Curriculum


Academics: Curriculum | Reading | Writing


Personalized Courses

Oregon Extension student

Students earn a total of 16 credits during a fall semester at The Oregon Extension. Within each segment, students choose one course title representing the study project they have chosen and the discipline in which they wish to receive three or four semester hours of credit. These disciplines include literature, psychology, sociology, philosophy, biology, theology, biblical studies, history, education, science, political science, art and communications. In addition, each student receives three semester hours for English/Communications 399: Composition and Rhetoric.

Students should talk with their academic advisor at their home college or university about the courses they plan to take at the OE.

The Oregon Extension is accredited by Eastern University, 1300 Eagle Road, St. Davids, PA 19087 (Phone: 610-341-5800). OE students receive academic credit through Eastern University. At the end of the fall semester, Eastern University will send the student’s home college or university an official academic transcript of the student’s semester course work.

Course titles and descriptions in PDF format:

OE Course Titles

OE Course Descriptions

Sample Topics chosen by OE students

The list below illustrates the diversity of topics chosen by our students for study during the ‘project’ portion of our month-long courses. They are offered only to stimulate your own imagination.

Art

  • Outside Art and populist vision
  • Art and feminism in the ‘clothesline project’
  • Portrait photography and ‘the face’ in Levinas’ thought
  • Christopher Alexander’s human-centered architecture
  • Art and faith in Image magazine
  • Art’s responses to the Holocaust
  • Hieronymus Bosch and the apocalyptic imagination
  • 16th century woodcuts: image literacy and the contest for the Christian imagination
  • Historical depictions of the crucifixion

Bible

  • God and human violence
  • Jesus and women in the Gospels
  • Christian community in the New Testament
  • Earth-caring as a biblical calling
  • Authentic humanity in the Sermon on the Mount
  • Slavery and freedom in light of John 8
  • Healing body shame: Jesus and women

Communications

  • Religion and media in presidential elections
  • Childhood in an age of electronic media
  • Early TV criticism in McLuhan and Postman
  • Journalism and empathy in John Howard Griffin, Alex Kotlowitz and others
  • Images and pain in Susan Sontag
  • Media’s distortion of women’s body images and experiences
  • The military and the media in the Iraq War
  • The material culture of Christianity
  • Brandscaping and the accessorizing of identity

Education

  • Pedagogy of Paulo Freire
  • Inner-city adolescents in the public schools
  • Classroom differences between girls and boys
  • Athletics in the educational system
  • How working class culture shapes children’s aspirations
  • Bloom’s “Closing of the American Mind” and the academic world

English

  • The American West: Kittredge, Abbey, McCarthy
  • Feminist criticism and John Updike
  • Post-colonial women writers
  • Shusaku Endo and Elie Wiesel on human suffering
  • Meena Alexander and Assia Djebar on language and self
  • Catholic visions of Graham Greene and Francois Mauriac
  • The spirituality of Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Womanist theology in Gloria Naylor and Toni Morrison
  • Nick Hornby and the isolated self
  • God novels: the Towing Jehovah trilogy of James Morrow

History

  • Simone de Beauvoir on othering and freedom
  • Noam Chomsky’s grim vision
  • Jacques Ellul and the reign of technique
  • Remi Brague and European eclecticism
  • African-American voices: DuBois, Malcolm, hooks, West
  • Genocide in Rwanda and Cambodia
  • Women and gender in the history of Islam
  • Medieval women mystics and the humanity of God
  • Slavery and its defenders in the antebellum South
  • The “emergent church” in contemporary America
  • The First Crusade as a religious pilgrimage

Philosophy

  • Kierkegaard’s “simple life”
  • Paul Ricoeur and the ethics of oneself as another
  • Albert Camus and French existentialism
  • Nietzsche’s Zarathustra
  • Hannah Arendt and the “banality of evil”
  • Simone Weil’s perspective on social evil
  • The collaboration of Sartre and de Beauvoir
  • Hans Kung on the great atheists and reasons for faith
  • Charles Taylor on the emergence of secularism

Political Science

  • Neoconservative thought and the Iraq War
  • Radical Muslim political writing
  • International responses to genocide
  • Max Weber and Noam Chomsky on political leadership
  • Michael Novak on democratic capitalism
  • John Kenneth Galbraith and the liberal society of Reinhold Niebuhr
  • Veiling and unveiling: the meaning of the veil in Muslim and western culture
  • Postdating the origins of modernity: Oliver O’Donovan
  • How do institutions think?  Hugh Heclo and Robert Bellah

Psychology

  • Carol Gilligan on development of self and voice in adolescent girls
  • Consumerism and the psychology of addiction
  • Jacques Lacan and Neo-Freudianism
  • Melanie Klein, D. W. Winnicott and “object relations”
  • “True self” in Paul Tournier, Thomas Merton, Richard Schwartz
  • Alice Miller and the repressed memory of childhood trauma
  • The myth of mother/daughter separation
  • Varying psychological portraits of Jesus
  • Jung’s archetypes

Science

  • Hydrology and the crisis of the American West
  • Ethics of genetic manipulation
  • John McPhee’s geological writings
  • The deep ecology movement
  • Oliver Sacks’ studies of brain disorder
  • Loren Eiseley’s Darwinian naturalism
  • E. O. Wilson’s sociobiology
  • Viewpoints: Creationism, intelligent design and natural selection
  • Charles Darwin’s struggle with God
  • Christian impulses in the history of science

Sociology

  • Weber and Marx on the future of capitalism
  • “Bowling Alone”: loss of civic community in America
  • Vandana Shiva and the mobilization of third world women
  • Ernest Becker on death denial as shaping human culture
  • Feminist theory’s unmasking of gender, race and class relations
  • Cultural studies and the elevation of the ordinary
  • The Frankfurt School’s critique of modernity
  • Sociology of religious cults in America
  • Peter Berger and religion as a “sacred canopy”

Theology

  • Social implications of atonement theories
  • Political realism in the writings of Reinhold Niebuhr
  • Liberation theology
  • Jean Vanier and the theology of human brokenness
  • Julian of Norwich on the relationship of the divine and humans
  • Feminine imagery for God and the shaping of personhood
  • Borg and Crossan on the historical Jesus
  • Brueggeman’s Old Testament theology
  • Reuther and contemporary feminist theology
  • Neo-Calvinism and the common grace of social forms
  • Heaven and hell in recent theology
  • Christian apologetics as a historical argument

OE Course Titles

OE Course Descriptions

 

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