Saint Xavier University Chicago Campus Residence Halls

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies


Mission

The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies is proud to serve the mission of Saint Xavier University, offering classes directly related to the core values of our institution and its students. Coursework and faculty research in both programs advocate critical thinking, thoughtful engagement with historical and current questions about the common good, practical skills in writing, reading and information literacy, as well as dedication to the spirit of life-long learning.

Graduates of our department have gone on to pursue careers and work in a variety of fields, including:

  • Teaching, entering M.A. and Ph.D. programs in philosophy, religious studies and related disciplines
  • Law
  • Environmental policy
  • The Seminary
  • Social-justice work

For specific information about each program, its courses and its faculty, please click on the program title in the menu bar. 

Faculty

A. Morton, Chair; M. Bathgate; A. Canty; N. Lee; T. Martin; J. Nemeh; M. O'Keeffe; F. Perry; M. Sturdevant; T. Thorp; K. Waller

The Philosophy Curriculum

Courses are divided into three categories:

  • 100-level : The Examined Life (PHIL 140, PHIL 150, or HONOR 151) offers an introduction to philosophical reflection and is a prerequisite for all other philosophy courses
  • 200-level: These courses focus on an area or field of philosophical concern (e.g., ethics, epistemology, philosophy of religion).
  • 300-level: These courses offer more advanced work in philosophy and include the following courses: (a) courses in the history of philosophy (PHIL 304-308); (b) intensive readings of topics and philosophers from specific periods in the history of philosophy (PHIL 374-378); and (c) a senior research project, culminating in a research paper and an oral presentation and defense of it (PHIL 390).

Requirements for a Major in Philosophy

The Examined Life (3 credit hours)

  • PHIL 140 or PHIL 150 or HONOR 151: The Examined Life     

Logic and Argument (3 credit hours)

  • PHIL 210: Logic and Argument           

History of Philosophy (9 credit hours)

  • PHIL 304: Ancient Philosophy 
  • PHIL 305: Medieval Philosophy
  • PHIL 306: Early Modern Philosophy     

Advanced Courses in Philosophy (6 credit hours)

(at least 3 credit hours must be from courses numbered 374-378)

  • PHIL 307: Late Modern Philosophy      
  • PHIL 308: Contemporary Philosophy   
  • PHIL 374: Studies in Ancient Philosophy         
  • PHIL 375: Studies in Medieval Philosophy       
  • PHIL 376: Studies in Early Modern Philosophy
  • PHIL 377: Studies in Late Modern Philosophy 
  • PHIL 378: Studies in Contemporary Philosophy          

Senior Seminar (1 credit hour)

(Students are required to submit and present a senior philosophy paper in their senior year.)           

  • PHIL 390: Senior Seminar       

Additional Electives in Philosophy (12 credit hours)

Total Credit Hours for the Major in Philosophy (34)

Philosophy Minor

 

Requirements for a Minor in Philosophy

The Examined Life (3 credit hours)

  • PHIL 140 or PHIL 150 or HONOR 151:The Examined Life      

History of Philosophy (3 credit hours)

Choose one of the following courses:        

  • PHIL 304: Studies in Ancient Philosophy
  • PHIL 305: Medieval Philosophy
  • PHIL 306: Early Modern Philosophy     

Additional Electives in Philosophy (12 credit hours)

Total Credit Hours for the Minor in Philosophy (18)

Major in Religious Studies

The major in religious studies consists of a minimum of 39 credit hours in the department, 6 of which may be fulfilled by the general education requirement in religious studies. In consultation with a departmental advisor and with the final approval of the department, majors will formulate a program of studies that best suits their educational and career objectives. All major programs must include the following:

Biblical Studies

  • RELST 220: Bible I - Old Testament Religion   
  • RELST 221: Bible II - New Testament Christianity       

Theological Studies

Choose two courses from the following:

  • RELST 253: Christian Theology: Sacraments   
  • RELST 260: Christian Theology: Church          
  • RELST 262: Christian Theology: God   
  • RELST 263: Christian Theology: Christ
  • RELST 264: Christian Theology: The Human Person
  • RELST 360: Seminar in Theology        

Comparative Studies 

Choose one course from the following:

  • RELST 240: The Religious Other          
  • RELST 241: The Hindu Tradition          
  • RELST 242: The Buddhist Tradition     
  • RELST 244: East Asian Religious Traditions     
  • RELST 249: The Islamic Tradition        
  • RELST 355: Seminar in Comparative Religions

Historical Studies

Choose one course from the following:

  • RELST 278: Encountering the Bible Through the Centuries    
  • RELST 284: Religious Experience in the Early Church 
  • RELST 286: Medieval Spirituality          
  • RELST 287: Christianity and Modernity
  • RELST 362: Seminar in the History of Theology          

Theological Ethics

  • RELST 265: Christian Ethics    

Choose two Electives in RELST (6 credit hours)

Choose at least three 300-level seminars (9 credit hours)

  • RELST 390: Senior Study

The department strongly encourages students who major in religious studies to develop a significant body of complementary work, perhaps leading to a second major or a minor program of study in another academic area of the University.

Minor in Religious Studies

The minor in religious studies consists of 18 credit hours, 6 of which may be fulfilled by the general education requirement in religious studies. Minors may fulfill the requirements by successfully completing any 4 or more additional courses from those offered by the department, including one seminar.

Minor in Catholic Studies

The minor in Catholic studies consists of 18 credit hours, 6 of which will fulfill the general education requirements in religious studies. The program of study should include the following:

  • RELST 210: Roman Catholic Tradition

Choose two courses from the following Theological Studies offerings:

  • RELST 260: Christian Theology: Church         
  • RELST 262: Christian Theology: God 
  • RELST 263: Christian Theology: Christ           

Choose at least one course from the following Historical Studies offerings:

  • RELST 278: Encountering the Bible Through the Centuries          
  • RELST 284: Religious Experience in the Early Church     
  • RELST 286: Medieval Spirituality      
  • RELST 287: Christianity and Modernity          

Choose two elective courses to complete the program.

Undergraduate Certificate Program

In order to recognize the academic development of students who pursue their interest in a particular area of religious studies beyond the minimum graduation requirements the department offers four 12 credit hour certificates. These certificates will be granted in collaboration with the students themselves in order to recognize the specific area to which they have devoted their attention. Students may choose one of the following certificate areas. Additional courses may be approved by the department.

Biblical Studies Certificate

Choose four courses from the following:

  • RELST 220: Bible I - Old Testament Religion
  • RELST 221: Bible II - New Testament Christianity
  • RELST 271: Jesus and the Gospels
  • RELST 273: Women in the Bible
  • RELST 278: Encountering the Bible Through the Centuries
  • RELST 352: Seminar in Biblical Studies

Catholic Perspectives on Health Care Certificate

Choose four courses from the following:

  • RELST 200: Roman Catholic Tradition
  • RELST 253: Christian Theology: Sacraments
  • RELST 264: Christian Theology: The Human Person
  • RELST 266: Suffering and Death
  • RELST 299: Medical Ethics

Comparative Religious Studies Certificate

Choose four courses from the following:

  • RELST 240: The Religious Other
  • RELST 241: The Hindu Tradition
  • RELST 242: The Buddhist Tradition
  • RELST 244: East Asian Religious Traditions
  • RELST 247: The Jewish Tradition
  • RELST 249: The Islamic Tradition
  • RELST 355: Seminar in Comparative Religions

Christianity and Culture Certificate

Choose four courses from the following:

  • RELST 252: Third World Religious Views
  • RELST 254: Catholic Social Teaching
  • RELST 257: Religion and Film
  • RELST 265: Christian Ethics
  • RELST 290: Religion and Literature
  • RELST 291: Feminist/Womanist Perspectives on Religion
  • RELST 292: Religion and Society