Curriculum Development

The Institute has established a five-year project at Trinity College to create syllabi, curricula, and bibliographies on secularism and secularization at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Each year, a selected group of faculty fellows at Trinity College and Claremont University Consortium in California develops new courses based on a common theme across a range of academic disciplines. The themes are:

2005-06: The Roots of the Secular Tradition in the West

2006-07: The Secular Tradition and Foundations of the Natural Sciences

2007-08: Secularism and the Enlightenment

2008-09: The Global Impact of Secular Values

2009-10: Evolution in Nature and Society

2010-11: Separation of Religion & State: Contemporary Issues

2011-12: Gender & Secularism 

An annual peer review conference for educators is held at the end of each academic year.


 ISSSC Sponsored Courses 

 

Courses Developed
Academic Year 2005-06

In July 2005, the newly-formed Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture (ISSSC) issued a call for full time, continuing faculty members at Trinity College to apply for the position of Program Fellows for the Academic Year 2005-06. If accepted, they would receive course development grants under the ISSSC’s new program, Secular Traditions and the Liberal Arts. The grant would allow them each to develop a new course (or thoroughly revise an appropriate existing course) under the theme of Year One.

Part I:
The Roots of the Secular Tradition in the West

An academic meeting of philosophers, political scientists, and historians of science to discuss the courses developed by ISSSC faculty fellows.

Keynote Presentation: The Early Modern Origins of Secularism: Revisiting the Relationship Between Knowledge and Faith
Dr. Paula Findlen, Ubaldo Pierotti Professor in Italian History, Department of History, Stanford University

Course Title: Skepticism and Toleration in Early Modern Philosophy
Faculty Member: Dr. Todd Ryan, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Course Title: From Theocracy to Democracy: the Foundations of Modern Liberal Politics
Faculty Member: Dr. Christopher Nadon, Associate Professor of Political Science

Course Title: Science, Nature and Religion in Early Modern Europe
Faculty Member: Dr. Sean Cocco, Assistant Professor of History 

Part II:
The Secular Tradition and Islam

Course Title: Worldly Islam: The Sacred, the Secular
Faculty Member: Dr. Raymond Baker, Professor of International Politics

Course Title: Religious and Secular Thought in Iran
Faculty Member: Nastaran Moosavi, McGill Teaching Fellow in International Studies


Courses Developed
Academic Year 2006-07

Part I, at Trinity College:
The Secular Tradition and Foundations of the Natural Sciences

Course Title: The History of Evolutionary Ideas
Faculty Member: Dr. Daniel Blackburn, Professor and Chair of Biology

Course Title: European Exploration and Science, 1320-1700
Faculty Member: Dr. Sean Cocco, Assistant Professor of History 

Course Title: Science and Religion (First Year Seminar)
Faculty Member: Dr. Kent Dunlap, Associate Professor of Biology

Course Title: Acid Rain in Europe 1979-1989 (First Year Seminar)
Faculty Member: Dr. David Henderson, Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Environmental Science Program

Part II, at Trinity College:

Core Course Title: Secularism and the Problem of Authority
Faculty Members: Dr. Barry Kosmin, Director, ISSSC and Research Professor, Public Policy & Law Program;
Dr. Ariela Keysar, Associate Director, ISSSC and Associate Research Professor, Public Policy & Law Program

Part III, at Claremont University Consortium, California:
The Roots of the Secular Tradition in the West

Course Title: The Sacred and the Profane in the Middle Ages
Faculty Fellow: Dr. John Eldevik
History Department, Pomona College

Course Title: Medieval Thought
Faculty Fellows: Dr. Carina Lee Johnson
History Department, Pitzer College and
Dr. Brian Keeley Philosophy, Pitzer College

Course Title: Classical Ethical Theory: Plato
Faculty Fellow: Dr. Suzanne Obdrzalek
Philosophy Department, Claremont McKenna College

Course Title: Secularism, Skepticism, and Critiques of Religion
Faculty Fellow: Dr. Phil Zuckerman
Sociology Department, Pitzer College


Courses Developed
Academic Year 2007-08

Trinity College
Secularism and the Enlightenment

Course Title: Enlightenment and Romanticism in Italy
Faculty Members: Dr. John Alcorn, Assistant Professor of Italian Studies  & Dario Del Puppo, Associate Professor

Course Title: The Strange Meaning of Things
Faculty Member: Dr. Barbara M. Benedict, Charles A. Dana Professor of English Literature 

Course Title: Eighteenth-Century European Art & Architecture
Faculty Member: Dr. Alden R. Gordon, Gwendolyn Miles Smith Professor of Art History and Chair of the Fine Arts Department

Course Title: Knowledge and Power in the French Enlightenment
Faculty Member: Dr. Jean-Marc Kehres, Assistant Professor of Modern Languages and Literature

Course Title: Science and Society in the Age of Enlightenment - France 1715 - 1799
Faculty Member: Dr. Kathleen Kete, Associate Professor of History

Course Title: Britain: Political Culture and Empire, 1688-1948
Faculty Member: Dr. Susan D. Pennybacker, Borden W. Painter Jr Associate Professor of European History

Claremont University Consortium, California
Secularism and the Enlightenment

Course Title: The Nature of Nature: Enlightenment Ideas about the Landscape
Faculty Member: Dr. Bruce Coats, Professor of Art History, Scripps College

Course Title: Liberty of Conscience and the Creation of Secular Society
Faculty Member: Dr. George Thomas, Assistant Professor of Government, Claremont McKenna College

Course Title: German Enlightenment in an International Context
Faculty Member: Dr. Friederike Schwerin, Assistant Professor of German and Russian, Pomona College

Course Title: Government 165: Political Philosophy and History
Faculty Member: Dr. James Nichols, Professor of Government, Claremont McKenna College  

Course Title: Anxiety in the Age of Reason
Faculty Member: Dr. Andre Wakefield, Assistant Professor of History, Pitzer College


 

Courses Developed
Academic Year 2008-09

Trinity College
The Global Impact of Secular Values

Course Title: Modern Italy
Faculty Member: John Alcorn, Principal Lecturer in Language & Cultural Studies

Course Title: The World Disenchanted: The Origins and Impact of Secularization
Faculty Member: Jonathan Elukin, Associate Professor of History

Course Title: Modern Secular Nationalism, Ancient Memories: The Case of the Jews
Faculty Member: Samuel Kassow, Charles H. Northam Professor of  History 

Claremont University Consortium, California
The Global Impact of Secular Values

Course Title: Government 162: Statesmanship and Leadership
Faculty Member: Mark Blitz, Professor, Department of Government, Claremont McKenna College

Course Title: Life, Death and Meaning
Faculty Member: Amy Kind, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Claremont McKenna College

Course Title: Global Justice, World Poverty, and Human Rights
Faculty Member: Alex Rajczi, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Claremont McKenna College

Course Title: American Culture Wars
Faculty Member: John Shields, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Claremont McKenna College


 

Courses Developed
Academic Year 2009-10

Trinity College
Evolution in Nature and Society

Course Title: Social Evolution &  Classical Liberalism 
Faculty Member: William N. Butos, Professor of Economics

Course Title: Artificial Intelligence
Faculty Member: Ralph A. Morelli, Professor of Computer Science


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Courses Developed 
Academic Year 2010-2011

Trinity College 
Separation of Religion & State: Contemporary Issues 

Course Title:  Church, State & Public Policy
Faculty Member: Renny Fulco, Associate Professor of Public Policy & Law