TRS* and ETH courses in our department

*Please note: The subject code TRS has replaced THE.  Beginning in summer 2015, the subject code THE which was used to designate all of the courses (except for ethics courses) offered by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies is being replaced by the subject code TRS.

TRS Courses

TRS 100: The Bible  Overview of the Old and New Testaments in their historical and theological context, with emphasis on such major biblical themes as sin, covenant, prophecy, messiaism, salvation and resurrection.  3 credits.

TRS 101: Major Religious Voices (formerly Major Religious Writings) What beliefs emerge from the scriptures of the world's religions? This course is a careful study of several short but significant religious texts from places and times very different from our own. A "journey" to visit and appreciate these diverse texts involves learning how to study them as a key to understanding their messages. 3 credits.

TRS 104: What is Religion? (formerly Religion and Modern Culture) An introductory study of the nature of religious experience and of the interaction between religion and modern culture, including areas of influence and conflict such as relativism, pluralism, political ideologies, nature, science and technology. 3 credits.

TRS 220H (Honors): World Religions, Global Citizens: Contemporary Perspectives (formerly Saints, Sinners and God; formerly THE 320H; formerly Religion in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds; formerly Saints and Sinners: A Religious Journey)  A study of central themes in several of the world's major religions, focusing on perceptions of the sacred, the nature of reality, and understandings of the human person, society and the natural environment.  The course approaches perennial questions of human religious experience in light of the contemporary context of cultural globalization.  Encountering the life stories and thought of contemporary religious figures who express not only the human search for meaning, but also compelling perspectives on cultural diversity, our shared humanity, reverence for life, and the search for the common good, the course considers the contribution of world religions to the evolving meaning of the term, 'global citizens'.  (Honors students only.) 3 credits.

TRS 221: The New Testament.  This course is a contemporary critical investigation of the message and the meaning of the New Testament, of its origin and of the historical situation in which it was written. All the books of the New Testament are studied individually and collectively, and important scriptural terms, ideas and themes are examined. 3 credits.

TRS 222:  Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke  (formerly THE 222 The Synoptic Gospels)  This course explores the messages of and about Jesus as recorded in three of the four New Testament gospels--Matthew, Mark and Luke. They are called the synoptic gospels because many passages are shared by two or all three of them, and yet each also has many unique passages. Explaining how this happened has been a focus of scholarly research for many years, and is also a way to learn about the different emphases of each text and the forces that shaped early Christian memories of Jesus and beliefs about his significance. These issues arise while exploring various topics in these gospels, such as Jesus' concept of the Kingdom of God and Jesus' arrest, death and resurrection as recounted in the Passion narratives, and while seeking to understand the relationship of the Jesus of history and the Christ of Christian faith.

TRS 225: Topics in Theology and Religion A study of topics not included in the regular curriculum cycle. When offered the title of the course will be announced prior to the term. This course may be repeated for credit. 1-3 credits.

TRS 227: The God Question (formerly THE 325) Writing-Intensive Course. The question "Does God exist?" is only one of the many questions currently raised in western societies about the sacred. With many differing beliefs in the world about what is divine - and many reasons to doubt that anything is sacred - there is much at stake in "the God question," whatever form it takes. The course explores some of the reasons that have been offered for and against various conceptions of what is sacred, divine or ultimate. It examines ways in which traditional Christian beliefs have been reinterpreted to be more meaningful in our scientific and pluralistic age. Students are encouraged to engage the debates sparked by some famous thinkers to better understand our shared reality. Prerequsites: ENG 110 and Sophomore standing. 3 credits.

TRS 230: Meaning of Jesus (formerly THE 330; formerly THE 231; formerly Christian Interpretations of Jesus) A study of historical questions and faith interpretations of Jesus the Christ as seen in the Gospels, traditional doctrinal formulations and contemporary theologies. Prerequisites: ENG 110 and Sophomore standing. 3 credits.

TRS 241: Religion and the American Tradition A study of the role of religion in the American experience.
Topics include religious traditions and movements, Church and State issues, theological and ethical concerns, religious diversity and freedom of conscience. 3 credits.

TRS 242:  Women and Christianity  (formerly Women and Religion) A study of the attitudes of organized religion toward women throughout history, with emphasis on the Judeo-Christian tradition. It will include a discussion of the feminist tradition and critique of these attitudes. 3 credits.

TRS 252: Contemporary Catholicism The study of contemporary Catholicism, focusing on developments in Catholic doctrine and practice since Vatican Council II. Emphasis will be given to formal Church teaching, an understanding of the sacraments, and the nature and mission of the Church. 3 credits.

TRS 254: Protestantism An overview of the principal historical developments and theological schools of Protestantism, with a special emphasis on the 16th and 20th centuries. 3 credits.

TRS 260: Religions of the West This course concentrates on the three major religious traditions of the west: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Attention is given to the origin and development of each religion, to selected scriptural and doctrinal texts, to theological and moral insights and to ritual expressions and social manifestations. Other religions may be addressed. 3 credits.

TRS 262:  Call to Holiness: The Catholic Church and the Second Vatican Council.  In the context of a church that reverenced conformity and control, an aged Pope called an ecumenical council to promote "the enlightenment, edification, and joy of the entire Christian people." This course is meant to be an in-depth inquiry into this Council which has been called the most decisive ecclesial event for the Church of the twentieth century and beyond. Special emphasis will be given to the underlying issue of the identity of the church itself and the continuing consequences of this extraordinary meeting of church leadership. 3 credits.

TRS 263: Judaism The history, sacred literature, doctrine and ethical teaching of Judaism, including an examination of contemporary Jewish life and thought. This course is in memory of Rabbi George B. Lieberman. 3 credits.

TRS 265: Islam  A study of the religious and spiritual tradition of Islam. Among other topics, this course explores the historical, cultural and contemporary context of Islam, its Scriptures, and its intellectual and doctrinal development. 3 credits.

TRS 273: Church in History and Culture (formerly The Developing Church) A study of the history of the Christian Church and its interaction with culture, including the growth of its beliefs and structure, focusing on the development of major western church traditions. 3 credits.

TRS 275:  Marriage and the Catholic Tradition  (formerly THE 345 Love and Sexuality in Marriage; THE 275 Love, Marriage and Sexuality) This course will review the meaning and role of marriage in the Jewish and Christian scriptures, how religious laws about marriage have changed, and the development of the understanding of marriage as a sacrament from the earliest Christian age through the Middle Ages to the present day.  It will address the theological, legal and pastoral aspects of getting married today in the Catholic Church, the Church's process when declaring a marriage invalid, and other practical questions that arise with divorce and remarriage.

TRS 281: Religions of the East A survey of selected religions of eastern origin: Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese and Japanese religions. 3 credits.

TRS 285: Religious Themes in the Cinema An investigation of the cinematic treatment of religious themes. Selected films will be analyzed and critiqued. (Offered intersession, summer) 3 credits.

TRS 340: Symbol and Celebration (formerly Religious Ritual; formerly THE 274 Christian Celebration) A study of the role that symbol and celebration play in human experience, with particular emphasis on the development and current celebration of the major Christian rituals in terms of their roots in the Incarnation, the Church and the part that ritual plays in life. Prerequisites: ENG 110 and sophomore standing. 3 credits.

TRS 355: Mysticism (formerly THE 287) A study of the nature of the mystical experience and the mystical life in the Eastern and Western traditions, with emphasis on Christianity. It will include a study of selected mystics. Prerequisites: ENG 110 and Sophomore standing. 3 credits.

TRS 390: Topics in Theology/Religion (formerly THE 296) In-depth study of topics not included in detail in the regular curriculum cycle. Title of the course will be announced prior to the term. Prerequisite: junior or senior status, approval of chairperson. This course may be repeated for credit. 1-3 credits.

TRS 470: Independent Study (formerly THE 291) Open to qualified students who wish to pursue in-depth a specialized area of theology or religious studies. Directed readings, research and discussion under the guidance of a member of the department. Prerequisites: ENG 110, Sophomore standing, 9 credits in theology and permission of department chairperson. Does not fulfill general education requirement. 1-3 credits.

TRS 491: Seminar (formerly THE 292) Writing-intensive Course. In-depth study of major theological themes or theologians. Required of majors; other students by permission of chairperson. 3 credits.   

ETH courses sponsored by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies* 

*The Department of Philosophy sponsors other ETH courses as well. They also meet the General Education requirement, but do not meet the requirement for the major or minor in the Theology and Religious Studies Department.

ETH 250:  Ethics: Theory and Practice (formerly PHI 250 Ethics; Theories and Principles; formerly Morality and Life) An introduction to classical and contemporary approaches to ethical decision-making with application to current moral issues. (Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.) 3 credits.

ETH 254:  Ethics, Justice and Society (formerly PHI 240, PHI 254; formerly Topics in Social Ethics; formerly Justice and Society) A critical examination of ethical theory, conceptions of justice and how they apply to specific problems in society. Topics include education, government, poverty, speech, well-being, property and obligations to others. This course is recommended for all majors, but especially for students considering law as a career. (Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.) 3 credits.

ETH 255:  Environmental Ethics (formerly PHI 242, PHI 255) What kind of moral obligations do human beings have to other living things and the rest of nature? The course explores moral issues that arise in our relationship to nature, particularly fro philosophical and/or religious perspectives. Basic theories and tools of moral reasoning are introduced to understand and evaluate diverse viewpoints about the current and ideal state of human interaction with our environment. In addition, the course equips students to develop their own moral judgments about these questions. Issues examined may include global climate change, species extinction, resource depletion, pollution, waste and animal cruelty. (Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.) 3 credits.

ETH 278:  Christian Social Ethics  (formerly THE 278 Contemporary Christian Ethics)  This course will survey the origins and foundations of Christian social ethics, and examine its interaction with contemporary social ethical issues. The course will first review how biblical and the early Christian tradition addressed various social ethical problems of the time. Then the course will study the recent development of Catholic and/or Protestant social ethics in the modern world, and explore how these sources address selected issues in current political, economic, ecological and social life.   (Sponsored by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.) 

ETH 279:  Religion and Global Moral Issues (formerly IPJ 279 Traditions of Peace and Justice, formerly THE 279) An examination of Christian and other religious sources which address the nature of peace and social justice, the origins of war and injustice and various strategies for overcoming these problems. Topics may include international inequalities, poverty and wealth, ecology, revolution and nonviolence. (Sponsored by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.) 3 credits.

ETH 280H (Honors):  Ethics and Contemporary Life (formerly PHI 380H Ethics: Theories and Applications) An examination of general theories of obligation as applied to specific contemporary problems. The student will be introduced to major ethical theories, including: virtue-based, deontological and utilitarian standards. Life choices concerning issues of courage, moderation, wisdom, trust, authenticity, friendship, compassion and justice will be discussed. Controversial issues such as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, lying and truth telling, sexual morality, medical experimentation, citizenship, punishment, obligations to the disadvantaged and business and professional obligations are among those explored. (Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy or by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.) 3 credits.

ETH 288:  Ethics and Healthcare (formerly THE 288) This course examines ethical theories, principles and applications to the field of medicine. The nature, rights and individual dignity of the human person and basic principles of moral philosophy will be discussed. Topics include death and dying, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, abortion, allocation of scarce medical resources, truth-telling in the doctor-patient relationship, the right to medical care, informed consent, human experimentation and other contemporary problems. (Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy or by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.) 3 credits.

ETH 290:  Topics in Ethics and/or Morality (formerly Moral Decision-Making) A study of moral topics not included in the regular curriculum cycle. When offered, the title of the course will be announced prior to the term. This course may be repeated for credit. (Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy or the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.) 1-3 credits.

ETH 318H (Honors):  Bioethics in the Contemporary World  This course explores medical ethics from two perspectives: the critical analysis of recent bioethics literature and the impact for future health care professionals. Both theory and application will be considered, especially as they relate to informed consent, human personhood, allocation of resources, technological advancement, research methods, professional duties, interpersonal relations and compassion in the workplace. (Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy or by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.) 3 credits.

ETH 390:  Advanced Topics In Ethics  A study of advanced moral topics not included in the regular curriculum cycle. When offered, the title of the course will be announced prior to the term. This course may be repeated for credit. For Juniors or Seniors. (Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy or the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.) 1-3 credits.

ETH 470: Independent Study  Specialized, self-directed study of a topic not available within scheduled courses, and under individual direction of a faculty member. Subject to Chairperson approval. (Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy or the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.) 1-3 credits.

Graduate level ETH courses sponsored by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies (for dual degree program nursing students only):

ETH 505:  Advanced Medical Ethics (formerly PHI 505, THE 505) This course will focus on the study of general ethical theories, principles and applications in the field of medicine. Seminar topics include patient autonomy, consent, competency, technology, reproduction, genetics, death and dying, and more. This course is a graduate-level course for Master's level and Dual Degree Nursing students only that meets the Ethics general education requirement. It is not open to other undergraduate  students. (Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and/or the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.) (Offered fall, intersession, spring, summer) 3 credits.


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Connie Lasher
Theology and Religious Studies
310 Fern Street, South Hempstead, New York 11571

516.323.3369

clasher@molloy.edu