Each semester PathWays sponsors courses that reflect on the importance of service, community, faith, and the common good.
PathWays courses include:
Ethics in an Unjust World: Making Decisions to Live Lives of Consequence
Public Policy Studies 290 (Fall)
This course considers the question, "How can we fix poverty?" It begins by exploring the nature of poverty through a variety of descriptive metaphors (e.g., poverty as a "trap"). It then considers the word "we," and in doing so introduces several basic understandings of ethics (deontology, utilitarianism, virtue ethics, etc.) Finally it considers the word "fix" and offers three models for responding to poverty: working for, working with, and being with. Each model explores several examples of good practice followed by critical reflection as students engage with opportunities in Durham displaying each approach. The course will include several visits to local Durham organizations, including TROSA, Urban Ministries, and City Council.
Acts of Engagement: Interreligious Approaches to Service and Learning
Religion 290S/PubPol 290S (Fall)
Christy Lohr Sapp, Jennifer Copeland
Whether it is called "service", "mission", "Seva", "loving-kindness", "tikkun olam" or any number of other names, selfless acts done in the service of others are a component of many of the world's religious traditions. This course will explore the fundamental call to serve in a number of traditions. It will examine the works of community leaders from various religious traditions such as Dorothy Day, Abraham Heschel, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Thich Nhat Hahn to unpack the elements in their traditions that led them to work with and for others. This service-learning course will also put these concepts into practical service in the local community through partnerships with Durham agencies. Time spent working through local mosques, synagogues, temples and churches will provide a practical service experience from a variety of religious perspectives.
Faith and Political Violence: Perspectives on Religion and Terror in Modern Politics
Religion 290S (Fall)
What is the relationship between faith and violence in modern politics? How can we understand the attempt to characterize global politics as a “Clash of Civilizations”? What alternatives are available to individuals seeking to balance conflicting religious perspectives on war and political violence? This course will address these questions by discussing the role that religion plays in justifying or condemning acts of war, terrorism, or political violence and exploring a range of contemporary moral positions on justified war, holy war, and pacifism.
Politics, Religion, and Radical Democracy: Faith and Activism in America
Public Policy Studies 290S (Spring)
What is the role of religion in the public sphere? What is radical democracy and how does faith inform grassroots organizing? What democratic traditions and philosophies shape our understanding of political practice? This course considers these questions and related issues by examining three accounts of public engagement in modern American politics: the ethics of democracy, ecclesial counter-praxis, and radical democracy. To view a video introduction to the course, click here.