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Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
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Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Course Descriptions

Philosophy course descriptions

Religion course descriptions

Our major is one of the most flexible majors at Winthrop. Requiring only 30 hours, the major requirements in PHIL-RELG can easily be completed in two academic years, and the major combines readily with other programs of study to create an ideal double-major program. (Please note that BA double-majors are not required to have a minor.)

The philosophy and religious studies major is a quality program offering humanities depth and the key intellectual skills employers are looking for in today’s nimble workforce: effective spoken & written communication, and critical thinking & analytical reasoning skills.



Requirements for Major

PHIL or RELG 101

Introduction to Philosophy, Religious Studies

Philosophy: Overview of the major areas of philosophic inquiry including the nature of reality, of the human self, of moral value, and of knowledge of God's existence. Notes: Offered every semester.

Religion: Examination of the varying concepts of religion and the methods used in studying religious behavior and belief. Notes: Usually, offered every semester.

PHIL 220 or

PHIL 371

Logic Course

220: Introduction to classical and contemporary logic with special emphasis upon the nature of language used in reasoning and argumentation. Notes: Offered every semester.

371: We focus on the methods and principles for distinguishing correct from incorrect reasoning. Though some of human reasoning is formal and some informal, both types must meet certain criteria in order to be correct. We concentrate on the nature of argumentation, informal fallacies, and deductive & inductive logic used on the Law School Aptitude Test. While we use the LSAT as a methodological tool, the aim is to help students develop analytic skills and the ability to reason accurately. Students obtain a conceptual framework of valid reasoning, and work to identify valid and invalid argument forms. Thus, the course provides for foundational critical thinking and analytic reasoning abilities while simultaneously offering students an opportunity to hone skills needed on the LSAT. Notes: Offered periodically.


Philosophy of Religion

An explication and analysis of the major philosophical issues involved in religious claims and commitments.


Methods & Research in Philosophy/Religion

This capstone course is an advanced research seminar for students who have already developed a solid background in the academic study of religion by having completed the core courses and 6 hours of electives in their major. The course emphasizes a detailed examination of selected topics and issues in religious studies. As a Writing Intensive course and a capstone seminar, it will include the assessment of core skills and knowledge from the major and will help students improve their writing skills as they develop their own more intense research projects in their own discipline. Notes: Intensive writing course. Offered in fall. Prerequisites: PHIL 101 or RELG 101; PHIL 220 or 225 or 371; PHIL 390 or RELG 390; and 6 additional hours in PHIL or RELG.


The PHIL-RELG majors is comprised of four required courses (12 hours) and six elective courses (18 hours) selected by the student from a variety of offerings. With three areas of concentration – or tracks – to choose from, it’s easy to develop a program of study that fits a wide array of interests. Focus on philosophy, religious studies, or mix and match the two with our combined track.

If a 30-hour major doesn’t work well with your other studies, we also offer three 18 semester hour minors* – available in philosophy, religious studies, or both combined.

Students are encouraged to study abroad during their PHIL-RELG major. We sometimes offer some short-term study abroad courses in the department, and have also indentified study abroad sites offering courses that count towards your PHIL-RELG major. No matter what study abroad program-site you choose, our departmental faculty are open to accepting credit towards our programs for study abroad courses as long as they relate to philosophy and/or religious studies.

* See your current Winthrop catalog for complete details.

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