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For classes in philosophy and religion

Project guidelines and more! Grading standards, projects, logic, writing, and presentations plus Academic Dishonesty--cheating and plagiarism.

Comparative Religious Thought I.

March, 2011


Dear friends,

    Due to new hardware and software, I can no longer maintain this website normally, and I am gradually migrating to http://sites.google.com/a/kent.edu/jwattles.  Please enjoy this website for any good you may receive here.  Come visit the new site, and, most of all, enjoy increasing truth, beauty, and goodness day by day.

      Your brother,



Problems in the Philosophy of Religion

PODCASTS on a variety of topics are found here: https://ksutube.kent.edu/showall.php?author=jwattles . 

Introduction to Ethics: https://deimos.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/BrowsePrivately/kent.edu.1360926463.01360926465 ;

Aesthetics https://deimos.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/BrowsePrivately/kent.edu.1358166115.01358166117 ;

portions of a seminar on virtue ethics and the arts https://deimos.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/BrowsePrivately/kent.edu.1361924997.01361924999

The sophists

PLATO (427-347 BCE).  A brief introduction to Plato, including some summaries.  Here's Socrates' famous dilemma for religious ethics: The Euthyphro dilemma: explanation and reply.  Socrates had to defend himself in court for (among other things) challenging conventional religious thought: The Apology Convicted and in prison Socrates reasoned that he should not escape: The Crito; contrast Frantz Fanon theory of counterviolence; here's a written assignment to help you think how to resolve the clash between Socrates and Fanon.  Now you are ready for Plato's teaching on the formsThe Phaedo is Socrates' last dialogue--on the immortality of soul--just before he diedThe Symposium explores eros and beauty; see here also notes on the critique of Plato's concept of love by theologian Anders Nygren, Agape and Eros.  Plato's main dialogue on justice, political order, education, psychology, goodness (the form or idea of the good) is The Republic Here's an epistemological adventure with the Ion.


DESCARTES (1596-1650).  Susan Bordo's feminist critique of dualism and other cultural contributions to pathology

KANT (1724-1804).  Kant's ethics.  Kant's Idea of history

MILL and Utilitarianism

HEGEL (1770-1831).  Here's a summary of Hegel's Encyclopedia LogicHere's a summary of Hegel's Philosophy of Right

WILLIAM JAMES (1842 -1910).  Notes and questions on several chapters of William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience. ub 

The project on positive attitude

Nikolai Berdiaev (1874-1948) on personality

Martin Heidegger (1889-1976).  "The Question Concerning Technology"

Emmanuel Levinas

Jacques Derrida

Theodicy.  This is the attempted answer to the "problem of evil": how can one consistent affirm the existence of a perfectly good, all-knowing, all-powerful Creator God and at the same time honestly acknowledge the variety and extent of evils in our world?

The Feminist ethics of  Nel Noddings

Notes on Garrett Thomson, On the Meaning of Life

Creation and evolution: notes on an anthology of articles and a synthetic perspective on the cluster of problems.

Introduction to Philosophy

Introduction to Ethics

Aesthetics resources: selected student project reports; Philosophy of Expression; Aesthetics class notes; Arts Project; Aesthetics Practices and Excellences Questionnaire; Beauty in Goodness exercise 


Project reports from various religion classes, Spring 2009.  Here are results from the project on centering on the indwelling spirit of God (or however the individual interprets the adventure) from Fall 2009.





From the Interfaith Center at the Presidio in San Francisco (http://www.interfaith-presidio.org/links.html) come the following links.

The Interfaith Center at the Presidio's activities and interests focus around grassroots interaction. The following links mostly derive from international organizations concerned with local interfaith relationships. Most of them offer a variety of links, with the largest selection coming from United Religions Initiative and beliefnet.com.


beliefnet    http://www.beliefnet.com
This is a vast portal that covers all sorts of religious matters. For anyone interested in faith and practice from dozens, even hundreds of points of view, will find a rich menu at this portal.


CoNexus    http://www.conexuspress.com
CoNexus, under the leadership of Joel Beversluis, is the largest distributor of interfaith resources. Joel edited "The Sourcebook," a must-have book for those involved in day-to-day interfaith work.


Council for a Parliament of World's Religions    Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions    http://www.cpwr.org
The 1893 Parliament of the World's Religions initiated the modern interfaith movement, and CPWR in Chicago, keeps the memory and experience of large interfaith gatherings alive today.


Global PeaceWorks - creating peace among religions through international, interfaith volunteer service    http://www.globalpeaceworks.org
Creating peace among religions through international, interfaith volunteer service projects.


International Interfaith Centre    International Interfaith Centre    http://www.interfaith-center.org
Based in Oxford, UK, the IIC supports organizations and individuals in furthering peace, respect, and understanding between people with different faith beliefs.


North American Interfaith Network    North American Interfaith Network   http://www.nain.org
NAIN is a 15-year-old network of interfaith and ecumenical workers, mostly from Canada and the United States, who meet once a year.


Pluralism Project    The Pluralism Project   http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~pluralsm
The Pluralism Project at Harvard University is the best source of information about religious diversity today.


United Religions Initiative    United Religions Initiative   http://www.uri.org
URI is a network of nearly 200 Cooperation Circles in 36 countries, all dedicated to promoting daily, enduring interfaith cooperation, an end to religiously motivated violence, and cultures of peace, justice, and healing for the Earth and all living beings. They also have one of the best interfaith portals anywhere, including a remarkable section for kids and pages of well-organized links.


World Congress of Faith    World Congress of Faith   http://www.worldfaiths.org
WCF is one of the first and continues among the best providers of interfaith publications.



                Religions for Peace (USA)   http://www.rfpusa.org
Religions for Peace - USA gathers representatives of religious communities in the U.S.; promotes multi-religious cooperation for peace and justice; builds on the spiritual, human, and institutional resources of its communities; enhances mutual understanding; and acts for the common good.