God and the Good Life: An Introduction to Theology - with service learning option (TH 201)
The course explores the history, development, and present-day theological traditions of Jewish and Christian communities. Students will read Scripture and other texts to explore the question of what constitutes “the good life” through a theological lens.
As a Service-Learning (Optional) Course, all the students will learn from and connect to the local Baltimore community either through direct service or through research.
Dr. Rebekah Eklund came to Loyola in 2012 after earning a ThD (Doctor of Theology) in New Testament and Ethics from Duke Divinity School. She wrote her first book, Jesus Wept, on the importance of the prayer of lament in the New Testament, and she is currently writing her second book on how the beatitudes (e.g., “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”) have been interpreted and applied at different stages throughout history.
When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys trying out new recipes on her friends and road-running and trail-running all over Baltimore.
Human, Animal, Machine: Environmental Philosophy (PL 236)
In this course we look beyond our human selves to that larger natural world of which we are a part. Is nature a kindly mother? Wild and dangerous? A resource for our use? Are animals mindless machines, or do they possess modes of intelligence that we have barely begun to appreciate? And how has the pervasive presence of technology changed things? Do our smartphones, TVs, and computers expand and enrich our lives? Or do we live in a technological bubble, cut off from nature and each other? What would it mean to recover a sense of "place" and "community"?
Using articles, books, film, outside wanders, and our own life experience, we will reflect on such issues. The goal will be to think more deeply about "the good life" for humans, animals, and our imperiled planet.
Dr. Drew Leder has a medical degree as well as a Ph.D. in Philosophy. He has taught at Loyola for many years, with a special interest in Asian philosophy and environmental philosophy. He has published six books which range in focus across issues of world spirituality, the philosophy of medicine, and the plight of inmates in maximum-security settings where he has long volunteered. His work has been featured in newspapers and magazines across the country, ranging from the Washington Post to Family Circle. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, two daughters, and his dog, Maggie.
Dan Kelly began working at Loyola in the fall of 2016 as the Assistant Director of Student Life for Student Conduct. As a Loyola alum Class of 2012, Dan had the privilege of attending Loyola as an undergraduate and obtaining his degree of Bachelor of Science in Biology. In addition, Dan earned his Master of Education degree in College Student Personnel Administration from James Madison University (JMU). At JMU, Dan also worked as the Graduate Assistant for Sexual Violence Prevention and Education in the University Health Center and as the Graduate Assistant for the Accountability Board in the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices.
Dan’s passion lies in mentoring students. Whether mentoring is through conduct, Messina, or another outlet, Dan loves challenging and supporting students so they may become the best version of themselves. Dan’s professional and research interests include: sexual and intimate partner violence advocacy and prevention, healthy masculinity, restorative practices, atheist student development, and training non-student affairs staff in student development theory. When Dan is not working you’ll find him reading a good sci-fi book, baking some delicious dessert, or enjoying the company of friends.
Both courses in this pairing satisfy core requirements for all students. TH 201 is offered with a service learning option.