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Registration: Interim

Interim 2010


W10 Peaceable Kingdom. Though stewardship of the animal kingdom is one of the primary responsibilities accorded to human beings in the Christian creation narrative, the question of how best to respect the creatures under our care is one that Christians too often neglect to ask. This omission is especially unfortunate, given the mounting evidence of fallenness in the social and commercial practices that presently govern our relationships to animals. While large-scale agribusiness has increased consumer convenience, this convenience has come at a high cost, and not just to animals; confined animal feeding operations have had negative effects on the environment, on local and global commerce and agriculture in both rural and urban communities, and on public health. In view of these considerations, the purpose of this course is two-fold: first, to gain insight into the problem through a survey of the moral, environmental, and socio-economic issues surrounding the treatment of animals and the allocation of natural and human resources by contemporary agribusiness and other industries that use non-human animals; and second, to take the initial steps toward becoming agents of renewal by workshopping an array of concrete approaches to addressing these problems (e.g., supporting sustainable food systems, community supported agriculture, cooking and eating lower on the food chain, exploring “locavorism,” vegetarianism and veganism, animal compassion advocacy, etc.). Students will be evaluated on their responses to journal assignments as well as on their participation in class discussion, events, and fieldtrips.  M. Halteman.  2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

W11 Moral Expectations in Film.  From an early age all people learn that certain types of behavior are morally expected of them. Morality has its expectations, and it is a high priority that people learn what these expectations are. It is also a high priority that a knowledge of these expectations is passed on to each new generation. The course focuses on this rather neglected area of the moral terrain. The phenomenon of moral expectation is studied in its relationship with more familiar concepts like moral duty, moral responsibility, and supererogation. It is also examined in the context of the Christian life. A half dozen motion pictures will be shown illustrating moral expectation. Evaluation is based on a research paper and several short written assignments. One previous course in Philosophy is recommended but not required.  G. Mellema.  8:30 a.m. to noon.

W40 Male Bodies in Current Culture.  The biceps of male action figures have tripled in the last 20 years, and hyper-developed male muscles have featured heavily in recent movies such as “300”—a fact which has received a fair amount of attention from gender theorists, who posit this development as, in part, a backlash to the rise in female economic and political power.  At the same time, many male fashion models and mainstream film stars are sporting thin, smooth bodies as the popularity of the ‘metrosexual’ look grows.  All this might well make you wonder: what’s going on?!  Both of these looks require a dramatic increase in time, energy, and money devoted to the body, but do they stem from the same source?  Are men finally feeling the pressure to conform to culture ideals of physical attractiveness that women have felt for millennia—and, if so, does this mean that the age-old philosophical identification between mind/men and body/women is finally breaking down?  Evaluation is based on class participation, a readings journal, group presentations, and a final project.  This course may fulfill an elective in the Gender Studies minor.  C. Van Dyke.  2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

W80 Modal Logic.  This course introduces students to modal logic.  Modal logic is a new branch of logic allowing one to evaluate claims and arguments involving necessity, possibility, and subjunctive contingency.  The course will focus especially on the logical theory and logic of subjunctive conditionals pioneered by Robert Stalnaker and David Lewis; it will then look at applications in philosophy or religion and epistemology.  Evaluation is based on written daily summaries, class participation and a presentation.  This course may fulfill an elective in the Philosophy major. Prerequisite: PHIL 173.  S. Wykstra. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

IDIS W20 L'Abri Fellowship. L. Hardy.

IDIS W38 How to Change the World. M. Jensen.

IDIS W41 Building Communities in Kenya . D. Hoekema.