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New Religion and Applied Ethics Studies program tackles moral, ethical issues


August 10, 2007

Arizona State University launched its new Religion and Applied Ethics Studies program, an interdisciplinary undergraduate program that combines the disciplines of religion and applied ethics. The program explores the history, literature, thought, and practice of particular religious traditions, and the intersection of religion and applied ethics issues including abortion, the environment, bioethics, and feminism.

ASU’s Religion and Applied Ethics Studies is both exceptional and distinctive in that it integrates religion and applied ethics into a single degree program. No other comparable program exists in the United States. The program offers intensive instruction in philosophical ethics, preparing students to make informed judgments about important contemporary moral issues. Students will learn the applicable religious contexts for understanding why people choose to live or respond to ethical issues as they do.

“The program is an excellent choice for individuals interested in exploring society’s tough questions,” said Shari Collins-Chobanian, chair of the department of Integrative Studies, which houses Religion and Applied Ethics Studies. Integrative Studies is located in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the West campus. “Philosophical analysis of contemporary problems in light of various religious worldviews is at the center of our program.

“Students will find the different philosophical and religious perspectives on morality and human experience both challenging and rewarding, and will more fully appreciate the diversity of religious perspectives.”

Graduates of the Religion and Applied Ethics Studies program will possess the knowledge and skills enabling them to think critically and constructively about religion and religion’s contribution to morality and ethical issues in various arenas of contemporary life. Students graduating with this degree will have the skills needed in such professional careers as law, ministry, social services, community development and counseling. It is also excellent preparation for students seeking entry into graduate study in areas such as philosophy, social work, law and medicine.