog Course Description: Critically examines a significant dimension of religious life. Death, the great unknown, awaits us all. One of the chief functions of religions is to ease the anxiety and pain of being mortal. How and how well is this accomplished? To answer, students will explore supernaturalist treatments of death across cultures and time, e.g., funeral rites, descriptions of hell, ghost beliefs, and Near-Death Experiences.

Philosophy Course Schedule for Spring 2021

Course Modalities

  • In Person = Traditional, face-to-face meetings on-ground
  • Blended learning, Flipped asynchronous = Some class meetings in-peron, Some course requirements asynchronous online
  • Distance learning, Asynchronous = Online- only course format, mostly self-paced instruction, no set meeting time
  • Distance learning, Synchronoue: Online-only course that meets at a set time on a weekly schedule
COURSE SECTION TITLE CRN INSTRUCTOR MODALITY DAY TIME
PHIL 111 01 Introduction to Philosophy 23991 Axtell Distance learning, Asynchronous Online
PHIL 111 02 Introduction to Philosophy 23992 Axtell Distance learning, Asynchronous Online
PHIL 111 03 Introduction to Philosophy 23993 Zarella Blended learning, Flipped asynchronous M (in-person) WF (online) 8:00-8:50 AM
PHIL 111 04 Introduction to Philosophy 23994 Zarella Blended learning, Flipped asynchronous W (in-person) MF (online) 8:00-8:50 AM
PHIL 111 05 Introduction to Philosophy 23995 Zarella Blended learning, Flipped asynchronous F (in-person) MW (online) 8:00-8:50 AM
PHIL 111 06 Introduction to Philosophy 24020 Goffstein Distance learning, Synchronous MWF (online) 8:00-8:50 AM
PHIL 111 07 Introduction to Philosophy 24021 Goffstein Distance learning, Synchronous MWF (online) 9:00-9:50 AM
PHIL 111 08 Introduction to Philosophy 24022 Goffstein Distance learning, Synchronous MWF (online) 11:00-11:50 AM
PHIL 112 01 Introduction: Ethics and Society 24023 Shomaker Distance learning, Asynchronous (RUC) Online
PHIL 112 02 Introduction: Ethics and Society 24024 Shepard Distance learning, Synchronous MWF (online) 8:00-8:50 AM
PHIL 112 03 Introduction: Ethics and Society 24025 Shepard Distance learning, Synchronous MWF (online) 9:00-9:50 AM
PHIL 112 05 Introduction: Ethics and Society 24027 Shepard Distance learning, Synchronous MWF (online) 11:00-11:50 AM
PHIL 112 06 Introduction: Ethics and Society, Honors 24037 Fesmire Blended learning, Flipped asynchronous MW (in-person) F (online) 10:00-10:50 AM
PHIL 112 07 Introduction: Ethics and Society 24039 Martin In-person TR 8:00-9:15 AM
PHIL 112 08 Introduction: Ethics and Society 24042 Martin In-person TR 9:30-10:45 AM
PHIL 112 09 Introduction: Ethics and Society 24048 Martin In-person TR 2:00-3:15 PM
PHIL 112 10 Introduction: Ethics and Society 24050 Shomaker Blended learning, Flipped asynchronous T (in-person) R (online) 2:00-3:15 PM
PHIL 213 01 Critical Reasoning and Argumentation 24053 Axtell Blended learning, Flipped asynchronous T (in-person) R (online) 11:00 AM-12:15 PM
PHIL 215 01 Healthcare Ethics 24056 Shomaker Distance learning, Asynchronous (RUC) Online
PHIL 217 01 Modern Philosophy: Renaissance to Present 25601 Axtell Blended learning, Flipped asynchronous T (in-person) R (online) 3:30-4:45 PM
PHIL 219 01 Environmental Ethics 25602 Fesmire Blended learning, Flipped asynchronous MW (in-person) F (online) 1:00-1:50 PM
PHIL 375 01 Philosophy of Law 24064 Martin In-person TR 12:30-1:45 PM
PHIL 421 01 Topics in Philosophy: Animal Ethics 24066 Fesmire Blended learning, Flipped asynchronous MW (in-person) F (online) 11:00-11:50 AM
PHIL 430 01 Advanced Healthcare Ethics 25068 Shomaker Blended learning, Flipped asynchronous M (in-person) WF (synchronous online) 3:00-3:50 PM

Religious Studies Course Schedule for Spring 2021

Course Modalities

  • In Person = Traditional, face-to-face meetings on-ground
  • Blended learning, Flipped asynchronous = Some class meetings in-peron, Some course requirements asynchronous online
  • Distance learning, Asynchronous = Online- only course format, mostly self-paced instruction, no set meeting time
  • Distance learning, Synchronoue: Online-only course that meets at a set time on a weekly schedule
COURSE SECTTION TITLE CRN INSTRUCTOR MODALITY DAY TIME
RELN 112 01 Survey of World Religions 24177 Jordan Distance learning, Asynchronous Online
RELN 112 02 Survey of World Religions 24197 Jordan Distance learning, Asynchronous Online
RELN 112 03 Survey of World Religions 24198 Jordan Distance learning, Asynchronous Online
RELN 112 07 World Religions: Healthcare 24201 Thomas Distance learning, Asynchronous Online
RELN 112 08 Survey of World Religions

24202 Pollick Blended learning, Flipped asynchronous M (in-person) WF (online) 3:00-3:50 PM
RELN 112 09 Survey of World Religions 24203 Pollick Blended learning, Flipped asynchronous W (in-person) MF (online) 3:00-3:50 PM
RELN 112 10 Survey of World Religions 25604 Rothgery In-person TR 5:00-6:15 PM
RELN 210 01 Islam in Global and Historical Contexts 24207 Pollick In-person MWF 4:00-4:50 PM
RELN 213 01 Healthcare and the American Religious Landscape 24211 Pollick Distance learning, Asynchronous Online
RELN 314 01 Social Problems and the Bible 25605 Thomas In-person TR 12:30-1:45 PM
RELN 360 01 Religions in China and Japan 24219 Jordan Distance learning, Asynchronous Online
RELN 381 01 Religion and Experiences of Illness and Dying 24222 Rothgery In-person TR 3:30-4:45 PM