An examination and critical assessment of the philosophical concepts, issues, and questions surrounding the relationship of church and state.
“Law and Religion” will be a crucial addition to the courses taught in the Philosophy department, offering majors and minors vital tools for the philosophical study of the relationship between church and state, religion and law. Questions about the relationship between religious beliefs and actions, on the one hand, and liberal society and the rule of law, on the other, are among the most pressing and important in our public life today, encompassing particular areas of concern such as religious exemptions from anti-discrimination laws, legislation protecting religious conscience, and the role of religion in public life. This course will offer students a variety of means to identify and critically assess the philosophical concepts, issues, and questions surrounding the relationship of church and state. Students will learn to critically investigate the nature of religion and religious belief; the value or disvalue of institutional religion; the justifications and limits of religious liberty; and the role of religion in public discourse and legislation in liberal society. The course will introduce students to these important philosophical and political questions and conceptions, and at the same time to a philosophical investigative method, in a way that is relevant to contemporary controversies and topics. As a topic-centered course, this course will also be flexible, in the sense that a range of faculty (with expertise in different areas of philosophy) will be able to teach the course with differing emphases.
30 October, 2018
Re: PHIL 329 – Religion and the Law
Dear Prof. Tollefsen,
The Department of Religious Studies is pleased to offer its support of the proposed new course in
Philosophy, PHIL 329, Religion and the Law. Although we are also proposing a course that examines
the law (Law in Religious Traditions), there is no overlap in content between the two courses, nor
between your proposed course and other courses in Religious Studies.
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA • COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA 29208 • 803/777-4100
Dear Dean Ford,
Michael Dickson contacted the School of Law earlier about the concept of a proposed undergraduate minor, now to be named Law and Society. We appreciate his doing so. He addressed our questions about any potential undergraduate confusion as to whether the course work in this minor would be similar to courses in law school. We are satisfied with his explanations and concur in the creation of this minor for the reasons stated in the proposal now under consideration.
We have also reviewed the proposals for new courses ENGL 340, PHIL 329, and RELG 339, which we understand would be offered in conjunction with the minor. We concur in the approval of each of these courses. The syllabi of each of those courses distinguishes them from courses offered at the graduate level in the School of Law. We previously raised a question about the naming of ENGL 340 (Literature and Law) and do not disagree with the assurances by Professor Davis that any likelihood of confusion with existing course LAWS 775 (Law and Literature) is minimal given that one is a 300-level course and the other is a graduate level course. We would ask, however, that the committee approving the course be made aware of the existing LAWS course. If they concur with Professor Davis that the name will not likely cause confusion, we have no objection.
Please let me know if you need anything further.
Thank you for submitting your proposal to the Committee on Curricula & Courses. We have approved the proposal and are moving it forward to the Faculty Senate. It is recommended someone from the department attend the next Faculty Senate meeting in case there are questions from the floor regarding your proposal.
We appreciate your patience and commitment to undergraduate and graduate education.
John Gerdes, Chair803email@example.comFaculty Senate Committee on Curricula and Courses
Added to the 1819 Undergraduate Bulletin.